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What it’s all about.

I’ve been rolling the Strzok hearing around in my mind in the last couple of days, trying to figure out what it’s all about. I talked this out with a friend last night and then had my thoughts validated somewhat in the latest edition of Trumpcast. I swear I didn’t listen to it first.

Here it goes:

I think Republicans knew earlier this week that Rosenstein was going to announce the new indictments and that it was going to look pretty bad for the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia. Can we all agree that Roger Stone is in deep sh*t for conspiracy with Russia through Wikileaks? I think we can. The pieces are starting to fall into place. There is a clear narrative coming together. Mueller knows everything. It’s going to be bad for Trump and anyone who has been working with him, which would include all of the Republicans in Congress. Their salad days are almost over.

The question is, can the Republican Party survive what’s coming next?

Ok, there are several questions. Another is, why does Trump keep screaming about witches when he *should* be doing everything in his power to prevent Russia from doing it again? If you were the president, wouldn’t that be your highest priority? Make sure that Russians can’t tamper with elections again? Because the Russians don’t necessarily want either Republicans or Democrats to be in charge acting like grown ups. No. They do much better if we are sidelined and weakened by chaos. So why not mess with elections so that more unpredictable things happen? But Trump does nothing. He’s not even remotely interested in pretending like he gives AF about the upcoming elections. Russian induced election chaos is ok with him. He’s more interested in attacking the investigators than preventing more instability.

The other question is, what the hell is going to happen when Trump meets privately with Putin on Monday? Here’s where it gets hairy for the Republicans. Because they are in charge of Congress, both houses. And they have not been checking Trump at all. They should be able to go to him and say, “Look, we don’t know what you’re up to but if you think you can talk to Putin privately with all our state secrets after you thumbed your nose at NATO and the whole world is watching, you’ve got another thing coming, dude. Especially after the indictments. No, don’t even. That meeting has to be accessible to us or we will seriously have to consider impeaching your ass. We’ve been carrying your water and defending your honor as well as we could but this is a bridge too far. We can’t hold out any longer. Cancel the private meeting.”

That’s where they are. They know that they have a rogue president in Trump and his relationship with Putin is alienating the allies and destabilizing the world. Their hair is on fire. Because as bad as these Republicans are, I think most of them draw the line when it comes to committing acts that might be construed as treason. They really do have to do something.

But they don’t want to because impeachment is a political act and it’s an election year. They don’t want to take any chances. So, they will try to get the public on their side to make it look like the FBI planned to take Trump down and has it out for him. That’s what the Strzok testimony was all about. It was a heavy handed propaganda trick designed to make some voters indecisive and therefore less likely to demand action as the Mueller investigation starts rolling out the heavy shit. If the Republicans can keep enough Americans in a state of lassitude and indecision, they won’t have to pull the trigger on impeachment.

The problem is that Strzok was pretty credible. He could have blown the whistle on the Trump campaign with what he knew (I think he knows a LOT). But in spite of his political leanings, he kept his mouth shut. He was professional even though he knew it could cost Clinton the election. Those are the facts. It’s kind of hard to deny them. Clinton’s stupid email server issue was well known and there were some less than honorable FBI agents in NY who collaborated with Giuliani but Strzok kept a tight lip with regard to the investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia which were much more serious. And no one above him or below him said a word to anyone. The hearing was a bust for Republicans. I might be wrong but I think the pendulum might be swinging ever so slightly against Trump now.

This leaves Republicans in a quandary: if they can’t score a knock out punch against the “deep state”, they will have to check the president. They SHOULD have done it before he went to Europe and did Putin’s business with NATO. Now they have until Monday to make sure that meeting with Putin doesn’t happen or doesn’t happen alone. They have to stop him. If they can’t stop him before Monday, it’s going to get heavy when Trump returns. You can only keep public sentiment on your side for so long. When there are indictments that focus attention on the Trump-Putin relationship to begin with and Trump insists upon meeting with Putin with no witnesses, that’s going to look very bad.

I think we are at the end of the beginning and are now about to start the beginning of the end.

Now, about the electoral college vote and the 3 million vote discrepancy with the popular vote? I’m sorry. No matter how you slice it, that’s just hinky. If the popular vote difference was closer, they might have gotten away with it. But 3 million?? I don’t believe it. Nope. Of course, we’d have to see the evidence. But if there is evidence, let’s just hope that they all just quietly resign and take their Supreme Court justices with them. I don’t think the world wants to know how badly the world’s most dangerous superpower can be played.

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37 Responses

  1. IMO there is no way the Republicans say anything to Trump about calling off the private meeting. Even if they did, the odds of Trump calling the meeting off are likely close to nil.

    What I haven’t heard much about is the fact that the white house has demanded the files produced by the confidential informant on the trump campaign. It looks like the House Rs are still looking for a knockout punch for Mueller.

    • I’d agree with you except I’m not the only person putting this theory out there. Go listen to that Trumpcast with Max Bergmann of American Progress Moscow Project. The struggle is within the Republican Party to impeach or not impeach. That’s what all the Strzok drama is about. They have to keep things in check for as long as possible.
      I see Pompeo saying we don’t have to worry our pretty little heads about Putin and Trump. But wasn’t pompeo left hanging by the North Koreans last week?

      • My only argument with what they are saying is that although the Rs are indeed between a rock and a hard place, I do not think today’s Republican party (which post-Newt is almost unrecognizable from the Republicans that would likely have impeached Nixon) is going to vote to impeach, the partisanship is more important to them.

        The big thing to me is that where we are today shows how poorly the Democrats performed in 2008 by giving the nomination to Obama. The bummer is that if Trump is impeached they will still not understand that this is their (2008 Democratic leadership) doing. (Note: I do realize that this is preaching to the choir)

  2. 😈

  3. Oh, I MUST remember this one… 😛

  4. The party will be decimated when Mueller is done. I think the struggle is now to ride it out without too much damage into the midterm even if that includes tainting the FBI and Mueller. They are all coming across as guilty and they are all waiting to see what happens in the midterm.

  5. Speaking of midterms, here is a site where you can check your voter registration.

    https://action.momsrising.org/signup/check_registration_share/?t=6&akid=11031%2E2313659%2EuoZYvY

    • That is so important, IBW. So important. I would love to see young people organize buses of Freedom Riders to register, escort and oversee. Especially in my stupid state that gifted mouth breather Jim Jordan to the world.

  6. 😛

  7. Not sure what to make of this. Anybody else know how to parse emptywheel’s post? But most can understand that it is all weird that trump is meeting pootie one on one and nobody knows why and lots of other weird things he has been doing and even after the indictment from Mueller and his weird presser replies where he just threw up his hands, all powerless.

  8. Read this thread! Hacked DNC analytics in the hands of trump campaign and they changed their strategy? With emails, emails, and more emails from the media all the time, ‘lock her up’ chants from trump and his co-conspirators, and Comey’s shenanigans, looking back it was not difficult to suppress Hillary voters in critical states.

    • How is this any different from Watergate? They burgled DNC not physically but via cyber attack. And with a foreign adversary assisting every step of the way. Votes WERE changed.

    • Somewhere in there at that time, MAGA Maggie tweeted that they forgot to mention in their NYT article that Manafort instructed trump to go to MI and WI.

  9. You are right, RD. Rosenstein said he told Trump about the indictments on Monday. The GOP would’ve known by Tuesday. Then there was the Page (S’s lover) testimony behind closed doors on Friday, after which Malfoy (AKA Gowdy) said, she was very helpful, she clarified things for them, she explained it all. As if he walked the performance of the day before right back.

    Trump says he’s planning on getting an agreement from Putin to denuclearize. ROFL. He’s getting his orders for the midterms, clearly.

    Now we have the CA Democratic Party, which is majority ultra-left “progressive” “democratic socialist” (cult-like) Bernie supporters voting against Sen. Feinstein today, our ranking member of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, who knows everyone and has built relationships with everyone and actually has at least some power built up in Congress. Instead, they voted overwhelmingly for Kevin DeLeon, whose showing in the CA primary was abysmal.

    WHO are they representing? I know a few Californians who are completely brainwashed, just like the Trumpers on the right. They believe 9/11 was an inside job, and the deep state is running everything and would’ve run Hillary so we’d be in just about as bad a state as now, and only Bernie, Bernie, Bernie Gramps and friends can save us. They want to abolish the Dept of Justice, ICE, the Dept of HS, etc., with no plan for what to put in their place, and no seeming recognition that the POTUS we have now will (1) never allow that and (2) use it as a way to put something worse in place.

    Is this just how it is now? No real representation at all on either side?

  10. A Republican…

  11. Not sure how we got here… (NOT)

  12. This has a July 14, 2018 dateline and may not have been widely distributed. The Chicago Tribune carried it as Illinois is one of the three states picking up the tab. It’s about the clean up costs after the Pence family business, Kiel Oil, declared bankruptcy. The costs of the clean up are being borne by taxpayers. It is especially galling as the Pence family has a reputation as deficit hawks. Pence’s brother, Greg, is running for the congressional seat that Mike Pence once held.

    I want the His Orangeness gone as soon as possible. Having Pence become president with the possibility of being elected to a full first term is not a “win.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-pence-family-gas-stations-indiana-20180713-story.html

  13. This is good and relevant to RD’s post here. Corrupt Rs (and trump) may rant and rave about Strzok but not everything is touched by him and therefore, not everything is tainted (if ever). Case in point, Friday’s indictment.

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/15/dragons-caught-in-the-crossfire-on-the-genealogy-of-the-current-and-future-mueller-investigation/

  14. What kind of president is this? A hillbilly’s third world corrupt, ignorant, incompetent president, that is who this is.

  15. I have not seen this said anywhere. Have people/media thought about Russia using trump’s own words “Russia if you are listening…” as blackmail? That is as have trump and his minions have defended it as a joke, Pootie can blackmail trump that he will show evidence that it was not a joke, showing evidence of collusion/conspiracy (or messing with vote tally) is itself a blackmailable option for Pootie. That of course implicates him but what does he care — he gets to keep his puppet in check with that threat as long as trump will never call his bluff. He is doing things everywhere anyway with impunity (UK nerve agent and here with GRU hacking …) So it is not the pee pee tape but the evidence that trump is illegitimate is what Pootie is holding over trump’s head.

    • Ha… Natasha Bertrand tweets similar to my point…why the hackers acted immediately after “Russia if you are listening…” leverage!

  16. Apparently Cohen got the Rs to seriously do this for his show. Watch the video. Crazy! And look at this schmuck complaining about being duped!

  17. Good thread…

  18. Fuck Jake Tapper!

  19. This song was released 4 days after I was born. Still sounds like summer. :mrgreen:

  20. OMG, what has he done to his face?! did pootie mess with his tanning machine?

  21. Russia having its cake and eating it too!

  22. She is wearing a lot of yellow on this trip, the color of you know what…

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