Friday’s bombshell news came from the Washington Post, reporting that Assistant AG Rod Rosenstein went out of his way to assure Trump that Rosenstein was “on his team” and told Trump that he “can land the plane.” Is it just a coincidence that AG Barr used the same phrase, “land the plane”, when refusing before Congress to answer questions about his role in the Mueller investigation? Or was this the insider term for “covering for Trump” at the expense of our laws, values, principles and ethics.
Here’s the full article in WaPo:
It seems increasingly clear that the DOJ did what they could to spin, minimize and water down the Mueller findings, and the Rosenstein news, if true, is a blow to the rule of law and the notion that justice must be blind. Rosenstein should have recused himself from the investigation because he was a witness to the Comey firing, and now we have to wonder if he refused to recuse for purely partisan reasons. Everyone that comes into Trump’s orbit is corrupted.
One of the best sources of legal analysis for developments on Capitol Hill is the Lawfare Blog, edited by Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution. For anyone interesting in understanding the details of the Mueller report without reading all 400+ pages, Wittes has written a diary that distills and responds to the key elements of the report. It’s not short, but it’s fascinating and far more accessible than the report itself. Here’s a link:
Trump spent part of his Friday not touting a very good GDP number but instead responding to attack ads by Joe Biden about Charlottesville by defending (and lying about) his now infamous “very fine people” remark. Trump just can’t resist an opportunity to try to re-write history to make some horrible gaff into something quasi reasonable. That’s how deeply insecure he is.
Meanwhile, Ezra Levin, one of the co-founders of the Indivisible movement, made the rounds on TV this week to promote a new initiative by Indivisible to recruit Democratic primary challengers and activists to commit themselves to a common set of three principles that they are calling “the Indivisible pledge”:
- Commit to a constructive primary.
- Back the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.
- Work to defeat Trump in November of 2020.
It will be up to us to remove Trump at the ballot box. We can’t rely on Congress or the Justice Department. As Levin writes, “This pledge is about beating Donald Trump and the anti-democratic xenophobic right wing. And it’s about the ideas and vision we need for a post-Trump future.” Pundits often talk about 2020 as an either/or election. The Democrats can either run against Trump or run on policy ideas. But this is a false notion. Democrats can and MUST run on both.
Trump is an epic, disgraceful, corrupt disaster, and none of our policy goals will matter if he remains in office. While discussing Trump and impeachment on the Bill Maher show last night, Adam Schiff implored us to:
“Vote his ass out of office.”