America's inexperienced president
When you hear Donald Trump declare that there's a witch hunt, he's projecting. There is a witch hunt, but it's orchestrated by him against our law enforcement. When he says, "There is no collusion" or, "There is no obstruction," he's projecting (lying).
By now it should be clear to even the casual observer that Trump's campaign colluded with Russian adversaries. The July 16 meeting that Donny Jr. held with Russians for the purpose of getting "dirt on Hillary" pretty much clinched that charge.
As for the obstruction charge it's been clear since the day former FBI Director James Comey, testified before the House Intelligence Committee and said that they were investigating Donald Trump and his campaign that Trump has at least acted like he was guilty of obstruction.
He said that he fired Comey over the way Comey handled Hillary Clinton's emails. We now know that was a lie, because he was dumb enough to go on TV and tell NBC newsman Lester Holt that he fired Comey over "the Russia thing."
After Comey spoke before the House Intelligence Committee the Chair, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, performed his historic "midnight run" to the White House to inform them of what happened and colluded and conspired with them on how to respond. Nunes served on Trump's transition team. Could it be that he knows more than he's telling?
The Midnight Run resulted in a new conspiracy theory that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Towers in New York. Predictably, that turned out to be false. Now we have another Nunes Memo; a partisan document that will go down in history as one of the most over-hyped duds in political history. Fox News declared the memo would be bigger than Watergate; it wasn't. Trump said the Memo vindicated him; it didn't.
The Memo is nothing more than a cherry-picked document designed to provide cover for Trump to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The Memo failed miserably here, too. Now if Trump tries to fire Rosenstein the world will clearly see that it's just another obstruction attempt.
Trump knows he can't fire Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, because doing so would result in a constitutional crisis. However, by firing Rosenstein he could hamstring Mueller's investigation and/or even neutralize it. That's the goal. Sadly for Trump, that ball sailed wide of the goal posts.
Much like its proponents, the Memo is a fraud; another desperate distraction trying to convince people that what we're seeing with our own eyes is not true. What we're seeing is a president who is, for reasons hopefully the investigation will disclose, beholden to Vladimir Putin. The most recent and blatant example is Trump's unwillingness to impose further sanctions on Russia for meddling in our elections after Congress voted nearly unanimously to impose more sanctions. Why? Doing so would really anger Putin. Trump can ill afford to annoy Putin. Why? What is Trump hiding? What does Putin have over Trump? Is the information is this dossier by a former British Intelligence agent true? Has Trump been serving as a laundromat for Russian money? Is this the real reason why he could never, ever release his tax returns?
It sure does seem as though there's something going on and hopefully Mueller will figure out just what it is. In the meantime our Twitterer-in-Chief would be well advised to stop playing games with Nunes. That's not working. Trump's only hope may very well be starting a war with North Korea. Like the highly untrained fighter, Trump has been telegraphing this punch for months.
The only question begging for an answer is who will block this punch? It'll be up to the Republicans to stand up to their leader. Thus far they've shown no resolve to do so.
Bob Stannard lives in Manchester.
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