The only constitutional remedy for holding a corrupt elected official to account

I don’t understand what is hard about this.   Even for spineless Democrats strategizing about how to defeat the worst president in American history in a year and a half.   As that president uses his powers to try to  run out the clock prior to the climactic final phase of his four year re-election campaign.

Mueller stated at the outset of his summary that he was bound by the current DOJ policy about not indicting a sitting president.  He declared that for this reason he would not make a traditional prosecutorial judgment about indicting the president for anything.

The purpose of his investigation, he states, was to uncover facts, compile and preserve evidence, compel testimony, indict anyone involved in illegal activity who was not covered by the DOJ policy regarding the sitting president.   Several of Trump’s close associates have already been indicted, a few convicted, a couple are already serving prison sentences.   Or, as William Barr continues to say: nothing to see here.

Robert Mueller detailed many specific instances of the president acting with corrupt intent, ordering subordinates to lie about matters of national importance (as Trump’s new attorney general has been doing recently about Mueller’s report, about Obama’s “spying”, about Mueller “acknowledging” that the president was “frustrated and angry” and so on), sometimes to commit illegal acts, other times only unethical ones, consistently obstructing a legal investigation into his corrupt dealings as they related to Russia and the effect Russian interference had on the outcome of the 2016 election.  

Mueller (who was not looking to indict the president in any case) did not find enough evidence of criminal coordination with Russia to support a criminal charge of conspiracy between Trump and Russia, though he provided a trove of evidence to show the many instances of “collusion” or “coordination” we all know about.  Not enough to support a criminal charge of conspiracy, a very high bar, but plenty to show a clear pattern of working together for a common goal, using not always legal means.

Mueller’s report on Trump’s many attempts to obstruct justice, on the other hand, contains far less ambiguity.  Trump is still, as I tap away here, actively and publicly attempting to obstruct justice.    He’s recently done the only thing he knows how to do, double down and fight, vowing to obstruct any further attempts to investigate him all the way up to a Supreme Court he imagines will take his side.

 Trump claims, nonsensically, that the Mueller report totally exonerated him (it explicitly did not) and that it was, at the same time, a partisan hit job by the same powerful liars that falsely attacked Boof Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.

It is time to impeach Donald Trump and put him on trial in the Senate.   Mueller’s report makes this clear.

Trump’s behavior since the report was belatedly made (mostly) public makes it even clearer.  The redacted report Barr released has all twelve (or is it 14?) related criminal referrals completely blacked out, including the names of the subjects of those referrals.  Is Ivanka named?  Jared? Don Jr.?   Only Barr, Mueller and the White House know.  

Meanwhile, “the most transparent president in history” vows to fight to keep everything secret, including his financial information, especially that.  There may be a federal financial disclosure law he is ordering Steve Mnuchin to violate, but, here too, Mr. Trump has vowed to fight all the way to the Supreme Court.  

One fact does not need proof– Trump, when threatened by the law, lawyers up as he has in literally thousands of lawsuits.  Let his lawyers defend him in the Senate.

Mueller presented ample evidence of the president’s ongoing attempts to obstruct any investigation of Trump’s often shady, sometimes illegal, activities.   Then Mueller wrote, directly before the line that said CONCLUSION:

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I have been practicing my cursive writing (if not my photography) with this excellent little sentence, dipping a nib in ink and inscribing it on the back of the letters I am writing these days:  

The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of the office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.

Could Robert Mueller have been more clear?  The exercise of the president’s legitimate duties under Article II, Mueller reminds us, may not be unduly questioned by the other branches of government.   In contrast, the constitution offers no such exemption for the corrupt exercise, the misuse and abuse, of the considerable powers of the presidency.   It is the clear duty of Congress to rein in a corrupt president.  As Mueller also wrote:

With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.

 

Yet Democrats still waver.  What about the optics?   It hurt the Republicans when they tried to impeach Clinton over lying about a blow job and his efforts to cover up that affair becoming public [1].   Let’s defeat Trump on the issues, this election is about values, not Trump.   Let’s not look like partisans!  We don’t have the votes in the Senate… the Republicans will make us look bad…

Shut up and do your constitutional duty.  Listen to Elizabeth Warren, she’s right. This is about defending the rule of law in a democracy, not politics (repulsive as Trump’s policies and politics are).

The Democratic fear is based on the backlash Republicans experienced after the Clinton impeachment failed. Let’s not forget that in 1999 50 (fifty) of those Republican partisans who were in the Senate for the impeachment trial (fucking Mitch McConnell voting ‘guilty’ on both counts, as did Jeff Sessions, Strom Thurmond and 47 other outraged patriots) voted to convict Clinton and remove him from office.  FIFTY. Over lying about a blow job. [2]

I urge all Americans to read Mueller’s executive summary of obstruction of justice, Volume II, then call your elected officials, Democratic and Republican alike, and ask them why they are not moving toward impeachment to rein in this corrupt abuser of power, and of everything else.

 

 

NOTES

[1]  Wikipedia:

The trial in the United States Senate began right after the seating of the 106th Congress, in which the Republican Party held 55 Senate seats. A two-thirds vote (67 senators) was required to remove Clinton from office. Fifty senators voted to remove Clinton on the obstruction of justice charge and 45 voted to remove him on the perjury charge; no member of his ownDemocratic Party voted guilty on either charge. Clinton, like Johnson a century earlier, was acquitted on all charges.

source

 

[2] more shameful shit from the Clinton impeachment:

A much-quoted statement from Clinton’s grand jury testimony showed him questioning the precise use of the word “is”. Contending that his statement that “there’s nothing going on between us” had been truthful because he had no ongoing relationship with Lewinsky at the time he was questioned, Clinton said, “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the—if he—if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement”.[7] Starr obtained further evidence of inappropriate behavior by seizing the computer hard drive and email records of Monica Lewinsky. Based on the president’s conflicting testimony, Starr concluded that Clinton had committed perjury. Starr submitted his findings to Congress in a lengthy document (the so-called Starr Report), and simultaneously posted the report, which included descriptions of encounters between Clinton and Lewinsky, on the Internet.[8] Starr was criticized by Democrats for spending $70 million on an investigation that substantiated only perjury and obstruction of justice.[9] Critics of Starr also contend that his investigation was highly politicized because it regularly leaked tidbits of information to the press in violation of legal ethics, and because his report included lengthy descriptions which were humiliating yet irrelevant to the legal case.[10][11]

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