When the news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had won criminal indictments against Paul Manafort, Donald J Trump’s former campaign Chairman, on charges including money laundering, Trump immediately tweeted that the charges came from Manafort’s actions of years ago with which Trump had no connection.
But now Mueller has the leverage to put the pressure on Manafort to enter into a plea bargain. Manafort saves himself from a potential heavy prison sentence by blowing the whistle on Trump. This technique of forcing the truth can be highly effective
When Federal Judge John J Sirica, whose tough sentences had earned him the nickname of “Maximum John,” threatened to throw the book at the five Watergate burglars if they didn’t come clean as to who put them up to the burglary, one of them did. James McCord, cracked and admitted that “higher ups” in the Nixon re-election campaign were behind it, and the noose around Richard Nixon’s neck began to tighten.
You say Manafort wouldn’t do that?
Knowing him as I do, I say “In a New York Minute!”
So, what does Paul Manafort know about Trump’s actions with the Russians? For starters, he attended the famous meeting in New York called by Donald J Trump, Jr., to meet people with Russian connections who said they could turn over damaging material about Hillary Clinton.
Manafort’s own connections in lobbying for the Russians over the years earned him millions of dollars and good access to the strategy and aims of Vladimir Putin on various subjects. There could be lots there.
But Mueller wants to know about matters beyond the Russians. He has the authority to look into Trump’s finances, income taxes, and any suspected illegal activities no matter of what nature Trump may have engaged in?
What else does Manafort know?
Trump must tremble at the thought.
And what about George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide whose indictment was also revealed on Monday, October 30th? He has already pled guilty to a charge of lying under oath and is co-operating with Mueller.
Papadopoulos has acknowledged that he met with a man with Russian connections who said Moscow had thousands of Hillary Clinton emails (this two months before those emails were released). How far does that thread go?
Oh, the smoke billows and the search for the fire takes on new intensity.
In reaction, and in desperation, Trump steps up his demand that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats must be investigated. His surrogates on Capital Hill, masquerading as Republican elected members of Congress, are attempting to “gin up” such investigations. It’s about trying to throw up their own “smoke screen” of distraction. And about continuing to energize and enrage the “Base.”
Donald J Trump and his Republican enablers are feeling the heat, sensing that the rope around Trump’s neck is tightening.
Trump insists he had no collusion with the Russians. Maybe not, we’ll see. But what about all the other stuff? Trump’s life is now a book that can be opened by a man who may well earn the name of “Maximum Bob.”
But the “Base” his loyal “Base,”wouldn’t stand for anyone to touch him, anything to careen him from the presidency, right?
The “Base” is eroding, disappearing, slowly but surely.
In an NBC/WSJ poll released on Monday, 10/30, Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 38%, the lowest in his young presidency, lower than any other president at this point. And the really bad news for Trump is where the drop is now occurring.
The report says “the drop for Trump has come from independents (who shifted from 41 percent approval in September to 34 percent now), whites (who went from 51 percent to 47 percent) and whites without a college degree (from 58 percent to 51 percent)…Bolding added).”
And how far will Trump’s ratings eventually drop and how far must they drop before enough of his “Base” deserts him to make his further occupancy of the Oval Office impossible?
One can only guess but there is a historical number to consider. On the day Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency – his crime of obstruction of justice (a felony) proved from the tapes of his own conversation in plotting that crime- Nixon’s approval rating according to Gallup was at 24%.
Twenty four percent of the American public still approved of his performance as President.
That wasn’t near enough to save him but, to borrow a word from the 2016 campaign, that was “deplorable.”
Go get ’em, “Maximum Bob!”