William Barr is a policeman. Police have duties. One is to protect us, especially from behavior that does cumulative damage, and if allowed to persist might cause irreparable harm. It is not their duty to make important, even vital, additions to constitutional law.
Barr claims that because of an unreviewed internal department memo, no President can be prosecuted for any crime. The memo says that criminal prosecution would “interfere with his (the President’s) duties;” but fails to offer a suggestion about how to “interfere” with a pattern of criminality that embeds itself and cyclically worsens. (And by the way: if the President has “unique duties that can’t be duplicated,” are we to understand that an incompetent or simply obdurate President who fails to do his duties, but hasn’t committed an “impeachable offense,” is beyond control? One who has gone rogue? Then we have long been fools. Shouldn’t Trump have a backup for every duty?)
If the current pattern of criminal behavior by the President and the Republican Party continues unchecked, there eventually won’t be anything left to protect. Trump is stealing and diluting our right to vote without interference or undue influence, and he brazenly promises to do so more and more. The idea that the President can connive and barter with foreign governments to influence our elections is reprehensible – and the failure of law enforcement to prevent such outrageous behavior is contemptible. That’s “prevent.” If they know it’s happening, and they admitted that they do; then they should stop it. Instead of writing books.
What was the Justice Department thinking, to be so short-sighted? After one Trump, presidential candidates will be in competition to set new records for thievery and political corruption, knowing that they will be untouchable.
And also, following my title: It came out today that not only would Mueller’s “report” never have been published had not he been assured that Congress would back him on the immunity issue, but also there was an agreement that the immunity is inclusive. And few of us ever knew. That’s dirty pool: dealing under the table in Constitutional interpretation, and rigging the game so that if we were ever to see even a mutilated version of the report, we had to give Robert Mueller the authority to amend the Constitution to protect the President from any and all prosecution, without a single vote ever being cast by anyone. Without any review – by anyone! Mueller made the President “above the law,” all law. He thinks that nothing can ever change that because he made a “deal” with Congress. He should be put in his place: that of a dull lifetime civil servant begging on his knees for another fifteen minutes. And the D.O.J. memo should should be put in its place, the trash can.