Today the politicization of the United States Department of Justice was on the table in Congress. The Justice Department, which is part of the government’s executive branch, is responsible for enforcing the laws and administering justice in America. It prosecutes federal crimes, and represents the United States in court. It also supervises all 93 of the U.S. Attorneys, who are the lawyers for the federal government, prosecuting crimes, defending federal programs, and guarding the financial interests of the federal government. In certain circumstances, the DOJ also has some responsibilities for law enforcement.
"Watergate produced a saying: The cover-up is worse than the crime. But what if there is no cover-up? The president is staring the country in the eye and acknowledging: 'Sure I did it. I’ll do it again. And again. Because nobody’s going to stop me. Cover-ups are for losers.'” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/most-shocking-thing-about-zelinskys-testimony/613477/
Looking in from Blighty this is utterly dismaying. The world has ipso facto, a new Autocrat to contend with despite his having been brought up in a Democracy and despite his supposed status as a friend. Your POTUS is corrupt beyond redemption. Please, please decent America find a way to get rid of him.
Thank you Heather for yet another incisive report.
Remembering when Nixon lied and said “I am not a crook,” we at least had other branches of government pressing the facts of his crookedness to the point that he resigned so his VP could pardon him. Now we have collusion between the 3 branches of government. The Repugnant White House, the Repugnant Senate and the Repugnant tRump toady, William Barr making the Dept. of Justice a personal weapon of injustice for his overlord.
Reading this concise history of the corruption of our government institutions is appalling. Realizing the extent of the corruption with the Senate complicity, to the point that the POTUS does not even have to lie, but can now say “I am a crook, so what?” is actually scary.
"...after witness Donald Ayer said 'I believe that William Barr poses the greatest threat in my lifetime to our rule of law,' Louie Gohmert (R-TX) began tapping on the microphone to drown out the witnesses.'"
THIS IS WHAT THE GOP IS DOWN TO, the six year old equivalent of covering his ears and yelling "nah nah nah nah nah" when his playmate calls him "fatty."
Yesterday was such a deplorable slap to American justice. Or am I the one who misunderstands “justice”? That Flynn would walk free was stunning. Apparently if one knows the right people one can do whatever criming one wishes, admit it even, and pay no price. Then there is the spectacle of Louie Gohmert, Doug Collins, et al., elected to Congress at the age of 3. Tapping on a mic so no one could hear a witness? Really? He needs day care, not Congress. I find Collins particularly repugnant, maybe surpassing Jim Jordan. I keep thinking our judicial free fall is going to hit bottom, but it never does. Obviously naive in the extreme, I have wondered when something would trip up these criminals finally. Nothing. And oh btw Marsha Blackburn, Trump’s most reliable sycophant in the Senate, is my Senator. Lamar Alexander is retiring.
One is tempted to start by saying that the countervailing controls maintaining the equilibrium between the different parts of the governance of the country are insufficient in the face of ideologically motivated zealots or personnally motivated idiots who have no time for "norms" or "tradtions" . However, as always you have to be careful what you ask for and any further rigidity that you introduce into the system might prevent it working when decent people are elected or it might stop you solving the problem next year. It would seem however the the relative powers of Congress and the Senate might be a place to start especially on the question of appointments. Further controls might be introduced limiting the stand-alone power of the President to fire confirmed appointees and put in place unconfirmed temporary appointees. Non-political supervision of qualifications of judicial appointees might also improve their "neutrality" .
I have so much I could say, but it's probably already been said.
So, let me just say:
Nadley couldn't deal with a disruptive caterpillar, let alone a damn Republican. Gym Jordan and Gomer should be denied entry to the committee room for failure to wear masks (as should all the other Republiscum). And if Nadler wasn't such a polite coward and so easily flummoxed, he'd have had the Sergeant at Arms remove Gomer (intentionally misspelled to say what he is, a gomer - a Vietnam war term of serious disrespect) for his disruptions. It's time to take these ignorant bullies on, in public.
The word "corrupt" comes from Latin, "cor" meaning together, and "ruptus" meaning break. We are seeing the immense breaking capacity of a united group of leaders who have no regard for the integrity of our laws. I am neither historian or lawyer. But something must be done to end this breaking. Our laws have held us together and made us perform some miracles of governing.
Thanks for the great chronological summary of events in the DOJ, Heather! It’s mind blowing what has happened to the rule of law in this country.
And politics, mainly politicians, has become so frustratingly corrupt! I know to a certain extent it’s always been this way. But in the Trump era there is not even an attempt to hide it. 🤬
Heather, first of all, thank you for another insightful newsletter. I am so exhausted, as are all of you, of the daily, heck, hourly attacks on this country done by this administration. I feel saddened that it seems they get away with it every time. I hate to do a "what if", but, what if any other President or administration had done a fraction of what has been done over these last three and a half years? It angers me that there is seemingly no pushback from anyone in power and whatever pushback there is, it never results in anything. Aside from voting these traitors, I think that accurately describes them at this point, out what can be done? As long as the Republicans are in power of the senate, they will continue to shrug and turn a blind eye to the crimes committed and the tearing apart of this country done by Trump and his cronies. How do we bounce back?
This is the most Understandable Crisis Sharing Article about Barr that I have read so far.
"...a panel of judges on a federal appeals court overseen by Trump appointee Neomi Rao ordered Sullivan to dismiss the Flynn case immediately without further review. Sullivan did not; he simply suspended deadlines as he waits for a review by the full court."
Please clarify for me because I've heard from several sources that, by doing this, Sullivan has attempted to insure that the charges against Flynn can outlast the Trump presidency and it put's Trump and Barr in yet another tough spot of their own making: he can't pardon Flynn out right without contorting the law unrecognizably. And even it he did, there are charges that can be filed in 2021 that he couldn't pardon him for anyway. These guys think they are the smartest guys in the room but they add up to one colossal idiot.
This is unbelievable! And I remember Watergate quite well. Its aftermath peppered the current events section of my American History and Government classes from late 1974 to mid 1976. When I was remembering that, I recalled a conversation I had in the Fall of 2016 with a high school American History teacher. I commented that the election coverage had to help when explaining the electoral process especially the visual learners. He told me the election was too much of a "hot potato", the school was in a very "red" district, and they were avoiding any discussion of the election in the classroom. I was appalled! I understand wanting to avoid phone calls from parents, however being a visual learner, I think students were robbed of a valuable educational experience.
In which state is AJ Barr licensed to practice law? Why can't (or won't) that state's bar association move to discipline him? (Or are they doing so?)
And don’t forget how the foundation for all this nonsense started and how it continues. Trump’s 200th judge was confirmed yesterday, a record. One of his confirmed judges wrote the majority opinion in the Flynn dismissal recommendation. As long as the Senate continues to rubber stamp his judicial recommendations this will continue. Most of the judges are young and white.