It is fairly early on Wednesday afternoon as I commence writing this article for early Thursday morning’s publishing and my biggest fear is that it will be somewhat stale by the time you read it. There is an elaborate and seemingly continuous dance going on in Washington these days. Most of the events I will cover took place since Monday afternoon and in one case I may have to speculate. That is how fast this slow dance is going. Let’s explore.
President Donald Trump is in huge trouble. Despite his and his minions best efforts the truth about him keeps coming out. Still Trump realizes that every day he stays in office is another day he gets to steal money via his organized criminal enterprise. It is also another day that he has the protection of the office of the presidency to shield him from some prosecution. Even in situations where it appears he has little if any chance of ultimately prevailing in court he wants to delay the inevitable. Wouldn’t you if you (like Trump) were amoral and profited daily?
Monday afternoon Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin refused to comply with the clearly legal request of the House Ways and Means Committee to provide its Chairman Richard Neal with six years of Trump’s tax returns. Mnuchin stated that he based his decision on legal advice from Bill Barr’s Justice Department. This came as no surprise to me! I must say that using a Barr ruling as your legal justification is about as reassuring to me as a paper crash helmet.
Tuesday morning was the deadline for former White House Counsel Don McGahn to furnish the House Judiciary Committee with a plethora of paperwork. At the last minute Trump ordered him not to comply. There is a serious legal question as to what right Trump has to order a now private citizen to do or not do anything. McGahn, at least for the moment, obeyed. (Don’t get distracted and keep in mind that Trump waited until the last minute. One of Trump’s main goals is to delay as long as possible. In his mind every delay is equal to money in his pocket.)
Tuesday morning Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor and declared Russiagate to be, “Case closed.” While I think McConnell is evil; I do not question his intelligence. Therefore I have to believe that he has sufficient reading comprehension to know that the redacted version of the Mueller Report – keep in mind that he, along with the American public has never seen the report – did anything but exonerate Trump or resolve the issue. The logical conclusion is that McConnell, who is certainly not stupid, is a sycophant. McConnell was joined by “legal scholar and genius” Chuck Grassley. McConnell’s effort reminded me of a defense attorney in a hopeless case starting his defense with a motion to dismiss. That Hail Mary is always greeted with the judge saying, “Motion denied, proceed with your defense.”
While I’m on the topic of McConnell, let me refresh your memory on an important aspect of Russiagate that seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. In 2016, before the election, the intelligence community had alerted the Obama White House and senior Congressional leadership of the Russian interference in the election. Obama proposed that Congressional leadership join the White House in issuing a bi-partisan warning to the American public. McConnell nixed the deal. Trump is political novice and a fool; McConnell is neither. You draw your own conclusions from there; to me they are obvious.
In the “background” was Barr’s Monday refusal to turn over an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report to the House Judiciary Committee. As of this writing it appears the House Judiciary Committee will hold him in contempt for doing so before the day is out. With that matter on the agenda of the Committee for its 10am meeting Barr at first offered a Wednesday afternoon meeting in hope of resolving the impasse. I don’t know if I should characterize that offer as stupid or insulting; perhaps both. In any event it was rejected and the “resolution meeting” took place on Tuesday. It lasted about 30 minutes and bore no fruit. Late Tuesday evening Barr offered another “solution”. He wanted the House Judiciary Committee to hold off on the contempt vote and if they did not he said he would advise the White House to claim executive privilege. Am I alone or does that sound like the offer of a mobster not the United States Attorney General to you? By the way, late Wednesday morning the White House declared it was claiming executive privilege.
Metaphorically all I am seeing is a bunch of old, mainly fat, white guys slow dancing together with Trump in the lead. I’m about the least homophobic old, fat, heterosexual white guy in America but nonetheless that image is disturbing to me. You see I’m old fashioned and still believe in the Constitution along with the rule of law. Therefore I find this Crook’s Prom marathon slow dance appalling!
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