Two of Donald Trump’s most notorious cabinet members are facing hard deadlines today, and we’re finally about to get a look at what House Democrats have up their sleeve in terms of consequences. That means today was already going to be a huge day, even before Robert Mueller and Donald Trump each decided to interject themselves into the timeline. Now we’re facing an entirely different political landscape before sundown.
Yesterday, House Democrats let it be known that Robert Mueller is tentatively set to publicly testify on May 15th, not much more than a week from now. Here comes Mueller’s big endgame. Donald Trump then let it be known just how afraid he is of Mueller when he went on a prolonged rant about how Mueller shouldn’t testify – and then he demanded that two additional years be added to the end of his presidency due to Mueller “witch hunt.”
As I wrote last night, Trump just guaranteed that he’ll end up being impeached, though keep in mind that “impeachment” and “removal” are not the same thing. Trump seems to be trying to force Nancy Pelosi to announce his impeachment before Mueller can testify, perhaps in a last ditch effort at making Mueller’s testimony look partisan.
Even as we wait to see Pelosi’s reaction to Trump’s declaration last night that he wants to be emperor, some other key things are playing out today as well. William Barr is facing a 9am deadline today to turn over the full unredacted Mueller report to the House Judiciary Committee. Assuming he doesn’t comply, let’s just say that you only set a 9am deadline, instead of an end of day deadline, if you’re planning to take major retaliatory action that day. Chairman Jerry Nadler had been discussing everything from fining Barr to having him arrested, so we’ll see what happens.
Because that’s not enough for one day, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is expected to make an announcement today about whether he’ll hand over Donald Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, which he’s legally obligated to do. Assuming Mnuchin refuses to do it, he’ll be breaking the law, and we’ll see what consequences he faces today.
This is one of those rare days where a whole lot of unstoppable forces are meeting their respective immovable objects, and something’s got to give. In fact a whole lot of things are going to give today. We’re not sure where things will be by the time the day is over, but there’ll be no going back when it comes to a number of today’s collision courses.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report