Thursday, February 07, 2019

Looking Forward

I include the whole thread because this is a picture of the next two years.  It's not going to be quite so simple as Congress asks and the Administration answers.  It should be, but this is Trump, and the sooner we stop talking about "disruptive" and "untraditional" and recognize this is as defiance of the Constitution itself (by being completely opposed to the functions of government outlined therein, not by actions that are necessarily so extreme as to be "unconstitutional"), the sooner we'll understand what Trump and the GOP are doing.
One interesting point there is the "run out the clock" strategy, which may work for the Congressional hearing but won't work for Mueller or SDNY, if they are really interested in what Whitaker knows about what Trump tried to do.  Likely, of course, both investigators already know, and may not even need Whitaker's testimony.  I don't assume superhuman powers of omniscience from the investigators, but if published reports tell us what may be going on, I imagine the investigators (a) already know, or (b) become interested rather quickly.  And their process doesn't move as slowly, nor as publicly, as Congressional oversight.

Still, the latter is an important function of our system of government, especially to expose corruption to sunlight.  The DOJ panic over Whitaker's testimony stinks to high heaven.  I suspect incompetence, rather than Machiavellian strategy, went into the failure to evoke executive privilege before now, because this all seems as organized as a five-alarm panic.  Either way, much of what the House tries to do in the next two years is going to wind up in court battles, starting with Trump's tax returns.

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