Reality TV Law: Trump Recruits His Impeachment Defense Team from Fox News

Donald Trump famously boasted that he “knows all the best people.” It turns out that that’s only true if what he meant by “best” was the foremost crooks, liars, and bootlickers. His administration has witnessed a parade of moral slackers and incompetents. He has fired more of his own appointees than any president in history. These are people that he lauded as “brilliant” until their termination, when he castigated them as “idiots.”

Fox News, Impeach Trump

A troubling hallmark of the Trump White House has been its reliance on staffers that Trump plucked from Fox News. They include Larry Kudlow, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, Jonathan Wachtel, Heather Nauert, and more. The truth is that Trump doesn’t really know anybody with any experience or record of accomplishment. He’s a former reality TV game show host who does nothing but golf, tweet, and watch Fox News.

So it comes as no surprise that as his impeachment looms before him, he resorts to the only source for personnel he’s familiar with to recruit his legal team. That team is already led by a frequent Fox News talking head, Jay Sekulow. And now Trump has announced that he’s filling up the roster with more of the same flunkies he’s seen over and over again on Fox.

The new members of Trump’s impeachment defense team are Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Ray, and Pam Bondi. All of them have been regular fixtures on Fox News as the network strives to host only those who will shamelessly suck up to the President by unflinchingly defending him and ruthlessly maligning his critics. And it’s from these televised auditions that Trump selects his closest associates and most trusted allies. This is a president who only values appearances. It is more important to him that his advocates perform well on television than that they exhibit intelligence, integrity, or fealty to facts. So let’s take a closer look at the stuffed suits Trump has hired to defend him:

Ken Starr…
…is best known as the independent counsel who couldn’t find any wrongdoing on the part of Bill Clinton, so he settled for a smarmy, albeit consensual, sex scandal as the basis for impeachment. Starr himself was later fired from his post as the president of Baylor University amid allegations of sexual misconduct on the football team. And another item on his resume is having worked for Trump pal and pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.

Alan Dershowitz…
…is remembered as a member of the O.J. Simpson defense team. Trump likely appreciates his ability to get acquittals for people who are obviously guilty. He also must appreciate Dershowitz’s slobbering displays of affection and total faith in Trump’s purity and innocence. Dershowitz also worked for Epstein. Is this a pattern forming?

Robert Ray…
…took over the independent counsel office when Ken Starr left. Other than his frequent Trump-fluffing appearances on Fox and Friends, he isn’t particularly well known for anything significant.

Pam Bondi…
…is the former Attorney General for the state of Florida. She was caught in a campaign finance scandal wherein she accepted an illegal $25,000 donation from a Trump charity and then promptly dropped a case against his bogus Trump University that was later found to be guilty of fraud.

So the reality TV presidency is now being extended to the legal team that he’s relying on to absolve him of the high crimes and misdemeanors that led to his impeachment. It’s not much more than a cast of made-for-TV characters who will be preaching to the cameras and viewers at home, rather than to the assembled “jurors” in the Senate chamber. From Trump’s perspective this might seem like a smart move since the majority Republicans in the Senate have pretty much already declared their intentions to acquit him regardless of the evidence.

However, the American people are not going to be as forgiving as Trump’s GOP sycophants in Washington. They already believe that Trump is guilty, and a majority support his impeachment and removal from office. So it isn’t likely that Trump will find success in the melodramatic soap opera stunts deployed by this team of Fox News litigators. Team trump may have the system rigged for an acquittal, but the voters are going to hear all the evidence and make their own judgment come November.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Mental Disabilities Prevent Him from Understanding the Inspector General’s Report

On Monday the long-awaited report about the FBI’s Russia probe by the Inspector General of the Justice Department was released. Donald Trump, Republicans, and the vast right-wing conspiracy had been insisting for weeks that this report would provide damning proof that Democrats and the imaginary “Deep State” were conspiring to stage a “coup” against Trump.

Donald Trump, Deep State

Now, with the release of this report it’s clear that the hopes of the Trump cultists have been thoroughly dashed on the rocks of reality. The conclusions by Inspector General Michael Horowitz could not have been stated more plainly:

IG Report: We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to seek FISA authority.

Among the findings were key revelations that upend the Trump regime’s favorite fallacies. For instance, the FBI did not use the Steele dossier to open the Russia probe. Also, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were not decision-makers. None of the hair-raising charges espoused by the wingnut set were upheld.

The report did identify a number of bureaucratic mistakes and flaws in the processes. But the bottom line was that none of these minor mishaps impacted the integrity or honesty of the work of the FBI and its senior officials, including Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, or anyone else in the Bureau. The report unambiguously declares that the investigation of Trump campaign operatives was fully justified and that its conduct was free of partisan politics.

However, despite the clarity of the report, Trump offered up his own bizarre and delusional analysis when asked by reporters after the report was made public (video below):

Trump: The IG report just came out and I was just briefed on it and it’s a disgrace what’s happened with respect to the things that were done to our country. It should never again happen to another president. It is incredible, far worse than I would’ve ever thought possible and it’s an embarrassment to our country, its dishonest, it’s everything that a lot of people thought it would be, except far worse.

What report was he reading? There is no plausible way a person could utter that nonsense unless they were clinically insane or purposefully intended to deceive. For this report to be “far worse” than Trump “ever thought possible,” it would have to have uncovered evidence of something worse than treason, because that’s what Trump had called the Russia investigation in the past. There was, of course, nothing in the report that supported that hysterical take. Although, Trump did get affirmation from his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, who said that “The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions.” Which the IG Report most definitely didn’t do. Then Trump continued…

Trump: They fabricated evidence and they lied to the courts and they did all sorts of things to have it go their way and this was something we can never allow to have to happen again. The report actually, and especially when you look into the details of the report are far worse than anything I would’ve even imagined. What they were doing and what they would’ve done if I didn’t make a certain move, a certain move that was a very important move because it would’ve been even worse if that’s possible. And they might’ve been able to succeed, this was an overthrow of government, this was an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it and they got caught, they got caught red-handed.

There is also no evidence of anyone fabricating evidence or lying to the court, as Trump is alleging. And naturally, he won’t provide any examples of such activity, because there aren’t any. Trump often speaks in vagaries to avoid having to support his preposterous assertions. Another example of that is his reference to a “very important move” that he says prevented even worse atrocities – for him. He’s talking about his firing of Comey, an action that should itself result in an Article of Impeachment for obstruction of justice.

Finally, Trump’s deranged claim that the Russia probe was “an attempted overthrow” of the government is both false and strikingly paranoid. He further claims that there were “a lot of people in on it” that he now says have been “caught red-handed.” Who the hell he’s talking about is a mystery. None of the people that Trump has been viciously slandering for the past couple of years has been charged with any crime, or even cited for administrative errors.

In short, the FBI has been fully exonerated by an independent Inspector General who was appointed by Trump. And Trump has been shown to be a malicious liar. His mental infirmity is still on display with crazy comments that amount to dubious declarations of victory. “I think,” Trump said, “I’m gonna put this down as one of our great achievements.” Really? That says something about what he regards as his other alleged “achievements.” Namely that they are all in his mind and only exist to fluff his super-sized, narcissistic ego.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Terrified that His Taxes Will Become Public, Trump Sics His DOJ on the Supreme Court

Last week’s impeachment hearings revealed overwhelming evidence of the criminal behavior of Donald Trump. The witnesses were largely from his own administration, including Dr. Fiona Hill who was a top aide to Trump’s ultra-conservative National Security Advisor, John Bolton. And every one of them testified that Trump improperly threatened to withhold military funds from Ukraine unless they helped him smear a political rival. In fact, Trump himself admitted it.

Donald Trump

However, in just the few hours since the hearings adjourned, there have been some startling stories of corruption and dirty dealing by Trump and his sycophantic defenders. The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has been implicated in a scandal of his own wherein he was seeking foreign assistance to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Which is precisely the crime that the Committee is investigating Trump for. As for Trump, he visited his Friends at Fox News to spread propaganda manufactured by Russia. But These aren’t the only problems Trump faces.

The state of New York has been trying to get Trump’s tax returns as evidence in a case probing alleged campaign finance violations. Trump, of course, has been refusing to cooperate, but having lost in the lower courts, Trump is taking his challenge to the Supreme Court. In advance of any decision, the Department of Justice is now weighing in with their own opinion. And naturally they are siding with Trump. This is just further proof that Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr is a toady for Trump who is breaching his oath to serve the American people.

There is no justification for the DOJ to interfere with this litigation. It is outside of the purview of the Department as it involves Trump personally and is not associated with his duties as president. What’s more, the case that the DOJ is presenting to the Supreme Court is typically biased, shallow, and weak on legal rationale. According to their filing

“The brief, filed by Solicitor General Noel Francisco, says allowing Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance to obtain the tax returns would create a precedent that ‘may subject the president to highly burdensome demands for information’ and ‘raises the risk that prosecutors could use subpoenas to harass the president as a result of opposition to his policies.'”

Literally none of that is is justification for the Justice Department to interfere with this case. The President is not immune to investigations by state prosecutors. And it isn’t the DOJ’s job to define what constitutes a “burden” to the President. Nor is the DOJ permitted to insert itself into what may or may not be a political affair. The President has his personal attorneys for those purposes. The brief went on to say that…

“’The United States has a substantial interest in protecting the office of the president and the powers and duties vested in that office,’ the brief reportedly reads. ‘The United States also has a substantial interest in protecting the autonomy of the federal government from potential interference by the states.'”

To the extent that the DOJ is tasked with “protecting the office of the president,” it is limited to the his official duties, not his personal affairs. Especially those that took place prior to his election. However, the argument that the DOJ has an interest in protecting the President “from potential interference by the states,” is downright ludicrous. It is, in effect, a claim to protect the President from the nation he is sworn to serve. If upheld it would set a precedent that allows any president to violate state laws with impunity. And along with the tax laws that are central to this case, that could include rape and murder.

Trump’s stubborn refusal to release his taxes – as every other president in modern times has done – is a pretty good indication that there is something terribly wrong hidden in them. He isn’t even pretending to be audited anymore. Now he claims that just asking to see his returns is an abuse of power. He’s just sending his lackeys out to make absurd arguments in the hopes that he can keep his skeletons in the closet. And while the DOJ’s case is so thin as to be laughable, it is not outside the realm of possibility that it will be received favorably by a Supreme Court that is stacked with right-wingers and Trump appointees. Time will tell if they honor the law and the Constitution more than their misplaced loyalty to a criminal president.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

HOLY CREEP! Trump Admits to Using the U.S. Military Budget to Bribe Voters

The degree to which Donald Trump lacks any hint of self-awareness is mind boggling. He shamelessly boasts about having record-breaking support among Republicans when that support is actually in decline. He demands that the whistleblower testify while, in the same breath, insists that nobody should testify. He pretends that he’s not worried about being impeached, but can’t stop talking – or tweeting – about it.

Donald Trump, Prison

Now, as Trump is being shredded by an avalanche of evidence that he extorted Ukrainian President Zelensky in order to get dirt on Joe Biden, Trump is simultaneously engaging in a another flagrant case of bribery. This one centers around the off-year elections that are now being held in several states. Trump has been consumed with campaigning in the past few weeks, focusing on those states. Both his tweets and his cult rallies have been centered around the election calendar. But in a disturbing Tuesday tweet Trump literally confessed to a bribery scheme to get votes:

This is one of the most brazen admissions of criminal electioneering ever. It begins with Trump reminding the people of Virgina of his “genorosity” with federal dollars. That, of course, isn’t true. Trump has even diverted military funds to building his vanity border wall, which won’t help Virginia in the slightest. And then Trump holds the promise of future spending in the state over their heads. He is plainly trying to frighten Virginia voters with threats that federal allocations will dry up if they don’t vote for him. And we know that Trump is not shy about abusing his power to punish those he doesn’t deem sufficietly worshipful.

This tweet cannot be interpreted as anything other than a bribe. He is trying to appeal to Virginians who are reliant on federal funds for jobs and the economic boost that military facilities bring to localities. That is illegal on its face. It is also a breach of national security as it directs the allocations of military funding based on Trump’s political whims, rather than the needs of the nation’s armed forces. In that respect, Trump is violating his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

For Trump to openly admit to this criminal activity is both shocking and predictable. His capacity for breaking the law and bragging about it is unheard of in American politics. And the saddest part of it all is that he so often gets away with it. As the current impeachment inquiry progresses, hopefully Trump will finally be held accountable for at least a few of his crimes. Were there any realistic administration of justice, Trump would never get out of prison.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Bizarre Defense of Fellow Sexual Predator Brett Kavanaugh is Legally Incomprehensible

The New York Times published a story this week that contained new and credible allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. While the article buried the charges in the body of the story, the victim, Deborah Ramirez, provides a harrowing account of Kavanaugh’s behavior that is consistent with the experiences of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and others.

Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh

The renewed controversy over the Donald Trump nominated Justice has stirred the debate over Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve on the Court. There are already calls for investigations and even inquiries into whether Kavanaugh should be impeached. Among the justifications for his ouster from the bench is the now apparent fact that he lied to the Senate during his confirmation hearing. And he had no business being confirmed at all considering the fact that the FBI failed to investigate the charges against him, including those by Ramirez.

Enter Donald Trump. It comes as no surprise that Trump would rush to the defense of his nominee. Not just because he needs to validate his choice, but also because they share so much in common. Trump is also a serial sexual predator who has been accused by more than twenty women of harassment and/or assault. So naturally Trump lashed out on Twitter to protect Kavanaugh from the truths that are emerging.

Trump’s first inclination is always to blame everything on the media. It’s his way of telegraphing to his cult followers that, despite the facts and the evidence, what they are hearing is not to be believed. Trump’s assertion that Kavanaugh is “an innocent man who has been treated HORRIBLY,” has no basis in reality. And it’s absurd to suggest that he has been treated worse than his victims.

However, Trump goes completely off the ledge when he offers his advice that Kavanaugh should sue the press and his accusers for libel. Trump has often threatened to sue his own accusers, but always chickens out. During the 2016 campaign he swore that “All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.” Those lawsuits never came to pass. His lawyers surely told him that truth is a defense against libel, and the proceedings would subject him to discovery, wherein he would have to provide all relevant documents and evidence in his possession. There is no way he would do that.

Even worse, Trump said that “the Justice Department should come to [Kavanaugh’s] rescue.” This is further proof that Trump believes the Justice Department serves as his personal attorney, and can serve the same function for Kavanaugh. Clearly Trump has no idea how government works. But, unfortunately, he does have an Attorney General, William Barr, who doesn’t care how government works and is willing to violate the Constitution on behalf of a criminal president.

Trump’s glaring ignorance is apparent throughout these tweets. He obviously doesn’t know what “recrimination” means. Just retaliating against the women in these matters by calling them “liars” is recriminatory. And they have also been disparaged as drunks and sluts. Trump’s complaint that his critics are trying to “scare [Kavanaugh] into turning Liberal,” and to “influence his opinions,” makes no sense whatsoever. How would holding Kavanaugh accountable for his past behavior – and more recent lies – cause him to rule more favorably for the people causing him so much trouble? If anything, it would have the opposite effect.

Let’s be clear. The only reason Trump is even bothering to make a stink about this is that he’s afraid for his own fate. He even said as much in another tweet where he asked if it “sounds familiar” that Kavanaugh’s criticisms were based “on threats of Impeaching him over made up stories.”

Trump regards this as an attack against him. He doesn’t care about Kavanaugh or the Supreme Court, and certainly not the law. He sees this as criticism of his choice for the nomination and his own sex crimes. And anything that reflects negatively on him must be attacked with the full force of his viciousness and dishonesty. That’s how the diseased minds of malignant narcissists work. And Trump is, once again, providing a textbook example of this. Sadly, it’s also an example of why no one with these hostile and destructive psychoses should ever serve as president.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Caves to Jeff Flake and the ‘Radical Left’ – Orders the ‘Deep State’ FBI to Probe Kavanaugh

Welcome to the continuing saga of Brett Kavanaugh and his quest to be the second Supreme Court justice with a history of alleged sexual harassment and/or assault (and nominated by a president with an even worse history). Today’s episode brings us to the Senate Judiciary Committee where Sen. Jeff Flake has issued an ultimatum demanding that the FBI investigate the charges of Kavanaugh’s accusers before he will consent to an affirmative vote.

Donald Trump

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley actually doesn’t have the authority to call in the FBI or to put the confirmation vote on the calendar. But he essentially agreed to proceed with a promise that Flake’s condition would be honored. Subsequently, Donald Trump issued a statement saying that:

“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file as the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”

This is a significant concession by a White House that has been fervently opposed to reopening Kavanaugh’s FBI background check. Just a couple of days ago Trump was holding a rare press conference where he refused to consider calling the FBI back in because “They don’t do this.” He elaborated saying that:

“The FBI told us they’ve investigated Judge Kavanaugh six times, five times, many times over the years. They know him very well. But here, there was nothing to investigate from at least one standpoint. They didn’t know the location. They didn’t know the time. They didn’t know the year. They didn’t know anything. And it’s like, where do you go? Also, it’s not for the FBI.”

The fact that Trump thinks that FBI cannot get involved in matters where “They didn’t know anything” would be hilarious if it weren’t so frightening. It’s exactly when little is known that the FBI is relied on to find out more. It’s called “Investigation” and it’s right there in the name of the Federal Bureau. But Trump is so ignorant of his role as president that he just makes up phony reasons to justify whatever outcome he prefers. Only last week he posted a ludicrous tweet responding to suggestions that the FBI be consulted (Isn’t there always a tweet?):

Everyone except Trump already knows why victims of sexual assault often don’t report the crimes. However, with Kavanaugh’s confirmation in trouble, Trump is now willing to defer to the “radical left lawyers” and the “Deep State” operatives lurking behind the scenes at the agency that he has been vilifying for the past two years as corrupt and out to get him.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Will this change the outcome of the confirmation vote? Who knows. It depends on whether the FBI finds corroboration of the charges against Kavanaugh. But they might also find evidence that he lied during his FBI interviews or his congressional testimony (which he did). That would also be disqualifying for an aspiring Supreme Court nominee. Well, under ordinary circumstances it would. But with today’s cravely partisan Republican Party controlling the Congress, pretty much anything goes.

While Defending Kavanaugh, Ted Cruz Inadvertently Defines Trump as a Sexual Predator

You can always count on Ted Cruz, the smarmiest man in Washington, to demonstrate how he has earned his reputation for nausea-inducing callousness. When all around him are being merely grotesque, Cruz manages to up the ante and spin the disgust meter three times around. And Friday morning he reaffirmed his unique talent for obnoxious blather.

Ted Cruz, Donald Trump

The Senate Judiciary Committee was preparing to vote on whether to send the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the full Senate. Each senator was given an opportunity to say a few words on on the positions they are taking prior to the vote. When Cruz’s turn came around he thought he would make an argument for why Kavanaugh could not possibly be a sexual predator (video below):

“Now all of us know from human experience, that if someone is a sexual predator – if someone is committing the kinds of actions that have been alleged – that it is very rare that they are a one-time offender. That if someone is carrying out this kind of conduct, they typically have a pattern of doing so over and over and over again. We have seen powerful men throughout society – in politics, in journalism, in Hollywood – whose careers have rightly been ended, but they’ve been ended for a pattern of harassment or abuse that typically extends decades, because when someone behaves like this they behave like this over and over again.”

First of all, Cruz is apparently not paying very close attention to the allegations made against Kavanaugh. There are at least three women who have come forward with credible statements that they’ve made under penalty of perjury. So Kavanaugh fits Cruz’s definition of a predator. But more troubling is that there is another person in public life that fits the description even better.

Donald Trump has been accused of sexual harassment and/or assault by at least sixteen women over a period many years. These women have provided detailed accounts of their encounters with Trump. And Trump himself has validated the charges by admitting that, because he is famous, he feels that he is allowed to assault (i.e. grab) women any time he wants and get away with it.

This country is currently on the verge of confirming an alleged sexual predator to a seat on the Supreme Court, where he would join Clarence Thomas, another alleged perv. Together they would be ruling on issues of critical importance to women, including Roe v Wade. But as bad as that is, it’s monumentally worse that the President has committed far more crimes over a longer span of time, but has not been held to account in any way. Certainly, if Kavanaugh is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court (for so many reasons) then Trump should be removed from the White House sooner than immediately. What does it say about our nation if it is incapable of preventing monsters like these from becoming powerful leaders?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Brett Kavanaugh’s Angry, Partisan, Yelling, and Crying Has Likely Torpedoed His Nomination

The single most damaging witness so far for the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United is without a doubt – Brett Kavanaugh. His opening statement was an extended, foaming at the mouth diatribe filled with invective and grievances against his perceived enemies. Donald Trump made it known that he was unhappy with Kavanaugh’s performance during his pitiful interview on Fox News. But if he thinks this was the way to rehabilitate his tattered reputation, he’s only proving that his faulty judgment makes him unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.

Brett Kavanaugh

The most notable impression left by Kavanaugh will be that he was furious with the women who were making allegations about his behavior, and with the Democrats in Congress who are seeking the truth. But his unhinged harangue will be viewed after the fact as detrimental to his confirmation. The spectacle of a potential justice of the Supreme Court throwing a public tantrum like this only reinforces the opinions of those who believe that he doesn’t have the temperment to do the job.

No one would hold it against him that he cried during his testimony. Well, no one except the President of the United States, Donald Trump. On more than a few occasions Trump has mocked others for showing such emotion. He routinely referred to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer as “Cryin’ Chuck.” Should we expect a similarly disrespectful tweet from the President about “Cryin’ Brett”? And if Trump was disappointed with Kavanaugh’s appearance on the friendly Fox News network, what must he be thinking now after this extended display of shouting and weeping? If anything, it makes the charges that he is a belligerent drunk more believable.

Perhaps the most harmful part of Kavanaugh’s rant was his ferocious condemnation of Democrats. He implied that they had “laid in wait” and plotted to “blow me up and take me down.” His repetitious attacks made it clear that he regards the party as a political foe. He accused Democrats of conducting a campaign against him that was “well financed” by some unnamed and evil benefactor (George Soros?). He described their opposition to him in conspiratorial terms resembling Trump’s references to a “Deep State” cabal. Specifically, Kavanaugh said that his critics were deploying a “political hit” as “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” Seriously?

With that sort of brazen and vile partisanship, how can Kavanaugh be relied upon to be a neutral arbiter of the law? His extreme prejudice is starkly apparent. And whether or not one believes he has justification to feel this way, it disqualifies him to be a justice whose impartiality is mandatory. No judicial authority can be allowed to harbor such obvious biases. He could certainly withdraw and run for the senate, where his partisanship would be expected. But he has morally resigned as any kind of judge and now needs to recognize that fact and resign in reality.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Supreme Court Pageant is a Fake News Farce that the Media Should Not Cover

For several days now Donald Trump has been hyping the announcement of his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He has been rolling it out like a new episode of Celebrity Apprentice. The trivialization of this process is typical of a president whose only prior experience was hosting a reality TV game show. However, the nation’s press ought to know better than to be taken in by such flagrant self-promotion.

Donald Trump

Trump has asked the major television networks for a primetime spot on Monday night. It’s the sort of thing that is generally reserved for declarations of war or death notices for prominent government officials. Clearly this doesn’t meet that high standard. Trump’s potential nominee short list has been widely reported, and the names on it have been analyzed in great detail. So the urgency for a primetime preemption of American Ninja Warrior and The Bachelorette is hardly justified. Nevertheless, Trump’s Twitter feed has been firing up the unveiling of his nominee for over a week:

It’s curious that the President is impressed by having “long heard” of the Supreme Court’s importance. It isn’t common knowledge to him, but more like a rumor that’s been going around. And all of the mystery and suspense of his already anti-climatic decision is about to blow up. All that’s missing from this charade is the advertising sponsorship notice that “This event is being brought to you by Capital One: Who’s in your pocket?”

At this point there is absolutely nothing newsworthy about this brazen hypesterism. There is no reason that the American television viewer can’t wait until their local news program to learn which Trump flunky got a rose. There will still be be weeks or months of confirmation hearings and the Court doesn’t reconvene until October. So why the rush to put Trump on TV to conduct what will be just another of his partisan rallies? We all know what he’ll say:

“My nominee for the Supreme Court is a tremendous person. Everyone says so. He will rule according to the original interpretation of the Constitution as defined by Founding Fathers like Antonin Scalia, that I can tell you. He will be strong on taxes and the border and national security, and he loves the military. He will respect the right to life and the values that all Deplorable Americans share. Believe me. The enemy of the American people, the media, who are broadcasting this (so dishonest), will try to tear him down. But they are going out business in a couple of years so that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you, my people, will love and support this nominee because I said so. Thank you for listening. Good night, and God bless my nominee, the Supreme Court, and the United Soviet Soc… I mean the United States of America.”

There you go, media. Now you don’t have to air Trump’s speech. Why bother when it will just be an extension of the revival meetings he has been holding around the country instead of, you know, doing the work of the president. If the press does air this propaganda it will be they who doing the work of this president, and that isn’t the media’s job. They should decline Trump’s request for time, and then report on anything newsworthy that comes from it after the fact.

For anyone who simply can’t wait, there is always State TV (aka Fox News), who will air virtually everything that Trump says like the obedient hype machine that they are. And Fox will follow their coverage of the announcement with a couple of hours of “analysis” explaining why Trump’s choice was so brilliant. However, the rest of the media should have more integrity. They should shun this undeserved demand for attention. Unfortunately, as of Monday morning, they all seem to be falling in line with the wannabe dictator in the White House. #SAD!

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump is Admitting Guilt if He Pardons Himself, Requiring Impeachment for Confessed Crimes

For the past several weeks Donald Trump’s TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has assumed the role of saying idiotic things that put the President in deeper legal peril. Now it appears that Trump was not sufficiently satisfied with Giuliani’s efforts, so he has taken over that role himself.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

In a series of tweets that mainly demonstrate his fear and guilty conscience, Trump has explicitly made the case for his inevitable prosecution and impeachment. Of course, he doesn’t have any idea what he actually said or what the consequences will be, but he’s typically adamant about what he’s painfully ignorant of. In a tweet that blows up his whole claim of innocence, Trump said this:

Trump could not be more wrong. Most legal scholars agree that there is nothing in the Constitution or case law that permits a president to pardon himself. In fact, it flies in the face of the Founders insistence that the United States is a government of laws, not men (John Adams, 1780), and that no one is above the law. The ability to self-pardon would empower a president to evade accountability for any criminal act. It’s the doctrine of dictators and tyrants.

More importantly with regard to Trump, the acceptance of a pardon is, under the law, an admission of guilt. In the Supreme Court’s decision of Burdick v. U S, the Court said unambiguously that “…a pardon […] carries an imputation of guilt; acceptance a confession of it.” Therefore, if Trump were to issue a pardon to himself it would also serve as his confession to the underlying crimes.

No matter what one’s opinion of the validity of the pardon, it would be unarguable that the President was accepting as truthful the charges against him. And by doing so he would be making himself subject to impeachment. The severity of a legal breach that warranted a pardon could not be excused under the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard for removing a president from office. And a responsible Congress that respects the Constitution would have no choice but to impeach. Unfortunately, that may not describe the present make up of the Republican suck-ups currently holding the congressional majority.

In addition to Trump’s tweet assuming presidential authority to evade the law, he also tweeted something that illustrates how poorly he understands the law:

It would be interesting if someone could ask Trump exactly what constitutional clause he is citing. Because there isn’t actually any language in the Constitution that supports his claim. And if there were it would just raise additional questions. For instance, if he believes that the appointment of a special counsel is unconstitutional, then why did he himself ask for the appointment of one to investigate Hillary Clinton? And why did he ask that Robert Mueller’s team expand their jurisdiction to include Democrats?

Even more curious is that Trump would allow his Justice Department to proceed with a process he now asserts is against the law? That, in itself, would be grounds for impeachment as a violation of his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” And his characterization of this being merely a game he is playing is a disgraceful insult to American principles of justice.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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Trump clearly has no respect for the law or the Constitution he so cavalierly references. He doesn’t bother to educate himself about the legal matters he puts into the public debate. He is oblivious to his hypocrisy in how he would enforce the laws that he doesn’t understand. And all of that is wrapped in his brazenly ego-driven self-interest. It’s the perspective of a wannabe dictator who is frustrated by the constraints on absolute power articulated in the Constitution that he plainly despises.