With the walls closing in on him, his presidency unraveling, Trump hits the panic button and “fires” away

Should he be removed from his presidency by either impeachment or through his resignation, America will then have an opportunity to recover from these vicious attacks on its democracy.


How soon might it be before we see a remake of the famous film clip which shows President Richard Nixon boarding the presidential helicopter for the last time as he left the White House in disgrace as a result of the Watergate cover-up? It could be sooner than we think and this time Donald Trump will be the passenger.

At the rate that events are unfolding it looks as if it could happen almost at any time. So let’s do what’s called the “duck test” which goes like this: “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” And then let’s alter that saying a bit in this way; if it looks like a cover up, if mounting evidence points to a cover-up, if those who are very likely involved are starting to panic, then it probably is a cover up.

Trying to make sense of what is going on in this White House, the Congress and all around Washington is nearly impossible. First Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General, who was taking part in the investigation of alleged connections between members of the Trump administration and the Russians, was fired. Supposedly it was done because of her ruling against Trump’s travel ban on Muslim countries but most everyone close to the situation says there is no question that it was because of her involvement in the Russian investigation.

Next Mike Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, after a great deal of evidence surfaced about his connections with the Russians, was also fired by Trump. That firing may come back to haunt this president if Flynn asks for and is granted immunity in upcoming hearings. He could turn on this president by presenting evidence that implicates various Trump advisers, and maybe even Trump himself.

Next, we witnessed the sudden, startling firing of FBI director, James Comey, for reasons that are very suspect. Trump is saying that he had intentions about dismissing him shortly after he became president; but can anyone believe what this master of the art of lying and distorting is saying when he changes his explanations time and time again.

No one knows for sure why he fired Comey but the smart money should be placed on the great possibility that Comey was warned in private conversations with Trump or one of his advisers to back off and end this investigation, and he refused to play ball.

This succession of firings of high-level officials in such a short period of time is indicative of acts of desperation likely brought on by extreme paranoia because investigators have been relentless in pursuing evidence to prove that these alleged connections of collusion are true. And the closer they get to the truth, the more deeply they dig, the more paranoia grips this White House.

Republicans, knowing that the Russians were caught meddling in our election process and our democracy, should be up in arms and putting aside all party considerations to see who and what was involved. Unfortunately, most Republicans are not doing that and seem to believe it’s far more important to protect this president than it is to do what is right for their country. If this investigation unearths some definite illicit connections between Russia operatives and the Trump administration then it not only could take down the Trump presidency but also a sizable portion of the Republican Party.

All the while that this more than bizarre situation is unfolding there are the many millions of Trump supporters who have pledged their loyalty to him no matter what he does, regardless if it violates the laws of the land or the principles of morals and ethics. They have embraced the well-known saying of “See no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.” If they were on the deck of the ship, the Trump Titanic, there is no doubt that they would be prepared to go down with the ship rather than withdraw their support of him.

Republican senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain strongly feel that it is critically important to conduct a thorough investigation of this entire situation, preferably by a special prosecutor. They have made it very clear that if appropriate evidence is presented that implicates any individual, then that person must be identified and brought to justice. I commend them for doing what is right.

Trump may have fired Comey but there is no way that this investigation is going to go away. Not when there are those politicians like Graham and McCain and Democrats who aren’t going to stop until some clear cut conclusion is reached and there are no more avenues for further investigations.

Since Comey was fired, some members of the Senate, including Republicans, have indicated that hearings are needed to discuss just why he was fired and if it might have been done to attempt to kill the Russian investigation. If questioned, Comey might just inform senators that the reason why he had just requested a sizable increase in funds and other resources from the Justice Dept. was because he had uncovered new evidence that indicated definite collusive activities.

As bizarre as this entire scandalous situation may be we just learned that Trump, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, held a White House meeting with Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov and its ambassador to the U.S. Kislyak and only Russian reporters were allowed to attend. Kislyak is the same Russian that formerly met with various Trump advisers and whose secret meetings with Flynn led to the Flynn firing.

Can you believe that? Just after he fires Comey he then meets with these Russians who may be right in the middle of this developing scandal. And then he also allows photos taken that show him vigorously shaking Kislyak’s hand and looking as if he wanted to give him a big bear hug. With all this turmoil swirling all around him why in the world would Trump hold a secret meeting with these two Russians and make sure there were no American reporters present?

What’s next? Perhaps Trump welcoming Putin to the White House for a chat and then a golf game at Mar-a-Lago country club to further cement their friendship?

Trump can fire all the officials that he thinks may be looking for the truth but he will never be able to shut down this investigation. Right now he is digging himself into a hole from which escape will be nearly impossible. Should he be removed from his presidency by either impeachment or through his resignation, America will then have an opportunity to recover from these vicious attacks on its democracy.


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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.