A longtime defense attorney, Seth Abramson, whose research on the Trump-Russia investigation has been indispensable in helping the average person to understand and connect dots they may not ever have seen or thought of themselves did it again on Tuesday. He presented a quandary for President Trump that will prove hard to ignore, should he find himself staring down Robert Mueller across a courtroom.
After Donald Trump’s physical examination by the White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, the Navy doctor held a press conference to discuss the results of the exam. And as though what he presented to the public wasn’t hilariously false enough — asking us to believe that Trump now weighs 21 pounds less and is taller than last January — Dr. Jackson also told everyone that, on the president’s insistence, he administered a “cognitive ability” test to Trump, the first ever given to a sitting president.
Now that’s where Trump’s issue comes in, because honestly, he could probably lie all day long about his physical health and never face a single legal issue over it. But by insisting that not only did he take this “cognitive ability” test, rather than some IQ test, and that he passed it with flying colors, he has eliminated what could have been a very important defense that his legal team may have been counting on: Insanity.
There has been no shortage of speculation that this is exactly what Trump has been trying to do, with his erratic tweets, insane behavior, and outright hostility toward the media and the public. So many people thought he was preparing an insanity defense, in fact, that at one point it was trending on Twitter, shortly after his “Little Rocket Man” tweets at North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
What’s more, the declaration of absolute mental fitness not only eliminates the insanity defense in the case of a criminal trial — which seems exceedingly likely, given the nature of the charges that Mueller has already levied against Trump’s cohorts — but it eliminates any possibility of simply slinking away in the shadow of the 25th Amendment rather than facing an embarrassing impeachment trial that would undoubtedly end in near-unanimous assent after the Democrats take back Congress in November.
And make no mistake: Robert Mueller’s team is hard at work. In fact, even if Republicans shut down the government on Friday when the deadline for funding arrives, Mueller gets to stay at work, according to the Department of Justice:
All employees with the Special Counsel’s Office are considered exempt and would continue their operations in the case of a lapse in appropriations.”
If the Mueller investigation ends up with what many legal scholars are now assuming — that there will be charges of laundering money for either the Russian government or the Russian mafia — then Tuesday’s announcement all but assures a lengthy prison sentence after the speedy trial every sane person is entitled to.
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