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What we do know is that this was a Trump hire that was bound to end very badly, and indeed has.Back when Ty Cobb and John Dowd were President Trump’s personal lawyers, the legal strategy called for full cooperation with Robert Mueller.
The same day Cohen pled guilty, a jury in Northern Virginia found Paul Manafort guilty of eight counts of tax and bank fraud. This sounds like a mixed verdict, but it was really a victory for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who wants to squeeze Manafort and now has him looking at a sentence of 80 years. Whether Manafort, a notoriously sleazy operator whose crimes long predate his involvement with the Trump campaign, actually has any information implicating the president is anyone’s guess.
The former CIA director has made himself into a voice of the Resistance, embracing the sort of political role, and the sort of wild-eyed rants, customarily avoided by former high-ranking national-security officials. We shed no tears for Brennan — there’s a legitimate case that he crossed a line in a post-CIA commentary (he’s said Trump committed treason in Helsinki), and he was dishonest in congressional testimony as director.
But the pulling of security clearances of other officials, which Trump is now threatening, would be a mistake absent a real process and a clear standard.
Some of this is what political scientists call “affective polarization,” partisan embrace of ever-more-radical postures in response to the perceived wickedness of the other party, and part of it is semantics: Many young progressives think of bailouts and cronyism when they hear the word “capitalism” and of the nicer parts of Copenhagen when they hear “socialism.” The opposite, and much healthier, tendency is to understand capitalism as Adam Smith, Apple, and a million lemonade stands, and socialism as what’s going on in Venezuela.
to editorialize against President Trump’s anti-press rhetoric.If those reports are true — and they are not outlandish in the context of this administration — they speak to a deep dysfunction. He is the client in chief, and needs to get his legal house in order.