Washington (CNN)-Donald Trump’s entire life story of fighting and surviving, of cheating personal and professional ruin over and over, has delivered him to his greatest battle yet — the one to save his presidency.
Trump is facing down a swarm of investigations from multiple congressional committees, a special counsel, state and federal prosecutors, and private litigants. His entire life is under scrutiny.
But the fight back has begun.
If there is any President who could bear such strain, who would perhaps relish the struggle, prosper amid its cacophony and be willing to cross all sorts of conventional lines to stay alive, it would surely be Trump.
As a youth at New York Military Academy, the future President learned one thing above all else: “life is about survival. It’s always about survival,” according to writer Michael D’Antonio in his biography of Trump.
It’s been Trump’s motto ever since, no matter the collateral damage and the cost of legal battles and reputational hits, personal scandals and bankruptcies.
Now America is about to be dragged along on Trump’s most existential struggle yet. Survival in a personal and political sense now defines his life, with Robert Mueller’s report expected to be filed soon and Democrats unfurling an oversight blitz that could lead to impeachment.
When House Democrats on Monday unveiled a mammoth document demand from a list of 81 potential witnesses linked to Trump’s businesses, campaigns, presidency and family, he and aides initially pledged cooperation.
But the mask soon slipped.
Trump responded on Tuesday according to his creed, with a promise of all-out confrontation and a searing blast at his enemies.
“It’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace to our country,” he said, accusing Democrats of being consumed by anger at their loss in 2016, and framing the coming fight as an extension of his 2020 re-election campaign.
Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, set the vituperative tone of a fight against a Democratic majority seeking to expose the President as historically corrupt.
“Democrats have embarked on a fishing expedition because they are terrified that their two year false narrative of ‘Russia collusion’ is crumbling,” Sanders said in a statement on Monday night. “The Democrats are not after the truth, they are after the President.”