djtrumpnetwork SOsos / Flickr Trump...
djtrumpnetwork SOsos / Flickr

Our regular examination of Donald Trump’s weekend tweeting habits has taken a bit of a dark turn. It seems evident now that, at whatever moment Trump is sure that Robert Mueller’s investigation has gotten the goods on him, he fully intends to fire Mueller and dare the rest of the nation to make something of it.

Donald Trump is not a complex man. He is obsessed with only two things: self-adulation, and self-preservation. It is no coincidence that immediately after the special counsel investigating Russian election interference targeted the Trump Organization, directly, with a subpoena for Russia-related documents that Trump spontaneously combusted.

Until now Trump’s staff has largely curtailed his instinct to attack Robert Mueller by name, even as he sends off spittle-flecked rants towards every other of his perceived enemies. That they can no longer contain those efforts demonstrates both their dwindling power over the garbage fire behind the desk and his own increasing fury—or panic—as the investigation brings down indictment after indictment.

The reason for Trump’s alarm is evident. Federal investigators would not be taking the dramatic step of subpoenaing documents from the private company of a sitting president unless they had strong suspicions of what they would find; it may even be likely that investigators have knowledge of key events or documents, and that the subpoena is yet another opportunity for the team to ensnare anyone in Trump’s circle stupid enough to attempt to hide them.

And it’s becoming increasingly clear that Mueller’s investigation is closing in on the  actions of Donald Trump’s core team; not just Manafort, Flynn, and Papadopoulos, but Sessions, Don Jr., and Trump himself.

So yes, the man is coming apart at the seams.

Oh—he’s a liar, by the way.

That is also a lie. Even the dazed Rep. Mike Conaway was careful, on Meet the Press, to claim only that his committee’s Republican-only report found no “evidence” of such a thing. Nor, as it turns out, did they look.

It’s uncanny how this man cannot manage to grasp even the basic outlines of the legislation he’s tasked with stumping for, but nonetheless will never forget a talking point lobbed at an enemy. The man seems to live for nothing else.

This is like watching a monkey play with a loaded gun. It’s absolutely certain something bad is about to happen, but there’s no telling when it will happen or what direction the gun will be aimed when it does.

But a few things seem evident. First, that Trump is indeed going to make a move to fire Mueller, and soon. Like Nixon, he is going to churn through whatever staffers are necessary in order to arrive at ones who will make it happen; like Nixon, he will not have to look far, in the ranks, to find willing accomplices.

Second, that the Mueller probe is on the brink of issuing indictments that make the ones to date look insignificant in comparison. If Mueller’s team is willing to be so aggressive as to subpoena Trump’s own company, managed by Trump’s own sons, fully knowing that it would send the president into apoplexy, then the investigators must be confident that the information they have already uncovered is damning enough to allow the investigation to, regardless of Trump’s possible response, survive. And there’s only a few things that damning, and all of them revolve around Donald J. Trump, his family, or his very topmost enablers.

But third, that anyone looking for the top figures of Republican Party to curtail Trump’s worst instincts, in coming weeks, will be made a fool of; they will not do it. If they had any intention of doing so, they would have already. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will indeed put their ambitions over the national rule of law itself, regardless of what Trump does or what information is exposed about him. They will indeed attempt to protect their own hard-won partisan power at the expense of their country. They will not constrain him; if Trump is to be constrained, it will be over their objections, not with their help. They had their opportunities; they remained silent, every time.

We seem to be in the home stretch. Donald is in absolute panic; he is firing staff, attacking investigators, and of a mind to listen to no advice at all. It seems almost certain we will soon learn why.

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