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AdLib On December - 17 - 2018

Trump resign

The walls are closing in on Donald Trump…but what happens when they close on him completely?

The hesitation of prosecutors in the Department of Justice to indict a sitting president, due to questionable memos in the past by the DoJ’s Office of Legal Counsel (in each case, these memos were only issued under Presidents who had good reason to feel vulnerable to being indicted, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton), could mean that impeachment may be the only route to pursue Trump for proven crimes.

While impeachment could pass in The House, two-thirds of The Senate would have to agree to remove Trump under impeachment. It’s reasonable to assume that this Trump-loyal GOP would be unlikely to remove their own party’s president from office no matter the evidence of his guilt in even traitorous crimes (so far they have had no problem with Trump embracing Russia and Vladamir Putin while undermining America’s intelligence services, law enforcement, the press, foreign allies and our democracy).

Despite the crimes Trump may be proven to have committed, the end result could be that a proven and sociopathic criminal remains in power over the United States and much of the world.

Hopefully in such a situation, considering that some of his likely crimes were committed during the election and may have helped him steal the power of the presidency from American voters, prosecutors may feel a necessity and responsibility to pursue criminally indicting him. Election crimes could be their best argument in court to proceed with indictments against Trump while in office.

If they do move forward with indicting him, Trump will immediately file suit against the constitutionality of that. The case will rise to the Supreme Court (where his toady Brett Kavanaugh will have the chance to pay back his patron and fellow assaulter of women by calling the indictment of a sitting president unconstitutional).

The outcome in the SCOTUS would be questionable and here too, despite undeniable evidence of crimes, Trump could remain unprosecuted and in the White House.

So how could America pry Trump out of power if he’s guilty of serious crimes but impeachment and prosecution of him won’t do the trick? Would there be any way to make him resign?

The answer to that may be yes.

Trump knows he holds the powerful card of the pardon to avoid the prosecution or verdict against any family member or co-conspirator so their imprisonment can’t necessarily be used by prosecutors to pressure Trump to resign.

Prosecutors could come to him saying that they would still be able to indict him before the statute of limitations run out on his crimes if he loses in 2020. The problem here is that if Trump wins re-election in 2020, that’s irrelevant and even more potent is that even if Trump loses in 2020, he could officially resign the day before the new president is inaugurated and a one-day-president Mike Pence could pardon him (he’s also claimed he can self-pardon but that is disputed by most knowledgeable constitutional scholars).

The secret to leverage over Trump, having the power to force him to resign, is to remember what he values most. Even more than his children or his wife, more than publicity, even more than being in the White House, what Trump wants and needs most…is his wealth. A Donald Trump that has no money, no property or business, isn’t Donald Trump. He needs to be wealthy, he needs to be “a winner”, his image is who Donald Trump is and without that, he would see himself as nothing.

So, prosecutors need to keep pulling on the threads that lead from the Trump Organization and Trump to the commission of financially-related crimes. Whether for money laundering and tax evasion, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (which forbids bribery), conspiracies with organized crime in the U.S. and abroad, election fraud and campaign finance violations, if Mueller and/or other Feds dig deep enough to prove financial crimes have been committed by The Trump Organization and Trump himself that warrant seizing its and his “dirty” assets…they will also have the most powerful leverage to negotiate with Trump to resign.

Trump can pardon people but he can’t pardon companies or stop the Feds from seizing criminally obtained wealth and property from a company or individual. Pardons only apply to criminal prosecutions…not civil suits from the Feds, IRS, etc.

So, Robert Mueller could sit down with Trump and his lawyers and explain to him that he has him dead to rights on financial crimes and that they will be going after his and his organization’s assets…but if Trump wants to make a deal, to preserve most of his wealth and avoid criminal indictments that the Supreme Court may yet approve of, he will have to agree to resign.

Faced with the prospect of taking such a deal or staying in office but losing much or even all of his money and property along with the money and assets of The Trump Organization, it is hard to imagine Trump would choose to stay.

The pursuit of evidence of criminal activity by the Trump Organization and Donald Trump is underway in any case. The cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and guilty pleas by Michael Cohen have already hit paydirt in pursuing campaign finance crimes committed by Trump and his organization.

In October of this year, The New York Times published a blockbuster investigation that demonstrated Trump, his father and other family members engaged in tax evasion and fraud regarding at least $413 million dollars Trump was given and inherited. It’s also well documented that Trump sold a Palm Beach estate he bought for $41 million to a Russian oligarch four years later, in the midst of The Great Recession, for $95 million, more than double what he paid in a thriving real estate market at a time when real estate values tanked.

The evidence already in the public screams of the crimes of tax evasion and money laundering by Trump and his organization. Who knows what Mueller and other Feds have uncovered along the way? Ironically, it was financial sanctions that led Russia to collude with and support Trump’s election and it could be financial sanctions that force Trump from office.

It would be up to Mueller and other Feds if going right at Trump to resign or face indictment and seizure of his and his company’s wealth should be the first step taken or the final hammer after other avenues have failed. It may depend on how dangerously they view Trump, based on the crimes and conspiracies they uncover.

Would it be a fair deal for the nation to get Trump to resign but let him off the hook for his crimes in stealing the White House and selling out our democracy to Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc. to benefit himself and his family?

It may be the best deal for Americans. Keep in mind that despite any deals Trump could make with Mueller and the Feds, New York’s Attorney General would be free to continue down the path of investigating state crimes against Trump, his family and his organization, including tax evasion and fraud. Trump could still see his wealth seized as well as criminal trials ahead of him.

And after all of this, who would want to lend money to or even try to launder money with Trump? Who would want to risk partnering with him? Even without any criminal conviction or losing most of his wealth, Trump would be radioactive in the business world. Not even criminally-minded oligarchs would want to get into bed with someone who may still be under the Fed’s magnifying glass?

The tables could be turned on Trump, he could go from giving a payoff to an adult film actress to protect his election, to accepting a payoff himself to protect Americans from his election.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

8 Responses so far.

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  1. jjgravitas says:

    Trump has no class whatsoever. He won’t leave voluntarily, doesn’t have that kind of class. But he’s guilty of dozens of crimes, as POTUS and before. He won’t leave until he’s tried and convicted of so many crimes that Congress will have no choice but to impeach him and kick him out of office using whatever Constitutional tool they have available. All this should be gradually chipping away at the fantasy world Trump lives in. And when that comes crashing down, …

    • AdLib says:

      It is a legit concern that when Trump is completely cornered that he may do something horrible out of vindictiveness.

      But leaving him alone to be above the law would be just as dangerous.

      Nope, he won’t leave voluntarily so he either needs to be forced out by impeachment and removal, making a plea deal to protect his crime family and wealth or ultimately, in the 2020 election.

      One way or another, he will be disposed of before too long.

  2. kesmarn says:

    AdLib, I think you nailed it when you noted that Trump’s money means more to him than anything — including friends, family and — who knows? — maybe even life itself.

    I heard a suggestion somewhat similar to what you’re describing here a few weeks ago (I think it was an interview on NPR, but I can’t recall the interviewee. Curse you, inefficient brain cells!) Only in this person’s scenario, the deal was: “Donald, you agree not to run for a second term and we’ll hold off on any impeachment/prosecution activity.” Each side’s commitment would be contingent upon the other side’s sticking to the bargain.

    I don’t think this is quite as desirable (and morally acceptable) an option as the one you’re proposing here. But I wonder if it might be more doable? I honestly don’t know…

    • AdLib says:

      Yes, I don’t see that simply offering to delay prosecution of Trump is much of an incentive for him to resign or not run in 2020. And frankly, that’s a pretty weak goal to simply ask him to not run for re-election when he’s going to lose to a Dem if he does run.

      I could only see getting him to resign this term as worth negotiating away prosecutions of him, let alone his family.

      Until this month, I saw the possibility of Trump resigning as very slight. Now, seeing all of the crosshairs lining up on Trump and his crime family from (literally) 17 different directions right now, I think it is much more viable.

      It depends on his ego and ability to believe his own BS. If he buys his lies that polls mean nothing and he can still win re-election (and escape the statutes of limitations of his many crimes), he may run no matter what.

      And if he does, I think he will take the whole GOP down with him.

      Though a GOP primary without Trump would be even more insane as Repubs tried to do their best Trump imitations for core voters who will still follow Trump like the cult members they are.

      • kesmarn says:

        AdLib, the fact that the Trump “Charitable” Foundation is shutting down and that he’s buckling on the demand for $5 billion for the wall makes me wonder whether he’s losing a bit of his swagger. And whether resignation might be looking more appealing.

        But it’s always hard to tell with this guy. Just when you think he’s down for the count, he pops back up again.

        And scares all the little children.

        • AdLib says:

          Oh, he’s losing his swagger alright. He lost in court two times in the last two days too, his turning away immigrants BS was struck down and today Sessions’ declaration that immigrants fleeing gangs and domestic violence can’t apply for sanctuary was struck down.

          So much winning!

  3. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    I agree with you Ad Lib. For the good of the nation a deal will have to be struck and what you suggest strikes me as a reasonable course of action. Let me add that the deal will have to be an umbrella that protects his immediate family…….next to his money, his daughter, his sons, and his wife (maybe?) come next. But they too will not be free from pursuit by other jurisdictions. Those jurisdictions would be less motivated to offer deals (but may be dragged into a cooperative agreement with Mueller IF Trump hangs tough.

    Now what about Pence. He is clearly implicated in numerous acts of malfeasance. He would have to go as well in which case the President is….drum roll please…..Nancy Pelosi.

    Another way this could go is that Pence, hoping to save his skin, invokes the 25th with the Cabinet, backed by House on appeal, and he becomes acting President. Would he have pardon powers? I suspect so. But then Pence could (would?) find himself as ground zero for investigation and removal. Of course, he could make a deal and step down too which results in….drum roll please….Nancy Pelosi.

    What a hoot!

    P.S. Your fine piece belongs on other sites……may I suggest….you know….

    • AdLib says:

      Agreed Murph, Mueller and the Feds would have to agree not to prosecute Trump’s kids and son-in-law to make the deal complete. And as you say, they would still be vulnerable to prosecution by NY and other states and most importantly, civil judgements against all of them by Fed entities like the IRS should not be included. Only their criminal prosecution should be part of a deal. They shouldn’t be allowed to keep money they obtained through the commission of crimes.

      Pence led the transition and was brought in by Manafort, I’m sure Mueller has a lot of very surprising and damning evidence on Pence’s dealings with Russia and as part of the conspiracy to accept the bribe of Russian help in the election in exchange for removing sanctions against them. If that proof is there as I think it will be, he should be impeached and indicted as well.

      Then, as you say, the Repub nightmare of President Pelosi could come true.

      I didn’t address Pence in the article because I wanted the focus to be on the issue of removing a criminal from the WH, as opposed to clearing a path for Dems to take over the WH.

      It may happen in any case and if the cases can be proven against Pence too, they should be pursued. However, especially if Trump resigned then Pence was impeached and removed, we know that the RW would be whipped up especially by Trump, to call such a series of events “a coup” and Dems will be on the defensive through 2020.

      No one should be above the law and if Trump can be forced to resign then Pence can be proven to have committed crimes, he should be removed too but I can imagine violent protests of Trumpers as well as the commitment by Repubs to impeach every Dem that becomes president.

      I wonder if the least explosive scenario might turn out to be forcing Trump to resign and pursuing the crimes Pence may have committed while he finishes up Trump’s term, with the GOP in such disarray in 2020 that Dems easily win the WH and Congress by big margins.

      Trump is an immediate and existential threat, he needs to go ASAP. Pence is such a slimy liar and hateful person and he shouldn’t be above the law but I would be concerned about setting the precedent of installing a president that wasn’t voted in nationally.

      Because knowing the Repubs, instead of that happening again in the future due to circumstances, I can imagine them trying to engineer such a “coup” against Dems, framing or entrapping them to install their future House Speaker to get even.

      We’ve seen in WI, MI, OH, NC and elsewhere, how Repubs won’t hesitate to slam a wrecking ball into our democracy (let alone the Trump madness), I can imagine the takedown of Trump and Pence to make them feel free to do absolutely anything to take back power.

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