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What Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama are waiting for

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Word has reached me that former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have agreed to a joint statement regarding the pending investigation of the current President, Donald J. Trump.

The four former chief executives and their chiefs of staff have been in continuous contact for the past year, mainly through secure telephone and email channels, although they also have met secretly from time to time, to discuss the ongoing crisis of the Trump presidency.

Among their main topics: When, and if, to issue a joint statement, possibly live on television, that reflects their shared judgment. All are said to be privately alarmed at the direction the Trump regime has taken and its impacts on both the United States and the world.

Pressure on the three Democrats, Carter, Obama and Clinton, has grown sharper in recent months, as members of their party, increasingly alarmed by the administration’s conduct, have urged the former leaders to more overtly condemn Trump and his associates for degrading the Presidency. One Democratic insider, close to both Clinton and Obama, told me that the two ex-Presidents are aware of the feeling in the party that they have not done enough to resist the deterioration of the nation and highlight Trump’s erratic and dangerous behavior.

Bush, the Republican, is under less pressure. But Trump’s insults of and attacks upon his younger brother, Jeb, are said to have irritated the Bush family. And George W. Bush’s Christian morals have been “deeply offended” by Trump’s behavior, according to a source close to the 43rd President.

The four former Presidents most recently conferred by a private, secure telephone connection in early August. They agreed to the following timetable:

  • – They will say and do nothing to directly attack Trump at this time, although they remain free to indirectly criticize him in speeches and articles.
  • – They will await the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report of his investigation of Trump, the Trump family and Trump’s businesses.
  • – If, as expected, that report accuses Trump of crimes and misdemeanors, such as colluding with a foreign country in the 2016 election, trading favors with foreign leaders for business access in their countries, or other illegal conduct, the former Presidents will issue a joint statement, either through a press release or, if possible, on live television, broadcast on the major networks during prime time.

Here is the text of that pending statement. The actual wording is subject to change, depending on the specifics of Mueller’s report.

“We, James Earl Carter, Jr., William Jefferson Clinton, George Walker Bush, and Barack Hussein Obama, having read and analyzed Special Counsel Mueller’s report, urge the Congress of the United States of America to immediately take up Articles of Impeachment against the 45th President, Donald J. Trump. His actions appear beyond doubt to have constituted the most severe breaches of Federal laws, and to have represented a direct attack upon the security of America. His ongoing efforts to impede the Mueller investigation are clear evidence of obstruction of justice. We urge President Trump to immediately resign from office, pending the outcome of Articles of Impeachment in the House and a Trial in the Senate.”

Privately, the four former Presidents are said to be reluctant to take any such irrevocable step, mainly because of the unwritten rule that former chief executives refrain from criticizing the current occupant of the Oval Office. But they appear to have been influenced by their wives, the former First Ladies Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, to go further in their public denunciations of Trump. The First Ladies are thought to be highly offended by Trump’s misogynistic comments. Also influencing the ex-Presidents are their children, who are “alarmed and disgusted” by the ”scandals and degeneracy in the Oval Office,” according to a former Bush aide, who asked not to be identified.

It’s not clear what impact such a statement from four living former Presidents would have on public opinion, or on the Congress, and particularly its Republican members. House and Senate Republicans have been slow to criticize Trump, and most have embraced him, even while distancing themselves from his more embarrassing Tweets and public statements. “Can George W. Bush move people like McConnell and Ryan out of their corners into supporting impeachment?” asked the former Bush aide. “It’s not at all clear.”

Still, the former President Bush remains popular among what remains of centrist Republican circles. Beyond the Congress, Bush may be key to influencing the thinking of swing voters, who have their doubts about Trump’s conduct and mental capacity, but so far have continued to support him.

Mueller is said to be committed to issuing his final report before the November elections. According to three people close to them, the four ex-presidents, who each receive classified government security reports, are convinced that Trump has committed serious crimes and will be indicted by Mueller. “They’re shocked that he’s been able to get away with this so far,” said one source, “and President [George W.] Bush in particular is outraged that Congressional Republicans continue to roll over to protect him.”

 

  1. Is this tongue in cheek or is this serious? It states the article is filed under “Comedy/Satire” but is written in a serious tone. Do you have sources or is it wishful thinking?

  2. If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I file posts under different categories: “Politics” is for real journalism based on linked facts, and “comedy/satire” is made up. However, even the made-up stuff has a basis in reality. I do have reason to believe that the former presidents have a contingency plan, if things get bad enough.

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