Catfight-filled reality TV has come to resemble a prayer circle compared to Inauguration Day 2017 and the geopolitical drama surrounding it. During the next four years, it's a battle of wills that will likely continue with calls for a Donald Trump impeachment.
First, the press and the public grew furious at the massive conflicts of interest they saw brewing as Trump allowed his daughter, Ivanka, to sit on meetings with foreign leaders despite the fact that she was slated to take over his business empire. Many critics argued that this would be grounds for eventual impeachment later in 2017, with some saying he should never even make it to the inauguration.
Then, there was the issue of getting performers. Dozens turned down the opportunity to lend their talent to the inauguration ceremony, with the baton eventually being passed from Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé to the relatively unknown Jackie Evancho -- a teen vocalist best known for appearing on America's Got Talent. The Radio City Rockettes and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have also signed on to perform, but they've lost members and support in the process. Some from the Church of Latter-Day Saints even started a petition to block the deal, arguing that Trump had repeatedly shown himself to be at odds with LDS values.
With just a week to go, Inauguration Day 2017 soldiers on. As many pundits advised would happen entering into the Donald administration, the public has become difficult to shock after months of Trump's Twitter bravado. Now, the Russian connection that refuses to go away has laid out its most damning accusation yet: the President-elect was groomed by Vladimir Putin over the course of five years to take over the White House.
Of course, it's worth noting that -- like with all of the Russian hacking accusations -- the public essentially has to take the word of a government establishment that has been, often openly, hostile to the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017. As the Guardian wrote in their analysis of the newest allegations, the U.S. government has found it nearly impossible to infiltrate Putin's amorphous and exclusive inner circle -- making it seem odd that the MI6 agent that the accusations come from had managed to burrow himself in deeply enough to be privy to such a high-level conspiracy.
"For example, [Putin's] decision in 2011 to seek a third term as president was a closely guarded secret. If the report's author is to be believed, he or she enjoys extraordinary access to figures at the very top of the Kremlin. This is possible, but unlikely. Cables leaked in 2010 from the US embassy in Moscow revealed that American diplomats struggled to find good sources in Moscow. Russia's capital is a place where rumor, educated speculation, and planted rumor swirl and where even cabinet ministers don't have the full picture."
Those who fear repression of the press have also grown more weary of the incoming Trump administration with the newest revelations. At his first press conference in six months, Trump was selective about which news agencies he would be taking questions from, eventually cutting off a CNN reporter who he called, "Fake news." He then later pointed at several other publications in the audience, also referring to them as fake news. Given the bevy of potential errors in the so-called "Golden Showers" report, he could easily have found his most valuable justification for the charge yet.
If it does turn out that the latest report about Trump and Putin collaborating is false, it could easily clear the path for Trump well past Inauguration Day. As Glenn Greenwald wrote in The Intercept on Wednesday morning, "When it comes time to expose actual Trump corruption and criminality, who is going to believe the people and institutions who have demonstrated they are willing to endorse any assertions no matter how factually baseless, who deploy any journalistic tactic no matter how unreliable and removed from basic means of ensuring accuracy?"
While these skeptical perspectives are important, it's also possible that the report does contain provable information that Donald has colluded with Russia. If such hard evidence does emerge, Trump could easily be impeached for treason under Article II of the United States Constitution. If even the GOP is convinced, he could lose the presidency before Inauguration Day 2017, NSA legal counsel Susan Hennessey told Forbes.
"If there was any evidence that the Trump campaign actively colluded with Russia and committed crimes, that would be the most shocking political scandal in American history. It would be a betrayal not only of the American people, but of basic democratic values. If sufficient evidence emerges that the FBI has substantiated the allegations or is preparing criminal indictments, then even hardline Republicans in Congress will likely call for Governor Pence to take the oath of office."
Do you think Donald Trump will make it to Inauguration Day 2017, or potentially face impeachment once in office?
[Featured Image by Seth Wenig/AP Photo]