* 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.



The Devin Nunes Memo: What Does It Prove?

The Devin Nunes Memo is an example of how two opposing sides can each view the same contents of the same document as supporting their position. On February 2, Donald Trump approved the release of the memo, against the wishes of several of his appointees. The Devin Nunes Memo accuses the FBI of abusing its use of surveillance powers to monitor Carter Page, who, at the time, was a Trump advisor.

The Devin Nunes Memo alleges that the FBI used information from the Steele Dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Page. The idea that the dossier, which barely mentions Carter Page, was the primary basis for getting the warrant, raises questions. The memo argues that the FBI showed bias against the Trump campaign by monitoring Page without substantiated data. As early as 2013, however – long before Carter Page was associated with the Trump administration – the FBI suspected Page of spying on behalf of the Russians, due to his apparent connections with the Russian mob.

The FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page was renewed three times. Each renewal required proof that the surveillance has elicited new evidence that the subject of the monitoring is an agent of a foreign power. Four separate judges signed off on the FISA warrant and its renewals. Each of the judges who signed off on the warrant or the renewals was a Republican appointee.

South Carolina Republican House Representative Trey Gowdy, one of the authors of the Devin Nunes memo, says, that, though the memo may raise questions about the process the FBI used to get the FISA warrant, it does not impact the Russia investigation. It also does not “vindicate” Trump, as Trump tweeted it did.

The dossier, Gowdy said, “(also) has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower, nothing to do with an email sent by Cambridge Analytica, nothing to do with obstruction of justice, and nothing to do with George Papadapoulos’ meeting in Great Britain.” The goal of the memo seems to be little more than to sow reasonable doubt.

The Devin Nunes memo seems to ask more questions than it answers. Republicans are inclined to see the memo as evidence that the Russia investigation is a nothing more than a witchhunt. Others, who feel the investigation should continue, could look to the Devin Nunes Memo as support for their position, as well.

Wallace: Troubling Details in Nunes Memo; is it Full Story? |  Fox News [2018-02-02]

Trey Gowdy Breaks with Trump on Nunes Memo |  CNN [2018-02-04]