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I have a dream: What the Mueller Report will say


Robert Mueller’s detailed account of the things Donald Trump did to win the election, and subsequently to cover up what he did because he knew it was wrong, will form the basis for Impeachment hearings in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Mueller, yielding to the precedent of Department of Justice guidelines, will not himself indict Trump. But he will tell the story—the complete story, based on nearly two years of evidence-gathering—of (a) how and why Russia decided to intervene in the 2016 presidential election and throw it to Trump, (b) how Trump and his surrogates collaborated with those Russians every chance they got to supply them with information on which social media to manipulate and what to say, (c) how there were various quids pro quo, including dropping sanctions and going along with Russian foreign policy, and (d) how, when he was caught with his finger in the cookie jar, Trump went to extraordinary lengths to lie, intimidate witnesses, and cover up the nature and extent of his crimes—in other words, how Trump obstructed justice.

Mueller will cite specific Federal laws Trump broke. He also will detail the specific roles that certain Trump associates, including Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner, played in helping Trump acquire the Russian dirt, and in hiding the nature of their misdeeds.The Report will land with a huge political detonation. It will be the most explosive blow to an American president since at least the Watergate tapes were revealed which, of course, led to Richard Nixon’s Impeachment and resignation. Republican allies of Trump will howl in protest that “the Deep State” is attempting a coup d’état, which is absolute nonsense, since the Constitution explicitly mandates Impeachment for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

But the American people, shocked at confirmation of what a majority of them thought all along, will reject Republican propaganda, and by huge margins: the polls, which will survey people in the immediate aftermath of the Report’s findings, will show that in numbers approaching 75%, the American people believe the Report, believe that Trump is guilty of at least most of the crimes the Report details, and wish for the Congress to further investigate. Support for Impeachment will rise to nearly 60%.

We then enter a longish period of twilight war. Everything Trump and the regime do will be interpreted against the backdrop of the Report. Put another way, nothing Trump and the regime can do will have the slightest effect on how the American people see him, or on their demand for Justice. Trump can reach a definitive agreement with Kim Jong Un (although I don’t think he will). He can declare victory over ISIS in the caliphate (although it will be a hollow “victory”). He can conclude tariff and trade talks with the Chinese and announce that the U.S. “won” (although that won’t prove to be the case for long). He can impound money already allocated by the Congress to build his vanity wall. He can continue to take credit for a strong economy (which will likely be in Recession next year). But these accomplishments—which normally would sweep a sitting president along to an easy re-election victory—will count for little. The cloud over Trump will deepen and darken—and all this will happen as House Democrats get a handle on how to proceed towards Impeachment.

Those House Democrats will face a bit of an internal skirmish. There will be voices on the moderate Democratic side to proceed with extreme caution on Impeachment. They will argue that conviction in a Republican-dominated Senate is impossible, so why follow the Impeachment route if it’s doomed to fail? Other, more militant Democrats, will reply that it’s not a question of conviction in the Senate; it’s a question of doing the right thing, of the rule of law, of the president not being above the law. This view will prevail. The House Judiciary Committee, under Jerry Nadler, will commence Impeachment hearings sometime in the Spring. The hearings will be televised, and if you think anything Trump-related has made for Big T.V. so far, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Every day, the hearings will be broadcast on every major cable network, with replays on every nightly news program in America. Trump could cure AIDS and the common cold and the news would be barely noticed in the glare of the Judiciary Committee hearings.

The hearings will continue for at least two months. Then the House Judiciary Committee will vote, probably along party lines, to Impeach. That will be the big news. The Senate—McConnell—will be forced, by law, to take up the indictment (for that’s what an Impeachment is) and conduct a Trial. The Trial will occur by Labor Day, but the Senate, as previously noted, will fail to convict.

And there things will stand for the time being. But the American people will have one overriding takeaway: Trump did horrible things to win the election, and then did more horrible things to cover up his crimes; and his Republican enablers allowed him to get away with it. In 2020, Americans will vote for his Democratic opponent, and they will turn out of office huge numbers of Republican Representatives and Senators. Starting in January, 2021, the U.S. will have a Democratic president and Congress; and there will be more indictments, more trials, more convictions, as Trump’s collaborators are brought to Justice, and the post-Trump era of a Return to Decency begins.

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