Today we learned, thanks to NBC News, that a New York grand jury has subpoenaed Donald Trump’s tax returns from his accountant. This somewhat buries the lede, because the real news here is that grand juries exist for the sole reason of indicting people, and this grand jury is clearly targeting Trump, which means Trump is going to be indicted in New York on state charges. This explains some things.
When a major news outlet has a story like this, it generally asks the White House a few days before publication if it wants to provide comment for the story. This being Monday, it means Donald Trump has likely known since at least late last week that he’s being indicted in New York. He can’t pardon state charges. Nor can Bill Barr do a thing about the charges. Trump is, in a word, screwed. He’ll be arrested the minute he’s out of office.
This helps explain why Donald Trump’s already erratic behavior has taken such a sharp turn for the even more erratic over the past several days. Remember his speech where he claimed energy saving light bulbs turned him orange, and then he called his friend Kevin McCarthy a cow? That was bizarre even for Trump. Then this morning he went on an incoherent and instantly infamous “Obama Netflix” tirade that scholars are still trying to decipher. By the time Trump tweeted that he was “One my way to New Mexico” this evening, it was just icing on the cake.
Let’s see just how far in a whacked out direction Donald Trump takes things tonight when he delivers his speech to his crowd of fawning loyalist goblins. It’ll be his first public appearance since the news broke that he’s being targeted for indictment by the New York grand jury, and it’ll serve as a barometer for just how quickly he’s unraveling.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report