Trump’s Secret

August 13th, 2017

For months now, actually the last two years, I have been puzzled by a persistent, troubling question:
What is Donald Trump hiding?
Through the tumult of the first six months of the Trump White House, through all the resignations and firings, from National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to the spectacular flameout of Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, aka “The Mooch,” I have asked myself:
What is Donald Trump keeping from us?
I first started to wonder at the outset of his presidential campaign when he refused to release his income tax returns.
What was in there that was so damaging?
Was he simply not as rich as he claimed? Or, would his returns demonstrate, contrary to what he has said publicly, that he is or has been deeply indebted to Russian creditors with connections to the Kremlin? Would the returns reveal that the Trump real estate empire is a house of cards, staggering under mountains of debt? Or, more embarrassing politically, would we discover that the real estate mogul has paid few if any taxes over the years?
Obviously, there had to be sensitive material in his income tax returns. Why else would he stubbornly refuse to release them?
The same fundamental question – what is he hiding? – came to mind again and again as Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, tweeted out his fury at the appointment of Robert Mueller as special prosecutor and railed against Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the probe into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Russians.
The whole “Russia thing,” as the President derisively describes it, has clearly gotten under his skin. Why?
There is, after all, no hard, public evidence so far that Donald Trump personally colluded with the Russians during or after the campaign.
His family is a different matter. His son, Don Jr., clearly colluded when he famously met with the Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton; and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may well have had improper conversations with the Russian Ambassador and a Kremlin-connected Russian banker.
But again, it is not clear yet that a specific, prosecutable crime was committed. President Trump may or may not be guilty of obstruction of justice, but that is up to Special Counselor Mueller to determine with his investigation.
What explains the President’s furious reaction when reports emerged that Mueller was looking into his past financial transactions? Why did President Trump angrily declare that whole area of his life out of bounds?
The President is clearly, deeply worried about something . Worried to the point of musing aloud about firing Sessions and Mueller and considering pardoning his aides and family members and even himself, if that is legally possible.
Who would even consider such high-risk options that are guaranteed to create a political firestorm and could easily prompt calls for his impeachment? Only a President who feels his back is against the wall. Only a President who fears that the Mueller investigation could bring him or his family members down.
In recent days, we have learned that the Special Counsel has empanelled multiple grand juries that are looking into Trump’s financial dealings and any and all contacts his campaign had with Russians before, during and after the campaign. So stay tuned. We may finally get some answers.


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