Trump’s Excesses of Just the Past Two Weeks Make Him Guilty of Abuse of Power by Thomas Martin Saturday


Trump really has committed obstruction of justice you know; something for which Richard Nixon was going to be impeached and face conviction in the Senate.  The Congress stood together in largely bi-partisan fashion and Nixon resigned.  So the Democrats are not unreasonable to follow Mueller’s lead and live up to their Constitutional duties. What is unconscionable is Republicans refusal to do theirs.

We’ve been treated to more of the same, yet this time Trump’s actions and not just words over the last fortnight take his wrongdoing as the President,“ so called,” to a new level.  He has committed abuses of power greater than Nixon ever did.

When Trump refuses to permit any Congressional subpoena whatsoever, from being honored, he has reached beyond the powers of even the strongest unitary executive William Barr loves to see, and reached into what powers are reserved for the Congress alone.

The Constitution provided and still provides for a separation of powers between three co-equal branches of government, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.  We all know our civics and government lessons from our teen years.  Any chief magistrate of the nation who violates this feature of the Constitution has done great harm to it and grossly abused his powers.

Even assuming the theory of a unitary executive is valid, it does not allow this. And were we to ignore the wrongdoing unearthed in the Mueller report entirely, this one set of acts, blocking the Congress in the exercise of its oversight authority, and all accountability of Trump, leaving us with an opaque Executive Branch are infractions far worse than anything we’ve seen over the last two years and more.

This so called President (we now know that Russian intervention got him elected) is an illegitimate chief executive.  He has earned his asterisk by his name.

Over just the last fourteen days alone Trump has acted to ignore the rule of law entirely, and make him a power unto himself.  We are living in a banana republic as Trump has asked the Attorney General to investigate Joe Biden, merely a candidate, for the Democratic Party nomination in 2020.  He has thundered at staffers to have Hillary Clinton, the beaten candidate from 2016, re-investigated over her State Department e-mails and prosecuted with a view to putting her in prison for the rest of her life.

Sarah Sanders announced that to get a new series of press passes to the White House journalists will have to meet a new set of standards that will exclude, and has excluded, many of the very best reporters who actually ask questions that matter and try and follow them up.

We have lived for over a year with statements that the press is the “enemy of the people.”  He has refloated the idea of extending his first term by two years without Congressional approval, in direct contravention to the Constitution providing for just four, and its First Amendment free press standard.

And still the GOP is silent on these developments.  Key Congressional Democrats in leadership positions wonder aloud if Trump were to be defeated in 2020, would there be a peaceful transference of power the Republic has honored for the last 235 plus years?  What madness is this?

Now the Judiciary has yet to be heard from.  No doubt Democrats will seek Federal district and appellate judges that are still sane, and who can be counted on to act as if they too had at least a 9th grade civics education.  If these cases to force the White House to honor subpoenas issued by Congress are appealed to the Supreme Court, will the last two appointed judges to join it, all but the liberals and Chief Justice Roberts, in finding ways to circumvent a decision that is obvious to anybody with any education at all. Will the chief justice side with them and effectively end the Republic as we’ve known it?

There is a pathway to getting at Trump and humiliating him and indicting him and his kids. Like a leaky barge, Trump Inc.; and Trump and his co-directors can be sued, and indicted, for what is shaping up as tax and bank fraud, and a suspected money laundering case.  

The New York State Attorney General, prosecutors in the City of New York, and those in the Federal District of New York are keen to prosecute the President.  They have cases underway. The State of New York authorities can still get at the Trump family even if pardoned for all Federal crimes by the mob boss himself, or his underling Mile Pence, should he assume the presidency.

Of most interest is the case of the pay offs to a porn star and others.  That case is over and Trump is named in it as an un-indicted co-conspirator.  Cohen is cooling his heels in a jail cell.  It was Trump who directed Cohen to commit the crime in the first place.  His guilt is the greater.  What would happen if that Federal District of New York properly ignored the DOJ memo and actually tested whether or not a president could be indicted? Two felony counts sound pretty nice when you think of it.

So this whole circus will heat up still more, and we can see if the Republicans in Congress will wake up from the Constitutional Dead they have become, and simply do what is right.  We can add lawful.

As for me, I’m popping a whole bunch of popcorn and will sit and watch CNN and MSNBC.  I will even read newspaper stories in the Washington Post, New York Times, and The Atlantic, Mother Jones, and Wall Street Journal.  This looks like fun, and because it is history in the making I can begin to ponder what historians will write in 20 years, wherever they must write it from.  You GOP members of Congress; you are not going to like your place in history.

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