Open Letter To House Democrats

18 June 2019

Dear Representative ____________________________,

Today I read an article in the New York Times that said many democratic members of Congress believe impeachment is not what their constituents want.  I beg to differ.  In May, polls showed that 60% of democrats favoured impeachment, and a bit later, in early June, polls showed that 76% favour impeachment.  I am certainly among those who do.  If you claim your constituents overwhelmingly do not favour impeachment, and if 76% of democrats do favour it, then I’m unclear as to who you think your constituents are.

I understand that even if impeached by the House of Representatives, there is no possibility that the Senate will vote to try, convict, and remove Trump from office.  I further understand that he is likely to become even more unstable than he already is if the impeachment process is begun.  And, I also understand that at this juncture, you likely do not have the support of enough republicans in the House to gain a 2/3 vote for impeachment.  However …

If you begin the impeachment process, you will be able to pursue your inquiries and investigations that now seem dead in the water because of Trump’s obfuscation and cover-ups.  If you do your job properly, there can be no doubt that you will be able to build a case for impeachment, for Special Counsel Robert Mueller already did most of that work for you.  Starting with the obstruction of justice incidences that Mueller laid out, if you follow those leads, verify and confirm what you must, then I believe that you will be able to convince enough of your republican compadres that impeachment is the only recourse.

There are a few things I would like you to consider.  The first is that if Donald Trump is not held accountable for his crimes … and make no mistake, he has committed crimes against the citizens of this nation by both his actions and his inactions … then future presidents will feel they have carte blanche to act in a similar manner without reprisal.  This is an untenable situation and undermines the very foundation of our government.

Another thing to consider is next years’ election.  If Trump is successfully impeached in the House, even though not convicted in the Senate, his reputation will nonetheless be tarnished, hopefully to the point that he will not stand a chance of winning the election.  However, if he is not held accountable for his actions, his base will applaud, he will gloat, and quite possibly his base will actually expand.  Another untenable situation.

Along those same lines, you all worked hard last year to gain a democratic majority in the House.  It is my opinion that you will be putting that majority at risk by your inaction, for whether you believe it or not, the majority of democrats do want to see Trump held accountable, and the mechanism for doing that is impeachment.  If you fail to impeach, if you do not even try, I think you will lose many democratic voters who are disappointed and disgusted.  I, for one, feel very unrepresented at the moment, and I think you will find that I am far from being alone in this.

If you still believe that impeachment is not popular among your constituents, then get out there and talk to them.  Hold town hall meetings in your districts, talk to people, ask them what they think.  And I’m not saying talk only to the doctors and lawyers, the wealthy 1% of your constituents, but come down to our level, talk to people like me, my neighbors.  Talk to the average Joes in your district.  If you fail to do this, you may not be sitting in your office in the Capitol two years from now, and we may no longer have a participatory government.  Think about it.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter

OBSTRUCTION!!!

Donald Trump is playing games with our lives.  Today, in a strictly retaliatory move against Congress and We the People, he played that tired old “executive privilege” card.  Congress had made known earlier this week its intent to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for failure to answer the subpoenas they were issued by the House Oversight Committee to release certain documents.  Trump threatened that if they did so, he would invoke ‘executive privilege’ on the documents the committee had requested regarding how a citizenship question came to be added to the 2020 census form.  Just a few hours ago, Trump acted on his threat and invoked that ‘executive privilege’ that he has so often used and abused.

Congress has not only a constitutional right, but a constitutional mandate to investigate, to find the truth. That truth is being hidden, kept from Congress, purloined from the public.  This move reeks of dictatorship, of an authoritarian government, one where the ‘man’ at the top considers himself to be a supreme leader, rather than a democratically elected public servant.

Trump’s refusal to allow documents to be released, his threats and bullying key witnesses to keep them from testifying before Congress is nothing less than obstruction of justice.  The Mueller report laid out nearly a dozen proven instances in which Trump had obstructed, or attempted to obstruct, the ongoing investigation. Nothing has changed … he is still obstructing justice and has become even more blatant about it, for nobody and nothing to date has stopped him.  His minions, his boot-lickers both in the cabinet, the White House staff, and in Congress have lied and covered for him, have pointed the finger of blame in every direction except the right one, and thus we now have a dictator who believes that he has the right to hide the truth, to trample the Constitution for his own purposes.

Trump is a ‘fake’ president and is leading this nation down a dark path.  Yes, folks, he most definitely IS guilty of obstruction of justice, as recently as five hours ago!  We the People are being increasingly kept in the dark, being given only the tidbits that Trump wants us to have.  Do you know when was the last time Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a White House Press Briefing?  March 11th … 92 days ago!  More than three months.  During that time, she has been a regular on Fox News, but has disappeared from the legitimate press.  Not, mind you, that she ever told the truth anyway, but still …

As for William Barr and Wilbur Ross … I would like to see them both cited for contempt of Congress and given 24 hours to comply, else be arrested and put in jail just as you or I would be in similar circumstances.  As for Trump … he claims the Mueller report exonerated him.  It did not.  He claims “no collusion, no obstruction”.  He lies … he is guilty of both, but Mueller’s hands were tied, so he tossed the ball to Congress.  Now Trump and Co are trying to tie Congress’ hands.  If that isn’t obstruction, I don’t know what is.

Chris Britt / Illinois Times

R.J. Matson / Roll CallNick Anderson cartoonAdam Zyglis / Buffalo NewsJeff Danziger cartoon

A City Of Two Tales …

Saturday Surprise is on hiatus this week for mysterious, undisclosed reasons.  Mis disculpas.

Washington D.C. … so much goes on there these days that it sucks the air out of the rest of the nation.  Every day there are more and more stories of lies and corruption.  Today I bring you two tales from that city … one encouraging, one discouraging.


There are conscionable republicans?  Who knew?

In Thursday’s Snarky Snippets post, I mentioned an organization, Republicans for the Rule of Law (RRL) who are planning a 30-second ad calling for Trump’s impeachment (the ‘I’-word) that will be aired on none other than Fox and Friends, Trump’s favorite show, next week.  Curiosity piqued, for I had never heard of this group, I went in search of more information about RRL.

On the “About Us” section of the group’s website, they state …

“Republicans for the Rule of Law is a group of life-long Republicans dedicated to defending the institutions of our republic and upholding the rule of law. We are fighting to make sure that the laws apply equally to everyone, from the average citizen to the president of the United States. We believe in fidelity to the Constitution, transparency, and the independence of prosecutors from politics.”

On Thursday, RRL announced that it would hand-deliver a copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to every lawmaker in the republican party.  In a letter to lawmakers, the group said …

“As Republicans and conservatives, we consider an uncompromising commitment to the rule of law in the best interests of both the Republican Party and the United States. With this pre-highlighted copy of the Mueller report in hand, all Republicans in Congress will have an easy defense against charges of not having read it.”

Along with the letter and highlighted report, Republicans for the Rule of Law released a video with three GOP-appointed federal prosecutors claiming Trump would have been indicted if he were not president.  These three men, all republicans, all having worked under republican administrations, make a clear and concise case that Donald Trump is, in fact, guilty of obstruction of justice.  Take a look …

Chris Traux, legal advisor and spokesman for Republicans for the Rule of Law, said …

“The rule of law has always been a nonnegotiable principle of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. These veterans of the Reagan and Bush Administrations are reminding us that the law applies the same to everyone — even the president. Republicans and all Americans need to listen.”

The 30-second ad to be aired on Fox and Friends is said to be a clip from the above video.

I find it encouraging that there are republicans who are willing to put country first, for it seems that with the lone exception of Representative Justin Amash, none of the republicans in Congress are willing to do so.  My hope is that this group and their actions can stir the consciences of at least a few of the republican members of Congress so that we might proceed with the impeachment of Donald Trump, for it is increasingly obvious that he is taking our nation down a path of destruction.


But … it’s a court order, for Pete’s sake!

In early May, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered that the Justice Department make public various materials related to the case against Michael Flynn, Trump’s first National Security advisor. The order included transcripts of any audio recordings of Flynn, such as his conversations with Russian officials, specifically Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, as well as unredacted version of portions of the Mueller report related to Flynn.

These requests by Judge Sullivan were not subpoenas from Congress but were a direct order by a court of law.  And guess what, folks?  The United States Department of Justice under Attorney General William Barr refused to comply with that court order.  Prosecutors Brandon L. Van Grack and Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Curtis of Washington provided little explanation as to why they were not turning over the transcripts but indicated that the judge had asked for material that was not relevant to Flynn’s eventual sentencing.

The Justice Department did provide one of the items the Judge ordered … a full transcript of a voice mail that John Dowd, a private attorney for Trump, left for Flynn lawyer Robert Kelner in November 2017.  But guess what?  It was fully quoted in Mueller’s report anyway.

So, let’s recap here.  The House of Representatives is conducting an investigation as is not only their right, but their constitutional duty, and as such, they are issuing requests and subpoenas for information, but the Trump, Barr, Mnuchin and others are flat out refusing to provide such information.  Michael Flynn, who served only 24 days as Trump’s national security advisor because it was proven he had lied to the FBI about the nature and content of his communications with Kislyak, has been tried, found guilty, and is awaiting sentencing.  The judge in the case asks for relevant information, but Trump’s hand-picked, corrupt Attorney General refuses the order.

Law.  Either we have one or we do not.  What do you think would happen if you were subpoenaed to court and didn’t show up?  What do you think would happen if a policeman pulled in behind you, lights flashing, and you kept going?  That’s right, folks … the law applies to us.  Obviously, at this point, it does not apply to the officials in the federal government.  Can there be any doubt that this is the most corrupt government in the 230+ year history of this nation?


Now go forth and have a lovely weekend!

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

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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!