Trump Faces the Fire of Truth and Rules

One of the good things about Richard Nixon’s Watergate debacle was the new rules for oversight of the president and the executive branch by Congress.

Judgement is not a Republican or Democratic principal. It’s simply an ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions before the application of ethics, morality and legal interpretations. People like Corey Lewandowski believe in the old concept of the unitary executive, which is a theory of US constitutional law holding that the president possesses the power to control the entire executive branch. The doctrine is rooted in Article Two of the United States Constitution, which vests “the executive power” of the United States in the President.

Richard Nixon believed no presidential action could be unlawful. Does that mean the President of the United States could order a murder? Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said under oath in Congress that Donald Trump asking him to deliver a message to the sitting Attorney General to stop an investigation into him was not breaking any law. This was the unitary executive theory in action.

According to the Washington Post, “A whistleblower complaint has triggered a tense showdown between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress and involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader. Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community.”

Joseph Maguire, DNI

This just in, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported 9-19-2019 that the contacts at issue between Trump and the foreign leader involve Ukraine. In the past, some of Trump’s supporters, including his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have urged the Kiev government to open investigations on his political rivals, including Joe Biden. Was this presented with a bribe of foreign aid, or perhaps, was the threat of withholding the aid part of the deal?

The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, has refused to share Trump’s alleged transgression with lawmakers. Under statute he must do this within seven days. This has created speculation that the spy chief is protecting the president. Once again, Mr. Maguire may have broken the rules by taking this matter to the DOJ before advising Congress.

The good news here is that Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson has determined that the complaint is credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern.” All the paperwork has been filed and there is no getting away from the truth in this matter. While this news was breaking, recently fired National Security Advisor John Bolton was out making speeches about how bad Trump’s foreign policies are. It appears his words were leaked from a closed-door meeting.

William Barr and Donald Trump cannot keep this information from Congress and they know that once the complaint is disclosed to the members of the House Intelligence Committee it will be leaked. Presidents complain about leaks, but they are an important part of how the American public learns about the workings of their government. Transparency is good for democracy and helps rid us of deceptive and dishonest people who debase the very nature of freedom in the United States.

Checks and balances are at the core of our government’s strength. They were built into the process of governance by our founders who didn’t want the executive office to bear any resemblance to the kings and queens of other countries. When John Adams proposed to Thomas Jefferson that we call the president “your highness,” Jefferson was strongly offended and suggested the simple “Mr. President” as a suitable designation.

Donald Trump will claim he can say whatever he wants to any leader of another country. He might declare that it is how he negotiates, but somewhere in the millions of words he uses he should never sell out America for a deal. We know that Trump and his family are benefiting financially from his presidency. That is against the law. From the Mueller Report, we know that he was involved in obstruction of justice, and that’s also against the law. Now we are learning that he and his attorney general are blocking a whistleblower from being heard. That too is against the rules, policies and laws of this land.

There is a simple remedy for all this skullduggery. Congress should demand the disclosure of the whistleblower report. If acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire refuses, they should ask the Sergeant at Arms of the United States House of Representatives to bring him to Capitol Hill or incarcerate him until he complies. Yes, they have the power to do that and they need to play hardball on all contempt of Congress charges. Until the House of Representatives follows the laws and procedure of oversight, how we can expect the President to comply? Maybe they should start with the Attorney General and demand he recuse himself from this matter. Let’s get to the bottom of all this corruption.



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