Several political observers have suggested in recent analyses and opinion pieces that President Donald Trump’s recent pattern of reckless pronouncements and rage-fueled behavior — particularly his “wiretapping” tweets and recent “expletive-ridden” tirade during a meeting with top advisers — suggests he is panicking because he knows that the FBI-CIA investigative noose is tightening gradually and steadily around him.
According to Max Boot, in an opinion piece published recently in Foreign Policy, Trump is panicking because he knows that recent revelations about direct contact between top campaign aides — including former national adviser Michael Flynn and his attorney general Jeff Sessions — and Russian officials have set a dangerous trend that could eventually lead to damning revelations about his personal contacts and ties with Russia.
His recent tweets accusing his predecessor Obama of wiretapping him during the election period signaled that Trump has seen the handwriting on the wall, according to Boot. The wiretapping accusation against Obama could be construed as an act of desperation by a man who realizes that time is running out him and that if he is going down, he must take Obama, who he blames for his troubles, down with him also, analysts argue.
According to Boot, the first major sign of escalating breakdown of Trump’s self-restraint, indicative of growing panic and desperation, emerged two days after his speech to Congress when he accused Democrats as of having “lost grip on reality” and engaging in a “total witch hunt.”
On March 3, Trump tweeted a photo of President Vladimir Putin with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and then called sarcastically for “an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!”
He also later tweeted a photo of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) meeting the Russia’s former President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.
“I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it,” Trump eventually tweeted after three failed attempts to correct his glaring misspelling of the word “hereby”
(He misspelled “hereby” as “hear by” at the first attempt, and “hearby” at the second attempt, before he finally got it right at the third attempt.)
I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2017
CNN and Vox acknowledged Schumer’s refutation of Trump’s suggestion of an equivalency between Schumer and Putin’s public meeting and a private meeting between Russian officials, Flynn and Sessions, which they later denied.
Happily talk re: my contact w Mr. Putin & his associates, took place in '03 in full view of press & public under oath. Would you &your team? https://t.co/yXgw3U8tmQ— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 3, 2017
On the same day that he issued the tweets, Trump reportedly had a stormy White House meeting with his senior aides. He lashed out at them in an “expletive-ridden tirade,” accusing them of poor handling of the fallout of media reports that Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador privately during the election campaign period but lied under oath that he did not.
Trump’s apparent state of distraction and panic came to a head 24 hours after the White House meeting when, in a series of tweets, he accused his predecessor Obama of “wiretapping” his phones during the election campaign, but he failed to cite a source or provide evidence.
Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Boot argued that while it is possible that Trump’s aides were wiretapped as part of broader FBI probe into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Kremlin, it is unlikely that Trump was targeted. It is even less likely that Obama had intervened unlawfully in the process of FBI’s investigations.
“It appears that Trump had gotten his information not from a top-secret briefing but from a Breitbart article long on innuendo and short on verifiable facts.”
In Boot’s opinion, the only logical explanation of Trump’s meltdown following his speech to Congress was a panic reaction to reports that Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador but failed to disclose it.
Trump panicked, according to Boot, because he realized that the FBI noose was gradually tightening on him and that after Michael Lynch and Jeff Sessions, he could be the next target.
Concerning the FBI-CIA noose allegedly tightening gradually on Trump, a New York Times report claims that British and Dutch intelligence agencies have provided information about secret meetings in Europe between Russian officials close to Putin and top Trump aides. American intelligence agencies also intercepted communications between Russian officials and top Trump aides.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that Donald Trump Jr. “was likely paid at least $50,000 for appearance late last year before a French think tank whose founder and his wife are allies of the Russian government in efforts to end the war in Syria.”
“What could Trump Jr. say that would possibly be worth $50,000?”
Meanwhile, constitutional experts have been debating alternatives to the cumbersome impeachment process for easing Trump out of office when conclusive evidence of treasonous ties with Russia emerges.
Several analysts have pointed out in recent weeks that Trump could be removed from office under the 25th Amendment without an official impeachment process.
A section of the 25th Amendment allows the president of the United States to be removed from office without an official impeachment process if he is found unfit to continue in office. The section states clearly that the vice president could call on Congress to remove Trump if he is proven “unfit to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. Article 4. We’re all going to be talking a lot more about it in the months ahead.— David Frum (@davidfrum) November 16, 2016
Pro tip: when meeting w the people who have the power to remove you under the 25th amendment, try not to say anything glaringly insane https://t.co/64hUBFAK38— David Frum (@davidfrum) January 24, 2017
Several political observers have also emphasized that despite the fact that recent discussions about removing Trump from power under the 25th Amendment have focused on the possibility that he could be declared unfit in terms of mental or physical health status, the 25th Amendment does not offer any specifics on what could render the president unfit for office.
Thus, any situation, such as evidence of ties with Russia in conflict with national security, could render him unfit for the office of president.
However, the enthusiasm among liberals for the 25th Amendment removal option is dampened by the prospect of what some consider an even worse scenario: the emergence of an arch-conservative President Mike Pence.
[Featured Image by Aude Guerrucci/AP Images]