Trump tantrum after Cohen raid reaffirms his unfitness for office

Trump tantrum after Cohen raid reaffirms his unfitness for office
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The president of the United States needs to stop lying to the American people, denigrating our Democratic institutions and weakening our country in an effort to save his own political hide.

Enough is enough. Republicans, who mostly have looked the other way, must finally put country, democracy and America’s safety before party, political expediency and partisan agenda. The American people are watching.

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In the wake of the heart-stopping news that the FBI had raided the home of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the political universe girded its loins for an explosive reaction from the occupant of the Oval Office.

 

Sadly, Trump didn’t disappoint. And sadly, that reaction was riddled with lies, smears and gross accusations that are not only designed to discredit and dishonor our legal system and institutions, but ironically, proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump is unequivocally unfit for the presidency.

He lacks the temperament, character, knowledge, emotional maturity and intellect to be commander in chief.

Trump’s most recent blistering tirades have been jaw-dropping both in their inaccuracies as well as in their telegraphing the real possibility that he will soon fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna: 'I'm not there yet' on impeachment MORE. Such an act would very possibly (according to legal experts on both sides of the aisle) cause a constitutional crisis.

Trump claims several untruths: that nothing has been found thus far in this investigation; that they have found absolutely no collusion; that the whole thing is a partisan witch hunt; and that the sacrosanct attorney-client privilege is dead.

First off, Mueller’s team has found plenty, which is why Trump has been worried sick from the beginning and why he cannot even pretend to act innocent. As Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has said of him, “If you are innocent, act like it!”

Thus far, since Mueller was appointed special counsel nine months ago to investigate possible connections between the Trump camp and Russian officials, Mueller has issued more than 100 criminal counts against 19 people and three companies.

Five of the people include three close Trump associates who have pled guilty. Others include 13 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential elections.

Second, Trump claims Mueller has found no collusion. The truth is that we don’t know what Mueller has found or will find. What we do know is both that what he has found is substantive and serious, and that the investigation is a long time away from being completed. Monday’s news of the Cohen raid proves both points.

Third, Trump’s long-time accusation that this whole thing is a partisan witch hunt just does not bear out when you look at the facts. The key people who had to approve, justify and allow the Cohen raid to move forward are not only all Republicans, but most are Trump appointees!

There is special counsel Mueller, Republican; Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsJeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general House Democrats leave empty chair for McGahn at hearing MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump MORE, Republican; Deputy AG Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinJake Tapper fact-checks poster Trump admin created describing Mueller investigation Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller MORE, Republican; interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman, Republican; and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Republican.

To believe this is a partisan witch hunt is to believe that your own party and your own appointees are out to get you. The truth is two-fold: These are stand-up professionals who are doing their job for their country, and there was clearly evidence of potential wrongdoing and possible criminality for the drastic step of the Cohen raid to take place.

But it is clearly easier and, in Trump’s eyes, more politically expedient for him to cry Democratic partisanship than to admit that there is trouble on the horizon. After all, everything points to the fact that he very well may have things to hide.

Lastly, many legal experts, former prosecutors and U.S. attorneys appearing on cable news, have lamented how irresponsible it is for the president to publicly claim that attorney-client privilege is dead.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but again, the truth is irrelevant to Trump if it helps him with his base to bend it or to wholly throw it out. But even more outrageous is the underlying assumption that accompanies this outrageous claim: that attorney-client privilege trumps everything else — even illegality and criminal behavior.

Legal expert after legal expert have declared under no uncertain terms that the attorney-client privilege is alive and well and that it is not all encompassing. This means that it has its limits, and it cannot be used to shield an attorney or a client from the law.

As much as we are served chaos inside of mayhem wrapped in discombobulation on a daily basis from this White House, we should have faith that our democratic institutions will withstand the unbounded unfitness of this president.

We should know that even Republicans will stand for country before party. Some already have and are becoming the targets of this unhinged president.

But there is no question that many more need to do so — especially in Congress, which Republicans control. It is comforting that at least Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Chances for disaster aid deal slip amid immigration fight MORE (R-Ky.) has just joined Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNo agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Ex-White House photographer roasts Trump: 'This is what a cover up looked like' under Obama Pelosi: Trump 'is engaged in a cover-up' MORE (D-N.Y.) in urging Trump not to fire special counsel Mueller.

Republicans need to take the extraordinary step of legislating protections for Mueller. This will start to prove that they have reached their limit of allowing an anything-goes attitude from this White House.

But will this be enough to stop this off-the-rails POTUS from throwing the country into a constitutional crisis by attempting to fire Mueller anyway?

Only time will tell, and the midterm elections will too. This November will provide a golden opportunity for the American people to continue the country’s much-needed course correction to mitigate the damage this aberration of a presidency has inflicted on this great country.

Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.