Erica Harrington / Flickr tic tac toe...
Erica Harrington / Flickr

YAYYYYY! Christmas came early this year and I can’t wait. I’ve never been good at delayed satisfaction, I’m too impatient. The only thing that has kept me sane during this ordeal has been the daily drip of dirt from “sources close to the investigation”, and “unnamed sources”, and “sources within the White House”. But we don’t know what Robert Mueller knows, which just leaves the information floating aimlessly, allowing us to partake in our favorite pastime, conspiracy theories.

     With the recent reporting of Robert Mueller advising the White House that he intends to talk to at least six current or former White House staffers, walking canker sores like Reince Priebus, Hope Hicks, Don McGahn, and Sean Spicer, it appears that the glacier paced “investigative phase” of the investigation is finally drawing to a close. Mueller finally feels like he has enough facts to start questioning the principles, and it’s about time. Inquiring minds want to know.

     We already know two things, this is going to be a bloodbath for Trump, and he has nobody to blame but himself. What we are about to see is what happens when a political idiot with zero management skills brings in a bunch of administrative toddlers, and then leaves the room like a teacher during nap time in kindergarten.

     One big problem is the abundance of, and careless handling of what should be privileged information. The leaks are a perfect example. Time and again we have been treated to leaked information that is damaging to Trump himself, and often high placed principles. It doesn’t make much sense for someoner to leak damaging information about themselves, or information about the boss that could damage their own interests or position. Yet the leaks continue. This means that what should be high level shit is somehow or other being made accessible to lower level staffers, apparently with axes of their own to grind. And when Da Boss can’t shut his fat pie hole, why should anybody else stay quiet?

     Since day one, the back room, palace intrigue in this White House has been widely reported on. The warring factions have been identified, and their internal pissing contests have become embarrassingly public. This is not a bug, it’s a feature, it’s always been Trump’s management style. He loves sitting subordinates against each other in death matches, fighting for his kind word or a smile. Besides, if everybody gets along, then the water cooler becomes the Roman Senate, and he doesn’t wanting any Brutuses getting any ideas. It appears that rather than the business of running the country, the primary occupation in the White House is gathering dirt on opponents. And why not share this dirt with Mueller, they’re already sharing it with the rest of us through media leaks. This west wing interview process is going to devolve into a wrestling cage match battle royale, mark my words.

     And don’t worry about these interviews being like all secret or anything. Bob Mueller may as well televise the interviews on live stream. Most of these people have been finking on each other secretly in the media from the start, why would they want to stop now. While Mueller and his krew may not say a word, the subjects of the interviews are free to sing like canaries, and sing they will, to get their own story out first. And once that dam breaks, everybody is going to want to have their own personal dinghy to ride out the flood in. And all the while, they’re giving Robert Mueller all kinds of interesting tidbits for him to use, not only against His Lowness, but as pressure points for other staffers and confidantes that he will interview. The old saying is that “there is no honor among thieves”. Guess what, there’s no loyalty in this wild bunch either.

     Personally, the dark horse, 100-1 long shot Seabiscuit I’ll be watching come spinning out of the far turn is Mike Pence, for a couple of reasons. One, so far Pence has flown almost entirely off of the radar in this investigation. I don’t think that’s an accident, I think it’s by design. After all, if you’re going after John Gotti, publicly you act like you’ll be happy to get Vinnie :No Nose” off of the streets. And Nueller’s staff is chock full of people who have practiced misdirection for a living for decades.

     Two, Pence’s “Aw shucks, I’m just a simple farm boy” shtick is pure bullshit. He comes off with that shy, Gomer Pyle grin like the kid in school that always ended up sitting on the high stool in the corner with the pointy white paper hat on top of his head. Unlike Trump, Pence is a career politician, he knows how to bury a body, and he knows how to mark exactly where it’s located for future exhumation. That stalk of straw behind his ear is there to be handy to jam into someones eye if needed.

     But mostly I’m watching Pence because of information. Pence’s claim that Michael Flynn misled im about meeting with the Russians is atrocious, as are his claims of ignorance on a myriad of other issues. He spent serious time with Trump during the campaign, traveling and appearing together. And Trump couldn’t keep a secret if his lips were sewn shut and his fingers surgically removed, he’d tap it out in Morse code with his elbow. And even if Trump did keep Pence in the dark, unlike the Inglorious Basterd, Pence has a serious, capable staff. If the papers could find out about something in days, you can bet your last buck Pence would have known about it in hours, it would have been his staffs job to find that out. The indicator that Pence is officially in the soup will be when you start seeing Pence’s staff getting invitations for coffee and a cruller with Mueller. They won’t be getting called in to talk about Da Boss, they’ll be getting called in to talk about their boss. And then Pence will have his own decision to make.

     So, for all of you who had thought that the glorious days of bloodsport had died with the collapse of the Roman Empire, be of good cheer. This may well end up being a match that even the Romans were incapable of imagining.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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