This is another one of my catch up articles. It seems they are coming with greater frequency as it is impossible to cover all the transgressions of Trump and his sycophants. Sadly these are becoming my most important articles and they are still inadequate. Let’s explore.
Midnight Mitch McConnell seems to have a copycat in Attorney General Bill Barr. McConnell acquired this latest moniker for holding “public” hearings into the middle of the night and restricting press coverage. For example the television cameras were not allowed to cover the absence of Republican senators during the supposed impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump. Nor were they able to show the masses the conduct of those GOP senators who actually were at their desks. (Hint: they weren’t quietly and studiously paying attention to the speakers at all times. You know, like jurors are required to during a real trial.)
Just before midnight Friday – hours after Mitch and his minions prevented any new evidence from being considered in the matter – Barr’s Justice Department disclosed that it was holding about two dozen emails which documented Trump’s involvement in withholding aid to Ukraine in exchange for a personal political favor; which is Ukrainegate’s core assertion. If you haven’t figured out that Barr is complicit in Ukrainegate by now you need a credible news source(s) and/or to shed your willful ignorance. I predict there will be a lot of disbarred lawyers before this is all over and Barr will be among them.
Speaking of candidates for disbarment, reports are that John Bolton’s forthcoming book details White House Counsel and lead Trump defense attorney (that itself is a conflict of interest and misuse of taxpayers’ dollars) Pat Cipollone’s involvement in Ukrainegate. On top of that apparently he lied to the Senate during his statements.
Staying with the Trump defense team the award for most outrageous performance has to go to Alan Dershowitz. He took Nixon’s “If the president does it” statement to David Frost (notably after Nixon’s resignation) and greatly expanded it. Dershowitz argued that if the sitting president takes an action that he believes to be in the national interest that it is automatically an unimpeachable act.
In this case Dershowitz contends that since Trump believes his reelection is in the national interest manipulating a foreign nation to interfere in our election on his behalf is lawful and unimpeachable.
Let me speak to Republicans for a minute. If you make this assertion a legal precedent that would mean that if a future Democratic president believed that shutting down Fox News was in the national interest they could not only do it; they would be held harmless. I’ll go one step further, a future Democratic president who professed to believe that the Republican Party was a danger to the nation could declare membership in it or its existence to be illegal and that would be deemed to be in the national interest.
While you may contend that my examples are extreme I will counter that they are no more extreme than Dershowitz’s argument is ridiculous and dangerous.
One last comment about the Trump defense team: It is a shame that the president of the United States couldn’t assemble a world class team of legal representatives in such an important case! Arguably Dershowitz was the intellectual lead and unquestionably was the biggest name. At its highest levels the American legal profession, like American medical profession, has evolved into a trade of specialists. Dershowitz is a criminal attorney, not a constitutional attorney. This is like having an orthopedic surgeon perform your brain surgery.
Health experts are pointing out that under Trump the provisions in people and other resources the Obama administration had set in place to handle an epidemic were largely dismantled. With the coronavirus the Trump administration is scrambling to “reassemble” them. However the majority of their high level appointees are political people not scientists.
Perhaps we should just look on the bright side of this epidemic like international money launderer and current Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Ross contends that the coronavirus outbreak will lead to more American jobs. I know Ross is old but so am I. The difference appears to be that I’ve heard of things like the global economy of which the global supply chain is a significant and crucial component.
I’ve criticized both Justice and Commerce above. I’d be remiss if I concluded without a small critique of the State Department. Mike Pompeo was in Kiev to visit with the Ukrainian President Zelensky last week. During his visit he was questioned about when Zelensky would get his long desired White House visit. His answer was basically when we get around to it. (What, can’t Trump change a tee time?)
Various sources have implicated Pompeo in Ukrainegate and its cover up. He has been caught flat out lying on various occasions. In addition he is now implicated in the removal of then American Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. About the same time on Friday night that McConnell ensured Trump’s continuation in office the news broke that Yovanovitch joined the brain drain at State by resigning. Bottom line: we get to keep useless and incompetent Trump and Pompeo but lose veteran, experienced and patriotic career diplomate Yovanovitch. To put it in sports parlance – that is a terrible trade!
To follow the sports theme for a bit, by the time you read this the 2020 Super Bowl will be history; as I write this article the game is several hours away. Generally the commercials and halftime show draw more next day watercooler conversation than the game. I happened to see a sneak preview of Mike Bloomberg’s commercial. It was 80% issue and 20% Mike; (my unscientific numbers.) That is the basic strategy Bloomberg has been following and as a pledged supporter of the Democratic nominee – no matter who he or she may be – I find it reassuring. Assuming Bloomberg keeps his word and turns his campaign into a well-funded advocacy organization if he is not the nominee his ads will go a long way to effectively finance the Democratic nominee’s general election campaign.
As I expected, I went on too long and still didn’t cover a lot of things I wanted to.
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