A Tale for the Holidays
This is a wholly fictional account of what may have really happened. The characters are real, their actions are pure fantasy – or are they?
Matt Gaetz is the first term Congressman from Pensacola, Florida, one of the most Republican/Conservative districts in the United States. He holds the seat once occupied by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” fame, and as Scarborough did, maintains a conservative hardline.
Matt also has a problem, drinking and driving. Seven documented stops for DUI has made him vulnerable to any challenger with similar political views. Matt needs alliances with powerful forces to make sure he has the wherewithal to withstand those challenges.
Enter Roger Stone, infamous political operative who learned his trade from the Nixon campaign. Stone was mentored by Donald Segretti and the “Rat-f**kers;” the dirty tricks squad that managed to remove Democrat Ed Muskie from the 1972 Presidential competition, and break into the Watergate office building to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee.
Stone used his skills to advance political causes all of his life. Forty-five years after Watergate, he found a candidate tailored made for his version of campaigning: Donald J Trump. And like the “rat-f**kers” of old, Stone wanted to do his work from outside the campaign. Trump “fired” him early in the 2016 election season, but Stone never really left. He continued (as many “Trumpsters” do, Corey Lewendowski being one) to work for Trump from outside the campaign structure. Better Trump didn’t know what goes on, giving him the old Nixon, “plausible deniability.”
And now Trump was in trouble. As the Mueller investigation slowly closed in around the inner-circle of the Presidency, Trump desperately searched for a way out. His lawyers and advisors offered him lousy options.
He could fire Robert Mueller, and risk a Congressional backlash resulting in Congress hiring Mueller themselves, or worse, beginning an impeachment inquiry. Or he could issue Presidential Pardons to everyone involved. While this might emasculate the Federal case against him, it would still leave the state cases, most notably those by New York Attorney General Eric Schniderman, outstanding and immune from Presidential influence.
Even if his Presidency survived, both of these choices would leave Trump unable to pursue his agenda, powerless for his remaining years in office.
Roger Stone no longer “communicated” with the President. But he had a plan to save Trump, a plan requiring a brash young Congressman, properly placed in the House Judiciary Committee; one who could use powerful friends. Stone connected with Gaetz, and the “third alternative” was born.
Stone researched the Mueller “Dream Team” of attorneys, and found that many had made contributions to Democrats, and particularly Hillary Clinton. He discounted those that made Republican contributions, that didn’t further his cause, but he was excited about the fact that one had actually gone to the Clinton “victory party” on election night. While all of these dedicated attorneys were sworn to do their jobs without “fear or favor,” Stone’s plan was to create a public view of the Mueller team as a “Clinton hit squad.”
But he needed a “closer;” information that was convincing enough to create believability in the story. Stone linked up with his contacts at the New York offices of the FBI, the same ones that leaked the information about the Anthony Weiner computer that forced Comey to release the “October Surprise” and cost Clinton the Presidency. Were there any FBI agents involved in the Mueller investigation that had strong views about the Presidential campaign? What was the office gossip?
The NY field office gave him what he needed. Between the texts from Peter Strozk and his extra-marital affair with Lisa Page, a Department of Justice attorney; Stone had enough to bring the whole Mueller operation into question.
But if, after the Franken allegations, this also was discovered as coming from Stone, then that would bias the outcome. One sniff of Stone, and the media, even Fox, would shy away, thinking that the charges were false (which of course, they were.) Stone had to find a way to get these charges into the media without his own fingerprints on them.
Gaetz was the vehicle. As a brash young first-termer with a drinking problem he needed help and friends. Stone could present him with the ultimate friend, Donald J Trump, President of the United States. Stone got together with Gaetz for a number of fundraisers, and presented the mission. Gaetz himself presented the plan to Trump, as they flew on Air Force One to the Pensacola “campaign rally” to support Roy Moore in Alabama. Trump gave his friends at Fox a head’s up about what was to come.
All that was needed was a few of Gaetz’s fellow Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to pick up on the tale and run with it. Fellow “Freedom Caucus” members, looking for a way to silence Adam Schiff and the Democrats investigating Trump, jumped at the chance, using Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appearance as a chance to spread Stone’s “gospel.” Jim Jordan from Ohio especially smelled blood, and drove home his point that the Mueller investigation and any outcome from it was tainted. He called for a different Special Counsel to investigate the investigators.
Meanwhile, the White House lawyers knew the clock was ticking. If they couldn’t get the Mueller investigation wrapped up before the 2018 elections, they might be facing a less than sympathetic Democratic majority in the Congress. They continued to pressure Mueller with “we know the investigation will be over soon” and “Mueller has questioned all of the White House personnel.” The Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee also got on board, suggesting that they were wrapping up by the end of the year and scheduling no more hearings or witnesses into January, much to the distress of Schiff and the other Democrats.
The table was set. If Mueller presented anything less than ironclad evidence against Trump or the Trump family, then the last “Rat-f**ker” would have pulled off the ultimate dirty trick. He would have made Robert Mueller, Marine, Purple Heart and Bronze Star Winner, head of the FBI after 9-11, look like a Democratic shill.
It was up to Mueller to find such powerful evidence that it transcended the plot.
And that’s where the story starts…
Please note – this is a work of fiction surrounded by facts not the other way around