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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/14/17

What's to Be Done About Trump?

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Special Council and former FBI director Robert S. Mueller
Special Council and former FBI director Robert S. Mueller
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The core allegations against Donald Trump, many of his closest associates, and Russian intelligence actors are light years more serious than those at the heart of the 1972 break-in at DNC headquarters in the Watergate Office Building.

Although it does bear noting that each case involved an intrusion into DNC files, the most recent incursion involved Russian intelligence allegedly acting on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in an effort to defeat his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton. The foreign actor introduces the national security component, and that makes it a far more serious matter than Watergate.

On the table is an active FBI investigation into, among other things, foreign espionage that absolutely appears to include now President Donald Trump.

The threshold for evidence that would lead to indictment and/or impeachment has long since been exceeded. The remaining hurdles are political, not legal. We're there, and really have been for months. The irrefutable evidence in the public domain alone is overwhelming.

In addition the FBI, and now the special counsel appointed to investigate Trump and his associates, are sitting on troves of evidence not yet in the public domain. That is why Trump fired FBI director James Comey and is now considering firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Their investigations threaten him, and he is doing everything he can to impede them.

The most clarifying thing about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee is that there is no chance whatsoever that Congress will do anything to sanction in any way President Donald Trump or any of his subordinates.

The Congressional committees investigating the Trump-Russia affair are categorically, politically polarized. All relevant committees are controlled by Republicans who will not under any circumstances allow any Congressional proceeding to threaten Republican control of every branch of government, which they now enjoy, and are absolutely willing to obstruct any path that leads to the undermining of a Republican president. Regardless of the volume or veracity of evidence.

The colorful pronouncements of "bipartisan cooperation in the best interest of the nation's security" are purely for public relations and political benefit. The reality is that, in the end, Congress will do nothing. Which leads to the unavoidable question, what is to be done? Who will act?

The only legal entity that has the capacity to bring President Donald Trump to account is Special Counsel and former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III. The FBI under acting director Andrew McCabe could potentially challenge the president's administration legally, or potentially criminally, but could not prosecute without the sanction of the Justice Department.

This leads to the question of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' on again/off again recusal from the entire Trump-Russia matter, or was it? Ostensibly a recusal is a recusal, unless it's a fake recusal, or unless the director of the FBI is getting too close to your boss. In which case you ignore your recusal, fire him for investigating the Trump-Russia matter, and call it a routine supervisory function.

So depending upon whether Sessions feels recused or un-recused on the day that someone at the DoJ needs to make a decision on prosecuting any member of the executive branch, we'll find out if anything whatsoever can be done to rein in Donald Trump, regardless of what he has done.

In theory, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would make such decisions in light of his boss's recusal, but the way that played out in the firing of James Comey is a sure indicator that Sessions' recusal was a nothing more than a fig leaf that can be removed at any time.

In reality the Fourth Estate, as flawed as it is, represents the greatest, most effective challenge to Donald Trump's insanity, period. The vaunted American system of governmental checks and balances now appears to have been a myth all along.

Bad time to find out.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News:

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