When the President Does It, It's Not Illegal: Redux
In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter — sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times — contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”
Break out the Constitution, boys and girls, and read the sections of Article II, or subsequent amendments, perhaps, that exempt POTUS from the laws that govern the country while granting him ‘unfettered authority’ over federal investigations. And then check to see if the document you're interpreting says, “Constitution of the United States,” or “Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran” or, perhaps, “Constitution of the Republic of Turkey.” It might also be something that President Trump and his lead counsel, Rudolph Confusiani, have been discussing for quite some time, lifting wherever possible from the “Constitution of the People’s Republic of China," as amended in 2018.
At least we know what their game is, and whether they fear there may be things that go bump-in-the-night in the closets at Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And you thought it was just Trump being Trump when he declared the press the ‘enemy of the people.”
Keep your eyes on the machinations of Turkey’s President Recip Tayyip Erdogan and then have another close look at what America’s 45th president is doing with virtually no pushback from the vast majority of Republicans in Congress, and the astonishing acquiescence of their Republican constituents. These two men are playing from a similar handbook, which operates on the premise that many take comfort in having ‘strong leaders’ (sic), and will cede acres and acres of authority to those who are willing to seize it. Even in a democracy as rock-solid as ours, a demagogue with a malignant personality disorder, a penchant for spite and malevolence, and an impotent Congress, can make inroads that are difficult to reverse.
With Donald Trump, it began with no tax returns, the sheer crudeness of his public demeanor and unparalleled slimy characterizations of competitors, the trashing of Gold Medal parents and one of America’s great war heroes and public servants, the refusal to divest from his personal business, trampling on the emoluments clause, the appointment of his daughter and son-in-law as Assistants to the President, the pardon of Joe Arpaio and recent indications he will use the power of the pardon like comp tickets to a Trump golf course, the blatant infractions of the law, rules and regulations by his EPA Administrator, similar behavior by his Secretary of Interior, the decision by his Secretary of Education to close down ongoing investigations into fraudulent behavior at for-profit colleges (while hiring their executives to serve in senior positions at the department,) the gutting of qualified scientific expertise at the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, the downgrading of activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discontinuing public logs of White House visitors, barring the press from public meetings at cabinet agencies, and, and, and . . . Oh yes, the firing of prosecutors who would not do his bidding — Bharara, Yates, Comey — and the contemptible private harassment and public berating of his Attorney General.
And this is a partial list.
We’re not talking policy here, folks. That’s another conversation on which reasonable people will be sure to disagree — tax reform, judicial appointments, immigration, trade, and more. In these and countless other instances, we are referring to a code of human behavior, a protocol of personal ethics, and the customs, conventions, and public decorum that come with holding the highest office in the land. Others before him have failed on occasion, but for Donald J. Trump it is the hallmark of his performance in office — it is who he is and it is what he does and has done throughout his adult life. The records are there to show that, including 4,095 law suits in a 30-year period of his business career.
So, now, we have this to contend with. Read on and recognize that all of the noise, all the accusations about the ‘deep state’ and the conspiracists in the FBI and Department of Justice, the “Democrats” who work for Robert Mueller and are out to get Donald Trump, all now operate under the branding umbrella of “Spygate . . . one of the biggest political scandals in history.” And all of this is simply prologue to the dismissal of Special Counsel Mueller. The only questions are (a) when, and (b) how far down in the ranks of the Justice Department President Trump will have to go before finding an operative who is willing to do the dirty work of the dirtiest human being ever to enter the Oval Office.
And as Walter Cronkite might say, “That’s the way it is.”
A 20-page letter from President Trump’s lawyers to the special counsel, obtained by The New York Times, argues that the president could not possibly have committed obstruction because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations.
Betsy DeVos, CDC, Constitution , Donald Trump, FBI, James Comey, Jeff Sessions, Joe Arpaio, Presst Bharara, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, Robert Mueller, Rudy Giuliani, Ryan Zinke, Sally Yates, Scott Pruitt, Spygate