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Trump Wants A Wartime Consigliere

So, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out. [1] I think this is terrible news, and that Trump is going to end up firing Robert Mueller, or at least interfering with the Russia probe in obstructive ways that amount to serious abuse of power. Trump doesn’t seem to believe he has much to worry about with the Senate. I’m very sorry to see Sessions go, because whatever his shortcomings, he was a man of integrity who was determined that the Justice Department not become politicized by the president.

This is a good tweet:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [3]

Read the Sessions news, though, in tandem with this blockbuster scoop by Mollie Hemingway [4], whom the gods favored by placing her on the Acela within earshot of a very careless Congressman Jerry Nadler, incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, as he discussed Democrats’ plans for the upcoming Congressional session. Excerpt from her report:

Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., revealed plans for House Democrats to investigate and impeach Justice Brett Kavanaugh for alleged perjury and investigate and impeach President Donald Trump for alleged treasonous collusion with Russia.

In post-election chats with various callers while riding the Acela train from New York to Washington, Nadler gave advice to a newly elected representative and discussed potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominees with another. He also lamented identity politics and the thriving economy and worried about Democrats losing working-class voters while gaining elite former Republicans and suburban women.

Read the whole thing.  [4]

So, it’s war on every front — even Kavanaugh. I suppose Trump wants a wartime consigliere, and believes that the Attorney General of the United States is the president’s personal lawyer, or ought to act like it.

We are going to watch Democrats in the House stop at nothing to get to a sitting Supreme Court justice, on spurious grounds. And we are going to see a US president attempt to corrupt his Justice Department in ways that would have made Dick Nixon blush.

Two years from now, will the American people be more inclined to trust their institutions in Washington, or less? Come 2020, people on both sides will vote for men and women who do not deserve their trust, because the alternative will strike them as even worse.


68 Comments (Open | Close)

68 Comments To "Trump Wants A Wartime Consigliere"

#1 Comment By Scott in MD On November 8, 2018 @ 6:36 am

“Come 2020, people on both sides will vote for men and women who do not deserve their trust” Not because they think the alternative is worse, but because the alternative has the wrong letter after their name. People won’t even listen to someone with the wrong letter after their name in order to find out if they are better or worse. Clinton (any of them) could cure cancer, Romney could discover an unlimited clean energy supply, a Trump (any of them) could broker lasting and equitable peace in the middle or far east – they have the wrong letter, nobody will accept that.

This has been the case since at least the 90’s – the 1890’s

#2 Comment By Eric Mader On November 8, 2018 @ 7:01 am

Given what the opposition has become, I’m mostly hoping Trump holds things together, and if an AG that’s not as finicky as Sessions will help, that bothers me little. The Mueller investigation will have nothing relative to the main Russiagate charges, never had anything, and whether it’s ended now will make no difference. Or rather: the only difference it will make is in terms of the merest appearances of due process. Which may be a good argument to let it go on, yes. But still.

Imagine two more years of the media and Dems spouting about how they’re “soon” going to reveal the evidence of collusion. They could actually do that. For two more years. The House Dems are already talking about investigations re: Russia Russia Russia. Let them do it on their own. Most Americans already know it’s just a witch hunt. Let the losers in Congress own it, and shut down the Mueller smoke and mirrors machine.

#3 Comment By Elijah On November 8, 2018 @ 8:03 am

“He [Kavanaugh] clearly perjured himself at the hearings…”

This is circulating like a meme. I don’t think it’s true, but if it is, it needs to be proven. It can’t just be asserted.

If we play pretend and say Kavanaugh gets impeached, and Trump gets to nominate another justice, how well do Democrats think it’s going to go for them if they pillory him/her as they did Kavanaugh? Frankly, I credit Kavanaugh with saving Joe Manchin and giving the GOP at least two more Senate seats.

P.S. If we’re going to impeach Kavanaugh, we better be going after RBG, too, for speaking publicly about cases before her or on their way. And are we going to impeach Kagan as well for clearly lying about her voting intentions? My point: Congress would be foolish to try. It’s a loser.

#4 Comment By grumpy realist On November 8, 2018 @ 8:41 am

BK impeachment–not gonna happen unless something really major comes up. Rod, you’ve been taken in by a rabble-rouser on the right.

And yes, Trump trying to turn the Justice Department into his own Star Chamber is much more important. But as long as he keeps appointing judges who might vote against abortion, that’s ok, right?

#5 Comment By Jeremy On November 8, 2018 @ 8:52 am

I don’t consider myself a Hobbesian, but the man has a point:

– “I demonstrate, in the first place, that the state of men without civil society (which state we may properly call the state of nature) is nothing else but a mere war of all against all; and in that war all men have equal right unto all things.”

– “The natural state of men, before they entered into society, was a mere war, and that not simply, but a war of all men against all men.”

– “Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called War; and such a war as is of every man against every man…In such condition there is no place for Industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continual Fear, and danger of violent death; And the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

#6 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On November 8, 2018 @ 9:00 am

RD, as a fan of the Godfather franchise, I question your analogy. While both Michael Corleone and the 45th POTUS present as pathological narcissists and perhaps borderline (or other) personality disorder; Michael Corleone was a ruthless, soulless tactician – and for sh*ts and giggles, a war hero – his decision to ‘fire’ Tom Hagan was the result of a calculated cost/benefit analysis, inherited fom his father. The MAGA “franchise”? please. as with any narcissist worth his salt, the 45th POTUS is (for lack of a better word), a drama queen. the only thing he inherited from his father was half a billion dollars, which he parlayed into 6 bankruptcies. it’s the nature of the beast – rich kids who gamble with inherited wealth, as opposed to building wealth. Trump’s defenders and sycophant/enablers will cite his chaos-driven approach to both business and governance as some sort of “management style” or operational tactic, when in reality, it’s rooted in weakness, not strength. for example, the strength to have Al Neri take your older brother fishing after mom passes away. the fact that folks like Bannon, Conway, the Koch-Industrial complex (Ryan, McConnell, et al), as well as establishment Republicans like Lindsay Graham have attached themselves to Trump to serve their own interests is evidence of their strategic/tactical acumen, than Trump’s. no sir, Donald trump is no Michael Corleone, even if Jeff Sessions is Fredo.

#7 Comment By BD On November 8, 2018 @ 9:23 am

If you’re trusting anything coming from Hemmingway then that’s your first mistake. Next you may as well quote a scoop from Hannity. Besides, even if she’s reporting accurately, private trash talk from two congressmen does not mean the House would really open up impeachment.

As for Trump, it’s quite clear he picked Kavanaugh to cover himself if any cases involving him get to the Court (Newt Gingrich admitted as much) and now he’s getting rid of Sessions ONLY because Sessions wasn’t willing to be a toady for him. Anyone ok with this is not fit to be an American, frankly. Once we lose our rule of law, we may as well be a banana republic. Maybe we’re not so exceptional, after all.

#8 Comment By Missouri Choctaw On November 8, 2018 @ 9:39 am

The Senate GOP shouldn’t give Mueller unqualified reign…they should be interested in protecting their President too and pressuring Mueller to wrap up. Romney’s tweet seems to suggest Mueller could investigate to infinity and beyond.

#9 Comment By Kurt Gayle On November 8, 2018 @ 10:10 am

For those of us who (unlike Michael in The Godfather) have ever mispronounced the word “consigliere,” here is “The New Consigliere” scene from “Analyze This” (bad language warning):

#10 Comment By Rusty On November 8, 2018 @ 11:37 am

“And we are going to see a US president attempt to corrupt his Justice Department in ways that would have made Dick Nixon blush.”

We know this how exactly? Serious question, what has Trump done since he was inaugurated that would support this claim?

1. Fired James Comey
2. Told Lester Holt in a live television interview that he did so to stop the Russia investigation (i.e. obstruct justice)

Good Lord but folks’ memories are short.

Sessions screwed up royally by recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Why did Sessions recuse? Let’s recall, shall we?


In other words, he lied to the Senate confirmation panel about meeting with Russians during his work with Trump’s campaign, and DOJ ethics officials advised him to recuse.

Good Lord but folks’ memories are short.

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 8, 2018 @ 12:14 pm

Impeachment in the House is a complete waste of time so long as the Senate is known to be disposed to acquit.

If Democrats in the House have any sense (a dubious proposition I admit) they will generate a small set of comprehensive bills which set forth policy a majority of voters support which the GOP senate will refuse to take up, and then run on that in 2020. I think they are two deep in the mentality of spoiled children to do so. Of course, the GOP is even worse, but that’s no excuse.

#12 Comment By VikingLS On November 8, 2018 @ 1:27 pm

[NFR: Michael Brendan Dougherty tweeted today a question: What if these are our Yeltsin years? I think that might be true. — RD]

Trump doesn’t drink, our economy isn’t crashing, our currency isn’t collapsing, our people aren’t living off of squatter’s gardens, and the mafia aren’t taking over the country.

So, no, not the Yeltsin years.

#13 Comment By Dan Green On November 8, 2018 @ 2:21 pm

I remember the line well. Michael to Tom Hagen. ” Your out Tom, things are going to get tough.”

#14 Comment By YM On November 8, 2018 @ 2:52 pm

There is a major difference between doing something in bad faith and doing something illegal. I have yet to see any evidence whatsoever of Trump doing anything illegal as President. And no, I don’t believe it was obstruction of justice of fire Comey, who deserved firing for what he did to Hillary at the end of the 2016 campaign.

#15 Comment By Rusty On November 8, 2018 @ 3:52 pm

I don’t believe it was obstruction of justice of fire Comey, who deserved firing for what he did to Hillary at the end of the 2016 campaign.

But that’s not—according to Trump—really why Comey was fired, is it?

#16 Comment By One Guy On November 8, 2018 @ 3:54 pm

Rod, you weren’t concerned about Jeff “I don’t recall” Session’s poor memory? Like him all you want, but transparency was not his forte.

#17 Comment By Don Pepe On November 8, 2018 @ 8:40 pm

I think it was on the last debate when Hillary said Trump won’t release his taxes because “first, he’s not as rich as he say he is and because he doesn’t pay taxes” and probably she actually knew the truth.

The man likes to present himself as a master of the Universe art of the deal mogul financial wiz to his adoring fans, but for some reason he need to pulls scams like the “Trump University” and has a web site peddling cheap crap made in China, I think the truth is more embarrassing than anything else, so no he doesn’t need a war time consiglieri, he will need a podiatrist, because the dems will be constantly stepping on his toes, exposing his peccadilloes and just plain make him look foolish.

#18 Comment By Dan Stewart On November 9, 2018 @ 8:15 am

I have little respect or sympathy for Jeff Sessions, a man who instructed US Attorneys to bring the most severe charges and seek the harshest sentences against criminal suspects.

No where on Earth is a person more likely to go to prison, and to stay there longer, than in the United States of America. Was it really necessary to double down on that? Has the man no decency, no humanity? It’s not like criminals are walking free — more than 96% of those indicted are convicted and there’s no parole from federal prison.

Time and time again Sessions has spoken out about his opposition to any kind of criminal justice reform. Good riddance, Mr. Attorney General.