Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Can he get away with it? Maybe.

by digby

Greg Sargent has a good piece up at the Plumline about Trump's "strategy" such as it is with respect to Mueller:

President Trump and his legal team appear to have leaked special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s questions as a set-up to accomplishing a broader goal: To create a pretext for avoiding a sit-down interview. We don’t yet know whether Trump will go through with this, but if he does, and if Mueller tries to subpoena him — which is a real possibility — that could lead to a legal and political standoff that could crank up this crisis to Defcon One.

Which is why it is so dangerous that Trump’s team has reportedly concluded that Trump is currently winning the battle with Mueller in the minds of voters.

CNN reports this morning on Team Trump’s thinking. Trump’s lawyers have concluded that they can win the legal standoff over whether the special counsel has the authority to compel a sitting president to testify. But beyond this, they also believe they’re winning the political argument:
Their political argument also has changed. While the lawyers were originally in a let’s-get-this-over-with mode, they now believe that time is on their side — especially with the 2018 elections looming. They believe that Trump has done a good job discrediting the investigators and the investigation itself.
It’s always possible that this is just bluster and spin. But there are reasons to believe Trump himself probably does think this. He believes only the polls that show he is popular, and in recent weeks, he has conspicuously abandoned his cooperative tone toward the Mueller investigation, switching to a barrage of attacks on the probe as illegitimate and on Mueller himself as corrupt. Trump is getting bombarded by voices out of #Foxlandia telling him that he is the victim of a Deep State Coup, and he likely believes they represent majority opinion.

Meanwhile, whatever the skeletal remains of Trump’s legal team actually believe, they are likely telling him what he wants to hear on this front as well. After all, if they believe a sit-down interview would be treacherous, what better way to persuade him to avoid it than telling him he has already vanquished Mueller — that the public agrees the probe has been discredited and will cheer him on as he flouts the demand for an interview?

This morning, Trump himself basically underscored all these points. Trump tweeted his frequent claim that the charge of collusion is a “hoax” but added something new: He said the probe for obstruction is a “setup & trap.” He approvingly quoted a legal expert he heard out of #Foxlandia today claiming Mueller’s questions are “an intrusion” into the president’s power to fire anybody at will. That’s a reference to the fact that Mueller’s questions focus heavily on Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey.

Taken all together, the emerging stance of Team Trump is that any effort to question Trump about his true intent in trying to derail an investigation into himself is inherently illegitimate. It’s nothing more than a “setup & trap,” an “intrusion” on his powers. Trump is under no obligation to account for any of it.
There's more.

I think this is probably the case. The only way that his supporters can protect him is by saying that he's won public approval and therefore has no obligation to cooperate and can do as he pleases with the Justice Department. In other words, his lawyers and advisers may very well now be pushing him to take the 5th or simply refuse to accept a subpoena and also purge the DOJ of anyone that Fox News has told him are deep state traitors to the president, which means traitors to America.

It's impossible to know if he will follow through on any of that because he lurches from one thought to the next, lies reflexively and fires his staff willy-nilly all day long. But taken all together, the actions of the team over the past month or so do indicate that he's going to defy Mueller and find a pretext outside of of the Russia investigation to get rid of Rosenstein and maybe Sessions.
They have convinced him that the public is with him so he feels safe in doing that.

And the fact is that vast majority of Republicans are with him and GOP hatchet men in the congress are using their substantial power to help, so I am not sure he can't get away with all of it.