What a fascinating way to end the week. "A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller," reported CNN. "It is unclear what the charges are," and against whom they've been filed. We'll know Monday or Tuesday, when the defendant turns himself in.
Meanwhile, speculation abounds as to the accused's identity, because patiently waiting for revealed facts is not a virtue among political commentators. If there's a consensus, it's that Mueller is inaugurating his rolling indictments by going after a low or even lower-level buffoon such as Carter Page, who seems to be obliviously enjoying his 21 minutes of fame. My money however is on Paul Manafort, whose perfect coif and facade of innocence have been mussed for months. His home was dramatically raided by the FBI and his money laundering has been systematically uncovered. As the Economist puts it in defense of my impatient speculation: "One rule to follow is that 'good prosecutors don’t do bullshit cases'. That means avoiding weak cases, but also small ones against minor figures that do not provide accountability when great wrongs are alleged." But of course my speculation is worth precisely what it's costing you to read it.
Nearly as fascinating as Mueller's opening gambit against the astonishingly corrupt Donald Trump is the latter's propaganda machine's pathetically resolute efforts to obfuscate Boy Scout Bob's divine judgment, if not wrath. Fox News has taken the embarrassing lead. Scribbles one of its hacks: "Mueller is facing a fresh round of calls from conservative critics for his resignation from the Russia collusion probe, amid revelations that have called into question the FBI’s own actions and potentially Mueller’s independence. This week’s bombshell that a controversial anti-Trump dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign has Republicans asking to what extent the FBI … used the politically connected material. Hill investigators also are looking into a Russian firm’s uranium deal that was approved by the Obama administration in 2010."
Here is Soviet-style agitprop that would have tested the editorial forbearance of Pravda. There was no "bombshell" this week about Clinton and the DNC's rather routine funding of opposition research that ultimately produced "a controversial anti-Trump dossier" whose findings are less and less controversial by the day, and whose origin lay in the red-faced lap of the Washington Free Beacon, an ultraconservative website. That "conservative critics" have dyspeptically refueled their low-flying calls for Mueller's resignation is but another instance of pseudoconservative psychopathology unbound, and that Republican Hill investigators are re-beating the dead nag of Obama-Clinton's uranium-deal skulduggery is so patently partisan as to give the once noble art of political hatcheting a bad name.
Extraordinary in its echo-chamber blindness is that to buttress its "reporting," Fox News cites one of Trump's universal offenses against veracity — a tweet: "It is now commonly agreed, after many months of COSTLY looking, that there was NO collusion between Russia and Trump. Was collusion with HC!" Hey, I told you Fox News' story was pathetic.
And then there's the Washington Examiner, which is also under the fabricated impression that the Clinton campaign's oppo-research financing is a "bombshell." Again, the product of that research — the Steele dossier — "that launched the Russian collusion investigation against President Trump must accordingly be thrown out." The Examiner fails to note that the dossier wasn't what launched Mueller's investigation. Trump's justice-obstructing sacking of James Comey did that. Finally, the Examiner concludes with laughable indignation that "After more than a year of turning up no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia" — evidence that in the real world is mounting by the day — "there is more than enough reason to justify disbanding the witch hunt once and for all." This, just as Mueller's meticulously scrupulous grand jury indictments are coming down. One almost feels sorry for editorializing that stupid.
Going down is Donald Trump. Firing Mueller would be a politically suicidal act that would, accordingly, thrust Trump's approval rating into the 20s. The Republican Congress would also be thrust under immense, irresistible pressure to simply reinstate Mueller's official capacity, hence Trump's sacking of him would be as useless as it would be suicidal.
This Christmas the nation's sublime present will be an increasingly besieged Donald Trump — and to my previous speculation I'll add his resignation, sometime in 2018. With Mueller dogging and cornering him, there is no way out, notwithstanding the hysterical rubbish being tossed by his factually alternative propaganda machine. This corrupt, traitorous, mendacious, misogynistic, racist demagogue is going down.