Corruption, according to our Attorney General

The professorial looking madman who auditioned for his position as top law enforcement officer for the most litigious and lawless president in history, lectured his questioner on the definition of the squishy word “corruption.” First, an excerpt from his audition for Attorney General:

This is an expression of Barr’s wildly extreme view of the powers of the Unitary Executive. Presidential accountability for ‘corrupt’ acts committed while in office? Balderdash! Nothing the president does under his limitless Article II powers can be scrutinized for corruption if the president does not want it to be.

During his confirmation hearing, Barr patiently gave Senator Dianne Feinstein one of his trademarked circular lectures on the definition of “corruptly” (while running out the clock on substantive questions, like an expert college basketball team freezing the ball in the old days):

What it means is using it in the nineteenth century sense, it meant ‘to influence in a way that changes something that’s good and fit to something that’s bad and unfit’, namely the ‘corruption of evidence’, or ‘the corruption of a decision maker’. That’s what the word “corruptly” means, because once you dissociate it from that it really means, very hard to discern what it means. It means “bad”… what does “bad” mean?


Fair point, Bill. Who among us can really define a word like “bad”? It’s almost meaninglessly vague, like the world “corruptly” itself, as used in the twenty-first century sense. Presumably even the nineteenth century mind would have had trouble comprehending something as abstract as “corruption of the Department of Justice.” It’s all such a matter of opinion!

And so it is with the Law and Order president, who lost thirty legal challenges to the orderly election that decisively ousted him. He will not be thwarted by an election he knows was rigged (he himself did his best to rig it, after all), by mere law as applied by so-called “judges”, when there are “bad” things he can still do to cling to power that he will never be held accountable for.

Michigan, a state he lost by 155,000 votes (15 times Trump’s 2016 margin in Michigan, twice the total 78,000 combined margin that gave him the Electoral College when he narrowly won Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) has a process for a final statewide vote certification, after each county certifies the votes (which they’ve already done). No problemo — after you lose in court to stop the counties, which all legally certify their results, here’s what you do:

Fly the Republican members of the Michigan state canvassing board, along with top Republican state legislators, to Washington D.C. where you meet them at the White House, treat them to a lavish meal at the four-star Trump Hotel (the RNC will pay) and unleash the famous charm/terror offensive on them, convince BOTH canvassing board members to “illegally” contest the certification results in every county in Michigan. Stall things, to throw the election results, known to everybody and recounted in several places, into chaos.

After all, as Mr. Barr argues, along with nonpartisan legal geniuses like Alan Dershowitz, the president is the only one with the power to decide, if he honestly (even if delusionally — or delusively, which we learn is a more proper, if more obscure, statement of the same thing) believes something is in the best interests of the nation, whether that thing is, to be crude, “good” or “bad.” Simple, right?

Nothing wrong with wining and dining Republican state officials at your luxurious hotel to influence them to refuse to do their sworn legal duty so you can hopefully throw out an election result, delay, delay, delay the official certification of your corrupt enemy as president and hopefully find a way to game the constitutional system. Article II says so — there’s nothing about a president’s obligation to “obey” so-called election results in there. Nothing!

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