Far be it for me, a British citizen, to lecture Americans on democratic failings in light of Britain shooting itself in the foot in political and economic suicide.
But here goes anyways.
Let’s see what has happened. And remember the impeachment: that whole checks and balances process whereby the most powerful man in the world manipulated another state to further his own political agenda through international bribery, and then have his own political party, scared of him, to stack the dice, refuse to entertain witnesses, so on and so forth. That whole thing should be enough to make you all as worried as hell.
Susan Collins and Lemar Alexander came out and basically said, “He did bad but he’ll learn from this.” Except, he hasn’t. Indeed, Guiliani is still in Ukraine and is still digging dirt to give to the DOJ.
Roger Stone, who lied under oath to Congress on Trump’s behalf, has been sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison. This was following statutory guidelines for this type of felony – the US Sentencing Commission guidelines. The whole Roger Stone case should, of course, be another nail in Trump’s political coffin. But the guy is covered in Teflon and Kevlar. Things don’t stick. Things bounce harmlessly off him.
The DOJ has now come out to argue Stone should get much less prison time. You know, because Trump tweeted. He claimed he had “the absolute right” to tell the DOJ what to do. He claimed that Roger Stone and others getting such sentences were an “abberition” [sic], a “disgrace”, and that the people really committing “major crimes” are “getting away with it”. He is a guy who extorted a major foreign nation to cheat in a domestic election and then orchestrated a cover-up to protect himself before being acquitted – getting away with it.
All four prosecutors on the Roger Stone case have resigned in protest at the interference.
Trump then called for the military to pursue legal action against Lt Col Vindman for testifying against him in the impeachment trial.
Then Senate Republicans blocked three bills designed to prevent foreign interference in US elections.
The Saturday Night Massacre saw Nixon’s undoing:
The Saturday Night Massacre is the name popularly applied to the series of events that took place in the United States on the evening of Saturday, October 20, 1973, during the Watergate scandal. U.S. PresidentRichard Nixon ordered Attorney GeneralElliot Richardson to fire Special ProsecutorArchibald Cox; Richardson refused and resigned effective immediately. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney GeneralWilliam Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; Ruckelshaus refused, and also resigned. Nixon then ordered the third-most-senior official at the Justice Department, Solicitor GeneralRobert Bork, to fire Cox. Bork considered resigning, but instead carried out the dismissal as Nixon asked.
The political and public reactions to Nixon’s actions were negative and highly damaging to the president. The impeachment process against Richard Nixon began 10 days later, on October 30, 1973. New Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski was appointed on November 1, 1973, and on November 14, 1973, United States District Judge Gerhard Gesell ruled that the dismissal had been illegal.
Now, this is not quite like that, or is a reverse in many ways. there aren’t the principled people in the administration – those with principle, like these prosecutors, sit outside the administration. They resign and we could arguably see Trump’s grip on organisations and procedures strengthen. Trump says not to follow the law, and the DOJ oblige; he says “Jump”, they say “How high?”
We are seeing the democratic institutions involved in the checks and the balances on the powers in high seats being eroded,
We are having a situation where people can think, “I can do anything I want to illegally benefit the top man and he’ll just get me off.”
This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
…and a few hours later, the DOJ is seeking to halve Roger Stone’s sentence.
America, what the hell is going on with your democracy? Trump is becoming the dictator I have previously warned of.
Joe Scarborough pulled no punches in attacking Trump’s dictatorial behaviour, accusing the denials of being lies (the commentary form 5:30 onwards on the video is well worth listening to):
“Would Donald Trump not do whatever he could do if he could get away with it? Seriously? If he could arrest every journalist he didn’t like, if he could arrest us tomorrow, let me ask you a question: do you think he would arrest us tomorrow? Do you think he would arrest the editor of the New York Times, the editor of Washington Post, Jeff Bezos, do you think he would arrest them tomorrow and throw them in jail to silence them? Because if you say he wouldn’t, you’re just lying to yourself. He will get away with whatever he can get away with and he did this yesterday…He did it because you Republican senators gave him a blank check.”
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