Tag Archives: DOJ

Trump doing the impossible: gaining sympathy for AG

Donald John Trump is trying to execute an impossible stunt.

He is seeking to turn Attorney General Jeff Sessions into a sympathetic character in the drama that’s unfolding in Washington, D.C.

Trump fired off a tweet that said, among other things, that “Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action. It is all starting to be revealed – not pretty.”

Trump wants Sessions to be quicker to defend him against critics who suggest there’s something to the “Russia thing” that special counsel is investigating.

Now he says Sessions is MIA and a scaredy-cat to boot?

Let’s review for a brief moment.

Sessions had to recuse himself from the Russia collusion probe because of his ties to the Trump presidential campaign. That meant that the AG couldn’t investigate himself. So, he recused himself — as he should have done. It was the proper course to take.

Then he squandered much of that good will be revealing that hideous immigration policy that takes children away from their illegal immigrant parents.

Now the president has decided to hang the AG out to dry for at least the third or fourth time by declaring he is scared to act.

Good grief, Mr. President. Shut … up!

An ‘order’ or an ‘opinion’?

Let’s take another brief look at that tweet from Donald John Trump that’s gotten everyone’s attention.

He wrote: This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!

I want to dissect a section of the Twitter message. Did the president issue an order to the attorney general or was he merely stating an opinion?

I keep reading it and I keep coming up with the former. It looks like an order to my eyes. It would sound like an order were he to say it to me directly.

The Hill reported: (Former Watergate special prosecutor Jill) Wine-Banks argued that Trump’s tweet on Wednesday calling for Sessions to immediately end the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was sent with the intention that Sessions obey it and that Trump has “undermined” the probe from the beginning.

The so-called explanation offered by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders just doesn’t add up. She said Trump merely was offering his “opinion” about the nature of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in our electoral system.

Thus, the president might have committed a bald-faced act of conspiring to commit obstruction of justice with that message to the AG. Did he issue an order to Sessions to end an investigation into what he — the president — might have done?

This is unprecedented. It’s also, dare I say it — to borrow a malapropism once offered by Trump himself — very “unpresidented.”

How to interpret the word ‘should’

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “should” attached to a sentence that deals with whether to do something, then I take that word as a directive and not a mere suggestion.

Donald J. Trump has escalated his rhetorical war against special counsel Robert Mueller with a tweet that drags the U.S. attorney general squarely into the fray.

Trump said that AG Jeff Sessions “should” end Mueller’s probe into Russian hacking in our election system and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians who attacked our democratic process during the 2016 election.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further,” Trump tweeted.

Pro-Trump forces say the president’s use of the word “should” is not a command, that he’s merely suggesting that the AG do it; plus, they say that the president has a First Amendment right to speak his mind.

Yeah. Sure thing. Except that he’s the president of the United States of America.

I worked for a number of editors and publishers during my career in journalism. Whenever any of them wanted me to write something or to report on something or someone, they almost invariably would say that I “should write an editorial” about this or that, or that I “should” turn in a story that reports an event occurring in our community.

I was a loyal soldier during my years in the reporting/editorializing business, so I did what I was told … most of the time. There was one instance when a publisher to whom I reported wanted me to write an editorial that at the time I thought was a ridiculous subject on which to comment. He likely said I “should” do so. I disagreed with him in the moment — and then ignored his directive. He never pressed the issue, but he well might have held my refusal to do his bidding against me. Whatever.

A presidential directive that comes in the form of a Twitter message that says the AG “should” terminate an investigation involving the president of the United States comes mighty close to obstructing justice.

Trump’s corrupt intent is being laid bare

How many more examples of Donald J. Trump’s corrupt intent do we need to witness?

Here’s the latest: The president has asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end special counsel Robert Mueller’s legally constituted investigation into the “Russia thing,” even though Sessions recused himself from anything having to do with Russia probe.

Now, what is Trump missing here? He wants Sessions to ignore his necessary recusal, which is mandated by Justice Department rules. Sessions was a key member of Trump’s presidential campaign, thus it was impossible for him to conduct an investigation into that campaign’s alleged ties to Russian attacks on our electoral system in 2016.

That is why the AG recused himself. He acted correctly on that recusal.

The president wants Sessions to undo the recusal and get back into the “Russia thing” game. He now wants Sessions to end the Mueller investigation, saying he “should” bring it to a conclusion. He said on Twitter: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further.”

If such a message had been directed at me, that I “should” do something, I believe I would construe that as a direct order, given that it is coming from the president of the United States.

Therein lies Donald Trump’s corrupt intent.

Earth to POTUS: Russians did the damage, not Mueller

Donald J. Trump is in dire need of a reality check.

Yep, he fired off another Twitter message. It reads: ..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!

Hey, “Robert” Mueller isn’t “Bob,” especially to the president of the United States. But … I digress.

Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the “Russia thing,” which pi*** off the president to no end.

It’s not a “Rigged Witch Hunt.” It has produced numerous indictments. Oh, yes, and the president’s former 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is now standing trial for money laundering.

The “17 Angry Democrats”? Who are they? I keep hearing that Mueller is a Republican. The guy who selected him as special counsel, Rod Rosenstein, is also a Republican. Oh, and Rosenstein was picked to be deputy AG by — drum roll! — Donald J. Trump.

Conflict of interest? Many millions of us are waiting for some evidence of it.

And the “disgrace” and the “stain” on our country are the direct result of the Russian attack on our electoral system. Robert Mueller is trying to clean up the mess.

Outrageous.

Trump unleashes new fusillade against Mueller

Put yourself in the shoes of the man investigating whether the president of the United States and his team “colluded” with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

The object of that probe, Donald J. Trump, continues to fire off Twitter messages accusing Robert Mueller of conducting a “rigged witch hunt.” He says the probe needs to look at Democrats. He questions whether Mueller has a “conflict of interest” because of his friendship with a fired FBI director.

The president accuses Mueller, himself a former FBI director, of being corrupt and biased.

CNN reports: The attacks are not simply a window into his own rage, they also represent a coherent hardball strategy to unite his ever loyal political base and other Republicans behind him. With 100 days to go until midterm elections, that could be tough for the GOP.

How might you react to all of this?

Me? I would be incensed. I would be outraged. I would be damn angry at the president. Here’s the good news: It’s not about me. It’s all about a man who was praised universally when he got the special counsel job.

Mueller is on task. He and his legal team have kept their mouths shut. They have said nothing publicly about the shaming the president keeps heaping on them. They are acting professionally and with decorum and dignity.

Trump is acting, um, like an ass.

The president’s continuing harangue reveals a serious in this individual’s state of mind. No, I am not suggesting some mental disorder. I am suggesting that Trump possesses a personality trait that suggests a certain emotional instability.

Does that disturb you? If not, it should. It damn sure bothers me.

I have declared repeatedly on this blog that Donald Trump is unfit for the office he holds. His constant barrage in the face of a serious — and so far productive — investigation simply reaffirms what many of us have been saying since Day One of this individual’s presence on the political stage.

What if Mueller delivers the goods on POTUS?

I cannot stop pondering what might happen if the special counsel looking to The Russia Thing comes up with the goods on the president of the United States of America.

If you’re honest with yourself, you cannot stop thinking about it, either.

I believe I’ll share my thoughts here, in the public, for you to see. Maybe you’ll agree. Maybe you won’t.

Robert Mueller has been hard at work for a little more than a year trying to fulfill the task given to him by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. That would be: whether the Donald Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russians who attacked our democratic process in 2016; they interfered in our election. There also might be an obstruction of justice matter to decide. Oh, and how about that Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution, that says presidents cannot use their office to obtain income from foreign governments?

There’s a lot to uncover. To peel away. To examine closely.

What if Mueller delivers the goods on the president? Trump already has expended a tremendous amount of emotional capital calling the Mueller probe a “rigged witch hunt,” a “hoax” and a phony circumstances concocted by Democrats who are angry at losing the 2016 presidential election to a first-time candidate for any public office.

I fear that the president might come completely, totally, categorically unhinged from reality. I cannot prove it, of course. Given his hysterical responses to matters relating to an investigation of matters that the president says he didn’t do, I wonder how he’ll react if the final Mueller report says Trump’s campaign colluded after all, that he obstructed justice by bullying law enforcement officials into backing off and fattened his wallet with income derived by, oh let’s see, Russian oligarchs.

There’s no way to know what Mueller has collected so far. He’s been quiet. He has been conducting himself like the mature professional he is known to be. Meanwhile, the president is acting quite differently.

To think: We don’t know anything … yet.

U.S. attorney general: disgusting partisan hack

I’ll just get this off my chest up front: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a sorry excuse for a high-level federal law enforcement official.

The AG stood this week before a crowd of conservative high school students who began chanting “Lock her up!”, referencing the idiotic e-mail controversy that centers on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Rather than do the right thing, which would have been to silence the crowd and remind them of the “rule of law” and “due process,” the AG chuckled nervously and repeated the chant from the podium. He then said something about “hearing that chant” during the 2016 presidential campaign.

I once was willing to give Sessions the benefit of the doubt, given his decision to recuse himself from the “Russia thing” probe at the Justice Department. No longer.

Sessions had the chance to show some statesmanship, to demonstrate that he lives by the rule of law. Instead, when the students began chanting “Lock her up!” he gravitated back to his partisan roots. He once was a Republican U.S. senator from Alabama who, before he was elected to that body, was rejected by the Senate for a federal judgeship because of racially tinged statements he had made.

Now the nation’s chief law enforcement officer has seen fit to continue the idiocy associated with a failed — and quite lengthy — investigation into a controversy that’s been decided.

The AG has joined the president of the United States in disgracing his high office.

Shameful.

AG joins the crazy chant? Are you kidding?

To think I actually once said something positive about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. What in the world was I thinking?

He recused himself from the Russia investigation because of his key role as a Donald Trump presidential campaign adviser. He handed it over to his deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein, who selected Robert Mueller as special counsel. I applauded the AG for demonstrating an awareness of conflict of interest.

Then the attorney general does this: He stands before a group of teenagers and laughs at the “Lock her up!” chant that came from the audience. Oh, and then he repeats it along with them.

Rule of law, Mr. Attorney General? Due process, sir? Executive decorum? What in the world is going on here?

As CNN reported: “Lock her up,” Sessions said, chuckling at the brief interruption from the audience as the chant then grew louder.

“I heard that a long time over the last campaign,” he said before continuing with his prepared speech.

The chant became a part of the GOP mantra in 2016 as controversy swirled over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s e-mail controversy. Clinton, of course, ran for president as the Democratic Party nominee. The “Lock her up!” chant became the theme of the Republican National Convention.

For the attorney general to laugh it off now is both disgusting and disgraceful.

Therefore, I hereby take back my positive comments about the attorney general.

Dear Mr. POTUS: Show Vlad the indictment

Dear Mr. President:

I know for a fact that you won’t listen to a blogger from way out here in Flyover Country, although I have moved closer to Dallas in recent weeks.

But that meeting you’ve got planned Monday with Vladimir Putin shouldn’t take place. The Justice Department — run by your appointees — has delivered a 29-page indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers; I like calling them “goons,” because that’s what they are … allegedly.

But if you’re going to go proceed with that Putin meeting, you need to take a copy of the indictment, slip it into a manila folder and then hand it to him. Then you need to tell him to answer for the contents of the folder.

Take my word for this, Mr. President: Putin will know what the indictment says. He’ll have read it many times. He’ll know it inside and out.

But you need to hold this killer accountable for the actions of his military brass. It appears clear that if they are guilty of what’s been alleged in the criminal complaint that they acted on Putin’s orders. He’s the top military man in Russia, just as you are the commander in chief in this country.

Are you going to do what you swore to do when you became president, which is protect the United States of America against its adversaries? Or are you going to continue to roll over and accept Putin’s denials that he attacked our electoral system?

You once accused the system of being “rigged” when the media were reporting that your Democratic foe was likely to win the 2016 election. Well, the election (allegedly) might have been “rigged” after all.

But not in the way you thought it would.