Just out in the theaters is the excellent documentary, "Where's My Roy Cohn?", about the closeted New York lawyer, fixer and Mafia friend Roy Cohn, who died of AIDS in 1986, abandoned by his friends, including Trump. For the 15 or so years before his death, Cohn had operated as Trump's lawyer and fixer, and taught him how the Mafia operated and avoided jail. Trump learned well. After Cohn's death, Trump then found a new fixer, Michael Cohen (now in jail), and later moved on to his latest fixer, Rudy Giuliani (soon to be in jail).
Roy Cohn taught The Don not to write anything down, and to operate entirely through loyal subordinates, giving him "deniability".
Roy Cohn taught The Don not to write anything down, and to operate entirely through loyal subordinates, giving him "deniability". Cohn also taught Trump to speak in code, never giving direct orders which might come back to bite him, but rather to make statements that his loyal flunkies knew were to be taken as orders to do something. If it went wrong, Trump could always deny that he had anything to do with it, and throw his loyal subordinate under the bus.
The Don, a day after Mueller testified before Congress and in the Don's eyes "cleared" him of any wrongdoing in the Russian intrusion into the the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, decided that it was time to corrupt the 2020 Presidential election by digging up dirt on his then most likely Democratic opponent, Joe Biden. He set up separate tracks, with fixer Giuliani to work over the new President of Ukraine, a comedian and neophyte politician named Zelensky, and get him to dig up that Biden dirt. At the same time, the Don manipulated the appropriation of a desperately needed military aid package to Ukraine by holding it up until he could get Zelensky to agree to his "favor".
This all sounds like the Godfather's statement that "I'll make you an offer you can't refuse"—start digging for the Biden dirt and you will get your military aid to fight the Russian invaders to your country. It was so easy to put together, at least until it horribly unravelled when the Whistleblower came forth, and what he found was publicly disclosed. Trump's actions have spewed out a shit storm, and no one knows where and when it will end.
As of Thursday, 223 House members have announced their support for an impeachment inquiry relating to The Don, more than enough to impeach him (218 votes needed) if all of them vote to impeach. But the House, which often works a Tuesday through Thursday week, and takes off over half the year, has this remaining vacation schedule for the year:
- Off September 30, 2019 to October 15, 2019
- Off October 25, 2019 to November 12, 2019
- Off November 22, 2019 to December 3, 2019
- Off December 13, 2019 to 2020.
If this schedule holds, Congress will be in session for less than 30 days in the three months remaining until 2020. Once 2020 is reached, Members of Congress will be focussing on their reelection and the Presidential primaries beginning in February, and not impeachment.
There is much work left to be done to bring the obstruction of justice findings of the Mueller Report to a stage where Articles of Impeachment could be filed, but it would be much easier to do this relating to the Ukraine bribery/corruption scandal. The House Intelligence Committee could present the findings of their investigation to the House Judiciary Committee in October, 2019, and the Judiciary Committee could draft Articles of Impeachment to submit to the full House for a vote of Impeachment in November, 2019. It would almost certainly pass: only a majority (218 votes) are needed.
The Constitution provides that the House managers would then prepare for a trial of the Articles of impeachment in the Senate, with the 100 Senators sitting as a jury, and with John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, presiding. But the Majority Leader of the Senate, the "Grim Reaper" Mitch McConnell, might just state that he was not going to allow the impeachment trial to proceed, as he did with Obama"s nomination to the Supreme Court of Judge Merrick Garland.
If he does this, the following could happen:
- There would be no trial. Trump would continue as President and might be re-elected in 2020.
- The House, having voted for impeachment, could adopt a Motion of Censure against Mitch McConnell, but this would have little practical effect.
- The Democratic members of the Senate could filibuster that chamber for as long as it took to get "Moscow Mitch" to decide to allow the impeachment trial to proceed.
- It is possible that the Supreme Court might decide that the person designated under the Constitution to convene the Senate for the impeachment trial is not Moscow Mitch but rather Chief Justice Roberts, and the Court would order the Senate to proceed with the trial of The Don forthwith.
- The Don might try to cut a Nixon-type deal and resign if he and his family are kept out of jail and he is allowed to continue to operate his businesses in the future. The question then exists as to how many of the Don's flunkies would go to jail (65 of Nixon's aides were convicted). If the Don resigned, VP Pence would then become President, unless his involvement in the impeached conduct infects him too, meaning that he would also have to resign or be impeached.
And that would result in Speaker Nancy Pelosi becoming President.