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Source: (consider it) Thread: Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread
la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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I think my favourite leak came from the White House aides who said (off the record) that El Presidente’s comment to the Russians must have been unintentional because he’s too thick to understand the written briefings.

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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Now Putin is offering to help clear up the misunderstanding:
quote:
Vladimir Putin has offered to release a record of Russian officials' meeting with Donald Trump
That's what you call maximum trolling.

[ 17. May 2017, 13:31: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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lowlands_boy
Shipmate
# 12497

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Republican Congressman Al Green is cutting to the chase

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I thought I should update my signature line....

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

At this point they are perhaps a necessary evil but I think in their own way, they are further damaging the democratic institutions Trump has already ripped into.

I have already seen some Trump supporters making the coup argument. (I used the coup word above, but I had a different concern- if the Deep State were to determine that Trump was a national security threat, but then keep him in place to try to pass on bad intelligence to the Russians in some sort of John LeCarre type conspiracy, I would consider that a coup.)

I have been listening to Dan Carlin's history of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and two hours in, we are still talking about the early atomic age. He suggests that the advent of atomic weapons caused one of the most fundamental Constitutional changes in our history, right up there with the Civil War. Because you might need to deploy an atomic weapon at a moment's notice, it can't require an act of Congress. So they decided to place that decision in the hands of the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces (i.e., the President). That lead to a situation where the President needed constant updates on what was happening in Russia, China, and other hot spots, so that he could be ready at a moment's notice to give the order. To fulfill that need for constant information, we created the CIA and the NSA. 9/11 builds on that- now, the President needs constant information about what various dangerous groups are up to, so that he can make in the moment security decisions.

So there is at least an argument that the entire security apparatus has always been damaging to democratic institutions and separation of powers. Although I think that many of us will accept that this is just a necessary reality now. For a long time, it was logistically impossible to seriously strike the US homeland, and we could get along without this kind of thing. Now? We probably need it, although we would be a lot happier if it were being handled by a more competent individual.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Republican Congressman Al Green is cutting to the chase

I'm wondering if there comes a point where the Republicans realize that Trump is squandering their moment, and just decide to be rid of him. McConnell was quoted as saying that they need fewer distractions coming from the White House. There's a way to do that, although you risk alienating the hard core Trumpkins.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I can't remember in which of the various Lyin' Don threads I mentioned this. But we have been trying to puzzle out what, if anything, he could do to finally and permanently alienate his party, so that they throw him over the side. So far we have come up dry.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

At this point they are perhaps a necessary evil but I think in their own way, they are further damaging the democratic institutions Trump has already ripped into.

A similar argument could be made about the leaks by Daniel Ellsberg and Mark Felt back in the 1970s. It seems downright perverse to argue that exposing presidential criminality (like obstruction of justice) is more damaging than presidential criminality itself. I'd argue that the automatic deference to a president's ability to cover up wrongdoing is way more damaging to "democratic institutions" than career civil servants (a.k.a. "the deep state") providing accurate information to the public (you know, the folks who are supposed to be practicing democracy) about presidential wrongdoing.

[ 17. May 2017, 14:51: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Here is an eloquent cri de coeur which has Some Language but is a free click. All the people who only watch Fox News shall never see it, alas. There is a divide in our news and communications now.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Republican Congressman Al Green is cutting to the chase

quote:
Today on the floor of the Congress of the United States of America, I will call for the Impeachment of the President between 9am & 10am CST.
An hour-long impeachment trial would hardly be enough.

Misplaced modifiers reign supreme in modern grammar, it would seem.

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"We're not in Wonderland anymore, Alice." – Charles Manson

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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I think it is too soon to call for impeachment.
Not that it isn't warranted, but because support will likely not be strong enough yet. Too many Republican'ts not willing to admit their mistake.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Here is an eloquent cri de coeur

Absolutely true. Should be required reading for all.

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"We're not in Wonderland anymore, Alice." – Charles Manson

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Hedgehog

Ship's Shortstop
# 14125

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Now Putin is offering to help clear up the misunderstanding:
quote:
Vladimir Putin has offered to release a record of Russian officials' meeting with Donald Trump
That's what you call maximum trolling.
I find nothing funny in what Trump is doing, nor the knee-jerk (emphasis on jerk) defense of him that many Republicans are engaged in, but I have to admit that the news that Vlad the Putin is offering to give us his rendition of what was said caused me to laugh out loud.

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"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Republican Congressman Al Green is cutting to the chase

quote:
Today on the floor of the Congress of the United States of America, I will call for the Impeachment of the President between 9am & 10am CST.
An hour-long impeachment trial would hardly be enough.

Probably not, but what a lovely thought. Imagine if this whole nightmare were done by 10 am CST! Here on the West Coast we could wake up to a brand new day. I would skip work and take the kids out of school for a holiday at the beach, eating ice cream and romping in the waves. We'd cook hot dogs over a bonfire as we watch the sunset and not come home until we were slightly sunburnt and completely encrusted in salt & sand.

(of course the next day I'd wake up to the reality of President Pence, but still...)

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It seems downright perverse to argue that exposing presidential criminality (like obstruction of justice) is more damaging than presidential criminality itself.

I was careful in what I wrote, and that wasn't what I wrote.

This is not "both sides are bad". It's saying that when the intelligence community has to proceed by stealth, as it were, to attempt to corrall a presidency, which I fully agree has done more damage and set the ball rolling, it is likely to inflict further damage on the institutions.

If that's not addressed, it gives the "deep state" derp more traction.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Here is an eloquent cri de coeur

Absolutely true. Should be required reading for all.
I love how the repeated "we are so f*****" reads like the refrain of a liturgy. It would make a wonderful lament psalm.

Best line:

quote:
If you’re Christian & voted for Trump, Jesus would walk on the other side of the street & pretend to be on the phone if he saw you coming.


--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

At this point they are perhaps a necessary evil but I think in their own way, they are further damaging the democratic institutions Trump has already ripped into.

I have already seen some Trump supporters making the coup argument. (I used the coup word above, but I had a different concern- if the Deep State were to determine that Trump was a national security threat, but then keep him in place to try to pass on bad intelligence to the Russians in some sort of John LeCarre type conspiracy, I would consider that a coup.)

I have been listening to Dan Carlin's history of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and two hours in, we are still talking about the early atomic age. He suggests that the advent of atomic weapons caused one of the most fundamental Constitutional changes in our history, right up there with the Civil War. Because you might need to deploy an atomic weapon at a moment's notice, it can't require an act of Congress. So they decided to place that decision in the hands of the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces (i.e., the President). That lead to a situation where the President needed constant updates on what was happening in Russia, China, and other hot spots, so that he could be ready at a moment's notice to give the order. To fulfill that need for constant information, we created the CIA and the NSA. 9/11 builds on that- now, the President needs constant information about what various dangerous groups are up to, so that he can make in the moment security decisions.

So there is at least an argument that the entire security apparatus has always been damaging to democratic institutions and separation of powers. Although I think that many of us will accept that this is just a necessary reality now. For a long time, it was logistically impossible to seriously strike the US homeland, and we could get along without this kind of thing. Now? We probably need it, although we would be a lot happier if it were being handled by a more competent individual.

Competent like 3 nuclear holocausts avoided in less than 3 years Kennedy? “I can go into my office and pick up the telephone, and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead.” Nixon? REAGAN?!!! Black Hawk Down and Rwanda Clinton? 9 x I'll close Guantanamo Obama?

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Love wins

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

(of course the next day I'd wake up to the reality of President Pence, but still...)

So, on one hand is an unstable, unpredictable person who might inhibit Republican removal of citizen's rights and privileges but is affecting America's credibility and stability and could cause more war. And on the other hand is a person who will restore a sense of stability, but who will go full steam towards widening the gap between rich and poor.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Stetson
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# 9597

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quote:
but I have to admit that the news that Vlad the Putin is offering to give us his rendition of what was said caused me to laugh out loud.
Thing is though, if you're someone who is ready to be convinced that Trump did nothing wrong, and if Putin's minutes appear to show nothing irregular about the meeting, then that's probably gonna be enough for you to persist in your belief that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

(of course the next day I'd wake up to the reality of President Pence, but still...)

So, on one hand is an unstable, unpredictable person who might inhibit Republican removal of citizen's rights and privileges but is affecting America's credibility and stability and could cause more war. And on the other hand is a person who will restore a sense of stability, but who will go full steam towards widening the gap between rich and poor.
Yep. Like I said, the first day would be awesome and we'd celebrate as a family. The next day the hangover kicks in.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Competent like 3 nuclear holocausts avoided in less than 3 years Kennedy? “I can go into my office and pick up the telephone, and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead.” Nixon? REAGAN?!!! Black Hawk Down and Rwanda Clinton? 9 x I'll close Guantanamo Obama?

Sort of the fundamental question of the entire podcast is if humans are really up to the task of handling a weapon that can destroy civilization. (And given that we probably aren't going back to a pre-atomic age voluntarily, the only way we get a definite answer is if the answer is no.) A whole lot of history would suggest that it is human nature for the two biggest players on the block to go at it at some point, and for no holds to be barred when that happens. And we have a relatively small sample of men who have actually had to make calls based on that amount of power- in the United States, we're on lucky number 13 (unless you ask Alexander Haig- [Razz] ).

But even if you determine that no one is totally up to the task, there are certainly people who are closer to being up to it than Trump.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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There is a good recent episode of Radiolab about the nuclear chain of command. Worth listening to and reflecting.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Penny S
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# 14768

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A Trump supporter was on about this on the BBC earlier today, and was waxing lyrical about how the media were always on about Trump but not about the felon Clinton. Which comment was not picked up on. Surely she is not a felon if not charged, tried and convicted of a felony?
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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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Speaking as someone who struggles with the at times uncontrollable urge to correct people when they misuse criminal common law terms (no, a house cannot be robbed), it rarely goes over well.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
A Trump supporter was on about this on the BBC earlier today, and was waxing lyrical about how the media were always on about Trump but not about the felon Clinton. Which comment was not picked up on. Surely she is not a felon if not charged, tried and convicted of a felony?

Yes I heard that. He was about as persuasive and as in touch with reality as Kellyanne Conway.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think Trump's defence is likely to be along the lines that all these leaks amount to an orchestrated coup attempt by the Deep State.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It seems downright perverse to argue that exposing presidential criminality (like obstruction of justice) is more damaging than presidential criminality itself.

I was careful in what I wrote, and that wasn't what I wrote.

This is not "both sides are bad". It's saying that when the intelligence community has to proceed by stealth, as it were, to attempt to corrall a presidency, which I fully agree has done more damage and set the ball rolling, it is likely to inflict further damage on the institutions.

I'm having trouble getting "proceed by stealth" from a series of public releases of (presumably) accurate information. Widespread publicity is not something that's usually associated with "stealth", but it is associated with successful leaks. The only problem would seem to be if the leaks are either a) false or b) true but compromise something with a legitimate need for secrecy. A legitimate need for secrecy does not include covering up wrongdoing by the powerful.

I've seen a lot of arguments along these lines so I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but the argument you're advancing boils down to claiming that it's better for democracy if a president has confidence that his underlings will be complicit in covering up his wrongdoing than if he knows someone will eventually spill the beans on his high crimes and misdemeanors. I'd argue the reverse, that democracy is in a lot more trouble when the powerful know they can successfully conceal their wrongdoing than when they know the truth will eventually come out.

At its root democracy depends on the decisions of the people, and that is made impossible if the powerful can successfully conceal important and relevant facts.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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A wicked suggestion I have seen (I have far too wide a circle of wicked acquaintance) is that Hillary Clinton should be named FBI director. We'd be able to hear heads exploding right across the amber waves of grain up to the base of the purple mountains majesty.

This should amuse, a roundup of WH staffers' moaning. Surely working for the T must be as close to damnation as you can get in this mortal life. He is the most toxic boss imaginable.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

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Trump's incompetence and recklessness probably spell his doom. Basically, the election chose a candidate who is unfit for purpose. Too vain and too stupid to leave it to subordinates while he plays golf.

I think it's only a matter of time, now.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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Thanks for the link, Brenda - 'stewards of a syphilitic emperor' has a grand ring to it!

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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AP now reporting House oversight committee to hold a hearing in a week, including with testimony by Comey.

A week sounds like a lifetime from now given the 3 a day fire drills out of the White House.


******


Meanwhile, Ebola is going on again and I wonder if anybody at the White House has bothered to think about that?

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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It is a proverb that a day can be a year in politics. We're going to test that, for sure. With the train barreling down on him, he's going to be like a rat in a trap. I wouldn't want to be his caddy at the club in New Jersey this weekend.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
It is a proverb that a day can be a year in politics. We're going to test that, for sure. With the train barreling down on him, he's going to be like a rat in a trap. I wouldn't want to be his caddy at the club in New Jersey this weekend.

THIS weekend Donald Trump will be in either Saudi Arabia or Israel. I'm certain that nothing bad could possibly come of that fact. [Roll Eyes]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Is that still on? There were calls for it to be cancelled. If that happens he'll be like a toddler deprived of a carousel ride.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
It is a proverb that a day can be a year in politics. We're going to test that, for sure. With the train barreling down on him, he's going to be like a rat in a trap. I wouldn't want to be his caddy at the club in New Jersey this weekend.

THIS weekend Donald Trump will be in either Saudi Arabia or Israel. I'm certain that nothing bad could possibly come of that fact. [Roll Eyes]
Visiting Israel right now might prove extremely awkward, to say the least.

One of my conspiracy minded lefty friends (let's face it, pretty much all my friends right now are conspiracy minded lefties) has suggested that, with the trap closing in and knowledge of Comey's paper trail, he'll take advantage of the fact that we don't have an extradition treaty with Saudia Arabia and just not come back. Perhaps eventually settling in a cushy villa somewhere in a Russian resort town. One can only help he takes his friends Tillerson, Sessions, and Bannon with him.

I'm guessing he'd find Chechnya to his liking. I'd love to trade this basket of deplorables for every single LGBTQ person living in the region.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 10863 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
One can only help he takes his friends Tillerson, Sessions, and Bannon with him.

And McConnell and Ryan and, of course, Pence.

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"We're not in Wonderland anymore, Alice." – Charles Manson

Posts: 10188 | From: The Great Southwest | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hedgehog

Ship's Shortstop
# 14125

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quote:
Originally posted by Og: Thread Killer:
Meanwhile, Ebola is going on again and I wonder if anybody at the White House has bothered to think about that?

Oh, good! It has been at least 24 hours since they blamed something on Obama. Ebola will do the trick nicely.

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"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

Posts: 2600 | From: Delaware, USA | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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I just had an interesting factoid pointed out to me from the Washington Post's article on the Comey memo.

quote:
Details of Comey’s notes have been shared with a very small circle of people at the FBI and Justice Department, these people said.
Are Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein included in that "small circle of people" and, if so, did the "details . . . shared" include Trump's suggestion/request/order that the Flynn investigation be axed? If that's the case (and, admittedly, there are a lot of "ifs" here), the Comey firing starts to look even worse.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10303 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
but the argument you're advancing boils down to claiming that it's better for democracy if a president has confidence that his underlings will be complicit in covering up his wrongdoing than if he knows someone will eventually spill the beans on his high crimes and misdemeanors. I'd argue the reverse, that democracy is in a lot more trouble when the powerful know they can successfully conceal their wrongdoing than when they know the truth will eventually come out.

These are not the only two alternatives.

The intelligence community in particular needs to exercise the power its access and knowledge grants it in a restrained fashion. Or did you see Comey's briefing on the ongoing Clinton e-mail investigation prior to the election in the same light*?

*No, this is not an attempt at "but her emails".

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

Posts: 16979 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
... One of my conspiracy minded lefty friends (let's face it, pretty much all my friends right now are conspiracy minded lefties) has suggested that, with the trap closing in and knowledge of Comey's paper trail, he'll take advantage of the fact that we don't have an extradition treaty with Saudia Arabia and just not come back. Perhaps eventually settling in a cushy villa somewhere in a Russian resort town. One can only help he takes his friends Tillerson, Sessions, and Bannon with him. ...

Oh, please, please, yes.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7203 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
I'm guessing he'd find Chechnya to his liking.

He can only hope his Chechen/Russian is better than his English. [Roll Eyes]

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

Posts: 18721 | From: scarily close to 40° | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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So Robert Mueller redivivus gets the nod to head Russiagate.

[ 17. May 2017, 22:24: Message edited by: Zappa ]

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

Posts: 18721 | From: scarily close to 40° | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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So many great links and posts while I was asleep/ doing other stuff. I wish there was a like function so I could record my applause for each individual without doing a giant post of cut/paste jobs with appreciative comments.

Special Counsel appointed. Our ABC has not been consistent about drawing a distinction between a Special Counsel and a Special Prosecutor, although I understand there is one. I'm sure they'll be on top of it in the next few hours.

Can someone explain in a few short paragraphs how it is that a Special Counsel appointed by the Justice Department is more independent of the White House than the Director of the FBI?

In Australia, I think this sort of thing would be done by a Royal Commissioner, who is a quasi-judicial officer and only capable of being removed if they are very very naughty. No doubt Gee D. will be able to put that more accurately. In fact, I'm relying on him to do so. I have a cold and it hurts to think.

[ 18. May 2017, 00:10: Message edited by: simontoad ]

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

Posts: 923 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

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MSNBC is reporting that a special counsel can be fired by the president. The countdown starts in 10... 9... 8....
[Help]

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 10863 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Could thwumple be that thick? Surely a few days first?

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

Posts: 18721 | From: scarily close to 40° | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
So many great links and posts while I was asleep/ doing other stuff. I wish there was a like function so I could record my applause for each individual without doing a giant post of cut/paste jobs with appreciative comments.

Special Counsel appointed. Our ABC has not been consistent about drawing a distinction between a Special Counsel and a Special Prosecutor, although I understand there is one. I'm sure they'll be on top of it in the next few hours.

Can someone explain in a few short paragraphs how it is that a Special Counsel appointed by the Justice Department is more independent of the White House than the Director of the FBI?

In Australia, I think this sort of thing would be done by a Royal Commissioner, who is a quasi-judicial officer and only capable of being removed if they are very very naughty. No doubt Gee D. will be able to put that more accurately. In fact, I'm relying on him to do so. I have a cold and it hurts to think.

It's all quite complicated.

When Nixon was under investigation by Watergate, he was being investigated by a "Special Prosecutor" (Archibald Cox) who could be fired by the Attorney General, who in turn answered to the President. However, firing the Special Prosecutor in the middle of an investigation of the president would be highly irregular if not unethical, so when Nixon ordered his attorney general to fire him, one attorney general resigned, then the next attorney general resigned, and finally the third in line, when he became attorney general, fired Cox (all in one night!). This was the so-called Saturday Night Massacre.

After Watergate, Congress passed a law creating what was called an "Independent Counsel," which would be appointed by a panel of three judges and could not be fired by the President or anyone who answered to the President. Kenneth Starr, who investigated Bill Clinton leading up to his impeachment (although Clinton was not removed from office) for perjury and obstruction of justice for the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal. Congress didn't like all the Independent Counsels who were investigating them as well, so they let this law lapse and now there are no more independent counsels.

What we have now under existing law is a "Special Counsel," which is like the "Special Prosecutor" that existed during Watergate who CAN be fired by the Attorney General or the President. It would take a new act of congress to reestablish the Independent Counsel, and that is not likely to happen.

Plus congress can create a "Select Committee" that has lots of special resources to investigate something (Like it did with Benghazi and Hillary's emails) - but that is not likely to happen, at least not yet - Congress is investigating Trump and Russia through its normal Intelligence Committees now, which also handle all kinds of other matters.

Congress can also establish a special commission like it did to investigate the 9/11 attacks that is not made up of members of congress, so it is perceived as more independent - although this commission would just issue a report at the end and then congress or the Justice Department could then decide what to do with its findings.

It's complicated, as I said.

Posts: 1485 | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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"No politician has ever been treated worse...."

Mussolini and lamp posts come to mind.
Nicolae Ceauçescu and bullets.
General Noriega and loud music.

At first blush.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10761 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Wesley J

Silly Shipmate
# 6075

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45 is so far removed from reality that reality needs to remove him.

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Be it as it may: Wesley J will stay. --- Euthanasia, that sounds good. An alpine neutral neighbourhood. Then back to Britain, all dressed in wood. Things were gonna get worse. (John Cooper Clarke)

Posts: 7215 | From: The Isles of Silly | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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Cheers for that Stonespring. Phew!

On the issue of Trump's treatment, surely you don't need to go overseas for examples. Barak Obama was pretty badly treated by the Fox Network I recall. And someone Oh dear I can't remember his name, you know that yellow haired idiot who's presidency is just one shambling disaster after another, questioned his status as an American.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

Posts: 923 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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Good grief! We've had, four I think it is, presidents assassinated, Lincoln, McKinley, Garfield and Kennedy, and several more attempted assassinations, surely they were treated worse than Trump!

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

Posts: 11603 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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But when you are the sole inhabitant of your own universe, they don't matter

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

Posts: 18721 | From: scarily close to 40° | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Trump's grasp of history is about as firm as his grasp of law is about as firm of his grasp of the Constitution is about as firm of his grasp of how to treat others as if you were a decent human being.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

Posts: 62906 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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