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Ten Quick Thoughts on the Beginning of the End of the Trump Presidency

(Update: The Special Counsel has stated that part of the story referenced in this post is inaccurate. Buzzfeed is standing by its story. I’ll leave my article as it is. And whether the Buzzfeed story holds or not, I’ll stick with my take that we’ve entered the beginning of the end.)

According to Buzzfeed News: President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project. This is obviously huge and could represent a turning point in what seems like a never-ending drip-dropping of news that continually confirms what we assumed about Trump. Consider that this latest news comes just days after we learned that the FBI thought the president might be a Russian agent. After two years of investigations and intense reporting, we’ve learned one thing over and over: Everything you think he may have done, he did. Everything.

  1. To borrow a line from a Passover Haggadah, “why is this night different from all other nights?” For the average News Junkie, Resistance Member, Maddow Addict, every night seems like a massive news night. What has changed? In a word: Mattis. The clock was ticking on Trump the day he refused to follow military advice from his Secretary of Defense slash Last Adult in the Room (and issued the order to remove troops from Syria). At the moment he broke with Mattis and started relying on his infamous gut, the risk of having him in the White House became extreme and urgent. The leaks about what he’s done began pouring out. They won’t stop until he’s out.
  2. But wait, how can we be sure that this story is true? Isn’t Buzzfeed a site known for goofy lists and clickbait quizzes? Yes. But they’ve also done some remarkable journalism. There are two key reasons to assume this story is true: First, Buzzfeed’s Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier have been all over the Moscow Trump Tower story for years. They’ve been killing it. They’ve been careful. They’ve been right. And second, their latest reporting is in line with everything we know about Trump. At this point, is it particularly difficult to imagine Donald Trump being party to a lie?
  3. The next Buzzfeed Quiz should be: Which kind of federal prisoner will you be?
  4. We need a new model for dealing with a full on criminal in the White House. The Founders never imagined a crook like this in the office or a populace stupid enough to look at this pile of garbage and see a president.
  5. The worst stories are hitting Trump at a moment when he is facing off against Nancy Pelosi. It’s hard for even so-called liberal news orgs to just come out and say that Trump is totally outmatched by Pelosi. But this is matchup of one of the most effective politicians of an era against one of the least. Trump entered the White House with a horrible reputation. Somehow, being president has made it even worse. The Oval Office is currently occupied by someone who couldn’t get hired to be the next organizer of the Fyre Festival.
  6. Rudy Giuliani responded to the latest bombshell by saying, “If you believe Cohen I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge.” Giuliani has now moved the goalposts so far that not even Cody Parkey could hit the uprights.
  7. Doesn’t it seem a little crazy that the Senate is holding confirmation hearings for an Attorney General candidate picked by a guy who’s closely connected to several major federal crimes? I’m asking for a friend (a friend named America.)
  8. They don’t serve Hamberders in the joint.
  9. I know. We’ve been here before. A night with a big story that seems to portend the demise of Trump. And then the cycle begins again. This really is different in terms of the gravity of the charge and its timing. The Russian connection, the election meddling, the Tower… It all fits together. The whole story makes sense and none of the denials do. In 180 days, I’d be less surprised to see the Oval Office occupied by WeWork than Donald Trump.
  10. Mexico is going to pay for the prison.

Dave Pell writes NextDraft, a quick, smart rundown of the day’s news.

I write NextDraft, a quick and entertaining look at the day’s most fascinating news.

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