Trump’s Pardon Powers Have Limits When Indictment Comes

October 30, 2017 | Posted in Politics, Trump, Trump Surrogates and Spokespeople, Trump-Russia Scandal | By

A good analysis of the limits of a presidential pardon and why Trump won’t likely be able to just wave a magic wand and make it all go away, even for his friends.

With the first indictment looming from the federal Trump-Russia investigation, President Donald Trump is getting a reminder: His pardoning pardons can’t fix everything. “I don’t think the president’s power is all that absolute, as people have been suggesting,” California Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC News’ “This Week” Sunday.… Read more →

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Comments on the New York Times’ Open Letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

May 11, 2017 | Posted in National Security, Politics, Russia, Trump, Trump-Russia Scandal | By

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

The New York Times Editorial Board has written an open letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about the daunting task he faces now that James Comey has been fired and Mr. Trump has muddied the investigative waters that much further. I wanted to add my own voice to the chorus in hopes that if enough people speak up, it might help with fortifying the courage it will take to see this done right,

First, an excerpt from the NYT Editorial Board’s letter:

Given your own reputation for probity, you must be troubled as well by the broader pattern of this president’s behavior, including his contempt for ethical standards of past presidents. He has mixed his business interests with his public responsibilities. He has boasted that conflict-of-interest laws do not apply to him as president. And from the moment he took office, Mr. Trump has shown a despot’s willingness to invent his own version of the truth and to weaponize the federal government to confirm that version, to serve his ego and to pursue vendettas large and small.

When Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote by nearly three million votes, for instance, he created a Voter Fraud Task Force to back up his claim that the margin resulted from noncitizens voting illegally (the task force has done nothing to date). When there was no evidence for his claim that President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, Mr. Trump demanded that members of Congress put their work aside in order to dig up “facts” to support it.

Firing Mr. Comey — who, in addition to leading the Russia investigation, infuriated Mr. Trump by refusing to give any credence to his wiretapping accusation — is only the latest and most stunning example. The White House can’t even get its own story straight about why Mr. Trump took this extraordinary step.

My comments:

This is an excellent letter, and I can only pray to the gods of Justice that Mr. Rosenstein will take his responsibility seriously and serve the country with dignity and honor.

It is just as important for the country to know if, as Mr. Trump insists, there is nothing to be found in any communications, business relations or other ties with Russia that are illegal or inappropriate, as it is to learn if there are. Finding the truth, whatever it may be, is the only way for the nation as a whole to have confidence that our government is working on our behalf and not the behalf of a nation that has long been hostile to us and our democratic aims.

Mr. Trump does no one – least of all himself – any favors by constantly trying to block investigations, distract people with accusations for which he can offer no support, shifting blame to others who clearly bear no responsibility or any of the other disruptive tactics he’s used. Mr. Rosenstein must find a way to neutralize Mr. Trump’s interference, and the best and most fair way would be to bring in an independent investigator and provide him or her with whatever support or resources are needed to finally answer the very valid and important questions that have been raised by the actions taken and attempts to explain those actions made by Mr. Trump’s campaign staff and administration .

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