Richard Nixon found out the hard way that when the going gets tough in a criminal scandal, underlings with any sense will sell you out to save themselves, and the only people not smart enough to sell you out are also dumb enough to unwittingly blow it for you. Donald Trump never did study these lessons, or maybe there was just no way for him to avoid repeating history, as his criminal scandal is a hundred times worse than anything Nixon ever did, and it was going to come out no matter what. But Trump’s people sure are tripping over themselves to sell him out this week.
First came Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy, the closest thing to a competent henchman left in the Trump coverup regime. As the Devin Nunes memo-gate quickly turned ugly for Trump’s side, Gowdy announced he was going to retire from Congress, and then began heaping praise on Special Counsel Robert Mueller. So much for Gowdy running any more interference on his behalf. Then this week Gowdy’s entire House Intelligence Committee, including every Republican on it, voted to release the Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo. Even Nunes voted to heap dirt on his own grave, because the entire committee is selling Trump out. Then things got worse.
For weeks it’s been fairly clear that Trump’s former right hand man Steve Bannon was preparing to sell him out to Mueller in the Russia scandal. Bannon all but confirmed it yesterday when he refused to show up for his scheduled testimony with the House Intel Committee, because he wanted to save it for his interview with Mueller next week. This is after Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos cut plea deals against Trump, and even as Rick Gates is negotiating a plea deal against Trump.
At this point Donald Trump is nearly out of henchmen. Maybe he still sorta kinda has Devin Nunes in his pocket, maybe he doesn’t. Beyond that it’s basically down to just Sean Hannity and the few people in the White House he hasn’t fired yet. This will get even uglier for him as the going gets even tougher for those being targeted in the scandal.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report