Trump World Is Worried And Waiting For The Next Shoe To Drop

Obviously, this country has been saturated in media coverage of Trump, his world, and his movement since 2015. During the entirety of that time, it always seemed as though during any given month, the right revelation might bring the whole thing toppling down. Perhaps Trump has always been one revelation from oblivion. But according to the people around him, those who constitute what is often referenced as “Trump world,” he and they have never been closer to toppling than now, according to MSNBC’s Jonathan Lemire.

Lemire told the Morning Joe crew that the situation is palpably different than when Trump and his associates felt bulletproof:

“Yeah, for most of Trump’s time in office and even in his first months out of office, those around him felt like he was almost bulletproof, that he could get by any scandal here.

“Whether it was the Mueller probe or some congressional investigations, even impeachment, that he emerged largely politically unscathed.”

Not so now:

That has changed, and in this story (Referencing a story in Politico), We talked to a number of people in the former president’s orbit who have been downright spooked by recent developments in Atlanta, D.C., the Jan. 6 committee and, the last few days, dozens of Trump aides received subpoenas. Some had their phones seized, including Mr. Pillow, and there’s a sense here, there’s paranoia in Trump world as to who might be cooperating. Text chains have gone silent. There are worries about who might be talking to investigators, and they worry that aides tell us they could be next.

Trump world has been paranoid from day one. For it to get this extreme, it would take the belief that they were now turning on each other. Additionally, no one worries about others talking if there isn’t fear that if the truth got out, there would be trouble.

“DOJ is working quietly, but even the sight of the former president arriving in Washington the other day sparked fears in his orbit that perhaps he was being called in by the Department of Justice.

“Turns out he was visiting his golf course in suburban Virginia. The sense from Trump world, each and every day, there’s a bad headline, another shoe is set to drop, and they do worry that there’s more below the surface they’re not seeing it. This is the most worried the Trump world has ever been, I would say, of the possibility of legal peril for the former president.”

Good. They should be worried. There are, by a rough count, four different criminal acts that could take Trump down, and all of them have evidence that is out in the open, almost impossible to refute.

There is the alternate electors case. The case would center on fraud. Conveniently for prosecutors, fraud was literally part of the plan. In a sense, the very existence of alternate electors proves the attempted fraud. However, it would be an unusual fraud case, and there could conceivably be some defenses.

There is the insurrection case. Call it a seditious conspiracy or an attempt to obstruct Congress. Again, two-thirds of this crime was committed on television, and there is powerful evidence from texts and testimony (Cassidy Hutchinson). Another one of those “shoes” dropped yesterday in that the Committee announced that it had retrieved a massive cache of evidence from the Secret Service, including texts, radio calls, and emails, some of which are directly pertinent to their investigation. Prosecuting this case would be a massive endeavor, but the sheer number of people who witnessed critical events, from the rallygoers to Mark Meadows, to the Secret Service, to Mike Pence, makes it a case that could bring Trump down. It is also a case centered on the first violent interruption of the transfer of power, an attempted coup of Congress, which makes it one of the most serious in the country’s history.

There is the Georgia case where, again, Trump is on tape basically asking others to join him in breaking the law. The weakest part of the Georgia case is that it is a state prosecution, and thus it’s slightly easier to demonize the local prosecutor. One wonders why Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis hasn’t called DOJ and asked for a joint task-force investigation and a federal prosecution (There simply must be a similar federal law). Regardless, again, the evidence is on tape, ready to go.

And then there is the case that some of us still believe is both the easiest to prove, the most dangerous, and perhaps even more serious than the seditious conspiracy. Trump had the files, which is nearly proof enough for a conviction for wrongful possession. Trump probably lied to his attorneys about giving up all the documents, where they were located, or both, and that would prove obstruction of justice. But, of course, the “big hammer” is if the FBI can prove the “nefarious purposes” that they suspect motivated Trump to risk keeping these files. Records that describe another country’s military and nuclear posture are not keepsakes. It goes without saying that the big fear is that this information was for sale, and perhaps some information has already been sold. If so, then we have an ex-president who sold out his country by selling its deepest secrets, espionage at the highest levels, Rosenberg-level, a scenario at least as serious as the insurrection.

It is tough to know which case is the one that most worries “Trump world.” But the last one would be a good guess, given that there is news that the affidavit required testimony from people “inside” Trump world. It is just a guess, and guesses aren’t worth much. What isn’t a guess is that Lemire has the access and the integrity to report on what he’s really hearing and sensing when talking to “Trump world.”

They’re paranoid. They’re more scared than ever. They’re waiting for the next shoe to drop. They’re wondering whether they should talk because they suspect others are talking. And they sense that Trump isn’t bullet-proof anymore, which certainly means that they are vulnerable and that one of the above four or a combination thereof can take Trump and some of them down.

Good. They should feel vulnerable and in peril. In some ways, it feels like the last seven years constitute an ongoing drama, waiting for “the shoe to drop.”