Tag Archives: DOJ

Where is the outrage?

Hang on just a doggone minute … or two!

Donald Trump flew on Air Force One this week with Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. They talked at length, reportedly, about this and/or that. Rosenstein at this moment is up to his eyeballs in an investigation involving the president’s 2016 campaign and whether it “colluded” with Russians who attacked our electoral system.

I’ll now flash back to that election year. Former President Bill Clinton met on an airplane with then-AG Loretta Lynch. They reportedly talked about grandkids and other personal matters. The Justice Department was investigating that e-mail matter involving the ex-president’s wife, Hillary Clinton, who was running for president herself.

Republicans went ballistic. They became apoplectic, accusing the former president of trying to influence the AG. Indeed, the ex-president had no direct say in anything involving the DOJ.

GOP pols didn’t believe him and Loretta Lynch when they said they didn’t discuss anything about the e-mail matter.

Where is the outrage now, with the current president meeting at length with the current deputy AG who is involved in an on-going investigation into the president?

Hypocrisy, anyone?

Chaos continues at White House

Donald J. Trump keeps saying all is well at the White House.

Well, it isn’t. Not by a long shot.

The president was going to meet this past week with Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who reportedly said some things about the president’s fitness for his job as commander in chief.

Then the meeting was postponed. The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee got in the way.

Now we hear that Trump might postpone the Rosenstein meeting yet again, waiting for the Kavanaugh matter to run its course.

Trump and Rosenstein have reportedly spoken by phone. That’s good. At least they’re talking to each other, although none of us knows what they might have said to each other.

I am just amazed one more time with the chaos that continues to grip the White House, the West Wing, the Oval Office, staffing at many levels. Even more amazing is the president’s continuing denials that chaos rules within the Trump administration.

I happen to hope that Trump leaves Rosenstein alone, keeps him on the job, allows him to supervise the investigation into the “Russia Thing” being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

You may choose to believe or disbelieve this, but I actually want this investigation to conclude.

Don’t fire deputy AG, Mr. President

Rod Rosenstein’s backside might be in a sling as I write this brief blog post.

The deputy U.S. attorney general who hired Robert Mueller as special counsel to look into Donald Trump’s possible Russia dealings is heading to the White House on Thursday to meet with the president.

Rosenstein reportedly said something about wearing a listening device while in the White House and also reportedly asked around about invoking the 25tha Amendment to the Constitution, the one that allows Cabinet officials and Congress to remove the president from office.

Rosenstein denied the reports … sort of. He called them “inaccurate,” which isn’t exactly a denial that he made those statements. Other reports indicate Rosenstein said those things “in jest,” which is how the White House has tried to explain some of the president’s own bizarre statements.

Rosenstein might face the music

If the president fires Rosenstein, then Mueller’s future is in serious question. Does the next deputy AG then fire Mueller, ending the painstaking probe that Mueller has conducted in the search for the truth behind allegations of “collusion” between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian goons who attacked our electoral system in 2016?

Rosenstein’s selection of Mueller was hailed in the moment as a brilliant move, a stroke of genius. The former FBI director, Mueller, was hailed as a man of impeccable integrity and character. Then he started indicting people close to Trump. Now — suddenly, like magic! — he is called everything but the son of Satan by many within the Trump inner circle. The president has labeled the Mueller investigation “illegal” and a “rigged witch hunt.”

I do not want Trump to fire Rosenstein. He perhaps can chew him out royally, which is within his purview. Then again, so is firing him.

Robert Mueller’s investigation needs to proceed and conclude under its own power. Rod Rosenstein needs to stay on the job until Mueller’s task is complete.

And the president of the United States needs to shut his trap and let this investigation reach its end. If there’s nothing there, as Trump insists, Robert Mueller will tell us. Correct?

Will the president heed the advice, or act … impulsively?

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein might have just wiggled his way into the proverbial doghouse occupied by his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Many of us out here are wondering whether the president of the United States, Donald Trump, is going to fire Rosenstein because he allegedly threatened to wear a “wire” to record conversations with Trump — and then recommend that the Cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from his office.

Rosenstein has sort of denied The New York Times report that the deputy AG had said all that. However, his denial seems to fall short of a categorical, unequivocal denial.

Still, reports now are surfacing that Trump’s inner circle is telling him: Don’t fire Rosenstein!

Trump facing new dilemma

Indeed, such an impulsive act could turn out to be the Republicans’ worst nightmare, just as would a presidential dismissal of AG Jeff Sessions, who has gotten himself into trouble with Trump because of his decision to recuse himself from the investigation into the Russian attack on our electoral system.

I keep circling back to a question that I cannot yet answer: Has there ever been such an out-front discussion about whether a president was “fit” to serve in the office to which he was elected?

Weird, man. Simply weird.

Trump keeps savaging DOJ, law enforcement

I don’t know why this continues to nag me, annoy me, bother me to no end. It just does and I have to vent a bit.

Donald J. Trump went off on another Twitter tirade against one of his favorite targets: the federal law enforcement network headed by the Department of Justice.

He said in Nevada that he has gotten rid of some of the people he believes needed to go: FBI Director James Comey, deputy FBI boss Andrew McCabe, FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Then the president refers to a “stench” in the Justice Department that needs to go. By association, he disparages and denigrates — yet again! — the many fine career prosecutors, agents and mid-level staffers who do the job they took an oath to do. Which is protect Americans against those who would do us harm.

The president just can’t bring himself to say out loud that he is proud of those individuals, that they are doing great work on behalf of the nation they serve.

Oh, no. Instead, he concentrates his remarks exclusively on those at the top of the chain of command who he thinks are doing the country a disservice. How are they doing that? By continuing to look carefully, meticulously and with tremendous detail the many questions that continue to swirl around the Trump administration.

The president keeps tossing the word “disgrace” around. The real disgrace, as I see it, occurs with the conduct of the president.

He is trying to bully the head of the Justice Department, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray, and all the intelligence pros who do their jobs with diligence and dedication.

Right there is the disgraceful behavior of a president who doesn’t know what the hell he is doing.

‘Sad’ to watch POTUS trash the AG

Donald J. Trump continues to concoct reasons for why he believes Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a bad choice from the beginning.

He interviewed badly with the U.S. Senate; he couldn’t answer easy questions; he was “mixed up and confused.”

What absolute crap! The reason the president is miffed at the AG can be summed up in a single word: recusal.

Sessions recognized what Trump didn’t see coming: The AG’s role in Trump’s presidential campaign precluded him from being able to investigate matters involving the Russian government’s effort to influence the 2016 election outcome. He did what Justice Department policy and rules require: he recused himself from all things dealing with Russia.

And the president didn’t see that coming? He didn’t anticipate any kind of conflict of interest?

Because of his own ignorance of government ethics, Trump is now tell media outlets that he now doesn’t “have an attorney general.” He calls it “so sad.”

Go ahead, Mr. President. Fire the attorney general. Understand, though, that the AG — whether it’s Sessions or someone else — doesn’t work for the president. He works for the rest of us out here. He works also for those of us who didn’t support Trump’s effort to become president.

The attorney general shouldn’t do the president’s bidding because of some effort to protect the president’s political future.

If you’re looking for a “sad” circumstance regarding Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, it is because the AG did something correct and proper and that action — all by itself — has aroused Donald Trump’s rage.

Darn that public domain, where words gain immortality

Donald John Trump blasted Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” saying — among many other things — that he has never used the word “retard” to describe a fellow human being.

Except … that he did.

Woodward’s book contains a passage that references the president calling Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and a “dumb Southerner.” Trump said he’s never used that word. Never. Not one time, he said.

Oops! Someone dug this item out, from a 2004 appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show: “I know I was criticized in one magazine where the writer was retarded, he said: ‘Donald Trump put up $7 million, they put up $193 million and they are 50/50 partners. Why isn’t Donald Trump putting up more money?’ And you know it is supposed to be because I am smart.”

This is the kind of thing that keeps nipping at the president’s rear end. He makes blanket assertions that can be refuted immediately.

Such is the case, yet again, with the president’s “retarded” description of the attorney general. Yes, it seems to validate Woodward’s credibility as a journalist.

If only the president could ever learn to speak the truth. About anything. He won’t.

Trump displays limitless amount of inappropriateness

Donald J. Trump amazes me, if you can believe that.

The president’s willingness to inject himself into ongoing legal investigations is utterly astonishing. He keeps firing off Twitter messages that seek to coerce, intimidate and bully federal investigators looking into government corruption.

And, oh yes, he continues to undermine the Department of Justice’s professional prosecutors as well as the attorney general, the man he appointed to lead the DOJ.

The Justice Department has charged U.S. Reps. Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter, two Republicans — one from New York, the other from California — on corruption allegations. Trump doesn’t like that, given that he, too, is a member of the GOP.

He tweeted this: Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……

So, in effect, Trump is saying that Sessions and the Justice Department shouldn’t do their jobs. They shouldn’t proceed where the evidence takes them. They need to place the protection of the GOP majority in Congress ahead of the law on the eve of the midterm election coming up in November.

Good, ever-lovin’ grief, man!

I keep having to stipulate that although I am no fan of Sessions, he doesn’t deserve the constant harangue he is getting from the president. So damn what if Collins and Hunter were early and vocal supporters of Donald Trump? That doesn’t exempt them from law enforcement investigation when evidence surfaces that implicates them. DOJ gumshoes are doing the job they signed on to do.

I am sickened to the max at Trump’s continuing inappropriate use of Twitter to attack the Department of Justice, a key executive branch agency. Doesn’t the president realize that he is the chief executive of the federal government?

I have to ask, moreover, this question: If the president is so innocent of the questions being leveled against him, why does he keep acting like a guilty individual?

That was some non-endorsement, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump says Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s job is safe … for now.

He said the AG will remain on the job “at least” until the midterm election. After that? Hmm. No guarantee. All bets are off.

The president told Bloomberg News that Sessions should have told him he would recuse himself from the “Russia thing” before he was nominated to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

Trump then disparaged yet again the professionals who work in the trenches in the FBI and Justice Department. He said he wants Sessions to do a good job. He doesn’t seem to expect Sessions to deliver the kind of work Trump expects.

And what does he expect?

Fealty. Blind loyalty. No adherence to the rule of law. No sense of duty to the country over loyalty to the president.

Don’t misunderstand me on this point: I am no fan of the attorney general. He was denied a federal judgeship by the Senate in the late 1980s over some racially insensitive remarks attributed to him. He then joined the Senate and had a mediocre legislative career before Trump nominated him to run the Justice Department.

Just maybe the then-brand-new president could have foreseen trouble down he pike by declining to nominate Sessions as AG in the first place. Oh, no. He decided instead to blame the AG for prolonging an investigation into alleged hanky panky between his campaign and a hostile foreign power.

How did he do that? By doing the right thing and recusing himself!

Jeff Sessions’s time as head of the DOJ is diminishing … rapidly.

Go ahead, Mr. POTUS, make our day

Here we go again. The president is raising the issue of possibly firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, maybe after the midterm election.

Donald Trump reportedly has made it known privately he is tired of the special counsel’s investigation into “the Russia thing,” and he blames Sessions for allowing it to continue.

Why? How? Because Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s probe into alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russian goons who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

Sessions was a key campaign adviser. He couldn’t possibly have investigated a campaign in which he was an integral part. Thus, he recused himself. The DOJ then appointed Robert Mueller to lead the probe.

A part of me actually wants Trump to fire Sessions. It is going to release a torrent of recrimination from Republicans as well as Democrats.

The midterm election? Oh, yes. Democrats appear set to take control of the House of Representatives. If Trump fires Sessions, he well might hand the new House majority an impeachable offense.

As if the conviction of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the guilty plea of former Trump lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen haven’t produced an arsenal of “smoking guns.”

Go ahead, Mr. President. Make our day.