Regardless of what did or did not happen, the president’s credibility is in trouble. And that matters. David French is right, there is no clean way out of this mess. But the American public needs to be aware of what is going on here. The president may have made a big, big, even criminal mistake, or he may not have – we don’t know yet. We also don’t know whether that mistake/crime, if committed, was committed with intent or is simply a “rookie mistake.” In some ways that does not matter, as the WSJ pointed out in the first link:
Millions of Americans recognized Mr. Trump’s flaws but decided he was a risk worth taking. They assumed, or at least hoped, that he’d rise to the occasion and the demands of the job. If he cannot, he’ll betray their hopes as his Presidency sinks before his eyes.
But a rookie mistake, while consequential, is forgivable provided we can have assurances it won’t happen again. But intent? Well that deserves the most extreme consequences.
At Powerline, Paul Mirengoff posted his initial thoughts last night and they focused where I first focused. The timing and methods of our finding out about the Comey memo are most curious and they implicate more than just the president. Conclusion? The motivations driving the releases and press investigations are less about justice and the law than they are naked power politics. As the host said interviewing Ben Sasse this morning:
Well, we are the new Rome, in many respects…
The challenge Donald Trump now faces is extraordinary. He must rise to it or his presidency is indeed doomed.
But a bigger challenge faces the nation. When our partisan politics and lust for power take precedence over our sense of justice, rule of law and willingness to be graceful the nation as a whole faces doom. This is a time for deep reflection and lots of prayer.