Quote Of The Day
There are many in this country who measure a person’s level of patriotism by their magazine capacity. -Me
Post#: 111-19 – Words: 1164 – Audio: N/A
Democracy in action or politics as usual?
In past posts I have echoed a basic apprehension toward impeaching Trump.. and that was prior to the release of the Mueller Report. Seeing the report has changed my outlook a bit toward that end. One might ask.. what’s the difference between then and now?
First, my reluctance to support impeachment before the report release was primarily motivated by a general sense that the report itself, once released, would simply be of substance that would continue along partisan lines; that there would be no real smoking gun evidence of some level of Trump wrongdoing, be it obstruction or collusion, and that any evidence might be blanketed in legal theory and contention.. easy for Conservatives to dismiss. Given that feeling at the time, I concluded in my own way that any attempt to impeach without some solid evidence to conclude a potential indictment (even though a sitting Prez cannot be indicted), that there could easily be a Right wing “conspiracy theorists” backlash that could in some locales turn into violence. No.. no civil war, but rather something more akin to urban.. and maybe rural… violence to include random attacks on government buildings, bombings, nasty stuff sent through the mail, and death threats or actual “hits” against public figures. There would also be the real political consideration that the GOP Senate would just vote against impeachment. My impetus was being, what’s good for the country.
Realizing that a sitting president cannot be indicted, the theme over Mueller’s Report is to present evidence in the form of documentation and a large amount of Trump administration staff testimony in such a way as to call to Congressional attention the elements for corruption and abuse of presidential power. Even if much of the report fails to assign direct legal guilt, the case for ethics violations are huge… and that in itself qualifies for consideration for impeachment. Indeed, Mueller collected all pertinent evidence for anyone (or entity) to engage in their own prosecutorial initiatives before such evidence and testimony fades over time. In fact, some of this may come back to haunt Trump when he leaves office and becomes again vulnerable to indictment.
(Sidebar: Personally, I could care less if he’s indicted when he becomes a civilian. My opinion/theme has been getting him out of office from the start; that’s my only focus because in his current office he represents a clear and present danger to the country.)
The “Collusion (with the Russians) & Obstruction” Thing
We all have to admit, at the start of the Mueller investigation these were the buzzwords that followed the investigation as the centerpieces of assigning any sort of criminal responsibility to Trump… used by both sides. “Collusion” itself isn’t even a legal term and is not by itself wrong or illegal. It’s a term that can meander itself into meaning “conspiracy” which can end up having legal application of law as it pertains to intent. Mueller apparently did not find overt direct evidence that the Trump campaign had been conspiratorial with the Russians.. but this is not to say that accepting a meeting with the Russians for the purpose of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton the Russians either had acquired or could acquire, and not reporting this encounter to the FBI, doesn’t carry with it a large ethics question… and suggests some element of intent. But apparently nothing directly illegal to assign to the campaign or Trump directly.
Obstruction? Mueller, apparently under the criteria that a sitting president can’t be indicted, simply presented his copious evidence, along with the surrendering to Congress to assert its authority to determine the extent of the application of this evidence. No guilt or exoneration. Needless to say, the Trumpster Conservatives are using this as some “complete exoneration” for Trump when in fact, it’s Mueller supplying Congress with the evidence to make their own determination.
TRUMP’S ATTEMPTS TO OBSTRUCT
- Asked Sessions to reverse recusal.
- Told McGahn to lie.
- Asked Flynn’s lawyers for a “heads up”.
- Commended Manafort for not flipping.
- Criticized Cohen.
- Orchestrated Trump Tower lies.
- Wanted Sessions to limit the investigation.
- Tried to oust Mueller.
- Tried to stop Sessions recusal.
- Fired Comey.
- Asked Comey to let Flynn go.
To me the report evidence pretty much illustrated… confirmed… what we all knew (anti-Trumpers) and what was being reported in the media for the last two years.
Ok.. So Is Impeachment Good For The Country?
Stepping back a bit and looking at the entire effects coming out regarding the report and what I may think could happen if Congress does impeach… I’m centering on a different opinion. As an American I most assuredly generally default to what’s good for the country. But as we all know, everyone’s opinion of “what’s good for the country” is as varied as the number of Americans in this country. Prior to the release of the report I was opting to minimize violent confrontation, destruction of property, injury and death to fellow Americans in favor of letting the 2020 vote determine Trump’s future to reduce the emotions.
But here’s another consideration. The responsibilities set forth in the Constitution don’t indicate or even suggest that the three levels of government carry out their responsibilities “when it politically feels good”. Congress was given the power of oversight of the Executive branch. This oversight is a responsibility that includes review of DOJ investigations of which the Mueller Report qualifies… in a perfect world this would mean “without prejudice”. In fact, when/if the articles of impeachment were to reach the Senate they should also render their decision “without prejudice”. But… we are human and the Constitution, by nature of documenting our freedoms, is a political document and creates such an environment. Few will vote entirely on what’s good for the country or even some moral obligation, and opt for the good of the party.
Now, given all that, perhaps pushing articles of impeachment as soon as possible (I would even concede following a Congressional investigation to “tighten things up”, after release of an unredacted report, if it doesn’t take too long) would be prudent toward fulfilling the Constitutional responsibility.. whether it’s expected the Senate will agree or not. Get the process out there… and get the Senate to come forth and each senator declare their statement for the public record… and explain (or not) to their constituents for voting one way or the other. I’ll wager there would be a number of “converts” to vote against Trump.. but unsure if it would be enough to pass impeachment.
I guess it will remain to be seen in the coming weeks how public pressure will affect this one way or the other.
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