Is ‘Rule of Law’ Dead?

Whether Trump’s firing of Jeff Sessions was warranted or ethical is not the question.  Whether Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General is constitutional is not the question, nor is the question whether Whitaker should recuse himself from the Mueller investigation. The question tonight is whether this nation has become one where ‘rule of law’ applies only to those without wealth & power?  I would begin by asking just what gives one single man, Mitch McConnell, the power of life and death over the Mueller investigation?

It’s funny how just the day before, Mitch McConnell wrote that OpEd piece promoting bipartisanship and bemoaning the fact that he didn’t believe democrats would be willing to reach across the aisle … not that Mitchell has ever once reached across that aisle.  But now, there is a bipartisan effort by Republican Senator Jeff Flake and Democratic Senator Chris Coons to pass legislation that would offer protection to the investigation that has been ongoing for a year-and-a-half, but McConnell has blocked that legislation.  Single handedly he stamped it “null and void”without consideration. 

“As you can imagine, I talk to the president fairly often, no indication that the Mueller investigation will not be allowed to finish, and it should be allowed to finish.  We know how the president feels about the Mueller investigation, but he’s never said, ‘I want to shut it down.’ … I think it’s in no danger, so I don’t think any legislation is necessary.”

I cry FOUL!  This legislation is very necessary and if Trump can get by with it, he will shut it down in a heartbeat.  Just listen to Trump’s latest rant against Mueller and the investigation …

“The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to  our Nation and don’t care how many lives the [sic] ruin. These are Angry People,including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years.They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”

For the record, Bob Mueller is a registered republican, and a much-decorated former Marine who served in Vietnam and came home with a Purple Heart from being shot in the leg. 

“I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have made it out of Vietnam. There were many—many—who did not. And perhaps because I did survive Vietnam, I have always felt compelled to contribute.”

Trump mixed up his facts a bit … Mueller was Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for twelve years … eight under President George W. Bush, and four under President Barack Obama.

The only … the one and only thing that has kept Trump from taking action sooner was the fact that he cannot fire Mueller directly, Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General had recused himself, so he couldn’t fire him, and Rod Rosenstein is a man of integrity and wouldn’t fire him.  But now, with Whitaker in the position of Acting Attorney General, and Whitaker having licked Trump’s boots more than once already, echoing Trump’s rhetoric about the investigation being a ‘witch hunt’, the conclusion is obvious.  The only question is ‘when’?

There is no ‘witch hunt’, else Mueller would not have brought indictments against 32 people and 3 companies thus far, including Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time attorney and ‘fixer’, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman. 

Even Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, another who has stayed in Congress far too long and is a Trump sycophant, has said that he would back the bill to safeguard the investigation.  Jeff Flake has, perhaps, used the most important leverage of any in saying that he would refuse to advance any judiciary nominees until or unless the bill is passed. McConnell really wants to get as many of Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed as possible in order to stay in Trump’s good graces, if in fact there is such a thing.

Mitch McConnell has been in the Senate since 1984 … thirty-four years, and at least 22 years longer than he should have been or would have been if limits of two or even three terms had been in place.  Unfortunately, there is no recall provision such that the people of Kentucky could vote to recall McConnell from the Senate.  However,  Under Article I, Section 5, clause 2, of the Constitution, a Member of Congress may be removed from office before the normal expiration of his or her constitutional term by an “expulsion” from the Senate (if a Senator) or from the House of Representatives (if a Representative) upon a formal vote on a resolution agreed to by two-thirds of the Members of that body present and voting.  Okay, so we all know that this is about as likely to happen as my cat growing wings, but it should.  If McConnell ever had a conscience or a soul, he has long since sold it downriver and he does no service to the people of his state nor to the people of this nation. 

If the Mueller investigation is halted, or if it is shackled in such a way as to render it pointless, then it will serve as proof that Trump and his minions are all considered to be above the law and have always been, for the crimes being investigated took place before Trump’s election … he was not president at the time he and his campaign staff conspired with the Russians to adversely affect the outcome of the 2016 election.  Trump’s lawyers would argue that you cannot indict a sitting president, so … does that mean that if it were discovered tomorrow that Trump had killed an entire family and buried their bodies somewhere under Mar-a-Lago, Trump could not be charged?

Rule of law is defined as …

“The authority and influence of law in society, especially when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behavior; the principle whereby all members of a society are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes.”

The principle whereby all members of a society are considered equally subject …  ALL members.  Is Donald Trump above the law?  If he is, then he is not a member of this society, therefore cannot be a president, and instead is a dictator.  Can’t have it both ways, folks.  I have attempted to contact Mr. McConnell by phone and by email to let him know in no uncertain terms that We The People want this investigation to continue to its logical conclusion, that we want to know the results, and we want every single person who acted against the law to be held accountable by a court of law.  EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON.

34 thoughts on “Is ‘Rule of Law’ Dead?

  1. Rule of law never dies. Truth may be eclipsed for sometime but in the end only truth emerge victorious. In India we say ‘Satyamev Jayate’ which means ‘only truth wins’
    Besides u have written well

    Like

  2. No, as long as the subject is a negative word, as “none,” the verb must be postive, as “are.” (Otherwise the sentence could read, “all of his psychophants or Trum-Pets aren’t [members of American society] either”). “None aren’t” is a double negative. ‘Nuff said.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like Trump not being a member of American society, but that probably means none of his psychophants or Trum-Pets aren’t either. Therefore they can neither run for office, or vote to elect anyone to office. That would pretty much ensure a true blue wave come 2020. Just exercising my right to use my imagination…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Y’know … I’m not even sure that Trump is a member of the human race. I think he may have been sent here from some other universe to stir chaos and disorder. Imagine right on, my friend … anything we can imagine will likely be better than the present reality.

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  4. I am not an expert on the US constitution but somehow am fairly certain, somewhere within the frame work it is possible for a sitting president (or Donald Trump who merely occupies the Whitehouse in a quasi-legal position) to be indicted.
    To say in public this is not so, out loud is just begging for someone to go looking for a way to try. Damn’ fool statement….Like Amateur-Night at the ol’ Vaudeville I tell ya!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents a sitting president from being indicted. There are certain areas in which he is immune from prosecution, but certainly rigging an election, using power he didn’t even have yet to bargain for something to help him gain that power, using his wealth to buy favours to help him gain power … he is not above the law, at least constitutionally he isn’t. Now, what the courts would rule, since he has stacked them in his favour, is another matter. But, I was pleased this morning when a judge ruled that the White House has to give Jim Acosta his press creds back pending a trial. AND … the judge who made the ruling was a Trump appointee!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a technical problem here. The president is in charge of “seeing that the laws are faithfully executed”. So for a president to be indicted, there’s a sense in which he must indict himself.

      In principle, a president can be indicted. In practice it is a bit more difficult than the principle suggests.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Good explanation Neil.
        From an historical perspective of World History, the unthinkable has often happened given the right momentum.
        Back in the 17th Century NO ONE would have thought a mere parliament could topple and then have a king executed…..It was just not possible for the King was ‘God’s Appointed’….
        Then came the Civil War of these isles and Charles I ended up that way.
        President Nixon was quite unassailable in 1968…..
        ‘Uneasy is the head that wears the Crown’

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Jill, quite simply, contrast a former Marine, who has dutifully served his country under Presidents of both parties and was endorsed by both parties for this job, to a man who five biographers said has a problem with the truth, whose former economic advisor as President of Goldman Sachs forbid his company to do business with the Trump organization as they were untrustworthy and who is on record as lying 69% of the time. As John Dowd, Trump’s former attorney, said in “Fear,” his biggest worry about the Mueller investigation is his former client (Trump) is a “f**king liar.” It should be noted that Gary Cohn, Trump’s former economic advisor, called his former boss a “professional liar.”

    Call me crazy, but I think I will believe Mueller. McConnell needs to step up and as I told his staffer, he needs “to remember his oath is to the Constitution not the Republican Party.” People reading this should contact McConnell’s office online or by phone. It is that important. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you’re crazy, then so am I, for I have the utmost faith in Bob Mueller, and I wouldn’t trust Trump if he told me that water is wet! You hit on the problem where McConnell and every other republican member of Congress is concerned … they forget their oath to “… preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” They also forget that their allegiance is to We The People, not Donald Trump. We pay their salaries and we elected them to represent us, but they have done a poor job for the past two years. I would have been doing cartwheels if we had ended up with 435 democrats in the House after the dereliction of duty for the past two years! I have made calls and sent emails … let’s hope that somebody finds a conscience lying around somewhere soon!

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      • Jill, McConnell’s track record of poor US leadership dates back a few years. One of my favorites is I have seen footage of both he and John Boehner saying climate change is real and man-influenced around 2008. This was around for time Newt Gongrich did a TV commercial with Nancy Pelosi to say he was wrong about climate change. Then, they were obviously told by the fossil fuel industry to cool their jets and let them the hoax concept. Imagine what we could have done as a country and planet with a non-adversarial Republican Party. We let ten years go by and now have Trump and his people deleting intellectual capital on climate change off the EPA’s website. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Amazing what the promise of a bit of money and power will do to a person, isn’t it? I’ve said all along that those in Congress who deny climate change actually know the truth, but unfortunately the truth is darn inconvenient when they have the big fossil fuel industries clamoring for de-regulation so they can pollute streams and air alike, as long as it puts a buck in their pocket. McConnell knows which side his bread is buttered on, as do the rest. Yes, imagine … what we could do if partisan politics took a backseat to ‘doing the right thing’.

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  6. Even those of us from outside your Country that take an interest worry about Mueller. He’s done a good job so far but nor without Trump trying to get him shut down. He daren’t try it himself despite the ranting because that would be an admission of guilt so he needs someone else to do it and then he will agree how necessary it was while hiding as much dirt under the mat as he can.
    We do worry about much more than that too, like are you still living in a democracy or has Trump finally moved you into a not very benevolent dictatorship. I ask this because Trump seems to be isolating you from many of your friends and starting friendships in strange territory.Instead. Erdogan is a dictator of the worst sort and has already dealt with most of the reporters in Turkey and the press in general….always the first thing to go.Kim Jong Un ha a similar stranglehold on the press in that they are all organs of the state and would just disappear if they spoke out against him. The country is shrouded in secrecy. I’m sure Trump wants this, a place where bad things happen but no-one knows, with all the racial prejudice imaginable that no-one can report as he carries on doing the business of U.S. Trump incorpsrorated.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make very valid points, and you guys outside the U.S. often see things here more clearly than we do, for we are so mired in the day-to-day, or sometimes hour-to-hour detritus that it makes it difficult to step back and assess. For a time, Trump’s handlers were able to convince him to leave Sessions & Mueller alone because a firing would make him appear guilty. I don’t know what changed … I suspect he is in panic mode after the mid-terms and knows that the brakes will be applied somewhat after the 116th Congress is seated in January. To those of us who aren’t under his spell, it is so obvious that he has much to hide, but right now there is no check on his power, so I suspect that prior to January 3rd, Whitaker will take steps to either shutter or shackle the Mueller investigation.

      To your other points … no, we are not living under a democracy or even a republic any more. It is an oligarchy, a plutocracy, and the ‘man’ at the helm is anything but benevolent. Thus far, we aren’t being arrested for speaking our minds, nor are reporters disappearing in the night. But, if left unchecked, that eventuality would not surprise. Trump definitely favours the autocrats, the “strongmen”, for he is a bully and therefore people like Erdogan, Putin, Kim and bin Salman appeal to him … he wishes to emulate them. He sees compromise as a weakness. He sees compassion as weakness. And, while his followers haven’t figured this out yet, he sees democracy itself as weakness. Frankly, if he is in office another two years, I’m not sure what the state of this nation will be.

      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

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