If you want a reminder of just how quickly Donald Trump’s various criminal scandals are spiraling out of control, and how quickly the bad news for Trump is coming at us, consider this. Yesterday morning Republican Congressman Chris Collins, a close Trump ally, was arrested for insider trading – a stunning moment – and yet by the end of the day it had largely been pushed out of the headlines. But we shouldn’t overlook the Collins story, because it tells us something crucial about the fate of Trump and his allies.
On the surface, the arrest of GOP Congressman Chris Collins doesn’t directly relate to Donald Trump. Collins received inside information about a company he was connected with, and advised his friends and family to sell their stock in the company before the news went public. People get busted for this all the time in the financial world. But the arrest of a sitting Congressman, even when there’s an apparent mountain of evidence in place, isn’t something you see every day. Except now, the game has changed.
Think about it: once there was a sufficient criminal case in place, the FBI didn’t even hesitate to arrest a member of Congress. The Feds clearly weren’t worried about arresting a member of the majority party, despite that party’s ongoing effort at sabotaging the FBI, and despite this particular Congressman having close ties to Donald Trump, even as he tries to sabotage the FBI. But the bureau is showing no fear here. If it’s arresting Collins for a financial crime, does anyone think the FBI and Robert Mueller won’t eventually arrest the likes of Devin Nunes and Dana Rohrabacher for their Trump-Russia crimes?
Keep in mind that Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was one of the most influential GOP political operatives for decades, is currently behind bars. Now a GOP Congressman close to Trump has been arrested. The precedent is clear: everyone who committed a crime is going down. If GOP Congressman Chris Collins isn’t off limits, then no one is off limits. Let the arrests begin. Oh wait, they already have.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report