We are officially a Banana Republic under Donald Trump. Tin-pot dictators in Banana Republics attack the freedom of the press, replacing a free press with a state-run propaganda machine, and they prosecute and imprison their political opponents to secure their autocratic dictator status. This is what Donald Trump badly wants to do. He wants to corrupt the Department of Justice and the rule of law to illegally prosecute and imprison his political opponents.
The New York Times reports, Trump Wanted to Order Justice Dept. to Prosecute Comey and Clinton:
President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation.
The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.
The encounter was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. It took on additional significance in recent weeks when Mr. McGahn left the White House and Mr. Trump appointed a relatively inexperienced political loyalist, Matthew G. Whitaker, as the acting attorney general.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Ethics, History, Justice, Law Enforcement, personality cult of Trump, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged Attorney General, conspiracy, FBI, obstruction of justice, Special Counsel, witness intimidation
The state of Maryland took the lead in filing a lawsuit to challenge Matthew Whitaker’s unconstitutional and illegal appointment as acting Attorney General. Whitaker’s Appointment as Acting Attorney General Faces Court Challenge:
Now, Mr. Whitaker’s appointment is facing a court challenge. The State of Maryland asked a federal judge on Tuesday for an injunction declaring that Mr. Whitaker is not the legitimate acting attorney general as a matter of law, and that the position — and all its powers — instead rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.
Mr. Trump may not “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office,” the state said in a court filing.
[Read Maryland’s court filings.]
Maryland is asking a judge — Ellen L. Hollander of the Federal District Court for the District of Maryland, a 2010 Obama appointee — to rule on who is the real acting attorney general as part of a lawsuit in which it sued Mr. Sessions in his official capacity. Because Mr. Sessions is no longer the attorney general, the judge must substitute his successor as a defendant in the litigation, so she has to decide who that successor legally is.
It is not entirely clear to me how the state of Maryland establishes standing to bring this lawsuit. Standing is not a problem, however, for three Democratic Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee who filed a separate lawsuit on Monday. Democratic Senators Challenge Whitaker Appointment in Court:
Three Democratic senators asked a Federal District Court judge on Monday to issue an injunction barring Matthew G. Whitaker from exercising the powers of head of the Justice Department, arguing that President Trump’s installation of Mr. Whitaker as acting attorney general violated the Constitution.
The senators — Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — sit on the Judiciary Committee, which conducts confirmation hearings for attorney general nominees. They argued that an official who had not been Senate-confirmed could not run the Justice Department, even temporarily.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Ethics, GOP War On..., History, Justice, Law Enforcement, Legislation, Party Politics, personality cult of Trump, President, Russian Affair, Scandals, Senate
Tagged appointments clause, Attorney General, Department of Justice, Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, Special Counsel, succession
The always desperate for media attention Arizona Senator Jeff Flake Flake says he’ll oppose judicial nominees until Mueller bill gets vote:
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said on Wednesday that he will oppose any of President Trump’s judicial nominations until legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller gets a vote.
“I have informed the majority leader I will not vote to advance any of the 21 judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee or vote to confirm the 32 judges awaiting confirmation on the Senate floor until … [the bill] is brought to the full Senate for a vote,” Flake said from the Senate floor.
Flake’s threat will block the Judiciary Committee from approving judicial nominations and sending them to the full Senate without help from Democrats. Republicans hold a 11-10 majority on the panel and many of the most controversial nominees pass along party lines, meaning they would need either Flake’s vote or a Democratic senator to flip.
On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has slightly more leeway. With a 51-49 majority, Flake would need a Republican colleague to join him and every Democrat to block a judicial nominee on the Senate floor.
His decision comes after McConnell blocked Flake from bringing legislation to protect Mueller from being fired to a vote before the Senate.
Posted in Arizona Congressional Delegation, AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Corruption, Courts, GOP War On..., Justice, Law Enforcement, Legislation, Party Politics, Protest, Scandals
Tagged Attorney General, Department of Justice, Jeff Flake