Updated: Apr 23, 2019
The moment that we've ALL we've been waiting for; a conclusive, definitive, precise document, complete with evidence of Russian interference and collusion with the Trump campaign, has turned out to be a convoluted, cluttered and not quite clear document that may or not be used to impeach or to do what? That to me is the million dollar question? There is quite a bit to unpack in this blog regarding the Muellor Report; which itself is a voluminous 400 page document, not to mention the multiplicity of moving parts surrounding the conclusion and the release of this report to Congress and the American people. It is quite a bit to really wrap your mind around. But, I thought I would spend a few minutes talking about some of the things that I've gotten out of the discussion of the report (still reading it) as well as what I believe Congress next steps should be moving forward regarding this abject failure of President in Donald CHUMP. (Yep I said it) On March 20th, Robert Mueller concluded his two-year investigation of President Trump and the Trump Campaign and whether there was collusion on the part of the President or then Candidate Trump to collude with the Russian Gov't to help him win the Presidency. Two days following the conclusion of this investigation, Atty. Gen. William Barr indicated that he would be releasing a summary of the report that he would send to Congress that details his findings and conclusions from this over 400 page document. Atty. Gen. Barr's assessment of the report was that there wasn't enough evidence to prove that there was indeed collusion between the Russian Gov't and the Trump campaign and although the findings did not rise to level of prosecutorial actions on the part of the Dept of Justice as it relates to obstruction of justice, it doesn't completely let the President off the hook either. Since, the release of this summary Barr has testified before Congress as well as held a press conference before releasing the redacted version of the Mueller Report to the American People. (which you can read right here.) This is just a summary of the timeline before we jump into the nuts and bolts of our analysis of what's really going on with this document and what should be done about the information found within its voluminous pages.
Let's start here, why did Atty Gen Barr feel the need to summarize a report that Mueller's own team of investigators contend has already summarized the investigations findings in such a way that they didn't need any further explanation nor was there a need for redaction if and when the report was ultimately released. Clearly, the Attorney General wanted to hide what he felt was critically damaging evidence to the Trump Presidency that could put both Trump and the Republican Party in more hot water (as if there is NOT in enough hot water already, but we'll dicuss this momentarily) As Barr continues to run interference for Trump and the Trump White House first with the 4 page summary of the Mueller Report, then his testimony before Congress, the Press Conference before the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the more he looks like a personal shill or even shield for Trump and not the nuetral, un-baised, apoltical Attorney General of the United States of America. Give Trump credit, he does know how to play the political game in Washington, even though he doesn't seem adept in overall Presidential matters. He was successful in putting not one but two Supreme Court Justices in the highest court of the land, and putting an Attorney General in place that all but ensures at very least a court battle with every request, subpeona or demand from Congress. So, he's proven that he at least knows that this is a game of Chess and not Checkers. (Go figure!) The questions is whether his polticial pawns will ultimately save him from the "I" word or oust him after his 1st term. The outcome remains to be seen. However, his time is running out and the more that comes out of this report the more damaging and the less political wiggle-room he will ultimately have to manuever or LIE his way out of this.
Secondly, the release of the redacted verson of the Mueller Report details an investigation of obstruction of justice or attempts at obstruction, ineptitude and stupidity on the part of the President; the likes of which we have never seen before. This report details President Trump instructing senior White House officials to break the law at his behest to either cover up or to remove potentially threatening people or evidence from being revealed. And, he seemed to have been saved from outight obstruction of justices charges being levied against him, because these senior White House Officials refuse to carry out his orders, saving the President, but not their own jobs. But, anyone can clearly see from the revolving door of resignations from the White House and the Trump Gov't that this is nothing short of a circus and the ring leader; Trump-himself, has created a mess that he will eventually succumb to. There is no way you can run a gov't with this much outright and blantant deciet and corruption and something not be done about it. What is more appalling to me is how spineless and quiet the Republican Party has become amidst the criminal and moral failings of the Trump Presidency. It is almost criminal how quiet and how complicit they have become when it comes to the handling or mishandling of Trump. It is mind boggling how cooperative and complicit the Republican Party has become with each new revelation of this president and his lack of presidential ettitquette or decorum, or decency. It seems; at least from the public view, that nobody has a problem with anything the president does accept the Democrats and even that's very hard to believe. But that's what it certainly looks like. Mitch McConnell and his slew of Repblican miscreants have become the Trump's minions that go about doing the president's bidding, from defending the results of the redacted Mueller Report to actively defending the President's unwillingess to release his tax returns to the American people. This is all utterly shameful. The question becomes are the Republicans willing to risk it all; their identity, the code of ethics, party belief system, morals, etc. for the Moron in Chief. From the looks of things, it seems like they are and that is shockingly surprising. Especially coming from a party that had to basically "accept" rather than "pick" candidate Trump as their nominee, becuase you cannot convince me that the power brokers in the Republican Party seriously beleived that Candidate Trump would evenutally become President Trump. But, this is the hand their were dealt and from the looks of things that are still trying to win as many books as they can. (Little Spades joke there...) What is really at stake here is the Republican Party basically playing Russian Roulette with their future, by continuing to attach themselves to Trump's sinking ship. Are they willing to ulitmately go down with the President, or are they going to resassert themselves and their moral values and put the President in is place?
Trump continues to contend; of course, that there was NO collusion, NO obstruction of justice and that the report exonerates him of any wrong doing. When it reality, the report does the exact opposite. The report actually shows a President that would seem to stop at nothing to ensure that information is suppressed, people are removed or fired in order to advance his own self-interests. This is at the very least, behavior that is unbecoming the President of the United States. And, Trump doesn't seem to care; he has conducted his entire presidency as if he is detached from reality and devoid of any scruples to boot! So, what are we left to do with all of this information that has come out of this report? What is Congress supposed to do with all of this criminal and immoral evidence of this president's insubordination? Well, of course you have several viable courses of action that the Dems could pursue, Impeachment, 2020 Election, both OR nothing. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and will ultimately be a matter of what course of actions best suites the objectives of the Democratic Party in the long run. Let's look at the pros and cons of each of these three options to determine which course of action the Dems should likely pursuse.
IMPEACHMENT: (Pro) For me this has always been the story-book ending I-along with some of you have been looking for as the measurable and equitable punishment for all of Trump's moral failings, criminal behavior, racist and narsassitic remarks and comments, abuse of power and the list goes on and on. There are actually more reasons that Trump should not be president than reasons that he should. And, I challenge any spineless Republican to name me 5 substantial reasons why he should remain president and I guarantee that none of them could. Anywho...Impeachment has always been at the forefront of many American's minds for as long as Mueller has been investigating this president. In fact, there hasn't been another President in U.S histroy to have as many on-going investigation as Trump has in only his first 2 years in office. With everything wrong that he has done, Impeachment is the only politically gratifying punishment that Congress has to levy upon this idiotic, moronic, sexist, racist, egotistical, narcissitic bafoon of a President. Out of all of the dozen or so investigations into Trump's campaign, Income Taxes, Presidency, etc, the only consequence he has faced in of all this is more bad press and more on-going investigations. There needs to be some kind of political or even criminal punishment that can be levied against him to satisfy those of us who've had to endure this venomous, deceitful, nefarious and devious presidency for these past two years. The criminality of his presidency, while it is clearly obvious to some, not including the Atty General of the United States who believes that a "sitting" President cannot be indicted. Thusly, the redacted Mueller Report's findings stop just short of recommending criminal indicitments against the President even though several of his closet advisors and campaign officials have been indicted and are headed to prision. And, Mueller stopped short of the criminal indictments, but left the door wide open for Congress to begain Impeachment proceeding against this president, because of attempted obstruction of justice, which is considered a "high crime and misdemeanor" otherwise an impeachable offense. So, why not just impeach this president and get it over with. After all, he definitely deserves some type of punishment, right? (YES!)
IMPEACHMENT: (Con) Yes, while Impeachment seems to be the most deserving conclusion to the Trump Presidency, it is far from unlikely for a couple of different reasons. (1) While Impeachment Proceedings can begin and he could very well be impeached in the House, they will not be successful in the Senate, because of the current Republican Majority. This is why you are constantly hearing from Democratic leadership; namely Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, say that "Trump isn't worth Impeachment," or that "unless there is bi-partisan support for Impeachment it is a waste of time." And, whether we agree or not, she's 100% right. Republicans in the Senate are still Trump's safety net and the reason that Democrats are not seriouly considering Impeachment, even though they know this president's more than deserves this political fate. In fact, you even have Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren calling for the Impeachment of Pres. Trump and the first candidate to do so. But because Republicans are still queitly supporting this President, impeachment is only likely to happen in the House, if that measured was even purused. (2) Not to mention, that the impeachmetn process in the House and Senate could be a very long process. In fact, Impeachment hearing usually take up to 6 months or more to complete, which if pursued will cross over into the 2020 Presidential Primaries, which could also serve as a distraction to Democratic candidates vying for the office of President of the United States. So far in Ameican History there has only been 1 President that has been impeached and that still is Pres. Bill Clinton, who was impeached in the House, but the measure failed in the Senate. Pres. Richard Nixon resigned in light of the threat of impeachment from a bi-partisan coalition of both the House and the Senate. So, to avoid the embarassment of those proceedings he chose to leave on his own terms and resign. But, we are still left to wonder about the fate of this president. Another harsh reality of impeaching Trump in the House, but the measure failing in the Seante is how this will be perceieved by the American people. For some who don't understand American politics or have a very little grasp of it might look at Trump being impeached in the Houee and acquitted in the Senate as a victory for Trump. (You know that is what is going to call it when it happens...) Not understanding the message that is being sent (although not as powerful as if it came from both the House & Senate) But, the Democrats could ultimately take the hit for this and lose in 2020 because of a botched impeachment effort. Needless to say, this is a very sticky situation and you should proceed with caution.
2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: (Pro) Of course, the 2020 Presidential Election cycle is fastly approaching and there are already 19 Democratic Candidates that have already declared and one more slated to delcare just this week in former Vice-President Joe Bidden. This is probably the most realistic approach to getting rid of Trump, which is to just remove the opportunity for him to serve another term by being defeated him in his bid for reelection. And, there are a slew of very qualified candidates who could ascend into the highest office in the land and unseat this "uncircumcised heathen" in Donald Trump. And, if there was anything positive that has come out of this extremely negative Trump Presidency, is the early start to the 2020 Presidential Election. I believe, Sen. Kamala Harris was the first to announce her candidacy and she has since been on a campaign tour talking about the stark contrast and differences between the Trump Presidency and the Harris Presidency should she be so fortunate to become our nation's 46th President and 1st African American FEmale President. (See what I did there...) But her and a long list of other candidates are posed to unseat the most deceitful, maniacal, horrible, sexist, belligerent, bigotted president in our nation's history. The political saviness that it took to jump into the 2020 Presidential Election as early as she did has paid off, Kamala Harris 3rd in fundraising behind Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Bette O' Rourke. But, even more importantly by starting so early you can use this platform as many of her colleagues are also doing to villify this President as well as talk to the Ameican voters about issues that matter to them. And, while this is not the immediate punishment that we are looking for for this president, it would be equally as gratifying and satisfying to see his presidency come to an end in a crushing defeat by a Demoractic opponent. Although, it doesn't carry with it the same sting and embarrassment as impeachment, it still would be quite gratifying to see Trump and the Republican Party lose and lose BIG in 2020.
2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: (Cons) Of course the obvious cons would be putting all of our political marbles in the 2020 Presidential Election basket and seeing Trump win a 2nd term desptire the scandal and controversey of the previous 4yrs. This would be a definite hard pill to swallow, one that is even harder to swallow than his first improbable victory back in 2016. No one gave him a snowballs chance in you know where to get to the White Hous, even the party formally referred to as the "Family Values" Party (which they can no longer call themselves...). Trump's former Republican foes during 2016 quickly became his willing allies and supporters once he clinched the nomination and the presidency in Nov of 2016. So to see Trump pull another improbable victory out of his ratty toupee would be too much for me to bear. (i'm sure you would agree) Another interesting point to consider is this; if Democrats forego impeachment proceedings to focus in on ousting Trump in 2020 and he somehow survives this concerted effort and wins a 2nd term in office, this would have litterally been all for nought. It would feel like he actually got a way with murder so to speak. ( And, maybe even actually...hmmm) But, Trump winning a 2nd term despite the Dems forgoing impeachment proceedings and collectively focussing as a party on 2020, this would be the equalivent of a fatality on Mortal Kombat, and one that would be an extremely difficult reality to come to flourshen. And, yet it is a very real possiblity. Americans are so fickly when it comes to electoral politics. I say this all the time that if elections were held immediately following a politicians fall from grace or after some political debilitating reality, then 9 times out of 10 the power of the polls would be made manifest each and every time the American people got behind the voting booth. But, because in most cases much time and much anger and angst has past, the political memory of most voters are lost and the demon of voter apathy begins to set in. And, those very same voters that were motivated several months ago to see this politician rebuked and ousted for whatever reason, now doesn't look at voting as a viable option any longer. This is the sad reality of politics. Politiicans are said to be elected by the people, of the people and for the people, but rarely if ever do the people actually get what they want in return. Poliicians always claim to be representing and speaking on behalf of the American people, but more often than not are these politicians merely just pushing their own selfish agendas on their so-called constituients. This is the brutal and hard reality of the American Electorate.
BOTH: (Pros) The Pro of pursuing both Impeachment and 2020 Elections at the same time is you are attacking this political monster from both angles. We understand that this is a fluid political suitiation without alot of moving parts that could very well lead to a very different outicome if Democrats were genuinely focused on their goal of getting rid of Trump. Even though, doing both would obviously call for the use of great finanical and political resoures. In my mind, it would be well worth it to see "orangey" and all of his cohorts following him out the door to a federal penittiary Can you imagine the spectacle of an impeachment hearing going on with witnesses like Bob Meuller sharing his unfiltered testimony regarding the Mueller Report and his findings and former lawyer Michael Cohen, and former campaign manager make an encore appearcance before Cogress, oh and what about recluse Roger Stone; who said he would never testify agaisnt Trump. What if Congress were to convince Stone to spill his guts, what would be the outcome then? Then you couple that with the 2020 Primaries where each of the 20 Democratic Candidates get to chime in on what's going on and to weigh in on the fate of their nemesis Donald J. Trump. This would be tdemoralizing NOT just for the for the president but for the entire Republican Party as well. The question become could he survive something like this?
BOTH: (Cons) At the same; however, "burning the candle at both ends" so to speak could prove to be politcal debilitating. Not only with the resources be stretched thin in two very different directions, but one wonders if the American people will grow tired and weary of this strategy on these two fronts. The risk of the American people turning on the Democratic Party because of this increased scrutiny of Donald Trump and his presdiency could prove to be detrimental. The elongated political battle from within the walls of Congress coupled with the election implications for 2020, could hurt the Dems more than it hurts Trump. In fact, Trump could very well be looked at as the victim out of all of this in the long run,. He could actually turn this around to his overal benefit, becase of the increased attention on him, his preidency, his campaign, his his political decisions and more. A protracted impeachment hearing with the spector of the media and Congress, Trump and the White House could have a negative impact on the 2020 Elections for the Dems, because Trump and his cronnies would change the narrative from Trump the Criminal to Trump the Victim, which he loves to play. He loves to bill himselft as the victim that everyone is gunning for, when he is really the gunman that targets any and everybody who comes his way, including his so-called friends.
NOTHING: (Pro / Con) The final and most difficult option to even consider given the gravity of what is taking place here, is to do nothing. What does nothing really mean? Nothing is to coninue doing the business of Congress without addressing the criminal and politcal behavior of the president. Can Congress really afford to treat Trump like the belligereent five yr old kid in the store who is crying and having a trantrum and the parent just completely and utterly ignores the child and continues shopping as he nothing is wrong? Can Congress actually do this? On the one hand, Trump's bad behavior will continue unchecked, and God only knows that the political consequences of tha tmight be. The bigger questions is, what kind of message will Congress be sending the American people if Trump's behavior is allowed to continue without some form of consequence? I would see it as a missed opportunity. And better still, what would the legacy of the 116th Congress be if they allowed their majority to go by without making some kind of uniform statement to the country that this is not the America that we subscribe to. Yes, there maybe some consequences for this bold statement, but how can this president be allowed to conduct himself in this unseamly manner and never be checked, never be audited or examined by counterparts to remind him of the respect this office holds and requires. He cannot demand so much from others without holding himself to the same high standard of morality. He can't call someone else a liar and his entire presidency and administration is based on one lie after another. If nothing is done behind all of this, I think there will be blood on all of our hands as we stood idly by and watched as this president broke laws, protocols, traditions, and so much else and nothing was done about it. Can we live with ourselves? Will this country recover, will this institution we call the American Presidency not just recover but be restored the highest standards of ethics and morals the Founders intended for this sacred office to hold? Time will only tell.
What direction should Democrats go in? There should be consequences to the things this president has done or tried to do. However, the problem with all of this is that because his own party is really become a co-conspirator throughout his presidency, the likelyhood of Trump suffering any immediate conseqences for his often out bounds, off the rails before is slim to none. Are there other options that Dems could consider? Is there other plausible options available that the Deomratic Party has yet to consider? My gut feeling tells me that there is going to be a continued fight for the unredacted version of the Mueller Report, Trump's income taxes and more talk of pending and on-going investigations. If the legacy of Trump's presidency ends with him unscathed by any of his "UNPRESIDENTED" presidential behavior, the political reprocussions for the Republican and Democratic Party would be monumental, and a fate we'd all be aparty to.