Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
This is an attempt to consolidate the last 24-48 hours of our constitutional crisis within a very specific prism. In that time:
– In the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the case of Trump v. Vance, attorney William Consovoy argued that Manhattan prosecutors had no right to subpoena the president’s tax returns because sitting presidents are immune from all criminal investigations, up to and including murder.
– On Fox News, former AG Matthew Whitaker argued that abuse of power should not be considered a crime.
– Current AG William Barr was urged by the New York City Bar Association to recuse himself from matters related to the Ukraine scandal or to resign, neither of which Barr has indicated he will do.
– Current White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who is the backbone of the president’s men and an architect of the strategy to refuse compliance with subpoenas, is reportedly making a play to replace Mick Mulvaney as Trump’s chief of staff, in no small part due to Mulvaney’s clumsy defense of the president actually putting Trump in further jeopardy than before.
– The president tacitly approved if not outright ordered 41 Republican Congressmen to storm a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), some of whom flagrantly disregarded both parliamentary protocol and established security procedures by both demanding entry to a deposition they had no authority to attend and using unvetted cellular devices. The deposition, of course, relates to the suspicious back-channel work of another Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, that leveraged the security of Ukraine against not the likelihood of finding criminal behavior by Joe Biden and his son, but against the mere public announcement by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the Bidens would be investigated.
– Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen is still in federal prison serving a three-year sentence for campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud. That has nothing to do with any of the above, but it gives me some satisfaction to mention it.