Andrew McCabe has stood down from his role as Deputy FBI director, noticeably ahead of his already-planned retirement in March.
One might think that Trump had something to do with this, what with his having repeatedly voiced his disapproval of McCabe, accusing him of imaginary corruption, mocking his wife’s political ambitions and asking him who he voted for in a private meeting.
Fortunately, Whitehouse spokes-ogress Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said that the President was “nothing to do with” McCabe’s stepping down. So that’s okay, then.
Sarcasm aside, McCabe has had to put up with a lot of pressure from Trump and his stupid-but-vocal supporters. He may also have the last laugh yet.
Trump is, in many ways, like a bad magician. If you’re not paying attention his tricks can have the passing appearance of legitimacy, but even the slightest scrutiny will reveal how lame they are. His treatment of McCabe is a good example of this process – Mr. McCabe’s wife ran (unsuccessfully) for office and as a byproduct of that received money from the Clintons. Because the Clintons support democratic candidates, being a wealthy democrat family. You don’t have to work for the FBI to be able to join the dots on that one.
It was, however, all the ammunition Trump needed to play his usual victim card, claiming that the FBI was corrupt and out to get him and (all together now, we’re getting to the chorus) it’s HILLARY CLINTON’S FAULT!
Further tenuous evidence was provided by the fact that a couple of McCabe’s subordinates were revealed to have said unflattering things about Trump via text message. If Trump was aware of just how many people in the world did the same thing on a daily basis he’d probably have an aneurysm, but as ignorance of the wider world is his stock in trade, these few messages were touted as proof of anti-Trump bias at the FBI.
Once again, we see the thin sheen of believability. FBI agents said bad things about Trump. Deputy Director McCabe’s wife took money from Trump’s opponent. If those are the only facts you look at (or are capable of holding in the tiny brain beneath your MAGA hat) then you might think Trump is the victim.
To return to the magic analogy, Trump has spent several minutes pointing out how empty his left sleeve is, prompting anyone with a brain to start watching his right one.
Unfortunately for him, no amount of clumsy obfuscation will save Trump from the Mueller investigation, which is barrelling down on him like a runaway dump truck.
In forcing out Andrew McCabe, Trump has pissed off plenty of people at the FBI. If that weren’t stupid enough, McCabe not working for the bureau anymore provides no barrier whatsoever to McCabe testifying to the bureau. If anything, his shabby treatment by the president will make him more likely to do so – and this is bad news if you happen to be a fat, orange real estate failure and incumbent President. There are rumours that McCabe could be a key witness if Trump gets charged with obstruction of justice.
If all this weren’t bad enough, McCabe’s replacement is David Bowditch – an almost cartoonishly hard-nosed G-man stereotype. Former police officer, former SWAT sniper, completely irreproachable record. The paper-thin arguments made against McCabe are now useless in the face of his replacement.
Trump’s ongoing tantrums against the FBI sees the FBI calmly paint him into a tighter and tighter corner. Firing Comey left him dealing with the wily, Republican-voting and scrupulously by-the-book Robert Mueller. Forcing out McCabe will see the “law and order” President dealing with law-and-order-personified David Bowditch.
Supporters of the President used to claim that his every move was made to pay clever traps for his enemies – that he was thinking so far ahead that it was like “four dimensional chess.” I’m not sure any form of chess has a move as stupid as the one Trump has made in ousting McCabe. The equivalent is probably sticking a pawn up his nose whilst shitting in his own hat.