Although I was horrified when Jeff Sessions was appointed Attorney General, let’s hope that he continues to refuse to resign. At this point, if he resigned, the Trump Administration would, of course, have to replace him. There is no restriction on communications with potential candidates, so until they are at least nominees, the administration is free to have whatever private communications they want. This would allow them to fill a queue of tractable candidates. The new Attorney General would not be recused from acting in the investigation, and could fire both Rosenstein and Mueller on his/her own authority. This would free Trump from the political repercussions of firing them. Stay strong Attorney General Sessions, for now. We’ll be coming for you later.
Before moving on, take a moment to reflect on the recent recording of Trump saying that Jeff Sessions had no business recusing himself on the campaign and Russia connections. First of all, that is a matter of legal requirement, not in the jurisdiction of the President. Were Sessions to have refused to recuse himself, he would have been open to criminal charges of obstruction of justice. More important is to note that it is clear from Trump’s remarks that he felt that this was Sessions whole responsibility. When he implies that Sessions shouldn’t be in his job because of the recusal, he ignores the other 90% of Sessions responsibilities, namely to run the US legal system. I think it is quite fair to draw the conclusion that this behavior indicates that the President considers Russia-gate such a high priority as to dwarf any other responsibilities of the Attorney General. Along with the Lester Holt interview, and the comment to the Russian ambassador that “Firing Comey would relieve the pressure from the investigation”, this would seem to further establish intent in the Comey firing as knowingly obstructing justice. Here are 2 link to my earlier article on this: Flynn-and-Comey and Obstruction-of-Justice
I find it incredible that in recent remarks about states refusing to comply with voting fraud commission requests for data, Trump said “The fact that they won’t send in their data shows they are hiding something. They are always hiding something.” This statement is wrong in this case, as states have specifically stated that the laws of their states prohibit sharing voter information with those who would publish the data. The voting fraud commission has specifically indicated that they will publish the data they receive. However, for this article, I note that Trump establishes the principle that those who hide things (without explanation) must be hiding something bad. Finally, we can agree on something. Mr. President, why are you hiding your tax records? Why are you hiding the details of all your Russian connections? Why are you threatening people who are investigating you? Why are you willing to devote all your efforts to this investigation rather than run the country, solidify relationships with our allies, and be an example to the world of how to act?
The Trump administration is also preparing a campaign to discredit Mueller and his staff by creating a list of their conflicts of interest. One such “conflict of interest” is that Mueller or some of his staff have contributed to democratic campaigns. This surely can’t be taken seriously. Trump himself has contributed to democratic campaigns and causes, and it did not disqualify him as a republican candidate for the presidency. However, the strategy of finding conflicts of interests is validated in principle by these efforts. Here again, Mr. President, we can agree on something. That is exactly why Democrats have been screaming about your business conflicts of interest. This is why the American people cry out to see your financials and relationships, so that they can know you are acting in the countries interests, and not using our great country as a way to line your pockets. This is why you should have divested yourself of your businesses, and not pretended that it doesn’t make a difference. No, after a lifetime of acting unethically in your businesses, we are not willing to trust you. We want proof.
Trump’s arrogance in these matters beggars belief. In the middle of a scandal which has absorbed his presidency, he continues to act in ways that encourage and inflame his opposition. Threatening Mueller, threatening Sessions, and speaking with Putin without any American witness at the G20 meetings show that his ego has unbalanced his reasoning. Who could be called unreasonable for thinking that Trump was speaking about “adoptions” with Putin at that meeting was a way to “do a deal” on the sanctions without it being public? A way for him to say “Don’t worry, we’ll get this done, don’t blackmail me”. Again, here is an earlier article about Trump money-laundering to further clarify why Trump’s administration isn’t to be trusted.
I wrote an article earlier about whether any of the investigations really matter. At that time it was based on Trump’s demonstrated actions of firing DOJ personnel that were able to investigate him. Now it is clear that we also have to worry about the presidential pardon as a way out. He wants to know if he can pardon all the people of interest in the Russia-gate affair. He wants to pardon Flynn, Manafort, everyone in his family, and more amazingly, himself. Pardons include admission of guilt. It remains to be seen whether the President will stoop to this mechanism to protect himself. The idea of the power of pardon in the Presidency is that the wheels of justice are not perfect. Sentencing is not perfect. Pardons allow for a quick-fix for a process that is perceived to have been either overly harsh or in error. It was certainly never intended to be a magic wand to allow the President and/or his cronies to be criminal. Yet this is how Trump thinks. There is no issue of ethics or morals to him. He simply does whatever he needs to so that he can win or survive.
Whether the republicans in Congress will EVER decide to place country above party and prevent the further destruction of America is gravely in doubt. While it is right to praise the founders for their amazing achievement for designing our amazing system of government, this situation has exposed a glaring problem with the system. The founders never conceived of a group so corrupt that this could happen. We will need constitutional amendments to make sure this never happens again.