Friday, April 19, 2019

The Crooked Roads Not Taken

  (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
The report confirms the absence of any arguments to the effect Russia allegedly intervened in the U.S. election. Not a single piece of evidence is there.” - Russian government
Soon, we will help you elect Trump once again. Just like the last time. Get ready!”- Also Russia, same day

Dear Congress:

Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution wasn't a friendly guideline but a fucking law.


the Founding Fathers.

     We were told to be patient, just wait for the Mueller Report, we were told. Don't make any rash and hasty conclusions, we were told. We waited nearly two years while a Russian-owned goon ran roughshod over our nation and the world. The Russians couldn't make it any more obvious or be any more helpful to you, Democrats. Now get. The. Fuck. To. Work.
     Right about now, the Democrats, especially party leadership, should consider swapping out their donkey mascot for a frog in a pot of boiling water. If you were to ask guys like Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, he'd tell you impeachment "wasn't worth it" (although today he'd be singing a different tune). So would Pelosi, who's already made her thoughts on the subject known. So, like the proverbial frog in water slowly heating to a boil, machine Democrats keep insisting what Trump did during and after his campaign doesn't even rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and, well, even if they did, it's still not worth it. Let's wait for Election Day 2020.
     In other words, let the voters take care of Trump. Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution is for partisan hacks.
     This is coming from the same party that swiftly threw one of their own under the bus then out of the Senate after a picture surfaced of Al Franken pretending to grope a sleeping woman's breasts. But a Republican who'd bragged about assaulting women by grabbing their genitals and threw the entire planet in turmoil after colluding with Russia to swing the election in his favor? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. We don't want to look too partisan with the elections coming up, now would we?
      Because, God knows, the Republicans are above such petty partisanship.
     Even the heavily-censored version of the Mueller report makes a strong case for impeachment. After all, if the report unconditionally exonerated Trump of both collusion and obstruction, then there wouldn't have been a three and a half page letter from Bill Barr telling Congress what it said. There would have been no ridiculous and mendacious press conference an hour and a half before the report was released to Congress and Barr wouldn't have sat on it for nearly a month while he and his partisan right wing stooges at Justice were draining America's black ink supply.
     And if no suspicion of these crimes existed in the Special Counsel's Office Mueller wouldn't have written this: "The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law." In other words, Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution that these Democratic lawmakers swore to uphold as they took their respective offices.

The Crooked Road Less Traveled Made All the Difference
It needs to be said that if Trump didn't actually commit any crimes during and after the campaign, it wasn't for lack of trying. And the only reason Trump isn't facing a grand jury is because of the cooler heads of those working under Trump.
     He asked James Comey to swear to a loyalty oath and back off from investigating Michael Flynn (how that in and of itself does not constitute obstruction is anyone's guess, especially when that account comes from a former Director of the FBI) and Comey refused. Trump fired him.
     He asked Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from any Russia-related investigation before he refused. Trump fired him
     He told Don McGahn to contact the DOJ to set in motion Mueller's termination as Special Council. He refused and threatened to quit.
     He told KT McFarland to draft an internal letter stating that Trump hadn't asked Michael Flynn to discuss sanctions of Russia with the Kremlin's then-U.S. ambassador, Sergey Kislyak even though he'd had conversations with him of that nature then lied to Mike Pence about it. She refused and Trump fired McFarland.
     And so forth and so on. Or. in the words of the anonymous op-ed writer in the NY Times last December 5th, "I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations."
     And, when cooler, more pragmatic heads didn't prevail, there was the stupidity of those around him who were too dull-witted to know what was going on to cause more damage. People like Donald Trump, Jr, for instance, whom Mueller had considered charging before realizing that would be akin to special needs abuse.
     It also needs to be said that the only reason Mueller didn't go after Trump with hammers and tongs is because of a ridiculous rule in the Justice Department's OLC forbidding a Special Counsel from indicting a sitting president (Essentially, it means the president is too big to fall). However, I refer to Democrats in Congress that their duty is clear in Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution:
     "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
     What Trump had done and had allowed to be done on his behalf with his full knowledge and consent isn't merely reminiscent of Nixon. What Nixon did, even the subsequent coverup and the missing 18 1/2 minutes of audiotape, pales in comparison to what Trump had done. Mueller put the impeachment ball in Congress's court. And the party leadership is watching the ball bounce, roll then stop without making a move to pick it up.


At April 19, 2019 at 6:13 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...

This whole thing about proving intent... about not being guilty simply because a smarter person did not follow through on given orders, or because someone didn't deliver on the goods that were arranged to be taken.

Isn't "attempted" murder a crime?!?

At April 19, 2019 at 6:21 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Sure, since murder is a capital crime. But there are lesser crimes (although treason is pretty serious), for which attempting or planning to commit such crimes is called "conspiracy." Apparently, Mueller couldn't find enough evidence for conspiracy to commit any crime within the Trump campaign. Which, considering how sloppy the entire campaign was from start to finish, is pretty hard to swallow.

At April 20, 2019 at 12:34 PM, Blogger Glen Tomkins said...

"It needs to be said that if Trump didn't actually commit any crimes during and after the campaign, it wasn't for lack of trying. And the only reason Trump isn't facing a grand jury is because of the cooler heads of those working under Trump."

Of course the House should start the impeachment process. But the really meaty reasons he needs to be removed now, instead of waiting for the next election, have at least as much to do with his inability to discharge the powers and duties of his office, as they do with his willful and malign misuse of the powers and failure to do his duty. His handlers have managed to prevent him from going ahead with his more obviously and immediately foolish and illegal ideas, sometimes, we are told, by expedients as simple as filching a document from his inbox before he could sign it.

Trump suffers from dementia. He doesn't understand the powers and duties of his office well enough to abuse them effectively.

So, sure, go ahead with investigating him for misuse of the powers and duties. I would suggest going more into episodes of abuse of the office that Mueller hasn't covered already, both because Mueller has covered them already pretty well, and because they really aren't as needful of the corrective action of removal from office. But add to the investigation of abuse of the powers and duties caused by malign intent, another dimension, abuse of the powers and duties because this president doesn't understand the powers and duties well enough to be allowed to continue to hold the office. The latter is going to be both easier to prove, and much easier to convince Rs to turn on Trump over.

To pick one particular example, you bring in Nielsen to testify about the illegal and destructive things that Trump wanted her dept to do, and that's great, that's useful. But the bottom line is that she and the other handlers, mostly at least, got Trump to not do these illegal and destructive things, so no crimes, right? But the story you will get from her is not that Trump was convinced to not do these illegal things because he carefully listened to reason and backed down. The story will be that he was led by the nose away from the illegal folly, fooled by subterfuges that would stand no chance of getting past anyone who actually was able to discharge the powers and duties. You need the threat of legal jeopardy to get Nielsen and others to rat out Trump, but leaving them the out that they actively thwarted the folly of a demented president is much, much more user-friendly an out than that they were parties to a criminal conspiracy for the years before they resigned.

At April 20, 2019 at 12:55 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

I can't argue with a single one of your points, Glen. You're spot on.

At April 22, 2019 at 1:58 PM, Anonymous Comrade Rutherford said...

"Mueller couldn't find enough evidence"

That is the key part of Mueller's report, right there. Mueller did NOT say, 'I found evidence that proves Trump did not conspire or coordinate.' Mueller said they could not find *enough* evidence.

Listening to the commentary has been maddening, Trump, Trump jr, and the rest of his family walked into a bank and handed the teller a note saying 'Give me the election', but they were so incompetent that they left without anything. And that's not a crime!?


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