Since I gave up TV, I have missed watching Lawrence O'Donnell. Lawrence is a good guy, a Socialist, and he does MSNBC proud. He has wide experience in politics and media, having been a writer for "West Wing" and a congressional staffer. The video below is a breath of fresh air. The first part will bring you up to date and provide a context for today's breaking news.

Special Counsel

The necessary change is to see that we have not a Special Prosecutor but a Special Counsel. This is because current law says Special Counsel and because technically a Special Counsel is not independent but connected to the Department of Justice.

The actual result of the change is minor. Robert Mueller, the appointee to this position, is perhaps the only person in America who cannot be discredited by any side as an objective and fair person.

14 months

The time window of these special investigations is 14 months, but they have varied in length. The prospect is that Mueller's work may take less time depending on two factors.

The first is that the facts are in the open in some respects. It should not take too long to determine if trump can be charged with obstruction of justice. The second is that if the end looks bad Trump will probably bail. Why so?

The Trump bail out scenario

The possibility that Trump will leave voluntarily seems obvious.

The reason is that he sees himself as a deal-maker. The deal he could probably make is to avoid prosecution in exchange for leaving the office.

But the fine print might enable him to continue to conceal his tax returns and to avoid other potential legal hassles. This is speculation, but it accords with Trump's past behavior.

Despite his saying he does not settle, he does.


The alluring element of this prospect is that it could happen quite soon. Trump is the only one who at present knows how guilty he may be. If he has elements of his Russia activity he does not want to surface, he may be able to trade speed for continued secrecy. The impatience to have Trump gone is huge in some quarters.

Even John McCain has suggested as much.

Suspense about Pence

There is some fear that Pence would be a worse president than Trump, being a smooth advocate for policies as or more destructive than Trump intends. But it may be the case that if Mueller emerges as the man with the goods on Trump there will be a shift in the Republican support for Trump. It might move from its current high level to closer to 50 percent or less. If that happens the future after Trump might modify a Pence presidency and create a wave of fear of failure across Republican political ranks.

Who knows?

There might even be a tiny window for bipartisanship to reappear for the first time in decades.