President Bill Clinton was investigated, by Independent Counsel Ken Starr, for possible involvement in a financial scam called “Whitewater”. Starr wound up grilling Clinton about blow jobs the president received in the Oval Office. Clinton lied about these blow jobs, under oath, and perjury charges were brought against him. When Starr was done investigating Clinton box after box of files were turned over to Congress for their consideration, this was done two days after his investigation concluded. The pile of boxes being carried into Congress was shown on TV screens everywhere.
In the next few days every twelve year-old in America (indeed, any kid anywhere in the worldwide world with an internet connection) could read the entire report on line, including damning pornographic details about how Clinton inserted an unlit cigar into his favorite intern’s vagina, then put it in his own mouth, savoring it as his intern brought him to climax with her own mouth. I recall reading that and saying to myself “damn…”. I’m told there were also physical descriptions of the president’s slightly below average-sized penis.
I heard recently that the bulk of the evidence in the Watergate break-in that brought Nixon down was also made public shortly after Nixon resigned. (Two days later: I heard this from an unreliable source, it was withheld from the public for almost forty years, though many of the facts were leaked sooner) At least in the case of the details of Clinton’s perjury report, the full report was quickly released to Congress and detailed extensively in the press. Unlike the Mueller report, an ultra-sensitive, partisan, politically charged document whose release is, we are told, totally at the discretion of the new sitting Attorney General, a man chosen because of his dedication to protecting the people he works for.
In the final days of the George H. W. Bush administration, brand new Attorney General William Barr endorsed the pre-trail pardon for defendant Caspar Weinberger. Former Secretary of Defense Weinberger’s testimony at trial, it was expected, would have fully implicated former CIA director/Vice President (later president) Bush in the execution and cover-up of the illegal arming of Central American death squads, the clusterfuck known as the Iran-Contra scandal or Contragate. Barr was instrumental in making the last of the Contragate scandal go away, after Bush was denied a second term by the voters. He was involved in the pardons for several remaining conspirators, including Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying to Congress about his role in recruiting and funding right wing death squads in Nicaragua and surrounding countries.
Fair is fair. The pardons, as George H.W. Bush was leaving office, were perfectly legal. Clinton committed perjury, lying under oath — plainly illegal. Plus, Starr was working under the post-Watergate Independent Counsel statute which gave such investigators more latitude and autonomy than they currently have. There was nothing political about it, as Boof Kavanaugh, one of Starr’s most enthusiastic assistants, will be quick to angrily point out, a lying president must be held to account. Same goes for Nixon, who, it turns out, was a crook.
Bear in mind that Robert Mueller was working under the Code of Federal Regulations, the Independent Counsel statute having expired in 1999. Totally different name, different law, different rules, totally different. Mueller’s report is being kept under wraps by the man he reports to, William Barr, a guy who auditioned for the job by writing to the president to tell him that, no matter what, no matter what the Supreme Court may have said when Clinton tried to shield himself from the Paula Jones lawsuit, nobody can lay a glove on a sitting president. He also wrote several op-eds that publicly kissed Trump’s ass.
It remains to be seen how much of the Mueller report Barr will see fit to release, or be forced to release by Congress. This is shaping up into a fascinating, if vile, pissing contest. Barr already released the “highlights” in a four page summary he now says was not intended to be a summary, though it trumpeted the pertinent findings — no finding of collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign (no criminal conspiracy), arguably no criminal attempt by Trump or his administration to obstruct the fucking partisan witch hunt. This partisan witch hunt, according to the president’s supporters, was orchestrated by disloyal Communist-inspired freedom hating traitors like “little Adam Schitt,” even though the investigation was headed by a lifelong Republican. Additionally, the report reportedly lays out quite a bit of evidence of obstruction of justice as well as a good deal of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
We are living in a new time, when our phones tell us the latest news, what is right, what is legal, what is proper, what is decent. My phone says Trump is a dangerous, unprincipled lunatic of limited intelligence and unlimited hubris. It also says that he publicly attempted to obstruct the Mueller “witch hunt” dozens, perhaps hundreds, of times. Among other things, he hounded his original Attorney General, who properly recused himself from the Russia probe (after lying about his discussions with Russian officials), out of office, used a loophole in the law to replace him with an angry partisan weight lifter who did not need to be confirmed by the Senate, and later a corpulent corporatist who, as we noted, shamelessly auditioned for the job by writing the vain, eternally battling president that nobody would touch him if he was A.G. Good as his word so far, they haven’t laid a glove on the lying fuck yet.
Like millions of Americans, I’ll be checking my phone to see how this stonewalling works out for POTUS and his shifty, temporary, friends and family. Make America Great Again!