Our esteemed commander and chief, the Orange One, is having another rough week. Monday the FBI raided the office of Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, which was followed on Wednesday by the announced retirement of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Coincidental, perhaps, but more likely the raid was the final straw for the Wisconsin Republican, as the legal jeopardy continues to grow exponentially for Trump.
At first blush supporters of this chaos president might cheer the ousting of Speaker Ryan, but upon closer examination his exit might serve as a dire warning. Ryan’s resignation sends the message that he cannot lead his caucus through Trump’s haphazard style of mood swing policy making, and that the Republican Party is conceding the loss of the House of Representatives in November. If the Democrats regain power in the House, impeachment of the president will be priority one.
Ryan best find a good priest because he has some serious confessing to do if he plans to cleanse his sins for not calling out Trump’s harmful rhetoric and despicable moral conduct. Ryan crawling away from Washington with his tail between his legs does not excuse his cowardly behavior, nor will it salvage his tarnished reputation.
No one as young as Ryan just walks away from the job of Speaker of the House, especially a guy with presidential aspirations. It’s one of the most powerful positions in the world and two heartbeats away from the presidency. Clearly Ryan has no interest in facing voters in what would be a heartily contested re-election, where the Speaker would be forced to defend his failed leadership and support of this corrupt chief executive.
Trump can crow all he wants about nearly having all the right people in place for his new leadership team, but there is no positive spin on having federal agents kicking down the door of his attorney. Cohen is Trump’s fixer. He knows where all the bodies are buried. Or in this case, how many extramarital affairs Trump has had and the amounts of cash Cohen paid these women to keep quiet.
The FBI is reported to have seized records including information on the $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump was furious about agents breaking into his lawyer’s office, home and hotel room, calling it some kind of Gestapo-type raid and an “attack on our country.”
Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller was Trump’s preferred object of blame, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, but the raid came as a result of a search warrant overseen by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan. The warrant was based on information discovered by the Mueller team and passed along to the state because it was considered out of purview for the special prosecutor.
The State of New York in turn found compelling evidence of criminal wrongdoing and acted. Due to a perceived likelihood that Cohen would either destroy or hide requested evidence, it was deemed necessary to execute search warrants instead of issuing subpoenas for the information.
This is a perfectly legal maneuver, and considering the various high-level officials required to sign-off on these warrants, it means probable cause of criminal activity was shown, and a judge was convinced that exigent circumstances existed supporting the issuance of warrants, and by doing so it was likely evidence of wrongdoing would be recovered.
The mind runs wild at the possible goodies Cohen might have tucked away on Trump that now reside in the hands of law enforcement. I just keep wondering when it will dawn on Trump believers that investigations like Mueller’s and all these other legal entanglements involving the president don’t continue churning up information for no good reason.
Trump keeps blanket denying that no evidence has been found. Yet numerous Trump aides have been indicted and pled guilty. A more accurate depiction of what has unfolded thus far is that Trump and those surrounding him are involved in so many different misdeeds, it’s taking this long to unravel the full spectrum of their guilt.
The beauty of this new saga is in the “strategerie” of how Mueller chose to hand off this damaging information to a state court, so even if Trump finds a way to fire the special prosecutor, this investigation, along with the one involving former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, will both continue moving forward regardless.