Saturday, September 05, 2020

A Silence Inexcusable But Explainable

 


Reportedly, President Trump on Memorial Day 2017 turned to General John Kelly as they standing in Arlington Memorial Cemetery at the grave of First Lieutenant Robert Kelly and remarked "I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

Charlie Pierce writes "I don’t know how John Kelly didn’t flatten the vulgar talking yam right there at Arlington." Generals Kelly, Mattis, and McMaster "took an oath to defend the Constitution, not to hold their tongues until they could get a book deal as a reckless vandal takes the Republic down, brick by brick."

In the case of Kelly, it now appears that it is something more important than a book deal- or being a retired 4-star general,-which is irrelevant, at least with the word "retired."  On Friday, I argued that cowardice probably has prompted former Department of Homeland Security chief (1/17-7/17) and Chief of Staff (7/17-12/18) Kelly from publicly acknowledging the disturbing information revealed by The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg. However, in April of 2019 CBS News had reported

protesters outside the nation's largest facility for unaccompanied migrant children noticed a familiar face enter the massive, fenced site in Homestead, Florida: former White House chief of staff John Kelly. Soon after, a local television station recorded footage of him riding on the back of a golf cart as he toured the grounds.

It wasn't clear why he was there, but Friday, Caliburn International confirmed to CBS News that Kelly had joined its board of directors. Caliburn is the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services, which operates Homestead and three other shelters for unaccompanied migrant children in Texas.

Prior to joining the Trump administration in January 2017, Kelly had been on the board of advisors of DC Capital Partners, an investment firm that now owns Caliburn.

During Kelly's tenure, the administration pursued ambitious changes to immigration enforcement, and the average length of stay for an unaccompanied migrant child in U.S. custody skyrocketed.

Kelly was famous in the Administration for being not only anti-illegal immigration but anti-immigration- period. It's hardly likely that his current involvement in Caliburn is a mere coincidence.  Moreover

While Comprehensive and DC Capital appear to have reaped financial benefits through government contracts during and after Kelly's tenure as White House chief of staff, Richard Briffault, a Columbia Law School professor, said Kelly may not have broken any rules.

"It sounds like he's running between the raindrops. It doesn't sound great, but most likely he's not directly violating any policies," Briffault told CBS News. Briffault said government officials are barred from benefiting from their involvement in matters that involve specific parties, meaning that while serving at the White House, Kelly could not directly influence any decision to award a contract to a DC Capital company.

Briffault argues that Kelly was barred from directly influencing any decision to award a contract to a DC Capital company. 


   


We don't know whether Kelly had a direct influence because investigative reporting is relatively unusual nowadays and is rarely if ever featured on any televised news program, cable or otherwise. (There was very little follow-up by the media to CREW's lawsuit addressed in the 7/19 video above.)

Nonetheless, in the most corrupt Administration in American history, it would be surprising if Kelly did not use his influence to benefit the company he had worked for, and would work for after he worked for President Trump. 

The President then would have something hanging over Kelly's head. Of course, Trump also would be implicated but Teflon Don, he who could arguably shoot someone and not lose any support, realizes he would not be hurt in the least.

And that means General John Kelly is ripe for being blackmailed. He could verify key aspects of Goldberg's story but were he to do so, President Trump might claim, truthfully or otherwise, that Kelly convinced him to pursue the policy and to steer contract(s) to DC Capital.  He may have made it clear to his former employee or it may have been done with a nod and a wink.

But there is a very good chance that this is playing out at this very moment. This fellow believes General Kelly "must, for the sake of our country and his honor, tell what he's seen and do what he can to sink the pirate ship Trump."  However, this story may blow over and Donald Trump may be re-elected.  If John Kelly comes clean, tells all, and Joe Biden is defeated, the ex-general's honor will be no match for the legal horror he'd probably face from an emboldened President Trump.

 


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