The Advisor was pacing in his underground suite, waiting for the President. He knew these sessions were becoming more critical. He simply had to get the President to tell future readers of the Advisor journals not so much what he did, but why. History was nearly always based on what was done. Seldom did any writer of history really know why and how the whats of history were accomplished. He wasn’t exactly setting a trap for the President but, rather, giving him an opportunity to explain himself.
The fragrance of the dark roast Sumatra coffee filled the room. He and the President were both addicted to the flavor of strong coffee. Both took it black. The Advisor never objected to the President lighting up during his meetings. He had once been an addicted smoker himself and still enjoyed the smell of good tobacco with his coffee or single malt scotch. He was alone, and lonely too much, to have the temptation of a bottle or two within reach.
The phone buzzed. It was Chris, the President’s Secret Service escort alerting him President was on his way down. The room was perfectly arranged the President liked, as the Advisor had gotten into the habit of leaving it in the hopes the President would visit. The Advisor poured two cups of coffee and walked to the door to greet the President.
As he walked down the dimly lit short underground passageway to the steel vault door with 150 years of a dark green patina surrounding the even older brass plaque on the door inscribed with the words, “EIGHT DECADES OF INSIGHTS,” the President thought, I must be almost as nutty as that old black man inside. When I miss a couple of weeks, I miss the conversation. It is damned near like being on a couch with some learned nerd telling me what is wrong with me. Hell, I know what’s wrong with me. I’m a president trying to take a nation where it doesn’t want to go. I don’t have time to convince or educate them. I just have to drag them kicking and screaming into the world of the future where there is no inequality in nations or among nations. Call it socialism or communism or progressivism. I just don’t care. It is where we are going. Talking with this old man, who is smart as hell, helps me stay on course. I do wonder how he managed to fit this old steel door with the modern sensors that read my palm print on the brass plaque.
The Advisor greeted the President and led him over to the conference table. Once seated and the settled in with coffee and the President’s cigarette, the Advisor said, “Is it still my turn?”
“It’s a go. This maybe a short meeting. I may get called out.”
“You are trained in the law, but seemed not to have a reverence for the rule of law. It is more like you approach each problem in a very pragmatic way. Whatever works to help you get your way goes. You seem to have a distinct aversion to both the judicial and legislative branches. Is that right?”
“Close. I don’t follow the law. I use the law.”
“Mr. President, no offense, but do you realize some of your predecessors were impeached or threatened with impeachment? For example, the use of the IRS to discriminate against conservative groups applying for a tax-free status during an election period.”
“For a crime, especially an impeachable one, you must have evidence that can be presented in a court of law,” the President said, blowing out a puff of smoke. “No evidence, no crime, no attempts at impeachment. I don’t write things down or talk in front of my staff, except for a very few loyal and trusted ones, about what I want done if it is at all questionable in the law. If the Congressional Republicans can’t collect evidence, there is no crime. I don’t help or hinder their efforts to get emails or other information for their own political objectives. I can’t help what department heads do. The Civil Service is required to support the president. After all, they serve as my staff. I don’t need to tell them what to do, they know or they would not be employed.”
“What you are describing is unique in American history and ….” the Advisor started.
The phone buzzed and Chris said, “Mr. President, you are needed upstairs.” The President said, “This was getting interesting. Let’s continue the next time.” He smiled, pushed his cup away and put out his cigarette before walking to the door. Over his shoulder, he said, “How do you stand it down here? You must have committed some awful crime.”
The Advisor thought, sometimes I wonder.
The above is a fictional account of a meeting that never took place, but it could have.
The author’s latest Jack Brandon novel, ISIS Quiet Justice, is available at your local book store and in ebook format from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Follow the author on Twitter at @factsfictions80.