Predictable End of Summer Open Thread: The Wheels Are Coming Off Trump’s Wagon

If you are an elderly political cynic like me, you’ll remember the post-Watergate rumor that Bob Woodward was (still) an agent of the national intelligence community, assigned to remove an increasingly unhinged Nixon from the media spotlight before further investigation could expose just how badly compromised the “permanent, sane” Republican Party was. A rumor by which Carl Bernstein was labelled as a journalistic newbie who got played as a catspaw by more sophisticated outside agencies. Let’s just say that none of the news this week has debunked that old rumor…
 

From the Washington Post, “Allies fear Trump isn’t prepared for gathering legal storm”:

Within Trump’s orbit, there is consensus that his current legal team is not equipped to effectively navigate an onslaught of congressional demands, and there has been broad discussion about bringing on new lawyers experienced in white-collar defense and political scandals.

The president and some of his advisers have discussed possibly adding veteran defense attorney Abbe Lowell, who currently represents Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, to Trump’s personal legal team if an impeachment battle or other fights with Congress emerge after the midterm elections, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Trump advisers also are discussing recruiting experienced legal firepower to the Office of White House Counsel, which is facing departures and has dwindled in size at a critical juncture. The office has about 25 lawyers now, down from roughly 35 earlier in the presidency, according to a White House official with direct knowledge.

Trump announced Wednesday that Donald McGahn will depart as White House counsel this fall, once the Senate confirms Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. Three of McGahn’s deputies — Greg Katsas, Uttam Dhillon and Makan Delrahim — have departed, and a fourth, Stefan Passantino, will have his last day Friday. That leaves John Eisenberg, who handles national security, as the lone deputy counsel…

Still, Trump has not directed his lawyers or his political aides to prepare an action plan, leaving allies to fret that the president does not appreciate the magnitude of what could be in store next year…

If Democrats control the House, the oversight committees likely would use their subpoena power as a weapon to assail the administration, investigating with a vengeance. The committees could hold hearings about policies such as the travel ban affecting majority-Muslim countries and “zero tolerance” family separation, as well as on possible ethical misconduct throughout the administration or the Trump family’s private businesses.

White House officials defended Trump’s lack of preparation by saying he is focused squarely on helping Republicans preserve their majorities in the Nov. 6 midterm elections rather than, in the words of one senior official, “panicking about something that could happen.”

Any Democratic salvos would not happen until new members take office in January, which Trump advisers said seems like eons away in an administration juggling so many immediate problems. As a result, preparing for possible impeachment proceedings is not at the top of Trump’s to-do list…
Read more



Monday Morning Open Thread: One Can But Hope


 
But consider the feelings of His Base!…


(Nah, let’s not bother.)








Rude Speculation Open Thread: What Changed Lindsey Graham’s Mind?

There’s been speculation on Political Twitter all week: Why has Senator Graham suddenly reversed himself regarding the Oval Office Occupant? Is it just that Graham knows he’s losing his Senatorial soulmate and foreign-policy twin? Has he lost heart at the realization that Trump is going to treat McCain’s death as one more self-dealing opportunity?

Or — since we know Graham’s emails were hacked months ago — did the GRU decide it was a propitious time to remind him what they knew?


Read more








GOP Criminality Open Thread: Trump Suddenly Very Interested in Prosecutorial Reform…


(One of the Law & Order series? Or does Fox News show Matlock re-runs?)


Read more



(Another) GOP Criminality Open Thread: Duncan, Hunted

In a less news-intensive era, Rep. Hunter’s indictment would have been on the front page for days. I guess his fellow Repubs can take some consolation there.

Heck, in a more ‘bipartisan’ era, people could’ve mustered more sympathy for a middle-class couple getting over their heads financially being repeatedly dinged by usury-level bank charges… if only the GOP wasn’t the ‘Protect Our Vampire Squid Bankers’ Party…


Read more