Jennifer Rubin, conservative columnist for the Washington Post has some immediate advice for the president, get out now, with a pardon secured from Mike Pence.
This morning, due to the likelihood of an impending indictment coming down against Don Jr., Trump recklessly tweeted (in defense of someone’s son or daughter, one can defend acting spontaneously, even Trump is a father):
Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
Until now, the official line had been that the meeting was about “adoption of orphans” (which, interestingly, the Magnitsky Act, the law sanctioning Russia that Putin and his supporters so desperately want lifted, does touch upon). Now having admitted the meeting was every bit as much about getting dirt on an opponent, Trump has entirely changed the lay of the land. He has essentially admitted his campaign colluded with Russia.
Sure, he says such meetings happen all the time, but not involving foreign countries, not involving quid pro quos, and not involving Russia, which the FBI had already told the Trump Campaign to be weary of attempts to meddle in the campaign, trying to PROTECT Trump.
Rubin says that admitting collusion as Trump did puts him at risk upon leaving office: Per Rawstory:
“I’d like to remind Mr. Trump that that ruling only says you can’t be prosecuted while in office,” Rubin explained. “So before he goes out the door, maybe he wants to resign the presidency and has Vice President Pence pardon him because he’s going to be prosecutable as soon as he leaves office.”
While Rubin is correct in her assessment, the DOJ policy is not set in stone and many Republicans have argued that it is not the correct policy – at least they did in the context of the Bill Clinton investigation. Regardless, I do think Rubin is honing in upon the most likely end game.
At some point, the evidence of Trump ties to Russia – and the danger inherent within those ties, will become so overwhelming that even Republican Senators cannot support Trump. Additionally, Trump will not want to risk all that money he has made doing Russia’s work over the years, nor the money he has made as president.
Trump will declare that he has succeeded in what he set about doing, making America great again, point to his accomplishments, and say “for the benefit of the nation” he is going to step down, and Mike Pence will pardon Trump, allowing for a clean getaway. That certainly seems to me to be the most likely scenario over the next year: