PHOTO BY: Official White House Picture
Trump on phone in Oval Office

President Donald Trump in Oval Office, White House



New York – The cascading events, generally are layered and rarely, as now, erupt into a crescendo from an approaching constitutional crisis.

Initially, let me disclose that I am a registered Democrat, and seeing how Hillary’s team, including, DNC, illegally mistreated Sen. Bernie Sanders, and how Huma profited by quitting as Hillary’s deputy chief of staff and was immediately rehired as a “special government employee” and simultaneously got paid to work for the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings – unethical and corrupt – I voted for Donald J. Trump to shake up the Establishment who, like Marie Antoinette, wanted Americans to “eat cake” when they couldn’t afford to “buy bread.”

No hardworking American can get such a sweet Huma-Deal, soaked in conflicts of interests and influence peddling, without being shamed and maybe, going to jail. Leave aside Bill’s famous Tarmac Meeting with AG Lynch, forcing her recusal, and causing Comey to act as he did in 2016, where he, Comey cut Hillary a huge break by not indicting her for her planned-private email server, her housekeeper printing classified emails for Hillary’s review, and with full access to Bill to know all confidential matters without any “pillow talk” or an “audit trail” – due to password-sharing by Hillary to her housekeeper (and perhaps, Bill and Huma, etc.). General Petraeus ought get a presidential pardon from President Trump.

I also admit that I didn’t like Preet Bharara being “fired,” after he was re-hired, as that hurt everyday New Yorkers from getting a government Lincoln decreed, while making those in power feel above-the-law again.

Now, I turn to the issues at hand. Here is what we know, based upon the fast and furious reportage by The Washington Post, of Watergate fame,  The New York Times and CNN, etc.

President Trump likes General Flynn; even, after terminating him for lying to the Vice President. Perhaps, he likes Flynn too much. We know that Obama administration was told about Flynn-Russia contacts by our Special Allies in Europe. We know Obama warned then-president-elect Trump about Flynn. Yet, Trump as president appointed Flynn NSA, only, to fire him 18 days after he knew Flynn lied to the Vice President, with a termination oddly soaked with Flynn-love.  The bizarre Comey-termination, after a prior failed Loyalty-Pledge Request, was immediately followed by the incredulous Lavrov-Kislyak Oval Office visit with American Media barred, and POTUS later admitting to NBC’s Lester Holt that he, DJT, was thinking of the Russia Investigation when he fired Comey, hence, admitting his invisible state-of-mind worthy of self-immolation.

If I was personal counsel to Donald J. Trump, not White House Counsel to the Office of the President of the United States, which requires the fiduciary duties protect the Office of the President and not necessarily the man who is president, I would want to know the answer to one critical bifurcated question, to wit: “Donald, did you create or approve of a plan, during your presidential campaign, that a “reachout” to Russia ought occur because you want to: (1)  “restart” US-Russia relations so as to defuse the ever-warming resurgence of the Cold War, as a matter of future US policy to cause Crimea’s return to Ukraine, NATO to refocus on defeating Terror, and Russian nuclear-armed submarines, ships and planes to join United States and NATO to enforce global peace and security? Or, (2) win the 2016 election with help from a foreign power, that is hostile to the United States, in violation of American democracy and rule of law and become the Manchurian President – remote-controlled by Russia?

If Donald’s answer is YES to (1) and NO to (2), then he is like Nixon in 1968 delivering his famous China Speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, later to open up the world to China in 1971 and switch Taiwan’s United Nations Security Council seat from ROC to PRC. It’s all legal, even as history judges China the winner over Nixon, as China, instead of being a counterbalance to the then-Soviets, pulled a Veto along with Russia in 2013 in UNSC after Syria’s chemical war crimes.

If Donald’s answer if NO to (1) and YES to (2), then he is in worse shape than Nixon’s Watergate Cover-Up, as here, it would be Trump’s Crime with Trump’s Cover-Up.

Assuming DJT’s answers are YES and NO, not NO and YES, then I would advise him to cut loose everybody as President Reagan did in the Iran-Contra Affair, and let everybody, especially those who sought to make individual side profits from such Russian engagements to face the music, Congressional and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. For saving the Trump Presidency may be valuable to America and everyday Americans. Just look at what he has accomplished in his First foreign trip with the mature and uniquely capable Rex Tillerson by his side in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Just a few years ago, Saudi Arabia was so sick of our non-action against Syria, that after winning the coveted UN Security Council seat, Amb. Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi made history by declining the seat and Riyadh considered setting up an alternate multilateral system of government, given the void of American leadership in face of heart wrenching suffering caused by Syria and ISIS.

However, there is a unique weakness that President Trump faces, that neither Nixon nor Reagan faced,  in this early onset of the Impeachment Season: Both Houses of Congress are in Republican control. This is not so much a strength for the disruptive president, as it is a weakness. The Republicans wants more than anything to retain both Houses in the 2018 Mid-Term elections. So, after getting the Tax Cut, they prefer to cause Impeachment to start out of righteous indignation, as then they get the normal-Establishment Mike Pence to be president – assuming he is not tainted and already-resigned by knowing about Flynn as Chair of Trump Transition Committee (for how could Flynn have lied to the Vice President in 2017, when Mike Pence already knew about Flynn-Russia and Flynn-Turkey in 2016) – well, then Speaker Paul Ryan is President.

So, Mr. President, “beware the Ides of March” as “Brutus” lurks. Julius Caesar Act 1 Scene 2.

Views expressed by Ravi Batra, the Former NYS Commissioner, Joint Commission on Public Ethics; Chair, National Advisory Council South Asian Affairs

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