I am a little obsessed with all of the goings on around the Trump investigations and his administration. Part of that is because it is both fascinating and terrifying to watch him destroy this nation as he allows for greater pollution, separates children from their parents indefinitely with no plan for reuniting them, reduces access to the most basic healthcare, and countless other changes. I am also fascinated because I know he is a dirty businessman with no ethics or sense of responsibility and that he no doubt has done illegal things to become president.
Like the majority of Americans, I have been holding my breath for the Mueller investigation to complete and a report to be issued. But as of today, I don’t think that the Mueller probe will end up doing anything to Trump. Don’t get me wrong, the Mueller probe is absolutely critical and they have had a lot of success as of today (August 24 2018). But, for my vision of Trump being removed from office due to the Mueller probe to come to fruition, Republicans in the Senate will need to be willing to convict Trump. I don’t see that happening.
Another option would be to also include some of the crazy things that he has done while in office such as accepting emoluments from foreign governments, sharing highly sensitive intelligence with Russian officials against the wishes of the foreign government sources, and consistently and strategically lying to the American public. But again, I don’t think that enough Senate Republicans willing to convict an impeached Republican president.
So, where does that leave us? I wasn’t sure until this week, to be honest. I think that the route to the ending starts at a couple of investigations by New York State investigators into the Trump Organization and the Trump Foundation. These investigations are outside of Trump’s pardon power and his power to threaten dismissal to anyone involved. Trump places the importance of the Trump Org at number two on his list (just behind number one, himself). He has tried to protect the Trump Org but those attempts are starting to seem inadequate. It has been confirmed that Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg has been given immunity by federal prosecutors in relation to the Cohen federal case. It seems like a small leap to go from talking to federal prosecutors to cooperating with state investigators. Weisselberg has been described as knowing “where the skeletons are buried” for all kinds of Trump Org misdeeds. Weisselberg’s cooperation should give Trump that “oh shit” moment.
Based on the apparent competence of the New York State’s Attorney General office, I think that the Trump Org, Trump’s adult children, and Trump himself should be very worried. With all of the shenanigans pulled off by the Trump Org over the decades, they could be over their heads fairly quickly.
If the investigations and indictments get too heavy for Trump Org and Trump himself, will he negotiate to avoid some of the more serious charges? Will that negotiation include resigning from the office of President of the United States?
That is the path that I see opening up for the end of Trump’s presidency. Leaving office would be the one card that he could play to keep his company from folding and himself out of state prison. Of course, getting to that point will be very ugly and dangerous for the US and the rest of the world. Which is why Congress needs to focus on taking back a lot of the powers that they have allowed the Administrative branch to take from them over many decades.