Before “freeing” the redacted version of the Mueller report, Attorney General William Barr said something that still makes me bitter. It turns out that when Barr removed his hat as defender of the laws of this country in order to become Trump’s puppet, he pointed out that while analyzing whether the president obstructed justice trying to hinder the Rusiagate investigation, or not, one has to put things “into context” and understand that Trump was “frustrated and angry by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency.”
That is, the ten instances the report cites about the president trying to put the brakes on the investigation in some way, or pressuring subordinates to derail it, are a product of the “frustration” of an individual and not of the fact–proven by the report–that Trump knew and knows he was stepping on his own tail, and was trembling in fear about what could come out. After all, he who has nothing to hide nor fear does not refer to the inquiry as “the end of my presidency.”
The report demonstrates, once again, the benefits of being a white man in this country, or to be more specific, a white and Republican president in this era where everything and nothing matters.
First, he benefits from the absurd Justice Department rule that does not appear in any part of the Constitution, that a sitting president cannot be indicted. I ask myself why, or to what end. We’re talking about an elected official who supposedly works for the people, and if he commits a crime should be treated like any other ordinary person. That is, if a president kills someone, do we have to wait for his term to end in order to charge him? Why, then, do we have a Vice President who would supposedly take the reins if circumstances merit it?
Although the Mueller report does not exonerate Trump, particularly regarding obstruction of justice, Barr already exonerated him, at least criminally. According to Barr, the evidence against Trump would not be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal court. However, there is enough there for the House of Representatives to initiate an impeachment process that is included in the Constitution if the president commits “high crimes and misdemeanors.” At least this is what legal analysts argue, that Mueller gave Congress a roadmap for how to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump.
But since we are always in election season, there are Democratic sectors who believe that to stir up a nation already divided by instituting impeachment proceedings is not worth it, because at the end of the day the Republican-controlled Senate will never prosecute Trump.
In case you have not noticed, ever since the Mueller report came to light, the Republicans in Congress have been rather quiet.
Many of those Republicans are those who wanted to crucify Bill Clinton for lying under oath about an extramarital affair. For those Republicans, Clinton’s actions constituted “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but Trump’s constant efforts to derail the Rusiagate investigation, including firing the FBI director James Comey and asking the White House legal counsel to make Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein fire Mueller are “minor sins,” of no importance, and the reason why poor Trump was “frustrated.”
Of course, it benefits them for the Democrats to begin to fight over whether or not to authorize impeachment proceedings against Trump, because it takes the pressure off of those who take the long view and put up with this immoral president in order to obtain conservative judges at all levels–something that another conservative president with a modicum of decency could have done, without selling out the Constitution.
After all, returning to the privilege of being a white and Republican president, just imagine if the Mueller report had referred to an African American or Latino president, or a woman.
The Republicans would be calling for his head and falling all over themselves railing about morality, values, and good manners. And that is why, as Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s consigliere, said on CNN last week, we do not have to view all of this from a moral prism “because if we can impeach based on moral judgments, everybody in the US Congress would have to get impeached.”
Because remember, Trump had no intention of corrupting the investigation, he just acted out of “frustration.” Pobrecito.
Maribel Hastings is a Senior Advisor and columnist at América’s Voice and América’s Voice Education Fund.
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