My fellow writers here at Politizoom have done yeoman’s work in documenting the breathtaking revelations of the last week. In response to all the revelations, Trump did what he always does, he used all power at his disposal to attack the accusers. Only this time it’s serious.
Trump ordered an investigation of the people investigating him, a purely political move to, definitely harass, and, possibly jail, people politically “inconvenient” to him. Nixon did the same. But, as Charlie Pierce notes, Nixon’s people felt the need to use code names, knowing if they ever got caught, prison awaited. Trump declared open war with all of them, by tweet, because he believes he can.
He might be right, if he gets away with it.
A brief review, while last week delivered evidence that Michael Cohen might have been delivering money on behalf of Russians both before and after the election, the real boom may well have been that which concerned Qatar. Qatar is a Middle-East nation with just enough real estate to hold an American military base and significant oil reserves. The base functions essentially as the “jumping off point” of all things military in the “Middle East.” It is critically important to American interests, and could be revoked within a week with no obvious replacement.
To say that the United States had “good relations” with Qatar would be an understatement. Qatar values the American dollars that flow freely from our military to their banks as much as the oil beneath their feet, and we have a huge need for a base in the area. Yet, United States official policy, our rich nation and its 300 million citizens, our policy toward Qatar, may have turned on a dime. Well, it didn’t turn on a dime, more like 10 billion dimes, all because the current president had significant concern for his son-in-law’s finances and national policy is on the table when needed to get some financial help.
From the New York Times by way of Pierce’s Esquire article:
Erik Prince, the private security contractor and the former head of Blackwater, arranged the meeting, which took place on Aug. 3, 2016. The emissary, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. that the princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president. The social media specialist, Joel Zamel, extolled his company’s ability to give an edge to a political campaign; by that time, the firm had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr. Trump.
Now, we have no reason to go deep into the “mostly-local” reasons that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have issues with Qatar. Let’s just say they do and be done with it. The dispute resulted in a blockade of Qatar, one imposed solely by the Saudis and UAE, and would remain safely ignored by everyone else. Or would have, until Trump went over to the Middle East early in his presidency for a chat with all the right princes. While there, out of abso-fking-lute-ly nowhere, Trump tweets out something blasting Qatar’s funding of “Radical Ideology.” (Ironic, in that the real accuser, Saudi Arabia, actually has “funded radical ideology” and that’s why to this day parts of the 9-11 report remain classified.)
In one tweet, backed by nothing, Trump seemed to endorse the blockade, and reverse two decades of American policy toward Qatar. At the time, people could still write off such things as meaningless, done by someone who can’t spell UAE, never mind understand its policies, a president fooled by all those “right princes.”
“Stupid” no longer sounds likely. “Coldly calculated self-interest” seems more appropriate, the “pay-off” to the Saudis and UAE.
Well, if it’s only a matter of money, it seems that the Qatari’s are willing to fight to get their “friendship” back, because the Times reports just last week that the Qatari government is currently negotiating a bailout of the lying sack of shit Jared Kushner’s building, a 30% vacant building burdened with a $1.2 billion balloon payment due early next year that we’ve meticulously covered.
That’s right. The Qatari’s may well be “buying back” American foreign policy, by doing what people do nowadays to impact American policy, enrich Trumps. From the Time’s article:
The deal is likely to raise further concerns about Jared Kushner’s dual role as a White House point person on the Middle East and a continuing stakeholder in the family’s company. Mr. Kushner in February lost his top-secret security clearance amid concerns that foreign governments could attempt to gain influence with the White House by doing business with his firm. In January, The Times reported that his firm last year received a $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim, a large Israeli insurer, just a few days before Mr. Kushner flew to Israel for his first diplomatic trip to the region.
To paraphrase Pierce, one doesn’t have to be Robert Mueller to recognize an old school mob shakedown, taken to the level of national policy.
Our senseless President’s only sense may be self-preservation and it blinked torrent-red over the weekend. One can practically read his mind; “If they know this much, this is bad, real bad. I’ve GOT to stop it.” On that basis alone, that the cops might be getting close, Trump took to tweet, lacking the Nixonian recognition that using prosecutorial powers against political “enemies,” need be kept quiet. Trump announced he would order the investigation of the people investigating him.
Charlie’s take is worth reading, and he’s on the same “page,” as me, so to speak:
The president* has proceeded to up the ante. Over the weekend, on the electric Twitter machine, he hereby demanded that the Department of Justice launch an investigation into whether or not the Obama administration had used the FBI to submarine his campaign, a contention that would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. (It appears that, rather than be accused of political shenanigans, the Bureau kept the investigation into the Trump campaign on the down-low, a consideration that was not afforded the campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton.)
For one, Rosenstein passed it off to the DOJ Internal Investigator, a move likely calculated to get the damn thing off Rosenstein’s desk, and not let Trump control Rosenstein’s priorities, the things he knows to be “real crimes,” as in “ones that actually happened.
But, then he and FBI Director Wray did something unexpected, and knocked on the White House door yesterday afternoon to “meet” with the president. They came out with an agreement, that has all of D.C. chattering about what it means. They did agree to have the DOJ Internal Investigator expand his “investigation,” but that isn’t the part that has people shaking their heads.
It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with congressional leaders to review highly classified and other information [Congress has] requested.
Everyone knows that the last thing anyone within the “Intelligence Community” wants to do is hand anything sensitive to the White House, or House Republicans, because the “good sentence” will be leaked in 20 seconds, while the horror-filled context never sees the light of day. Also true, Trump apologists will immediately attack any incriminating evidence.
So, it is a little difficult to understand why Rosenstein would sign off on such a deal. I expect it is buying time, letting the president’s attention span work its magic. Trump will see a squirrel and run-off, having “done something” about all these bad cops with good evidence. Rosenstein and Mueller will get a critical 2 month reprieve from Trump blowing everything up. Maybe they believe it is all they will need.
Whatever they did, it is vitally important to our standing as a Republic. It is not hyperbole to say the only things standing between Trump’s panic-based attack on Obama et al, and outright, dictatorial termination of the Mueller investigation, is Rosenstein, Wray, and the American civic-body’s sense of outrage, and demand for the rule of law and constitutional norms.
Rosenstein has done enough “right” in this process to give him the benefit of the doubt, that he played Trump. Wray agreed to whatever Rosenstein agreed to. For now, we can assume they are doing their part. But, the American people? As in, all of us, do we have the reserve and resolve to hear blatant declarations of war against political enemies as self-preservation, and reject it outright?
I take the “Trump apologist crowd” right out of the equation, that 30-35% of the population that also believes that dinosaurs walked right alongside Jesus, or something. Forget them. I am talking about the important 66%, the “overwhelming majority” – whether “we” have that recognition and resolve. I’d like to think every reader here is an unqualified “yes.” As the evidence piles up, surprising indications of corruption in places we didn’t think to look, all pointing to crimes more serious than before, there does seem to be less tolerance by even some Republicans, and Schumer announced his outrage from the Senate podium. I am with the “glass half-full” crowd on how it shakes out, an optimist that the ship will right itself.
But, that could change, fast, if this week goes by, with a majority of the country shrugging their shoulders, awaiting “the next big Trump story,” waiting for real proof of a Trump crime.
We got real proof in the tweet and following order, Trump overrode the constitution. He inserted himself into the investigation of himself, as “boss.” He is ready to jail political enemies, if it means saving himself. That is the “constitutional crises” we all knew was coming.
*** Normally pitching my novel is done below the article, for now, in a tiny few articles, I’ll insert it here, because the sequel is near completion and due out soon. If you need an escape to a world where the U.S. has an “Obama-like” president, and aliens are at least as much to blame as republicans, you’ll find it here.