Blockbuster scandal news rocks GOP midterm prospects

Blockbuster scandal news rocks GOP midterm prospects
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Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE rocked the Russian deep state that is attacking America by securing the indictments of 12 Russian military officers, shortly before President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE rocked our democratic allies by again praising Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who ordered the attack against us.

Americans woke up Wednesday morning to news of a “secret tape” of Trump talking with his former “fixer” Michael Cohen about money allegedly changing hands to silence another woman with whom Trump allegedly had a relationship. 

Stay tuned for future news of additional Trump tapes, emails or other forms of dirty deeds disclosed through various means.

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The first of two major criminal trials involving former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortJuan Williams: Mueller, one year on Juan Williams: Will the GOP ever curb Trump? Nadler seeks interviews with DOJ prosecutors that left Stone case MORE, who many analysts believe faces a dark legal future, is set to begin next week. 

 

The pressure on Manafort to reach a plea bargain with the Feds is intense. The legal consequences of a deal, which is a real possibility, would be earthshaking.

If the Manafort case proceeds to trial next week, there will be a flood of evidence presented that would shine a spotlight on the dark side of Manafort’s various relationships. If a plea deal is announced, all hell would break loose, legally and politically.

Similarly, the pressure on Cohen to reach a plea deal with the Feds is intense. A treasure trove of evidence has now been turned over to the federal government, including a number of tapes as well as other means of communication. Most likely, the near future will bring news of indictments against Cohen or a major plea deal will be announced.

The Manafort trial and potential plea deals, the Cohen case and potential plea deals, new indictments and future plea deals and a steady stream of breaking scandal stories reported by leading news organizations promise to plague the GOP through the midterm elections and beyond.

Scandal-related problems plaguing the GOP occur with the backdrop of the larger issues raised by Trump’s recent performances at the NATO summit, where he castigated democratic leaders, and his meeting with Putin, where he praised the Russian dictator who is attacking our democracy.

The steady stream of negative news flow is destined to continue indefinitely and escalate to white-hot intensity as the midterm voting comes closer.

Democrats believe the attack on health care by Trump Republicans is a scandal that will raise insurance premiums to punishing heights for countless millions of Americans. Democrats believe the Trump attack against insurance customers with pre-existing conditions is a scandal that should be resisted and defeated.

There will be stories about crony capitalist scandals from certain administration officials and stories about payoffs involving scandals we already know about and probably others we will discover. There will be stories about how Putin attacks America and stories about how Mueller prosecutes those guilty of the attacks.  

Republicans face a political death trap. They know that Trump retains strong support in the Republican base, which they can ill afford to lose in November, but also generates intense opposition from the much larger number of voters who are not in the GOP base, who will vote against them in November.

With every new scandal story, Democrats across America take the offensive, while Republicans across America are forced to defend or condemn the scandalous behavior.  

With every new insurance premium increase story, Democrats take the offensive, while Republicans have to defend the indefensible.

With every new Russia revelation, every new indictment and every new plea bargain the news flow in the coming months gives Democrats the upper hand and raises the danger to Republicans to potentially catastrophic heights.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.