Donny’s Little Poodle……

AG Barr either has no cajones or, he definitely was hired to be Trump’s lap dog.

 

On Wednesday, when Attorney General William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Mueller report, he addressed lawmakers more as if he were a member of President Trump’s legal team than as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. Barr framed Trump’s actions as fully justifiable, even arguing that if the president feels an investigation is unfounded, he “does not have to sit there constitutionally and allow it to run its course.”

Whether out of sycophantic loyalty or a deep-seated belief in executive impunity, Barr has used his position to insulate the president from legal scrutiny. He has done everything in his power to downplay the impact of the special counsel’s investigation.

He did not hesitate, for example, to frame Robert Mueller’s findings as an exoneration of the president, despite a report that said otherwise. By itself, this gave Trump the appearance of vindication, as major media outlets declared him innocent of “collusion.”

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Barr has done nothing but run interference for Trump, indifferent to his established pattern of lawbreaking and criminality. And it has left his former colleagues bewildered and searching for answers. “How could Mr. Barr, a bright and accomplished lawyer, start channeling the president in using words like ‘no collusion’ and F.B.I. ‘spying’?” James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, asked in a Times Op-Ed. Eric Holder, who served as attorney general under President Barack Obama, echoed this dismay on Twitter: “I thought he was an institutionalist, committed to both the rule of law and his role as the lawyer for the American people.” Even Mueller’s even-keeled letter can’t help betraying his expectation that Barr would behave very differently.

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Helping Republican presidents act with impunity is William Barr’s stock-in-trade — it’s what he does. Even before joining Trump, he wrote an unsolicited memo arguing outright that a president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice if the underlying actions fall under his lawful authority and the accusations are false — the same argument he made at Wednesday’s hearing. “Most of the obstruction claims that are being made here, or episodes, do involve the exercise of the president’s constitutional authority,” Barr said to Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont. And he asserted, “We now know that he was being falsely accused.”

For Barr, there are no apparent limits to presidential authority, at least as long as that president is a Republican. His theory of presidential immunity did not extend to Bill Clinton, for example, whose impeachment Barr defended.

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What we’ve seen over the past two months is a professional at work. Someone who understands his mission and acts accordingly. Unless he voluntarily resigns, Barr will be attorney general for at least the next 20 months, or until Trump dumps him, which seems unlikely given his success at protecting the president…

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If and when progressives retake the White House and the Senate, they have to make accountability a priority. Otherwise, the Bill Barrs of the world will emerge over and over again, ready to do their yeoman best.

We are living in troubled AND dangerous times. The very foundation of our republic and certainly its time-tested institutions are under attack by our so-called President and his lackeys in the republican party and Congress.

Unless truly patriot Americans turn out in mass to oust Trump in 2020 our country may very well become the worlds newest and largest Banana Republic.

An Open Letter To The Republican Party……

You have claimed his legacy, exalted him as an icon of conservatism and used the quotes of his that serve your purpose at any given moment. Yet at this moment in America’s history when the democracy to which my father pledged himself and the Constitution that he swore to uphold, and did faithfully uphold, are being degraded and chipped away at by a sneering, irreverent man who traffics in bullying and dishonesty, you stay silent.

You stay silent when President Trump speaks of immigrants as if they are trash, rips children from the arms of their parents and puts them in cages. Perhaps you’ve forgotten that my father said America was home “for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness.”

You stayed silent when this president fawned over Kim Jong Un and took Vladimir Putin’s word over America’s security experts. You stood mutely by when one of his spokesmen, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said there is nothing wrong with getting information from Russians. And now you do not act when Trump openly defies legitimate requests from Congress, showing his utter contempt for one of the branches of our government.

Most egregiously, you remained silent when Trump said there were “very fine people” among the neo-Nazis who marched through an American city with tiki torches, chanting, “Jews will not replace us.”

Those of us who are not Republicans still have a right to expect you to act in a principled, moral and, yes, even noble way. Our democracy is in trouble, and everyone who has been elected to office has an obligation to save it. Maybe you’re frightened of Trump — that idea has been floated. I don’t quite understand what’s frightening about an overgrown child who resorts to name-calling, but if that is the case, then my response is: You are grown men and women. Get over it.

My father called America “the shining city on a hill.” Trump sees America as another of his possessions that he can slap his name on. A president is not supposed to own America. He or she is supposed to serve the American people.

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The trillion-dollar question is, does the republican party leadership today have the decency of character and enough integrity to start calling out the mental and emotional midget now sullying the very Oval Office once occupied by Patti Davis’ father?

Turning Up The Heat……

Libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano, an early on supporter of Trump has changed his views.  Following two plus years observing Trump’s actions, his  blazing Twitter feed, and his volumes of lies and obstruction Judge Napolitano recently said the following.

Prosecutors prosecute people who interfere with government functions and that’s what the president did by obstruction, where is this going to end? I don’t know, but I am disappointed in the behavior of the president.

If he had ordered his aides to violate federal law to save a human life or to preserve human freedom, he would at least have a moral defense to his behavior. But ordering them to break federal law to save him from the consequences of his own behavior, that is immoral, that is criminal, that is defenseless, that is condemnable.

Watch the complete video from “Judge Napolitano’s Chambers” here.

The criticism from the longtime Fox News stalwart is the latest in his gradual evolution into one of the network’s most ferocious critics of the president. During a different monologue of the same show last week, Napolitano said what he saw in the report was enough to “prosecute” Trump.

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The increasingly frequent and relentless criticism from Napolitano is a stark departure for the judge, who was known to be a Trump favorite at the start of his presidency. Throughout 2018, Trump frequently quoted the judge’s analysis verbatim on Twitter. In 2017, there were even rumors that Napolitano would be tapped for a Supreme Court seat.

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It is now time for the Congress of the United States to do its job. The million dollar question is does it have the backbone. The billion dollar question is, if Congress actually  has the backbone to do there’s will the Senate have the courage to do the same?

My bet? Very likely not.

With the Mueller Report Congress Must Now Act to Do Its Job……

The Mueller report, a 400 page assessment of the Trump administration that began post-election 2016 and continued until this month, is anything but an exoneration of Trump. Rather it paints a picture of perhaps the most corrupt and ineffectual presidency in modern history. It also paints a stark picture of a democratic republic under attack by its president.

The consequential decision to impeach should not be made lightly. But Mueller’s damning report is an invitation that Congress shouldn’t refuse.

Despite Attorney General William Barr’s assurances and President Donald Trump’s boasts, the Mueller report doesn’t come close to exonerating the president of wrongdoing. Instead, it invites Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings. It’s time for Congress to heed that invitation.

In its extensive discussion of the constitutional issues implicated by special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation, the report asserts that Congress has the authority to apply law “to all persons – including the President.” Specifically, Congress may “protect its own legislative functions against corrupt efforts designed to impede legitimate fact-gathering and lawmaking efforts.” The authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of power, the report finds, is essential to “our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

The report declines to reach a judgment on whether the president has committed a crime because Mueller views himself as bound by Department of Justice policy against indicting a sitting president. This does not mean that the president has not committed a crime.

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… Mueller invites Congress to take action, either through impeachment or by exposing a disgraced but politically acquitted Trump to criminal prosecution after he is no longer president — so long as that time comes within the five-year statute of limitations for obstruction.

I have written previously about the dangers of impeachment talk. The consequential and divisive decision to impeach is not to be taken lightly, ought not be used as a tool of political convenience, and should be avoided until the dangers of holding back exceed the dangers of proceeding. With the arrival of Mueller’s damning report, however, the time has now come.

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Congress must uncover the full facts of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the ways in which that interference is continuing in anticipation of 2020, and the full story of how the president and his team welcomed, benefited from, repaid, and obstructed lawful investigation into that interference and the president’s cooperation with it. Equally important, Congress must seize this opportunity, while the report remains a locus of national attention, for the American public to see and hear for itself the firsthand witnesses to the president’s criminal behavior, and to weigh and rally around an appropriate path forward — as they did in the wake of Watergate.

Mueller’s report has in no way cleared the president of grave wrongdoing. It would be a lie to claim otherwise, as Barr and Trump repeatedly have done. The report takes pains to note that the investigation could not establish wrongdoing under the strict framework of conspiracy law, but declines to draw a conclusion on the existence of collusion, which “is not a specific offense or theory” under U.S. law. Further, Mueller does not mince words about the president’s potential obstruction of justice, stating: “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

Congress has a duty to provide a beacon of principle and democratic values to the American people. It must pick up the baton that Mueller has offered and come to a judgment of its own, with the understanding that conduct that falls short of criminal conspiracy may nonetheless be impeachable.

Given everything we know about Trump from his public statements and actions, combined with the Mueller Report  and its findings, every Patriotic American ought to be highly concerned with the president, his dishonesty, and his total disregard for our constitution, our institutions, and the rule of law.

Our national values as well as the very foundations of our democratic republic are under attack  by an inept man pretending to be president. Trump, while elected to the presidency, has demonstrated many times he does nt deserve to hold the office he occupies.

Now is the time for Congress to act to protect  our constitution, the rule of law, our free and independent press, and the institutions of government that have served the nation so well up tp 2017.

More of the Associated Press article BELOW the FOLD.

Corruption Exposed……

David Brooks lays out in his article in the New York Times yesterday why Donald John Trump represents a grave threat to the government institutions of the United States of America as well as the rule of law. Most honest folks recognize to one degree or anther what Brooks argues is true. Evidence in the Mueller report, as well as the observable events of Trump’s myriad tweet storms, many public announcements, and actions all support Brooks arguments.

Why it is that nearly 45% of the American people choose to ignore the obvious and support DJT is a mystery to a majority of Americans. I hesitate to say, but, it is likely they just don’t care about the threat that DJT represents to our representative democracy, its institutions, and the rule of law.

Now a teaser from David Brooks article.

The Mueller report is like a legal version of a thriller movie in which three malevolent forces are attacking a city all at once. Everybody’s wondering if the three attackers are working together. The report concludes that they weren’t, but that doesn’t make the situation any less scary or the threat any less real.

The first force is Donald Trump, who represents a threat to the American systems of governance. Centuries ago our founders created a system of laws and not men. In our system of government there are procedures in place, based on certain values — impartiality, respect for institutions, the idea that a public office is a public trust, not a private bauble.

When Trump appears in the Mueller report, he is often running roughshod over these systems and violating these values. He asks his lawyer to hamper an investigation. He asks his F.B.I. director to take the heat off his allies. He tries to get the relevant investigators fired. I don’t know if his actions meet the legal standard of obstruction of justice, but they certainly meet the common-sense standard of interference with justice.

The second force is Russia. If Trump is a threat to the institutional infrastructure, the Russians are a threat to our informational infrastructure. We knew this already, but it was still startling to see the fact declared so bluntly — that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election “in sweeping and systematic fashion.”

It may not be bombing buildings or shooting at people, but if a foreign government is attacking the factual record on which democracy runs, it is still a sort of warfare. The Russians are trying to undermine the information we use to converse, and the trust that makes conversation possible.

The third force is Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. They are a threat to our deliberative infrastructure. Any organization needs to be able to hold private conversations in order to deliberate. Whether it is State Department cables or Democratic National Committee emails, WikiLeaks has violated privacy and made it harder for institutions to function. We’re now in a situation in which some of the worst people on earth get to determine what gets published.

The Mueller report indicates that Trump was not colluding with Russia. But it also shows that working relationships were beginning to be built, through networkers like Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Roger Stone. More important, it shows that many of the Trumpists, the Russians and the WikiLeaks crowd all understood that they were somehow adjacent actors in the same project.

I would say that’s the report’s central importance. We are being threatened in a very distinct way. The infrastructure of the society is under threat — the procedures that shape government, the credibility of information, the privacy rules that make deliberation possible. And though the Chinese government does not play a big role here, it represents a similar sort of threat — to our intellectual infrastructure, the intellectual property rights that organize innovation.

It is as if somebody is inserting acids into a body that eats away at the ligaments and the tendons.

More Below the Fold…