President Pelosi? Will Trump defect? Where will the Connecticut GOP hide?

To borrow a metaphor used recently by President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in trying to discredit a previous Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, if you don't believe special counsel Robert Mueller is going to connect the dots between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 election, then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

We only lack the documentation from a final Mueller report to see exactly how beholden our greedy and lying president is to Vladimir Putin.

That's why Trump has been so freaked out by the Mueller investigation from the beginning. He knows exactly where it is heading.

Perhaps we will learn more from Mueller about the Palm Beach mansion Trump bought for $40 million and flipped, selling it for $100 million to a Russian oligarch who then tore it down.

Of course even without a Mueller report, we already know a lot from the sharing of campaign poll data by campaign manager Paul Manafort to President Trump's own lies to the American people during the campaign about having no dealings in Russia, even while his lawyer was negotiating a lucrative deal for a Trump tower in Moscow.

Does anyone really believe Trump didn't know Cohen, in testifying to Congress, was going to lie to cover up his own and the president's lies about when the negotiations for the tower in Russia ended in 2016?

Because I have long respected America as a great country, I am confident this is going to turn out well. I think the guy who volunteered to serve his country in war, who came home from Vietnam with medals for his heroism, who went on to honorably run the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will finally bring justice to the guy whose rich father concocted a bone spur deferment to keep him home from the war in Vietnam.

Just like the victims of the huge Trump University scam, who got to share a $25 million lawsuit settlement for their claims of being bilked by our president, the American people are going to see some relief from the last two years of Trump hell.

A caller to The Day newsroom this week, who left a message overnight, put it pretty succinctly when she suggested: "We need a new president ... so we can get our freedoms back. God help us all."

I also have enough faith in the innate fairness of all Americans, even the ones so offended and frustrated by the lackluster campaign by Hillary Clinton that they voted for Trump, who are not going to turn their backs on proof that Mueller produces showing the president, for his own selfish ends, conspiring with the enemy.

Most Americans are not going to accept treason, even if they do hate Hillary Clinton.

The pursuit of the Putin agenda by Trump has been in plain sight, beginning with the softening on sanctions against Russia in the GOP convention platform, to the ongoing attack on our NATO allies, the recent plans to withdraw from Syria and, now, a prolonged shutdown of the United States government.

Putin couldn't do better if he himself were in the Oval Office.

I believe a lot of those MAGA hats are headed for the junk heap, once we hear from Mueller.

It occurred to me, when impeachment talk began to reach a high pitch last week, that Vice President Mike Pence might not survive a Mueller report, even though there has been no suggestion to date that he had any knowledge or any involvement with Russians in the 2016 campaign.

Indeed, if Pence had any role assigned in a plot, it would seem to be as pardoner in chief in the event Trump and his family do finally go down.

If that were the case, though, I am not sure Pence would risk a shot at eventually winning the White House on his own, with pardons excusing treason. To not pardon could be the obsequious vice president's first bold and independent stroke of political savvy.

But then, depending on what we learn from Mueller, you have to wonder if the vice president might escape the impeachment vice. Could you elevate to the presidency someone who came to power by virtue of a treasonous and illegal political campaign?

Even if Pence was indeed clueless about what was going on, wouldn't a report from Mueller showing Trump campaign conspiracy with the Russians make him an illegitimate vice president? Wouldn't the campaign violations by Cohen, paying off the women from Trump trysts, in which the president was implicated, cast a legal shadow over the Trump/Pence win.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the 2016 election finally produced America's first woman president after all, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, now the next in line for the presidency after Trump and Pence.

I wonder if the president might contemplate defecting to Russia, once an impeachment begins and the prospect of a Pence pardon seems unlikely. We already know campaign violation felony charges could await a former President Trump who has no pardon protection.

Trump doesn't strike me as one who is going to go lightly off to jail.

Here in Connecticut, the fallout from a Trump impeachment could make the GOP trouncing in the last election here seem like an appetizer to a grand political feast for Democrats.

The party that still has a Trump enthusiast in charge will have a lot of soul searching and house cleaning to do.

I also will be curious, in that event, to hear from the local GOP leader who I recall whipping up a gathering of Trump supporters with the campaign battle cry: "Let's give him four years."

It eventually might turn out to be well shy of three.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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