The IG Report Illustrates Why Trump Should Really Be Removed From Office — And Why He Won’t Be
A large part of President Donald Trump’s “genius” is understanding the value of creating a strategic lie, especially one with the power of the presidency behind it. Because many Americans still haven’t fully accepted that our leader is a pathological liar who is more than capable of making up almost anything to further his own self-interest, even his critics in the news media are often very hesitant to immediately call him out on the lie.
Therefore, the lie serves to buy him time against any allegation, effectively freezing the opposition from attacks based on conclusions which may be brought into question if his usually looney allegation was to somehow turn out to be true. Trump then uses the ensuing delay the lie provides him, with the help of his state-run media operation, to get his supporters emotionally invested in a false narrative.
Once his “Cult 45” following has been indoctrinated into Trump’s preferred fairytale, it is nearly impossible for that process to be reversed, regardless of the storyline that the facts eventually support. Trump knows that if he or his minions can’t manufacture their own facts and conclusions (i.e., Bill Barr’s nefarious summary of the Mueller report), he can always just lie again about what the eventual evidence indicates.
There is no better example of this wicked formula than Trump’s claims of a massive and nonsensical conspiracy on the part of the FBI to sabotage his 2016 campaign and resulting presidency. Monday’s release of the long-awaited — and much-hyped by Trump fans eager for their king’s vindication — report by the Trump DOJ’s own Inspector General into the origins of the Russia investigation, proved the president’s always-absurd accusation to be an obvious and blatant lie.
While the report does indicate that significant mistakes were made during parts of the process, there is absolutely no evidence that the investigation was legally illegitimate, or even unfairly biased against Trump. Bizarrely, it even found that the author of the highly-debated “Steele Dossier” was actually once “friendly” with his daughter Ivanka and was not predisposed to having animus against the Trump family.
To remotely rational people, none of this comes as a surprise. After all, the entire theory made no sense on its face because the FBI never publicly divulged any of the information they accumulated about the Trump team’s interactions with Russia until after Trump had already secured the presidency, a position Trump achieved with the overt help of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump then praised and rehired for the job.
In short, if the FBI was somehow engaged in a conspiracy against Trump, it was the most incompetently conceived of and poorly executed plot in modern history.
What really happened here was that Trump, in a desperate attempt to sow distrust of an investigation he feared would be both legally and politically lethal to him, made up a narrative. One which destroyed the lives of several decent public servants and badly damaged the reputation of the FBI in the minds of millions of Americans.
Now that this lie has finally been exposed, Trump is once again using Attorney General Bill Barr as his personal defense lawyer, with Barr outrageously condemning the findings of his own department. It seems obvious that Barr is setting up the next report as the one which will finally find a fig leaf of deception large enough to cover up Trump’s self-serving defaming of America’s own top investigative agency.
These acts are all obvious and unambiguous examples of obstruction of justice and abuse of power by Trump and his lackeys. They flow directly from the Russia investigation that resulted in Mueller’s own, rather tepidly articulated, findings of numerous other acts of plausibly criminal obstruction, which should be an important part of Trump’s impending impeachment.
Amazingly, Trump and the state-run media, under the increasingly popular premise that you never really lose unless you openly admit that you did, are somehow declaring the release of this report as a victory. All you need to know to realize that even they don’t really believe it is that Fox & Friends apparently canceled James Comey’s scheduled appearance on Trump’s favorite talk show, perhaps because they decided there wasn’t enough ammunition in the report with which to effectively attack him.
But this isn’t just about a series of damaging lies that harmed the country all to help Trump dupe his supporters into thinking the Russia investigation was all some sort of bizarre “deep state,” “witch-hunt” “hoax.” It is now imperative that, as we head into what will obviously be the most contentious presidential election in our modern history, we at least begin to contemplate the implications of Trump’s insidious, consistent, and all-too-effective tactic of creating his own reality and then simply not accepting the truth, even when the facts contradicting him are certified by his own people.
After all, Trump appears totally unwilling to accept that, according to all of his own intelligence agencies, Russia, and not Ukraine, meddled in the 2016 election, and, according to his own Inspector General and FBI Director, the FBI was not out to get him during that campaign. Therefore, it is incredibly easy to see him not conceding even an obvious defeat in the 2020 election and, given how he has turned the entire Republican Party, and many of the key people in our government, into his own cult, it is difficult to imagine who might be willing or able to force him to do so.
It would be at that point that Trump’s lies become a very real crisis, one for which there may be no viable solution. That clear and present danger is just one of the many reasons Trump should be removed from office. But, at least in part due to the effectiveness of this special form of deceit, he will not be.
John Ziegler is a senior columnist for Mediaite. He hosts a weekly podcast focusing on news media issues and is documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.