Trump’s latest attack on the Constitution portends his intent to “rule” as dictator

The United States Constitution is not the sort of document that contains reiterations of the same “rule of law” for obvious reasons, mostly centering on the fact that there is not much room for interpretation of easy to understand “commands.” There is, however, one “command” that is referenced verbatim in separate Amendments to the Constitution because it is a foundational protection against tyranny – like many other aspects of the Constitution and the rule of law,

Trump revealed on Sunday, and doubled down on Monday, that he is no fan of the aforementioned Constitutional “clauses.” It is likely because they provide longstanding legal protections from tyranny as well as prevent an aspiring dictator like Trump from ruling like the various dictators, past and present, that he is so enamored with and desperate to emulate.

The Constitution’s Framers and Founding Fathers were well aware that without the concept of “due process of law” enshrined in the Constitution, and the nation’s consciousness, America would rapidly devolve into a dictatorship. Trump’s outrageous set of “tweets” decrying “due process of the law” for immigrants alleged to be guilty of a misdemeanor, “improper entry,” is the latest revelation that not only does he have no respect for the Constitution; his greatest aspiration is to rule as dictator according to his law.

If these were normal times, the head of the Executive Department “explicitly” advocating depriving people of their due-process rights would be grounds for congressional leaders to issue a sternly worded censure, if not articles of impeachment. Trump claims that anyone suspected of “improper entry,” a civil matter and a misdemeanor, is an “invader” and must immediately be deported without a civil trial or appearance before a judge – even if they are legally seeking asylum or are young children.

Trump said via his forum of choice for issuing domestic policy edicts and setting foreign policy:

We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents.”

Setting aside Trump’s daily practice of attacking the nation’s laws, this is not the first time he has entertained the idea of suspending “due process” protections for the “kind” of people he and his supporters claim are “invading and infesting “ America. Remember, one of Trump’s fiercest supporters who was in the running to lead the Department of Homeland Security, David Clark, promoted the idea that Trump could just suspend the Constitution and imprison a million or so Muslim Americans indefinitely without due process of the law. Now Trump is proposing a similar idea as a means of dealing with those other Brown people he and his supporters claim are not allowed in their white America.

Due process is the cornerstone of any civilized society regardless of how stringent a nation’s law and order policies are. Without due process of law, the result is abject tyranny, not unlike the conditions in countries ruled by Trump’s favorite dictators. There is a good reason Trump praises tyrants renowned for extrajudicial killings and indefinite detentions; his greatest ambition is to rule as a dictator beholden to no law, no judicial system, and no legislative body.

The Founding Fathers took great care to protect America from tyranny with the Bill of Rights, particularly the Fifth Amendment. That protection was reiterated 75 years later when the States ratified the 14th Amendment. As “due process” is explained by Cornell Law School:

These words [due process] have as their central promise an assurance that all levels of American government must operate within the law and provide fair procedures. The Constitution states only one command twice. The Fifth Amendmentsays to the federal government that no one shall be ‘deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.’ The Fourteenth Amendment uses the same eleven words, called the Due Process Clause, to describe a legal obligation of all states.” (author bold)

It is now glaringly apparent that to Trump the idea of a “legal obligation” to follow the laws of the land is anathema to his dream of ruling America as dictator. He has openly disparaged the nation’s founding document, the one he swore a “so help me god” oath to support, defend and uphold, and has regularly attacked the federal judiciaryfor ruling according to the Constitution and not the dictates of Führer Trump.

Trump is now asserting that in his America, and this is his America, the rule of law is a barrier he is not going to tolerate, especially if he is flagrantly attacking the concept of due process of law. As conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin noted in the Washington Post, Trump’s latest outrageous assertion about immigrants is “the language of totalitarianism, [and] rule without civil rights.  It’s the language of racist regimes …. It is distinctly un-American.”

Of course it is “distinctly un-American.”  What else can anyone expect from Trump? He has been the picture of “distinctly un-American” since before his poorly attended inauguration. Throughout the entire lurch toward Trump ruling as dictator, Republicans have been complicit in his attacks on Americans, people of color, America’s staunchest allies and the United States Constitution through their continued silence and fear of confronting the un-American fascist.

It is still a mystery why Republicans are terrified of a legitimate threat to America and continue supporting Trump’s assault on the nation. It leaves one to conclude that Republicans are as un-American as their fascist standard bearer or they would have already taken the necessary steps to remove what they know is a clear and present danger to the U.S. Constitution and America as a representative democracy.

Americans’ Independence “Seems to Vanish in the Haze” of Fascism

It is a mystery why Americans make such a gargantuan deal out of the Fourth of July when very few of them understand why the Founders declared their independence from England. It wasn’t to blow off fireworks, wave flags or drink to excess. No, it was to escape a tyrannical monarchy, an overbearing religion, and taxation without representation; exactly what Americans find themselves facing today, 241 years after the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson’s immortal document for the young nation was likely the impetus for Abraham Lincoln’s “borrowed statement” that America is “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people; something he said would never perish.

Abraham Lincoln, like Thomas Jefferson, probably never imagined Americans would cede their government, their democracy, and their independence to a tyrannical dictator and his equally tyrannical political party. But that is precisely what occurred last November when the tyrant who lost the people’s vote by a wide margin was installed in the White House by a hostile foreign government, vote suppressing Republicans, and emoprogs still crying for their pie-in-the-sky commie-loving con man (not Trump). Now all Americans are watching their democracy, and their independence “vanish in the haze” of fascism by Republican rule – not governance.

Every action of government is the people’s business. Every penny spent by government is the people’s money. From the courthouse to the statehouse to the White House, government belongs to the governed and not the governing.

Those statements, courtesy of Jim Zachary, are an introduction to an opinion piece explaining why a free press is crucial to democracy. Anyone with a functioning brain comprehends that democracy is part and parcel of independence from tyranny, and it has never been more prescient  a concept to grasp than today.

One of the reasons the Founding Fathers and Constitution’s Framers included freedom of the press in the First Amendment was their knowledge that “independent checks and balances are critical to our independence.” And those “independent checks and balances” are the purview of the Fourth Estate (the press, media etc), not any part of the government.

By now it should be glaringly apparent that the white trash in the White House, and Republicans as a movement, despise democracy as much as they hate Americans’ independence. If that were not the case congressional Republicans would not be pushing widely unpopular policies, religious dictates by government fiat, and terrible Trump would not be attacking the press as surrogates for Americans’ democracy and independence.

As Professor Robert Reich noted yesterday, when Trump put out a video of him knocking out CNN as surrogate for all independent media, he was attacking democracy, and Americans’ independence he intends on destroying. It’s what every tyrannical dictator does as a matter of course and dirty Don is, if nothing else, aspiring to be a tyrannical dictator.

Every student of American history should be aware that Founding Father and Constitution Framer Thomas Jefferson was not always a fan of a free press; no politician is for obvious reasons. However, Jefferson knew it was absolutely crucial to democracy and the people’s independence. In fact, in a 1787 letter to Edward Carrington, the young nation’s third President wrote about the importance of a free press.

And were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”

Obviously, Donald Trump believes otherwise on more than one account. Trump does not want every American to be able to read, or think critically, or he would not have appointed an education secretary more devoted to using public schools to “advance god’s kingdom” than actually educating the next generation. And instead of at least accepting the Constitution’s guarantee of a free press, Trump has declared it, as a surrogate for democracy and independence “the enemy of the people.” Robert Reich could not have called it more accurately when he said that a fake video of white trash Trump “knocking out CNN” represented him “knocking out democracy,” and Americans’ independence.

Some may ask: how have Trump and Republicans acted to restrict Americans’ constitutionally-guaranteed independence? Of course there are too many examples to cite, but just a few are Republican attacks on Americans’ right to privacy, their right to protest, their right to determine when and how they start a family, right to free and fair elections, their right to freedom from religion, their basic human right to clean water and air, and their right to direct “their” government in how it spends “their” money. Republicans and Trump vehemently oppose each and every one of those rights which is partially why Trump said he does not like the U.S. Constitution any more that he likes that other critical aspect of democracy; an independent judiciary.

As many pundits, sociologists, and historians have noted, America is in jeopardy of becoming a fascist dictatorship and the people without a voice or even a semblance of independence. Republicans in Congress and state legislatures are just as guilty of destroying democracy as Trump is, and likely more so. However, while Republicans are working behind Trump’s distractions, he is putting out “increasingly incendiary messages that constitute an overt assault on freedom of the press; the cornerstone of America’s democracy and the people’s independence.

Hopefully today while Americans are waving flags, over-indulging in alcohol,  overeating and enjoying firework displays, they will take a moment to relish their independence like the dying commodity it really is. Because it, like their democracy, has never been as endangered as it is with Republicans and Trump dismantling their democracy and eliminating their independence.

Happy Independence Day!

Jon Ossoff’s Opponent is Furious  At Ruling Allowing More Georgians To Vote

 

It is no stretch to claim that Republicans and their various operatives and legislative activists are opposed to the democratic process allowing all citizens to vote. As no small number of pundits and commenters have noted often, if Republicans were unable to suppress the vote or block access to the polls, they would not be in control of the government. However, they are in control of the government and the thought of losing even one seat in Congress has incited outrage from a former Georgia secretary of state seeking an open House seat.

The Republican facing off against political newcomer Jon Ossoff (D) in Georgia’s open seat House race, Karen Handel, sent out an email to her supporters in the form of an “election alert;” an emergency “alert” that she warned “should make your blood boil.” The blood boiling alert was that a Federal Judge appointed by George W. Bush had just ruled that Georgia election officials were bound to abide by a federal law, the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

That 1993 federal law states that “all eligible citizens should be allowed to vote if they register at least 30 days before an election.” The Georgia runoff election is set for June 20 and the Judge’s order means that the March 20 cutoff day for voter registration was illegal and had to be extended to May 21; 30 days before the election.

Karen Handel, Mr. Ossoff’s Republican opponent, is renowned in Georgia for being a pioneering vote suppressor.” Kira Lerner at ThinkProgress noted that just prior to the 2008 General Election, as Georgia secretary of state Handel “spearheaded an illegal purge of Georgia’s [voter] rolls and flagged thousands of voter registrations as potential non-citizens.” As is usually the case in Republican voter purges, a fair number of Georgia voters stricken from the rolls were actually eligible American citizens, and likely Democratic voters.

The Federal District Court Judge presiding over the lawsuit to extend voter registration according to the law, Timothy Batten, had to issue a ruling for democracy.  The lawsuit was brought by four voting rights groups and the “Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.” They argued successfully that Georgia’s 90-day registration cutoff violated the National Voter Registration Act’s rule allowing “all eligible citizens” to cast ballots if they register at least 30 days prior to the election.

In concurring with the plaintiff’s argument and enforcing the Federal NVRA Judge Batten wrote:

If a preliminary injunction is not granted requiring defendants to process voter-registration applications received after the previous deadline of March 20, numerous voters who would otherwise be eligible to vote in the runoff will be denied that right.”

After the Court’s ruling, John Ossoff responded as one expects all democracy-loving Americans and said:

Voting rights are constitutional rights. I encourage all eligible voters to ensure that they are registered and make their voices heard on June 20th and in all elections, regardless of their party or political persuasion.”

Karen Handel, had a different response that typifies Republican opposition to fair election practices and the Federal Judiciary. In her fundraising email, Handel claimed “Democrats win lawsuit to change the election.” And, through her spokesperson she called the ruling by U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten a “partisan attempt to change the rules… for a nakedly partisan outcome.”

There are several fallacious statements in Handel’s remarks beginning with the claim that the Democrats’ lawsuit “changed the election.” The lawsuit, as noted above, was brought by four different voting rights groups and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. It is also noteworthy that the Judge did not rule according to partisanship or “change the election.” He ruled according to a 24-year old federal law and the election will proceed on the scheduled date as previously planned. As far as “a nakedly partisan outcome,” Handel is doing what Republicans do as a matter of course; accuse members of the Judiciary of partisanship when they rule according to the Constitution or federal statutes. This is particularly true when federal or state judges rule against Republican efforts to obstruct and suppress voting rights.

This Republican opposition to democracy, and suppressing or restricting voting is opposition to democracy, is rampant in GOP-majority states and particularly Southern Republican-dominated states. The Republicans have depended on the Koch brothers’ legislative arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to aid their anti-democracy effort and it is why ALEC members refused to go on record supporting democracy.

The Judge’s ruling was not partisan in any way, shape, or form because it provides both Democrats and Republicans a legally-extended opportunity to register more people ahead of the June 20 election; a fact that Karen Handel is well aware of.

What really makes Handel’s blood boil is that more Georgia residents now have the opportunity to participate in the democratic process. Just the fact that Handel is opposed to more people participating in democracy is a telling sentiment that should give all Georgia voters pause to consider what kind of American is adamantly opposed to democracy.

Devin Nunes Must Be Removed From Office and Face Investigation For Collusion

 

The concept of “recusal,” or “judicial disqualification” refers to abstaining from participation in an official action, such as a legal proceeding, due to a conflict of interest of the presiding court official or administrative officer. Over the past several months if Americans weren’t hearing, ad nauseam, about collusion and treason regarding the pro-Russians in the White House, they have heard “conflict of interest” regarding nearly everything related to the Trump, his family, his cabinet, and his campaign.

It is curious that there have not been more calls for the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes (R-CA), to recuse himself from leading an investigation into the Trump and Russian collusion; and not because Nunes is a Republican investigating a corrupt Republican. No, it is because Nunes held an executive position in the Trump’s transition team that in a fair system would automatically disqualify the liar from investigating the Trump and anyone remotely related to the Trump.

Something that was hardly mentioned directly after Republicans on the “committee” railed against the intelligence community for doing their jobs, and then suggesting that journalists doing their jobs should potentially face charges was why Nunes is involved at all. There have been some calls for Nunes to recuse himself, and none more emphatic than Keith Olbermann who used Trump’s media outlet, the Twitter, to say:

This is very simple: @DevinNunes must resign from the House Intel Committee immediately, and surrender himself to the FBI for questioning.

Mr. Olbermann makes a good point. This is particularly true since David Corn with Mother Jones reported that Nunes blatantly lied to reporters about having any knowledge whatsoever of the Russian conspirators either in or closely related to Trump and his campaign.

Mr. Corn asked Nunes after the committee hearing about Trump campaign’s pro-Russian advisers Roger Stone and Carter Page because both men are “key figures in this investigation.” And, both Trump cohorts are widely reported to have had direct contact with the Russian hackers themselves and the Russian ambassador. Nunes, like his boss in the White House, lied like a true Trump and said “I don’t know those people.

Of course Nunes knows those people and he knows he was lying. As reported by Jen Hayden, less than a month ago Nunes admitted that Trump “dispatched [him] to combat the idea of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate” the collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.  There is no doubt that Nunes definitely knew who Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Paul Manafort were.

On or around February 27 Nunes confirmed that he was one of the Republican lawmakers the Trump enlisted to shut down a story in the New York Times. In that NYT’s report, besides mentioning Russian operative Michael Flynn, it specifically talked about “former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former campaign aide Carter Page, as well as Trump’s associate Roger Stone.” At the time Nunes said he saw nothing untoward in being tasked by Trump to “combat” a story about Trump associates he claimed on Monday he didn’t know.

Also on February 27 in an interview with Fox News where Roger Stone and Carter Page, and Manafort, were specifically mentioned, Nunes  said that “his committee” would not be part of a “McCarthyism witch hunt.” In fact, for a lying Republican who claims he doesn’t know who Carter Page, Paul Manafort, or Roger Stone are, Nunes said, “He will not subpoena former convention manager Paul Manafort Jr., former advisor Roger Stone nor former campaign consultant Carter Page before his committee after their names appeared in the Times’ report.”

As this author opined a couple of days ago, Republicans like Nunes are going far beyond simple ethic violations like gross conflicts of interest in leading an investigation into Trump; they are colluding to cover up Trump’s treason. Now that it’s been revealed that Nunes lied that he didn’t even “know who those people are” after promising not to issue subpoenas for Stone, Manafort, and Page barely three weeks ago, there is no other reason for lying so blatantly than to conceal the intricate affiliations between the Trumps, the Russians and now congressional Republicans.

At this point calling for Nunes to recuse himself from any Trump investigation is not nearly enough; particularly after assailing the intelligence community and journalists for doing their jobs. Nunes must resign, not just from the Intelligence Committee, but from his position as a congressional representative for lying, conflict of interest, collusion with a corrupt and treasonous president and violating his sworn oath of office. Most Americans are well aware that Trump is as corrupt as the day is long, but now it is apparent that any Republican who is not calling for Trump’s impeachment is as corrupt as he is and every last one of them needs to be summarily removed from office and investigated for their part in covering up Trump’s treason.

Republicans Enact a Rule to Punish and Fire Civil Servants

Republicans are renowned for condemning regulations and rules as federal government tyranny because they protect the population from the GOP’s corporate and religious supporters. However, they have little issue making rules that allow their supporters to tyrannize the rest of the citizenry.

House Republicans took a little constituent heat last week when, while making rules to benefit the GOP, they tried to abolish the independent congressional ethics office; an office dirty Donald Trump claimed was “unfair to Republicans.” It was a revealing statement and is reminiscent of every career criminal in history saying the police, the courts, and prisons are unfair to criminals; but that is another story.

While they were rolling back the effort to protect and defend unethical Republican lawmakers, they were making other rules that will have a significant impact across the government. And, it is noteworthy that none of the Republican rules was created to help even one American private citizen. In fact, one rule was enacted to tyrannize individual American workers.

One of the “new rules” in the Republican-dominated Congress expands Republicans’ power to terrorize individual federal employees who run afoul of the Koch and religious right agenda. In resurrecting a rule first introduced in 1876, Republicans granted themselves unchallenged authority to target and force private American citizens to Capitol Hill to be “interrogated” by Republicans in the House. That obscure rule also allows Congress to slash the pay of any government worker, or eliminate a program that doesn’t fit the Koch or religious right agenda.

The so-called “Holman rule” was first proposed in 1876 by a House representative that stayed in play until 1983. That was the year when a Democratic-controlled House put an end to the Holman rule for the obvious reason; it gives far too much power to an individual or party to either tyrannize federal employees or unilaterally do away with entire programs they happen to despise or disagree with.

The new iteration of the Holman rule was reinstated by a House Republican, Morgan Griffith (R-VA), who is also a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus (teabagger). Griffith championed the “arcane provision” as a tool to allow either an individual legislator or a group of lawmakers to make targeted cuts to the federal workforce depending on who may have disagreed openly with Republicans.

The 2017 version gives any lawmaker the power to insert an amendment to any appropriations bills that allows them, by virtue of Republican whim, to unilaterally fire any federal employee or cut their pay down to $1 dollar; depending on how vengeful the individual lawmaker or group happens to feel on a given day.

Democrats in the House, particularly those representing districts with large numbers of federal employees, said the rule was reinstated for malicious reasons. For example, Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said that Republicans revived the rule solely to “undermine civil service employee protections by stripping away necessary [workplace and employment] safeguards.

Connolly rightly labeled the measure “the Armageddon Rule,” and revealed the real reason Republicans unilaterally revived a rule for their campaign donors’ benefit. Mr. Connolly stated the obvious that it’s “a backdoor way for Republicans to dismantle the federal workforce.” One would add that it is also a backdoor way to eviscerate federal workplace protections the Holman rule supersedes.

The national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, J. David Cox Sr., condemned the Republicans’ move saying:

The so-called Holman Rule undermines civil service protections for the millions of working people who process our Social Security checks, safeguard our borders, support our military, research cures for deadly diseases, and carry out programs and services that are vital to our nation. Reviving this rule means lawmakers will be able to cut the pay and jobs of individual workers or groups of workers without getting input from the agencies where these employees work.”

Democrats also said they feared the rule gives Republicans the tools to root out individual federal workers who hold views or perform work that is not favored by the Trump, the Kochs or the religious right. Remember that a couple of weeks ago Trump’s transition team demanded the names of any Department of Energy employee who worked on the Paris climate accord. Trump’s people also wanted the names of individual State Department employees who worked on gender equality or proposals to advance women’s right around the world.

Representative Connolly actually got around to citing precisely what the teabagger-incited Holman resurrection is meant to achieve for the Koch brothers and their partners in government ownership, the religious right. He said:

The Republican Rules package provides them with the surgical tools necessary to reach into the inner workings of the federal government and cut away each part and employee that runs afoul of their ideological agenda. This, coupled with the President-elect’s proposed federal hiring freeze and the nomination of individuals to head agencies they openly oppose, could be devastating to the critical mission of the federal government.”

It is important to note, for the ten-thousandth time, that “devastating the mission of the federal government” is now, and has always been, the overarching goal of the Koch brothers. That religious Republicans can reach in and “cut away” employees that dare “run afoul of their ‘religious’ agenda” is a value-added bonus and yet another religious threat to Americans’ freedoms. What the new rule means is that no civil servant’s job is secure unless they agree with the current majority in Congress, the religious right, the Koch brothers and the tyrant Trump’s nasty agenda.

This “new rule” for Republicans serves a purpose that is beyond what they need to slash government to death. Since they control all three branches and have Trump appointing department heads with a view toward destroying them, this particular rule is meant to terrorize and intimidate civil servants who may disagree with a Republican or religious agenda. That any individual lawmaker can drag a private citizen before Congress to be interrogated like a common criminal is beyond tyranny. That they can summarily fire a civil servant on a whim, or cut their pay to $1 is more than tyranny; it is forcing them to work under duress or what normal people call blackmail.

Threat of Treason Charges Already Looming Over Trump Presidency

 

 

One of the most laughable claims throughout the past year-and-a-half’s brutal presidential campaign was dirty Donald Trump’s claim that his intent in running was to “make America great again.” It was an absurd campaign slogan because not only was America already “great” because a fascist like Trump was never allowed to get close to the halls of power, but because Donald Trump exists to promote his own greatness; the bankruptcy king has never had any interest in American greatness. Donald Trump has been accused, and rightly so, of being a bully, a corrupt business operator, a swindler, a brutish thug, a pathological liar, and a devotee of both Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler.

Now, a former assistant Secretary of State has strongly intimated that Donald Trump is on a direct path to be charged with treason, making him an official honest-to-dog traitor to America.

In an opinion column for the Boston Globe, former assistant Secretary of State and international human rights expert John Shattuck posited that “a specter of treason hovers over Donald Trump.” According to Mr. Shattuck, if Trump does not “welcome a thorough investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election,” it raises serious questions that make him defenseless against “charges of treason.” Mr. Shattuck wrote,

A specter of treason hovers over Donald Trump. He has brought it on himself by dismissing a bipartisan call for an investigation of Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee as a ‘ridiculous’ political attack on the legitimacy of his election as president.”

What Trump says is ridiculous is what seventeen separate American intelligence agencies unanimously concluded was Russia waging cyber warfare against the United States to impact the presidential election. In fact, the lead agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), concluded that Vladimir Putin intended to influence the election in favor of his hand-puppet Trump. Like many political commenters have, Shattuck reminded readers that after the election, the current director of the National Security Agency and commander of the United States Cyber Command, Admiral Michael Rogers stated,

This [Russian espionage] was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”

Late last week, an American senior intelligence official revealed that there is substantial evidence that Trump’s co-conspirator Vladimir Putin personally authorized and directed the attack on America; something Trump blows off as “ridiculous.” Shattuck asks why Trump is publicly rejecting the seventeen intelligence agency assessments and particularly; why he is criticizing “the bipartisan proposal for a congressional investigation?” An honest and patriotic American would exhibit the strongest possible interest in leading a concerted national effort against a hostile foreign power’s attack on the core of American democracy, but despicable Don is no more patriotic to America than he is honest.

The Globe article gave four reasons Trump is trying desperately to portray the intelligence community as incompetent, politically-motivated, corrupt and untrustworthy, but only one stands out as the most credible in a conspiracy to commit and then cover up treason. Shattuck writes that Trump “may be seeking to cover up evidence of involvement or prior knowledge by members of his campaign team or himself in the Russian cyberattack.”

One would argue that Trump IS seeking to keep his and his team’s collusion with the Russians out of the public eye; an act that makes him guilty of treason and misprision of treason. As a reminder, any American guilty of “misprision of treasonaccording to 18 U.S. Code § 2382 is a person “having knowledge of the commission of any treason [who] conceals and does not disclose.” Treason, according to the US Code and the United States Constitution is committed by a person “owing allegiance to the United States who . . . adheres to their enemies, giving them aid or comfort.”

It doesn’t take a very bright mind to conclude that by denigrating or trying to prevent an investigation of the Russian attack on America, dastardly Donnie is giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States. It is a crime that is greatly enhanced if Trump’s bullying of the intelligence community and criticism of a congressional investigation are ploys to cover up his own, or his staff’s involvement in or prior knowledge of the attack.

There is more than sufficient evidence that Trump and his inner circle have had close ties to Putin and the Kremlin prior to, during, and after the Russian attack on America. Whether it was Trump and Putin operative Paul Manafort, National Security Advisor designate Michael Flynn palling around with Putin and appearing as a commentator for Russian state television, or Trump’s son boasting that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets, we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia;” there is a definite close connection between Putin and “the Trump.”

In fact, after the election, the Russians knew Americans would stay rolled over even after being attacked and boasted that yes; there were communications between the Kremlin and the Trump. Two days after the election the Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabokov, was quoted by the New York Times and Washington Post saying, “there were contacts” between Moscow and the Trump campaign during the election campaign, and that members of the campaign staff “were staying in touch with Russian representatives” after the election.

Of course one doesn’t need a Senate Select Committee to connect the Trump-Russia dots, or to comprehend that in nominating a close friend of Putin and director of a Russian oil company as secretary of state, dirty Donald is giving aid and comfort to the enemy; the Constitution’s definition of treason.

There is little doubt, at least in this author’s mind, that Donald Trump is going to move the proverbial “Heaven and Earth” to obstruct any investigation whether it is from Congress or not. Forget the idea of the Department of Justice investigating Trump; that federal agency is under the aegis of the executive branch and vulnerable to a Trump tantrum.

The only hope for a defense of America is that Republicans in the Senate, and possibly some in the “alt-right House, will put patriotism before party and take appropriate action in the face of an attack on America. If they fail to investigate the Trump Russia connection as vigorously as they have investigated the Democrats they targeted, then they are not only un-American, it likely means they have “knowledge of the commission of any treason” and by “not disclosing” the extent of the attack are, by legal definition, themselves guilty of misprision of treason.