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Repeated misbehavior almost always has a way of biting perps in the ass. It's called bad karma, and Donald Trump has accumulated several lifetimes worth of it. But Trump may finally have run out of luck as he faces the greatest crisis of his presidency not involving a porn star with capacious breasts. He has been abandoned by his most able and most experienced lawyers as he scrambles to spare his neck from Robert Mueller's ever tightening Russia scandal noose.
This turn of events could not have come soon enough. The country Trump pledged to make "great again" has been diminished by his attacks on the core values that once made it truly great, he has filled the Washington swamp to overflowing with a rogues gallery of platinum-tinged hoodlums, he has insulted allies and abandoned international agreements while lauding Vladimir Putin as a friend and attacking journalists enemies because of the truths they inconveniently convey. Yes, Trump's base is unmovable, but even it is shrinking (hullo Ann Coulter!) as his outrages and moral mockeries pile up.
We have suffered terribly at Trump's small hands, and while the end of his presidency may not be as near as we would hope, it's coming.
THE BIGGEST REASON THAT THE END is coming is a confluence of all that bad karma.
The reason Trump's legal team -- the people defending him against the canny Mueller -- now consists of Jay Sekulow and Andrew Ekonomou, two Bible thumpers with no criminal law experience and, in Ekonomou's case, virtually no experience, period, unless you consider a master's degree in medieval history as sufficient to take on Mueller. With a broadsword, perhaps, but not in a courtroom.
Trump's lawyer crisis has its roots in three decades of bad behavior: A reputation as a deadbeat who sues at the slightest provocation (an extraordinary 4,000-plus lawsuits), reliably keeping bad company, repeated adulteries, sexual harassment and assaults (including a couple of credible rape allegations) and the belief that he's smarter than any lawyer and wilier than any adversary. And oh, the lying!
As he often does, Trump showed his hand in a desultory Tweet as the exodus of experienced criminal lawyers from the West Wing commenced:
Many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russia case . . . don’t believe the Fake News narrative that it is hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on. Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted.Conflicted.
That would include a Who's Who of the white collar criminal defense bar, who one by one have turned aside Trump's pleas to represent him in what under other circumstances would be the chance of a legal lifetime -- defending the president of the United States. The deal-breaking reasons are many, but one that is not getting a lot of notice should. Prestigious major law firms have female partners these days, and many of them would object strenuously if a partner were to agree to represent the cretin at the center of the Stormy Daniels scandal.
Ted Olson, who was famously one of Bill Clinton’s most dogged legal antagonists during the '90s, says Trump is toxic for lawyers: "I think everybody would agree, this is turmoil, it's chaos, it's confusion, it's not good for anything . . . This (White House) seems to be beyond normal."
And when asked whether he knew of any lawyers who want to work for Trump, Olson replied, "Not at all."
THEY'RE GIVING TRUMP THE BUSINESS and he doesn't like it one damned bit.
Shattering 40 years of presidential tradition and against the advice of the ethics police, Trump maintained ownership of the privately-held Trump Organization through a trust managed by his sons rather than fully divesting its assets when he became president. This way he could keep raking in dough while running the country and use his Oval Office imprimatur to steer business to his hotels and resorts.
But what seemed like a shrewd arrangement has collided with all that bad karma and it is facing intense legal scrutiny as Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization documents, and Maryland and the District of Columbia sue Trump for illegally accepting gifts known as emoluments from state and foreign governments through his businesses. They are demanding that he reveal a portion of his sacred tax returns.
Oh, and this is especially sweet: Stormy Daniels is seeking internal Trump Organization business correspondence as part of her effort to void a nondisclosure agreement stemming from her affair with Spanky.
Meanwhile, when Trump was running for president, he vaguely but threateningly promised to "open up our libel laws."
Since then court decisions in two such cases not only have gone against him, but his sexual escapdes, combined with the force of the #MeToo Movement, have resulted in a jump in victories for women in sexual harrassment cases in which they are accused of being liars and are sued for libel.
WHEN BAD KARMA MEETS BAD KARMA, what do you get?
For Jared Kushner, who thought that a sinecure as his father-in-law's senior adviser would give him unprecedented power and access, as well as respect and redemption from his many financial ills, and perhaps a presidential pardon for his jailbird father, you get a world of well-deserved hurts.
Kushner is deeply embroiled in Mueller's investigation, including his suspicious contacts with Russians during and after the campaign, whether he discussed the beleaguered family business's desperate need for cash bailouts with foreign officials while serving in his official government position, and the real sleeper: As head of the Trump campaign digital team and with the help of Cambridge Analytica, he may have been responsible for making sure that Russian hackers knew which voters to target with a sophisticated cyber onslaught of fake news in the Kremlin's successful effort to sabotage Hillary Clinton and hand the election to Daddy-O.
Investors are shunning the Kushner family's real estate empire because of his toxic ties to Trump. Two of the family's major Manhattan properties are on creditors' watch lists. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are investigating the terms under which Deutsche Bank refinanced a Kushner property in Times Square, while New York state regulators are examining Kushner loans from that bank and two others, including lines of credit. The Office of Government Ethics has asked the White House counsel to examine meetings in the White House between Kushner and two companies that later loaned the family business more than a half-billion dollars.
Kushner has been stripped of his top-secret security clearance, which severely impacts his ability to do a job that never has been properly defined. And federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are studying whether one of Kushner's sisters used the lure of White House influence and shortcuts to a visa program that fast-tracks citizenship to entice Chinese investors.
All of this, of course, comes as no surprise.
Kushner has parlayed his well-honed skills as a manipulator, blame shifter, liar and poster boy for nepotism for whom everything is about money, as well as marriage to an attractive young woman of means as phony as he is, into the ultimate deal -- an intimate working relationship with Donald Trump.
But like Daddy-O, his business plan did not account for bad karma.
Click HERE for a comprehensive timeline on the Russia scandal
and related events.