On the other hand, Omarosa getting arrested by the FBI would be an amazing episode of “The Apprentice.”
In recent days, Trump has called Manigault Newman “crazed,” a “lowlife,” and a “dog” on Twitter. His campaign filed an arbitration suit against her seeking “millions.” And Trump told advisers that he wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to have Manigault Newman arrested, according to one Republican briefed on the conversations. (It’s unclear what law Trump believes she broke.) Another Republican recounted how over the weekend Trump derailed a midterm-election strategy session to rant about Manigault Newman’s betrayal. In an effort to change the narrative, the White House announced yesterday that Trump had revoked former C.I.A. director John Brennan’s security clearance. But that only ignited a new public-relations crisis. A former West Wing official compared Trump’s erratic behavior this week to the P.R. nightmare he created by attacking grieving Muslim-American Gold Star parents during the 2016 campaign. It’s a “death spiral,” the former official said.
Advisers and friends offered differing theories to explain Trump’s nuclear response to a book that has failed to top the best-seller list, even while Trump has campaigned against it. “He’s known her for 15 years and thinks it’s a personal betrayal,” the former West Wing official said. Others said Manigault Newman’s well-oiled media rollout ignited Trump’s fury. “She is doing everything perfect if her ultimate goal is to troll Trump,” another former official said. One longtime Trump friend said Trump is so reactive to Manigault Newman’s book because he instinctively trusts women more than men. Throughout his career, he has allowed women to get close to him, from his early assistant, Norma Foerderer, to Rhona Graff, to Hope Hicks.
She recorded John Kelly in the Situation Room. Isn’t that a crime? Well … no, apparently. You’re not supposed to bring recording devices into the Situation Room (or any other SCIF) but lawyers who work in this field told the media this week that that policy is set by White House rules, not federal criminal law. She could have been fired for making the recording if she, er, wasn’t being fired already but there’s nothing to arrest her for. Criminal law would be triggered if she had recorded classified information, but there’s no evidence of that. In fact, she didn’t even have a security clearance. She also could have been prosecuted in certain jurisdictions for making a recording without the other party’s consent, but D.C. isn’t one of those jurisdictions. They’re a “one-party” consent district. So is New York State, the other place where Omarosa’s likely to have made recordings. So what law has she broken?
On the bright side for POTUS, if he really wants her prosecuted, there must be something in the U.S. criminal code that the DOJ could trip her up on. Defense lawyer Harvey Silverglate wrote a book a few years ago arguing that federal law is now so expansive and byzantine that the average American commits three felonies a day without even realizing it. I don’t know if Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be willing to exploit that fact to punish Trump’s political enemies but an Attorney General Rudy Giuliani might. If the feds want to throw you in jail, they’ll find a reason. All Trump needs is personnel who are willing to use state power to help him settle personal scores.
Something for his second term, perhaps.
Speaking of Omarosa, she dribbled out a new tape today. Every tape so far has been a nothingburger and this isn’t much of an exception. There’s one aspect that’s interesting, though. Watch, then read on:
That was recorded a few days after Kelly fired Omarosa from her White House job. The interesting bit is Lara Trump mentioning certain things Omarosa has in her “back pocket,” which sounds like an allusion to the recordings. Did Omarosa threaten Trump and/or Kelly after she was fired by telling them she had secret tapes? Is that what triggered this campaign job offer from Lara Trump? It does look like the campaign position was just a hush-money offer by another name.
Here’s your exit quotation from Lara Trump, sounding rather emo about Omarosa’s latest betrayal. My idea for a two-part Very Special Episode of “The Apprentice”: Omarosa gets arrested and sent to Supermax in part one, then Trump grants her an audience where she pleads for mercy, whereupon he pardons her and gives her her old job back. Ratings blockbuster.
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) August 16, 2018