Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Steve Bannon Tells Trump To Bring In New Lawyers as He Looks For Ways to Kneecap Mueller

Steve Bannon Tells Trump To Bring In New Lawyers as He Looks For Ways to Kneecap Mueller

This is about the first time I've ever agreed with Steve Bannon.

Trump's existing legal team has obviously constructed a strategy optimal to defend innocent men: let the investigators do their job, let them find out that there is nothing there, and get it finished quickly.

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In other words, one of these two things is true:

Either Trump was lying to his own lawyers.

or

Trump actually believed that he and his team were innocent.

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Either of those alternatives was possible as of last Thursday, although it's difficult to believe that Trump really believed he had no problems after his own son was caught red-handed trying to set up a meeting with Kremlin representatives for the clearly articulated purpose of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton.

But whatever the President believed then must be changing now. As Trump looks at the Papadopoulos indictment, he must now realize that several of his underlings have problems, may actually be guilty of illegal collusion with Russia and/or lying about it to investigators. In that case, Bannon may be giving him smart advice - get rid of the guys who were told your people are innocent, and bring on some high-powered legal guns who know how to prevent the prosecution of guilty people.

If I were Bannon, here is what I would say:

"The first step in that process would be to stonewall. Don't fire Mueller, don't pull his funding, and don't say publicly you're going to fight him. Publicly praise his dedication and service. Just quietly fight everything he's doing on the basis of national security or executive privilege or some other bullshit excuse (the political equivalent of "the dog ate my homework"), or just have your lawyers tie up every single request for interviews or evidence with nuisance objections of various types. You can then drag the thing on forever, and after a suitable time you can say, 'Look, they've been at this for years, have found nothing, and have wasted umpteen millions of the taxpayers' money. Enough is enough'

While all this is happening, you continue to muddy the waters by accusing Hillary of treason, by saber-rattling on North Korea, by sending out your minions to point out every little mistake made by CNN, MSNBC and their ilk (and they do make plenty, which gives you plenty of distractions to work with). In short, you pull every magician's trick of misdirection you can think of. Oh, sure, there will be the usual liberals yammering about your strategy, but you might be able to tough it through because your base will support you."

I'm pretty sure that would have worked if Trump had done it from the outset. I'm not sure that would actually work now, because too much of the cat may be peeking through the bag, but it appears that co-operating with Mueller will obviously not work, because telling the truth and co-operating only works when you really are innocent and have nothing to hide.

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