The Dumbo Defense

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

When there is no other defense left your lawyer may turn to the judge and say “look at him, your honor, my client is far too dumb to have done this.”  That is essentially what Lindsey Graham implied when he said that Trump is incapable of committing the high crime he will be impeached for.  It was the last step in a process that started with ‘there was no quid-pro-quo,’ followed by ‘there could not have been a quid-pro-quo because Ukraine didn’t know money was withheld,’ which in turn was followed by ‘Ukraine got the money, so what’s all the fuzz about,’ and finally ‘there was a quid-pro-quo, but it’s not bad enough to impeach the president for.’  That sequence was produced by the release of testimony by Ambassador William Taylor, who made clear that there had been a quid-pro-quo, and the revised testimony of Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who suddenly remembered that he had told the Ukrainians why the money was being withheld.   If that was not bad enough for Trump there was the testimony by Ambassador Yovanovitch, who still feels threatened by the president, and by Lt. Col. Vindman, whom Trump and FOX News are trying to smear.

In light of all that testimony, other than calling the impeachment inquiry ‘a hoax,’ Trump’s only line of attack is now against the whistleblower, whose identity is irrelevant because his story has been completely confirmed.  An attempt by the president to have AG Bill Barr at a televised press conference declare that Trump did nothing wrong backfired, because even Barr can smell a rotten fish and refused.   And things will only get worse for the president when the Intelligence Committee starts having public, televised hearings in the House next week, first with Taylor and then with Yovanovitch, probably soon to be followed by Sondland.  As a former reality TV star Trump knows the power of television, and when it’s not on his side he is terrified by it.  His attempt to block testimony by all government employees has partly failed, and the refusal by current and former White House employees to comply with subpoenas will not slow down the investigation but only produce more articles of impeachment.  On Thursday Trump showed his ignorance about the impeachment process by tweeting that his trial would be held in the House.

Meanwhile Rudy Giuliani’s life doesn’t get easier either.  It became known that Lev Parnas, who himself works for a Ukrainian Mafioso, hired Giuliani as spokesperson for his company ‘Fraud Guarantee.’  Parnas is now apparently pissed off that Trump pretends he doesn’t know him and may soon start ‘singing,’ which would be very bad for Trump and Giuliani.  Hizzoner is panicking and therefore all over the place, one day saying that the State Department asked him to be involved in Ukraine and the next day that he was only there for his client, Donald J. Trump.

In Kentucky the GOP candidate for governor, Matt Bevin, lost the election, something Trump in advance called ‘the biggest defeat in the world’ for himself, because he had campaigned hard for Bevin.  The president claimed that he had increased Bevin’s percentage of the votes by 15%, but the polls show that it’s possible that Trump brought the percentage down.  He might consider doing the same for his former scapegoat Jeff Sessions, who is running for his old Senate seat in Alabama.

After having been booed at the World Series Trump tried to find a friendlier audience at a UFC fight in Manhattan, where he was greeted by boos and some cheers.  For his third attempt the president will kick off the Veterans Day parade in New York, but since he’s known there as ‘corporal bone spurs’ he won’t march in it.  To top the week off Trump was fined $2 million for self-dealing with his foundation.

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