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Pardon Me?


© Joel Pett

This is all over the news, so I won’t go into much detail, but Donald Trump has launched an all out war against special counsel Robert Mueller. He started one of the biggest Twitter storms ever yesterday and it just keeps going. Trump is threatening to fire Mueller, which even pretty much all Republicans in Congress condemned as a very bad idea.

Trump is also trying to dig up dirt on Mueller (and Mueller’s staff), so that he can smear them. Seriously. That will almost certainly backfire.

As this article points out, once Congress turns against Trump, then probably most of his base will follow. Trump may have already lost them, along with the CIA.

But the most dangerous thing is that Trump is claiming that he has the power to pardon everyone in his administration, even himself.

Think about that for a minute. If the president has the power to do anything he wants, even if it is illegal (you know, like shoot someone on 5th Ave) and then pardon himself, then we have completely lost our democracy and gained a despot.

Legal experts are actively debating whether or not this would be constitutional, but it doesn’t matter. Absolutely no legal arguments will ever convince me that the founders of this nation, who had just fought a war against King George III of England for their freedom, intended for the president to have the powers of a king or dictator. What’s next, Trump declaring “L’Etat, c’est moi“?

To me, this is a sign that Trump knows that he is in deep trouble, and is so desperate that he is reacting in the only way he knows how. Which means that maybe our current nightmare is almost over. I’m guessing that Donald Trump will resign as president before Mueller can release any results from his investigation. At least, I’m hoping that is how this will end. Either that or we will have a full-blown constitutional crisis on our hands and may very well lose our country.


Also published on Medium.

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7 Comments

  1. Ralph wrote:

    Presidential candidate who boasted about being the smartest guy having all the best words (“Covfefe”), hires all the best people (third press secretary in six months; publicly slams his AG; WH leaking like a sieve from constant infighting and suspicion; nepotism reigns supreme), who “alone can fix it” (health care and tax reforms under water, his party fragmented and on its heels; allies alienated and adversaries comforted), who endlessly criticized his predecessor for golfing too much (40 DJT tee times in 26 weeks at a cost of $48M to taxpayers, an avg. of 2x as often as Obama per month to date) is now more obsessed with his pardoning powers, before even being charged with anything, than filling the dozens of open positions still found wanting within his Administration and State Department. His “world player” SoS isn’t even allowed to choose his own deputy.

    One of the pundits recently commented that publicly warning Mueller not to look into his personal finances is like saying to the police who show up at your door, “Whatever you do, don’t look in the shed!”. For an ostensibly brilliant businessman from the casino industry, he sure doesn’t play it close to the vest.

    So of course he blames the liberal MSM and its fake news of “alternative facts” for all his woes. It’s really all he’s got.

    And is there anything more ironic than a self-declared genius of a businessman POTUS who declares a “Made in America” week, yet can’t display a single product of his own that is produced domestically, aside from bankrupt casinos, fraudulent scams and multi-level marketing schemes? If he ever tried to run that act up the flagpole on The Apprentice, he’d have to fire himself in the first episode.

    This is certainly the greatest challenge to our democratic institutions since Nixon. But if this uniquely bizarre and perhaps even treasonous administration has taught us anything, beyond the usual crooked lessons of a circus barker, it’s the true colors of the complicit Republican Party. And they aren’t red, white and blue. (Hint: try green).

    Hoo boy, all this Winning!

    Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  2. Arthanyel wrote:

    The Washington Post has a story tha “there is no way this ends well for Trump” and truer words have never been spoken. The only way it could end well is if Mueller completely exonerates him and his campaign from EVERYTHING. And I will take the other side of that bet at any odds, for any amount of money.

    Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink
  3. ebdoug wrote:

    I think Mueller is concentrating on Trump’s crimes outside office. (laundering money? Off shore accounts?) He can impeach him for crimes outside office. Trump knows.

    Monday, July 24, 2017 at 5:43 am | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Exactly. It is pretty clear that the president cannot be prosecuted for things he does as president (as part of doing his job). But he can be prosecuted for things that have nothing to do with his job, or things he did before becoming president.

    We may yet learn what’s in Trump’s tax returns.

    Monday, July 24, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink
  5. notycoon22 wrote:

    Ken Starr would beg to differ, IK. He believed that a sitting president can be prosecuted for crimes committed while in office.

    http://www.politicaldog101.com/tag/kenneth-star/

    If you want to read the Starr letter, it’s here:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/22/us/document-Savage-NYT-FOIA-Starr-memo-presidential.html

    Then again, some pretty decent legal minds believe as you do, IK. The following makes it pretty clear, though, that those under him are not shielded.

    http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1887&context=fss_papers

    Monday, July 24, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  6. Max wrote:

    “If the president has the power to do anything he wants, even if it is illegal (you know, like shoot someone on 5th Ave)”

    Actually he couldn’t get away with that, because presidential pardons only apply to federal crimes. He could shoot someone in D.C. though (because D.C. isn’t a state).

    Monday, July 24, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Don, Ken Starr can beg all he wants. Who cares? 🙂

    Monday, July 24, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink