Thursday, January 04, 2018
Will Trump Sue Bannon? Don't Hold Your Breath.
It would be a real Punch & Judy show. Trump wailing away on his former campaign CEO and chief political strategist, using a confidentiality agreement to bludgeon both Bannon and the vaunted First Amendment to the American Constitution. I'd pay a buck and a quarter to see that, wouldn't you?
Only it's not going to happen. Nobody is getting sued especially not by the 45th president of the United States of America.
Why not? Trump has a well earned reputation for being litigious. There was a time he'd sue anybody, almost everybody. That time, era if you like, was when he was DJT the private citizen. Nobody paid much attention to those law suits save for the occasional item buried on page six of the morning paper. Now he's POTUS and his every allegation would be scrutinized, dissected, probed, day after day right up there on page one, in the court of public opinion which, these days, is already hostile enough to the Mango Mussolini.
Remember during the election campaign when Trump vowed to sue those dozen plus women who came forward to accuse him of sexually molesting them? Once the election was over he was going to give them what for. He'd take them into court and make them pay for their vile lies. Only that hasn't happened either. That's looking a lot like another empty threat. Because it always was. After all, those women mainly said things that Trump himself has boasted doing to women, total strangers.
Then there's the whole raft of problems associated with trying to enforce a confidentiality agreement. A lot of what Bannon has said that most irks Trump alleges that, in Bannon's opinion, certain conduct by members of the campaign may have been criminal acts. Bannon didn't say they were. He said in his opinion they were. There's a difference. And Don Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort weren't ordinary citizens. They were senior officials of a presidential campaign and that surely transforms them into public figures. Ask Bob Mueller about that point.
Imagine Team Trump having to contest an individual's right to speak out on an apparent crime all due to a confidentiality agreement, a gag order. There are limits as to what can be protected by a confidentiality agreement. Bannon knows that. So does Trump. You can bet the team of lawyers retained by Michael Wolff's publishers know that extremely well.
My guess is what really pulled the pin on Trump's cranial grenade were the references to money laundering. That is Trump's Achilles' Heel and it always has been. That's the glue that sticks him to Russian money and ties the collusion business together. Anyone imagine Trump wants that evidence laid out before a court - and the public - in a civil action?
Finally there's Trump himself. He's about the worst client any lawyer could have. The top guns won't go near him because he won't listen, he won't control his impulses and he lies gratuitously and constantly. He's a nutter. He's showing signs of mental impairment, possibly senility. At this point I don't think Dershowitz would touch him.
So, what is Trump's next move? His now standard practice is to stage some diversion, something outrageous. I don't know, bombing Iran maybe? A pre-emptive strike on North Korea? Hard to say but it's a safe bet that the war departments in capitals around the world are busy gaming this one.