Pat Cipollone (pictured above) is the White House counsel who replaced Emmett Flood who replaced Dan McGhan. Flood is still in the White House reporting directly to Trump. The Washington Post reports that Cipollone is in the process of building the equivalent of a new law firm within the White House in order to prevent House committees from revealing any confidential discussions with top Trump’s advisers (or co-conspirators) from being disclosed to House Democratic investigators and revealed in the special counsel’s long-awaited report.
From the Post we learn that, wait for it, “Trump aides say White House lawyers are focused on preserving a legal protection routinely invoked by presidents of both parties.” This seems to be unnecessary if you believe as Trump does that he can break any law with impunity, but I suppose there’s something of a legal system remaining, however tattered and beleaguered, in the United States.
It’s no surprise that Trump’s lawyers will wrap themselves in the ermine coat of executive privilege and bury somewhere in the New Jersey Pineland the parts of Mueller’s report that make the case in chapter and verse that Trump’s lesser felony was obstruction of justice, and that far worse he conspired with a foreign adversary to undermine the American electoral system. Of course there are also the comparatively minor crimes involving Trump’s finances and controversial administration policies.
Breaking news from Devon Bartlet of the Washington Post on The Rachel Maddow Show is that Senate Republicans are assuring us that the new Attorney General William Barr will not stop the Mueller investigation. They are not saying he won’t promise not to interfere in the investigation. If you believe that this means the new AG won’t protect Trump any way he can, you might as well deposit that belief in the notorious bank loved by Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, The Bank of Credit and Commerce International.
Let’s review this example of how truth, justice, and the American way is about to work if Democrats and perhaps even the Supreme Court allow it to happen.
The White House want to be able to decide that anything which implicates the president is covered under executive privilege. Then if the Justice Department headed by William Barr decides that the White House can withhold they evidence from the public it is up to the Democrats subpoena any evidence. The White House would fight the subpoenas and most likely this fight would end in the Supreme Court with two recent Trump justices.
There the hopes to achieve justice would rest with John Roberts assuming Justice Ginsberg is able to vote.
Of course we don’t know what Easter eggs Mueller has hidden away to hatch regardless of what Machiavellian plans Trump’s lawyer have to protect the criminal president. Trump doesn’t have to live by the law everyone else does. Courts don’t have to presume that he’s innocent until proved guilty because he can’t be tried in a court of law while he’s president.
He can, however, be impeached, and if there are enough Republican Senators with a shred of integrity they will demand the facts, the evidence, that Mueller has uncovered. This is a big “if.”
If the White House lawyers begin to behave like mob lawyers protecting a Mafia don or drug cartel kingpin, and voters in vulnerable Senate districts where current senators must run in 2020 start asking why someone who is innocent need a battalion of lawyers to protect him.
Will we have truth, justice and the American way or the Trumpian way?
Trump says ragtag families on our southern border represent a crisis worthy of a primetime Oval Office address. He implies he was on the verge of declaring a national emergency, and my hunch is he planned to do this bt his advisors and lawyers talked him out of it.
The national emergency we do face is Trump and his lawyers will be bending and torturing the legal protections of executive privilege to allow a criminal president to avoid paying for his crimes.
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