Sunday, February 11, 2018

Blowing the whistle on the games Trump loyalists are playing

A version published in the Sky Hi News February 12, 13. 14

The games President Trump, his White House, and his friends in Congress are playing are two: one, to replace  those involved in the Russian related investigation  he views are  biased against him  with those who are biased in his favor. The second is to to destroy the credibility of prosecutors and  to stop  them before they finish their investigation.  Both  actions threaten the rule of law by subverting the legal system in order  to protect the power of the rule by a person.
A president, the head of the executive branch, does have  the right to appoint those in charge of carrying out his policies,  but when he manipulates law  enforcement  investigating whether he  possibly violated the  the law, it becomes a game dangerous to a democracy.

Fresh on the minds of the founders of this country was what kind of government they did not want. They constructed a form of government  to avoid the rule of a monarchy. But also in their recent   past was the  bitter experience of  a  religious and populist inspired civil war in  mid  17th century England causing and following  the beheading of Charles I. In the late 18th century the US  Constitution provided  a third way, a form of government  that better protected  the rule of law above the rule by any other force and set up a system that divided power among three branches with checks  over each. That third way is being seriously challenged in 2018.
Here is how Mr Trump is  attempting to turn law enforcement into an instrument to protect his grip on the White House. Gone are FBI Director James Comey  (fired)) and   Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (pressured to resign), both who failed to swear loyalty or act loyally to  protect President Trump  from investigations into possible misconduct that could lead to impeachment. Mr. Trump’s  view  he openly opined is that the Attorney General’s duty should be to  protect him . When  AG Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing investigations into Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, supervising the investigation  fell to Session’s  deputy,  Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein failed  the Trump loyalty test when he did not reign in the investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. Rosenstein could fire Mueller but he found no grounds and  he  opposed the release of the Nunes memo. To replace him was to be  Associate AG Rachel Brand and she quit Friday. Who fills that vacancy could be a voice more friendly to the Trumpists, clearing the way for firing Rosenstein and Mueller.

The first move  in the current game was a  campaign  coordinated with Trump friendly media and political supporters to destroy the credibility of prosecutors and their findings.They claimed anti Trump texts between two agents painted the entire FBI as biased  even though the  offending agent had been removed from the investigation the summer before. The second salvo was  the Nunes memo concocted by Rep. Devin Nunes, GOP chair of the House Intelligence committee,  and released with the support of the GOP Speaker of the House. The GOP controlled House had become complicit  instead of being a check on the  chief executive.  The Nunes memo lacked credibility itself. Contrary to the memo’s premise, the FBI did disclose to the FISA judge the political funding of the Steele dossier.  Several polls show the campaigns have had a  bit of a  propaganda success, with  growing belief among GOP voters  the FBI is biased against President Trump,  though as a whole American voters still trust the FBI over Mr. Trump.

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