Who’s Running This Country Anyway?

 

Judging from the actions (or lack thereof) of the Department of Justice and its stepchild, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they think that they are running the country. And I see no one—not the President, not the Congress, getting in their way. Forget about the three co-equal branches of government; they don’t exist in that manner today.

I am appalled at the behavior and actions of Asst. AG Rod Rosenstein at the DOJ, for one. He appears to be the one in charge, since almost everything I’ve seen from AG Jeff Sessions indicates he is feckless and unengaged. And saying that about Sessions disturbs me greatly, since I thought he could make a difference when Trump selected him.

Rod Rosenstein might as well be our chief executive. He speaks derisively about anyone who criticizes him, thinks he has the last say about which documents can be released, and how they can be released, and has chosen to slow-walk almost every document requested. When questioned about the potential impeachment draft being developed by the House Freedom Caucus, he commented on May 1:

‘As you think about the importance of separation of powers on Law Day here, any reaction to news that certain members of the House Freedom Caucus have talked about drafting Articles of Impeachment despite your best efforts to comply with their document requests?’

Rosenstein had to pause to laugh before he could move on to answering the question.

‘They can’t even resist leaking their own drafts,’ he said, then paused again as the entire audience joined his continued guffawing at Congress.’

His public disdain for members of Congress is shocking.

It also appears that in spite of Rosenstein’s denying many months ago that the Mueller investigation wasn’t a fishing expedition, critics of Mueller say that he has far exceeded the original scope. As a result, Rosenstein authorized Mueller to investigate Paul Manafort. To date, no crime regarding the Trump campaign has been identified, yet the case continues. Judge T.S. Ellis III was appointed to preside over the special counsel’s criminal case against Paul Manafort:

Ellis said that he believes the special counsel is only interested in Manafort to squeeze him for information ‘that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his impeachment.’

The judge said prosecutors wanted the former Trump campaign official to ‘sing,’ but he worried that Manafort might also ‘compose.’

Ellis then opined that the American people do not want a special counsel with unfettered power and even went so far as to ask when the investigation would conclude.

In fact, Judge Ellis, a Reagan-appointee, asked for a copy of the scope of Mueller’s investigation.

Meanwhile, Devin Nunes sent a memo to AG Jeff Sessions threatening a contempt of Congress charge. Sessions responded with the following remarks:

Congress has made inquiries concerning an issue of great importance for the country and concerns have been raised about the Department’s performance. I have great confidence in the men and women of this Department. But no Department is perfect.

Really.

So I will now take a deep breath in order to ask all my questions, in no particular order, of those of you out there who understand more about the operations of the federal government than I do:

Why doesn’t President Trump simply declassify all the relevant documents as determined by a trusted outside expert with previous experience with the FBI?

How can Sessions allow Rosenstein to take full control, essentially, of the Department of Justice?

Why doesn’t Jeff Sessions fire Rod Rosenstein?

Why doesn’t the President fire Rosenstein?

Why didn’t Judge Ellis rule that the scope of the Mueller investigation be released?

Why bother citing Sessions with contempt of Congress, since it will make no difference in his role?

Why aren’t Rosenstein and/or Sessions impeached?

Can’t anyone compel Rosenstein to respond to Congressional oversight?

The answer to almost all of these questions is that no one has the courage to stand up for what’s right or to hold people accountable. No one is really interested in serving the American people. No one is concerned that laws have been broken. No one cares that the DOJ is running roughshod over everyone else. No one is prepared to expose the duplicity, fraud, and disrespect that has been shown for anyone who isn’t in the DOJ or FBI.

So who is running this country, anyway?

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  1. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Our party survived Nixon. I hope we survive Trump. (emphasis added)

    @garyrobbins, I think you have highlighted the issue: Whose party is it? If party ownership is not decided by the voters who vote (R) candidates into office, then it is a separate thing that is always simply marketing itself to voters — either truthfully or falsely. It seems to me that you are arguing for the latter. In that case, there is a winning majority of voters who do not care whether the Republican Party survives. Recall that Reagan was not a favorite of the GOPe either.

     

     

     

    I hope this question doesn’t put you on the spot, @rodin, but are you suggesting due to the nature of choosing Trump, a different group of people elected him, and second, what are your thoughts about that fact?

    @susanquinn, it is a fact that Trump was not elected by registered Republicans. And when you subtract the number of registered Republicans who voted for Hillary (gasp!) or McMullin, or simply sat on their hands, it is obvious how many unaffiliated and Democrat voters were needed. (I am ignoring the plurality argument because that is a personality, not policy debate.) Trump was the Republican standard bearer and although not possessing a Reagan temperament, his policies have been more Reaganite than either George HW or W Bush. (In effect the Republican Party “survived” Reagan until Trump became president — irony.)

    Trump’s Republican critics (or at least some) want a “true” Republican to take on Trump in 2020. If so, then the Party could return to its earlier pure state. Yes, and it can return to its powerless status as well. You would think that if Republicans were true free market capitalists they would be listening to what the electorate is telling them. There is a majority in this country that want more conservative values preserved in our society. They may not be perfect in their understanding and preference, but they trend in the right direction and should be embraced. Obama and the resistance have revealed what danger the country is truly in. It is beyond negligence to reject the preferences of the Trump voter of 2016.

    • #91
  2. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    BalticSnowTiger (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Our party survived Nixon. I hope we survive Trump. (emphasis added)

    @garyrobbins, I think you have highlighted the issue: Whose party is it? If party ownership is not decided by the voters who vote (R) candidates into office, then it is a separate thing that is always simply marketing itself to voters — either truthfully or falsely. It seems to me that you are arguing for the latter. In that case, there is a winning majority of voters who do not care whether the Republican Party survives. Recall that Reagan was not a favorite of the GOPe either.

    Trump only won due to the stupid “plurality wins all delegates” rules and a huge field, and Reince Priebus preventing consideration of the “Freedom of Conscience” rule at the Convention.

    In 2020, there will be hopefully only one Reagan Republican taking on Trump. Sasse? Flake? Kasich? I don’t care who it is, I just care that someone steps up and takes on Trump. (ABT or “Anybody But Trump”.)

    This is not over. Hopefully the Democrats will not nominate Bernie or Warren, so there will be an alternative if Trump is nominated. Hopefully, there will be a viable third party candidate on the ballot, should Trump get the nomination.

    We shall see what happens next.

     

    Only won????? McCain, Romney? More pussyfooting? The pendulum had swung too far. None of the three piece suits (I like the garment) would have done it.

    The country must be rid of the progressive permeation of culture, institutions and bureaucracies. This is not a battle won by lawyers, public servants and the likes. It requires, hard-boiled, shrewd people who dare to run a tight ship.

    I need to do a post on this issue.  Almost any Republican would have won in 2016.

    In 1951 we adopted the 22nd Amendment prohibiting putting a two term limit on Presidents.  However the American people took that a step farther.  In 17 elections since 1951, the American people have had an informal two term limit for the two great American parties.  With only two exceptions, the American people have alternated between the two parties after two terms.  

    It is as if the American people want to give a party a second term to try out their programs but then want to throw out the incumbent party after two terms.

    There are two exceptions.  In 1980, Carter was such a disaster, Republican Ronald Reagan was elected.  And in 1988, H.W. essentially won Reagan’s third term.  But in the other 15 elections, the American people alternated between the two parties every two terms.

    What is astonishing is not that Trump won, what is astonishing is that it was so close!  Damn near each of the other 16 Republicans would have done better than Trump.  (Maybe not Gilmore, but all of the others.)

    • #92
  3. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Trump only won due to the stupid “plurality wins all delegates”

    I have never heard anyone complain abut this. I know wiping out the electoral college is the end of the Republican Party. 25 urban areas would colonize the rest of the country.

    This has nothing to do with the Electoral College.  In Arizona and Florida, Trump won only a plurality and not a majority of the votes, but got 100% of the delegates. Delegates should have been awarded proportionately.

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    a huge field,

    What should be done? The GOPe will be ready next time, I guarantee it.

    Award delegates proportionately.  If no one wins a majority, then the convention decides.  For example, Lincoln won on the third ballot in 1860.

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Reince Priebus preventing consideration of the “Freedom of Conscience” rule at the Convention.

    I’d love to know how are you would explain this to the electorate. Seriously.

    I know a delegate from Arizona who believed that Trump was a huge mistake, but was forced to vote for him.

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    In 2020, there will be hopefully only one Reagan Republican taking on Trump. Sasse? Flake? Kasich?

    Kasich is in no way a Reagan Republican. He has all of the bad Trump dimensions and none of the good.

    Kasich is too liberal and pious for my tastes, but he isn’t a jerk or liar.

    Kasich was not a Birther.

    Kasich didn’t slander “war heroes who were captured.”

    Kasich never mocked the handicapped.

    Kasich never claimed that Ted Cruz’s father helped kill Kennedy.

    Kasich never withheld his taxes or provided a false medical report.

    Kasich never said that he could grab women by the p*ssy.

    The above six qualities are disqualifying of Trump.

    • #93
  4. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    The Trump/Mueller Probe has been going on for only a short period of time, 1.0 years.

    1. Reagan/Iran-Contra.  Lawrence Walsh.  6.5 years.
    2. Clinton/Whitewater-Lewinsky.  Ken Starr.  4 years.
    3. W. Bush/Plame Affair.  Patrick Fitzgerald. 3.5 years.
    4. Nixon/Watergate.  Archibald Cox/Leon Jaworski.  1. 5 years.
    • #94
  5. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Rod Rosenstein at a graduation commencement today:

    ”Never compromise your personal integrity.  As Thomas Jefferson famously said, ‘On matters of style, swim with the current; on matters of principle, stand like a rock.’”

    Haley/Rosenstein 2020.

    • #95
  6. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Delegates should have been awarded proportionately.

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    a huge field,

    What should be done? The GOPe will be ready next time, I guarantee it.

    Award delegates proportionately. If no one wins a majority, then the convention decides.

    Medicare should be fully funded too. Everyone should save money. Everyone should go to  church. 

    The only real answer is a two step national primary. Trump won fair and square given the rules. 

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Reince Priebus preventing consideration of the “Freedom of Conscience” rule at the Convention.

    I’d love to know how are you would explain this to the electorate. Seriously.

    I know a delegate from Arizona who believed that Trump was a huge mistake, but was forced to vote for him.

    Without a better answer than this,  the electorate would get extremely mad and riot. I’d say rightly, too. It would be a crisis. 

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Kasich is too liberal and pious for my tastes, but he isn’t a jerk or liar.

    Kasich was not a Birther.

    Kasich didn’t slander “war heroes who were captured.”

    Kasich never mocked the handicapped.

    Kasich never claimed that Ted Cruz’s father helped kill Kennedy.

    Kasich never withheld his taxes or provided a false medical report.

    Kasich never said that he could grab women by the p*ssy.

    The above six qualities are disqualifying of Trump.

    Fair enough. It makes me crazy that any GOP thinks Kasich is going to be an improvement in a conservative governance sense.  A staggering number of GOP Trump haters buy the whole Kasich program. I had no idea.

    • #96
  7. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Trump’s Republican critics (or at least some) want a “true” Republican to take on Trump in 2020. If so, then the Party could return to its earlier pure state. Yes, and it can return to its powerless status as well. You would think that if Republicans were true free market capitalists they would be listening to what the electorate is telling them. There is a majority in this country that want more conservative values preserved in our society. They may not be perfect in their understanding and preference, but they trend in the right direction and should be embraced. Obama and the resistance have revealed what danger the country is truly in. It is beyond negligence to reject the preferences of the Trump voter of 2016.

    Absolutely.

    • #97
  8. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Delete

    • #98
  9. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Fire neither Sessions nor Rosenberg. Both are doing their job.

    It’s Rosenstein’s job to withhold documents from Congress?

    • #99
  10. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I wanted to simply point out that in those few cases where I try to subpoena police reports, the police department firmly points out to me that the investigation is ongoing.

    No doubt, but on the other hand, Congress has a tad more say on the DOJ’s budget than you do on the police departments.

    Not to mention that it is enjoined to oversee the DOJ, and I doubt Gary is enjoined to oversee the police department.

    • #100
  11. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

     

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I wanted to simply point out that in those few cases where I try to subpoena police reports, the police department firmly points out to me that the investigation is ongoing.

    No doubt, but on the other hand, Congress has a tad more say on the DOJ’s budget than you do on the police departments.

    Not to mention that it is enjoined to oversee the DOJ, and I doubt Gary is enjoined to oversee the police department.

    Shorter Rosenstein DOJ to Congress: “Constitution, smonstitution. Oversee this!”

    • #101
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Rod Rosenstein at a graduation commencement today:

    ”Never compromise your personal integrity. As Thomas Jefferson famously said, ‘On matters of style, swim with the current; on matters of principle, stand like a rock.’”

    Haley/Rosenstein 2020.

    You will never get what you want!

     

    • #102
  13. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Rod Rosenstein at a graduation commencement today:

    ”Never compromise your personal integrity. As Thomas Jefferson famously said, ‘On matters of style, swim with the current; on matters of principle, stand like a rock.’”

    Haley/Rosenstein 2020.

    Statements like that, from people who are obviously lying, are why we hate DC.  Of course, he may have a looser definition of integrity than I have.  But that has its own problems.  “Personal integrity” smacks of “personal truth.”

    • #103
  14. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Rod Rosenstein at a graduation commencement today:

    ”Never compromise your personal integrity. As Thomas Jefferson famously said, ‘On matters of style, swim with the current; on matters of principle, stand like a rock.’”

    Haley/Rosenstein 2020.

    How all of this resolves it’s self is going to be interesting. 

    They can’t trust even ONE GUY in Congress to see the data. 

    Why?

    • #104
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