Reich on the "special counsel"

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Zooey Zooey 1 month ago.

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  • #68968
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    I was wondering why Rosenstein appointed a “special counsel” because that is a new term to me.

    Here is what Reich said:

    “…Mueller won’t have the independence of a special prosecutor appointed under the Office of Independent Counsel. That office no longer exists. The law establishing it was enacted in 1978 in response to the Watergate scandal, and expired in 1999. The office was separate from the Justice Department, and counsel were appointed by a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

    So if Trump doesn’t like what Mueller is doing or discovering, he can fire Mueller just like Nixon fired Archibald Cox.
    Which is why Congress must renew the independent counsel law, providing for the appointment of an independent special prosecutor who cannot be fired by the president or the attorney general.”

    #68970

    waterfield
    Participant

    While I admire and agree with the appointment of a special counsel(i.e. prosecutor)and especially appointing Robert Mueller the problem is he is charged with determining if any crimes were committed be it by the President or others. It will be a secret process that could end up in two words: “No crimes”. And “no indictment.” Nothing will have been learned as to what really happened that would reflect on the competency of the President and his ability to lead this country. Simply put no matter how credible and respected Mueller is his job is narrow as a special prosecutor. What is still needed is an “independent investigation” into issues that may not rise to the level of criminality but nevertheless reflect on how dangerous this administration is acting and needs to be held accountable for -either at the polls or by impeachment or by resignation.

    #68971
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    I am hopeful, btw, that this is about the best possible scenario right now. It appears to me that this past week rattled the Republicans quite a lot. It also appears that the Republicans are not going to do a “McConnell” – i.e. a complete denial of reality and total stonewalling. They have evidently started throwing the brakes on Trump.

    We have a special counsel who is respected by everybody. I haven’t read or seen a negative response to this guy, Mueller, by anybody. And although Trump theoretically CAN fire this guy, I can’t image that he will. If he does, congress will renew the Office of Independent Counsel,” and hostility to Trump will spread.

    In the meantime, the tax cuts and other projects have taken a hit, and are going to be slowed down if not killed as a consequence of this. This investigation has finally found some “real” traction, and the Republican agenda is going to proceed more slowly as this investigation dominates business.

    Furthermore, this is going to take months. If it does, in fact, gum up legislation and stays as the topic of conversation (and I’m sure Trump will keep adding fuel to the fire because that’s who he is), it improves the chances of turning the House in 2018. About the best we can hope for at the moment.

    #68973

    waterfield
    Participant

    I am hopeful, btw, that this is about the best possible scenario right now. It appears to me that this past week rattled the Republicans quite a lot. It also appears that the Republicans are not going to do a “McConnell” – i.e. a complete denial of reality and total stonewalling. They have evidently started throwing the brakes on Trump.

    We have a special counsel who is respected by everybody. I haven’t read or seen a negative response to this guy, Mueller, by anybody. And although Trump theoretically CAN fire this guy, I can’t image that he will. If he does, congress will renew the Office of Independent Counsel,” and hostility to Trump will spread.

    In the meantime, the tax cuts and other projects have taken a hit, and are going to be slowed down if not killed as a consequence of this. This investigation has finally found some “real” traction, and the Republican agenda is going to proceed more slowly as this investigation dominates business.

    Furthermore, this is going to take months. If it does, in fact, gum up legislation and stays as the topic of conversation (and I’m sure Trump will keep adding fuel to the fire because that’s who he is), it improves the chances of turning the House in 2018. About the best we can hope for at the moment.

    I/m hoping that is all true. I saw an interview today with the author of a book on Trump. He said the man is like a little boy who cannot accept any criticism and has no filters in terms of how he speaks. He’s very afraid of what people think of him and will say anything that he thinks makes him well thought of in the public. The author said that when you hear the man call others names those are simply a means by which he puts those very fears of himself onto others.

    This is not a man that should be in charge of the future of your children.

    #68974
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    While I admire and agree with the appointment of a special counsel(i.e. prosecutor)and especially appointing Robert Mueller the problem is he is charged with determining if any crimes were committed be it by the President or others. It will be a secret process that could end up in two words: “No crimes”. And “no indictment.” Nothing will have been learned as to what really happened that would reflect on the competency of the President and his ability to lead this country. Simply put no matter how credible and respected Mueller is his job is narrow as a special prosecutor. What is still needed is an “independent investigation” into issues that may not rise to the level of criminality but nevertheless reflect on how dangerous this administration is acting and needs to be held accountable for -either at the polls or by impeachment or by resignation.

    Well, I don’t understand that. I saw the letter (can’t find it now), and it appeared to give him a mandate to investigate the connection to Russia, and anything else that comes up in that investigation, and I would think that he would have a tough time concealing any findings even if he wanted to do so. Don’t you think that findings will make their way into the public? And Schiff said that the House and Senate are both going to continue their investigations, so I don’t see how Trump gets away with this. It’s likely a matter of time, and anything he steps in from now on will only compound the urgency to do something about him.

    McConnell looked like he was going to his own execution today as he dodged reporters. I think we’ve finally hit the tipping point.

    I will add, btw, that I doubt there was direct collusion with Russia. Why would Putin let Trump in the loop of what he was doing? I’m sure they talked, and discussed mutual interests and possibilities, but I can’t see why Putin would reveal tactics to Trump or his camp.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Zooey Zooey.
    #68976

    waterfield
    Participant

    While I admire and agree with the appointment of a special counsel(i.e. prosecutor)and especially appointing Robert Mueller the problem is he is charged with determining if any crimes were committed be it by the President or others. It will be a secret process that could end up in two words: “No crimes”. And “no indictment.” Nothing will have been learned as to what really happened that would reflect on the competency of the President and his ability to lead this country. Simply put no matter how credible and respected Mueller is his job is narrow as a special prosecutor. What is still needed is an “independent investigation” into issues that may not rise to the level of criminality but nevertheless reflect on how dangerous this administration is acting and needs to be held accountable for -either at the polls or by impeachment or by resignation.

    Well, I don’t understand that. I saw the letter (can’t find it now), and it appeared to give him a mandate to investigate the connection to Russia, and anything else that comes up in that investigation, and I would think that he would have a tough time concealing any findings even if he wanted to do so. Don’t you think that findings will make their way into the public? And Schiff said that the House and Senate are both going to continue their investigations, so I don’t see how Trump gets away with this. It’s likely a matter of time, and anything he steps in from now on will only compound the urgency to do something about him.

    McConnell looked like he was going to his own execution today as he dodged reporters. I think we’ve finally hit the tipping point.

    I will add, btw, that I doubt there was direct collusion with Russia. Why would Putin let Trump in the loop of what he was doing? I’m sure they talked, and discussed mutual interests and possibilities, but I can’t see why Putin would reveal tactics to Trump or his camp.

    Yes-he can investigate the “connection to Russia” but only to the extent that criminal activity may have been committed. A connection with Russia is not a crime nor is the President giving to them secret information that was given to him by Israel a crime. And by law his investigation is secret and we will not be privileged to know what is discovered unless he finds that crimes have been committed. The best bet to discover information the public can know about is the congressional hearings on the subject. But that presents a problem that was exposed in the Iran/Contra hearings. The congressional hearings provided North with immunity to testify before Congress. However the DOJ did not and when they obtained a conviction it was overturned by the Appeals Court because in their view immunity trumps conviction. Congressional hearings are always interested in providing immunity whereas the DOJ is not unless it is critical for a conviction.

    #68977

    waterfield
    Participant

    P.S. Even if no “crime” by the President is discovered there is always the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    #68978
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    Even if no “crime” by the President is discovered there is always the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Known as “The Pence Amendment.”

    #68986
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    I don’t care if he gets convicted or not. I want the entire Republican deconstruction of the government snarled up in traffic. I want him stopped. I want the Republican party to catch fire, and voters to be so disgusted with them that 2018 changes the direction of the country.

    And there is a lot more here than just the possibility of criminal collusion with Russia. I mean…I think we already have obstruction of justice. How can we not? Trump pressured Comey to drop his investigation of Flynn, and then came out on TV and flat out said he fired Comey because of the Trump/Russia stuff. That is already enough to impeach Trump, and so that is a matter of due process. The Mueller investigation means this isn’t going away. And I believe we have hit the tipping point now that I’ve long expected where the benefits of having Trump in the WH (tax cuts, shredding the Big Government, etc) are from now on going to be outweighed by the collateral damage to the GOP. They are screwed. The only question is how long will it take for them to come to terms with that. IMO, from a GOP point of view, “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly.” They should fry the guy, and go with Pence ASAP.

    My hope is they don’t act quickly because imo an ineffective Trump white house under investigation is preferable to a Mike Pence administration which could right the ship and swiftly enact all kinds of painful legislation.

    Additionally, there are all kinds of other questions that are going to be vented by both the House and Senate. And I think they are going to eventually appoint an independent counsel which is different from what I understand. Mueller can only investigate what has already happened, but an independent counsel would be investigating what happened with an eye for making changes for the future. So we are now going to investigate what external influences there were on this election and prepare for cyber attacks in future election cycles.

    In short, this is a big can of worms, and criminal conviction isn’t necessary as far as I am concerned. I want to see the fire spread throughout the GOP, and the knives to come out, and the GOP to suffer an internal war, and heads to roll.

    #68991

    waterfield
    Participant

    I don’t care if he gets convicted or not. I want the entire Republican deconstruction of the government snarled up in traffic. I want him stopped. I want the Republican party to catch fire, and voters to be so disgusted with them that 2018 changes the direction of the country.

    And there is a lot more here than just the possibility of criminal collusion with Russia. I mean…I think we already have obstruction of justice. How can we not? Trump pressured Comey to drop his investigation of Flynn, and then came out on TV and flat out said he fired Comey because of the Trump/Russia stuff. That is already enough to impeach Trump, and so that is a matter of due process. The Mueller investigation means this isn’t going away. And I believe we have hit the tipping point now that I’ve long expected where the benefits of having Trump in the WH (tax cuts, shredding the Big Government, etc) are from now on going to be outweighed by the collateral damage to the GOP. They are screwed. The only question is how long will it take for them to come to terms with that. IMO, from a GOP point of view, “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly.” They should fry the guy, and go with Pence ASAP.

    My hope is they don’t act quickly because imo an ineffective Trump white house under investigation is preferable to a Mike Pence administration which could right the ship and swiftly enact all kinds of painful legislation.

    Additionally, there are all kinds of other questions that are going to be vented by both the House and Senate. And I think they are going to eventually appoint an independent counsel which is different from what I understand. Mueller can only investigate what has already happened, but an independent counsel would be investigating what happened with an eye for making changes for the future. So we are now going to investigate what external influences there were on this election and prepare for cyber attacks in future election cycles.

    In short, this is a big can of worms, and criminal conviction isn’t necessary as far as I am concerned. I want to see the fire spread throughout the GOP, and the knives to come out, and the GOP to suffer an internal war, and heads to roll.

    Well-as I see it-unless there is-or are-criminal convictions the public -besides people like you and me-are not going to jump the Trump ship-as long as the economy continues to grow under his administration-which it has been. With few exceptions (i.e. crimes committed) it’s always about the economy. Good or bad its how we are wired. And if Mueller’s investigation shows no criminality then that will only beholden these idiots. I do hold out hope that your scenario comes to bear but I’m nowhere near as assured as you are.

    #68994
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    Well-as I see it-unless there is-or are-criminal convictions the public -besides people like you and me-are not going to jump the Trump ship-as long as the economy continues to grow under his administration-which it has been. With few exceptions (i.e. crimes committed) it’s always about the economy. Good or bad its how we are wired. And if Mueller’s investigation shows no criminality then that will only beholden these idiots. I do hold out hope that your scenario comes to bear but I’m nowhere near as assured as you are.

    Trump is holding fast in Republican support – something like 84% approval.

    But only 38% of all voters.

    Historically, when one party has controlled the White House and both houses of congress, that party has lost an average of 35 seats in the midterm elections. The GOP majority currently sits at 22. So although gerrymandering has a huge effect now, it is possible that the turnout will be higher for people pissed off than for people who are content. We don’t need people to “jump the Trump ship.” We just need more people to turn out to vote for Democrats.

    I am not “assured.” I am hopeful. Given the circumstances, this is about as good as we could hope for, I think. A Republican party on the ropes. That is best case scenario, fwiw.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Zooey Zooey.
    #68996
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    More on how Trump supporters see this thing: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/trump-scandal-conservatives-media.html?emc=edit_th_20170518&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=66806393&_r=0&referer

    They have a completely alternative reality going, and there is no way to change that. I think we need to be clear about that. We aren’t going to change the minds of those people who have been brainwashed. Our only hope is to change the minds of people who have been apathetic about politics. Those are the potentially persuadable people.

    #69045

    waterfield
    Participant

    More on how Trump supporters see this thing: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/trump-scandal-conservatives-media.html?emc=edit_th_20170518&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=66806393&_r=0&referer

    They have a completely alternative reality going, and there is no way to change that. I think we need to be clear about that. We aren’t going to change the minds of those people who have been brainwashed. Our only hope is to change the minds of people who have been apathetic about politics. Those are the potentially persuadable people.

    When I was much younger and fairly apathetic about politics I became enamored with JFK. His intelligence, attractiveness, personality, etc. From that point forward I have been given to politics in the form of campaigns, various committees, and so on. I suspect we need someone like that who can-as you wrote- “change the minds” of those uninterested in politics. After all Trump has the personality that turned on a whole lot more people than I ever could imagine. So-we can philosophize about socialism, capitalism, conservatism,liberalism, progressive, etc but to get people out to vote you need “star” quality-and unfortunately Trump had that. Hopefully that future star will have fundamental core beliefs that are far different than the little boy who now is the most powerful leader in the world.

    #69124
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    More on how Trump supporters see this thing: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/trump-scandal-conservatives-media.html?emc=edit_th_20170518&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=66806393&_r=0&referer

    They have a completely alternative reality going, and there is no way to change that. I think we need to be clear about that. We aren’t going to change the minds of those people who have been brainwashed. Our only hope is to change the minds of people who have been apathetic about politics. Those are the potentially persuadable people.

    When I was much younger and fairly apathetic about politics I became enamored with JFK. His intelligence, attractiveness, personality, etc. From that point forward I have been given to politics in the form of campaigns, various committees, and so on. I suspect we need someone like that who can-as you wrote- “change the minds” of those uninterested in politics. After all Trump has the personality that turned on a whole lot more people than I ever could imagine. So-we can philosophize about socialism, capitalism, conservatism,liberalism, progressive, etc but to get people out to vote you need “star” quality-and unfortunately Trump had that. Hopefully that future star will have fundamental core beliefs that are far different than the little boy who now is the most powerful leader in the world.

    Yeah, I had some hope Obama would be that guy. I was never under any illusion that he would do anything but govern from the center right, but I hoped he might represent the end of the rightward swing of the country, and push the pendulum back towards a swing to the left. He didn’t. And I severely overestimated the possibility of his doing so because I severely underestimated how much racism still lurks in America. I think that a great deal of Trump’s support is a reaction against Obama – and not his policies so much as his race. There are still a lot of people in this country who hate blacks.

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