Politikk, religion og samfunn President Donald J. Trump - Quo vadis? (Del 2)

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  • Dr Dong

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    Robert Mueller submitted his final report as the special counsel more than a year ago. But even now—in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the Administration’s tragically bungled response to it, and the mass demonstrations following the killings by police of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others—President Trump remains obsessed with what he recently called, on Twitter, the “Greatest Political Crime in the History of the U.S., the Russian Witch-Hunt.” In the past several months, the President has mobilized his Administration and its supporters to prove that, from its inception, the F.B.I.’s investigation into possible ties between his 2016 campaign and the Russian government was flawed, or worse. Attorney General William Barr has directed John Durham, the United States Attorney in Connecticut, to conduct a criminal investigation into whether F.B.I. officials, or anyone else, engaged in misconduct at the outset. Senator Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has also convened hearings on the investigation’s origins.

    The President has tweeted about Mueller more than three hundred times, and has repeatedly referred to the special counsel’s investigation as a “scam” and a “hoax.” Barr and Graham agree that the Mueller investigation was illegitimate in conception and excessive in execution—in Barr’s words, “a grave injustice” that was “unprecedented in American history.” According to the Administration, Mueller and his team displayed an unseemly eagerness to uncover crimes that never existed. In fact, the opposite is true. Mueller had an abundance of legitimate targets to investigate, and his failures emerged from an excess of caution, not of zeal. Especially when it came to Trump, Mueller avoided confrontations that he should have welcomed. He never issued a grand-jury subpoena for the President’s testimony, and even though his office built a compelling case for Trump’s having committed obstruction of justice, Mueller came up with reasons not to say so in his report. In light of this, Trump shouldn’t be denouncing Mueller—he should be thanking him.

    […]

    In other words, far from authorizing a wide-ranging investigation of the President and his allies, the Justice Department directed Mueller to limit his probe to individuals who were reasonably suspected of committing crimes. Temperamentally as well as professionally, Mueller was inclined to follow this advice. The very notion of a criminal investigation lasting more than eight years, as the Whitewater case had, was repellent to him, as was Starr’s seemingly desperate search to find something to pin on his target. Persistent news leaks from Starr’s office and Starr’s frequent sessions with reporters in the driveway of his home, in suburban Virginia, were also anathema to Mueller, who began his inquiry by imposing a comprehensive press blackout.

    According to McCabe, there appeared to be possible prosecutable cases against Papadopoulos and Flynn, for false statements, and against Manafort, for financial improprieties. (In the first several months of the investigation, Mueller won guilty pleas from Papadopoulos and Flynn and secured a pair of wide-ranging indictments against Manafort, who was later convicted in one case and pleaded guilty in the other. In 2020, the Trump Administration sought to drop the case against Flynn, even though he had pleaded guilty.) Mueller decided to take on the range of issues he discussed with McCabe but little else. He also brought indictments against more than a score of Russians for attempts to interfere in the 2016 election, but they certainly would not agree to appear in an American courtroom.

    Trump’s political adversaries, unaware of Mueller’s determination to run a brisk, narrow investigation, became invested in the expectation that he would uncover such sweeping and devastating proof of criminal misdeeds that a misbegotten Presidency would be forced to come to an end. There were “Mueller Time” T-shirts and Robert Mueller action figures—G.I. Joes for the MSNBC set. It was all the better that Mueller was a Republican and no one’s idea of a political partisan. But Trump’s fiercest defenders and Mueller’s most devoted fans misjudged the special counsel from the beginning.

    Mueller did not use the F.B.I. information as a catalyst for a deeper examination of Trump’s history and personal finances. Nor did he demand to see Trump’s taxes, or examine the roots of his special affinity for Putin’s Russia. Most important, Mueller declined to issue a grand-jury subpoena for Trump’s testimony, and excluded from his report a conclusion that Trump had committed crimes. These two decisions are the most revealing, and defining, failures of Mueller’s tenure as special counsel.

    […]

    Which side was right? In truth, no one knew. But if Mueller had issued the subpoena in January, 2018, there was a chance that the Supreme Court would have carried out an expedited review and issued its decision by the end of June, when the investigation would have been just a year old. Mueller may have been concerned about dragging things out, but no one could have fairly accused him of doing so had he subpoenaed Trump at that time. And Trump’s testimony would certainly have been the most important piece of evidence in this investigation.


    Instead, Mueller kept negotiating for an interview. Later, he wrote in his report, “We thus weighed the costs of potentially lengthy constitutional litigation, with resulting delay in finishing our investigation, against the anticipated benefits for our investigation and report.” But Mueller himself was responsible for much of the delay. In this critical moment, he showed weakness, and Trump pounced. After his lawyers refused the Camp David interview, he began to attack Mueller. “The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime,” he tweeted in March, 2018, in one of his first direct attacks on the special counsel. “WITCH HUNT!”

    […]

    Giuliani said that he might agree to allow the President to answer written questions, but only about his actions during the campaign. Everything he did as President was covered by executive privilege.

    Not so, Mueller said. They went back and forth over this familiar ground.

    Finally, Giuliani said, “What are you going to do? Are you going to subpoena the President?”

    Mueller said, “We’ll get back to you.” More weeks passed.

    Mueller eventually capitulated on a grand-jury subpoena and on an oral interview. Then he gave up on questions about Trump’s actions as President. Finally, Trump’s lawyers presented Mueller with a take-it-or-leave-it proposal: Trump would answer only written questions, and only about matters that took place before he became President. Mueller took it.

    […]

    Mueller had uncovered extensive evidence that Trump had repeatedly committed the crime of obstruction of justice. To take just the most prominent examples: Trump told Comey to stop the investigation of Flynn (“Let this go”). When Comey didn’t stop the Russia investigation, Trump fired him. Trump instructed his former aide Corey Lewandowski to tell Attorney General Sessions to limit the special-counsel investigation. Most important, Trump told Don McGahn, the White House counsel, to arrange for Mueller to be fired and then, months later, told McGahn to lie about the earlier order. (Both Lewandowski and McGahn declined to help engineer Comey’s firing.)

    The impeachment proceedings against Nixon and Clinton were rooted in charges of obstruction of justice, and Trump’s offenses were even broader and more enduring. Moreover, Mueller’s staff had analyzed in detail whether each of Trump’s actions met the criteria for obstruction of justice, and in the report the special counsel asserted that, in at least these four instances, it did. But Mueller still stopped short of saying that Trump had committed the crime.

    Mueller’s team faced a dilemma. If Mueller had brought criminal charges against Trump, the President would have had the chance to defend himself in court, but, in light of the O.L.C’s opinion, Mueller could not charge Trump. So Mueller decided not to say whether Trump committed a crime, because he was never going to face an actual trial. The report stated, “A prosecutor’s judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator.” In other words, in a gesture of fairness to the President, Mueller withheld a final verdict.

    That still left the issue of what Mueller should say about Trump’s conduct. His judgment was announced in what became the most famous paragraph of the report:

    Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.
    Nothing in Mueller’s mandate required him to reach such a confusing and inconclusive final judgment on the most important issue before him. As a prosecutor, his job was to determine whether the evidence was sufficient to bring cases. The O.L.C.’s opinion prohibited Mueller from bringing a case, but Mueller gave Trump an unnecessary gift: he did not even say whether the evidence supported a prosecution. Mueller’s compromising language had another ill effect. Because it was so difficult to parse, it opened the door for the report to be misrepresented by countless partisans acting in bad faith, including the Attorney General of the United States.

    (og så er det barr)

    For those who knew Barr, especially in recent years, a letter he wrote on June 8, 2018, did not come as a great surprise. (The letter became public six months later, soon after Barr’s nomination.) It was a memorandum of more than ten thousand words, addressed to Rosenstein and Steven Engel, who led the O.L.C. Even the subject line—“Mueller’s ‘Obstruction’ Theory”—dripped with contempt. “I am writing as a former official deeply concerned with the institutions of the Presidency and the Department of Justice,” it began. “I realize that I am in the dark about many facts, but I hope my views may be useful.” The gist was that much of Mueller’s investigation was illegitimate. Barr said that Trump’s decision to fire Comey was within his power as President. Mueller’s approach to the inquiry, Barr wrote, “would have grave consequences far beyond the immediate confines of this case and would do lasting damage to the Presidency and to the administration of law within the Executive branch.” Six months after Barr wrote his letter, Trump nominated him for a return engagement as Attorney General.

    […]

    This, too, was accurate. Barr went on, “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” In other words, Mueller hadn’t reached a conclusion on whether Trump committed a crime, but Barr had. In just two days, without speaking to the authors of the report about their evidence or their conclusions, Barr and Rosenstein asserted that they had digested hundreds of pages of dense findings and decided that the President had not committed a crime. The letter was an obvious act of sabotage against Mueller and an extraordinary gift to the President. By leaving the disclosure of the report and its conclusions entirely up to Barr, Mueller had brought this disaster on himself and his staff.

    […]

    Barr continued to diminish Mueller’s report and to dilute its impact. Trump finally had an Attorney General who put the President’s personal and political well-being ahead of the national interest, the traditions of the Justice Department, and the rule of law. But Barr was able to dismantle the Mueller report only because the special counsel and his staff had made it easy for him to do so. Robert Mueller forfeited the opportunity to speak clearly and directly about Trump’s crimes, and Barr filled the silence with his high-volume exoneration. Mueller’s investigation was no witch hunt; his report was, ultimately, a surrender. ♦

     
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    defacto

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    Det var det ikke mange som hadde trodd var mulig for snart 4 år siden...
    Du verden som tiden flyr og lista blir stadig lavere.
    Annotation.png
     

    Groove

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    Det var fuldt muligt for 4 eller 8 eller flere år siden. Det er problemet, der sker intet. Trump er ikke problemet, han har gjort det mere synligt. Det virker som om østkyst pressen har vågnet at en tornerosesøvn og opdaget noget og giver budbringeren skylden.

    Hvis der ikke ændres i folks dagligdag og deres rammer lokalt, sker der intet. OG der er sådan der er, hvid eller sort præsident.

    Jeg bryder mig ikke om Trump, men han er ikke problemet. Men pressen kan ikke styre sig, de angriber ham og styrker dermed hans position hos hans vælgere.
     

    defacto

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    Selvsagt er Trump problemet. Han er ikke årsaken, men han er problemet!
    Og nei, dette var IKKE mulig for 4 år siden!
     

    Disqutabel

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    Det var fuldt muligt for 4 eller 8 eller flere år siden. Det er problemet, der sker intet. Trump er ikke problemet, han har gjort det mere synligt. Det virker som om østkyst pressen har vågnet at en tornerosesøvn og opdaget noget og giver budbringeren skylden.

    Hvis der ikke ændres i folks dagligdag og deres rammer lokalt, sker der intet. OG der er sådan der er, hvid eller sort præsident.

    Jeg bryder mig ikke om Trump, men han er ikke problemet. Men pressen kan ikke styre sig, de angriber ham og styrker dermed hans position hos hans vælgere.
    Ja, her tilslutter jeg meg defacto, din analyse her overser en stor del av helheten.

    Joda, årsakene er mange, og Trump har selvsagt ikke skylda for at det har blitt mulig å velge et så fullstendig uskikket menneske til en posisjon med såpass mye makt. Trump er allikevel i seg selv en stor del av problemet; han forstår ikke politikk, han har ekstremt lav menneskeforståelse, han er kunnskapsløs, han er sykelig selvopptatt, og han tror på fullt alvor at han både vet og forstår det meste. Om ikke disse tingene til sammen er et problem, dersom man har såpass mye makt som Trump, ja, da vet ikke jeg hva som er problematisk her i verden. Og pressen..., altså, det er pressens fordømte plikt å si fra når makten ikke forstår virkeligheten, når de lyver og bedrar, når de vender makten mot folket. Selvsagt skal ikke pressen styre seg i sånne tilfeller!! Hva mener du de skulle gjort? Latt som ikkeno' mens helvete bryter løs rundt ørene på dem??
     

    Groove

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    Trump siger faktisk det han vil...og det ser ikke godt ud. Problemet er de politikere der i de sidste 100år har snakket for ændringer, men intet gjort...
     

    Disqutabel

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    Trump siger faktisk det han vil...og det ser ikke godt ud. Problemet er de politikere der i de sidste 100år har snakket for ændringer, men intet gjort...
    Joda, masse er gjort, men det er ikke nødvendigvis slik at alt har vært så innmari smart. Min oppfatning er jo såpass banal at jeg oppriktig mener alle land burde etterstrebe parlamentarisme og fordelingspolitikk, mens USA stort sett har gjort det motsatte. På 60-tallet hadde USA en sterkere fordelingspolitikk enn i dag, deretter har deres utenlandsgjeld økt enormt, mens skattetrykket for de rikeste har falt like drastisk. Fattigdommen har økt, de sosiale problemer likeså. I de nordiske land har vi derimot økt velstand, senket kriminalitet og fattigdom.
    Det er som to forskjellige verdner. Men uansett er Trumpismen fullstengig feil medisin til feil tid. Velgerne har enten fullstendig misforstått, eller blitt lurt trill rundt.
     

    Groove

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    Enig i en del, men vælgerne er jo i protest imod de politikere der ikke har gjort noget...det udnytter Trump...

    Var de etablerede politikere reelle, ville sagen jo være nem for dem, men deres interesser er skjulte...så Trump er stadig med i spillet.
     

    defacto

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    Nja.....er ikke så sikker på at alle er der. Joda, det er mange som velger potethuet i protest, men de fleste av hans velgere er hvite våpenfanatikere og religiøse. Og du kødder ikke med våpen og religion i statene...
    Han er ingen av delene, men spiller på det og vet at de logrer.
     

    Asbjørn

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    ...men de utgjør maksimalt 20-25 % av befolkningen, og den prosenten krymper for hvert år som går. Trump forsøker seg på en skrekkvariant av «the southern strategy» som fungerte bra for republikanerne på 1970- og -80-tallet, men demografien er ikke med ham. For å få det til å fungere må han sikre at alle andre holdes borte fra stemmeurnene, og selv det vil bli krevende.
     

    AndersR

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    Pyttsann, bare 70-80 millioner altså? det er jo nesten ingen.
    Husk at det var under 140 millioner som stemte under sist presidentvalg.
     

    Dr Dong

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    Groove

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    Pyttsann, bare 70-80 millioner altså? det er jo nesten ingen.
    Husk at det var under 140 millioner som stemte under sist presidentvalg.
    Det er en vigtig pointe...hvis alle dem der "burde" stemme demokratisk, gjorde det, var Trump chanceløs. Grunden til de ikke gør det, er at de ikke har tro på en reel forandring fra deres "egne"...
     

    Asbjørn

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    Pyttsann, bare 70-80 millioner altså? det er jo nesten ingen.
    Husk at det var under 140 millioner som stemte under sist presidentvalg.
    Jeg burde nok skrevet 20-25 % av de stemmeberettigede. Det er grunnfjellet hans. Og det krymper.
     

    AndersR

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    Jeg burde nok skrevet 20-25 % av de stemmeberettigede. Det er grunnfjellet hans. Og det krymper.
    25% er det som norges største parti har som oppslutning.
    Du vet, de som har statsministeren.

    25% er absurd mye.

    Se for deg om Alliansen hadde scora fem prosent på neste stortingsvalg. Det hadde vært ramaskrik uten like. Og her sitter vi og ufarliggjør 20-25% av amerikanske velgere?
     

    Asbjørn

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    Nei, de er åpenbart farlige nok, men <25 % i et land med topartisystem er ikke det samme som 25 % hos oss. Poenget er at Trump kan fyre opp under «basen sin» så mye han bare vil, men han behøver veldig lav valgdeltagelse for at det skal holde. Hvis galskapen hans motiverer like mange på den andre siden til å møte opp for å stemme taper han. The Southern Strategy er ikke hva den var i Nixons dager, men det ser ikke ut til at noen har forklart det for Trump.
     

    Asbjørn

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    Det er flere som er litt uklare på slike konsepter, i dette tilfellet 1-3 juli 1863. Mon tro hva de som deltok der ville ment om at USAs president sier dette på dagen 157 år senere:
    President Trump reaffirmed late Tuesday that he would veto this year’s proposed $740 billion annual defense bill if an amendment is included that would require the Pentagon to change the names of bases named for Confederate military leaders, his strongest rebuke against the measure amid a national reckoning over systemic racism.
     

    Terje-A

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    Valget i USA kan bli spennende..
    Bl.a.
    Brinkley er enda mer bekymret og spør seg om Trump overhodet vil forlate Det hvite hus om han taper.

    – Trump er i gang med å legge grunnlaget veldig klart for at han ikke vil forlate Det hvite hus. Jeg tror han er ferd med å gjøre scenen klar for å si: «Jeg går ikke. Valget var juks».
     

    otare

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    Republikanerne er i ferd med å flytte over til et nytt sosialt medium da de ikke liker at de blir faktasjekket. De vil gjerne kunne fortsette å lyve og spre konspirasjonsteorier uten at noen legger seg bort i det. Det som skjer i USA nå er ekstremt farlig. EU må bli sterkere, og vi må bli medlem av EU så fort som fy!

     

    AndersR

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    – Trump er i gang med å legge grunnlaget veldig klart for at han ikke vil forlate Det hvite hus. Jeg tror han er ferd med å gjøre scenen klar for å si: «Jeg går ikke. Valget var juks».
    Neida, ingen fare. Jeg har nemlig lest på noe som heter hifisentralen at det ikke går an, fordi det er skrevet på et papir et sted.
     

    Hardingfele

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    Neida, ingen fare. Jeg har nemlig lest på noe som heter hifisentralen at det ikke går an, fordi det er skrevet på et papir et sted.
    Prosedyren er da ganske klar. Etter at Electoral College har utnevnt presidenten går embedet til denne, enten til sittende eller ny. Administrasjonsapparatet begynner da å tilrettelegge for continuance eller transition. I sistnevnte tilfelle har den nye presidenten full innsynsrett og dennes overgangsstab begynner å overta styringen. Formelt skjer dette først ved innsettelsesseremonien i januar. Dersom presidenten skulle forsøke å bli sittende i Det ovale kontor vil han og hans folk bli ryddet ut av Det hvite hus med makt.

    Trump kan muligens bli den første som utprøver disse forordningene.

    (Under innsettelsesseremonien går det en virvelvind av folk gjennom Det hvite hus for å fjerne spor av den forrige og gjøre klart for den nye).
     

    Terje-A

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    Spilleregler gjelder ikke lenger, strikken er tøyd over lang tid, ikke bare av Trump. Derfor er det ikke lenger forskjell på rett og galt, den nye normalen er det fullstendige unormale. Egoisme og en plutokleptokratisk ånd er det som råder. Sukk. :(
     
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