The Democrats Continue To Make A Huge Hash Of Getting Rid Of President Amok
|ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES|
Hope Hicks is getting her beauty sleep tonight, comfy in her silk jammies.
That is not unusual except that she should be wearing an orange jumpsuit and moldering in a federal lockup after being charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about her firsthand knowledge of collusion between Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Vladimir Putin's cyberwarriors on orders of the White House in the course of a seven-hour appearance House Judiciary Committee appearance this week. Behind closed doors.
It is a sad spectacle.
The Nancy Pelosi-led Democratic leadership is making a huge hash of getting rid of President Trump while hoping that the courts somehow do the job they should be doing in fulfilling their constitutional mandate to be a check on a rogue president. Despite being newly empowered in the 2018 midterms, the Dems have all but conceded that the rules don't apply to Trump and minions like Hicks, Donald McGahn and William Barr, among others, because they won't enforce those rules.
Beyond Hopey's "testimony" on Thursday, the best evidence that the Democrats aren't really serious came on Wednesday when House Speaker Pelosi refused to even allow a vote to censure Trump, a kind of Impeachment Lite that spares the president the pitfalls of televised hearings while giving him fresh ammo to portray the Democrats and not his own sorry self as vindictive and traitorous.
It is beyond dispute that Trump's disregard of -- no, make that his attack -- on the rule of law and constitutional order is unprecedented. And barring some lapse in the 19th century of which I am unaware, never has Congress so completely bailed on its constitutional duties in a time of national emergency.
As I argued the other day, democracy is not going to save itself from Trump, and the Democrats' ongoing self extraction of the teeth that Blue Wave voters gave them has settled into a comfy routine of denials and excuse making:
They're going to air out the case against Trump by educating the public about his high crimes and misdemeanors but instead hold closed-door hearings like the Hicks pillow fight.
They're going to hold accountable a key player like Barr, but instead Pelosi engages in an inane fight with the attorney general over who in the House should be given a minimally redacted copy of the Mueller report.
They're going to get Trump's tax returns, but instead Richard Neal, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, has retreating on the issue in return for Republican help in advancing his pet legislation.
And so on and so forth.
The chance of ridding America of Trump before the 2020 election is as thin as a rake handle, as an old farmer friend of mine liked to say of the long odds one can encounter in life. But the Democrats aren't really trying, their "efforts" are increasingly farcical and there is no way that they can hold the president accountable when they are averse to making themselves accountable.
At least Hopey is getting her beauty sleep.
|THE ASSOCIATED PRESS|
Barring a presidential pardon, which remains highly problematic, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will be spending the rest of his sorry life in prison. Yet the impression grows that he did a pretty fair job of diddling Robert Mueller and his prosecutorial team.
Manafort, in addition to communicating with Trump's lawyers through a back channel lubricated by his own lawyer during the period he was ostensibly cooperating with Mueller, exchanged hundreds of text messages with Fox News host Sean Hannity after he was charged in the special counsel's probe, according to court documents released Friday.
"The media is trying to split me with DT and family by lies and untruths," Manafort wrote to Hannity in August 2017. "It is such a dirty game."
In another, Manafort says: "I have new lawyers who are junk yard dogs and will undo a lot of this injustice. But it is going to be a painful and expensive fight for me."
Hannity, who for all intents and purposes is a member of Trump's Cabinet, offered Manafort consoling words and an open invitation to his show.
"I pray that God give you grace and peace in this difficult moment," Hannity wrote. "If you ever just want to talk, grab dinner, vent, strategize -- whatever, I am here. I know this is very hard. Stand tall and strong."
Meanwhile, in yet another example of the endemic corruption in Trump's Justice Department, Manafort, already sentenced to 7-plus years in prison on charges brought by Mueller, is awaiting trial on New York state charges not in the notorious hellhole known as the Rikers Island state penitentiary, where any other prisoner in his position would be, but in a far more commodious federal pen after Jeffrey Rosen, Barr's deputy attorney general, pulled strings.
The move is unprecedented, although certainly not surprising.
Click HERE for a summary of ongoing Trump-related investigations.
Yep, it looks like impeachment ain't gonna happen.
It's now an all or nothing bet on the 2020 election. I think Pelosi is tough and shrewd. I'm willing to trust her judgment. Meantime, she might just drive Trump batty with her talk of an intervention and the like. Let's be patient. It might be riveting, in a train wreck sort of way, to watch.
Maybe humor is the only way to survive this. I just hate watching train wrecks or any wrecks for that matter.
Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside.
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