The Trump card

Many Republicans, including the leaders of the House and Senate, have cautioned President Trump not to interfere in the Mueller probe.  Let him finish the investigation, they insist.  Let the process play out.

But what if the process never plays out?  The investigation into "Trump-Russia collusion" in the 2016 election should wind down of its own accord eventually, after every plausible thread of evidence has been examined and the president is either exonerated or impeached.  That shouldn't take forever.

But what if Mueller's intention is simply to keep the investigation going?  He has the means to do that.  Part of his mandate is to pursue any other potential crimes he happens to come across in the course of his investigations, so there's no limit to the number of suspicious activities he might choose to look into.  He could play this process out forever.  And so long as the probe continues, President Trump remains in the minds of half the country and ninety percent of the media "the illegitimate president who stole the election with Putin's help."

Mueller's strategy appears to be a forever-probe, with considerable activity in pursuit of other crimes and little action on the Trump front.  Midnight raids, guilty pleas for "lying to the FBI," an indictment for financial crimes a dozen years ago, and charges against unindictable Russians create great sound and fury but signify zero about Trump involvement.  That narrative is sustained only by trumped up leaks, the New York Times' latest being: "White House lawyer Don McGahn is taking the fall for Trump's crimes."

But why would Mueller want to keep the Trump investigation going?  Because it's a counterweight to congressional investigations that have been gathering considerable evidence that officials of the Obama administration, perhaps including Obama himself, engaged in the biggest political scandal in our nation's history: a conspiracy to rig the election.  Those investigations are being stymied by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who greets congressional requests for documents with tactics that would embarrass Kim Jong-un.  He piles delay upon delay, and eventually he releases a few documents slowly and heavily redacted.  These actions strongly suggest he's hiding something.  Perhaps he's trying to hold out until November, when the election of Democrats would make the congressional investigations go away.  That would leave us with one never-ending investigation into a fictitious scandal and no investigations at all into the real scandal.

But what if the president had a trump card that could destroy both Rosenstein's and Mueller's plans?

He does.  The president has the authority to declassify and order the immediate release of any "sensitive" (i.e., incriminating and embarrassing) documents being withheld from Congress.  We don't know what's in those documents, of course.  But the conspirators – the people who wrote them, or received them, or are mentioned in those documents – know what's in them, and they're beginning to sound desperate.  John Brennan calls the president "treasonous," James Clapper labels him "a Russian asset," and, most revealing, James Comey exposes his own terror in a tweet: "All who believe in this country's values must vote for Democrats this fall."  They know that Trump's trump card is a light sword that can slash through all the firewalls they've installed and identify them for the corrupt election-fixers they attempted to be, all in the service of the "scandal-free" Obama administration.

For the president, it's business as usual, for now.  He knows he can turn the political table upside-down any time he chooses.  He also knows that he can use this weapon only once.

When to use it?  When fake media demands for a Mueller interview reach a peak?  Before the midterm elections?  Afterward?  How about waiting until 2020?  That would make things interesting.

Timing is everything.

Many Republicans, including the leaders of the House and Senate, have cautioned President Trump not to interfere in the Mueller probe.  Let him finish the investigation, they insist.  Let the process play out.

But what if the process never plays out?  The investigation into "Trump-Russia collusion" in the 2016 election should wind down of its own accord eventually, after every plausible thread of evidence has been examined and the president is either exonerated or impeached.  That shouldn't take forever.

But what if Mueller's intention is simply to keep the investigation going?  He has the means to do that.  Part of his mandate is to pursue any other potential crimes he happens to come across in the course of his investigations, so there's no limit to the number of suspicious activities he might choose to look into.  He could play this process out forever.  And so long as the probe continues, President Trump remains in the minds of half the country and ninety percent of the media "the illegitimate president who stole the election with Putin's help."

Mueller's strategy appears to be a forever-probe, with considerable activity in pursuit of other crimes and little action on the Trump front.  Midnight raids, guilty pleas for "lying to the FBI," an indictment for financial crimes a dozen years ago, and charges against unindictable Russians create great sound and fury but signify zero about Trump involvement.  That narrative is sustained only by trumped up leaks, the New York Times' latest being: "White House lawyer Don McGahn is taking the fall for Trump's crimes."

But why would Mueller want to keep the Trump investigation going?  Because it's a counterweight to congressional investigations that have been gathering considerable evidence that officials of the Obama administration, perhaps including Obama himself, engaged in the biggest political scandal in our nation's history: a conspiracy to rig the election.  Those investigations are being stymied by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who greets congressional requests for documents with tactics that would embarrass Kim Jong-un.  He piles delay upon delay, and eventually he releases a few documents slowly and heavily redacted.  These actions strongly suggest he's hiding something.  Perhaps he's trying to hold out until November, when the election of Democrats would make the congressional investigations go away.  That would leave us with one never-ending investigation into a fictitious scandal and no investigations at all into the real scandal.

But what if the president had a trump card that could destroy both Rosenstein's and Mueller's plans?

He does.  The president has the authority to declassify and order the immediate release of any "sensitive" (i.e., incriminating and embarrassing) documents being withheld from Congress.  We don't know what's in those documents, of course.  But the conspirators – the people who wrote them, or received them, or are mentioned in those documents – know what's in them, and they're beginning to sound desperate.  John Brennan calls the president "treasonous," James Clapper labels him "a Russian asset," and, most revealing, James Comey exposes his own terror in a tweet: "All who believe in this country's values must vote for Democrats this fall."  They know that Trump's trump card is a light sword that can slash through all the firewalls they've installed and identify them for the corrupt election-fixers they attempted to be, all in the service of the "scandal-free" Obama administration.

For the president, it's business as usual, for now.  He knows he can turn the political table upside-down any time he chooses.  He also knows that he can use this weapon only once.

When to use it?  When fake media demands for a Mueller interview reach a peak?  Before the midterm elections?  Afterward?  How about waiting until 2020?  That would make things interesting.

Timing is everything.