Friday, 13 September 2019 10:51

Debating Trump impeachment inquiry; Truth, rule of law is not free Featured

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While the Democrats were debating healthcare, immigration, education and other issues in last night’s nationally-televised debate, there was a different controversy gaining the attention in the political marketplace. That is, should the House begin an impeachment investigation inquiry against President Donald J. Trump?

I say yes.  However, let me be clear here. I believe the Democrats and even Republicans should investigate the president’s alleged wrongdoings, not necessarily to impeach him for the chance of that happening is minus zero, but because we, as a country, must get to the truth.

 I am aware that Nancy Pelosi and Democrats throughout the nation believe this is the wrong course of action, politically.  They absolutely might be right. But this is not about politics nor about defeating Trump. To me, the issue is finding the truth. Only with truth do we see the rule of law.

The institutions of virtues depend not upon who occupies the White House.  The real soul of our belief systems which actually has made America great, relies not upon what we have, but who we are. 

We must find the truth, regardless of future power or influence. The answers are not what we want them to be, but what they actually are.

It actually might not have been necessary to proceed in this way if the President and his top agent, Attorney General Robert Barr had not covered up facts.  While the President claims there was no collusion, the Mueller report did not. While he and Barr say, there was no obstruction, the Mueller report does not.

The Mueller report specifically states that it found no evidence of criminal conspiracy. It also cited the lack of cooperation from key witnesses, destruction of evidence, an inadequate response to written questions. The Special Counsel also cited the sad fact that the President would not testify under oath and thus, in my own words, the investigative body caved in. We did not hear from the most important witness.

The report likewise provided ten specific areas in which the President engaged in behaviors that would be criminal, if proven by a court. Unfortunately, Barr took the position that anything Trump did to combat the allegations were justified, even if he told his employees to do things that would put the average person in the federal pen for years.

What we saw this spring was a mockery by Trump, the GOP and Attorney General Barr. Trump, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham took the position that case was closed. Then, the administration claimed that Congress did not have the right to ask for documents or testimony against the president because it possessed no oversight rights of the executive branch.  As a result, as these refusals to cooperate with Congress mount, the courts are jammed. The White House wants no further information to be revealed ever and especially, before election day.   Trump has adamantly imposed executive privilege over anything and everybody that walks and talks.  While the Trump political train moves rapidly across the fruited plain, the Congressional investigation caboose has basically come to a virtual halt.

The only wall that Trump has built so far is a wall of stone surrounding information involving key issues that the public must acquire now rather than later.  Obviously,  the House Judiciary Committee adamantly believes that by  taking the action it took yesterday, while somewhat symbolic, provides them much  greater legal access to testimony, witnesses and documents.

For this reason, given the Trump-Barr stonewall of information, the necessity to obtain truth must proceed.

Many argue, mistakenly, that there are no issues of fact that are left unresolved by the Mueller report, therefore, the proceeding is just to reverse the 2016 election.  Yet, in the same breath, they argue that the battlefield should be the voting booth, not the congressional hearing rooms.

The problem with that argument is very clear. There  are substantial issues unresolved that the Mueller report did not answer and that the Barr Judiciary has abandoned.  Weeks ago, we discovered that certain cases involving Trump and Michael Cohen were mysteriously terminated. Whether Barr’s fingerprints are on this decision, we don’t know.

In fact, there are more things we don’t know the answers to than those that we do.  For the sake of our country’s faith in the criminal justice system in many of our sacred institution, there are just too many unresolved issues that require closure.  Here are just a few that now cross my mind:

  • Did Donald Trump commit any of those acts alleged in the Mueller report involving obstruction of justice which Barr has provided Trump cover?
  • Why did Trump deceive the nation while an ongoing federal investigation was taking place?  The president knew there was an ongoing federal query involving the election going on when the Don Jr.-- Trump Tower meeting controversy broke.  The Trump story about the meeting changed by the hour. So did the president’s claim of no involvement in crafting a response to the New York Times and to the public.  Ultimately, we discovered that the president dictated the bogus set of facts to the Times and to us.  Think about this.  While presiding over the country’s judiciary and national defense, our president consistently lied about the meeting and his involvement during the course of a federal investigation.   Then, when questioned, he bragged and insulted our own intelligence by stating there was nothing illegal lying to the New York Times. The man who cries FAKE NEWS at every opportunity actively lied to the New York Times and the American people about facts germane to a federal investigation and refused to be questioned under oath about any of these and other issues. Worse, he, his AG and the Republican Congress refuse to probe further, knowing that the president’s attorneys bested and outlasted Mueller’s team about critical relevant facts which might be resolved if the President were to testify.
  • Many millions of Americans believe that the Mueller report covered the factual and legal waterfront. It did not, far from.  It did not probe his finances, his lies as president about certain substantial  matters that impact our future.
  • The report did not investigate the president’s financial ties to Russia and to the Saudis. His suspected ties to Russia have virtually destroyed the faith that our allies have in our country.  We’ve spent seventy years cultivating trusting relationships and Trump in just two and a half years, has severed them.  Why? Let me repeat—without the Trump tax and financial records, we will never know the entire story. We will not know if our president is compromised while the world shakes its head over how he fawns and protects Vladimir Putin, even over his own intelligence.
  • Why did Trump lie to the public during the course of a federal investigation regarding his involvement with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal?  Again, Cohen sits in jail which he deserves. Trump sits in the White House. First Trump claimed he knew nothing about these women, then nothing about the payments, and now, he claims he got bad campaign financing advice from Cohen.   The man who has said he knows more about campaign financing than just about anyone after concealing his own involvement wants us to believe he is deaf, dumb and ignorant about the criminal implications of his own actions.  On this very issue, Barr’s justice department’s investigation, just went—“ poof, now you see it, now you don’t”.  The investigation suddenly closed.
  • Then there are the numerous questions involving his obvious commingling of his government obligations with his business revenues and alleged violations of the emolument clause.  He is being accused of compelling federal employees to lie for him and just last week, we discover his Commerce Department did it again.
  • The president has begged for and has received an investigation of the investigators. He claims those federal employees, the FBI, DOJ and others conspired against his campaign and then against his transition.  He calls this treasonous. Yet, his own private attorney reportedly is requesting the new government of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, at this time, his most likely Democratic opponent. To make matters worse, he wants Putin to regain his G8 stature taken from his country because of the Russian Ukraine invasion. Now we are hearing of claims that Trump is hovering over the head of the Ukraine government money it needs to protect itself from its enemy, Putin and the Russians.  At the same time that Trump, the politician is trying to win re-election, his counsel is bargaining with the Ukraine head of state to go after the Democrat’s top candidate, while, at the same time, the president toys with money to that same country to protect itself from Trump’s best bud, Putin?  And Trump, the DOJ and the Republican Congress are concerned about the FISA application (as it should be), but not ourt nation’s national security in what appears to be a flagrant improper political abuse of power?

Unfortunately, we hear from Trump and his motley crew of enablers that this is a waste of money, a waste of time, that people should decide the issue when they vote.  Yet, they have no problems with the costs and time investments into the FBI and DOJ ordered by Barr.  I want that investigation to continue because we need the truth. But we need the truth about everything and everybody, even if there were no relevant upcoming election.

Investigations and elections did not worry Trump and his loyalists in 2016.  They pleaded for a favorable federal investigation of Hillary Clinton.  Trump himself appeared to incur spasms of euphoria when James Comey opened an investigation only  two weeks before election day.  If investigations were so appropriate then, why now are they so political? Because this one involves the President?

This country needs the truth. It is not getting it due to the colossal roadblocks planted by Graham, the Republican Congress, the president’s s ardents and others.  The information flow of information being delayed by the courts must be expedited. To borrow a phrase, Information delayed, is information denied.

If for any reason at all, the voting public should know whether the many charges against the President have merit, just as the public must know if the Obama White House did anything inappropriate that launched the federal investigation of Trump in the first place.

If Trump and Barr want to open up the records and information without playing legal games such as executive privilege, then, voters would then have access to the important information.  Without it, Democrats will make unproven allegations.  Team Trump  and the Fox News sycophants will deny them, claim no proof and scream FAKE NEWS.  Maybe it is. Americans have a right to know the facts before they vote.

Trump claims everything is fake news and his chorus chimes so.  Yet, serious administration legal, criminal and ethical concerns continue.   These are not controversies manufactured by the media or the president’s opponents. These are due to the President’s own actions.

America deserves answers about the Obama White House’s involvement in the federal probe before we vote.  We absolutely need the same involving our Commander in Chief seeking his vote of confidence, a second term.  The nation’s laws and vital institutions require respect. The rule of law must stand whenever and wherever it is violated.

We need testimony, documents and information to ensure the rule of law is satisfied if and whenever justice calls. The country needs truth to really make our country great.  We will not and cannot get it, when facts are so systematically and institutionally hidden..

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