Only dictators claim they are above the law

If there is one obvious prevailing trait of America’s government with a corrupt celebrity at its head, it is that nearly all leaders of the various federal agencies and departments are religiously opposed to fulfilling the duties of the agencies they lead. This is true of every department in Trump’s industry- and evangelical-heavy administration, including the criminal running the Executive Branch of government.

Like the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has no interest in protecting the environment, or the head of the Education Department has no interest in supporting public education, the head of the Executive Branch, dirty Don Trump, has no interest in “executing the laws” of the United States; the primary duty of the Executive Branch. In fact, as with everything Trump, he has gone far beyond just not executing the laws of the land, he claims that he is exempt from the laws and is not afraid to make it public knowledge.

During the 2016 presidential election, Trump claimed he could “shoot somebody in the face” and still maintain the support of his racist and religious acolytes. Some people likely believed Trump was boasting about his popularity among his zealot supporters, but based on his actions since even before his poorly attended inauguration, and a recently revealed White House “memo”  to the Special Prosecutor Robert S. Mueller, Trump was informing the American people that the nation’s laws simply do not apply to him. It has been an ongoing theme of Trump’s criminal tenure in the Oval Office and now his White House legal team all but claimed Trump decides what justice entails.

Whether it is violating campaign finance laws, flouting the U.S. Code prohibiting hiring family members, taking bribes from foreign governmentsobstructing justiceprofitingoff his position as White House resident, or colluding with foreign spies against the interests of the United States; Trump has shown that he regards laws as applicable to his alleged enemies, but not himself or members of his criminal enterprise.

It is worth noting that Trump’s criminal syndicate now includes the preponderance of the Republican Party that refuses to provide oversight or control the organized crime syndicate occupying the White House. That includes no small number of Republican senators and House representatives who violated 18 U.S. Code § 4 by not immediately reporting what they knew from personal experience was Trump attempting to obstruct justice. They did confirm that Trump pressured them to end their investigation. Although obstructing justice is a crime, it is one that Trump claims does not apply to him because he is the head of the Executive Branch tasked by the U.S. Constitution with “executing the laws of the land.”

At this point it is probably true that a fair number of Americans have at least heard about a “confidential memo” sent by the White House legal team informing Robert S. Mueller III that because he is the head of the Executive Branch, Trump is exempt from obstruction of justice laws. This is, as no small number of legal experts and pundits alike have asserted, a damned “ludicrous” claim. Particularly because Richard M. Nixon and William Jefferson Clinton each faced removal from the White House for “obstruction of justice.”

It is worth noting that there is probably no government office with more opportunities to obstruct justice than the presidency and it is almost certainly why the United States Congress was given Constitutional authority to ensure that the Executive Branch abides by the laws of the land.

Sadly today, the Republicans running Congress not only refuse to do their due diligence and their jobs, such as providing the oversight to the White House, they are actively obstructing justice by covering for the criminals and worse – they have acted contrary to their “law and order” bona fides by viciously attacking the Justice Department and federal law enforcement agencies that are doing their jobs.

The gist of the White House “memo” to Mr. Mueller’s team is that because he is head of the Executive Branch, the one Branch solely responsible for executing the law of the land:  “Trump can’t obstruct justice because as president [head of the Executive Branch] he has authority to end an investigation of himself.”

Representative Ted Lieu summed up the consensus of legal experts aware of the insanity entailed in the memo saying:

The confidential memo from attorneys for @realDonaldTrump is, to use a legal term, ludicrous. Under their view, @POTUS could shoot a federal employee on 5th Ave and still not be able to be indicted, or even subpoenaed.”

The mindset revealed in the White House memo is more than a claim Trump is exempt from the law; it is a statement that he is the law because he can “end an investigation of himself.” It is tantamount to claiming he can unilaterally invalidate any law of the land if it is applied to him or his crime family. It is likely why the “memo” contained a stunning admission by a Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, that Trump did more than weigh in on his son’s mendacious letter about the so-called “Trump Tower meeting with Russian nationals. According Trump’s lawyer, Trump “dictated” the letter his son provided in response to an article in the New York Times denying any collusion with the Russians. Despite several official White House denials that Trump had no involvement in crafting the letter, the White House legal team wrote to Mr. Mueller:

“You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President [Trump] dictated a response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.”

This admission is important for no other reason than, as documented by CNN, Trump’s administration lied profusely that Trump had nothing whatsoever to do with “the letter.”  As David Corn noted over at Mother Jones; Donald Jr.’s account in closed-door testimony before the United States Congress was a dirty lie. And Mr. Corn remarked that “it’s a crime to lie to Congress.”

But that is not the case in Trump’s administration as evidenced by at least five of his Cabinet nominees lying under “so help my god” oath during their Senate confirmation hearings with complete impunity. Trump’s liar’s club includes aspiring preacher-pope Mike Pence. Remember, Pence blatantly lied that he only learned of Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia and Turkey several months after Congressional Democrats had sent him a letter informing him that Flynn had close ties to Russia and Turkey.

The whole point of this little screed is to reiterate that America is being run by an honest-to-dog criminal enterprise with no regard for the law; the law that in Trump’s corrupt mind cannot apply to him. It is likely that Trump has labored under that concept his entire life. Whether it was him or his rich daddy obstructing justice with payments (donations) to politicians to ignore dumb Donnie’s real estate malfeasance, or being on the receiving end of a $500 billion Chinese investment (bribe), Trump has ignored the law of the land that every other American is beholden to follow under pain of prosecution.

As noted above, Republicans in Congress are complicit in Trump’s criminal syndicate because they are willingly colluding with the “Don” to obstruct justice, as well as question the legitimacy of America’s federal law enforcement and undermine federal investigative agencies.

America cannot survive a United States Congress that appears more than willing to aid and abet a known criminal occupying the White House. And yes, Trump is a criminal who has already violated no small number of laws, including lying by swearing on a stack of two Christian bibles to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States … and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me god.”

Trump’s flagrant disregard for the law, including openly asserting he is above the law, is a portent that America is perilously close to being run by an authoritarian dictator; a tragedy that would not be possible without the willing participation of the party of law and order – the GOP. In fact, Trump’s claim that he is immune from the law is the clearest sign yet that his goal is ruling as a dictatorial tyrant.

Lock Her Up – Sarah Huckabee Sanders Should Go To Prison With Trump

It is a travesty there is no legal means to hold Trump and his cohorts accountable for their steady stream of blatantly mendacious statements, because it would be the quickest way to put the entire Trump administration out of the nation’s misery. It is particularly noteworthy that Trump’s liars club members are predominately evangelical Christians who violate their bible’s Ninth Commandment at about the same rate normal human beings draw breath.

That applies to the Baptist preacher’s daughter serving as Trump’s press secretary who immediately earned membership in the administration’s liars club before she was “officially” named press secretary. If lying was a crime, Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be in prison along with most of Trump’s Cabinet and the two liars at the top of the administration: Trump and Pence.  However, now it appears that one of Huckabee Sanders’s lies could result in a criminal indictment in addition to her violation of a statute in the U.S. Code; both of which could land her in jail if the Department of Justice wasn’t being run by one of Trump’s evangelical serial liars.

It isn’t clear how much of Huckabee Sanders’ lies and statements come directly from the king of the liars Trump, but regardless where they originate, she has waded into trouble twice in the past week and everyone and their dog has noticed.

The latest “federal crime” Huckabee Sanders committed was attempting to influence a private employment decision in calling for an ESPN employee to be fired for telling the truth. That’s how bad it has become in Trump’s America; an administration ‘official’ calling for a private employee to be fired for telling the truth about the liar in the White House.

According to  18 U.S. Code § 227, Huckabee Sanders committed a “federal crime” when she called for ESPN anchor Jemele Hill’s firing over an honest-to-dog truthful “Tweet” about the white supremacist Trump.  Ms. Hill tweeted on Monday that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” It is as an honest and truthful statement as claiming the Sun rises in the East; it was also a personal opinion posted on social media, but freedom of speech is not the point.

18 U.S. Code § 227 says:

Whoever, being a covered government person, with the intent to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

Huckabee Sanders certainly violated that federal statute and she rightly earned an ethics complaint filed by the Democratic Coalition whose chairman Jon Cooper said:

When Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for Jemele Hill to be fired by ESPN, she crossed the line and put herself in dubious legal territory. Even in Donald Trump’s America, there’s still such a thing as freedom of speech. For Sanders to publicly call for the dismissal of a Trump critic is bizarre and disturbing, to say the least. If anyone is to be fired, it should be her.”

She should also face federal criminal charges, and after being convicted they should, as Trump likes to repeat ad nauseam – “lock her up.” That is what the law demands and Trump claims his administration is all about “law and order;” except for him and his criminal administration. Huckabee Sanders will never face any criminal charges because the Trump administration is criminally corrupt. Besides, violating 18 U.S. Code § 227 may be the least of Huckabee Sanders problems going forward.

This week, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), explained on MSNBC that Trump’s Press Secretary likely put herself in legal jeopardy. Senator Whitehouse was referring to three comments on consecutive days about former FBI Director James Comey.  Mr. Whitehouse described three of Huckabee Sanders’ statements as “torpedoes” that appear to be an attempt by the Trump administration to influence grand juries convened by the special prosecutor Robert Mueller in the Russia probe.

Mr. Whitehouse said: “If the motivation was to poison the reputation of James Comey with the grand jurors, you have another indictment;” for attempting to obstruct justice. Of course no human being knows “for sure” what was going through Huckabee Sanders’ mind, or what her true motivation was when she telegraphed Donald Trump’s “message to the public.” But it is relatively clear that because she has no official legal standing to “prosecute from the White House press briefing room,” her repeated assertions that James Comey broke the law and should be investigated were a propaganda ploy; almost certainly incited by Trump himself.

On Monday Huckabee Sanders claimed that Comey’s firing was appropriate because “not only did he leak confidential memos, he lied during testimony to Congress.” The next day she continued the White House “prosecutor’s case” again claiming that Mr. Comey’s actions were “improper and illegal” and something the Department of Justice prosecutors should be pursuing. On the following day, she reiterated the Trump “administration’s charges” claiming that “it was pretty clean and clear” that Comey broke the law and he should be prosecuted.

Since Trump announced his candidacy last year, he has regularly called for Americans he doesn’t like to be prosecuted; not because they did anything illegal or untoward, but because he thrives on demeaning the character of his perceived enemies. His campaign made “lock her up” a rallying cry to portray Hillary Clinton as a criminal; it is a classic case of what psychologists call “projection.”

There is really only one reason Huckabee Sanders would spend three consecutive days arguing like a prosecutor to impugn James Comey’s character, and that was to influence both public opinion and the various grand juries Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is rumored to have convened. In legal terms, that certainly qualifies as attempting to obstruct justice and worthy of a federal indictment, as Senator Whitehouse explained.

Obviously, Trump’s Justice Department is not going to pursue charges against Huckabee Sanders for violating 18 U.S. Code § 227 because Sessions is too terrified of Trump and corrupt to do his job. Plus, he is a liar of the first order and is damned lucky he is not serving time for committing perjury under oath before the U.S. Senate; a federal crime worthy of five years in prison and a hefty fine.

Huckabee Sanders may not be as fortunate with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller who is a real prosecutor and is thoroughly investigating obstruction of justice charges against the Trump administration players that Huckabee Sanders became party to. But that investigation is ongoing and hopefully Mr. Mueller added Huckabee Sanders to the long list of Trump administration actors guilty of obstructing justice.

Trump’s entire administration is looking more corrupt by the minute, and it is stunning, really, that Huckabee Sanders is willing to stand in front of the media and implicate herself to protect the criminal in the Oval Office. Maybe it is because she is allegedly a good Christian and considers lying reasonable to preserve the evangelical right’s rubber stamp in the White House. However, what is considered reasonable to  a cabal of serial liars and corrupt Republicans is obstruction of justice and illegal in the eyes of the law. Huckabee Sanders deserves to be prosecuted along with her criminal cohorts in the Trump administration and the Trump liars club needs to be locked up to preserve the rule of law and what is left of America’s failing government.

Image: YouTube

Trump Must Be Impeached For Obstructing Justice In Comey Firing

 

People of color might disagree with the idea that justice is blind in the same fashion that highly-connected rich people disagree with the concept that no man is above the law. Regardless that the justice system does not always seem equitable, the fact still remains that the law applies to all Americans equally. That being the case, there is a federal law that Donald Trump violated by all accounts and it is not only reason enough for him to be impeached and thrown out of office, once he is out of office he can and should be indicted and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And if convicted by a jury, he should go straight to a federal penitentiary to serve out his sentence with his tiny little hands bound to keep him off of social media.

When Trump fired James Comey because “I said to myself, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’” he sent a signal that he was attempting to pervert the course of justice. In America the term is “obstructing justice” and according to the Cornell University Law School definition:

Obstruction of justice is defined in the omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. § 1503, which provides that ‘whoever . . . . corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be (guilty of an offense).'”

Cornell goes on to explain that “a person obstructs justice when they have a specific intent to obstruct or interfere with a judicial proceeding. For a person to be convicted of obstructing justice, they must not only have the specific intent to obstruct the proceeding, but the person must know (1) that a proceeding was actually pending at the time; and (2) there must be a nexus between the defendant’s endeavor to obstruct justice and the proceeding, and the defendant must have knowledge of this nexus.”

The Ohio State Bar Association’s legal definition of obstruction of justice is a tad simpler than Cornell University’s:  “Obstruction consists of any attempt to hinder the discovery, apprehension, conviction or punishment of anyone who has committed a crime.”

What all of this means to regular Americans is that it is a crime and an impeachable offense to act with the “specific intent to obstruct or interfere with a judicial or congressional proceeding, or a proceeding before a federal agency (such as an investigation). The proceeding must be pending at the time of the conduct and the defendant must know it.”

Now, there is no doubt whatsoever that Trump’s firing of the FBI Director meets the standards to be charged with obstruction as a federal crime because his specific intent was interfering with the investigation he damn sure knows is “actually pending,” according to his own admission. And, he has knowledge there is a nexus (link, connection) between his firing Comey and the proceeding; in this case “the proceeding” is an active FBI investigation into the Trump and his connection to Russia.

Regardless of needing to meet the legal definition of obstructing the course of justice, it’s not as if there has to be an investigation into whether or not Trump terminated James Comey as FBI Director to “pervert the cause of justice;” because on two separate occasions he admitted that was his intent.

After he fired Mr. Comey and during a nationally broadcast interview with Lester Holt on NBC’s Nightly News program, Trump brushed aside his administration’s public excuses for the firing and blatantly confessed his purpose in removing Comey. He was defiant in saying:

I was going to fire Comey. When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.’”

But some Trump supporters might say he was just being Trump, acting like a “badass boss;” that excuse might be even be believable if not for the night before the firing. Before officially dismissing the man leading the investigation into collusion between the Trump, his campaign, and Russia,  Trump used his preferred media outlet, Twitter to say:

The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”

The very next day Trump then took matters into his own hand and likely believed he put an end to the taxpayer-funded “Russia-Trump collusion story” by firing Mr. Comey. Regardless whether the investigation continues going forward or not, Trump’s action was an attempt to obstruct justice and no small number of legal experts, political pundits, and politicians agree.

This action on Trump’s part is a very serious breach of the law and a sign that he is emulating authoritarian monsters like Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin, Egypt’s Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, Philippine president Manuel Duterte and Adolf Hitler (sod off Godwin). Of course Trump hasn’t yet had Mr. Comey assassinated on the street like the above mentioned dictators, but he did attempt to obstruct justice and according to Article II, sec. 4 of the Constitution, he must be removed from office for what qualifies as “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Former President Gerald Ford once said that “an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment.” And, it is important to note that “the Supreme Court has held that matters of impeachment pose political questions unsuitable for judicial review;” the conservative High Court can’t interfere and save Trump. (author bold)

Although there is no black-and-white definition of what an impeachable offense entails any more than what is regarded as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” there is a consensus among legal experts most Americans would heartily agree with. For example, “conduct that violates the public trust, including serious abuses of governmental powers” would be regarded as high crimes and misdemeanors by anyone not related to Donald Trump. However, in this case those standards are reinforced with conduct that is otherwise criminally prosecutable making the case for impeachment much stronger.

Look, it is important to note that in the case of the attempted impeachment of Richard Nixon, he was accused of “obstructing the due administration of justice” for just attempting to interfere with an investigation by the FBI.

It was exactly the same situation with Bill Clinton’s impeachment; the two articles of impeachment were “grounded in allegations he had impeded the administration of justice by making false statements.” The only reasons for making false statements was to obstruct the “administration of justice.”

In both cases, articles of impeachment were drawn up for either “impeding the administration of justice” or “obstructing the due administration of justice” by “attempting to interfere with an FBI investigation.” There is no possible scenario where any sane human being would not consider Trump’s actions as anything other than “obstructing the due administration of justice by attempting to interfere with an FBI investigation.”

It seems that since Trump moved into the White House on day one there were myriad “possible” reasons to impeach him and throw him out of office whether it was using the office of the presidency to make money off taxpayers or colluding with Russia; but this is a different story. By any measure Trump himself revealed the only reason he fired the FBI Director was to subvert the course of justice and put an end to the investigation into his collusion with a hostile foreign power. If he sincerely felt Comey had lost confidence of his underlings due to a perception he mishandled the bogus Clinton email case, or didn’t handle it according to Trump, he could have fired him on day one of his administration; but of course he didn’t – he waited until the FBI was closing in on his collusion with Russia.

There is every reason to believe that Trump conspired to obstruct justice to cover his acts of treason in colluding with Russia. And if Republicans weren’t traitors to the Constitution they would impeach the criminal and throw him out of the White House; right into the waiting arms of federal prosecutors to try him for the federal crime of obstruction of justice and send him to prison.