Monday, March 19, 2018

Sessions is Royal Executioner for Mad King. Trump takes aim at Mueller.

Now with Sally Yates, James Comey and Andrew McCabe gone, and AG Jeff Sessions doing the King’s business, the next people in Trump’s crosshairs appear to be Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller. The Daily Kos reports tweets showing that Trump takes direct aim at Robert Mueller, using same tactic as he used on Comey and McCabe. (By Mark Sumner, 2018/03/18 · 08:20). Snippets follow.

Until this week, Donald Trump’s comments on the Trump–Russia investigation showed constraint on a single point. Trump has blamed the Obama administration for starting an investigation without evidence.

And he’s attacked both the FBI and Department of Justice as being instruments of the Democratic Party.

But he stopped short of directly attacking Special Counsel Robert Mueller, insisting that he was fully cooperating with the investigation. That time is over.

Donald J. Trump
Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added…does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!
5:35 AM - Mar 18, 2018
109K people are talking about this

That’s just part of the barrage Trump launched this weekend, signaling that — having cleared Sally Yates, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe — Trump has a new target.

The absolute lie that Republican Robert Mueller’s team — which has over 40 members — is composed entirely of Democrats may seem ridiculous. But so was Trump’s contention that Republican James Comey and the heavily Republican leadership of the FBI was all in for Hillary.

A section of the book How Democracies Die addresses what Trump is doing directly. In increasing their power, autocrats look for something that an opponent has done wrong — even if what that person has done was beneficial to the autocrat — and then use it to define that person as a crook and a liar. Repetition of “crooked Hillary” or “leaking Comey” or “lying McCabe” is meant to not just demean an opponent, but make anything they say in response easy to dismiss. If all your opposition is fixed in the mind of the public, or even part of the public, as criminal liars, then they’re crippled in their ability to impact the autocrat.

And if the autocrat can’t find any point on which to directly attack an opponent, they can always attack them for associating with criminal liars. For example, why would Robert Mueller staff his investigation with “big crooked Hillary supporters” and “hardened Democrats?” That the accusations are untrue doesn’t matter. All of Trump’s accusations are untrue.

But the direct attack on Robert Mueller’s investigation shows that Trump has cleared away one target and is ready to move on to the big prize. Equipped with the Republican memo drafted by Devin Nunes and blessed by Paul Ryan, Trump has the assurance that he can take any actions without reprisals on the part of Congress.

At this point, he appears to be looking at two outcomes, he can fire Mueller and face whatever results from that action, or he can wait for Mueller to submit his report and then face the results. If Mueller submits his report, Trump can likely count on Jefferson Sessions to sit on it as hard as possible, and he can count on Paul Ryan to ignore anything that leaks through. But there’s always the chance that a massive list of serious charges might actually encourage a few Republicans to pull their heads from the orange ass.

At the very least, Trump wants to position himself to fire Mueller. Just in case. And he’s not being very subtle about lining up the crosshairs.

However, Trump cannot fire Mueller directly. He would have to go through Mueller’s boss, Rod Rosenstein, and likely to get Sessions to fire Rosenstein. It’s beginning to sound positively Shakespearean.

AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona takes note of an irony in The March Madness of King Donald. Sessions can lie to Congress about Russian contacts, but McCabe gets hit for “lack of candor”. Citing a NY Times report, “Lack of candor is a fireable offense at the F.B.I., but Mr. McCabe’s last-minute dismissal was carried out against a highly politicized backdrop.”

The irony here is clear: Jeff Sessions has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of candor (lied) in sworn testimony to Congress about his contacts with the Russians – the very reason for his recusal – and as of March 1, 2018, President Trump had made 2,436 false or misleading claims according to a running tally being kept by the Washington Post. Trump averages more than 5.6 false or misleading claims a day, so you can add at least another 100 lies to that tally as of today.

So why would anyone believe the Mad King about anything - at all - ever?

If we are not now in a constitutional crisis, I fear we soon will be. And what will Congress do then?

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