Rethinking America

The End of the Rule of Law in America?

How U.S. President Donald Trump plays Brett Kavanaugh, Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller to end having a U.S. government that is accountable to the American people.

Credit: Joseph Sohm Shutterstock.com

Takeaways


  • Will Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein be fired on Thursday [during the Kavanaugh hearings]?
  • Kavanaugh is on public record with his legal opinion that a sitting US President cannot be investigated, let alone indicted for any crimes during his presidency. Any!
  • If you think that Trump’s game plan to shut down the Mueller investigation smacks of Soviet-style “judicial” practices, you could be forgiven.
  • Republicans serving in the US Congress today have become willing accomplices in forging the largest constitutional crisis in the history of the US.

Early Monday morning, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein, was ordered to appear at the White House. A flurry of activity quickly developed at the Department of Justice. Rosenstein was fully prepared to be fired by President Trump.

Will Rosenstein be fired on Thursday (during the Kavanaugh hearings)?

According to sources, he drafted a letter of resignation in anticipation. Rosenstein disappeared for quite some time after his arrival at the feudal lord’s castle. When he re-emerged, news quickly spread that he had not had a meeting with Trump, but instead with his Chief-of-Staff, John Kelly.

Furthermore, he was to return to the White House on Thursday to then meet with the President.

Rosenstein has endured verbal abuse from the President for over a year because of his refusal to end the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller on ties between Russia and then-presidential candidate Trump and his campaign in order to undermine his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Trump frequently threatened to fire Rosenstein over this matter. (Yes, in case you missed it, there are a lot of firings going on in Trump’s new reality TV series, “The Apprentice Administration;” high TV ratings are guaranteed).

A traitor, conveniently?

But things came to a head just over a week ago, when the New York Times reported that Rosenstein had allegedly offered to wear a wire in order to record his conversations with President Trump, after the latter had fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. Rosenstein has also refused to stop the Russia investigation.

According to the New York Times report, Rosenstein wanted to record his conversations with President Trump in an effort to start proceedings under the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Amendment provides – among other things – for the process of removing a President, if the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet consider the President incapable of exercising his/her duties.

While Rosenstein denied the allegations (who would not?), the White House was in panic mode (well, that is actually the “default” setting in this White House). Rumors quickly circulated that Rosenstein would be fired unceremoniously.

In the minds of some West Wingers, the Russia investigation could now be ended under the pretense that the person overseeing the whole “witch hunt,” Rosenstein, was also a traitor. After all, he thought President Trump was unstable. Who would think such a thing?

Upstaging the next Kavanaugh hearing

But Trump decided against a short shrift execution of his Deputy Attorney General. He requested that Rosenstein come to the White House Monday morning. He was fully aware that Rosenstein expected his own firing. But instead of kicking him out the door, Trump had Rosenstein meet with his chief of staff, John Kelly. And ordered him back for Thursday.

Three days of suspense, three days of rumors, three days of uncertainty. A reality star’s dream of a buildup. All the while, the President makes, of course, a mockery of good governance, due process and the rule-of-law. But who cares, it’s great entertainment.

Trump cynically timed his meeting with Rosenstein so that it would coincide with the Senate hearings on sexual assault charges against his current Supreme Court nominee, Kevin Kavanaugh.

Split screen TV on Thursday?

So, what will CNN do? Broadcast the hearing of Dr. Casey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh on the alleged incident? Or will they hang around the White House waiting for a tarred and feathered Rod Rosenstein to be escorted out?

But it gets worse, because all of these events are interconnected and they are shaped by only one consideration: To shut down the investigation by Robert Mueller and to seal or destroy the evidence that he and his team have collected since June 2017 and to exculpate Donald Trump and his family from conspiring with Vladimir Putin.

If you think that Trump’s game plan to shut down the Mueller investigation smacks of Soviet-style “judicial” practices, you could be forgiven.

The prosecutors are now inside Trump’s inner circle

The Mueller investigation has already led to more than two dozen indictments, several guilty pleas and a major conviction. What matters even more is the caliber of cooperating witnesses. It is now made up of some of the people closest to Donald Trump: Michael Cohen, his long-term personal attorney, and Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager.

Mueller is coming closer to the end of his investigation and it is increasingly likely that his findings on Donald Trump and his family will be devastating, politically as well as legally.

Kavanaugh to the rescue

And this is where his Supreme Court nominee, Kevin Kavanaugh, comes in. Remember that Kavanaugh’s only distinguishing feature from the other ultra-conservative candidates whom Trump considered, is that he is on public record with his legal opinion that a sitting President of the United States cannot be investigated, let alone indicted for any crimes during his presidency. Any!

In other words, if Trump were to fail to shut down the Mueller investigation, a conservative Supreme Court with a Justice Kavanaugh on the bench could declare any and all results null and void.

A systematic attack

Over the past two years, President Trump has incessantly attacked his country’s institutions, including its intelligence services, the military, the Department of Justice and the FBI. Through his speeches and tweets, he has undermined the confidence in orderly government and the rule of law.

He has questioned the need for due process at every turn, following his apparent mantra: “First we hang them, then we try them.” In his most recent nomination to the Supreme Court, he has demonstrated once again that all that matters is to advance the interests of Donald Trump.

No-shame Republicans

Republicans serving in the U.S. Congress today have become willing accomplices in forging this, the largest constitutional crisis in the history of the United States. They stand in stark contrast to their predecessors who by and large resisted the efforts of President Richard Nixon to usurp the American Republic.

This puts even more pressure on the American people to go and vote in the mid-term elections this November and to overturn the Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Not a small task, but seemingly the only way or chance to restore some checks on the near dictatorial reign of this President.

But even then, the long-term damage to the institutions of the United States has been done. Having a government that is accountable for its actions is becoming ever more impossible. This raises grave concerns not just for Americans, but for the world.

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About Uwe Bott

Uwe Bott is the Chief Economist of The Globalist Research Center. [New York/United States]

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