Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Mueller report a month after the Ides of March - we hope.

The Ides of March has come and gone but in the background, on or about that day, history was being made, “made” in the sense of fabrication.

Leading up to the Ides, Mueller told Barr, Rosenstein 3 weeks ago he would not make decision on obstruction. That occurred in a meeting on March 5. “Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein were surprised by Mueller’s lack of a determination, said a person familiar with the [March 5] meeting.” And then, a week after the Ides (March 22), Mueller report sent to attorney general, signaling his Russia investigation has ended.

Then, after taking heat because of Barr’s non-summary summary, the Mueller report will be delivered by ‘mid-April, if not sooner,’ attorney general tells Congress. So we, public and Congress, should expect a month after the Ides to receive a redacted report. But what if the volume of redacted text exceeds that of the volume of un-redacted text? What if the evidence implicates the president in obstruction of justice? What if the report is never sent to Congress?

In answer to the last of those questions, The Trump Constitutional Crisis Has Arrived opines Michael Bryan at Blog for Arizona. Here are some snippets.

Let me be the first to say, if Trump releases the Mueller Report in full, I’m dead wrong about most of what I’m saying. I hope that happens, and that I’m just wrong. But if Trump doesn’t release the Report and starts to make excuses, the crisis is coming.

Barr’s summary was a whitewash; the Report is political kryptonite and can never be released without permanently crippling Trump’s Presidency. So they won’t. Ever. It might be true that Mueller decided that Trump’s actions did not rise to the evidentiary standard required to indict Trump, as Barr claims, or Mueller may have concluded that he could not indict a sitting President, but the House would happily commence an impeachment inquiry (even if they don’t call it that…) on all the evidence Mueller has collected over the past 22 months.

Congress has demanded the Report, but gotten only silence and excuses. Congress may subpoena it, but will get stonewalled. The Courts may order it released, but Trump will stand fast and try his luck in his newly-packed Supreme Court. Perhaps he may try to release only non-damaging fragments of the Report. He will assert executive privilege, Grand Jury secrecy, classified status, anything, to withhold the worst of it. He cannot release it, because it will end his Presidency. So he won’t. I don’t think this stance is ultimately sustainable for the next two years, but I’ve underestimated Trump before.

I can’t guarantee that our current House and Senate have what it takes to face down an unleashed and irresponsible President. It is possible that the confrontation will just drag on into the 2020 election, which would then become a referendum on whether the President has to continue following the Constitution; if Trump wins, he essentially becomes a dictator, if he loses, he’s going to jail. Not because of the Mueller Report, but because of his decades of lawless behavior that is now catching up with him in Courts across the country. He can’t afford to stop being President, because law enforcement is nipping at his heels. Michael Cohen’s testimony warning that we may never see another peaceful transfer of power might become a Cassandrian prophecy.

However the Constitution crumbles, one thing is for sure, the crisis is here and we’ve got to recognize that and prepare to back the forces of Constitutional governance in the coming confrontation.

Bryan suspects that the “coming confrontation” “might even result in violence from the very far-right criminal element among whom Trump has inspired a spike of White Nationalist terrorism in this country.”

A day after the Ides of March, I posted this: Getting the Last Word - Trump fans imaginary flames over transfer of presidential power. Again I’ll let Lawrence O’Donnell have “TheLast Word.”

[Trump] is already guilty of inciting murderous violence in America. And we will probably see more of that kind of violence in the age of Trump. Another Synagogue, another group of protesters against white supremacy, a reporter Donald Trump calls an enemy of the people, we don’t know.

But that, that is worth worrying about. Not the next presidential transition of power. Let’s not help Donald Trump fan his imaginary flames.

So, if you read about or hear about fears of a civil war, let Lawrence’s last words put you at ease. And recall the words of Nancy Pelosi about Trump: “He’s just not worth it.”

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