Rule of Law


The dog days of August and the Olympic Games: Time to act on Trump and the Republican fascist threat

See Jonathan Freedland, “Trump may be fading away, but Trumpism is now in the American bloodstream; He left in disgrace, yet all signs point to…


The indictment of Trump: The Democratic wall of silence begins to break

See, 1) Laurence H. Tribe, Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance, “Here’s a roadmap for the Justice Department to follow in investigating Trump,” Washington Post,…


Should Trump be indicted? REVISED — A comprehensive evaluation of the arguments

A fundamental norm of a democratic state governed by law is that the authors of serious crimes must be prosecuted and sent to prison if found guilty. This rule should apply no matter who they are.

Both President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have solemnly stated (Garland under oath) that they would not let political considerations influence Department of Justice decisions on whether or not to prosecute individuals.

Both Biden and Garland have violated these promises, in a most egregious and blatant manner, by refusing to prosecute Donald Trump and his co-conspirators.

There appears to be an iron-clad agreement between President Biden, Attorney General Garland, and Democrats in Congress, not to raise this issue, that is, not to even talk about it.

What, indeed, might be the arguments against prosecuting Trump and his Republican co-conspirators?

As there has been virtually no public discussion of the reasons that have led the Democrats to refrain from indicting Trump and his co-conspirators for their apparent crimes, the disadvantages of this course of action have not been articulated or discussed seriously in the media.


IMPUNITY: The biggrest and most important story no one will cover

IMPUNITY: The biggrest and most important story no one will cover

When will Trump be indicted?

Why are we asking this question five months after Democratic President Joe Biden has been in office?

A Pulitzer Prize is waiting for the Newspaper or Magazine that will field a news team to take this story on.

The Biden administration and Merrick Garland’s Justice Department have not convened grand juries and indicted Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators for the many electoral crimes and other crimes they committed in what amounted to a vast Republican conspiracy to overthrow the election and the Constitution.

All the attention has been diverted to the Capital Insurrection on January 6 and the violent demonstrators who seized the Capitol. Attention of the media has focsed on the foot soldiers, and not the generals who sent them into battle. Trump and his Republican co-conspirators commited many acts of intimidation of election officials, and other acts of obstruction of justice. Why have Biden and Garland not prosecuted these crimes?

It as if some foreign country that is an enemy of democracy had launched a massive missile attack on the United States that unleashed a tasteless, odorless gas on the entire population, causing total amnesia regarding certain tenets of democracy and the rule of law.

One such bedrock principle of the rule of law is that crimes must be punished, suspected criminals must be indicted and tried, and, when found guilty, sent to prison.

If Trump gave us the Normalization of the Unthinkable and the Normalization of the Unforgivable, President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have given us the Normalization of Impunity.


Which newspaper or magazine or news team will go after the Pulitzer that is just sitting there, like on a table, waiting for someone to pick it up?


REPRISE: When will Trump be indicted?

Putting all of these actions together, it appears that Donald Trump led a vast conspiracy, in which he enlisted the support and cooperation of Republican federal, state, and local legislators and officials, to overthrow the results of the November 3 presidential election and, consequently, the Constitution of the United States.

Why have we heard virtually nothing about federal or state grand juries investigating these alleged crimes?

There have been only a few exceptions, such as the grand jury in Atlanta where a courageous prosecutor is investigating a blatant case of apparent election interference for which there is recorded and public evidence.

Why indeed has former President Donald Trump not yet been indicted for the many crimes he has apparently committed?

When will he be indicted?

Moreover, when will his many Republican co-conspirators and accomplices in these apparent crimes be investigated and themselves indicted?

What is going on?

We are all tired of thinking about Trump and his crimes. However, democracy is a very fragile flower, and we have just seen how close we can come to losing it. If America’s first fascist president, and the many members of the Republican Party who engaged in a vast conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, are not held accountable before the courts for the very numerous crimes which they committed, the lesson of political impunity will not be lost on others.

Americans who are too cowardly to defend American democracy by prosecuting, and insisting on the prosecution of, those who have committed criminal acts in furtherance of the Republican conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, will have only themselves and their own passivity to blame if it is lost.


America has become a Country of the Absurd

Reprinted, with permission, from ABSURARAMA! June 6, 2021. In the United States, perhaps 50-70 million voters, including a vast majority of Republican voters and almost…


The U.S. doesn’t need investigations or commissions. It needs prosecutions.

Republicans have done the Democrats and the ciountry a huge favor by blocking the creation of a special joint commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection. ..

No, we don’t need any further commissions of inquiry to distract us from the real issues and stakes in American politics today.

What we need is a Justice Department Task Force to launch and coordinate the prosecutions of Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators who committed many serious felonies in their efforts to overthrow the election and the Constitution in 2020-2021. Trump should also be prosecuted for his many egregious crimes in office, including the instances of obstruction of justice detailed–with a summary of the evidence–in the Mueller Report, and the many instances of obstruction of justice through witness tampering and retaliation against witnesses for truthfully testifying in impeachment investigations.

The rule of law is at stake here.

Congress, and in particular the House, has an important role to play. Instead of spinning their wheels in yet another congressional inquiry into the insurrection on January 6, the Democrats in the House should be holding hearings into why the Justice Department has not proceeded with prosecuting Donald Trump and his co-conspirators for the many crimes he and they committed in office, including the rash of election-related crimes committed after November 3, 2021.


Fascism in America is here NOW, in the Republican Party

A principal characteristic of fascist parties, such as the Nazi party in Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s, is the use of violence in the streets and elsewhere against opponents. Today, in the United States, legislators, governors, and electoral officials operate under the threat of imminent bodily harm to themselves or their families.

The highest priority facing the government of Joe Biden is the urgent need to repress this threat of violence, so that votes and decisions and actions of legislators, governors, and government officials are not taken under the influence of fear of bodily harm to themselves or their families.

What can the Biden administration do?

A lot.

For example, they could establish a “zero tolerance”policy for such threats, which constitute serious federal crimes, and prosecute each and every individual who makes such a threat.


When will Trump be indicted?

Putting all of these actions together, it appears that Donald Trump led a vast conspiracy, in which he enlisted the support and cooperation of Republican federal, state, and local legislators and officials, to overthrow the results of the November 3 presidential election and, consequently,  the Constitution of the United States.

Why have we heard virtually nothing about federal or state grand juries investigating these alleged crimes?

There have been only a few exceptions, such as the grand jury in Atlanta where a courageous prosecutor is investigating a blatant case of apparent election interference for which there is recorded and public evidence.

Why indeed has former President Donald Trump not yet been indicted for the many crimes he has apparently committed?

When will he be indicted?

Moreover, when will his many Republican co-conspirators and accomplices in these apparent crimes be investigated and themselves indicted?

What is going on?

We are all tired of thinking about Trump and his crimes. However, democracy is a very fragile flower, and we have just seen how close we can come to losing it.  If America’s first fascist president, and the many members of the Republican Party who engaged in a vast conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, are not held accountable before the courts for the very numerous crimes which they committed, the lesson of political impunity will not be lost on others.

Americans who are too cowardly to defend American democracy by prosecuting, and insisting on the prosecution of, those who have committed criminal acts in furtherance of the Republican conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, will have only themselves and their own passivity to blame if it is lost.


China and Russia form common front against the West

One such mistake has been to grant unscripted interviews on television. In his interview with George Stephanoupoulis, on ABC-TV, Stephanapoulis asked him if he thought Vladimir Putin was “a killer”. Biden, unaccompanied by his handlers and off-script, naively answered, “Yes.”

The answer enraged Putin, who at a press conference, said,

“What would I answer him? I would tell him: be healthy,” Putin said. “I wish him good health. I say this without irony, no jokes. This is first of all.”
CNN

So, Biden’s first big mistakes vis-à-vis Russia and China were to publicly call Putin a “killer” and to adopt a confrontational attitude at the first bi-lateral meeting between foreign ministers with China.

In both cases, Buden and Blinken were playing primarily to their domestic audience. The point is not that Biden and Blinken should not have spelled out in detail their criticisms of China. The point is this was the wrong time and the wrong place.

The common front against the West should come as no surprise. Its timing has at least symbolic significance.


Gov. Cuomo–Democracy and rule of law, or cancel culture: We must choose

The current campaign to force Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign may lead to his impeachment, but is not likely to lead to his conviction and imprisonment for a crime.

Instead, he is the latest object of a phenomenon in the United States, and some other places, which seeks to bypass legal and constitutional processes to achieve the immediate objective of a frenzied mob, often made possible or strengthened through the internet and social media. Non-public and dark forces may be behind some of these campaigns.

In the United States, at least three different “mobs” have contributed to what is often termed “cancel culture”, the abuse of power to achieve goals without due process and without following legally-established procedures for determining the truth of allegations, and determining appropriate and proportionate sanctions for crimes or infractions that may be found to have occurred.

(T)he critical distinction between predatory sexual conduct–the coercion of a woman by a man to engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct, on the one hand, and sexually inappropriate speech or other conduct (measured by contemporary standards), such as touching or verbal comments, on the other, has frequently been lost.

The Democrats, and their cancel culture mobs, are serving up a powerful cultural wedge issue for the Republicans to exploit.

So, small-minded and cynical Democrats are now endorsing mob action and circumvention of rule of law procedures to not only ascertain the veracity of the allegations against Cuomo–including those concerning nursing home death statistics, but also the nature of the punishment that would be proportionate and appropriate for the alleged infractions, should he be found guilty as charged.



Khashoggi assassination: To really sanction MBS, minimize U.S. and allied dealings with him

Now, the U.S. can send a subte message to King Salman and the Saudi Royal family by having minimal contact and interaction with the Crown Prince.

The Saudis can choose whoever they want to be King.  But they should know that Americans will never forget or forgive the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.

If the Saudis enthrone MBS they are likely to have one kind of relationship with the United States. 8ut if they choose someone else to be King, they could have another kind of relationship.


Fighting the American fascists: Just imagine they are wearing Nazi military uniforms

They tell monstruous lies. They are not acting in good faith. They are silent in the face of violence. For two months they were complicit and co-conspirators with Donald Trump to overthrow the election and the Constitution.

They pay obeisance to Donald Trump, even today, after his attempted coup d’état and the Capitol Insurrection.
We should simply imagine that they are all wearing Nazi military unifirms.

When you see Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Ron Johnson,
in the Senate, for example, just imagine they are wearing Nazi military uniforms. It will clear your mind.



In Memoriam: The Republican Party (March 20, 1854-February 13, 2021)

While severely ailing for the last four years, The Republican Party entered its death throes and died on February 13, 2021.
This constitutional argument had been twice rejected by the full Senate, which under the Constitution has the sole authority to determine how it will proceed in impeachment cases.

Consequently, not only did the 43 Republican Senators violate their oaths of office and their oaths to do impartial justice, but they also violated the Constitution’s provision that the Senate is the sole arbiter of how it should proceed in an impeachment case, and the decision on constitutionality the Senate reached in exercising that power.
Journalist’s have been too intellectually lazy to understand and
report these details. Instead, they glibly write that Republican Senators who voted to acquit Trump justified their actions on a “technicality”.

Far from being a “technicality”, the bad-faith argument these apologists for Trump used to try to hide their craven cowardice involved fundamental precepts of the Constitution, including binding Senate determinations of whether the trial was constitutional or not.
Although the House Impeachment Managers lost their case for conviction in the Senate, they put forth a brilliant case, which convinced 57 of the 100 Senators to vote to impeach Trump.

Now, the battle must be taken to the court of public opinion, and to the polls in 1922, 1924, 1926, and beyond.


Democrats blow huge opportunity at impeachment trial, losing 57-43. But work must continue to tear down Trump’s propaganda wall.

The great political challenge we all now face is to find a way to dismantle Trump’s propaganda bubble and alternative universe, so that rational people, no longer fearful of fascist mobs and voters, can resume a politics of reason.
Yet let us not lose sight of the great success of the House Impeachment Managers in presenting a compelling case,  Let us also not lose sight of the fascist challenge that America faces, and the hard work that remains to be done to overcome it.



The Republican cancer on the American body politic

Let there be no doubt about it. The American body politic is infected by a cancer. That cancer threatens the existence and survival of American democracy. Currently all of the antibodies and forces defending the body politic are fully engaged in fighting the cancer.

The cancer on the American body politic must be killed, with the political equivalents of chemotherapy, radiation, and even surgery where necessary.

Unlike a human body, the American body politic does not have the expected lifespan of a single human life. In the case of an individual fighting cancer, remission for five or ten years might, in some cases, be regarded as a “success”.

This is not the case with the American body politic, however. A five or ten year remission of the cancer would not be sufficient to save the life of a democracy that is already 244 years old.

The cancer is represented by the current Republican Party, and most but not all of its Senators and Representatives in Congress.
Now, 50 Republican senators face a similar moment of truth.

Will they honor their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution and to defend their country against all enemies foreign and domestics, “so help me God”?

Will they honor their solemn oaths to do impartial justice in accordance with constitutions and laws in the impeachment trail of Donald J. Trump, “so help me God”?

Or will they betray their oaths, the American people, and their country, kowtowing and genuflecting instead before the false god who threatened our democracy, who attempted to stay in power through a coup d’état, the last act of which was the Capitol Insurrection?
…But you know that they have sold their souls to the Devil, that they have entered into Mephistophelean bargains they hope will give them continued political life, just as Goethe’s Faust sought to prolong his life.
These 50 Republican Senators have one last shot at redemption: they can honestly evaluate the charges in the Article o impeachment and weigh the evidence, which will lead them ineluctably to a decision to convict Donald Trump for the his attempted coup and the Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021.
Their decisions will mark their lives and careers for all time. It is as if their children and grandchildren, and further descendants could read on their tombstones, “He (or she) voted to honor his (or her) oaths and to save the Republic,” or “He (or she) voted to betray the Constitution and his (or her) country, and for the false god Donald Trump.

Throughout their lives, they will have to face their children and grandchildren, and every one they know or may come to know, and answer that question.

If they make the wrong choice, the shame of that choice will mark them for the rest of their days.