Just the Beginning
Seth Abramson, writing an opinion column for Newsweek, outlines what he sees as what’s going to happen tomorrow when the redacted Mueller Report is released. It’s a good primer before the analysis of the report is everywhere by Friday. I particularly like these two paragraphs:
I’ve written two books on Trump-Russia collusion—Proof of Collusion, released at the end of 2018, and Proof of Conspiracy, forthcoming in August—and even in avoiding much discussion of Trump’s obstruction and witness tampering in these books (as these actions were already known by most, by virtue of having occurred publicly) my research swelled to nearly 1,000 pages. Because the books were written in a “government-report” style—with most sentences containing a discrete block of evidence and footnoted to one or more major-media citations—those 1,000 pages were the most condensed version of the Trump-Russia story I could tell. So the notion that Mueller was going to tell in full the tale of Trump-Russia collusion in the half of a heavily redacted 300- or 400-page summary not focused on obstruction of justice was always fanciful.
Here, then, is the reality: Mueller’s April 18 summary serves the primary purpose of passing on to the United States Congress the full archive of evidence on Trump’s fifty to a hundred acts of obstruction of justice while president, with that archive useful to Congress in determining whether impeachment proceedings are warranted. As most attorneys will tell you that just the public evidence of Trump’s obstruction of justice is sufficient to support conviction for that offense, and as obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense per the Republican Party of the Clinton era, the answer to the question of whether Mueller’s archive of evidence on obstruction is sufficient to support impeachment is an obvious “yes.”
His Twitter feed is full of this type of material.
A couple of days ago he appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher and basically made the same case. I love his take on Trump at 1:52.
The American public needs a smoking gun and I don’t think we are going to get one. Unless there is massive public outrage and a true momentum shift in Trump’s poll numbers post the Mueller Report release, I doubt Nancy Pelosi is going to start impeachment hearings because it will die in the Senate and the resulting public relations would be a benefit to Trump in 2020.
As it stands, there is no real appetite to force the issue―especially if the outcome is not favorable to Democrats. Senate Republicans will have to actively turn away from Trump. This means a real vote of no-confidence in Trump, a desire for Mike Pence to be President and on the ticket in 2020 with a resigned or impeached former President immediately indicted on charges stemming from the Michael Cohen case. It just isn’t going to happen because Republicans do not put the country first in their dealings.
However, I think it is likely the President will either be indicted or considered an un-indicted co-conspirator in some of the other cases Abramson knows to be still ongoing. It may be just the beginning of years of legal trouble for Trump, his family, and associates.
I believe, ultimately, Trump running for President and miraculously winning will be the worst thing that ever happened to him.