Your Lyin’ Eyes and Impeachment


Reading time – 3.47; Viewing time – 5:20  .  .  .

The Mueller Report is out and I haven’t had time to go through all 448 pages, although you can do that yourself by getting the PDF from the DOJ website here. Click on the 4th line beginning “Report on the Investigation” for the download. Or if you prefer you can get an indexed and searchable version here.

There is big stuff in that report, including that the lack of indictments of the president is due to the Justice Department guideline that a sitting president can’t be indicted. Also, because so many documents were destroyed by various perps.

Nevertheless, Mueller let us know that he was unable to declare that the President of the United States isn’t a criminal. Stunning! My more chilling takeaway, though, is about Attorney General William Barr.

Barr was promoted as a legal institutionalist, even after his unsolicited, 19-page job application that made it clear that he believed that, metaphorically speaking, a president really could get away with shooting someone on 5th Avenue. That view works for Trump and Barr got the attorney general post.

In each of his public appearances and writings as attorney general, Barr has gone out of his way to exonerate the president. His rhetoric vacillates between cherry-picked, out of context phrases to outright lies all in favor of President Trump. Did he think we wouldn’t notice? In listening to Barr I’m reminded of comedian Richard Pryor’s line, “Who you gonna believe: me or your lyin’ eyes?”

The scary part is that Barr sounds like the president’s defense counsel, instead of the attorney for the Constitution of the United States of America.

In his piece in New York Magazine entitled, “Congress Should Impeach William Barr,” Jonathan Chait wrote,

“The Justice Department is an awesome force that holds the power to enable the ruling party to commit crimes with impunity .  .  .”

We should have seen this coming.

From The Onion, of course. Click the pic

Barr is the former attorney general for President George H.W. Bush. Barr recommended to Bush that he pardon the convicted Iran-Contra felons. Click through the link and scroll down to the Indictments section and you’ll see that these guys did a lot of really bad things, including thwarting the explicit will of Congress. You need to appreciate how significant that is.

Doing that is an attack on Congress itself, and it encourages an imperial presidency. William Barr cemented that by recommending those pardons. And now he’s defending this power grabbing, dictator wanna-be president.

If Barr is an institutionalist, exactly what institution does he serve?

Read more about this here.

And another thing .  .  .

Now that most of the Mueller Report is released, the talk of impeachment is spiraling upward. I’ve long called for the removal of this cheating, lying, fraudulent, self-aggrandizing, democracy damaging president, but now I have significant doubt about that notion.

President Gerald Ford set a woeful precedent by granting, “.  .  .   a full, free and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in .  .  .” Nixon got a free pass for his criminal wrongdoing and wasn’t held accountable in any way.

That is the precedent that Mike Pence will inherit should he become President. That means that our criminal president will likely be pardoned for any and all crimes which he may have committed (think: conspiring with the Russians to disrupt our 2016 election, obstruction of justice; money laundering; and fraud).

Further, if Trump were to be impeached, whether convicted in the Senate or not, he and the Republicans will wail about him being a poor victim, suffering unfair discrimination by the evil Democrats and the Washington swamp. That could lead to another Republican in the White House in 2021 and a Congress controlled by the same spineless legislators who are enabling Trump right now.

The solution that makes the most sense to me is to Benghazi Trump: just keep his wrongdoing in the public eye through November 3, 2020 with ongoing Congressional hearings.

I often have difficulty rationalizing the impact of the bypassing of punishment for wrongdoing in favor of some greater good, but this one looks obvious enough even for me.

No impeachment.

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Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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5 Responses to Your Lyin’ Eyes and Impeachment
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    Sadly, at this relatively late date, the possibility of impeachment is virtually nil. It would simply take too long to go through the House charging process, eventually bringing charges against Trump, and finally trying him in the Senate. By the time all that would be done we would, in all likelihood, already be at least well into the the campaigning for the 2020 election, and possibly at election time. The effort would be a complete waste of time and tax dollars no matter how truly deserving Trump is of being impeached.

  2. Mike Reply

    President Pence can pardon Trump for federal infractions. We’ll see what SDNY and Maryland (or is it Virginia?) charge Trump with at the state level. Trump WILL have to answer for those charges. There’s no get-out-of-jail pardon for that.

  3. John Calia Reply

    Jack, you really need to let this go. I agree with your characterization of Trump. But we’ve wasted precious time and resources on this BS. Isn’t it time for us to focus on the nation’s business? All you’re doing is feeding Trump’s narrative.

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      I assume you’re referring to the second topic, since the first was about William Barr’s disingenuousness.

      Yes, this is time to focus on the nation’s business. It always is. Right now the most important business for the nation is to stop Trump from further damaging our democracy; hence, my recommendation not to impeach.

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      I just ready your new post (//bit.ly/2PmhrKt) about global warming and it’s a good example of focusing on the nation’s business. Thankfully, Congress is listening. Oh, wait, I forgot that there’s no global warming because Jim Inhoffe (R-OK) was able to bring a snowball into the Senate in winter.

      We’ve been talking about the need to rebuild our “crumbling infrastructure” for at least 20 years. The only bill that was written to address it was under Obama and it was immediately ignored by Congress. Infrastructure has similarly been ignored on Trump’s watch, too, other than idiotic braying about how we’ll have the best airports.

      People don’t get elected to office by telling citizens they’ll have to pay more taxes, so they never say that, except if the ones paying more taxes are somebody else. That makes it very difficult to rebuild our “crumbling infrastructure” or do pretty much anything else for the commons.

      So, I’m wondering what it will take for Congress to do the nation’s business.