Going down in flames

The thing about politics, and for that matter criminal probes, is that 95% of what happens takes place behind the scenes. Our understanding of what’s going on is usually limited to whatever any given side happens to strategically leak to the media, and our ability to filter those leaks through the motivations of those doing the leaking. And because we usually don’t know most of what’s going on behind the scenes until something is ready for public consumption, it can create the illusion that nothing happens for long stretches, followed by major things coming out of nowhere.

Of course that’s not how any of it really happens. Something will gradually progress behind the scenes for quite some time, and when it finally becomes public it’s usually just a culmination of that progress, not some out-of-nowhere development. But over the past twenty-four hours we’ve seen a few long simmering developments finally boil over, in a way that makes clear just how badly Trump world is going down in flames.

First the news surfaced that Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend testified yesterday to a federal grand jury, meaning that 1) Gaetz is now 99% certain to be indicted, and 2) it’ll likely happen soon. The Gaetz storyline had been quiet for awhile now, which some readers took as a sign that the case had gone cold or fallen apart. But that’s not how things work; in reality criminal probes merely go through stretches where everything is happening behind the scenes, and no one involved sees any reason to strategically leak anything that’s going on. The Feds only indict when they’re certain of a conviction. So the fact that they’ve pretty clearly decided to indict Gaetz means that he’s going down in flames. And This isn’t a new development. Instead this is merely confirmation that Gaetz has been going down in flames all along.

Then came the news last night that the January 6th Committee has a treasure trove of evidence showing Kevin McCarthy to be a material witness, and potentially a suspect, in Donald Trump’s January 6th-related crime spree. McCarthy’s defiant response to the news means that he’s going down in flames. And again, it’s not that this suddenly came out of nowhere. It merely confirms that the January 6th Committee’s ongoing work behind the scenes has had McCarthy going down in flames all along.

This is all in addition to this week’s revelation that the Fulton County Georgia District Attorney has apparently decided to criminally indict Donald Trump himself, and has gone so far as to recently meet with Trump’s criminal defense lawyers. Once again, this didn’t come out of nowhere. The Fulton County DA has been working on this criminal case behind the scenes for several months, gradually sealing Trump’s fate along the way.

   

We’re still waiting for these indictments to come down, but so be it. The timing is less important than the fact that we know we’re on a clear path to the indictments happening. Even once the indictments do happen, we’ll be waiting for arraignments, court hearings, criminal trials, and so on. But that’s the way this was always going to go. Once Trump was named the loser of the election, he and his people were always going to go down in flames. Everyone paying attention can now see that. But the flames have been burning all along, even if they weren’t always as visible as they now finally are.

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