It’s hard to tell which movie we’re watching nowadays. Is it “All the President’s Men,” with some speaking of President Donald J. Trumpet as an “unindicted co-conspirator,” implicated by former personal lawyer Michael Cohen in payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to influence the election? Is it “The Godfather,” with Donnie Two Scoops speaking of former campaign manager Paul “Paulie Smart Suits” Manafort as if he were a loyal capo (as opposed to that weasel Cohen)? Here’s what Don Donaldo Trumpetto tweeted:
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. (The Department of) ‘Justice’ took a 12-year-old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!”
Or are we in the last reel of “Citizen Kane,” with aides wondering if this is the beginning of the end for Citizen Trump?
What’s really obscenely outrageous and outrageously obscene is that Trump thinks there’s nothing wrong with Manafort cheating the government out of millions of dollars (“a 12-year-old case,” as if the IRS has a statute of limitations), but undocumented immigrants at the southern border need to be vilified as they seek a better life. Even now Trump has latched onto the case of the undocumented immigrant charged in the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, who was a University of Iowa sophomore.
“Mollie Tibbetts, an incredible young woman, is now permanently separated from her family,” Trump said. “A person came in from Mexico illegally and killed her. We need the wall. We need our immigration laws changed. We need our border laws changed. We need Republicans to do it, because the Democrats aren’t going to do it.”
No one is saying that this young woman’s death isn’t a tragedy or that we shouldn’t shore up the borders. But the corruption that emanates from the White House is equally important.
How will the convictions of Cohen and Manafort tie into Robert Mueller’s Russkie investigation? We don’t know yet.
The road took two new twists Tuesday. But it is one road.