History has always been illuminating for me, offering examples of the past to not determine a course of action, but rather to inform as to what course of action can or should be taken. In courts of law this would be called a precedent;
Precedent, in law, a judgment or decision of a court that is cited in a subsequent dispute as an example or analogy to justify deciding a similar case or point of law in the same manner. Common law and equity, as found in English and American legal systems, rely strongly on the body of established precedents, although in the original development of equity the court theoretically had freedom from precedent. At the end of the 19th century, the principle of stare decisis (Latin: “let the decision stand”) became rigidly accepted in England. In the United States the principle of precedent is strong, though higher courts—particularly the Supreme Court of the United States—may review and overturn earlier precedents.Encyclopedia Britannica
Which in effect means courts of law often use the past to decide on cases, but not exclusively, and earlier ‘precedents’ can be overturned, making law more fluid and not a concrete interpretation of the law.
If we are to go on precedent, then recent history of investigation into sitting presidents – ie. Bill Clinton and the Starr Report – then the Mueller Report should have been handed over to Congress. Instead, it was not, it was handed to the Trump appointed Attorney General Barr and there it has stopped; for now.
So until that document is released for all eyes to review, we just do not know what the Special Council actually determined, what facts it unearthed, what details were found to explain certain interactions between Trumps inner circle and campaign and the Russians – to say ‘no collusion’ is noteworthy, but not illuminating.
On the charges of obstruction of justice, well the brief 4-page summary was thin on details, but Barr had determined no obstruction of justice. Why? Well, we don’t know, yet.
So the Mueller Report is out and in fact we actually now know less than we did before. In fact, there are far more questions than answers.
As Barr states, the president was not exonerated, although you can be forgiven for not catching that if you’ve been listening to the White Houses take on the matter.
What this report, to my mind, illustrates is that for 2 years as this report has chugged along mainstream media has jumped on that bandwagon, and to some degree any and all statements of such things as “treason” or “traitor” or “collusion” as it refers to Trump were unfounded. Though, seriously, one can be forgiven for being caught in that net since the president so often seemed to spout Russian talking points, publicly took the Russians side, and pandered to Putin in Helsinki.
Well, one idea is that for some of that Trump is playing the media like a fiddle, feeding them just enough to keep their eye on the Russia scandal to be too occupied to inform the public, investigate and illuminate the public on what the guy was actually up to. You know, stuff like destroying environmental protections that ensured clean drinking water, regulations that prevented companies from dumping waste, and god know what else he’s managed to sneak through while so many media outlets and popular pundits were all caught up in Russiagate.
One important take away from this I think is that the man is fantastic at manipulating the media, and by that manipulating the public.
Another take away is that most of the crew that worked on his campaign were third rate, so its not exactly surprising I guess that they were smarmy grifters, since many had been fired or ostracized out of Washington for various illicit activities, and hence why so many have been charged – Flynn, Manafort, Cohen, Gates, etal. Remember, Cohen did say that he did not expect to win, and so his campaign crew were not top dollar.
At the very least I guess one can say that Mueller went looking for conspiracy and collusion and found liars and fraudsters.
I’ve said it before though, and I’ll say it again, I have been very wary of indictments or impeaching of Trump since my fear is exactly what has transpired since Barr’s 4-page summary, as we watch as all his cronies coo and boo and whoop it up over that sense of vindication, if the man or anyone of his family had been indicted by Mueller there is every reason to believe his base would have become very dangerous.
Will the Mueller report contain anything that could change their mind? Probably not.
In fact, as painful as it is to watch that bunch whoop it up, and all the hyperbole and finger pointing going on, this is a better result.
Why? History is the key. Historically when a man with this sort of power is attacked doggedly by their opponents, and with the base of support willing to violently oppose, their removal has been known to incite the masses and the very thing you feared to happen does.
Julius Caesar, for instance, coming back victorious from Gaul to Rome, the people adored him. At some point Caesar though got it into his ol’noggin that he’d like to be not just a leader, but a monarch, not just to rule, but to rule absolutely. That Rome should be HIS empire, and he should rule it as his divine right. Look at all that he’d accomplished? He was divinely chosen and as such it was his right and it was the gods wish that he should. Rome at this time was a Republic.
Re·pub·lic – a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.
So when that bunch of senators got together to stab him to death in the forum, it was their intention to at all costs prevent his destruction of the republic. But instead, this assassination of a man who had so enamored his people set off a series of events and 17 years later led to Caesars heir/adopted son, Octavius, becoming the first Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar.
Those senators rather than squashing an elected leader who had, in their minds, become too powerful, instead created the very thing they had thought they were preventing.
Trump is enamored with authoritarian leaders, and would seem to wish to make the POTUS into a monarch and not an elected leader. Some on the right have even gone so far as to say he was divinely chosen by god. Some evangelicals see him as a modern day Cyrus, the Persian king who defeated the Babylonians and released the Jews.
For believers who subscribe to this account, Cyrus is a perfect historical antecedent to explain Trump’s presidency: a nonbeliever who nevertheless served as a vessel for divine interest.
For these leaders, the biblical account of Cyrus allows them to develop a “vessel theology” around Donald Trump, one that allows them to reconcile his personal history of womanizing and alleged sexual assault with what they see as his divinely ordained purpose to restore a Christian America.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a recent visit to Washington trotted out this comparison, and even Pompeo, Trumps pick for Secretary of State has embraced this scary idea.
Over the next months, as the 2020 election ramps up, the only solution will be to remove him electorally, not through other means. The cons and corruption at the heart of his presidency and his company will be revealed, and slowly, gradually, the truths will be there for all to see, from the Mueller report to counterintelligence and all the various investigations (17 I think at last count) into all the various Trump entities, from his banking, tax returns, and piece by piece, as the months go on, more and more will see him for what he is and vote him OUT.
I have faith.