Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (U.C. Berkeley). An idealist who believes the American Experiment will succeed. I tweet about the law, books, politics, and history. Dec. 11, 2018 2 min read

(Thread)
Yesterday I wrote about evidence of a TrumpRussia conspiracy in the prosecution docs.

A follower asked: Did Trump think he’d get away with all of this?

The answer (I believe) is yes.

Seems to me Trump had a 2-part plan.

#1: [If he wins] shut down all investigations.

1/ Winning would put him at the head the executive branch (DOJ, FBI, etc), so this must have seemed entirely doable.

He always behaves as if he can run the US executive branch the way he runs his businesses (and charity!)
He’s the boss. Everyone else obeys his orders.

2/ He tried to get Comey to shut down the investigation.

When that didn’t work, he evidently believed firing Comey would solve the problem.

That didn't work, so he vowed to fight back.
 https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/11/trump-fightback-514513 

This strategy is known as obstructing justice, and it’s illegal.

3/ But the whole point is that he ignores laws. Hence TrumpRussia.

Denyse asks if Trump knows his goose is cooked legally.

I don’t think he believes he’s cooked.

Which brings us to Part 2 of his plan: Undermine factuality and rule of law.

Consider this:

4/ Even after all those indictments, guilty pleas & a memo implicating him in a federal felony, he still has 42% approval. (I most trust the 538 polling aggregate.)
 https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/?ex_cid=rrpromo 

See how GOP congress members fall in line?
Suddenly committing crimes is No Big Deal!

5/ Add Orrin Hatch to the list:

The strategy includes the Deep State Defense, which goes like this: All of our institutions are rotten, so we can’t believe anything that comes out of them. Or the corollary: Everyone does it, so going after me is political.

6/ It’s not the person on trial who is guilty. It’s the court.

The Putin-Trump methods are not complex or hard: Tell a stream of absurd lies while state TV (Fox, etc) acts like it’s normal.

Timothy Snyder calls it “governing by crisis and spectacle”👇

7/ The goal is to undermine factuality and create a post truth era.

“Yeah but," you ask, "what about when he's indicted?”

Remember: without facts, there's no Rule of Law.

Without Rule of Law, jury verdicts have no meaning and it doesn't matter what an investigation turns up.

8/ Steve Bannon explains the strategy:


People who are not paying close attention get confused.

His critics are kept busy playing Whack-a-Lie.
The plan is that eventually people wear out and give up.

9/ I’ve written about why Trump supporters believe any lie he tells.
If you missed my Slate article, it’s here👇
 https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/trump-lies-kavanaugh-khashoggi.html 

We have a seemingly contradictory situation:
The GOP spent years obsessed with Clinton “crimes.”
But if Trump commits real crimes, that’s OK.

10/ This makes sense if what you are trying to do is undermine a government and install autocracy.

Do I think Trump will get away with it?

No, certainly not.
But Trump thinks he will.

In Trump’s world, Cult of Leadership seems stronger than Rule of Law.

Adding: I intended the word "suddenly" in Tweet #4 to be ironic.

GOP disregard for rules goes way back.


You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.



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