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The Shearing of Hair Trompf (22)

January 26, 2018

Holy Dick (Nixon), Ratman, that didn’t take long. Two days after the most recent new page of this episode, it’s time for another (in fact it could have gone up yesterday). I’m feeling increased G from acceleration.

We’ve learned that Hair Trompf made a move to fire M, back in June, shortly after he fired Comey and M was appointed (timeline at TPM—meanwhile T has repeatedly said the = of “it has never even crossed my mind,” and when asked about it at Davos today, he called the report more NYT “fake news”). In June T only backed down when his “consigliere” threatened to resign rather than follow the godfather’s order. No objective doubt remains that T is guilty of obstruction of justice, or at the least, a pattern of intent to obstruct, which is itself a crime. That’s clearly an impeachable offense.

What worries me, however, is that what is more important is the justice that he is obstructing. We need a full investigation of the Russian interference in our democratic processes, including possible collusion by members of the T campaign, and maybe T himself; and we need to know whether T and/or his family and/or his close associates have committed financial crimes, such as money laundering, and if so, whether those acts were related to the Russian interference.

But for today:

The NYT article (Schmidt and Haberman).

At WaPo, Hohman discusses 5 takeaways: This can be used in the obstruction case; massive WH credibility gap; increase momentum in congress to protect M; WH staffers can refuse to enable T; managing T is a Herculean task.

Also at WaPo Rubin (a conservative R, remember) discusses 5 takeaways: Likely others knew, and the implications of that; this is indeed obstruction of justice; T does back down when confronted; T doesn’t understand, a lot, about the investigative process and our justice institutions; Rs have been remarkably irresponsible in not protecting the special counsel.

As Rubin puts it: The attempt to decapitate the probe again goes to Trump’s intent to stymie an independent investigation and his seeming cluelessness that these actions would be potentially illegal, an abuse of his power. And: “Attempted obstruction is obstruction even when the perpetrator backs down after failing to get his consigliere to do the deed for him,” constitutional lawyer Larry Tribe emails me. “In addition, it’s part of a persistent pattern of obstruction. And it’s also strong evidence of consciousness of guilt.”

Here’s the Brookings brief on obstruction of justice (which Rubin says might now need to be updated).

Painter and Eisen (NYT) on the increasing importance of protecting Mueller.

WaPo’s editorial sums the danger posed by R leadership’s complicity in building disdain for the institution of law and order.  Phillips:  Thus an unavoidable crisis, which they have tried to avoid, now confronts the R Party: how to continue to deny and avoid.

Furthermore, they are binding themselves to the character and fate of a remarkably damaged and damaging president. (I remember when Rs, including notably my Representative, Davis Dennis, in a Red district, bound themselves to Tricky Dick, like rats that refuse to leave the sinking ship. They got sucked down with it.)

1-27 T fuming about Rosenstein. / King (WaPo) on what T is likely to do in 2018 if the actual shit hits the fan.  1-28 At The Guardian, Jill Abramson chronicles T’s efforts to subvert the Constitution, and reminds us of how important a free press is to thwarting him.  Commenting on her article, Mark Sumner (Dkos) adds an item and identifies the bigger threat:  There was also Trump’s letter, written while on board Air Force One, in which he provided a knowingly false excuse for the Trump Tower meeting. I feel compelled to bring that one up in every discussion because, under the most lax interpretation possible, Trump has the authority to fire whoever he wants among the DOJ staff for whatever reason. Or no reason. But there’s no conceivable authority that provides Trump the authority to disseminate an “official lie” meant for no reason other than to cover up a potential crime. . . .The framers of the Constitution certainly imagined that we might have a run away president willing to abuse his power and defy the nation — they just didn’t imagine we’d have a Congress willing to go along with these anti-democratic actions. Trump isn’t the real threat to the Constitution. The Republican Congress’ reaction to Trump is the threat.

 

[Pages (1) and (21) and (23) of this episode.]

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