We surrendered it without firing a shot. Now the way forward is clear.
(April 19, 2019) — Now that I’ve spent a few hours wading through the Great Grimpen Mire exposed by Robert Mueller and his prosecutors, I don’t know why it is, but this one sentence put on its hobnailed boots and jumped off a cliff right onto my exposed last nerve. It comes in a passage about how the White House and the president* were trying to lie their way around the fact that James Comey was being fired as director of the FBI because he refused to let go of Michael Flynn. The administration* concocted an elaborate story about how one of its reasons to dismiss Comey was that morale had cratered at the Bureau.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a woman who somehow has managed to degrade further a podium behind which Ari Fleischer once stood, which I never believed was possible, even tried to sell this leaky chamber-pot to the White House press corps, saying that “countless” FBI agents had reached out about how happy they were with Comey’s dismissal.
Naturally, this was of some interest to Mueller and his team, so they invited SHS in for a little chat, under oath this time. They asked her about this particular story, and this is what the report says was the answer to that question.
Sanders acknowledged to investigators that her comments were not founded on anything.
There is the entire 2016 campaign and the entire administration summed up in one sentence hallowed by oath. This is a president* not founded on anything, an administration not founded on anything, and an entire government not founded on anything—a great, foul, heaving truthless mass that has been allowed to swallow up the institutions of self-government because many of the people whose responsibility it is to protect those institutions abandoned them to their own fate.
The results are in the report released by Robert Mueller and his investigators on Thursday. It is a document that shows clearly that every guardian of the republic—especially including the people themselves—surrendered it to an international criminal cabal without firing hardly a shot.
Also in that report is a challenge: there is one last chance to avert the threat, and it lies with the United States Congress, and with the people who elected its members. Mueller has dropped it all in the country’s lap. He did what he could.
Subpoena them all. Put them under oath and on television. Begin impeachment inquiries on Monday. (You can have the weekend. I’m generous.) Fumigate the entire government because, what we have now, and what Mueller illustrated, is the political equivalent of a plague cell. Fumigate it. Burn its furnishings. This administration is candida auris, the anti-bacterial superbug that The New York Times tells us is running amuck in hospitals.
The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not. Tests showed it was everywhere in his room, so invasive that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it.
“Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump,” said Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital’s president. “The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive.”
That’s the national government right now. Everything in it is positive.
There is no question that the president* is in deep contravention of his oath of office. He has not faithfully executed his office. He has not preserved, protected, or defended the Constitution of the United States. There is hardly a single one of the 400-odd pages on which cannot be found a violation of the constitutional oath.
On Saturday, June 17, 2017, the President called McGahn and directed him to have the Special Counsel removed. [Don] McGahn was at home and the President was at Camp David. In interviews with this Office, McGahn recalled that the President called him at home twice and on both occasions directed him to call Rosenstein and say that Mueller had conflicts that precluded him from serving as Special Counsel. On the first call, McGahn recalled that the President said something like, “You gotta do this. You gotta call Rod.” McGahn said he told the President that he would see what he could do.
McGahn was perturbed by the call and did not intend to act on the request. He and other advisors believed the asserted conflicts were “silly” and “not real,” and they had previously communicated that view to the President. McGahn also had made clear to the President that the White House Counsel’s Office should not be involved in any effort to press the issue of conflicts.
McGahn was concerned about having any role in asking the Acting Attorney General to fire the Special Counsel because he had grown up in the Reagan era and wanted to be more like Judge Robert Bork and not “ Saturday Night Massacre Bork.” McGahn considered the President’s request to be an inflection point and he wanted to hit the brakes.
Efforts to curtail the Special Counsel’s investigation. Two days after directing McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed, the President made another attempt to affect the course of the Russia investigation. On June 19, 2017, the President met one-on-one in the Oval Office with his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a trusted advisor outside the government, and dictated a message for Lewandowski to deliver to Sessions.
The message said that Sessions should publicly announce that, notwithstanding his recusal from the Russia investigation, the investigation was “very unfair” to the President, the President had done nothing wrong, and Sessions planned to meet with the Special Counsel and “let [him] move forward with investigating election meddling for future elections.” Lewandowski said he understood what the President wanted Sessions to do.
One month later, in another private meeting with Lewandowski on July 19, 2017, the President asked about the status of his message for Sessions to limit the Special Counsel investigation to future election interference. Lewandowski told the President that the message would be delivered soon.
Hours after that meeting, the President publicly criticized Sessions in an interview with the New York Times, and then issued a series of tweets making it clear that Sessions’s job was in jeopardy. Lewandowski did not want to deliver the President’s message personally, so he asked senior White House official Rick Dearborn to deliver it to Sessions. Dearborn was uncomfortable with the task and did not follow through.
The president* found a dirty deed that even Corey Fcking Lewandowski wouldn’t do. Also, if I’m Don McGahn. I’m running a geiger counter over my cornflakes for a while.
The election itself was deeply infected as well.
Manafort briefed Kilimnik on the state of the Trump Campaign and Manafort’s plan to win the election. That briefing encompassed the Campaign’s messaging and its internal polling data. According to [Rick] Gates, it also included discussion of “battleground” states, which Manafort identified as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. Manafort did not refer explicitly to “battleground” states in his telling of the August 2 discussion.
Gates might want to stay clear of polonium for a while, too.
Mueller’s diagnosis is clear and uncompromising. He has given us all the bad news at once and left the choice of treatment up to the patient. And, whether we have the stomach for it or not, it’s time to take the painful cure. There is an ancient remedy that was asserted in 1974, by the late Barbara Jordan, Democrat of Texas, the last time the republic was as sick as it is today.
It is wrong, I suggest, it is a misreading of the Constitution for any member here to assert that for a member to vote for an article of impeachment means that that member must be convinced that the President should be removed from office. The Constitution doesn’t say that. The powers relating to impeachment are an essential check in the hands of the body of the Legislature against and upon the encroachments of the Executive.
The division between the two branches of the Legislature, the House and the Senate, assigning to the one the right to accuse and to the other the right to judge, the Framers of this Constitution were very astute. They did not make the accusers and the judgers — and the judges the same person . . . .
. . . James Madison again at the Constitutional Convention: “A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution.” The Constitution charges the President with the task of taking care that the laws be faithfully executed, and yet the President has counseled his aides to commit perjury, willfully disregard the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, conceal surreptitious entry, attempt to compromise a federal judge, while publicly displaying his cooperation with the processes of criminal justice.
“A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution.”
And there you are.
WASHINGTON (April 19, 2019) — The Mueller report lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help. Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack.
Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: “Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.” The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment.
To ignore a president’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways.
The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty. That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States.
I want to make sure you know where I stand.
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