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Mon Aug 20, 2018, 09:08 AM

The most intense and dangerous period of the Trump presidency is about to begin [View all]

By Paul Waldman
Opinion writer
August 20 at 9:33 AM


Needless to say, if Cohen were to implicate the president or his family in some kind of criminal wrongdoing, it would be a political earthquake. But even if he doesnít cooperate, if he is indicted in the coming weeks, that would itself be a serious blow to Trumpís presidency. Even if much of what Cohen is accused of doesnít have to do directly with his former boss, it would contribute to the growing impression that Trump is a corrupt man who surrounds himself with other corrupt men. And here are some other things that could or, in some cases, will happen between now and the first week in November:

Paul Manafort will either be convicted or acquitted in his first trial, presumably this week (the jury is currently deliberating). And his second trial ó which will deal more directly with his work in the former Soviet Union and the ways it may have affected his actions as Trump campaign chairman ó will begin in mid-September.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III could hand down more indictments, or even release a final report on all that he has learned in his investigation.

Trump will likely continue to revoke the security clearances of his critics in the intelligence community, which will generate more bipartisan condemnation and comparisons to Richard Nixon.

Omarosa Manigault Newman will release more tapes she recorded of conversations with people in the White House.

A lawsuit will begin in Texas in which Republican states and the administration will be arguing for the entire Affordable Care Act to be struck down, handing Democrats a priceless campaign issue.

Brett Kavanaughís confirmation hearings will take place. Even if the process ends with a win for Trump, it will also likely generate an immediate backlash, a wave of fear and opposition from Democrats as they realize the implications of an intensely partisan, intensely conservative Supreme Court.

Thatís just what we know about. There are other things, both foreseeable and not, that could increase the presidentís stress during this period. We recently learned that White House counsel Donald McGahn was interviewed for 30 hours by Muellerís team, interviews that were initially approved by Trump as part of a strategy of cooperation but might well have turned into a way for McGahn to protect himself. We have no idea what McGahn told them about Trumpís actions or how it might relate to Russia and contribute to a case of obstruction of justice. Trumpís trade war has so far seemed to generate nothing but job losses and uncertainty. There could be international crises and more conflict with our allies. And if history is any guide, Trump will react to all of it with petulance and resentment, occasionally boiling over into outright rage.

The culmination of this intense period is, of course, the November elections. The wave of scandal news will only increase the likelihood that Democrats will win control of the House, and as much as weíve talked about that possibility, we havenít fully reckoned with how transformative it would be.



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Reply The most intense and dangerous period of the Trump presidency is about to begin [View all]
DonViejo Aug 2018 OP
BSdetect Aug 2018 #1
dalton99a Aug 2018 #3
poetshepherd Aug 2018 #4
Duppers Aug 2018 #17
CrispyQ Aug 2018 #15
empedocles Aug 2018 #2
FakeNoose Aug 2018 #5
Bernardo de La Paz Aug 2018 #11
olegramps Aug 2018 #12
safeinOhio Aug 2018 #6
TheBlackAdder Aug 2018 #7
calimary Aug 2018 #20
KY_EnviroGuy Aug 2018 #8
Bernardo de La Paz Aug 2018 #9
LS_Editor Aug 2018 #10
elmac Aug 2018 #13
calimary Aug 2018 #21
Wednesdays Aug 2018 #22
mudstump Aug 2018 #14
klook Aug 2018 #16
Scurrilous Aug 2018 #18
smirkymonkey Aug 2018 #19