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And if he’s exonerated?



I don’t think he will be, but…I have to admit to a nagging fear in the back of my mind that Trump ends up being exonerated by Mueller and the other Congressional investigations.

In the end, they might criticize his judgment, and suggest that he did things he should not have done. They might say he approached the line in a dangerous way—but didn’t cross it. Jared, Don Jr., Pence, Sessions and others close to Trump might be similarly criticized, and some of them might even be indicted. But that nagging little fear in my mind is that Trump himself gets off scot-free.

The immediate reaction on the far right would be a gigantic War Whoop of exultation. Brietbart would go nuts. “Fake charges against President Trump by Democrats are demolished!” The entire Republican attack machine will be on parade in front of the T.V. cameras, claiming that “the witch hunt” ended just as Trump had predicted: No collusion, a nothing burger. The House Freedom Caucus will call for a brand new investigation on how Democrats conspired to try to bring down a sitting president. Congressional Republicans will be re-emboldened in their efforts to enact their agenda: end immigration, fund the wall, do away with what remains of environmental protections, lower taxes even further, make it harder than ever for minorities to vote, outlaw abortion, amp up homophobia, promote Christianity as the state religion, and march America to the brink of war with whatever country is piquing us at any given moment. The FBI no doubt would be purged.

A Trump exonerated, you see, will be a Trump unleashed. You remember how King Kong went ape (forgive the pun) after he escaped from chained confinement in New York City? He went on a towering rampage, wrecking everything in his path, an elemental force of destruction no one and nothing could stop (until “beauty killed the beast”).

That is how I envision an exonerated Trump. He will boast that he took hits from Democrats and the fake media for the better part of two years and emerged unbowed and unscathed. His ego will be on steroids, his vengeance unbound. He will know exactly upon whom to train his desire for retribution. Aided and abetted by the angry, armed right wing in his red districts, he will stoke the crowds forward with incitements to physical action, to intimidation of enemies, to payment of debts past due, to ridicule of liberals. He will never directly tell anyone to perform acts of violence, but the underlying suggestion will be in every tweet—dog whistles everyone hears.

Democrats and independent liberals will be crestfallen. An exonerated Trump will be a crushing blow to those of us who fear and loathe this personally corrupt, indecent man, who weep at him defiling the seat George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR and JFK once occupied. We’ll have to suffer through the ordeal of getting clobbered.

Well, that’s the fear in the back of my mind. Counter-balancing it is the hope, indeed the expectation, that there’s no way Mueller can exonerate Trump, so overwhelming is the evidence that he colluded and/or conspired to obstruct the investigation. But we’ve learned to expect the unexpected, to have to accept the illogical and irrational. Is it possible Trump will be exonerated? Yes. But there’s also this: After his “fighting back is not obstruction” comment yesterday, it’s clearer than ever that he expects to be indicted or otherwise charged with obstruction of justice. He’s laying down–not his legal defense–but his political one. His angry white legions will buy into it like pigs into slop, leading to consequences I don’t even want to think about.

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