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The Shearing of Hair Trompf (53)

April 4, 2019

I’m beginning this page with a TWEET—surely that’s a first for this novel:

Josh Marshall (TPM):  “It didn’t occur to a lot of people that Bill Barr might not be a reliable narrator.  See, this is the problem when there are so few lit majors.”

Today, three notable developments call for a new page of this episode:  (1) members of Mueller’s investigative team are signaling that Barr’s exonerating interpretation of the report was deeply misleading, (2) the House Ways and Means Committee has requested six years of Trompf tax returns, and (3) there is observable evidence that T is steadily “losing it,” mentally.

(1)  Possibly some of M’s investigators became lawyers via an undergrad major in English.  Apparently they think that being an unreliable narrator risks, in this case, descending to the ethical circle of political fixers, who lie, cover up corruption, and obstruct justice.  That’s not surprising, since Barr has been an Authoritarian protector of  corrupt R presidents beginning with Nixon, and in this case applied and auditioned for the position of AG by sending Herr Trompf an unsolicited letter in which he guaranteed that he would use the AG office to cover for T.  His letter to Congress about the report was a pre-emptive strike in that protection racket.  

So why would investigators, who were remarkably water-tight throughout the investigation, now spring leaks?  Seems they believe in justice and our system of justice, which they worked hard, and effectively, to serve, but which they fear will suffer an unjustifiable late-term abortion at the hands of the AG.  It turns out that (a) investigators specifically wrote section summaries that could be immediately released to the public, and (b) they think that the report contains “alarming and significant” evidence of wrong-doing on the part of T and/or his people, that is being hidden.

(2)  There seems to be unanimous agreement among objective commentators that (a) T’s tax returns, including those of his roughly 500 incorporated business entities, are sufficiently likely to reveal corrupt doing on the part of T and his family to warrant Congressional investigation, on behalf of the American people, and that (b) the 1924 (Teapot Dome scandal, during the “Gilded Age,” uncannily appropriate, R presidency of Harding) law authorizing a Congressional request to the IRS for tax returns is perfectly clear and unchallengeable. T will take it to court anyway. As Dillinger put it, if you want to steal money you go to a bank; as T would put it, if you want to obstruct justice you go to court.

(3)  For instance:  last December, in front of world cameras, T suddenly wandered away (and btw, that was not the first time), in what I still think was the beginning of the end; in March at CPAC, he gave a circus (see articles, “7 Most Bewildering Moments” or “67 Most Stunning Lines,” or watch moments, or try to watch the whole damn speech, without popcorn and a beer or so and judge for yourself);  in remarks during the past few weeks he has exhibited orange, of all colors, “slippages” of facts and words that appear to suggest mental degeneration. (Well I could have said “decline,” but I’ve liked “degeneration” ever since the early 60s when I read Max Nordau’s book, of that name—Entartung, 1892, on the theme of the moral and cultural illness of modern society, including the trendy embrace of some peoples who were mentally inferior, that was picked up by Nazi propagandists for the idea of a, mostly Jewish, “Degenerate Art.”  Nordau was Hungarian, the inferior people of the A-H Empire, as were many wonderful Modernist painters—des fauves, for instance.).

Btw, does self-irony suggest reliability?  Any more than self-pity? I’m degenerating into wackiness.

Next Morn:  TPM:  tax returns are matter between House and IRS, but T can order IRS not to deliver; thus T, and Pelosi, have put their people in place for the legal battle. Aft: One thing you can say about Trompf, he makes the lawyers run on time.  Sure ‘nuff, T’s lawyers politicize it with bullshit argument that Dems are politicizing it by politically attacking the Pr*s, violating his First Ammendent rights to . . . what? . . . to speak “disfavored speech” (OMG, you can’t make this stuff up, unless you’re a T lawyer) without being harassed for it.  I.e. to feed the base: Dems are doing PC again. To have something to say in court after court, they claim that the House requests “are not consistent with governing law.” Which, of course, is the Teapot Dome scandal law (see 2b above). I’m calling farce, minus humor. Dems should now say, at every opportunity: “What’s he hiding?”

4-16-19: Harry Litman (WaPo) on the ability of the House to acquire the unredacted full Mueller report :

A wide range of Supreme Court decisions endorses a similar principle of deference to Congress, which after all is a co-equal branch. Accordingly, if Congress offers a good-faith assertion that it needs the Mueller report to discharge its constitutional duty in deciding whether to impeach the president, no more should be needed. The request complies with both the letter of Rule 6(e) and the spirit of the basic constitutional structure.

The House Judiciary Committee should ask the district court for the release, without delay, of the unredacted Mueller report, because it is “preliminary to or in connection with a judicial proceeding” within the meaning of Rule 6(e).

[Preceding page of this episode. Next page.]

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