Every few days I see my notes and inbox filling up with things I want to comment on. During the Trump administration there are so many scandals simultaneously occurring that the effort always seems to fall short. I’m sure it will again today but, let’s explore.
Here is a thought for all those who are frustrated that the Democrats are not going full speed ahead on impeachment. The more investigation there are into Trump and his sycophants the more in legal fees they rack up. Trump is notorious for using other people’s money, not his own. I am willing to bet that the Trump reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) are footing the lion’s share of Trump’s legal bills. I am also inclined to believe that they are paying, if not all, a substantial portion of his closest cronies’ bills. The more money they spend on what in most if not all cases will be losing legal cases, the less they have to get their candidates (including Trump) elected in 2020. The fundraising numbers are big, but they are still finite and you can’t spend the same dollar more than once.
The Trump minions took up a new call in recent days. They are saying they won’t allow the Democrats to have a “do over” after the Mueller Report vindicated Trump. We have yet to see the Mueller Report or hear from the author himself. Mueller turned his report in to the Attorney General on March 22nd. On March 24th Bill Barr released his “book report” which has proven to be highly inaccurate. If that was an example of Barr’s reading comprehension he certainly should refrain from expressing opinions about what he reads!
About a month later, Barr released the “Readers Digest version” of the report. Before he released it he held a press conference where he told a bunch of lies about what it said. Despite suppressing the “book”, redacting it, and having almost a month of lies out there he failed to hide the facts that evil took place. A “do over” is impossible; we haven’t had a “do” yet.
Much is being made of the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaing Donald Trump, Jr. His appearance will be a closed door affair so when he takes the fifth and/or lies it will not have the impact that a live televised hearing would. For years I have saddled the Republican Senate Intelligence Committee Chair, Richard Burr, with the moniker Bank Run Burr for his actions when the Great Recession broke in 2012. Of late he has picked up a new nickname, Backchannel Burr, for his implication in the redacted Mueller Report. When it comes to his personal political interest Burr has proven to be a Trump sycophant, don’t get distracted by a single conditional committee appearance. A sincere investigator would have hauled Jr. in, no conditions and on live TV.
The EPA Inspector General has recommended that the agency recover $124,000 from former Administrator Scott Pruitt. That’s a lot of money but when you consider that Pruitt spent over $900,000 that appears to be illegitimate it is a bargain price (for Pruitt). Here’s the dirty little secret; I’m willing to bet that Pruitt pays back zero. We are still waiting to see the color of Tom Price’s money who, like Pruitt, left Trump’s Cabinet under a spending scandal cloud.
In 2007 Conrad Black was convicted of fraud, embezzlement and obstruction of justice. He spent three years in prison and was deported to Canada in 2012. Black is a Trump friend who subsequently wrote a book entitled, Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other, which was very complimentary of Trump. Last week Trump pardoned him. Misuse of funds, lying and obstruction of justice are not crimes in Trump’s mind; they are standard operating procedure, as they are in any other organized criminal enterprise. Say nice things about Trump and he’ll do whatever you want him to. To date that observation is serving Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung-un well.
Save one, all the major free world powers signed an agreement to fight online extremism in the aftermath of the Christchurch shooting. The exception was America. The Trump administration though it might be a violation of the First Amendment. When did defending lies and hate become an American virtue? I know Trump is neither much of a reader nor student of American history but perhaps someone should point out Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ opinion in the 1919 Supreme Court case Schenk v. United States. Holmes stated that Americans right to free speech did not extend to “[F]alsely shouting fire in a theater and causing panic.”
I am neither an attorney nor did I attend law school but some of the opinions coming out of Barr’s Justice Department have me scratching my head in disbelief. Last week the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion that the Food and Drug Administration does not have jurisdiction over drugs used in executions. Their stated reasoning is that “[A]rticles intended for use in capital punishment by a state or federal government cannot be regulated as ‘drugs’ or ‘devices.’”
Last week the sycophant Republican senior Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, said that he planned to introduce legislation increasing the number of days refugee children can be detain from its current 20 to 100. Just what does Trump have on Graham or was the late John McCain Graham’s brain?
Last week it was announced that AG Barr had tasked Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of the special counsel’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. America is under attack from a foreign adversary and our Attorney General is more interested in who “called 911” than the crime itself. Barr appears to be doing his best to protect Trump. How about protecting American democracy and the American people?
Again I went on way too long and again I failed to cover all the sins of just the last few days. Somewhere in Hockey Hell Fred Shero is proud of Donald Trump!
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