Saturday, April 20, 2019

Not What Losing Looks Like

Many of us hope Robert DeNiro's dream becomes reality, that he "can handcuff him and take him away in an orange jumpsuit."

Of course, we all know of whom DeNiro was speaking because we learned Thursday of the crime(s) committed by Donald J. Trump. (The chat with Stephen Colbert had been taped Tuesday.) That's all the more reason the famed actor is wrong when he asserts "this guy has proven himself to be a total loser."

As noted by Will Rahn of CBS News Digital, there are ten instances which the Special Counsel identified President Trump possibly committing obstruction of justice. They are, in Mueller's words:

- the campaign's response to reports about Russian support for Trump;
- conduct involving FBI Director Comey and Michael Flynn;
- the President's reaction to the continuing Russia investigation;
- the President's termination of Comey:
- the appointment of Special Counsel and efforts to remove him;
- efforts to protect public disclosure of evidence;
- further efforts to have the Attorney General take control of the investigation;
- efforts to have McGahn deny that the President had ordered him to have the Special Counsel removed;
- conduct toward Flynn,Manafort (Redacted);
- conduct involving Michael Cohen

One piece of evidence is fairly insignificant. Two can begin to grab the attention of a prosecutor, and three is highly suspicious. Ten, and no prosecutor will give the suspect a free pass.

Nobody- and that might even include de facto Trump attorney William Barr- would deny that obstruction of justice would be considered a "high crime" under terms of the Constitution's impeachment clause. Mimi Rocah tweets

As a federal prosecutor I was taught to pursue obstruction of justice cases with zeal because if obstruction goes unchecked our whole justice system is at risk. If we let the POTUS get away with obstruction, what message do we send to criminals, prosecutors & juries?

Not a good one, certainly. And even Robert Mueller, though afraid of offending his boss, the Attorney General, implied that the President of the USA probably did obstruct justice. In a passive-aggressive assertion that the President committed obstruction of justice, the Special Counsel implied that some other measure (i.e., impeachment) should be considered. Mueller concluded

... 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, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

And yet, the Democratic controlled House of Representatives is slow walking the constitutional remedy, Elizabeth Warren is (at this moment) alone among Democratic candidates explicitly recommending impeachment hearings, and Democrats are being challenged not to justify their reticence but instead their belief that maybe, just maybe, the President should not be immune from consequences of his actions.

Though no one can know for sure how this ends, that doesn't sound like a "loser." That sounds a lot more like "winner," and a big one at that.

HAPPY PASSOVER                                                                             HAPPY EASTER

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