“A criminal enterprise”

The Republican Party looks like a criminal enterprise.” That’s what a top Republican campaign operative told Mike Allen, who featured the quote in today’s edition of “Axios AM.”

Let’s recap the last 24 hours:

  • Trump’s former campaign chairman was convicted of 8 criminal charges.
  • Trump’s longtime personal attorney and fixer willingly pleaded guilty to 8 criminal counts, two of which he said he did “at direction of the candidate,” implicating Trump himself.
  • A second House GOP representative this month was indicted. Duncan Hunter and his wife face dozens of criminal charges, chief among them campaign finance violations and wire fraud. Hunter was the second member of Congress to endorse Trump during the campaign. The first was Congressman Chris Collins (R, NY-27) who was charged with insider trading just two weeks ago.

It’s now unavoidable for Republicans: Accountability for Trump and the GOP’s culture of corruption will be a central theme of the midterms. As Mike Allen wrote of yesterday’s news, “Corruption instantly becomes a centerpiece issue in the midterm campaigns.”

In today’s “Playbook,” the authors called this “the corruption election.”

The Washington Post’s banner headline this morning: “Convictions tighten squeeze on Trump.”

Republicans are scrambling, and Democrats plan to take full advantage of it by embracing a new direction—like Senator Elizabeth Warren did yesterday.

Yesterday was a bad day for President Trump, but the worst is likely yet to come. Cohen’s attorney says he’s more than willing to cooperate with the special counsel, former national security advisor Mike Flynn is still cooperating, key players like Don Jr. and Jared Kushner remain shrouded in mystery, and Trump is still refusing to answer the special counsel’s questions. Stay tuned.

TRUMP’S SUPREME GET-OUT-OF-JAIL-FREE CARD

At a time when Trump has been implicated in federal crimes by his own longtime friend and lawyer, should he actually be allowed to seat a hand-picked Supreme Court Justice?

A justice who thinks presidents can’t be subpoenaed?

A justice who has signaled that sitting presidents can’t be indicted?

A justice who—if given one chance—would overturn precedent allowing for independent counsels?

Answer: No.

Today, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to “immediately pause consideration of the Kavanaugh nomination.”

Senator Mazie Hirono went a step further, cancelling her meeting with Judge Kavanaugh because “This President, who is an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter, does not deserve the courtesy of a meeting with his nominee.”

Trump was directly implicated, and his campaign is under active investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Subpoenas could come at any time between now and the end of the investigations.

Regardless of the nominee, these circumstances should be disqualifying to a president’s right to choose a SCOTUS nominee. That applies tenfold when the nominee was obviously chosen as a get-out-of-jail-free card for the corrupt president at hand.