by Des Houghton, The Courier-Mail
THE Trump presidency is effectively over.
The lawyer-led Washington elites will see to that.
The Washington swamp The Donald vowed to drain is simply too deep, too muddy and contains too many alligators. They are snapping at his heels.
Trump stands charged of possible "collusion'' with the Kremlin in the lead-up to his stunning election win.
Overnight the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to investigate possible deals between President Trump's associates and Russian officials.
Robert S. Mueller III, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to take over the investigation as a special counsel.
Trump has denied wrongdoing. The ordeal will be withering.
The Don described it as a witch hunt adding: "I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country."
How very true. And it will get worse before it gets better.
Every phrase, every minute twist of his language will now be scrutinised.
In some ways perhaps it is irrelevant whether or not he cosied up to the Russians or was played by them. Trump will be killed by the process.
Perhaps this is Richard Nixon all over again.
Trump is staring down his accusers and says he still plans to travel to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.
In Rome he might ask the Pope to pray for him. He will need a miracle.