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Silence of the Sheep
Author: BobR    Date: 08/23/2018 12:46:56

As noted in Raine's blog yesterday, Tuesday was a Very Big Day in the world of American politics. The convictions and guilty pleas of two close tRump associates on the same day created a seismic shift in the ground beneath his feet. The news exploded across the media, and it's been a topic of non-stop discussion by the pundits. It certainly looks like this would be the tipping point where Congress needs to cut loose this anchor threatening to drag them down, along with the common decency of rule of law for the rest of us.

So what exactly are we hearing from Republicans in Congress?


Here are a few responses to questions from some Republican legislators:
[Sen Rubio (r-FL)]: “That is in the hands of a prosecutor, that is working its way through courts. They will handle that and the prosecutor’s office will handle that,” he said.


“It’s premature to talk about it at this stage because there’s been no determination made by any court or even any prosecutor,” Rubio said.


Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who’s retiring at the end of this term, declined to say whether Trump committed a crime if he indeed directed Cohen to pay hush money to former paramours.

“I’m just an old business guy. I don’t know about legal issues much,” Corker said. “I think the system will work out.”


Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) lamented, “It’s always difficult to get the message out that you want to get out when there are other issues that are taking front and center.”

“Let’s face it, this is taking front and center,” he added, referring to the Cohen and Manafort developments. “All the major news organizations are talking about it.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) urged the president via Twitter to read an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by Gerald Seib explaining how Trump often steps on his own good news.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.), the third-ranking GOP leader, said the escalating legal drama is “definitely a fairly big sideshow.”

“Until it plays out and we know what the conclusions are that the investigation draws, I think we have to let it play out,” he added.

Thune declined to say whether Congress needs to investigate Cohen’s allegation that Trump violated campaign finance law, arguing that lawmakers need to hear more from special counsel Robert Mueller before proceeding.


Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another regular Trump critic who’s retiring in early January, said he didn’t want to touch that hot potato, at least not yet.

“I’m not going to suggest anything other than this is obviously serious,” he said.

Asked if the allegation constituted a crime by the president, Flake demurred, “I'm not a lawyer.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on the subject of impeachment said, “It’s far too early to be talking about anything like that.”

She also argued that articles of impeachment begin in the House, and that questions about the process should begin there.

Wow - can you imagine if the president was a Democrat? Oh yeah - we don't have to imagine. President Clinton got impeached for waffling on a question about a sexual affair he had. Here we have two more close tRump associates actually facing jail time - including Cohen's assertion that tRump broke campaign finance laws - and they all claim to need more time. I suspect that time will magically expire on Nov 7.

Perhaps tRump will resign, rather than face being impeached. It's what Nixon did, and as this writer points out, the similarities between tRump and Nixon are becoming more obvious:
It’s easy enough — and others have done it ably — to highlight the superficial similarities between this White House scandal and Watergate. The most glaring, perhaps, is that both were triggered by burglaries of the Democratic National Committee — one a classic black-bag job, the other digital.

Then, of course, you have the president firing top law enforcement officials, calling the investigation a “witch hunt” and criticizing its scope. You have presidential lawyers — John Dean then, Michael Cohen now — cutting deals with prosecutors and threatening to turn on their former clients.

Just to make things more surreal, Trump this week derided Dean, a frequent critic of his, as a “RAT,” making Trump the first American president to take the position that White House aides paid by the public are bound by the blood oath of La Cosa Nostra.

But like I said, that’s all just surface stuff. The more remarkable and consequential parallel lies several levels deeper, I think, in a dark seam of self-delusion.
(there's a lot more at the link; it's a pretty good read)

In the end, all roads lead to tRump leaving the White House in ignominy - perhaps in handcuffs (although those will likely come later). For now, the deafening silence from Congress tells us all we need to know about their character and respect for the rule of law, and office of the presidency.


13 comments (Latest Comment: 08/23/2018 19:50:01 by livingonli)
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