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Trump Guilty of Obstruction of Justice - Now What?
Not since I began filling this space with words in August of 1997 have I gotten so many accolades from readers and colleagues on my correct analysis, as corroborated by the release of the Mueller Report this week, on President Donald J. Trump being clearly guilty of obstructing justice during the investigations into his campaign and administration allegedly working with Russians to destroy our democratic system. Now, to be fair, this was a slam dunk. I mean, the guy did it in broad daylight, on national television, Twitter, he even bragged to a bunch of Russians in the Oval Office with big-mouth staff hanging around. It was more like writing that pizza is good or war is bad, or nothing is better than sex. And folks, there is no sillier phrase in any language. Nothing is better than sex. Period. So, I appreciate your kind words, plaudits and references to my genius, but Trump being guilty of obstruction was a no brainer. Kind of like Trump himself.
There is so much damaging shit in this report about our game show president, it will take volumes by historians to distill over the decades. But since I promised that the piece referred to in all this praising would indeed be the last word on the report itself, I am not here today to rehash it. Although, come on, how great is it that the president is on record as saying the minute Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.” Then, according to his then attorney general Trump began his road to obstructing justice by tearing into Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation. Trump, as he did with FBI Director James Comey, when he tried to queer a criminal inquiry (this one was on soon-to-be-locked up former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn), begged to be protected from himself. This is the Donald Trump that appeared in my celebrated deconstruction of his obstructing justice – a man, who if he were innocent, sure did not act like it from day-one.
Also, if I may, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitting under oath she is a lying machine is delicious too, but I giddily digress.
And so, Robert Mueller after nearly two years and over 400 pages of what we can see here is heavily redacted info from an attorney general who is openly in the bag for Trump, the president committed at least ten different acts of obstruction of justice. What it comes down to is not that the president is guilty or not guilty, but what there is under the constitution to be done with this. Trump being guilty, as stated here for months and nailed down by federal investigators, is a done deal. What William Barr is arguing, again covered here two weeks ago (damn, I am good), is that unless there was collusion than there cannot be obstructing justice. And since there is no solid evidence of direct collusion – although the report states that there was plenty of merry collaborative efforts to use a hostile foreign entity trying to destroy its opponent to win the presidency by the Trump campaign – there is no point pursing the Mueller team’s evidence to this end.
What Barr is saying is, “Sure, this behavior is icky and bad and even toeing the line of criminal, if not criminal, but if the guy was only reacting out of fear for being railroaded, then what can I do?” And in this reasoning, Barr’s objective is clear: “Fuck the Justice Department and the United State and its citizens. I have to protect Trump.” As Trump has asked of anyone in his employ. The president often uses the specter of Roy Cohn, a despicable openly bigoted criminal lawyer, who according to Trump was a trusted mentor, to insist this. Thus, Barr’s credibility is shot. He should now be viewed as an untrusty hack who has dumped the objective concept of his office to be a lacky. Good for him. Let’s move on.
And where we move is the U.S. Congress. This is where this sordid tale now continues. Trump is guilty of obstructing justice. What Mueller is arguing is that it is not within his powers to prosecute a sitting president, this he punts to the legislative branch as our constitution states. The preponderance of evidence against Trump is enough for a deeper dive into an investigation and possible impeachment hearings, but whether congress, more specifically Democrats – Republicans have consistently crapped the bed on this fiasco – have the stones to pull this off is another thing. There is politics involved. And when that happens we see that more times than not all hope for legality and morality is tossed into the shit pile.
The second Pennsylvania fell to Trump and it looked all the world like this doofus would be our president on November 6, 2016, I texted a dear friend, “Countdown to Impeachment”. It was part joke, but also knowing Trump since the 1980s here in and around NYC, it was obvious this guy was going to do something to get him in trouble. And, well, here it is; an impeachable offense. Whether that happens or not, it’s up to congress. It was for Nixon and Clinton, and it came to bear. It was for Reagan, and it did not. This goes where congress goes.
And, trust me, I am not putting my stellar predictive talents on the line when it comes to congress. I have no idea how it will go there. Ever. Chances are nothing will happen. We’re 18 months from the 2020 election and Trump is still languishing in the low 40s approval rating and his "crazy shit" is now without the checks and balances of all those poor bastards in the White House that kept Trump from firing Mueller and implicating himself even further into this mess. They all quit in protest or were sacked for trying to stay out of prison for him. There are more Trump shenanigans to come to bury him, so, really, why risk a backlash or what DC insiders like to refer to as “investigation fatigue” to make a martyr out of this dink? Democrats could drag this out for publicity and wait until the election, or (imagine that!) congress could actually do its constitutional duty job and act as a viable check on the abuse of powers within the executive branch.
Whatever happens, this is what is at stake now that we have official compiled and corroborating evidence of obstruction of justice by the president of the United States.
Trump is guilty.
READERS RESPONSES 4.27.19
I want to thank Sean for his incredible honesty and sharing his amazing story of coming out to his family with readers of the Reality Check. (THE DISHONEST ARTIST by Sean Barna – Guest Columnist – And thanks to you, James, for always being at the forefront of LGBT rights long before it became a thing. And I want to say, with many gay friends, I support their journey from discovery to revelation. This is the place where I come to understand more about ideas and people that I have a hard time comprehending, in politics mostly, but to hear this kind of pure expression from what is obviously a deeply thoughtful and articulate young man is so very comforting. Again, thank you both, James, for providing this space where so much truth and bravery comes from, and Sean, for both of those attributes and more.
Wow. This made me cry! Of course they love him no matter what!! But he had to face his own fears to find that out and I’m so glad he had the courage to finally do so. Thank you for sharing!
Elizabeth Vengen Esq.
As a fan of Sean Barna’s music thanks to the Underwater Sunshine podcast, which James co-hosts with Counting Crows front man, Adam Duritz, I found it so pleasing to read his personal experience with friends and family on his journey to the honesty of his being. For anyone who wants to hear the courage of a young gay man in these bigoted times led by a horrible man who has gone beyond the beyond to enact anti-LGBT policies from the White House, go and find his amazingly moving Cissy, an incredibly dramatic and inspiring EP that I heard for the first time when James gave it a standing ovation and called it one of the bravest expressions by a young songwriter he has heard, and I agree.
I enjoyed this guest column. Well done, Sean.
I just want to say that this was such an enjoyable read. The structure of the story and how it comes together in the end was amazing. Sean took the reader on this journey and allowed us to accompany him as he shared his truth, so vulnerably. It was beautifully written and I want to thank Sean for sharing his story.
This was one incredible statement of bravery and self-examination. Wow. As someone who understands Sean I am inspired by his decision on how he has handled his identity and I know how hard it can be to admit to yourself how the people you love will accept you. The real you. Thank you, Sean. I feel you. I celebrate you and your courage and honesty and taking the time to go public with all of this.
Our politicians are gutless and will never let this happen. (WHERE WE ARE ON WEED – Issue: 2/27/19) We have the foresight of 1950 religious zealots in this state. We think we’re so progressive in Jersey and this is mostly a dumb-ass backwards group of morons. This will never happen here. Ever.
I believe that what New Jersey does on the legalization issue will be a tipping point for the entire northeast region, and I think that if things go according to the shifting winds of 2018 and the disastrous Trump presidency and the destruction of bullshit conservative idiocy, it will tip the entire nation. Legalize it!
Oregon is well into its recreational scene. The state coffers are being filled, but an interesting trend is developing. A lot of aged hippies and a creative crop (pun intended) of millennials are cultivating copious amounts of quality weed. There is so much superior herb being grown in backyard hot houses here that it’s hard to believe that anyone would be willing to pay the lofty prices of the dispensaries. Personally, I'm a vodka man. Weed freaks me out. But even a non- participant like myself finds himself presented (on occasion) with handfuls of bud. I keep it in a jar in my shed in case company is interested.
Growing weed in Oregon is akin to the home brewing craze of the 90's. Because of this unpredicted phenomenon, the concept of state-run dispensaries is proving to be nothing more than an economical flash in the pan approach to solving legislative budget issues. If NJ acts before NY, there will be oodles of cash to be made. In the long run though (which will come sooner than you think), everyone will have a jar of the homegrown in their sheds. Then the topic will become less economical and more of a sociological.
Thank God for James Campion! CABLEVISION MONOPOLY & THE MORAL IMPERATIVE – Issue: 3/27/19) Someone had to say this! How does this continue in this country? How can NJ allow this? Cablevision sucks! And we are forced to use it if we want Internet access, which, as James states, is like running water and electricity now. How can one survive without it? One place provides serviceable web service?? It is a crime! It is a monopoly. In 2019? WTF?
Hey, asshole, shut off Cablevision. How about that? Shit. Who spends this much energy on this shit?
I jumped up and down with glee when I read this column. I have never written you before, but I was compelled to now, because I am daily filled with rage against this horrible faceless corporation – greedy, disgusting! I don’t want to give them another dime and yet I HAVE to! Imprisoned by the Dolans! Goddamn it!
Great job, you are your mother's son. I would also have pursued those money grubbing miscreants. I am VERY PROUD OF YOU!
Did you use Cablevision when sending this column to press? Just asking. (hee-hee) Great ending. We are all hypocrites when it comes to having to swallow hard for the things we want and need but disgusted by how we get them. I love this column.
© James Campion April 27th 2019
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, "Midnight For Cinderella" and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.
'Almost' Final Word On Mueller Report & Obstruction of Justice
As stated time and again in this space, this whole Russian obsession the Trump campaign and its administration’s first two years of governance has displayed had nothing to do with collusion.