Open Letter to Members of Congress

 

26 May 2019

Dear Representative/Senator,

In the last single week, a mere seven days, Donald Trump has trampled our Constitution and made a mockery of the office of president multiple times.  Let me note just a few …

  • He has bypassed Congress in order to sell military weapons to Saudi Arabia, a nation who has been attacking Yemen for more than three years, killing more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, and pushing millions more to the brink of starvation. Both chambers of Congress voted on a bill to end U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia in April, but Trump vetoed the bill.  Now, he chooses to illegally continue sending arms to the Saudis with which they will kill more innocent people.  His rationale is to claim, falsely, that there is an ‘emergency’ with Iran.  There is not, though not for lack of trying on his part, but facts do not seem to matter.  He continues to pander to strongman Mohammad bin Salman, despite the fact that bin Salman ordered the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a fact that seems not to bother Trump in the least.

  • He has delegated to Attorney General William P. Barr the authority to access and declassify the intelligence community’s most closely held secrets as Barr investigates the investigators who tried to stop Russian penetration of the Trump campaign. Have you ever heard anything more ridiculous?  First, it is well-documented that the Russians did interfere in our 2016 election and why would we not want an investigation?  I don’t know about you, but I expect to have a fair and honest election where my vote is properly tallied, and where I have not been fed falsehoods.  We did not have a fair and honest election in 2016, and Trump is well aware of that.  Second, and perhaps most importantly, the de-classifying of national security information puts this nation at risk, and it risks blowing the cover of the men and women who have risked their lives in service to this country.  Even Donald Trump does not have that right.

  • He has threatened a private citizen, intimidating former White House counsel Don McGahn with the sole purpose of keeping him from testifying before the House Judicial Committee that is investigating already-proven cases of obstruction of justice by Trump. He is stopping Congress, a separate and equal branch of the United States government, from doing their job.

  • He has given notice that as long as the various committees in Congress are investigating his corrupt activities, he will not work with Congress on any legislation, such as infrastructure. In other words, he has stated in no uncertain terms that he will not do his job, but instead will jaunt off to Japan for a round of golf!  At our expense!

  • He has viciously attacked the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, referring to her as “crazy Nancy”, saying she is “a mess”, and falsely claiming that she does not know how to do her job (she has decades more experience than he and a significantly higher I.Q.), and he even assisted in spreading a digitally manipulated video of Ms. Pelosi that attempts to make her appear intoxicated. Is this how we expect a president to behave???  Is this the behaviour of an adult???  No, it is not!

  • He has claimed, with ZERO evidence, that a number of people including former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, President Barack Obama, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch are guilty of treason, and further that they “deserve to be executed”. No evidence, only the wild imaginings of a lunatic, and he speaks of execution.  Does this not bother you?  Frankly, it sends chills up my spine.  This is the United States, not Saudi Arabia, not Russia, not Turkey!

These are only a few of Trump’s abhorrent behaviours in the past week.  The purpose of my letter is to inform you that as a citizen, a taxpayer, and a voter, I want Donald Trump removed from office by whatever means is most expedient.  This is not, or at least should not be, a partisan issue, but one of national security.  This nation has become seriously imperiled ever since he took office, but just in the past month, he has done terrible things that threaten both our national security and the very basis for our freedom, the U.S. Constitution.  If you continue to pussyfoot about him, if you continue to allow him to break the law and turn the Oval Office into a three-ring circus, I and others will do everything in our power to see that you are not re-elected when your term is up, and I will campaign vigorously to ensure that the public knows you are naught but a Trump boot-licker.

Now go, Representative/Senator, do your job … act like a human being, act like you have courage and a conscience.  Help rid this nation of the pimple that is festering on its hindside!

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison – Citizen, Taxpayer, Voter

Impeaching Trump: What would the Founders say?

Impeachment, or as Trump calls it, “the I-word”, is on the minds of many of us these days. It is debatable whether impeachment would be successful at this juncture, hence the caution being exercised by Speaker Pelosi. Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has done his homework and pondered the situation from the perspective of how the framers of the U.S. Constitution might have viewed it, and I think the results of his pondering are worth sharing. Thank you, Jeff, for this thoughtful work and for allowing me to share …

On The Fence Voters

In the course of any given day lately, I find myself grappling with the following question: What would the Founders do about it? Or, even better—what were they thinking and what were their arguments as they went about writing that sacred document we call the United States Constitution?

Actually, it’s a practice I’ve been doing for quite some time. I mean, between gun rights, abortion rights, immigration, and so many other issues, our Constitution is the basis for trying to figure out how to deal with these controversial issues. Often, we try to gauge what the intent of the Founders was. We can read their words in such publications like The Federalist Papers, and other discussions and arguments they were engaged in, that have been documented in letters, debates, and of course, The Constitutional Convention itself.

Currently, though, the impeachment process is front and center. Ever since the Democrats took…

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How ‘Bout Some ‘Toons?

I think it’s about time to catch up on a few ‘toons, don’t you?  The political cartoons are one way of measuring which issues are on the minds of the people at any given time.  Today, one of the biggest issues is, not surprisingly, the trade war Trump has engaged in with China and the tariffs that are hurting We the People more than any.

tariffs-1tariffs-2tariffs-3tariffs-4tariffs-5


After the recent United Nations report showing that we are in danger of losing one million species from the planet due to our poor stewardship of the environment, climate change and environmental issues once again came to the forefront of everyone’s mind.

environment-1environment-2environment-3Threatened and endangered species


Congress subpoenaed Trump’s tax returns from the Department of Treasury, but of course Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is refusing to honour the subpoena.  Meanwhile, the New York Times released 10 years of Trump’s taxes from 1985 to 1994, showing that in that ten year period, he lost over $1.17 billion … naturally the cartoonists had a field day with that one, as did our friend Don Lemon!

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump the business manfinances-2finances-3


And, of course, we are still dealing with Trump’s blatant and now undeniable obstruction of justice.  The Mueller report cites no less than ten instances where Trump obstructed justice, and he is still doing it today by trying to shut down the congressional oversight committees that are trying to pick up where Mueller’s report left off and determine whether impeachment is the right path.  

criminals-2criminals-3criminals-4criminals-5obstruction-1obstruction-2obstruction-3obstruction-4


And just a few miscellaneous ‘toons to finish up …

generalking-trumptrump-tweet

Trampling The Constitution — Part I

Mueller-letter-page-1

Mueller letter to Barr – page 1

Mueller-letter-page-2

Mueller letter to Barr — page 2

The above letter was written to Attorney General William Barr by Special Counselor Robert Mueller on March 27th, just three days after Barr presented an abbreviated 4-page “summary” of the full report.  Mr. Mueller followed up with a subsequent phone call in which he again expressed his displeasure at Barr’s handling of the report.  Robert Mueller has spent the better part of two years digging and investigating the Russian’s influence over our election, as well as the relationships between Trump, his family, and his campaign staff with the Russians who were de facto interfering with our elections.  He is much more well-versed and knowledgeable on this topic than William Barr, who has only been in his position since February 14th, less than three months, but Barr purported to know more than Mueller about what Mueller’s own report said.

Yesterday, Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, headed by Trump sycophant Lindsey Graham.  When asked about Mr. Mueller’s letter, Barr discounted it, saying he thought it was “a little snitty”, and concluded it was probably written by a staffer rather than Mueller himself.  Excuse me?  Under the circumstances, it seems to me that the letter was quite cordial. And, he called Barr in person to follow up, so that rather negates the idea that a ‘staffer’ wrote the letter.

I have heard it said numerous times over the past month that AG Barr is acting more like Trump’s personal attorney than the attorney general who took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.  I would agree.

Barr attempted to blame the media for Mueller’s displeasure of his handling of the report, but as you will note, at no point did Robert Mueller even mention the media.  He tried to argue that Trump directing Don McGahn to “get rid of” Mueller did not constitute obstruction of justice.  Barr claimed that Trump never told McGahn to “fire” Mueller but rather to remove him from his position due to alleged conflicts of interest.  First, there was no conflict of interest, and second, that is splitting hairs. In May 2017, the Department of Justice made clear that Mueller had no ethical conflicts and was perfectly capable of overseeing the special counsel investigation.  It was a month later that Trump told McGahn to get rid of Mueller.

Senator Kamala Harris asked Barr one simple question:  Did anyone in the White House ask or suggest that he open an investigation into a person or people?  Easy, right?  Barr, who has a good, solid education and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from George Washington University Law School, struggled to understand the meaning of the word ‘suggest’.  He stumbled about with that question, never actually answering it.  Now, you can make of that what you will, but … I take it as outright obfuscation, and why, unless there is something to hide, would he struggle with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question that contains the word ‘suggest’ … a word most of us knew and understood by age five?

Senator Patrick Leahy asked this question:

“Special counsel [Mueller] did uncover evidence of underlying crimes here, including one that directly implicated the president. Did we learn, due to the special counsel’s investigation that Donald Trump known as “Individual 1″ in the Southern District of New York, directing hush payments as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws. That matter was discovered by special counsel [and] referred to the [United States Attorney for the] Southern District in New York. Is that correct?”

Barr answered simply: “Yes.”  This is, by the way, a felony.Barr-Senate-Judiciary-CommitteeOkay, so that covers the highlights of Barr’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, though I do have more to say another time about Lindsey Graham, but that must wait.  Today, then, Barr was scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, but apparently yesterdays testimony must have given him a tummy-ache, for he is declining the ‘invitation’ to testify.  Not only that … the full un-redacted version of the Mueller report was subpoenaed with a deadline of yesterday, but it was not produced and all indications are that Barr has no intention of producing it.

Some House democrats have called to begin impeachment against Barr, but Nancy Pelosi, again the calmer head, prevailed when she suggested it would detract from the greater issue of the investigations into Trump, so they have decided to ‘give him a day or two’ to have a change of heart.  If he fails to do so, then they will seek a contempt citation against Mr. Barr.Warren-on-BarrPersonally, I am of a mind that we should impeach the entire corrupt administration and start over.  Of course, my opinion is largely irrelevant, so don’t hold your breath on that one.  However, we need to step back a minute and take a look at the big picture.  There is enough factual evidence, even in the redacted version of the Mueller report that we have, to know that Donald Trump did, in fact, obstruct justice.  However, he and his trained pets in the form of Barr, Graham, and others, are continuing to obstruct justice, making the case against them stronger by the day.  How so?  By ignoring subpoenas, or in Trump’s case, suing those who have received subpoenas, tying the matter up in court and disrupting the flow of information.

Folks, what Trump, Barr and others are doing is criminal.  It is a crime against the U.S. Constitution, and it is a crime against We the People, We the Citizens, We the Taxpayers.  I am not exaggerating when I say that our very system of ‘separation of powers’, of ‘checks and balances’, of ‘rule of law’ are being trampled as never before.  If Trump & Co. get by with this, if they are allowed to impede the investigative committees, then it will have been confirmed that Trump and his cabinet members are, in fact, above the law, that the law only applies to us peons, not to them.  And you know what the next step is, if that happens?  Think about it.

Above The Law???

Trump says the Mueller report exonerates him, that it proves there was ‘no collusion, no obstruction’.  Those of us who can both read and think know better.  We know the Mueller report, in fact, proves that at the very least, Trump did attempt on multiple occasions to obstruct justice, to interfere with an ongoing investigation.

Today, Trump is still obstructing justice with his refusal to turn over his tax returns or financial records, his threatening and bullying those who have been subpoenaed by congressional committees, and more.  As usual, Robert Reich chimes in with words of wisdom …

In Fighting All Oversight, Trump Has Made His Most Dictatorial Move

Robert Reich-4Robert Reich

The president is treating Congress with contempt. This cannot stand – and Congress must fight back

Sun 28 Apr 2019 01.00 EDT

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” says the person who is supposed to be chief executive of the United States government.

In other words, there is to be no congressional oversight of this administration: no questioning officials who played a role in putting a citizenship question on the 2020 census. No questioning a former White House counsel about the Mueller report.

No questioning a Trump adviser about immigration policy. No questioning a former White House security director about issuances of security clearances.

No presidential tax returns to the ways and means committee, even though a 1920s law specifically authorizes the committee to get them.

Such a blanket edict fits a dictator of a banana republic, not the president of a constitutional republic founded on separation of powers.

If Congress cannot question the people who are making policy, or obtain critical documents, Congress cannot function as a coequal branch of government.

If Congress cannot get information about the executive branch, there is no longer any separation of powers, as sanctified in the US constitution.

There is only one power – the power of the president to rule as he wishes.

Which is what Donald Trump has sought all along.

The only relevant question is how stop this dictatorial move. And let’s be clear: this is a dictatorial move.

The man whose aides cooperated, shall we say, with Russia – the man who still refuses to do anything at all about Russia’s continued interference in the American political system – refuses to cooperate with a branch of the United States government that the Constitution requires him to cooperate with in order that the government function.

Presidents before Trump occasionally have argued that complying with a particular subpoena for a particular person or document would infringe upon confidential deliberations within the executive branch. But no president before Trump has used “executive privilege” as a blanket refusal to cooperate.

How should Congress respond to this dictatorial move?

Trump is treating Congress with contempt – just as he has treated other democratic institutions that have sought to block him.

Congress should invoke its inherent power under the constitution to hold any official who refuses a congressional subpoena in contempt. This would include departmental officials who refuse to appear, as well as Trump aides. (Let’s hold off on the question of whether Congress can literally hold Trump in contempt, which could become a true constitutional crisis.)

“Contempt” of Congress is an old idea based on the inherent power of Congress to get the information it needs to carry out its constitutional duties. Congress cannot function without this power.

How to enforce it? Under its inherent power, the House can order its own sergeant-at-arms to arrest the offender, subject him to a trial before the full House, and, if judged to be in contempt, jail that person until he appears before the House and brings whatever documentation the House has subpoenaed.

When President Richard Nixon tried to stop key aides from testifying in the Senate Watergate hearings, in 1973, Senator Sam Ervin, chairman of the Watergate select committee, threatened to jail anyone who refused to appear.

Congress hasn’t actually carried through on the threat since 1935 – but it could.

Would America really be subject to the spectacle of the sergeant-at-arms of the House arresting a Trump official, and possibly placing him in jail?

Probably not. Before that ever occurred, the Trump administration would take the matter to the supreme court on an expedited basis.

Sadly, there seems no other way to get Trump to move. Putting the onus on the Trump administration to get the issue to the court as soon as possible is the only way to force Trump into action, and not simply seek to run out the clock before the next election.

What would the court decide? With two Trump appointees now filling nine of the seats, it’s hardly a certainty.

But in a case that grew out of the Teapot Dome scandal in 1927, the court held that the investigative power of Congress is at its peak when lawmakers look into fraud or maladministration in another government department.

Decades later, when Richard Nixon tried to block the release of incriminating recordings of his discussions with aides, the supreme court decided that a claim of executive privilege did not protect information pertinent to the investigation of potential crimes.

Trump’s contempt for the inherent power of Congress cannot stand. It is the most dictatorial move he has initiated since becoming president.

Congress has a constitutional duty to respond forcefully, using its own inherent power of contempt.

I leave you to ponder.

The Mueller Report-Final thoughts and takeaways

Last week, I re-blogged a piece by Jeff of On The Fence Voters fame, of his initial thoughts as he began reading the Mueller report. Today, he has finished reading the 448-page report and has written an excellent summation which I am sharing with you. I think his thoughts are on the money, and I share his hopes that the ongoing investigations will bring further results. Thank you, Jeff, for your excellent work and for permission to share it.

On The Fence Voters

So I’ve finally been able to read the entire Mueller Report. I actually read Volume II, which dealt with allegations surrounding Trump and obstruction of justice, first—then read the rest of Volume I, which dealt with Russian hacking and the Trump Campaign’s involvement. You can read my first assessment from a post I wrote last week. Here are some final thoughts and major takeaways, now that I’ve read the entire report.

Paul Manafort

I’ve always felt that Manafort was the critical piece in Mueller’s attempt to see what links the Trump Campaign had, if any, to the Russians. He served as campaign chairman for Trump for only about four months, but during his tenure, many of the significant instances of Russian interference was taking place.

For one, he was at the infamous Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, along with Don Jr. and Jared Kushner. They thought they were…

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Lawsuits, Obstruction, and a Blimp

Robert Mueller’s report clearly shows a number of times that Don Trump attempted to obstruct justice, such as telling his White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller.  There are at least 10 such instances documented in the report.  And yet, Trump and his minions claim the report exonerates him.  It does not, but setting that aside for the moment, today he is obstructing justice yet again!  He is digging his hole deeper and deeper, and I sincerely hope he falls into it very soon.

First, it was announced yesterday that Trump and his business organization are suing the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, in an attempt to block the subpoena the committee issued requesting information from Trump’s accounting firm about his financial records.  Now, this subpoena would not have been necessary if Trump had been forthcoming with his tax returns, as every other president since Reagan has done.  When one refuses to answer a question, it throws up red flags and becomes obvious one has something to hide, and it is glaringly obvious at this point that Donald Trump has a heck of a lot to hide.

Judging by the fact that Trump had been involved in some 5,000 lawsuits prior to becoming president, we should not be surprised by this latest, for suing someone seems to be his modus operandi any time things don’t go his way.  The argument in this one, however, is laughable.

“Instead of working with the President to pass bipartisan legislation that would actually benefit Americans, House Democrats are singularly obsessed with finding something they can use to damage the President politically.”

Trump’s lawyers are also seeking to block his accounting firm, Mazars USA, from providing any information to the committee.  There is small chance that Trump will win this suit, BUT … it is seen as mainly a delaying tactic, likely until he can think of something else.  Trump is wasting our money on efforts to hide his own perfidy.  Plus … he is challenging the U.S. Constitution that calls for a system of checks and balances, as he asks the judicial branch to stop the legislative branch from doing their job overseeing the executive branch.  Playing both ends against the middle, so to speak.

And about those tax returns … the Internal Revenue Service missed the first deadline to turn six years’ worth of tax returns over to the House Ways and Means Committee, and the deadline was pushed back until … today, and as of this writing there is no sign of any tax returns.  More obfuscation.

But wait … there’s more!

Former White House personnel security director Carl Kline received a letter directing him not to show up for questioning by the House Oversight Committee.  The letter came from White House deputy counsel Michael M. Purpura and claims that the subpoena for his testimony “unconstitutionally encroaches on fundamental executive branch interests.”  Kline’s attorney said he will abide by the White House directive.

Mr. Kline’s testimony was requested as the committee is investigating the security clearances that appear to have been handed out willy-nilly on Trump’s orders, even though investigations had shown those individuals to be a security risk.  Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was one of those individuals.

Every single one of the above instances are attempts on the part of Trump to obstruct justice by hook or by crook.  Obstruction of justice, by the way, IS against the law.  Imagine if you are summonsed to appear before a judge for some matter and you don’t show up.  Guess where you’ll be going?  But Trump is getting by with it because … he believes he is a king, not a president of a relatively democratic nation.  More and more, I am coming to believe that impeachment may be the only answer.  I had been of the opinion that we should wait until all these investigations were concluded, however it appears that they may not be concluded for years, as he and his lawyers continue meddling, obfuscating, interfering and obstructing the process of the investigations.


And in other news, I am distressed to read that in less than two months, on June 3rd, Trump will travel to the United Kingdom for a state visit.  The Brits do not want him there, and it is certain that he will only humiliate us in front of our UK friends.  There is no good reason for him to go … it is merely an ego trip.  Last July when he went to the UK amid many protests from the citizenry, it ended up costing the country £18 million, or about $23 million in security.  I have an idea … how about just not having security … let the chips fall where they may.

Trump baby blimp-1Some are predicting even more, larger protests this time … as I said, nobody wants him there.  On the fun side, however, they are getting out the Trump baby blimp and dusting it off to use again.  I read in The Guardian that they may even make a new one … a hot air balloon five times the size of the original!


And on that note, I think I am finished for now … have a great day, my friends!

The Mueller Report–First impressions

Jeff, over at On The Fence Voters, has been wading through the 448-page report issued by Robert Mueller regarding the Russian interference into our 2016 elections, as well as the involvement of Trump, his family, and his campaign. I, too, have been wading through the report, but I took yesterday off from it, for it was taking a toll on me both emotionally and physically. Not to mention that I had cleaning, shopping, cooking, baking, and Easter-egg dyeing that had to be done yesterday. Anyway … Jeff has shared a few of his thoughts and observations about the report, and they are well worth sharing with you. I will have my own thoughts at some point in the future, but truly, what Jeff has said here mirrors my own thoughts. Thank you, Jeff, for this excellent summation and for your generous permission to share!

On The Fence Voters

I’ve tried my best in the last 24 hours or so to read as much of the Mueller Report as I possibly could. While I haven’t completed this endeavor, I nonetheless have consumed quite a bit. Here are just a few of my thought thus far.

Robert Mueller has produced a report one might expect from a man who has spent a good portion of his life in law enforcement. It’s a thorough, fact-based account on what transpired between the Trump campaign and their alleged involvement with the Russians in the 2016 election, and an equally comprehensive look at the actions of President Trump after the appointment of Mueller as Special Counsel in May of 2017.

In no uncertain terms, Mueller lays out the facts of what the Russians did to try to sow discord in our democracy and help elect Donald Trump to the presidency. Their actions were systematic…

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Blockbuster News: President’s Former Campaign Manager Cuts Cooperating Plea Deal With FBI

This is the news we have all been waiting to hear. I hope this is the beginning of the end of the Trumpian Reign of Absurdity. Many thanks, Gronda, for being on top of this and keeping us informed!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of manafort PAUL MANAFORT

I’ve been waiting to post on the news of the republican President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort until more information was available as to whether he was cutting a plea deal with cooperation or with non-co-operation with the FBI.

It is pretty much a consensus that Mr. Manafort is most likely counting on a presidential pardon sometime in the future which is a reasonable expectation as President Trump has hinted that he would be willing to do so.

It is my hope the the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, head of its Trump-Russia probe would not cut a plea deal without this reality being a consideration.

I suspect that Mr. Mueller would not consider a plea deal without co-operation unless he has determined that he doesn’t need Mr. Manafort’s assistance to build a strong case and without accounting for a possible future pardon.

It is…

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Above the Law?

The headline in the New York Times reads:

Trump Tweet Asserts an ‘Absolute Right’ to Pardon Himself

“Trump declared Monday that the appointment of the special counsel in the Russia investigation is “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” and asserted that he has the power to pardon himself, raising the prospect that he might take extraordinary action to immunize himself from the ongoing probe.”

The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is that his very statement is an admission of guilt.  If he were not guilty, if he had nothing to hide, then why not sit down and shut up? Why even stir the already-muddy waters with such a foolish, bombastic statement?

Two things last week set the tone for this morning’s tweet and gave every indication that, no matter what evidence Robert Mueller’s investigation turns up that Donald Trump broke the law, that he knowingly and willingly colluded with the Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 election, he will not be found guilty of a crime.  The first was a 20-page letter by Trump’s team of attorneys, the second an interview by Rudy Giuliani on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Both of these could be viewed as just more of the same rhetoric that we have been hearing for a year now, but I sense something more ominous.  If, as I believe, there is ample evidence that Trump and his campaign advisors did collude with Russia, did break the law, then Donald Trump ought to be removed from office.  But, if he isn’t, if Congress allows his team of lawyers to spin it in such a way that the president cannot be convicted of a crime because the president has unlimited power, then the United States will no longer in any sense of the word be a democratic republic.  If, as Giuliani suggests, the president can simply pardon himself of any and all crimes against the nation, then we will have become a dictatorship without recourse.

First, a bit about the letter.  Apparently lawyers are poor communicators, for it should not have required 20 pages to say what they had to say.  I actually did read the letter in its entirety on Sunday morning, and for some reason it took me a couple of hours, for I kept falling asleep.  I have included the link to the entire letter, if you’re interested, but there are a few salient points.  First, the position that the president cannot break the law, simply because he is the president – he IS the law …

“It remains our position that the President’s actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself, and that he could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.”

Then an attempt to delegitimize the investigation …

“This encumbrance has been only compounded by the astounding public revelations about the corruption within the FBI and Department of Justice which appears to have led to the alleged Russia collusion investigation and the establishment of the Office of Special Counsel in the first place.”

They place Trump above the law, hinting that he cannot be subpoenaed …

“As you know, under our system of government, the President is not readily available to be interviewed. The records and testimony we have, pursuant to the President’s directive, already voluntarily provided to your office allow you to delve into the conversations and actions that occurred in a significant and exhaustive manner, including but not limited to the testimony of the President’s interlocutors themselves. In light of these voluntary offerings, your office clearly lacks the requisite need to personally interview the President.”

There is an attempt to justify Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, which Trump already admitted was an attempt to shut down the FBI investigation into collusion …

“As you know, and as Mr. Comey himself has acknowledged, a President can fire an FBI Director at any time and for any reason.  No President has ever faced charges of obstruction merely for exercising his constitutional authority.”

And then they come to the point, that Trump has the right to shut down any investigation at his own will (or whim) …

“A President can also order the termination of an investigation by the Justice Department or FBI at any time and for any reason.  We remind you of these facts simply because even assuming, arguendo, that the President did order the termination of an investigation (and the President, along with Mr. Comey in his testimony and in his actions, have made it clear that he did not) this could not constitute obstruction of justice.”

Discrediting Comey …

“The circumstance in which this memo arose — several months after the conversation and only after Mr. Comey was fired in disgrace — raises serious doubts about its veracity, if indeed it even exists.”

And finally, 20 pages later, these verbose lawyers conclude with …

“As recognized by the Framers in Article II and as articulated in jurisprudence, the President’s prime function as the Chief Executive ought not be hampered by requests for interview. Having him testify demeans the Office of the President before the world.”

Allow me to correct that last statement.  Having him IN the office demeans the Office of the President before the world.  (I’ve been trying to hold back the snarky … really I have!)

As you can see, the entire tone of the lawyers’ letter is that Mueller is wasting his time, Trump is too important to be bothered with such a silly little thing as testifying, and that if he chooses, he can call off the entire investigation and give himself a blanket pardon.  But then came Rudy Giuliani’s interview on This Week, and it became even more clear that the goal of the legal team is to discredit and disavow the investigation and the evidence.

If you wish to watch the segment, it is just over 14 minutes, or you can read the transcript.

Rudy’s answers were long-winded and sometimes confusing, but the gist of what he said was that he doesn’t think it’s right for Trump to have to testify before the Special Counsel, but if they promise to be fair and keep it short, to about 5-6 points, then maybe.  He also said he’s pretty sure that if push came to shove, Trump could simply pardon himself.  And there is one snippet I must include here, for it is mind-blowing:

“Look, for every one of these things he did, we can write out five reasons why he did it. If four of them are completely innocent and one of them is your assumption that it’s a guilty motive, which the president would deny, you can’t possibly prosecute him. Or recommend impeachment.”

To me, Rudy’s tone came off in two ways:  1) Heh heh heh … boys will be boys … heh heh heh.  2) Let’s hurry and get this over with so we can go back to subjugating the American people!

Giuliani said he wants Mueller to wrap up this investigation by September 1st so that it doesn’t interfere with the midterms and so “to get this long nightmare over for the American public”.  The American public is not the one having the nightmare … we support the investigation fully, for we want the truth, and we want all those, including Donald Trump, to pay for their crimes against us.  And I hope it does interfere with the midterms, for Congress has too long been protecting a criminal, licking his boots, at the expense of We The People, and we need to be reminded of that as we head to the polls on November 6th.

Legal experts appear to have no definitive answers for us either, for this entire fiasco is without precedent.  Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general, said, “The idea that a president can’t obstruct justice died with King George III, with a brief attempt at revival by Richard Nixon.”

Jed Shugerman, a Fordham University Law School professor, said, “There is a real practical consequence for the republic if Trump is able to win the silence of other defendants with the use of these pardons,” Shugerman said. “If he’s making an implicit threat that he could escalate this with pardons, there’s nothing in the letter to indicate that he’s not willing to pardon himself.”

I could go on, but this post already exceeds what I consider an appropriate length, so I leave you with one thought:  If Donald Trump is above the law, if he cannot be punished for crimes against the nation, for election-tampering, for collusion and obstruction of justice, then can we still call ourselves a ‘democracy’?  I think you all know the answer.