Donald John Trump is a liar. This is not breaking news, instead it is ancient history. And because he is so obsessive about it, it has become almost as blase and expected as a fortune cookie after a Chinese dinner. But, in response to Michael Cohen’s guilty plea in federal court today to lying to congress, Trump accidentally spoke the truth, and that one accidental truth could place his presidency on a collision course with his incessant lies.
There are two things about Trump’s constant lies that are fundamental to his very character, and they’re important to remember. One, Trump lies because he can get away with it. Donald Trump lies about everything, and has done so from his first days in business. He lies about his wealth, he lies about the size and scope of his projects, he lies about his company, and if you listen to Stormy Daniels, he lies about the size of his dick. Find me another person n the planet who faked being his own PR shill to lie to the tabloids. And because he lies so constantly, and so outrageously, about things that can easily be disproven, he pays no penalty. It becomes just another aspect of his quirky personality, it’s baked into the cake.
Second, and of equal importance, Trump has never had to pay a price for his lies. Lies about his personal life are not a bug, they’re a feature. Trump likes to consider himself a sort of raconteur, a wealthy playboy with a taste for the finer things in life, especially where women are concerned. The fact that he is a serial adulterer only makes him more envious to others in his own, childish mind. And as for lying in his business dealings, there is no one to hold him accountable. His organization is a mom and pop operation. He has no board to answer to, no shareholders. He can lie with impunity. And if one of those lies causes him legal troubles? Then he can simply buy his way quietly out of it, and nobody is the wiser, nor does it affect him.
Trump’s personal belief in his infallibility when it comes to the truth has been manifested over and over again in his presidency. The now infamous Trump Tower meeting between his son and a Russian lawyer is a classic example. First, there was no meeting, and then there was a meeting, but it was about Russian adoption. Then, maybe it was about dirt on Hillary, but the Russians never delivered. And finally it was, “So what if it was, everybody does it.” And thanks to a feckless GOP dominated congress, upon further video review, the play stood as called.
Which beings us to today’s falling-domino-effect utterance by Trump.When asked by reporters about Michael Cohen’s allegation that, contrary to his previous statements, Trump had pursued a Trump Tower Moscow plan long after he categorically stated he had dropped it, Trump said something akin to,”So what if I did? At the time I wasn’t President. I was allowed to run my business during the campaign, and there was a good chance that I’d end up as a private citizen. What was I supposed to do, not pursue opportunities?”
And there you have it, the five words that could bring down the Trump presidency. So-what-if-I-did. Those are the words of an arrogant bully in a bar, who just spilled a drink on another patron, “So what if I did spill that drink? Wadda you gonna do about it pee-wee?”These are words that Trump has used over and over again in his presidency, and he has gotten away with it mainly because he has had the support of his two tough friends, the GOP House, and the GOP Senate. But Trump’s arrogance, and his sense of infallibility have failed him this time, because he has miscalculated.
He miscalculated because ht doesn’t have two big thugs sitting on each side of him at the bar anymore, he has only one. The US House will switch to Democratic control on January 3rd, and with it, control of the committees, and subpoena power. When Adam Schiff takes over the House Intelligence committee, and Jerry Nadler assumes the helm of the House Judiciary committee, Trump is going to find himself receiving a cold water douche that there is responsibility for his words and actions.
And this will put greater pressure on his one remaining thug, the US Senate. As the Democrats investigate, and make public their findings, and Trump’s culpability, and the more that Robert Mueller slyly reveals his findings to the public by his court filings, which become available to the public and the media via FOIA requests, thereby circumventing Matthew Whitaker’s ability to silence Mueller’s findings, the more apparent the extent of Trump’s amoral, and likely criminal behavior comes into focus, the harder it becomes for the GOP Senate to carry his water for him anymore.
Because,just as importantly, it now turns out that Robert Mueller, and by extension the Democrats in the House, now have Trump by the old short-and-curlies. So-what-if-I-did is so much more than five innopportunely uttered words, it is a de facto admission of guilt. It’s what somebody says when they’re caught red handed, and they’re daring you to respond.
This time, it turns out that there’s a lot to respond to. Trump will invariably try to claim that his quid pro quo with Putin for the Trump Tower approval was his offer of the $50 million penthouse in return. Small problem. If Putin wants a $50 million penthouse, he doesn’t need Trump to gift him one, he only has to toss the rightful owner into a convenient gulag. And the simple fact that the Trump Tower Moscow was never built with that inducement is another indicator that Putin wasn’t interested in another cityscape view apartment, he had a different method of payment in mind.
If Cohen’s allegations can be proven with corroborating evidence, then, despite their possible lack of enthusiasm to actually try to impeach Trump for political reasons, the Democrats in the House will have no choice but to begin impeachment proceedings, their oaths of office will demand it. And if the Democratic led House drafts and passes articles of impeachment against Trump, then it will be up to the GOP dominated Senate. They will have to decide the extent to which they will stand with a lawless President, and a possible traitor. And they will have to do so with the memory fresh in their minds of what happened to the GOP dominated House in 2018, over issues nowhere as serious to our very democratic foundation. Don’t touch that dial.
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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.