He Is Not A King …

Many years ago, my sister-in-law, Linda, tried to teach me a new card game … I disremember what the game was, for I am not good at games and I likely never played it again after that night.  She had a unique way, for she rather made the rules as she went.  And, when I would try to play by the rules she had made five minutes earlier, she smacked my hand and said that no, that particular rule applied only to her, for she was sitting in the green chair, or some such nonsense.  I gave up.  That was a card game, and we laughed about it for years after.

But, when the man who claims the title of president defies the rules, tries to make his own and then change them again to suit his purposes, saying they really don’t apply to him, it is no laughing matter. An absolute monarch cannot be said to obstruct justice, for justice is whatever that monarch declares it to be.  The president of the United States is not … I repeat NOT … an absolute monarch!  We have a Constitution that is the foundation for the rules, not Donald Trump, and not his lawyers. Trump most certainly can be said to obstruct justice, and has, in fact, obstructed justice, more than once. Obstruction of justice is interference with the due process of law.

Dowd

John Dowd looking as if he has just swallowed something truly distasteful.  Perhaps he has.

Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, says that Trump cannot “obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.”  It seems to me that there is a difference between ‘expressing one’s view’ and breaking the law. Interesting, then, isn’t it that “Obstruction of Justice” was the first of three articles of impeachment against Richard Milhous Nixon in 1973?

According to FBI Director James Comey, Trump asked him to shut down the investigation against Mike Flynn.  Comey refused. Shortly thereafter, Trump fired Comey, who was at that time leading the investigation into Russia’s interference in our election. Recently,  Trump admitted to knowing that Flynn had lied to the FBI. How can any reasonable person not see this as obstruction of justice? Yet, Mr. Dowd claims that Trump cannot be said to have obstructed justice.  Just how much more does he need, I wonder?

Then why, I would ask, did Trump’s own, hand-picked Attorney General, Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, argue in 1999 when he was a senator from Alabama, that President Bill Clinton ought to be removed from office based on the argument that Clinton obstructed justice amid the investigation into his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky?  “The facts are disturbing and compelling on the President’s intent to obstruct justice,” he said, according to remarks in the congressional record.

In addition to Sessions, there are 40 members of Congress still serving today who voted for Clinton’s impeachment or removal of Clinton from office for obstruction of justice. They include none other than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who mounted his own passionate appeal to remove Clinton from office for obstruction of justice – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, who was a House member at the time. So … oh no, Mr. Dowd … you don’t get this one.

Constitutional experts Jonathan Turley of George Washington University and Daniel P. Franklin of Georgia State University both said Dowd’s argument isn’t completely without merit. According to Franklin …

“The president’s lawyer is overstating his case, but he has a point. The words of a president, not expressed under oath and not in the service of obstruction (for example, ordering subordinates to commit obstruction), are just words and not actions and, therefore, are not a crime.”

Turley said he disagrees with Dowd but that it is a “perfectly reasonable argument.” He agrees that it’s more difficult to prove obstruction when a president is acting as chief executive, but unlike Franklin, he said even those actions could theoretically be criminal.

In light of that, I cannot see how Trump firing Comey after asking him to drop the case against Flynn can be anything but obstruction.  Are we splitting hairs here?  Bob Bauer, a New York University law professor and former White House counsel to Barack Obama:

“It is certainly possible for a president to obstruct justice. The case for immunity has its adherents, but they based their position largely on the consideration that a president subject to prosecution would be unable to perform the duties of the office, a result that they see as constitutionally intolerable.”

Now, let me pose a question here.  If he cannot be said to have obstructed justice, then why is he going to such lengths to throw up a smokescreen and change his story repeatedly?  The smokescreen?  Hillary Clinton.  Once again beating that dead horse, his comments today were simply ludicrous with absolutely zero basis in fact.

“I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly. He’s led a very strong life and I feel very badly. Hillary Clinton lied many times to the F.B.I. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life.”

The truth is that after Ms. Clinton’s testimony, FBI Director James Comey recommended that no charges be filed and the case was closed.  The FBI has never so much as intimated that Ms. Clinton lied. In fact, the FBI director told Congress that there was “no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.”

This is not the first time Trump has attempted to disregard or circumvent the law, but it may be the most important to date. The president is not above the law.  He must be held accountable for his actions and words, for otherwise he is an autocrat, and our government no longer one “Of the people, by the people and for the people”.  This is not how a democracy works. Donald Trump has, for nearly 11 months, had a nearly free pass, has been caught blatantly lying time and time again, to the point that I no longer believe a single word he utters. He has been accused of sexually abusing women, of cheating, and other behaviours and acts that have denigrated the office of the president.  I think that it is past time for us to raise our angry voices, just as Trump supporters have been doing for two years and continue to do to this day, beating a dead horse.  Instead of chants of “Lock him up”, I would settle for “Get him out!!!”

13 thoughts on “He Is Not A King …

  1. I wounded how Trump’s 71year old body is holding up as he has chronic meltdowns about anything less than perfect to him? He consider upping his blood pressure meds and cutting back on fast food or he could be ex president this way faster than impeachment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill,
    The conservative legal minds like Jonathan Turley would love the thesis that the president cannot be charged for “Obstruction of Justice” which is plain ole poppycock. Saying out loud does not make it true.

    But never fear, the FBI Special Counsel is going down the right presidential financial trail of Deutsche Bank, the Bank of Cyprus, Russian monies buying the president’s properties. President Trump signaled that this was a red line where Mr. Mueller could not travel. But he may as well put up a billboard sign, advertising to go this way to find the dirt on Donald J. Trump. This is where it will become apparent that he is owned by Russia because of his financial entanglements via high levels of debt owed to entities in Russia and how thus, he is the poster boy of a Russian asset.

    The president has a lot more to worry about than “obstruction of justice” potential charges.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you, I think Mueller has found the key to the whole bloomin’ mess, but I fear, as the heat is turned up on Trump & Co., what damage he might do, for he has shown that he operates on a strictly emotional plane with no filters, no thought processes … I’m no longer asking the question “what next?”, as I have come to realize that there truly is no bottom to the bucket of depravity. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, the comments made by his attorney are ill founded. Nixon was about to removed from office when he resigned. The first paragraph of his impeachment papers cited “obstruction of justice” as will Trump’s. While he acts like a King, this President is spiraling out of control as Mueller gets closer. He is adding to his own case against him by his tweeting. And, he continues to rub people wrong with his attacks like the one on the FBI and serious journalists who are doing some very good reporting. He will go ballistic on the subpoena of his financial records. And, when Mr. Kushner is brought up on charges soon, I believe, this may begin a meltdown. That is what I believe. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know this, and you know this, but there is still a contingent that think we pick on poor li’l Donnie without mercy and that he is the greatest thing to hit the Oval Office. That contingent is why he feels he has license to act and speak as he does, for it seems to energize his base. Some say Mueller’s request may cross Trump’s “red line” and spur him to try to fire Mueller, though to my way of thinking, that would be a blatant admission of guilt. I admit concern over what he will do as the panic must be growing in his little world. He does not operate rationally, but puresly from the emotion of the moment, as we see from his early morning tweets.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill, his base may love him, but he remains at only 35% favorable. The same survey says the Tax Bills are 29% favorable with 64% saying they benefit the wealthy.

        If he fires Mueller, he will like face some resignations. Plus, Congress will hire Mueller. His base has lost a few folks, but the unwinding has begun. Of course he has obstructed justice and I am hard pressed to believe he did not collude with the Russians. By the way, the Russiand are banned from the Olympics for state sponsored cheating – and we should find it hard to believe they did not influence our elections. Putin, like Trump, is a notorious cheater and liar. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • All true. The difference between Trump and Nixon is that Trump, I think, would refuse to resign and force an impeachment process/hearing, thus further dividing the nation that he obviously does not care a whit about. And meanwhile I see him continuing to do stupid things like his announcement on Jerusalem today. I don’t really see the end coming until sometime late next year, unless he does something so blatant that swift action is taken.

          I saw a headline today that Putin says he will run for re-election. Well, duh … was there ever a doubt? And yes, I’m glad Russia is being banned from the Olympics. It’s sad for the athletes that weren’t a part of the scandal, but … I’m glad the IOC was not afraid to stand up to Putin.

          Like

  4. Please don’t debase the crown (and maybe give him ideas King Donald I of the House of Trump) by sticking it on his head, even in jest.He’ll be trying to marry his kids and grandkids into some of the Royal houses until one of them rules Saudi at least.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good Lord! Never! Much as he might dream (imagine) himself to be king…..Only in his world a ‘fellow-nutters’.
    As for Dowd…. Well….self-delusion is freely available to ‘disciples of Folly’. 😉 Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

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