No, Mr. President, the FBI Raid on Your Personal Lawyer Was NOT an ‘Attack on Our Country’
The British setting fire to the White House in 1814 was an attack on our country. The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor was an attack on our country. The plane hijackings on 9/11 were an attack on our country.
The FBI raid on President Donald Trump’s personal attorney — approved by multiple law enforcement agencies, including some from of his own administration — was clearly NOT an “attack on our country,” in contradiction to the president’s bizarre statement today. And for Trump to claim that it was an “attack on our country” was completely morally outrageous, and perhaps the best indication yet that he knows he is in some sort of serious legal trouble.
If someone (other than a member of Trump’s “Cult 45”) knew absolutely nothing of the details of the special counsel’s investigation into the Trump campaign, and only watched the president’s bizarre “press conference” in reaction to the news of the raid on Michael Cohen, I would like to believe that they would already have grave suspicions about Trump’s guilt. In fact, I can’t think of anything Trump would have done differently if we knew for certain that he is facing legal peril.
Here’s a partial list of all the things that Trump said that are far more consistent with his guilt than innocence:
- Trump claimed that a totally legitimate raid, without any form of factual rebuttal, on his personal lawyer is an “attack on our country,” which is literally the last bastion of a scoundrel who has no other recourse than to wrap themselves in our flag all for their own selfish protection.
- Trump charged that his own FBI “broke into” in his lawyer’s office, which is totally absurd given the absolute fact that they did so legally after having gotten a search warrant, with an extremely high legal threshold, to do the exploration.
- Trump lied numerous times, vaguely alluding to wacky “conservative” media conspiracy theories, about the process of the Mueller investigation, which may not have even been directly responsible for the raid.
- Trump totally contradicted himself (yet again) on the firing of then FBI Director James Comey by claiming that Rob Rosenstein’s explanation — that Comey was too tough on Hillary Clinton — was somehow the legitimate justification for the action.
- Trump lied about the Mueller investigation’s conclusions, erroneously claiming that he had already determined that there was “no collusion” between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
- Trump once again threatened to create a legitimate constitutional crisis by firing Mueller, which technically he can’t even do directly, even setting the very thinnest of foundations for doing so by claiming that “many people” (on Fox News) are saying that he should.
- Trump viciously condemned his own Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and insanely claimed that he never would have named Jeff Sessions Attorney General if he had known he was going to (properly) recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
- Trump went into a long and convoluted rant about how horrible Hillary Clinton is, which was not only well below even a Sean Hannity-grade attack on her, but completely irrelevant to the issue, except to throw raw meat to his “Cult 45” base of support.
- Trump took a page from the Bill Clinton’s “Impeachment Survival Playbook” by touting how supposedly great things are in America right now and how it is all imperiled by this this “witch hunt” investigation (even hilariously blaming a minor stock market decline, which was meager compared to those caused by his trade war with China, on the news of the Cohen raid).
- Trump continually whined about Mueller not hearing his side of the story, seemingly oblivious to the reality that after long ago boasting that he was eager to give Mueller an interview under oath, he has tellingly resisted answering Mueller’s questions at all.
There are two primary takeaways from this breathtaking display of hubris and narcissism. One, Trump must know, or at least fear, that he is in potentially big legal trouble. Two, even after over a year of being president of the United States, he is still such a self-centered and truly horrible person that he is willing to say, and probably do, literally anything to salvage his own hide, even at the potential expense of our form of government.
No one who is being honest knows for sure what the future looks like from here, but it sure looks like each possible road leads to some level of darkness.
John Ziegler 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.