What if Trump Won’t Leave?

It’s not as ridiculous a question as it seems. Trump has already hinted at the possibility of not leaving office; even if he completed two full terms in office. Of course, there are two distinct means by which he might not serve more than one term. He could be voted out of office in the 2020 Presidential Election, or he could be Impeached. The ongoing Impeachment investigation has reached the public hearing stage. America is learning more daily about Trump’s back-channel diplomacy and apparent extortion of Ukraine to improve his chances of staying in office.

“We’re cutting record numbers of regulations — we’ve cut more regulations in a year and a quarter than any administration whether it’s four years, eight years, or in one case 16 years. Should we go back to 16 years? Should we do that? Congressman, can we do that?”

The immediate threat to his presidency is the Impeachment inquiry. After the first week of public hearings, there is the testimony that Trump blackmailed Ukraine to force them to make public statements about an investigation of a political rival and his son; in order to receive hundreds of millions in military aid. Trump’s engaged in an unprecedented level of obstruction; refusing to let administration witnesses testify or release records and documentation. We’ve seen how an Ambassador was demonized, forced out, and even intimidated while on the stand testifying. He told a foreign leader she was “bad news,” and that:

“She’s going to go through some things!”

The official Impeachment inquiry began after a September 25th phone call during which Trump demanded a favor from the Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky; immediately after he brought up his willingness to purchase additional javelin missiles. An opening statement from closed-door testimony shows on September 26th, Trump talked by phone to Ambassador Sunderland and pressed him on the progress of Ukraine releasing the statement Trump wanted.

It is fairly certain, that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will formally Impeach the President and send the case to the Senate for a trial. Less clear is whether the Republican-controlled Senate will do anything other than to vote by Party line. Impeachment requires a two-thirds majority in order to oust the President and currently that isn’t likely. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says he “won’t even read the transcripts” from the House investigations. He may not be alone.

There is a precedent, however; Republican support to impeach Richard Nixon was even less than it is for Trump. Yet televised hearings and public opinion pressured them to the point that Republicans went to Nixon and told him he “didn’t have the votes” to survive Impeachment. Nixon ultimately resigned “for the good of the country.” From what we know of Trump, the good of the country won’t cross his mind and resignation is unlikely. So what if he won’t leave?

“You know the last time I jokingly said that the papers start saying, ‘He’s got despotic tendencies, (staying in office longer) “No, I’m not looking to do it. Unless you want me to do it, that’s OK.”

The first thing Trump would likely do is to file lawsuits. Sue the House of Representatives, the Senate, the whistleblower; everybody. That he has no chance on the merits won’t bother him. He has claimed that the President has absolute immunity while in office and that the President cannot even be investigated; in his legal filings. He said publicly that he could “shoot someone on 5th Ave.,” and get away with it. People thought he was joking.

We’ve all seen how long he’s been able to avoid releasing his taxes as various lawsuits wind their way through the court system. He’s lost on every lower level, including appeals to the Federal courts. All that remains is the Supreme Court which these days is highly unpredictable. The goal for Trump won’t necessarily be winning, although he would like that. It would be the delay, up to two years. Certainly long enough to run in the next election. If Impeached during one term is there anything to stop him from running in the next election? He wouldn’t be a felon as he wouldn’t have been prosecuted or convicted while President.

“Do you think the people would demand that I stay longer?”

The other possibility where Trump might try to go against tradition and stay in office; is if he is defeated in November 2020, but decides not to stay. He would have no problem declaring it a “rigged election” and either declare himself the winner or demand a whole new election (or recounts in only the states he lost). He’d declare (as he did in 2016) that millions of illegal voters were allowed to vote, provide his own set of unverifiable numbers which would be instantly be backed up by his surrogates and Fox News. Because of our built-in transition period between the election and inauguration. For over two months after the election, Trump would still be President; with control over the Justice Department, the Secret Service, and the military.

America has always set itself apart from the rest of the world with its history of peaceful transition of power. Despite Trump’s constant declarations, there has never been a coup with a leader forced out of power. Usually, an attempt to illegally take power or stay in power involves the military. Whatever Trump believes, the military is not so ingratiated to him that they would obey any order. There’s also the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits American troops from acting on American soil. That doesn’t apply to the National Guard which is controlled by individual states. We might see some Governors call out soldiers in an attempt to defend the President. Trump has had a loyal base of 30–40 percent of the nation. Would they stick with him even in an attempt to unconstitutionally remain in power?

The one thing we can’t say is that Trump would never consider it. He put himself ahead of the country’s interest in Ukraine. He’s indebted to the Russians to a degree we’ll never know until his financial records are released. He will lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power. Overstaying his term will seem relatively minor in his view. He’ll do what he always does; make statements to test the waters, measure the level of resistance… act. Speaking of Chinese President Xi Jinping he said:

“He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”

The Process of Rebuilding America After Trump

Eventually, unless Trump declares himself President for life and Congress and the Supreme Court both refuse to act. There will be life after Trump, and the next President will have to pick up the pieces of what the Trump era has wrought.

Let’s use the State Department as an example. With the release of depositions taken by the combined House committees in the Impeachment inquiry. We find that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied when he said his Senior Advisor Michael McKinley never informed him about concerns about attempts to oust the Ambassador to Ukraine; Marie Yovanovitch. McKinley resigned from the State Department, giving as his reason the Trump administration was using its Ambassadors to advance Trump’s political interests instead of stated American policy. America’s foreign policy in Ukraine was apparently being directed by Trump’s personal lawyer with no official role in government; Rudy Guiliani. That’s just one country without getting into US relations with Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, China, and Turkey to name far more than a few where our foreign policy is either unclear or just not working.

The majority of the government is effectively rudderless as dozens of posts requiring Senate confirmation remain unfilled with “Acting” officials trying to lead Departments whose heads are not respected because they’re basically temp workers. Trump in many cases isn’t even trying to get people confirmed because he likes his people not only not to get too comfortable but to actually be fearful of Trump. He can get rid of them at a whim.

The one area Trump has been most effective throughout his tenure is deregulation. Today he weakened an Obama-era regulation that kept coal plants from dumping residue into our lakes, rivers, and streams. How is dumping coal ash into our drinking water a good thing? He’s made possible greater levels of air pollution, water pollution, and chemicals in our food.

The other area where he’s got his wishes although I wouldn’t describe it as being successful; is stacking the courts. In addition to his two Supreme Court picks, he’s done perhaps more damage (along with Mitch McConnell) in packing judges on the Federal bench. The Republican-controlled Senate has rubber-stamped the nominations of almost every nominee including some rated “Non-Qualified” by the American Bar Association. But the question being raised today is not just what has Trump done, it’s how do we fix it?”

The first step to rebuilding the government is staffing it. Unlike Trump’s transition team where Chris Christie the former Governor of New Jersey was unceremoniously dumped as its head. He was replaced by Mike Pence who seems to be denying any knowledge as to how selections were made. Particularly those like Michael Flynn who lasted all of 23 days, having to resign because of being an unofficial agent of Turkey and questionable ties to Russia.

The Trump administration has stopped communicating with America except via tweets or interviews on friendly networks like Fox News. The White House needs to resume daily news briefings and give honest responses to questions, even when it is bad news. After three years of Sean Spicer, the “Mooch”, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and a few others with no relationship to the truth. The next administration needs to be credible; not lying about things easily debunked like inauguration crowd size or whether or not any new wall is being built and who’s paying for it.

In the next Presidency; science should be viewed as if it were a real thing. Science-related departments like the Department of Agriculture have systematically replaced actual scientists with political cronies who owe their loyalty to the interest groups they used to work or lobby for. The official government position is to dispute climate change or accept it but it isn’t manmade, or acknowledge that but say there isn’t anything that can be done about it. The one thing they’re sure about is that corporations have no responsibility to stop ruining the environment and afterward have none to clean it up.

Besides these basic minimums; a wish list would include a functioning Congress that recognizes its role in providing a check and balance to the Executive Branch. One where the Senate actually votes on bills sent them from the House. One where “advise and consent” is taken seriously and we staff our government and the courts with the best of the best. Some non-partisanship from time to time would be a little nice where the interests of the nation take precedence over the Party line.

These few guidelines are just a starting point. Perhaps the whole notion of staffing much of the government with political appointees should be looked at? Eliminating nepotism would be helpful and be wary of anyone volunteering to work for the government without pay (Manafort, Jared, Ivanka). Nobody takes that kind of job without getting enriched somewhere.

Elijah Cummings: We Weren’t Better Than This, But He Believed We Could Be (January 18, 1951 —…

It couldn’t have been easy growing up in South Baltimore with the name Elijah. His was the name of one of the major prophets from the Bible. The biblical Elijah performed major miracles. He defended the worship of the Lord God against those who preferred the craven idol, Baal. He brought fire down from the sky. In hindsight, Elijah Cummings resembled the prophet in many ways. Biblical Elijah confronted the King over his idolatry. Modern-day Elijah confronted the would-be king over the same. And when he spoke, he often brought fire from the sky in pointing out the inhumanity and indecency of various situations. Cummings embraced diversity and wished that others did the same.

“Many Americans yearn for the day when we stop fighting each other & realize that diversity is our promise — not our problem.”

Elijah Cummings had multiple causes. When it came down to it, they were all related to fighting for the equality of all people. He believed in the things he felt America stood for; voting rights, education as a means of liberation, streets safe from gun violence. He was far more an advocate of things positive but he could denounce injustice with the best of them.

“We must also stop the hateful incendiary comments, we got to do it. Those in the highest levels of the government must stop invoking fear, using racist language and encouraging reprehensible behavior. It only creates more division among us and severely limits our ability to work together for the common good. As a country, we finally must say enough is enough. That we are done with the hateful rhetoric. That we are done with the mass shootings. That we are done with white supremacists, domestic terrorists, who terrorizing in our country and fighting against everything America stands for.”

Elijah Cummings was a man worthy of emulation. Although he rose in power, he maintained the values that got him there. When he left the corridors of the Capitol or the White House in Washington DC. He returned home each night to his Baltimore home and his wife Maya Rocleymore Cummings. Though a powerful man; Chairman of the Oversight Committee, he was also a humble man who looked for the common ground even with political foes.

In a recent hearing, he disclosed that one of his closest friends in Congress was Republican Mark Meadows with whom it would seem he had little in common. Cummings was one of the first to reach across the aisle even as he rose in leadership among Democrats in Congress. He never forgot why he was there, however. To represent his District and his people, always the civil rights champion he was in his youth.

“Americans of our own time — minority and majority Americans alike — need the continued guidance that the Voting Rights Act provides. We have come a long way, but more needs to be done.”

Elijah Cummings believed in America. A country still struggling to reach its full potential. Elijah saw what America could be, fighting to rid it of its flaws. He was a man of action, not content with hopes and prayers as the best we can offer. When he had the gavel in his hand when chairing his committee in Congress. He recognized the rights of the minority party, even when at times they had no purpose but to hinder the oversight they were supposed to be about. Cummings had the unique ability to cut through all the political charades and put the focus where it belonged. We as a country didn’t always live up to what Elijah believed we could and should be. There’s no question we can do better than this, much better.

“We are better than this. We really are,” he said. “As a country, we are so much better than this.”

Elijah Eugene Cummings (January 18, 1951 — October 17, 2019)

For The Good Of The Country: What Next?

The Republicans have settled on a single refrain, “For the good of the Country,” drop all investigations into Donald Trump, his family, and his administration. Stop the “Presidential harassment” as Trump called it. The Country is tired of all the investigations and we should simply let the rest of them go; “For the good of the Country.”

While Trump had what seems like a good day. It’s way too soon to declare him innocent of anything, based on William Barr’s summary of Robert Mueller’s report, which no one outside of the Special Counsel’s office and Barr has seen. Barr’s summary said there wasn’t conclusive proof that Trump participated in a coordinated effort to conspire with Russia. He also indicated that he and Rod Rosenstein decided there was no Obstruction of Justice. This was not the finding of the Special Counsel who declined to make that prosecutorial decision, only providing both sides of the argument for obstruction, arguments we haven’t seen.

Almost lost in the announcement was the mention of undisclosed information “of relevance in other matters.” If I were Don Jr, Erik Prince, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and several others. I wouldn’t sleep easy yet. We have no idea how many other cases have been spun off to various US Attorneys in districts including the SDNY.

The bottom line is, we don’t know what we don’t know. It will take longer than we hoped for, but the likelihood is we’ll still find out. Although the Republicans, including every member of the House of Representatives, just voted to make public the entire Mueller Report. They’ll now leap on the bandwagon to keep the actual report secret, lest any inconvenient facts get out, all for the good of the Country mind you. What’s important to remember is that Mueller’s mandate was narrow and generally limited to Russian efforts to influence the election and American participation. Even though the report has been issued, there are other trials related to conspiracy with Russia including that of Roger Stone.

Though Mueller chose not to indict members of the President’s family that lied to Congress or the FBI. Those same people are under investigation by SDNY and the State of New York for activities of The Trump Foundation, Trump Inauguration, and Trump Organization. Their celebration is deserved, as they’ve had very few good days in the last year. But all those investigations are in full swing and Congress (the House anyway) is just getting warmed up and ready to issue it’s first subpoenas to the White House.

The Mueller Report specifically didn’t exonerate Trump of obstruction. There is a reason that Rick Gates hasn’t been sentenced yet because he’s still cooperating in “several investigations.” Michael Cohen is still talking to the SDNY. Michael Flynn just finished up any meaningful cooperation within the last two weeks. Barr’s summary of the Mueller report may seem a temporary setback, but the long arm of the law hasn’t stopped reaching for Donald Trump and some of his family. Have yourself a good tweet storm Donald, but save some of your energy. You’ll be needing it because people are still coming for you, for the good of the Country.

From the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Putin, Trump, and David Duke

Republicans like to refer to themselves as, “The Party of Lincoln.” This typically comes in response to questions about racism in an attempt to deflect any charges of discrimination today by referring to their long-ago stance. When the Republican Party formed, their first platform resisted the expansion of slavery into new states and territories. The Party’s initial founders were abolitionists, an anti-slavery faction of the Whig Party, and the Free-Soil wing of the Democrat Party. Say what you will about Republicans now, they once stood for something positive, not so much today.

Lincoln himself gets all the credit for ending slavery but given his way, he’d have allowed slavery to continue where it already existed. At his first Inauguration Address, he said, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” He also supported the return of slaves to Africa. The Emancipation Proclamation was less about granting freedom to the slaves than it was about hurting the South’s economy and keeping France and Britain from siding with the South whom economically they were inclined to.

Despite Lincoln’s personal ambivalence, the Republican Party was a major factor in the ending of slavery and the environment that led to Reconstruction. Unfortunately, they gave away their claim of moral superiority when in the Compromise of 1877, in trade for winning a disputed Presidential election. They agreed to remove Federal troops from the South which directly let to the end of Reconstruction and the imposition of Jim Crow. The Republican Party’s last claim to be the Party of Lincoln died in 1877.

Fast-forward to the present. The most recent Republican platform includes language changing the previous Republican position favorably to Russia. There has never been a satisfactory explanation as to who, how, and why. The Republicans who controlled oversight in Congress in the House and the Senate have looked away. Their response to a President and Administration who has had multiple secret meetings with Russians and Russian intelligence has been either muted, standing by watching, or a full-throated defense. The more information that becomes public about Trump and associates ties to Russia and private communications, the more the Party that tied itself to national security, at best looks the other way.

Republican legislators have foresworn any priorities other than getting re-elected. This means looking away as he separates children from families, shuts down the government, and destroys the economy with his trade wars and dramatic increase of the national debt. They perhaps console themselves with the tax cuts which benefit them personally and court appointments which protect the class they are part of.

Republicans rage at being portrayed as racist. They don’t mind their Party being racist in their policies but find being called racist offensive. I’m not saying all or even most Republicans are racist. I’m saying they have created an environment where racists are welcome and in fact, pander to them to ensure their continued support at the polls. To avoid the appearance of promoting racism, the Republican House leadership just stripped Rep. Steve King (IA) from his committee assignments after wondering how white nationalism and white supremacy got a bad name? They were shocked, shocked, to find out King harbored racist sentiments, though he’d been expressing them openly for decades. The President makes racist statements all the time, where is the outrage?

Whatever you think of the Republican Party, they have long ceased to be the Party of Lincoln. Depending on the need they now are meeting the needs of Vladimir Putin, Donald J Trump, and David Duke. Parties can and do change. A look at the past of the Democrat Party shows a history of racism, more violent than Republicans have engaged in. When Republicans allowed Jim Crow in 1877, Democrats instituted it. The Democrats changed dramatically in the 1960s when dissatisfaction with the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act caused many (Dixiecrats) to flee to the Republican Party. The “Southern Strategy,” ensured they remained Republicans.

I’d like to believe Republicans can do better. I’m less sure they will. Mitch McConnel is racing to fill the Federal Courts with young, conservative Judges. He and other Republicans hope that they will exert control of the Judiciary for generations, long after demographics have lessened their power to legislate. Outside the Courts, Republicans are using Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression to impose the will of a minority on the rest of us. They have gotten a partisan Supreme Court to support unlimited, undisclosed financial contributions, courtesy of Citizens United. They just experienced historic losses of House seats in the 2018 elections and are facing tough sledding in the Senate in 2020 based on who is up for reelection. When they lose, it will be because they sacrificed the principals they once held as a Party. Telling us, “collusion is not a crime,” is not the cry of an ethical Party. Putin, Trump, and Duke couldn’t be more thrilled.

Why Isn’t Voter Suppression A Crime?

Voter suppression is illegal, but is it a crime? Voter intimidation is a crime; threatening, coercing, or attempting either is punishable by fine, imprisonment for up to one year, or both. Voting illegally could get you sent to jail, depending on your color and who you were voting for.

Terri Lynn Rote, a white woman, was given two-years probation and a $750 fine for trying to vote twice for Donald Trump in Iowa. Crystal Mason, a black woman, was sentenced to 5-years in prison for attempting to vote illegally. Ms. Mason says she didn’t know she was ineligible to vote after her name was removed from the Texas voting rolls after a felony conviction for which she’d served her time. While voting illegally is definitely a crime, the only penalty for suppressing votes seems to be a greater likelihood of winning an election.

In a go big or go home strategy, Republicans in recent years have done all they could to suppress votes on a major scale. The Republican National Committee (RNC) was just freed from a Consent Decree forbidding them from coordinating with State Governments and Secretary’s of State to enforce their, “Ballot Security” programs which involved not so subtle intimidation of minority voters in crucial precincts. When Mike Pence announced in early 2016 the Republican Party would be performing that type of coordination he had to quickly renounce his statement and pretend it wasn’t true. That was before the Consent Decree was allowed to expire. Now Pence, Trump, Republican-controlled state governments, and Republican Secretary’s of State in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, and elsewhere are free to suppress away. From time to time they may be restrained by judges from imposing their will, but nobody is going to jail.

We just watched Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp use myriad strategies to suppress minority votes in his successful bid to become that state’s Governor. Despite being ordered by judges to halt several efforts, nothing was done to restore the rights of the hundreds of thousands of voters he’d managed to remove from the rolls during his term as Secretary of State. His efforts paled when compared to the millions Governor Rick Scott was able to remove in Florida. In Kansas, Dodge City residents who are primarily Hispanic saw their only polling location moved out-of-town to a suburban location with no bus stop, making it harder once again for minorities to vote.

Republicans are suppressing votes out of necessity. The Party is dwindling as a percentage of the population and their ability to win elections depends more and more on their effectiveness in suppressing votes. Historically, Democrats have been perhaps more guilty of voter suppression and intimidation but this cycle belongs to the Republicans. They do it because it’s effective, and the penalty is not severe.

So, why isn’t voter suppression something that leads to prison and excruciating financial pain? I don’t recall even any attempts to impose the kinds of penalties to give people pause when coming up with the strategies that prevent people from voting. Can it be that Republican and Democrat legislators are complicit in this scheme which keeps an ever-growing minority population from exerting more control in elective government? I’m going to give that question a little more thought.

If there are no laws imposing the types of penalties to significantly reduce voter suppression. It must be because legislatures don’t want them to exist. Instead of playing whack-a-mole when new suppressive laws and policies pop up. Let’s make real laws against voter suppression and start sending people to prison when they do so. If Cynthia Mason can get 5-years for trying to exercise a right she didn’t know she’d lost. Someone taking away the rights of hundreds of thousands ought to get life in prison. Bet it would stop then!

The Arrogance of Old, White Men

Make no mistake, every decision related to the hearing about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault claim has been made by old, white men. They gather in small rooms, away from the public eye, worried about the “optics” of what they do as they make decisions that reflect their interests.

They are concerned about the appearance of flexibility when in reality none exists. They speak of fairness in public, yet in small groups, they reveal their intent. To put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court with no concern for what testimony will reveal. Mitch McConnell (76) said, “In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the U.S. Supreme Court. So, my friends, keep the faith. Don’t get rattled by all this. We’re going to plow right through it and do our job.” Chuck Grassley (85) the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, talks about his willingness to compromise yet has imposed several arbitrary deadlines he insists Dr. Christine Blasey Ford adhere to while denying the reasonable and standard request that the allegations be investigated before the hearing as they were for Anita Hill. He also stipulated that no additional witnesses be heard besides Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh.

That’s extremely unusual as there was another person available who was alleged to have been in the room and participated. Mark Judge, who’s written a book about his “blackout drinking and culture of partying” at Georgetown Prep which he attended with Kavanaugh. In his book in which he didn’t use real names, he described a “Bart O’Kavanaugh” who “puked in a car,” and “passed out on his way back from a party.” Both sound capable of the falling-down drunk behavior described in Christine Ford’s allegation. Judge says he has no recollection of the event and will not testify. Grassley sees no need to subpoena him and see what he has to say under oath.

Donald Trump (72) was remarkably restrained for the first several days while this played out. Then he reverted to form with a tweet doubting Dr. Ford’s credibility, “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.” Trump who technically would have had to order the FBI to investigate her claim of attempted rape, refused to do so, offering no explanation. It’s worthy to mention that Trump himself faces 19 separate allegations of sexual harassment, assault. and rape.

The eleven, mostly old, all-white men that represent the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, are worried about how they will look when trying to destroy the credibility of Dr. Ford without just like they did when attacking Anita Hill in 1991. They are literally trying to hide behind the skirts of a female staff lawyer to do the questioning, avoiding the video replays of their misogyny and sexism as they claim she was confused or had misremembered. Their plan is to hear out Dr. Ford, then listen to Kavanaugh’s protests of innocence. They will do worse than not believe the woman. Some will actually believe her and not care, voting to confirm Kavanaugh anyway.

One young, white man, Garrett Ventry (29), will no longer be leading the public relations effort to confirm Kavanaugh. He just resigned after allegations of his own sexual harassment and falsifying his resume caught up with him. He was let go after a few months working for North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell (R). He apparently didn’t get a bad reference, moving up to work for Sen. Grassley. He went from leading the effort to resigning with the Committee calling him, “temporary staff.” Grassley said Ventry, “denied allegations of misconduct.”

It is the arrogance of these men, accustomed to being catered to, that will push them as McConnell said, to “plow right through it.” Because they are arrogant, they will not consider the women watching them, aware that for all the pretenses, the woman was neither truly heard nor believed. There was no investigation and the truth was a casualty of political expediency. Their age and their whiteness leaving them buffered and unaware of the privilege that protects them. When the vote goes to the full Senate, they may convince the few Republican female Senators to follow the Party line and go along, ignoring Trump’s vow to take away a woman’s right to control her body and Kavanaugh’s implied promise to do the same. Trump promised anyone he nominated would do away with Roe v. Wade. For once he can be taken at his word.

Normally, there is little consequence when politicians do what they normally do, voting in the interests of those that fund their campaigns and ignoring the people. Kavanaugh is the least popular Supreme Court nominee since Robert Bork, with a 34% approval rating. More importantly, those opposing Kavanaugh are the same people needed to help Republicans keep the Senate, with most already assuming the House a lost cause. It’s very possible the tactics used to save this nominee, will cause them to lose the Senate. The women who know Christine Ford got no investigation, a partisan hearing, and no justice, will not forget. And the arrogant, old, white men, will bear the consequences, along with the Party that enables them. Then Democrat’s, now controlling now the House and Senate, can do what’s required to start restoring this nation. #Impeachment

Mueller vs. Trump: The End Game (Part 3 Mueller Strategy Session)

Andrew Weissman said, “When do you think he’ll fire you?

Mueller replied, “Either right after the midterms or when the next round of indictments is announced? I want to go over today the plans, under the assumption that at some point I won’t be leading these meetings. Let’s go around the horn and report on where you are with your assignments. Andrew, you go first.”

Weissman said, “I’ve been working along with the New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood. If we have a problem, she’s ready to go with multiple indictments against Don Jr and Ivanka for the real estate fraud case that never got charged. Money laundering against The Trump Organization with the President as an unindicted co-conspirator, and New York State tax evasion against the company and the family members except for the President who’ll again be an unindicted co-conspirator.

Michael Dreeben said, “Her term expires in January, what happens to those cases then?”

Weissman said, “That depends on who wins, we have every reason to believe the Democrat, Letitia James will be all in to continue the cases. The Republican, Keith Wofford, doesn’t look like he’ll win but in any case, he’d be hard pressed to drop those cases once they’re made public. We go to the grand jury ourselves seeking sealed indictments for the relevant Federal charges, to be made public after the midterm elections. Even if you’re fired by the President, the cases will already be on the books and made public once Donald Jr, Ivanka, Jared, and Eric are charged and arrested. New York is continuing with their own case against the Trump Foundation.

Mueller said, “Where are we at with the bribery and money laundering cases in Toronto, Panama, and Asia?”

Greg Andres said, “The money trail is solid, these guys didn’t even try to hide anything. They were so arrogant they thought they’d never get caught. We’re ready to go with the sealed indictments against the usual suspects. Trump’s accountant Allen Weisselberg was very helpful in filling in the few blanks we had. Does he have to go to jail too?”

Mueller said, “We won’t ask for much, he’s an old man, but everybody has to do at least some time. Jeannie do you have something for us?”

Jeannie Rhee said, “I’m following the civil actions in all the cases involving women. We’re paying close attention to the Summer Zervos case. The President has to respond to written questions by the end of this year. We’ll get copied on his deposition and as a ‘friend of the court,’ we might be able to help her attorney with some perjury counts. If I might ask sir, what’s the end game?”

Mueller said, “We want Trump’s resignation and the rest in jail. Our own version of shock and awe. We want him hit from so many fronts on so many charges that he’ll have little choice. We may deal with the length of the kid’s sentences a little if he goes quickly, if not we press the Russia angle and go all the way for treason. He sold out America’s interests to make a little more money. Let him tweet about that! There are a few more Americans to round up as well that participated with Russia, whoever takes our place will have to finish the job. Sounds like we have everything about covered, anybody have anything else?”

Uzo Asonye said, “Will we be notifying the defendants of the indictments?”

Mueller said, “Glad you brought that up, we’ll have James Quarles notify Guiliani the day before the election of the pending charges. If he fires me, Sessions, or Rosenstein, we’ll bring all the obstruction charges with that as the topper. Thanks, everyone for the hard work. Unlike their slogan, you really are helping to make our country great again.”

Next: Part 4 Trump Strategy Session

Note: Parts 1 and 2 are mostly facts with some opinion. Part 3 and beyond are speculation based on fact. Every scenario described has a factual basis.

View at Medium.com
View at Medium.com

Republicans: Not the “Party of Lincoln” but the Party of Liars!

The Republican Party in its ancient past had a record of which it could be proud. It was they who helped lead the charge to rid the nation of slavery. Much later, they adopted the motto of, “The Party of Lincoln” to provide cover against charges of racism, but long ago they had reason to be proud. Lincoln himself was rather ambivalent about slavery, being willing to simply send the slaves back to Africa and not including states in the Emancipation Proclamation that didn’t secede from the nation (Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, and Kentucky). Republicans themselves lost their moral high ground in the Compromise of 1877 when they traded for the Presidency after a highly contested Presidential election and in return, they removed Federal troops from the South effectively ending Reconstruction and opening the door to Jim Crow.

Fast forward to 2018, the President, Donald J. Trump is a liar. If his nose grew like Pinnochio’s every time he lied? It would have circumferenced the globe several times by now. The Republican Party has shown themselves equally willing to lie to accomplish their goals. In the case of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings on national television.

Questioning has revealed that Kavanaugh perjured himself in testimony under oath during previous confirmation hearings both in 2004 and 2006. He lied about not having received and used documents stolen from Democrats in order to help confirm Republican nominees. He apparently also lied about meetings with the President’s lawyers and discussing Robert Mueller and the Special Counsel investigation. We now know how far Kavanaugh was willing to go to attain a coveted Supreme Court seat and previously to become a Federal Judge. He is a liar, but why indict the entire Republican Party for the lies of Trump and Kavanaugh?

The hearings have also shown how far Republicans went to keep the public from being aware of Kavanaugh’s lies, declaring the proof of his lies of which they were aware, “Committee Confidential” meaning Democrat Senators couldn’t reveal the information under penalty of expulsion from the Senate. For once, Democrats showed a spine and released documents including emails to and from Kavanaugh which showed his true feelings about whether Roe v. Wade is “settled law” and matters involving race. They also proved beyond reasonable doubt that Kavanaugh perjured himself before the very Senate Judiciary Committee which he now appears before.

Republicans knew Kavanaugh had perjured himself and attempted to cover it up by refusing to release hundreds of thousands of documents, dumping 42,000 of the documents they did release the night before the hearings, and classifying yet more documents as Committee Confidential so they couldn’t be discussed. They are complicit in protecting Kavanaugh from his past perjury and remain silent while he continues to lie now about having lied previously.

In spite of the revelation that Kavanaugh has perjured himself then and now to their own committee. Republicans appear poised to send him on with their stamp of approval to the full Senate where his confirmation is expected to pass along party lines. Not one Republican is prepared to say this is not acceptable. They watch the President lie on every subject including those which affect national security and they generally say and absolutely do nothing. They will turn a blind eye to confirming an obvious perjurer to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court when they should be seeking to impeach him from his present job due to his felony perjury.

The lies and acts of Trump can be assigned to an individual. The confirmation of Kavanaugh reflects on the entire Republican Senate and the entire party that will support them anyway. Because their leader is a liar, the Senate supports liars and the Party itself supports each. Republicans would prefer to be known for who they were in the 1860’s, instead, they are far better known for who they are today, the Party of Liars!

Forget The “Perjury Trap,” It’s The Obstruction Of Justice Trap Trump Should Worry About

Trump’s lawyers have been pushing the excuse that Trump shouldn’t submit to a interview with the Mueller team because prosecutors might lead him into a “Perjury Trap.” If a trap means an interview will provide a setting where a pathological liar without the capacity for telling the truth will end up committing perjury, they’re right!

Trump has no more chance of making it through an interview under oath without perjuring himself than an ice-cube not melting in hell. But that isn’t Trump’s biggest worry (other that the financial documents tying him to money laundering, foreign bribes and defrauding the US Government). Trump has to worry about avoiding the Obstruction of Justice Trap that awaits him when his son is indicted for lying to the FBI.

Donald Jr lied to the FBI about the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June, 2016 involving Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and a still unknown number of Russians including a lawyer with ties to the Kremlin. What seems forgotten in the reporting was that the lies Donald Jr provided to the FBI were likely those provided to him by his father. News broke of the Trump Tower meeting while Donald J. Trump and his son were on Air Force One returning from an overseas trip. President Trump dictated a response which contained the lies Trump Jr most likely repeated to the FBI. The President finds himself in a situation where his son faces a felony charge for repeating the words he provided.

While certainly questionable, before we got to know his children, Donald Trump was generally considered to have done well with them, although he had relatively little to do with raising them. Whatever you think of Donald, there is little to suggest he’ll shrug off an indictment of his namesake, for repeating lies created by himself. When they come for Donald Jr, his father will have three options:

  1. Take responsibility himself and admit the lie was of his own making and Donald Jr was acting at the behest of the President and therefore charges should be dropped.
  2. Trump can simply pardon his son, demonstrating he considers not only himself but also his family members above the law.
  3. He can immediately fire Mueller (meaning he has to fire Rosenstein and possibly multiple others until he can find someone in the Justice Department willing to do the deed. That would be as clear an example of obstruction we’ll ever find, certain to make it’s way among the Impeachment articles.

An honorable man might choose the first option. Donald Trump has rarely been confused with an honorable man. A relative restrained man might go the second route, restraint is not a Trump virtue either. The Donald Trump we’ve come to know will react with furious anger, obstructing justice at every turn. That’s the trap he need fear, and he’s too stupid to get out of the way.

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