With President Trump’s return to Twitter warfare in leveling unsubstantiated charges that his predecessor ordered the wire-tapping of his offices, what little hope existed for a return to some semblance of normality in the White House has now been extinguished. After six weeks of the most dysfunctional presidency in American history, the verdict in the self-imposed trial of Donald J. Trump v. The American People is soon to be rendered.
Growing evidence of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election (including an increasing number of unexplained deaths of Russian operatives) has now led to deep suspicions that Trump and his agents were implicated in such efforts. Despite his attempts to distract from or deny such suspicions, the Russian connection has now led to the resignation and recusal of two key appointees to his cabinet, both of whom were rushed through an abbreviated approval process over the strong objections of the opposing party.
Meanwhile, with his own approval numbers in free-fall, Trump seems to believe that he can prevail by force of will and Republican dominance of Congress alone. But if lightweights such as Flynn and Sessions could not escape the pull of this black hole of a story, there is even less chance that a large, dense object like Trump will. Indeed, the power of this story should be apparent from the experience of Attorney-General-in-waiting Sessions, who, on the basis of a single, less-than-forthright answer under oath, was compelled to surrender a substantial portion of his authority, recusing himself from what promises to become the highest-profile criminal investigation since Watergate.
But then, Donald Trump has never been one to accept the constraints of mere mortals such as Sessions. After all, he is president. Yet this is where Trump, like all would-be tyrants, reveals a fatal blind spot, failing to understand that, despite elections, leadership–especially under our system of government–is not a done deal, but rather a function of ongoing trust, a large measure of which he has already lost.
The Founding Fathers didn’t want another king, insisting that theirs be “a government of laws, not men.” And the law is going to catch up with President Trump, no matter how politics may get in the way. The means of his downfall remains to be seen, but his actions thus far have already carried him beyond the point of no return, and as the truth of the Russian story unfolds, the inexorable pull of gravity will go to work on his over-sized ego, reducing it to what astrophysicists refer to as a singularity.