Thursday, October 22, 2020


We know that President Trump actually believes it's possible to initiate an investigation into Joe Biden that will lead to an indictment between now and the election.
President Trump on Tuesday called on Attorney General William Barr to “appoint somebody” to launch an investigation into his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter before Election Day, now just two weeks away.

“We’ve got to get the attorney general to act,” Trump said in a telephone interview with “Fox & Friends” when asked whether a special prosecutor should be appointed to probe unverified allegations against the Bidens. “He’s got to act. And he’s got to act fast. He’s got to appoint somebody. This is major corruption, and this has to be known about before the election.”
But since we're not quite far enough down the road to totalitarianism for that to happen, it appears that Trump will settle for the next-best thing.
President Trump and his advisers have repeatedly discussed whether to fire FBI Director Christopher A. Wray after Election Day — a scenario that also could imperil the tenure of Attorney General William P. Barr as the president grows increasingly frustrated that federal law enforcement has not delivered his campaign the kind of last-minute boost that the FBI provided in 2016, according to people familiar with the matter.

The conversations among the president and senior aides stem in part from their disappointment that Wray in particular but Barr as well have not done what Trump had hoped — indicate that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden or other Biden associates are under investigation, these people say.
I assume Trump is saying this because he genuinely believes he'll win the election. But if he doesn't -- if Biden wins unambiguously -- I wonder if Trump will try a last-ditch gambit to save his presidency.

Even of Biden wins by a large Electoral College and popular vote margin, he won't officially be the president-elect until states certify the vote totals, electors vote in the individual states, the electors' vote tallies are transmitted to Congress, and Congress ratifies the Electoral College results. The voting takes place on December 14; congressional ratification happens on January 6.

If Trump doesn't win, and loses so badly he can't plausibly contest the outcome, he might still spend the rest of his presidency demanding that the FBI and Justice Department indict Biden before the Electoral College vote, in the hope that he can persuade Biden electors to abandon him. Maybe he'll hold out hope until January -- sure, he'll think, the Electoral College voted for Biden, but Congress can't possibly certify him if he's been indicted, right?

Trump won't get what he wants. But I think he'll continue demanding it, because demanding that people satisfy his whims and cravings is what he usually does all day, isn't it?

No comments: