Nemesis was the name of the Greek goddess of justice and retribution. The word has passed into our lexicon as “an opponent or enemy that is very difficult to defeat.” Perhaps no one today epitomizes that word better than Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And perhaps no one today fears that word more than Donald Trump.
Trump, in a life buffered by wealth and privilege, never faced any consequences for his actions. He has said and done whatever pleased him without retribution or justice. Some of his die-hard followers admire that quality in him. They see him as a “straight shooter” who “tells it like it is.” But no one, from underpaid employees, stiffed contractors, people who signed up for Trump University, to any of his many political opponents feel that way about him.
Trump lied to avoid military service in Vietnam. No consequences. When he began his “political” career Trump defamed a war hero by saying “he liked war heroes who weren’t captured.” No consequences. Trump mocked a disabled reporter on television. No consequences. Trump claimed that a judge with a “Mexican” name couldn’t give him a fair hearing on his Trump University lawsuit. No consequences.
Not until he assumed the office of the presidency, did Trump finally begin to see that actions do have consequences. When his newly appointed National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn was exposed for lying to Vice President Pence, he was fired after only 17 days in office. Despite Trump’s expressed displeasure. Consequences. When Trump tried to implement his Executive Orders limiting travel from certain countries, twice, they were both stayed by federal judges. Consequences. When Trump was unable to muster sufficient support for his “wealthcare” legislation in the Republican Senate and it failed by three Republican votes. Consequences. Trump’s failure to act on preserving the sanctions against Russia, Congress passed by an overwhelming and veto-proof legislation requiring him to do so. Consequences.
Trump’s failure to condemn the actions of the KKK and the white supremacists in Charlottesville, by claiming there was blame on “many sides” and some “good people” in the Nazi-led group, led to an outpouring of righteous indignation by millions across the country. Since then his approval ratings, which were never great to begin with, have dropped as low as 34% in some polls, while is disapproval ratings climbed as high as 60%. Consequences.
All of these actions were of Trump’s own making. While he has openly or tacitly blamed others for his troubles, the responsibility rests squarely with him. He has used the U.S. government as his personal piggy bank, charging Secret Service agents to stay at his personal resorts, including over $60,000 in golf cart fees that go directly into his pockets. But now Newsweek reported that “Both the General Services Administration and the GSA’s Inspector General” are looking into Trump’s lease of this property from the government. This raises to six the number of ongoing investigations into Trump. Consequences?
But Trump’s biggest mistake to date was his summarily firing James Comey as the Director of the F.B.I.. in May of 2017. Comey revealed in testimony before Congress that Trump had asked him to drop the investigation into General Michael Flynn. He had refused, as was correct, to publicly announce that Trump personally was not being investigated as part of the Trump-Russia connection. This action, taken by Trump, probably on the advice of political neophyte and son-in-law Jared Kushner, has led to biggest consequence of his short term. The appointment, by the Department of Justice, of Robert Mueller as a Special Counsel to investigate possible obstruction of justice charges against Trump, and any other areas where the investigation might lead.
Trump might not realize it yet, but Robert Mueller is his worst nightmare come true. Highly respected in the legal and political circles in Washington for his integrity and determination, he has assembled a superior team of attorneys qualified to investigate every aspect of Trump’s business empire as well as his political associates. He has also aligned his investigation with one conducted by the New York State Attorney General, thus negating Trump’s ability to pardon any potential co-conspirators for state criminal charges. A decorated Marine, Mueller has no fear of Donald Trump, either the man or the president.
For the first time in his life, Donald Trump faces a Nemesis. One who will be extremely hard to defeat. One who, like his Greek namesake, will bring justice and retribution. A man who will, in the words of the prophet Amos:
“Let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.”
It no longer appears to be a question of if, but one of when. And one can only hope that it will be soon enough to save our great nation from its gravest threat since its inception.