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Saturday, May 25, 2019

11,000 Lies = Unfit to occupy the White House

11,000 Lies = Unfit to occupy the White House
By Roberto Rodriguez

Even beyond the Mueller investigation and the subsequent Mueller report, the question of the day seems to be: Has the President engaged in impeachable conduct and thus, should he be impeached?

Actually, that question seems so yesterday, though because of its dire consequences, it should still be answered and then we can get to today’s question later.

For the doubting Thomases or the doubting Nancys of the world, to answer yesterday’s question, let us examine the oath he made, with hand on Bible, as he was sworn into office:

“I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

In effect, it is the very same oath that every president is required to swear-to, enshrined in Article II, Section I of the Constitution.

Based on the above, the better question should be: Has the president honorably upheld his oath of office?

The answer is an emphatic no, primarily because the president has not faithfully executed the Office of President of the United States. Also, something adding to that unwavering “no” answer, something that is supposed to be important to his base; he has consciously and repeatedly violated the 9th Commandment: Thou shall not bear false witness…  to the tune of more than 10,000 times (April 27, 2019, Washington Post). As such, based on any measure, he has forfeited his right to occupy the White House, precisely because also, he has not, to the best of his ability, preserved, protected nor defended the Constitution of the United States.

Despite this, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is resolute in her belief that the president has not engaged in nor committed impeachable offenses.

Prior to the release of the Mueller Report, Pelosi was convinced that impeachment was “Not worth it” (3/12/2019, NYT) and its April release has apparently not changed her mind either. Even the president’s recent meltdown and vow to no longer work with Democrats has not moved Pelosi.

One has to wonder if she has actually read the same report as Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who asserts that the president has engaged in impeachable conduct. Amash is the lone Republican who has called for the president’s impeachment.

Truthfully though, the Russian interference issue aside, the president should be impeached for what he has done since assuming office, not just for what he is accused of during the 2016 campaign. There are perhaps 100 impeachable offenses he has committed, though here, I will cite only three:

1)    his disgracing of his office with his congenital and pathological lying;
2)    his sidestepping of Congress in his insatiable drive for building a wall, and;
3)    his zero-tolerance immigration policy that resulted in the separation of thousands of children from their parents. This last one, incidentally, is not just impeachable, but arguably, constitutes a crime against humanity.

To be sure, virtually everything that is in the Mueller report had already been reported in either the New York Times or the Washington Post, albeit with more details, etc.

Were there any surprises in the 448 pages? Very few. Probably the most important thing to remember is that virtually all the big players in the investigation have been Republicans; it has not been a Democratic plot. What that also means is that historically, their idea of justice has traditionally been tilted in favor of protecting those in power. The report examines two things primarily; connections or contact (conspiracy) between Russians and the candidate's 2016 campaign, and obstruction of justice.

The contacts between his campaign and the Russians reaches the level of both, unprecedented and mind-boggling. And much of it, if not most of those contacts have been very much in the public eye, due to that reporting by those two prestigious mainstream newspapers. Former Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, who has a stellar reputation amongst the mainstream U.S. body politic, is a Republican. When one reads that section though, it appears that he bent over backwards time and time again to not connect the dots, dots that are not only smoking but seemingly on fire. The episodes regarding Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Flynn jump outfor their criminality. That also includes the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between the campaign and Russian operatives – which included Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law – in which dirt on Hillary Clinton was to have been delivered by those operatives.

It strains credulity that there were more than a hundred contacts between the Russians and the campaign, but that the candidate and now president, knew nothing, despite going through extra lengths to both hide those contacts and to lie about them. This is especially true of the Trump Tower meeting. This Mueller conclusion about no conspiracy, despite these 100-plus contacts, is now being taken as gospel, though a different prosecutor could have easily drawn a different conclusion. While collusion was not a legal issue, the report is clear regarding the unprecedented contact between the campaign and Russian operatives.

On the subject of obstruction of justice, that one is much easier as the over 900 ex-prosecutors  have attested that save for the Office of Legal Counsel directive of not indicting sitting presidents, there is more than enough evidence to file obstruction charges against the president and his minions. And Mueller actually said as much. This is the opposite conclusion of what Attorney General William Barr and the president have disingenuously and continually asserted.

But if someone was looking for the key as to whether crimes were committed by the president and his campaign and his minions, there are two names that stand out: James Comey and William Barr. Really, that is virtually all one needs to know about this case. The first one, who was investigating the Russian interference, gets fired and the second one, a yes-man, gets hired, ensuring the results that the president desired. On the topic of obstruction, two other names also stand out: The president’s former fixer, Michael Cohen and personal attorney Donald McGahn. They both have powerful eyewitness testimony, though in the end, it is still about Comey and Barr.

If one does a careful reading of the report, one will find that Barr actually rushed Mueller to finish his investigation, before it was actually completed. One finds this nugget in Appendix D.

“This appendix identifies matters transferred or referred by the special counsel's office as well as cases prosecuted by the office that are now completed. Transfers. The Special Counsel's office has concluded its investigation into links and coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. Certain matters assigned to the office by the acting Attorney General have not fully concluded as of the date of this report. After consultation with the office of the Deputy Attorney General, the office is transferred responsibility for those matters to other components of the Department of Justice and the FBI.”

To reiterate, Mueller was not finished with neither his work nor his report.

But back to the 10,000-plus lies.

Since his first day in office, in less than 1,000 days, he will have told some 11,000 documented lies or misleading statements. His apologists or those with the position of no impeachment – on both sides of the aisle – give him a pass purportedly because he was not under oath when he has told those obvious lies. Apparently, those pols have forgotten that on the day he was sworn into office, he actually took that sacred oath to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States.That oath, by the way, is still in effect 24/7.

It takes extreme sophistry to actually believe that the founders of this nation would have interpreted the telling of 10,000 lies (that requires multiple lying on a daily basis) and still be seen as faithfully executing his office.

But forget the founders. The question is simple, and this is independent of anything in the Mueller report; if members of Congress are looking for impeachable offenses or impeachable conduct, they only need to look at his Pinocchio nose for the answer. Not to be forgotten is that Mueller’s investigation was highly constricted. It was strictly related to Russian interference and issues that might arise as a result of the investigation. An investigation into whether the president is fit to hold his office would look into his financial dealings, both before and during his presidency.

Now regarding today’s question, since the release of the Mueller Report, it is no longer actually a question, but rather, more grounds for impeachment:

4)    With the president claiming that he was exonerated him (“No collusion. No Obstruction.”), everything the president has done in response to the scrutiny of the report, is arguably, a concerted campaign to obstruct justice, which includes directing his underlings not to testify before Congress and to defy its subpoenas. Also, the  president’s vow not to work with Democrats unless they drop their investigations, is also another ground for impeachment.

5)    The opening up of an investigation, headed by William Barr, of the genesis of the Mueller investigation, accusing his adversaries of treason, without question, constitutes a serious abuse of power and another reason for impeachment.

Despite Pelosi’s hesitancy to impeach, perhaps she was right when she alluded to that his family needs to do an “intervention,” which alludes to the need not to impeach, but to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. That has probably been true since the day he took office.

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