“Everyone” on the cable stations is saying over and over the president cannot be indicted because of 20-page justice department guidelines written 40 years ago. Now, what if the president walked out and shot and killed his chief of staff in front of a dozen witnesses; are we saying he can get away with that? Or what if he rigged enough absentee ballots to get elected? Or we also saying he could get away with that? Doesn’t this ruling need to be challenged in some way?
One of our issues as Americans is we were careless enough to elect a celebrity reality TV game show host in the first place. Which means, basically we have no idea whether this guy is to be taken seriously and literally, whether he’s “just acting” and “selling his brand.” Does he seriously mean he could shoot somebody in broad daylight with witnesses and cellphones taking video and so on and get away with it?
Trump supporters are going to say, “No, he was just joking. What’s wrong with you politically correct people? You’re too stupid to understand jokes. You take things too seriously, especially when they’re not serious.”
These folks have a point. There is the knee-jerk, “I’m offended!!!” reaction with which we are all familiar. However, Trump is saying things to his hardcore followers who just might be a bit unwell. Sometimes these unwell people do stuff. Terrible stuff.
So how do we interpret this statement? Seriously? A joke? A call to arms?
Trump talks a lot. The point of what he says is typically to demonstrate his “alpha dog hood.” He’s better than you. Higher social status. Got more money. Authority. This is the plot of Donald Trump’s entire life. Even his famously cliché catchphrase, “You’re fired!” is a demonstration of his status relative to yours.
That’s it. It ain’t 4D chess. Please.
He’s the alpha dog. He can mate with any bitch in the pack because of his status.
That’s what he’s saying here. Call it gangster, trolling, a joke, literal, it doesn’t matter. The interpretation is in the mind of who hears the words. What’s in Trump’s mind is his socio-economic status and demonstrating it is above yours. That’s about all most of the time. Don’t overthink this.
Ok, so again, the question is “Could Trump really get away with shooting Michael Cohen in broad daylight?”
The answer is, “I don’t know.”
Now calm down a minute. Think this through.
Remember when pressed about Putin’s history of violence, Trump said: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”
What did Trump mean? Keep it simple, stoopid… Trump meant, “Yeah, Putin kills a lot of people. Don’t you think I can kill people too? I’m a killer too. Better than Putin.”
That’s right. Instead of being so easily offended and blaming Trump for “taking up for his good friend Putin” with the knee jerk hot take they’ve conditioned you to have, look through the lens of Trumpvision. Trump is demonstrating his alpha dog status. He’s higher in the hierarchy than Putin and America is higher than Russia.
And Trump is correct. Yeah, you might want to be offended, but it is only because the truth is ugly. Trump isn’t lying. He’s telling us the truth this time. Here it is:
“Using drones to kill American citizens without trial, collecting the email and phone records of millions of Americans on a daily basis, and grabbing militants off of the streets of foreign cities and imprisoning them indefinitely — these are all powers Obama bequeathed to his successor.”
His successor is Donald Trump, folks. The President of the United States – Barack Obama – had an assassination list and he killed the people on it using drones. And the truth is, as his Attorney General Eric Holder said:
“The President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a US citizen, on US soil, without a trial.”
But wait, there’s more:
“It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the president could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances like a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.”
So the correct answer is if Trump yells “TERROR!!! TERROR!!! TERRRRRROOOORRR!!!” really loud on Twitter first, he can drone strike the shit out of you – or me – until we are dead, without a trial, and get away with it.
And guess what? He can do it to anyone else in the world too, as long as he justifies it by calling that person a terrorist first. This is the power we’ve given a shitgibbon.
Yes, he can. Don’t kid yourself. Ask for permission? Better to do it and ask for forgiveness later. This is the legacy of 9/11:
The fun doesn’t end there either. Here’s a laundry list of all sorts of heinous acts the United States of America has authorized Donald Trump to get away with:
See? Just say it is an emergency, like 9/11, and off he goes. Gulf of Tonkin. It happens.
Perhaps now the gravity of the situation sinks in. If we do indeed go after Trump with impeachment, what will he do in return? He tends to double down when threatened…
Let’s take a step back now. The above is reality. Like it or don’t, it’s real. What does the law say about going after Trump?
My understanding is the Department of Justice will not charge Donald Trump with a crime while he is a sitting president. We have Robert Bork to thank for this:
“The Office of Legal Council memorandum concludes all federal civil officers except the president are subject to indictment and criminal prosecution while still in office; the president is uniquely immune from such process… Solicitor General Bork was careful to explain the President, unlike the Vice President, could not constitutionally be subject to such criminal process while in office. “
This document is from the Richard Nixon/ Spiro Agnew days. It’s the “20-page DoJ guidelines written 40 years ago” you remember from our reader’s original question.
However, the Ken Starr/ Bill Clinton proceedings disagree with this previous OLC/ SGB position:
“You have asked my legal opinion as to whether a sitting President is subject to indictment. Does the Constitution immunize a President from being indicted for criminal activities while serving in the office of President? For example, if the President committed a crime before assuming office, does his election to the Presidency immunize his criminal activities? If the President in his private capacity commits one or more crimes While in office, does his election serve to immunize him?In short, is a sitting President above the criminal law?
As this opinion letter makes clear, I conclude that, in the circumstances of this case, President Clinton is subject to indictment and criminal prosecution, although it may be the case that he could not be imprisoned (assuming that he is convicted and that imprisonment is the appropriate punishment) until after he leaves that office.
A criminal prosecution and conviction (with imprisonment delayed) does not, in the words of Nixon v. Sirica, compete with the impeachment device by working a constructive removal of the President from office. In addition, I express no opinion as to whether a prosecution by state authorities may be proper (a state prosecution may violate the Supremacy Clause).”
So the truth is, we’ll have to see what happens. Depends on who is trying the case. Judges, juries, the court of public opinion, all have been known to render creative interpretations and contrarian decisions.
To recap, Trump could probably order a drone strike and kill just about any human being on earth. Perhaps blow up the earth with nuclear weapons as well. So there is a real reason to remove him from office if he is a danger to mankind. We don’t have much in the way of legal precedent (25th Amendment?) to go buy. We’re in mostly uncharted waters where the legislative and judicial branches can be strict or lenient on Trump.
Remember, the public didn’t buy the Bill Clinton/ Monica Lewinsky scandal as a legit reason to remove Clinton from office. Newt Gingrich made him a martyr.
The take home message is be careful what you wish for… yes, Trump is a gangster heathen corrupt politician. Proving it and removing him is another question.
One our problems is the hyperbole of daily “bombshells” landing on the heads of American newsreaders, telling people what we want to hear. Russiagate now sounds as if the boy who cried wolf to most people. Before Trump took office, we discussed how unlikely it was for them to “Get Trump” no matter what the papers said:
So… an indictment (DoJ), an impeachment (House), a conviction (Senate), and a criminal court (State of NY) are different things. People seem to let them all run together. Emoluments. Tax fraud. Money Laundering. Collusion. Treason. What the hell is the crime?
A practical consideration is the public probably will not see Mueller’s report on Russiagate. How are we going to know what evidence there is for a crime?
So rich people do what they always do. They blame the tax fraud on the poor people, so everybody looks down instead of up.
Pelosi says she’s going after Trump’s tax returns anyway… but don’t expect it to work.
Which leaves what? It leaves the two prostitutes and their payments for sex:
Or will they call it Bill and the Blowjob part II?
My guess is people don’t care about sex with the president. I mean, I heard stories about Elvis checking into his hotel room and 17 year old girls popping out from under the bed. How they got in there, who knows? The point is, if you are Elvis, are you kicking them out of the room in the middle of Tuscon? I doubt it. That’s the life of Elvis. Or JFK. Or Bill Clinton. And I don’t think Trump will be crucified for sex.
But the pinstriped gangster Judge on FoxNews says they’re going to hang Trump for it. Failure to report campaign contributions.
Maybe. Notice how nobody really says doodley shit about Putin and Russia in any of this?
That’s because the Russiagate narrative is fake. There certainly are some shenanigans that go on between Russia and the US meddling in elections. The question is whether the shenanigans are any more significant than usual. Without some serious evidence magically appearing, the answer is no.
So what’s left?
Trump has tried to rig the Supreme Court in his favor. Remember Bush vs. Gore? The election? The Supreme Court decides this kind of stuff.
“The court does not serve one party or one interest; we serve one nation.”
So let Trump do his 4 year presidency, let the American public get what they deserve, which is 4 years of hell, so we learn a valuable lesson, and then start over with Bernie in 2020.