(Much of this is true.)
Our President's bad mood last weekend was easy to read. As they said in the old gangster movies, The Jig Is Up. No more cake for you, Donald!
Though Paul Manafort had backed off his earlier plea deal by lying to Mueller and sharing information about the investigation with the White House (good!), Michael Cohen sprang a bigger leak in the Drumpfseeflotte by pleading guilty to lying to Congress about ongoing talks with Russia into 2016. Very bad.
Trump had a dream--it was to be his crowning achievement. He wanted to make it happen in Moscow, the biggest hotel of all time. Running for President (not winning) was a strategy to build his brand up towards that. And, while he was running, he could raise holy Hell in the meantime with the media and those who had failed to respect him.
In 2015 and early 2016 the dealings with the Russians were proceeding, but Trump kept it at arms-length while his campaign was still a going concern. The Republican candidates ended up falling like bowling pins, though. Worse, people liked what he had to say on these national issues, simple expression of his uninformed instincts, by which his gut had always guided him. It then became apparent that the nomination was his (though winning the general election was, and would always remain, unlikely).
No problem. The deal was put on hold until after the election. The day chosen was the same day Russia entered the campaign more aggressively on Trump's behalf through their agents Assange (and Snowden?). Though the Trumps wanted the leaks, the timing was strange: It could have been a trick from either side; perhaps it was the subject of their private meeting in Helsinki, when Trump explained the necessity while not retracting his offer of the future penthouse.
Once again, though, fate intervened, and through a combination of errors and accidents, he won a smashing victory in the Electoral College despite never catching his opponent in popular opinion. WTF?
Things started to get very complicated quickly. First Mike Flynn overstepped and had to be sacrificed....and so on. Now Donald realizes that dream is never going to happen--this Presidency thing has gotten in the way, permanently.
Donald Trump claims to be the expert negotiator. I think it's time to put this to the real test. The idea is very simple, though it will take some time to work out important details--so it's critical to begin soon.
Trump doesn't run in 2020, agreeing to be a one-term President No more indictments (from the date of the agreement) of White House personnel until after the completion of his term.
No tricks. Trump would agree not to seek or allow the nomination for President of the Republican party nor encourage nor allow his candidacy by any other entity. He, his children, and certain named White House staff would remain immune from any criminal indictments through US courts until Jan., 2021. This agreement would preclude indictment (Federal or state courts), but would not prejudice investigation, or even prosecution, subsequent to his administration for acts either before Election Day, 2016 or in his continuing role as a private citizen. Congressional leaders would forswear impeachment for a set of past subjects
The benefits of such an agreement to all concerned can be described. Trump leaves office with his head high, and his family intact. (Whether they stick around afterwards to face the music or run for it, I don't know.) The election can proceed normally; Congress can avoid having to put everybody through the pain of impeachment and even some of the endless subpoenas and fights over executive privilege.. The Presidency can avoid the contamination and condemnation that the Ford pardon of Nixon caused. The voting public can focus on what comes next after this aberrant episode. The Special Prosecutor would continue its work, developing cases, but on a reduced budget, until the end of the term; that would reduce lasting damage to the Department of Justice, the FBI, etc.
The terms of the proposed agreement would take some time to arrange, during which Mueller's investigation and prosecutions will continue, delivering hammer blows until Trump finally faces reality and accepts the need to talk (I would imagine he would turn the idea down flat the first couple times it would be suggested.)
There are key details that must be worked out: the specifics of the immunity for family members and Donald (until January, 2021); and disposition of the money Trump has already raised for his 2020 campaign. (Reported to be $100 milion; as far as I'm concerned, he can keep it.) There are a number of parties that need to agree on this, besides Trump, and he would need to make a Shermanesque statement of disavowing a run for 2020. That would be the hardest part; he will need to be persuaded it's his best option.
Maybe then he could build his hotel in Moscow.