A friend asked me what I thought about investigations of the White House and whether or not there would be any independent investigations.
Honestly, I just don’t know because it depends at what point Republicans will reach country over entrenched party. My sense is that some Republicans will reach that point eventually, but not most -- BUT I suspect these others will reach a point of self-preservation. That there will be growing anger and outrage in the country, and so Republicans in Congress will see their jobs at risk. I certainly hope we reach that point before the mid-term elections, but if we don’t it may be moot since I think if Republicans stay recalcitrant then Democrats stand a reasonable chance of taking control of the House and Senate. As much anger and concern as I think will have been built up by that point, taking control of one, let along both houses will still be difficult – since the GOP has such a large majority in the House, and because more Democratic Senate seats are up for re-election. But Trump has a 39% approval after just one month of his honeymoon, and I can’t see him doing better because he literally is unqualified and sociopathic, and he hasn’t surrounded him by people who can pull him up. And anyone who can is turning him down.
The Rachel Maddow Show on Monday was fascinating. The entire show centered around a New Yorker article about financial dealings and Russian connections. There were no smoking guns, but LOTS of damning connections, most of them surrounding former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and the just-confirmed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Ross is the major shareholder of a Cyprus bank where another shareholder is a Russian billionaire with ties to Putin. The Russian oligarch bought a Trump Florida property for a $60 million profit over the $40 million he’d paid for it two years earlier – at a time when Trump had a $30 million loan due and he needed the money. And the two men each say they never met. Which means that the only known conduit between them is Wilbur Ross.
I'd normally embed the few minutes that dealt with this, but it wasn't a segment. It was the whole show. But here's the opening segment of the broadcast -- which ran for almost 20 minutes. It doesn't tell the whole story, but sets the table with the background.
Also interesting was the interview with David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker who wrote the long article in the magazine. Most fascinating is when he said that there is actually "buyer's remorse" in Russia over Trump getting elected. His sense was that the Russians weren't necessarily trying to get Trump elected, they never thought that would happen, but they were trying to destabilize a Clinton Administration. With Trump in office, he's so volatile that they're concerned about whatever will happen.
So…I don’t know. I don’t think Trump will call for a special prosecutor, even under pressure. But there could be a Senate committee, because with Lindsay Graham, John McCain and Susan Collins and a few others, like Linda Murkowski, there seems to be some Republican support. The only reason I see a House committee is because, with two-year terms, some Republicans might be concerned about their jobs.
But then, this is such a volatile situation that not only can change daily, but as we've seen -- hourly.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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