John McCain Is Dead

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

And somebody should tell Donald Trump that.  Over the last weekend the president launched a full out Twitter attack on the late senator, starting with criticizing his grades at the Naval Academy, then blaming him for having provided the Steele dossier to the FBI to affect the result of the 2016 presidential election, and finally saying that McCain had told the White House he would support the repeal of Obamacare before casting the deciding vote to uphold it.  The latter two statements were verifiable lies.  McCain gave the dossier to the FBI after the election because he felt obliged to do so, and he had been signaling that he might oppose the repeal for some time.  Disparaging a war hero who died seven months ago was a new sub-human low for Trump, but the Twitter storm didn’t end there.  Subsequently he denounced General Motors for planning to close its Lordstown, Ohio plant, Saturday Night Live that ‘should be investigated’ for making fun of him, FOX News for suspending Judge Jeanine Pirro after her questioning a Muslim congresswoman’s patriotism, Robert Mueller, and later in the week George Conway, Kellyanne’s husband.

The president was obviously scared, first of Mueller’s upcoming report and then probably even more of the Southern District of New York’s investigation.  He doesn’t know what they have on him, but he knows what he did, and that is apparently enough to get him into panic mode.  In a Q&A on the White House lawn Trump observed that nobody elected Mueller, while he had ‘the greatest election victory ever.’ He lied that he had turned down Mueller as a candidate to run the FBI, while Mueller had not been interested and only visited the White House as a courtesy, and he mentioned a ‘nasty business dispute’ he had had with Mueller, which was about the membership fee of one of his golf courses that Mueller considered too high.  Trump fears that Mueller may de-legitimize his presidency, but even more frightening must be the recent disclosure of a search warrant by the SDNY concerning the campaign finance law violations for which Michael Cohen will go to jail.  The document has eighteen completely redacted pages with information about ongoing investigations that can only be into Trump and Don Jr., who might be indicted soon.

As for indicting Trump the Department of Justice is facing a dilemma.  Per one of its policies a sitting president cannot be indicted, but if Mueller would prove that Trump committed crimes to get into the Oval Office, it is questionable if he is entitled to its protections.  Additionally, if someone is not indicted information about that person is always withheld, but if the only reason why Trump is not indicted is that he is the president, all information about his criminal behavior should be made available to Congress so that it can consider impeachment, which is a political penalty.

Almost as bizarre as the president’s attack on McCain was his Twitter altercation with George Conway, a prominent conservative lawyer who had posted a document identifying the symptoms of Trump’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Trump consistently called him ‘Mr. Kellyanne Conway,’ in an obvious attempt at emasculation, and referred to Conway as a ‘spouse from hell’ and a ‘stone cold loser,’ for not getting a job at the Justice Department that Conway himself had turned down.

Friday afternoon Mueller submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr, who had to decide how much of it will be made public.  On Sunday Barr informed Congress that the Special  Counsel had concluded that the president had not committed the crime of conspiring with the Russians, but that the report also doesn’t exonerate him with regards to obstruction of justice.  There are no new indictments.

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