Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump v. Mueller - Is A Constitutional Crisis At Hand?

Since being sworn into office Donald Trump, a/k/a Der Trumpenführer, has routinely lied and ignored the rule of law and separation of powers as well as the independence of the FBI.  In an interview with the New York Times, Trump made it clear that he wants the FBI to report to him and to be loyal to him personally.  Allegiance to the U.S. Constitution on the part of government officials is nowhere on the radar screen for Trump who seemingly wants the FBI to act in the same manner as Vladimir Putin's intelligence agencies and secret police.  Equally disturbing is Trump's threats toward the Justice Department and special prosecutor, Robert Mueller who is apparently investigating both Donald Trump, Jr., meeting that sought to collude with Russia and many of the Trump financial transactions.  Should Trump attempt to fire Mueller, the parallels with Watergate will be almost complete but for the fact that Trump's possible crimes far exceed those of Richard Nixon during the Watergate era. Frighteningly, I have little faith in Congressional Republicans putting America first over the short term power of the Republican Party.  Here are excerpts from the New York Times on the very troubling interview:  
In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, the president also accused James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director he fired in May, of trying to leverage a dossier of compromising material to keep his job. Mr. Trump criticized both the acting F.B.I. director who has been filling in since Mr. Comey’s dismissal and the deputy attorney general who recommended it. And he took on Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel now leading the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.
Mr. Trump said Mr. Mueller was running an office rife with conflicts of interest and warned investigators against delving into matters too far afield from Russia. Mr. Trump never said he would order the Justice Department to fire Mr. Mueller, nor would he outline circumstances under which he might do so. But he left open the possibility as he expressed deep grievance over an investigation that has taken a political toll in the six months since he took office.
Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said, “I would say yes.” He would not say what he would do about it. “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.”
He said that as far as he knew, he was not under investigation himself, despite reports that Mr. Mueller is looking at whether the president obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey. Trump left little doubt during the interview that the Russia investigation remained a sore point. His pique at Mr. Sessions, in particular, seemed fresh even months after the attorney general’s recusal. Mr. Sessions was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump’s candidacy and was rewarded with a key cabinet slot, but has been more distant from the president lately.
“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” he added. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’
The president added a new allegation against Mr. Comey, whose dismissal has become a central issue for critics who said it amounted to an attempt to obstruct the investigation into Russian meddling in the election and any possible collusion with Mr. Trump’s team. . . . Mr. Trump said he believed Mr. Comey told him about the dossier to implicitly make clear he had something to hold over the president. Mr. Comey testified before Congress that he disclosed the details of the dossier to Mr. Trump because he thought that the media would soon be publishing details from it and that Mr. Trump had a right to know what information was out there about him. Mr. Trump was also critical of Mr. Mueller, a longtime former F.B.I. director, reprising some of his past complaints that lawyers in his office contributed money to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. The president also expressed discontent with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, a former federal prosecutor from Baltimore. . . . He complained that Mr. Rosenstein had in effect been on both sides when it came to Mr. Comey. The deputy attorney general recommended Mr. Comey be fired but then appointed Mr. Mueller, who may be investigating whether the dismissal was an obstruction of justice.

The take away?  Trump is a vindictive liar and only too willing to tell untruths about others and to throw the nation into a constitutional crisis in a desperate attempt to deflect attention from his own actions and the possible criminal activities of his son, son-in-law, and Trump sycophants.  Be very, very afraid.

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