I bring this up because much of America believes every word Limbaugh utters:
This is not about the evidence. This is not about (certainly) any exculpatory evidence. This is about furthering the narrative that Trump’s election is illegitimate, and this is designed to move forward whatever efforts there are that we don’t know about yet to impeach Trump and to get rid of him....And why this conspiracy so vast? Because the Deep State is all-powerful -- more powerful than even the greatest man on earth, Donald Trump!
The point is that the Democrats and the media have so stoked this story that their base believes it. And the Democrats on this committee and the Democrats in the Senate, the Democrats everywhere, are literally scared to death of the day when it will be officially announced that there was no collusion, when this Comey investigation ends and they can’t prove any collusion between Trump and the Russians.
They are scared to death of that day, of what their base is gonna do.
They need their base continuing to donate money. They need their base continuing to remain engaged, and they have used this story — that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election. They have used this story to excuse the fact that they lost. They’ve used this story to excuse the fact that they had a lousy candidate, to excuse the fact that she ran a lousy campaign, to excuse the fact that she’s very unlikable, to excuse the fact that they were so arrogant and condescending in assuming they were gonna win that they didn’t even really make a serious effort.
All of that has to be covered up. There is no way, in fact, that they could have lost unless the election was stolen from them. And so this narrative has been out there. And it has been fed. The New York Times and the Washington Post and CNN have fed it with stories of wiretapping and any number of things to indicate that Trump was under investigation and that evidence was being accrued and that evidence is being found. There isn’t any evidence! The Democrat Party base voter has essentially been told a humongous lie. I don’t think when this all started it ever was intended to get this big, but it kept feeding on itself.
And now they’ve got nowhere to go.
These hearings today, what happened last week and the week before that, what happened during the transition period… What all of this is can be explained simply by saying, “Look at how terrified they are in the Washington-New York establishment, of Donald Trump and draining the swamp.” The Never Trumpers on both sides of the aisle. There are conservative Never Trumpers today celebrating over the fact that Comey made it official that there’s an investigation of Trump and colluding with the Russians.I think Trump is going to survive this. You probably disagree, but you probably wouldn't have predicted that Chris Christie would finish out his term after Bridgegate. With rare exceptions, the folks at the top never get what's coming to them.
These people know that there isn’t any evidence of this, but that doesn’t matter. What everybody in Washington supports is the smearing, the slander, and the libel of Donald Trump. And these hearings today? The FBI director, James Comey, is trying to save the jobs of a lot of people. He’s trying to save the careers of a whole lot of people — his included — in, I think, an inappropriate way. And the Republicans in this committee? Look folks, I’ve been waiting. I’ve been patiently waiting. I’ve been trying to hold it, keep the powder dry. But the Republicans on this committee…
... the purpose of this is to further the narrative that Trump is illegitimate, that he should not be president, that his election was the result of tampering by the Russians. So the objective is that Trump either stops this reform business he’s got, stops this drain-the-swamp stuff, and starts letting the Washington Republicans run the town again, or they’re gonna impeach him.
That’s the message being sent today: “You either straighten up and fly right or you’re gone.”
“We’re coming for you,” is the message of these hearings today.
A few Trumpers -- Mike Flynn, Roger Stone, maybe one or two others -- could face consequences. Most of the current White House will skate. That's my prediction.
But if Trump is brought down, or survives as a wounded president, he'll be the biggest martyr in the history of modern conservatism. Regardless of what facts emerge, the faithful will believe to their dying days that this was a vast conspiracy on the part of the swamp itself to remain in power, as Limbaugh says. (No, they don't think multiple Goldman Sachsers and DeVos and all the Mercers' pals are swamp creatures. Patriotic midlevel intelligence bureaucrats? They're the swamp.) They'll believe that every bit of evidence was fabricated. They'll believe that Trump's failure to bring all the manufacturing jobs back, zero out Mexican and Muslim immigration, destroy ISIS, and otherwise Make America Great Again will be because the Deep State stabbed him in the back.
This is not the Nixon era. The conservative faithful are never going to acknowledge wrongdoing on the part of Team Trump.