Rules??? Rules Are For Others …

Note:  On Wednesday, 18 July, Donald Trump spoke with three New York Times reporters — Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman — in an exclusive interview in the Oval Office for nearly an hour.  There are a number of points in the interview that I believe need to be addressed at length, and this post is the first of those.

One of our Significant Seven is a beautiful, tiny long-haired cat named Tiger Lily.  We call her the ‘cat from hell’, for she is vicious.  She will beg to be petted, you are contentedly stroking her gorgeous fur, and then out of the blue, with no warning, either her teeth or claws are sunk deeply into your skin.

It would appear that the person occupying the Oval Office has a personality similar to that of Miss Tiger Lily, as he turns on his own just as quickly and with no less viciousness. Take, for example, his remarks about Attorney General Jeff Sessions in his Wednesday interview with the New York Times.

Trump: “So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have — which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, “Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.” It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself. I then end up with a second man, who’s a deputy.

Haberman: “Rosenstein.”

Trump: “Who is he? And Jeff hardly knew. He’s from Baltimore.”

Trump: “Yeah, what Jeff Sessions did was he recused himself right after, right after he became attorney general. And I said, “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” I would have — then I said, “Who’s your deputy?” So his deputy he hardly knew, and that’s Rosenstein, Rod Rosenstein, who is from Baltimore. There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any. So, he’s from Baltimore. Now, he, we went through a lot of things. We were interviewing replacements at the F.B.I. Did you know Mueller was one of the people that was being interviewed?”

Translation:  If I had known Jeff Sessions was going to follow the law, I would not have hired him.

Let me just set the record straight on a few issues here.

  • Sessions had no choice but to recuse himself once it came to light that, as Trump’s campaign advisor, he met, during the campaign, with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and then omitted to inform the Senate Judiciary Committee of the meetings when questioned about it. The law: Justice Department regulations provide that “no employee shall participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship” with the subject of the investigation or “any person or organization which he knows has a specific and substantial interest that would be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation or prosecution.” As Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee last month, “That regulation states, in effect, that department employees should not participate in investigations of a campaign if they have served as a campaign advisor.” In other words, it’s a no-brainer, at least if you understand basic concepts of conflict of interest. What Trump perceives as betrayal is Ethics 101.

  • As regards the appointment by Rod Rosenstein of Robert Mueller as special counsel: Justice Department regulations require appointment of a special counsel when the attorney general, or someone acting in his stead, determines that investigation through the normal departmental processes “would present a conflict of interest for the Department.” How could this not be true of the Russia matter? Even leaving aside the question of whether the president himself is under investigation, it involves the president’s campaign and closest advisers, including relatives. The special counsel regulations were not put in place to torment presidents but to reassure the public that, even in politically sensitive cases, justice would proceed impartially and unimpeded.

rules-Trump-2It would appear that Trump’s reason for his remarks against Sessions is to cause Sessions to resign. I imagine he presumes that if Sessions resigns, he will nominate a new Attorney General, one who will not have need to recuse himself from the investigation, and one who will do Trump’s bidding, which would likely be to fire Robert Mueller and end the independent investigation into the many threads that tie the Russian government to Donald Trump & Co.

Sessions said he and his Justice Department colleagues intended to continue to serve and he would do so “as long as that is appropriate.” In early June, after Trump ranted to various people that Sessions should not have recused himself, Jeff Sessions is said to have offered his resignation, which Trump refused.  But now, with the heat having been turned up even more in light of Don Trump Junior’s meeting in June 2016, apparently Trump is having second thoughts.

What is most troubling about this is that it highlights the fact that Donald Trump believes he is above the law, that laws and rules do not apply to him, and that he can bully his way through any situation.  As most of you know, I have an immense dislike of Jeff Sessions, consider him to be a bigot and a racist, and think he is possibly the worst possible person to lead the Department of Justice.  That said, I hope he is not forced to resign, simply because at present, with Sessions’ hands tied in the Russian investigation and Rosenstein seeming to be a straight shooter, I believe the investigation will proceed.  If Sessions leaves, all bets are off, unless the Senate wakes up and begins to realize that Trump is a power-hungry madman and refuses to confirm any candidate unless they promise to keep Mueller on as special counsel and let him do his job.

Donald Trump apparently believes that his position, his title, render him immune from the law.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and he needs to start being held accountable for both his words and his actions.  Thus far, few have attempted to do so … it is time for that to change.

35 thoughts on “Rules??? Rules Are For Others …

  1. Dear Jill,
    I commented on your last blog first.
    Your blog is right-on. DDT wants Mr. Sessions gone. My first reaction was that I hope he doesn’t take the bait and so that he can make the president fire him.The president does no want to fire him, because if he then fires Mr. Mueller, his intent for obstruction of justice becomes a bit too obvious.

    So DDT is avoiding taking this step. I just blogged on a Russian intercept where Ambassador Kislyak was overheard informing his bosses that his conversations with Mr. Sessions where much more detailed than Mr. Sessions let on. The timing of this leak is just too coincidental.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will be checking out that post before I go to bed! Yes, the Russian connections are escalating rapidly and I’m almost afraid of how Trump is going to handle it, for he must obviously be feeling like a trapped animal at this point, and we know that trapped animals can be vicious.
      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have no desire to be an alarmist…but…Having said that: I foresee a serious constitutional crisis that will haunt us for a very long time. Convention and political discourse has assumed some measure of reason and logic (no matter how misguided) to apply to our politicians.

    I’m reminded of a quote by Mark Twain:

    “There are some things that can beat smartness and foresight? Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him; he does the thing he ought not to do; and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot.”

    Here’s to hoping that our democracy and freedom does not meet a similar fate of the best swordsman.

    –Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • That quote is absolutely perfect! No, you are not being an alarmist … I have the same thoughts. With the latest news that he is trying to “dig up dirt” on Mueller and his team of investigators, and that he is considering whether he can pardon everyone around him, including himself, I am increasingly convinced that he has every intention of ruling as an autocrat as quickly as possible. This is why I keep doing what I do with this blog … I feel that none of us can afford to simply sit back and “wait and see”, but we need to be trying to open the eyes of those who still think he is wonderful. And how, anyway, can people be that bloomin’ blind???

      Cheers!

      Like

  3. When an elected official puts himself above the Law, he ceases to be a President / Prime Minister / Chancellor, and instead becomes a dictator.
    Funny it should be happening in the USA, today.
    Jill, I could weep for your poor country.
    Instead have my love and best wishes. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, dear Jack. Tonight, I find I am weeping. I think I may have spent too much time in the rabbit hole. I cannot fathom how we came to this point, and how some people still think Trump is a saviour of some kind. He is trying to shut down the Russian investigation, and even looking into whether he can pardon himself of any and all charges even before such charges happen. It is 4:30 a.m. and I have been at this since I got up this morning, save for a brief respite when I mopped the floors! I am tired … just plain damn tired. And yeah, I am fighting tears for I’m no longer sure I believe that justice will prevail. I’m no longer sure that the safeguards of the Constitution can hold against this onslaught.

      Love and hugs to you, my sweet Jack! And a million thanks for your support … I brighten when I see a comment from you! ❤ ❤ ❤

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  4. Jill, the two most interesting comments made by Thomas Wells, the attorney who worked for Trump and wrote the op-ed saying his reasons not to elect him, are as follows:
    – the first is the man lies every day, about even the smallest of things..
    – the second is while he demands loyalty, he will toss anyone aside for the smallest of perceived affronts.

    He has already started a line of defense with Junior saying he did not know of the meeting. But, in his second lie about his knowledge of the meeting, Senior admitted in The NY Times interview that he knew of the email invitation.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Remember the story of the little boy who cried wolf? I was thinking this morning that most of us who are not blindly supporting him no longer believe a single thing he says. So what happens when some day there is a genuine crisis? If he went on every network at noon tomorrow and said there are nukes headed our way, most of us would say, “yeah, sure, Donnie” and go on about our business. We didn’t realize how good we had it in the past.

      Liked by 1 person

            • Shields and Brooks said Spicer used to be a straight shooter before his work with Trump. Both said no one that has left the Trump White House without being diminished. Shields referred to Trump as the anti-mentor. Brooks also noted reading the transcripts of the NY Times interview reveals a lack of coherent thought by the President. They are just words thrown together.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes, I also felt that Spicer was a decent man, and never understood why he didn’t resign sooner. Often I felt sorry for him, having to say things that he obviously was uncomfortable with. I believe eventually the job would have killed him. He was in way over his head with the ruthless bunch in the WH. And the transcript of the NYT interview is definitely a head-shaker. At times he was completely incoherent.

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                  • I certainly hope so! I read an article today that said no matter what he does now, history will never judge him as a popular president. I think even the base with whom he is popular is shrinking. And true loyalty, like respect, can only be earned, not demanded.

                    Like

  5. When I told Kevin that I had heard reporting last night that Trump was asking who he could pardon, including himself, Kevin thought for sure it was “fake news”. It was the Washington Post. How unfortunate, or fortunate depending on how you look at it, that Kevin was wrong…sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, it’s real … at least as far as I can tell. In fact, I am working on a piece about that now for either this afternoon or tomorrow, so stay tuned. If the president can pardon even himself, then in my opinion, there is no law. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, Drumph has always lived by the “peon-rules don’t apply to me” – don’t know why we would think he would change in his new role…I just can’t believe those bozos in Congress and Senate (the ones starting with “R”) continue to let him get away with all this sh$%!

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s what has me puzzled too. There is something we aren’t seeing … I’m digging, but haven’t found it yet. And the other puzzle is why 36% of the people in this nation are still blindly loyal and believe every word he utters. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. DT is unbelievable. In all my years I’ve never seen a president who is so blatant about having his own way and believing he’s untouchable by the law. He actually throws temper tantrums like a two-year-old child. I’ve also never seen a Congress so unwilling to do anything about it. 😦 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with all you say, and am still scratching my head asking, “how the heck did this happen?” The fact that Congress is, for the most part, still licking his boots is what truly unnerves me, for the three branches are intended to put limits on the powers of each other. The legislative branch is allowing the executive to run wild, at the cost of We The People. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

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