It’s All Be Over But the Shouting

It’s All Be Over But the Shouting


Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

Robert Mueller and fellow prosecutors politely waited until the mid-term elections were concluded, but since then there has been an avalanche of legal proceedings which undoubtedly have changed the entire landscape of any future for the Administration of Donald Trump. Legal matters turn immeasurably slow, but there was always a sense that the activity of the special counsel eventually would produce conclusive results. They have now begun to emerge in ever increasing intensity.

Few rationale observers in the quiet of their own space can reasonably deny that the Trump Presidency is over. One should not assume that Trump necessarily will be impeached or that the Trump will throw up his hands and walk away. The President will continue to rage and rant until the bitter end, but he is certain to spend the next two years being publicly skewered as he attempts to throw blame for his misdeeds on anyone and everyone that he can. Meanwhile, the legal quagmire which he now faces will only get worse as the numerous investigations, court hearings, and pleadings unwind.

Trump faces two major operational problems as he awaits the events the week before Christmas and then the arrival of the new Congress on January 3. The White House and his entire Administration continues to be understaffed. The President cannot find people willing to work for him.  Undoubtedly more and more people—especially in the White House will resign rather than face the need to hire private lawyers. In addition, staffers have readily seen that the President has never hesitated to embarrass and excoriate his own White House operatives who disagree with him. This situation has confirmed the fact that more and more people will not want to be associated as having served in the Trump Administration. For the first time in his life, people are turning down an offer from Donald Trump. He is in disbelief that he cannot entice people to join his Administration.

Aside from needing lawyers in the Office of White House Counsel—where vacancies still exist—the President needs a larger personal legal defense team. The President’s legal fees will probably exceed more money than Trump has ever paid for any previous litigation.

The Congress will demand that volumes of documents and testimonies be turned over to House investigations and it will subpoena materials that it does not receive. Whether the President seeks to challenge the House’s requests in Court or not, he will need an entire array of people to reply to the House demands. The President may stall the process for a while, but eventually all the material they seek will be obtained by Congress.

The one very serious fear which America faces during the next two years is whether a besieged President might attempt a dangerous military adventure or tempt a security crisis which will threaten the safety of the nation. For starters, if Secretary of Defense James Mattis or Dan Coats at the Office of National Intelligence depart, there is no telling what might happen, or what Trump would attempt. The test then will be whether there are enough courageous officials as well as Republican leaders who will be ready and able to stop Trump.

The Democratic Party will ultimately face this challenge as well. They need to unite behind a candidate in 2020 who will be capable to help America, for the second time in 50 years, put a “national nightmare” behind the country.


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