Conservative Calls to Fire Special Prosecutor Are Mounting

 

There is little doubt that Donald Trump was disheartened when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 general election, and the Trump campaign’s cooperation with Putin’s operatives. This is especially true after he told the Russians in a secret White House meeting that he “relieved” himself of the FBI’s part in the Russia investigation by firing its director James B. Comey; the man he called a “nut job.” Donald Trump considers James Comey a “nut job” for daring to do his job and oversee an investigation into the Trump’s expansive criminal enterprise.

Now that Robert Mueller is proceeding with an independent investigation, replete with a pledge from the DOJ that he will not face pressure of termination from Trump, there are mounting calls for Trump to fire Mr. Mueller. It is almost certain that Trump has attempted to concoct a reason to “relieve himself of pressure” from yet another Russia investigation, so it appears the right wing media and conservative punditry calls for Mueller’s firing are a propaganda campaign and not attempts to incite Trump to take action.

What is curious is why Trump hasn’t acted thus far. Because if he boasted that he only fired Director Comey “over that Russian thing” and then celebrated with the Russians the “relief” it gave him, he likely doesn’t need encouragement from his conservative media supporters. But he does need to sow suspicion among the public about Mueller being unfit before he acts.

According to conservative columnist Byron York, the man that George W. Bush appointed as FBI Director in 2001“is unfit to investigate anything related to Comey or the Russians.” Apparently York’s primary objection is that Robert Mueller and James Comey have “professional respect” for each other.

Of course that is the case; they have each held the same high-level law enforcement position and they know each other is honest, and that as patriots they serve America and its Constitution, not Donald J. Trump. In conservative circles and in Trump’s mind serving the nation and its founding document instead of the GOP and Trump would make anyone “unfit” for any government job.

As noted in the New York Times, York and another Trump sycophant, Laura Ingraham, both overlook the level of respect for Mr. Mueller from Democrats and Republicans alike, and that he was Republican George W. Bush’s FBI director. No doubt Ingraham is defaming Mr. Mueller on Trump’s behalf because she is rumoredto be in the mix for a communications job in the White House.”

However, it is only recently that some Republicans, conservative pundits and media clowns have stopped celebrating Mueller’s appointment because it is apparent he is a patriot and serious about the investigation; he is not going to make the “Trump-Russia thing” just go away.

It is probable that Mueller’s appeal to Republicans is why close Trump adviser, boot-licker, and disgraced former House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich hailed Rosenstein’s appointment of Mr. Mueller as “an impeccable choice;” but that was before Mr. Comey’s testimony before the Senate. About three weeks ago Gingrich tweeted:

Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity. Media should now calm down”

Now Gingrich, like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and a chorus of conservatives is singing a different tune and took to Trump’s media outlet, Twitter, to publicize his suspicion that Mr. Mueller, widely respected on both sides of the aisle and “a superb choice” three weeks ago, is not to be trusted. Maybe it is dawning on Republicans that Mueller is not going to sweep the investigation under the rug which is what Republicans expect and Trump demands. Gingrich tweeted Just two days ago that:

Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel [Mueller] is going to be fair. Look who he is hiring.check fec reports. Time to rethink.”

Gingrich wanting Republicans to rethink their support for Mueller informs that despite what Trump and his lying underlings claim, James Comey’s testimony did not signal or prove to them that there is nothing to investigate any longer. If conservatives aren’t claiming Mueller is “unfit” and can’t be trusted, they are claiming a special prosecutor is unnecessary since they claim Mr. Comey’s testimony debunked the entire Russia story as “fake news.”

What is certain is that Gingrich’s remark about “look who he (Mueller) is hiring” is a direct reference to the former FBI director hiring deputy solicitor general Michael Dreeben to be part of the “rapidly expandinginvestigative team.  Michael Dreeben, according to former acting US solicitor general Neal Katyal, is another serious prosecutor and would not have been recruited without good reason. Mr. Katyal remarked to CNN that, “You don’t bring Michael Dreeben onto something ordinary… He’s the top criminal law practitioner in the United States.”

Despite the calls for a quick termination of the special prosecutor, it will take the cooperation of the second-in-command at the Department of Justice to get rid of Mueller. Rod Rosenstein will have to remove the “no interference” clause to allow Trump to “relieve” himself of the pressure of an expanding investigation. If Rosenstein fails an order from Trump, the crook will have to fire him and find someone in the DOJ to give him what he wants. And what Trump wants is the “Russia-Trump thing” to disappear.

No American should be surprised if Trump fires the special prosecutor and anyone else who dares keep the investigation going. It is why Trump marshaled assistance from conservative pundits and Republicans to take to the airways after Comey’s Senate testimony to declare the issue settled and time for the investigation to end.

Now, with a growing and seemingly concerted effort to cast aspersion on Mr. Mueller’s honesty, and the increasing number of conservatives calling to fire him, it is apparent the conservatives for Trump are busily spreading propaganda Trump will use to justify why he “had to fire” Mueller. He used the same tactic in firing James Comey by blaming a recommendation letter from Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein; a reason Trump himself debunked on national television, and when he boasted to the Russians in private that he got rid of the “Russia-Trump thing” by firing Comey.

If Trump were not guilty he would not be doing everything in his power to halt the investigation into his collusion with the Russians. There is no doubt whatsoever that if he had the authority, Trump would summarily fire every House and Senate member, regardless the party, involved in any committees investigating the pesky “Trump-Russia thing.”

Regardless whether Trump fires Mueller or not, it is glaringly apparent he is not going to allow any investigation to progress to get to the truth and there is only one reason why; he is guilty and like any mob boss he will do anything to just make the case go away.

Top House Democrats Want Sessions Punished For Breaking Federal Law

In spite of the current administration’s endemic corruption, and congressional Republicans complicit involvement in covering up, or at least ignoring, blatant corruption and criminal acts, it was surprising there was little outrage after it was revealed the Attorney General committed perjury before the Senate. Even for corrupt Republicans, it seemed impossible they would do or say nothing about the nation’s top lawman committing a federal felony with impunity, but apparently there really is a perverted sense of honor among Republican criminals. Now, because Jeff Sessions was able to commit a federal felony and then get rewarded with a cabinet level position, he broke the law again. But Democrats are finally taking the criminal Sessions’ actions seriously and calling for his discipline at the least, and by rights summary termination.

The day following Trump’s obstruction of justice in firing James Comey, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) labeled Sessions’ role in the criminal obstruction of justice endeavor a “blatant disregard for the pledge he made in his recusal letter.” Remember, proud evangelical Sessions had to recuse himself from “any investigations” related to the Russian interference in the 2016 election because he violated the Ninth Commandment (he lied) about his contacts with Russians during the campaign. Wyden’s point, and it is beyond refute, is that Sessions violated that “public recusal” when, as attorney general, he played an integral role in firing the FBI Director overseeing the probe into Russian interference in the election; thus Senator Wyden’s remark that Sessions displayed “blatant disregard for the pledge he made in his recusal letter.

On Friday, two House Democrats went farther than just talking about Sessions’ violations and rightly asserted that indeed, in violating two very public recusal pledges, the Attorney General broke the law. The House Oversight Committee’s top Democrat, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was joined by the highest ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) in issuing a letter to the Department of Justice demanding disciplinary action for Sessions’ federal violations.

In their letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, senior House Democrats Conyers and Cummings not only informed Rosenstein that Sessions broke another federal law, they demanded to know what kind of discipline the Deputy Attorney General was going to impose on the nation’s top law enforcement official. They wrote in part:

We are writing to request your assistance in addressing the crisis of confidence created by Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he participated directly in the decision to fire FBI Director James Comey despite the fact that he previously recused himself from any actions involving the investigations of the Trump and Clinton presidential campaigns.

It appears that the Attorney General’s actions recommending that Trump fire Director Comey may have contradicted his sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing, breached the public recusal he made before the American people, and violated the law enacted by Congress to prevent conflicts of interest at the Department of Justice.

Federal law sets forth as a penalty for recusal violations removal from office, and the Attorney General’s violation in this case appears to be particularly grave. Since you are the acting Attorney General in this particular matter, we call on you to explain the measures that now may be required to mete out appropriate discipline in this case.” (author bold)

The issues leading to Sessions committing another federal crime are his blatant violation of two separate recusal promises related to the 2016 presidential campaign. First, during his Senate confirmation hearing, Sessions promised to recuse himself from any investigation involving Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton because of the several derogatory statements he made about her while he was actively campaigning for the Trump.

Second, Sessions succumbed to public and Democratic pressure on March 2 after it was revealed he committed perjury under oath in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee when he could no longer conceal that he lied that he had no contacts with Russia’s ambassador. But instead of resigning from Trump’s Cabinet, or being charged with perjury, removed from office, and prosecuted, Sessions simply recused himself from “any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States.

The two House Democrats’ letter to Rosenstein, also complicit in aiding Trump’s obstruction of justice in Mr. Comey’s dismissal, asserted that Sessions broke the law by violating his recusal promises in several ways.

First, the Democrats point out that in his May 9 letter to Trump recommending Comey’s immediate termination, Sessions specifically agreed with the assessment by Rosenstein that Comey mishandled the “investigation into Clinton’s emails.”

That was a direct contradiction to Sessions’ first recusal promise and it is a contradiction widely publicized and in writing. And, in Representative Conyers and Cummings’ letter they particularly cited a report in Reuters that Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, and Trump met with and asked the then-FBI Director Comey to give them a preview of his testimony into the “Clinton email investigation” when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3; another violation of Sessions’ stated recusal.

As far as Jeff Sessions’ very public recusal regarding the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the election on Trump’s behalf, the House Democrats specifically made note of “multiple press reports that stated that Mr. Comey’s dismissal in which Sessions was a direct participant was directly related to the FBI’s ongoing Russia investigation.” That particular contention, that Comey was fired because of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference, was confirmed by Trump himself in a nationally-televised interview with NBC’s Lester Holt; an interview in which Trump all but admitted to obstructing justice.

According to Representatives Conyers and Cummings, Jeff Sessions’ actions merit some serious disciplinary action, including termination. As the Democrats proffered, Sessions certainly broke a federal law “barring Justice Department officials from participating in any investigation that presents a conflict of interest.” And, as if to punctuate their assertion that Sessions is guilty, Conyers and Cummings demanded that Rosenstein answer questions about Sessions’ conduct leading up to his violating two recusal promises.

Those questions include whether Sessions took the time or proper step of consulting with ethics officials regarding his involvement in matters relating to Comey’s firing, and whether Sessions had taken part in any discussions about the Clinton email or Russia investigations; something his meeting with, and letter to, Trump would inform that he certainly did.

The chance that the Deputy Attorney General will be any more law abiding or honest than Sessions or Trump seems slim to non-existent. This is especially true if he joined Trump and Sessions in asking the FBI Director to reveal in advance what his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee would entail. In fact, once one realizes that this entire affair is being run by corrupt and criminal Republicans from the Oval Office to the House to the Senate to the Department of Justice, there is little hope whatsoever that justice will ever be served. If Jeff Sessions was able to blatantly commit perjury under oath before the Senate with impunity and then be rewarded with a cabinet position, no Republican alive is going to hold him accountable for breaking another federal law.

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.

America Is In a Constitutional Crisis And Its Democracy Is In Jeopardy

 

If Americans are paying attention, and they certainly should be, to the state of their government it is jarringly apparent that in Trump’s administration the criminals are running the justice system. It only makes sense because a pack of criminals are running the White House and there is every reason to believe a fair number of criminals are running both houses of Congress. No matter how one appraises the current and rapidly developing decline of American democracy, Trump is responsible for throwing the nation into a constructional crisis.

Were that not the case, that America’s government is compromised on various accounts, Trump would not have terminated Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James B. Comey to stop the investigation into the Trump-Russian attack on America’s democracy. As noted in a New York Times opinion piece:

It’s now clear that Trump’s Justice Department has no independence. Both Sessions, and Sessions’ deputy, Rod Rosenstein, are acting like Trump enforcers. And now the F.B.I. is compromised [or is going to be compromised] as well.”

A conservative columnist at the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, explained why Trump firing Mr. Comey is not only a reason for a very robust and thorough independent investigation, but why Trump can be impeached. Ms. Rubin wrote:

Using one law enforcement body (or set of individuals) to stop another from investigating presidential wrongdoing was the nub of Watergate and the ensuing impeachment proceedings. We do not know whether that is what is at issue here, but Congress has no alternative but to determine why the president acted and why he acted now. That should entail questioning under oath of any persons aware of or involved in the firing process and ultimately an accounting by the president of his own actions.”

It is important to recall that Trump praised Comey just prior to the election and has kept him at his post without issue for nearly four months since his inauguration. According to several reports, what appeared to set Trump off first was Comey’s Senate testimony that he was “mildly nauseous” at the thought of swaying the election to Trump. There are also plenty of credible reports that Mr. Comey was fired for requesting more funding from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to more effectively conduct the investigation into collusion between the Trump cabal and Russia.

It is noteworthy that Rosenstein is in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation at the DOJ because Jeff Sessions was “pressured” to recuse himself over his own undisclosed contact with the Russians during Trump’s campaign; a fact he lied about under oath during his Senate confirmation hearing. That act of perjury is the reason he should be prosecuted and sent to federal prison for five years instead of colluding with Trump to stop the FBI’s investigation.

The question, then, is why did Sessions as Attorney General appeal to Trump to fire Comey for investigating Russian collusion when he is out of the loop on Russian grounds? The White House public statement announcing Comey’s termination plainly puts Sessions in the center of the criminal endeavor. It said, in part:

President Trump acted on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Any sane person can’t possibly believe that Comey’s termination had anything whatsoever to do with the FBI’s handling of the bogus Clinton email affair. One cannot possibly believe it was anything other than Trump’s despotic attempt to put a criminal conspirator in charge of the FBI’s investigation who will join the thugs in the Justice Department, obey Trump’s dictates, and halt the investigation.

As no small number of pundits and commenters have opined, Trump’s action is “a premeditated and terrifying attack on the American system of government” and “ushers in a constitutional crisis.”

Here’s the thing, Trump, Sessions and Rosenstein can claim whatever lie they think the public will believe, but their claims are still lies. Yes, it’s true Americans can be incredibly dense and painfully so, but no-one is as stupid as Trump believes they are. Remember, as late as Monday, Trump took to his press outlet, Twitter, to call for the end of the FBI’s investigation into his administrations collusion with Russia. Trump tweeted:

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

Within a day, Trump did what a criminal tyrant would do and attempted to put an end to the Trump-Russia collusion story unilaterally, with a little aid from the criminals leading the DOJ. Mr. Comey’s firing was not about emails, or that he wasn’t doing his job. He was terminated because he was doing his job without Trump’s direction and wanted to go deeper; that likely sealed his fate and prompted Trump to do what a tyrannical dictator would do – fire the man investigating him.

Trump was already livid that Comey publicly humiliated him when he summarily dismissed Trump’s paranoid claim that President Obama wire tapped him as “outside the realm of normal,” even “crazy.” Then Trump seethed that Comey told the Senate he “mildly” felt like throwing up at the idea his actions swayed the general election results. But what likely frightened the life out of Trump was Comey’s request for more funding for the Trump-Russia collusion investigation; a request that certainly means the investigation is not only widening but producing an abundance of evidence.

Now that it looks like Trump will find a sympathetic sycophant to do his bidding at the FBI and deliver the predetermined outcome Trump wants and close the investigation, Congress’ duty to democracy is to reassure the people that Trump is not above the law. That necessitates a robust independent investigation “completely free of Trump’s oversight” and without interference from Trump’s criminal conspirators at the Department of Justice. America’s democracy is in jeopardy and it is in a constitutional crisis, and save a few brave members of Congress it is increasingly apparent that Republicans have little interest in saving the Union from their hero in the White House or themselves.