* Erik’s Editorial: The Guilty Parties Who Put American Democracy At Risk In The Name Of Donald Trump

US White House upside down (public domain).

I do not fault stupid people for making the stupid decision to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

I do fault smart people for making stupid decisions. These include:

1. Senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump in his no-witnesses-allowed impeachment trial, including primarily Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell:

* Impeachment of Donald Trump (2020-02-05)

* Mitch McConnell (2020-02-05)

2. Members of the GOP who voted to disenfranchise voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – before, during, and AFTER the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol – including Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jody Hice (R–GA-10), Mo Brooks (R–AL-05), Scott Perry (R–PA-10), Josh Hawley (R–MO), and Louie Gohmert (R–TX-01).

* 2021 Storming Of The United States Capitol (2021-01-06)

* 2020 United States Presidential Election Electoral College Count (2021-01-06 – 2021-01-07)

3. Donald Trump’s cabinet, who could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove POTUS at any time:

* Cabinet Of Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

4. Social media, including especially Facebook and Twitter, for allowing their social networks to be used as platforms for hate speech.

* Donald Trump On Social Media (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

5. Mainstream media, including especially CNN (on the left) and Fox News (on the right) for not doing their jobs – asking questions until they get answers – and allowing POTUS to lie unchecked.

* Veracity Of Statements By Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

6. Lawmakers at all levels, for failing to fix bad laws and for failing to enact good laws. Changes that must be made going forward include:

Limiting POTUS power:

  • Executive order power must be limited.
  • All cabinet members (acting/interim/actual) must be confirmed by Senate.
  • Treaties and tariffs must be the role of Congress so that POTUS cannot engage in trade wars.
  • War Powers Act must be updated to limit POTUS power to deploy the military.
  • Special Counsel Act must be updated to make clear that POTUS cannot fire special counsel.

Writing better and new laws:

  • Impeachment Act of 2021, to define how impeachment is conducted, including the requirement to have witnesses.
  • Follow the lead of The Restatements Of The Law project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restatements_of_the_Law) and codify major SCOTUS cases, including especially Roe v. Wade.
  • Fix the Census.
  • Fix immigration.
  • Fix SCOTUS processes, such as limiting appointments to 2 per POTUS with the number of SCOTUS justices fixed at the number of Federal Circuits (currently 13).
  • Election reform, including who is qualified to run for POTUS and that tax forms must be disclosed to do so.

Just to name a few.

Stupid people, bad laws, and lies got us into this mess.

Smart people, good laws, and the truth can get us out of this mess.



Don McGahn Must Comply with House Subpoena – “Presidents Are Not Kings”

Don McGahn, former White House counsel, must testify before House impeachment investigators, ruled a federal judge in Washington on November 25. Previously, the Trump administration had ordered McGahn and other White House senior officials to defy a subpoena to appear before Congress to provide testimony in the Trump impeachment inquiry.

The White House had said that McGahn and a group of other current and former senior White House officials were protected from testifying before Congress by “absolute immunity,” given their positions in the administration.

But in response to a lawsuit filed by the House Judiciary Committee, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that the president does not have the power to excuse McGahn from testifying.

“Stated simply,” wrote Jackson, “The primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings.

“…This Court holds that Executive branch officials are not absolutely immune from compulsory congressional process — no matter how many times the Executive branch has asserted as much over the years — even if the President expressly directs such officials’ non-compliance.”

Though McGahn must testify, he does retain the right to invoke executive privilege “where appropriate.”

“If McGahn wants to refuse to testify, such as by invoking executive privilege, he must do so in person and question by question,” said Jackson.

Don McGahn was a key witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Consequently, he is at the center of one of the strongest charges against Trump in the impeachment inquiry: criminal obstruction of justice by Trump in the Mueller probe.

During Mueller’s investigation, McGahn told Mueller’s team that Trump had ordered him to fire Mueller. When news of this became public, according to McGahn, Trump told McGahn to deny, in writing, that Trump had wanted to have Mueller fired.

At the time, McGahn stated that he would rather resign than fire Robert Mueller. In October, 2018, McGahn did step down as White House Counsel.

Though the Trump administration is expected to appeal, Brown’s ruling could have implications for other key witnesses such as John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney, who have ignored subpoenas, or who have filed suits challenging the lawfulness of the subpoenas.

“Don McGahn will comply with Judge Jackson’s decision unless it is stayed pending appeal (by the DOJ),” said McGahn’s attorney, William A. Burck.

Judge rules Don McGahn must comply with House subpoena | Fox News [2019-11-25]

News Wrap: Judge rules former White House lawyer McGahn must testify to Congress | PBS NewsHour [2019-11-25]