Can Donald Trump Save his Presidency?
There is something sickening in the unseasonable winter winds blowing up the east coast, hitting both Washington and New York City. Those who voted for the President of the United States learn each day that he is not quite what they thought he was. Those of us who have never supported him are finding that he is much worse than we ever believed.
As James Comey continues his book selling tour of the media landscape, we cannot see what is on the horizon for Comey, but it’s becoming clear that Donald Trump is going to have to do more than tweeting to escape his self-inflicted credibility problem. He has entered the labyrinth, and in the end, he will have no one to guide him out.
First, let’s look at the story that got less coverage because of the high courtroom drama taking place in New York. While everyone was focused on Comey and Michael Cohen’s mystery client, Trump was up to his old tricks with Russia.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said that additional sanctions would be placed on Russia because of their involvement and lack of preventative action in the chemical attack by Assad in Syria. While French President Emmanuel Macron took credit for convincing Trump to keep some troops in Syria, Trump took his eye off the ball back home.
Mr. Trump changed his mind about pulling out of Syria. Now he has changed his mind about imposing Russian sanctions after naming them in the announcement to bomb Syria. What is going on here?
Underneath the announcement of additional sanctions that were to be announced on Monday (4-16-2018), our Great Orange Leader must have heard Putin’s footsteps coming up the hallway because he quickly rescinded them. Once again, Trump is more interested in placating Putin than confronting that leader and his misdeeds. Could it be that the Russians have something on Trump as Comey suggests?
With Trump’s “attorney,” Michael Cohen, being under criminal investigation, the Donald is acting more like someone who has something to hide rather than an open, transparent person. Trump was quick to Twitter with more than 100 words condemning the seizure of Cohen’s data with the cry, “Attorney-Client privilege is dead!” Then Trump sent in his new personal attorney to argue for protection of his communications with Cohen.
What took place in New York yesterday was the same kind of circus we have been subjected to again and again with this White House and President. We learned that Michael Cohen had only three clients in the past year. One, Donald Trump, who he protected with a hush-payment to a porn-star. Two, top GOP fundraiser Elliot Broidy, who he shielded from a damaging paternity P.R. nightmare with a payment of $1.6 million to a former Playboy model. Broidy resigned from his post at the RNC after the settlement was revealed. If you are keeping score, a one-night stand gets you $130K, a ten-month affair nets $150K and impregnation goes for $1.6M.
Three, the mysterious client that Cohen and his attorney attempted to cloak turned out to be Fox News channel’s Sean Hannity. As soon as this revelation hit the fan, Hannity was quick to point out that he was never represented by Cohen in any legal matter and never paid him for any advice on what he said were real estate matters and involved no third parties. Hannity, not a true newsman or journalist, never revealed that he was a Cohen client, even when helping him through his nightly harangues about the FBI raids on his TV show which, according to Variety magazine, tops 3 million viewers.
What does it mean to be a “client” of a lawyer? The attorney-client relationship is created by an agreement of representation. It can be verbal, but usually is detailed in a written engagement agreement. It’s important to point out that a lawyer has ethical duties to prospective clients, current clients, and former clients. You don’t have to pay an attorney for representation, but whether you are a perspective client, a current client, or a client from the past, your communication with that lawyer is protected. There is an exception however, the privilege cannot be used to conceal a crime. As a person of privilege, Donald Trump has used that advantage in his business career to work around rules, laws and regulations. While Trump continues to go soft on Russia, Russians and Russian interference, America is seeing one of the worst side shows in its history.
We have learned about “taint” teams and how the law works with the clear message that no one is above the law. With all the daily “BREAKING NEWS” reports, we have a sense that this President cannot exist without chaos and confusion. He even seems perplexed about what he has and hasn’t said.
Does he really believe that the sanctions he requested were not supposed to be executed against Russia? It’s the old case of the boss who yells and screams at his workers, “Who’s stupid idea was this?” and the workers reluctantly answer, “That was your idea.” The closed-minded boss can only deny he ever proposed the idea. Trump paints himself into the corner all the time, proving that he is truly UNFIT to be President.
James Comey claims the President is “morally unfit” to serve but gives him a pass on the mental piece of the puzzle. One day, he says no one has done more to confront Russia, then the next day we get this from his talking sour-head, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “Sanctions were merely under consideration.”
In August 2017, long before the Syrian chemical attack, Congress passed a measure to add Russian sanctions. Trump signed it, and then ignored it. Right after signing, Trump said, “The bill remains seriously flawed — particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking.” Even though Trump signed it, he was more interested in putting down Congress instead of taking up the battle against Russia.
For the 60% of Americans who don’t believe this guy, Trump would have to disclose everything about his business and financial structure to save his presidency. He would have to demonstrate, beyond a shadow of doubt, why he gives Putin a pass. Right now, he appears to be the Manchurian Candidate. You might want to watch the movie.
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