Ruthless & Truthless Liar

A Case for Indicting a Sitting President

There is a very well-written 29-page memo the Department of Justice posted on October 2000 that clearly says that a sitting president cannot be indicted. If you want to read the whole thing, it’s right here. But let’s cut to the chase, it says that, “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.”

Some might argue that it’s time to examine that under unusual circumstances, a sitting president should be able to be indicted. Within our legal system the only true remedy of dealing with an unsavory leader is impeachment. Anyone watching this slow-moving disruption of the norms of America with Donald Trump will agree that this president has created an “usual circumstance.”

The opinion memo from DOJ in 2000 has a funny reference to the concept of charging a sitting president but postponing a trial until he’s out of office with, “…there would be a Russian roulette aspect to…[it].” RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA!

Another not so funny admission was that Justice thinks having 12 unelected jurors decide the fate of the President would be a dangerous precedent and alluded to the fact that such weighty matters would be outside the regular joe’s experience. In short, they are saying ordinary citizens are not smart enough to judge such complicated matters. Really? That’s how they kept the vote and being on juries from women for almost 150 years. Or were they being a bit truthful about the flaw in the system of a jury of your peers?

We certainly believe that no man or woman is above the law. Our founding fathers were smart men who understood the need to make sure the top executive of the nation was free from frivolous law suits or local laws that could thwart his ability to do the nations’ business. They also had to deal with the conflict between the person who runs the justice department (the President) having the power of executive privilege. You cannot be the defendant and judge in the same case.

The founding fathers were a group of rich landowners who believed, their class, would never let someone of such low values and character to ever land the job of President. They were idealistic and a bit naïve, but then, how could they have ever predicted how America would change or even, a Donald Trump.

With filings landing in the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian intervention into our 2016 election and the proposed “political synergy” between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, we are seeing more hints of obstructing the investigation. If these accusations are true, it seems the President of the United States was, at least, more involved than he has admitted. If you care about America and our Democratic process, then you should take notice that these accusations are coming from the Justice Department, not some left-wing conspirators.

The founders of this great land wanted the Congress to be the check and balance in all presidential matters and clearly stated that impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors” was the way to dispense with a bad guy in the White House. And this notion has been revealed in our history.

Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were all impeached by the US House of Representatives. Although Johnson missed being tossed out of office by only one vote. Bill Clinton’s impeachment verdict fell short by 22 votes. Nixon never made it to impeachment. His party convinced him to resign and walk away from all his illegal activities. Later, President Ford pardoned Nixon. Completing the invisible circle that people in high offices rarely, even if convicted, serve time.

We don’t want to ever think that the party in power could execute a coup to take the voter’s choice out of office. At the same time, the credibility of the entire justice system of America is diminished if the chief executive breaks the law and is not held accountable for his or her actions. That is why it’s called a Constitutional Crisis.

If the President breaks the law while in office, he can only be impeached, he cannot be indicted, arrested or stand trial. We get it. If Donald Trump knows that he will be indicted once he leaves office, he will simply do a deal with Pence to get a pardon. We have already seen this one played out. If a Democrat is elected President, then Trump, if found guilty could do some time. Elections do matter.

Not all is lost, in the memo released in 2000 it does confirm that the Chief Executive does have to cooperate with any investigation and must provide documents, so long as they don’t interfere with his busy schedule. He doesn’t have to go to any courtroom, but he must comply with any request for documents or information, so long as it doesn’t involve national security. That excuse has been used over years and it has not generally impressed the courts or judges. If you want to get into the weeds, look up US vs. Nixon, or Nixon vs. Fitzgerald, or Clinton vs. Jones.

In conclusion, there is no legal way a president can be indicted while in office. The Vice President and everyone else in government does not have that immunity. So, to all the Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans, the only way the presidency (the institution) can be protected is by Congress acting. YOU HAVE TO IMPEACH TRUMP before you can make him stand trial. And if Robert Mueller shows you the President did not protect America and violated his oath, you must IMPEACH.


LEGAL SMOKING GUN

Trump’s Attorney Double Flips

The reason for Donald Trump’s playing overly nice with Russia was just another deal. He so desired a Trump Tower in Moscow that he overtly showed his hand during his campaign. Once he took a Pro-Putin position, the Donald never changed his actions and words, even after he was nominated. Trump seemed to many conservative scholars and foreign relations experts as less than Republican. Some also think that Trump is doing long-term damage with his bias. When Trump compliments Vladimir Putin and Russia, it’s not some diplomatic ploy, it’s just a longing to make money in Moscow.

Today (11-29-2018) in New York Federal court, Michael Cohen admitted that he lied to Congress about the timeline on pitching Trump’s projects in Russia. Now, Trump’s former attorney will co-operate with the Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Cohen will be able to fill in the facts and expose the lies that Trump has been telling before and after he became President.

None of this will be surprising to anyone who has been reading this blog over the last two years. The 45th President is a man who lies constantly and will do anything behind closed doors to enrich himself or gratify his bodily desires. Besides being unfit president, Trump is an amoral human being. Once again, the devil has tempted and is in control of the deeply evangelicals. When do their eyes open?

Trump claimed that he’s not guilty of anything because the Trump Tower was NOT built in Moscow. He also admitted that he did have a deal in the pipeline for Moscow, even after he said he had NO business in Russia. Trump’s denial seemed rather defensive and contrived. He even said, “I wasn’t trying to hide anything.” That sounded a bit like, “I am not a crook.”

All the President’s men and women will be paraded out to condemn Michael Cohen as a traitor to the cause and a liar. Once again, we will hear denials. Did you notice how often Trump uses the phrase, “He denied it.” It’s getting to the point where when we hear those words, we automatically think the person Trump is defending, did the deed.

He has stated belief in the denials of Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein, Rob Porter, Roy Moore, Vladimir Putin, and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. He only believes what he has already concluded, rather than even consider any other options. He cannot muster the courage to take the findings of scientists about Climate Change seriously. On the issue of how Climate Change could affect our well-being, he said, “I don’t belief it.”

Michael Cohen might be playing for a better life outside of prison, but clearly, if he can document much of what he is revealing to the court and Special Counsel, this can only spell the death of this presidency. Donald Trump may have concluded his written answers to the questions from Russian interference investigation, but now Trump must be called to testify. Anything less than a recorded deposition of the President is shoddy criminal prosecution. The Michael Cohen pleading today is the beginning of a year of conflicts, hearings and court battles. WHY?

We have never impeached a President. Nixon was about to be impeached when Barry Goldwater urged him to resign to save the institution of the presidency. The power of Nixon’s own party was against him. When will the Republicans on the hill, who have that same power, finally wake up and realize that it’s time to think about their own seats? There will be at least 33 Senators up for reelection in 2020.

The House of Representatives has already flipped to Democrat. The Senate will be next. Michael Cohen has flipped and flipped again. How long until others in Trump’s inner circle come to their senses and flip for America.


POOR DONALD TRUMP

“Believe me, there was no collusion!”

We have to feel sorry for Donald Trump because he has been treated so unfairly by the media, the press, Democrats, zoning boards, Congress, the legal system, interest groups, lobbyists, women, Billy Bush, the intelligence community, the Justice Department and now the Special Counsel. The whole world is against him.

When Richard Nixon uttered the words, “I am not a crook” most of America knew that this was one of the great examples of what I have always called the “implication of the opposite.” When people use defensive terminologies and then repeat them too often, the listener slowly flips the meaning. The more Nixon said that he was not a crook, the more we believed he was. Nixon also called Watergate a “witch hunt,” and when he obstructed justice he was forced out of the office by Congress.

When Trump says the appointment of Special Counsel is “respectable” but in the same sentence calls the whole investigation a “witch hunt” he combines opposite propositions.

Trump uses words “believe me” a lot when he speaks. Some would say that is the mark of a very insecure speaker, but it just might be a tell. The tell being, I am lying so I have to ask for belief before my words are spoken, like a hypnotic suggestion.

Another behavior occurred after one of his unbelievable tweets. We heard Trump and his surrogates say, “the tweet speaks for itself” which is almost like blaming the tweet for what was said. The next level was the question from Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro about whether conversations are being recorded in the White House. Trump answered, “That I can’t talk about. I won’t talk about that.” Why not explain yourself and the tweet?

This is what Trump does when he cannot back up his opinions with facts or truth. It is quite clear that our president is not a student of history. If he would have studied what happened to Richard Nixon, he would have known what not to do. But he is more interested in being known for someone who did it his way. Where is Frank Sinatra when we need him?

I would like to remind all those evangelical power brokers about the ninth of the Ten Commandments, bearing false witness against thy neighbor. Scholars make a distinction between lying in general and bearing false witness (perjury). Funny how there wasn’t a specific commandment regarding every day lying. I guess if Trump perjures himself in future cases, the Bible crowd will have to leave him.

This pattern of lying is disturbing. The quick darting from one story to the next hurts America. The stock market, allies and the citizens need to have a consistent and well- thought-out plan. We are not getting that from this administration.

Trump will learn that having only 39% of the public behind him and constantly playing to his base will earn no value abroad. They don’t care how popular you think you are.

But what we should really be concerned about is a sign that our President is losing his grasp of putting words together in a meaningful way. When asked about the investigation, he actually said these words:

 “…there certainly is no collusion between myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself and the Russians, zero.”

You can brush off this as more hamburger helper or you can take this sentence for the way it was constructed. Is this a soundbite for a courtroom drama? The man said there was no collusion between him and his campaign. Was that a way to plant the seed that he didn’t control what his campaign and transition team did? Is he that smart?

And you could also say, perhaps a little Freudian slip there, that he was confessing that he can speak for the Russians. Really? Who made him the Russian ambassador?

Adding the word “zero” at the end doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence. When the leader of the free word has a major problem with syntax, this is a real problem. When people translate these words into other languages, he might be very surprised how misunderstood he is.

When Trump peppers his speech with “everybody thinks so,” or bragging about the “fantastic job” he is doing, he doesn’t cloud the negative moments that can appear in the same paragraph, even in the same sentence. He’s elevated George W. Bush to valedictorian status.

The pressure is getting to poor Donald. Everybody is treating him so unfairly. Why? He should be analyzing why so many people are against him.

 

 


Climate for Constitutional Crisis

Nixonian Activities in Trump White House

The headline on CNN this morning read: FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories. What would be your greatest fear for the United States of America? Would it be terrorism; check. Would it be insane leaders of nations with nukes; check. Would it be a president who thought of himself so powerful he could attempt to change the flow of rivers of information away from the people?

In this administration’s attempt to “publicly knock down media reports of conversations between campaign loyalists and Russian operatives” we have now entered a very dangerous era in our country.

According to CNN, White House officials had sought the help of the FBI and other agencies investigating the Russia matter to say that the reports were wrong and that there had been no contacts.

The Trump gang cares not of who controls the press, so long as they control the so-called “facts.” Even if the news is fake, it has to be their version of fake.

The important word here is “control.” When Steve Bannon spoke at CPAC he said that another top Trump priority would be the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” What does that mean? As I have always said, if you listen to the words of a person, you will know what they are really thinking.

Well, a guy named Dwight Waldo, yes real name, wrote a book called The Administrative State in 1948. Ironically, the same year that George Orwell finished his book 1984. I am sure Bannon knows this work and is applying the theories accurately.

In Waldo’s book, he claims that in an “administrative state” there is a tension between democracy and bureaucracy and offers that a political administration dichotomy is false. Public servants must do more than implement policy set by elected officials and ironically the book actually says that government cannot be run like a business.

The funny thing about what Bannon is offering here, is a real glimpse into the workings of a dark and sinister plot to destroy the way Washington works. Deconstruction would assume be followed by some kind of reconstruction, you know, like after the Civil War. A person who says he is against the administrative state is obviously saying the executive branch must be all-powerful.

Attempts to use administrative offices, bureaus of law enforcement or judicial appointees to manipulate the news and rewrite the dialog about this new President is the first step in this deconstruction. Sure, all Republicans think they are right and all Democrats believe their cause is more worthy than what comes out of the other side of the aisle, but someone has to stand up against this ruthless squad of radical Presbyterian terrorists. Joke intended.

If you say you are going to tear down the administrative state, you are really saying that whistleblowers don’t have a legal role in government. You are saying there will be no dissent. And then they will brag about the how all the miners are going back to work and the trains running on time. If that doesn’t ring a bell in your head, go back and study how nationalism in Germany ruined lots of people’s lives. No administrative state there.

 

 


Steve, Stephen & Agent Orange

The Brains Behind the Curtain

We now know the source of poison that leaks out of the windows and the doors of the White House. Every president has had people who whisper into their ear. Some objective observers have said that these aids are not just advisors, but they actually control the leader of the free world.

George W. Bush had Dick Cheney, who like his father, had roots and connections in the C.I.A. There are those who say that Cheney misled and manipulated the younger President Bush and gave him justification to re-enter Iraq and finish the job that his father failed to accomplish.

Richard Nixon had John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman, who historians believed were pulling the strings of the soon-to-be broken president during the Watergate scandal. Haldeman was an experienced advertising man who used his talents to sell Nixon to the American public. Ehrlichman was an attorney who believed the President had unlimited powers and could not be held accountable for dirty deeds.

Trump has Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller pulling strings and writing up executive orders based on their ideology and political beliefs. It is quite obvious that their efforts were never filtered or tested through any analysis of who this is good for and will this hurt anyone? They simply don’t care about people; they care about creating a world they believe is right.

While Stephen Miller read his answers to the questions from all the Sunday morning talk shows, one could feel the defensiveness and witness the deflection laced vitriol. The non-fact of voter fraud was repeated, covering the fib of the older brother President showed that he too, has bought into the lie, or did he create the lie?

Mr. Miller’s pronouncement that Federal judges didn’t have the authority to stop the President’s travel ban was nothing more than an attempt to argue his position on the media, that same media they claim is so dishonest and terrible. Judges judge, presidents lead.

Mr. Miller and Mr. Bannon should remember that both Haldeman and Ehrlichman were convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury and both served time in prison. Steve and Stephen should focus on the phrase “obstruction of justice” as they carry on the business of President Trump.

The key to keeping America safe from terrorism starts with keeping America safe from tyranny. Let Democracy win first and the rest will be fine. Who is the puppet and who are the puppeteers?  Time will tell whether the pitch-man is reading a well-prepared script, or is true to his convictions.