He has written this powerful column for tomorrow’s Washington Post that begins simply enough:
Stop waiting for the constitutional crisis that President Trump is sure to provoke. It’s here.
This is not a column that I can easily summarize.
It is tightly written.
It starts with “the tweet” on Sunday as the immediate provocation, noting that
Trump’s only rational goal is casting doubt on the probe by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, which appears to be closing in.
and immediately following that with this paragraph, before quoting the tweet in question:
Trump’s power play is a gross misuse of his presidential authority and a dangerous departure from long-standing norms. Strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin use their justice systems to punish enemies and deflect attention from their own crimes. Presidents of the United States do not — or did not, until Sunday’s tweet:
Robinson notes the false claim, fully supported by right-wing media, about a spy” who was ‘implanted” into Trump’s campaign for political purposes, of which Robinson notes
This claim is completely unsupported by the facts as we know them. Trump wants you to believe a lie.
There is much more in this column. Scattered throughout are digs at Trump, such as
The truth appears to be precisely the opposite of what Trump says, which is not uncommon.
He notes the apparent panic of the President since the seizure of information from MIchael Cohen, and then writes
The question is whether he sees this “spy” nonsense as a way to discredit Mueller’s eventual findings, or as a pretext for trying to end the investigation with a bloody purge akin to Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.”
It is worth remembering that the stories in The New York Times and The Washington Post that are the public focus of Trump’s “outrage” are accompanied in time by the outing of Trump’s son Don as having met with those offering help by Arab leaders, something we had not previously known, and which provides Mueller with more than enough information to indict the son on felony charges.
You have to read this column, and you should pass it on.
Let me merely share the final two paragraphs, which Robinson sets up by describing how he thinks Rosenstein is trying to avoid a showdown, and saying that he fears Rosenstein is wrong in believing he can do so:
None of this is normal or acceptable. One of the bedrock principles of our system of government is that no one is above the law, not even the president. But a gutless Congress has refused, so far, to protect this sacred inheritance.
Trump is determined to use the Justice Department and the FBI to punish those he sees as political enemies. This is a crisis, and it will get worse.
Yes it will.
What is left of our democracy is tonight in serious peril.
Go read the column.