At one point during World War II, Winston Churchill stated that “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” When it comes to the inevitable downfall of Donald Trump, in hindsight, the end of the beginning was the day Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed. Now it’s safe to say that we’ve reached the beginning of the end.
All along, the fear among the Resistance was that Mueller might decide to play it safe by taking down Trump’s most egregious criminal underlings, demonstrating that Trump committed obstruction of justice, and calling it a day. Obstruction is a felony, but would it be enough to prompt the ouster of a sitting president? Whether it be Trump’s own Republican Party in control of Congress now, or the Democrats in control after the midterms, the public has to come to the conclusion that a president must go before it can happen politically.
As of now, we no longer have to worry about that. Robert Mueller isn’t merely settling for making criminal cases against the likes of Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, in order to justify his own investigation. Nor is Mueller merely settling for making the (comparatively straightforward and easy) case that Trump committed obstruction, in order to satisfy those among the public who have concluded that Trump is guilty of something. Instead, Mueller is going straight to the heart of the Trump-Russia conspiracy to install Trump in office, and he’s not limiting himself to a narrow path.
Instead, Robert Mueller is scooping up Ted Malloch, who can tie the Donald Trump campaign to WikiLeaks and Russia. He’s scooping up George Nader, who can tie the Trump campaign to Russia from a different angle. He gave a plea deal to Rick Gates, not because he wanted Gates to help him take down Manafort, but because Gates had an insider’s view of the Trump campaign’s plotting with Russia. We’ve learned all of this recently, and we’re also learning that some of this transpired a long time ago.
In other words, Robert Mueller has crossed the rubicon. He’s figured out how to connect the dots between Donald Trump and Russia during the election, and he’s targeting everyone who had any hand in the years-long criminal conspiracy that paired up Trump and Russia to begin with. By the time Mueller is done, he will have demonstrated that Trump illegally rigged the election in his favor, and that he committed dozens if not hundreds of felonies along the way. This is what’s required to push things to the point where a sitting president is actually ousted. Trump is too far behind Mueller to have any hope of stopping it. We’ve reached the beginning of the end of Donald Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report