The Coverup Is Unraveling Quickly

Most days I remain convinced that Trump will survive until Election Day, protected by a corrupt Republican Senate and a Democratic House unwilling to exercise its full authorities to avert a political backlash and constitutional crisis. But as the news of the hamhanded coverups and conspiracies around Trump continue to spill out, one begins to wonder sometimes if Trump will last even another month.

This, for instance, is truly remarkable:

The U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, intends to tell Congress this week that the content of a text message he wrote denying a quid pro quo with Ukraine was relayed to him directly by President Trump in a phone call, according to a person familiar with his testimony.

Sondland plans to tell lawmakers he has no knowledge of whether the president was telling him the truth at that moment. “It’s only true that the president said it, not that it was the truth,” said the person familiar with Sondland’s planned testimony, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic matters.

Note this Trump tweet :

I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public….

….to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland’s tweet, which few report, stated, “I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” That says it ALL!

So it turns out he was apparently quoting himself having told Sondland what to say. This is the sort of comical coverup one only engages in either under desperation or a belief that no public accounting of your crimes will ever be made under oath.

The internal tensions will be impossible for Trump and his allies to resolve, at least without precipitating a full-blown constitutional crisis. Either Trump successfully blockades all his deputies from testifying before Congress and/or going to the media, or he lets them all take the fall for his actions sequentially. Not all of them will go down quietly in the hopes of a pardon, like, say, Manafort and Flynn. Giuliani in particular is not known for quiet, self-effacing discipline.

It’s also becoming clear that Trump is lying about not knowing Lev Parnas, and that the connection to shady deals in Ukraine is deeper than just the attempt to smear Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, the situation in Syria is deteriorating rapidly as Turkey seems to have intentionally launched strikes at U.S. forces to push us out with no public response from the president. Subsequently, a senior female Kurdish leader has been killed, and ISIS prisoners are escaping in the chaos.

The smart money still says that Trump survives until Election Day. Republicans have repeatedly shown that there is no bottom to what they will tolerate from their unexpected 2016 savior. And yet.

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David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.