May 08, 2020

The Capricious Rule of Trump

The Capricious Rule of Trump: 

The Flynn case and the destruction of the rule of law

After the American Century

First, the Russians interfered in the 2016 election. This is not a debatable point, as it has been exhaustively established by a special prosecutor investigation.

Second, Michael Flynn had secret conversations with Russian diplomats before the Trump Administration took office. His phone conversations were recorded, because the FBI was tapping the Russian's phone. This also is a fact and not debatable.

Third, Flynn lied about these conversations, first to the Vice President and then to the FBI. This is also undeniably the fact.

Fourth, Flynn confessed that he lied.  He made a legally binding admission of guilt.

Fifth, after years of legal maneuvering, Flynn has just escaped any punishment because the Justice Department suddenly decided to drop the case. The Acting Attorney General, Mr. Barr appears to have interfered in the case in several ways. For details, see the lead story in the New York Times for May 8, 2020.

Sixth, the President of the United States declares that Flynn was innocent, and attacks the Justice Department lawyers who took him to court, calling them "scum." As reported by the Times, his words were They’re scum — and I say it a lot, they’re scum, they’re human scum."  

The Trump Administration has politicized the Justice Department and turned it into his political tool. How it is possible that Flynn confesses his guilt, agrees to cooperate with the enquiry in exchange for leniency in punishment, but then manages to get the government to DROP the case?

There is no (American) precedent for such a thing. Confess guilt and then have the case dropped? What kind of legal system has Trump created? This resembles the way dictatorships operate.  Get your buddies off unpunished, and attack the Justice Department lawyers for trying to protect the United States from Russian interference.

Trump is not making American great, as he promised, but destroying the rule of law.  As for Mr. Flynn, he confessed that he was guilty of perjury, but that is not the main point. He was involved with the same foreign power that interfered with the 2016 elections, and the American people deserve to know the details of what Flynn's conversations were about. Note, too, that it is highly irregular to conduct foreign policy, if that was what one can call it, before one takes office - apparently in an effort to undermine the Obama Administration's foreign policy.  Some might call that treason.

But instead of getting to the bottom of Flynn's dealings with an enemy of the United States, he is walking away, unpunished.

Instead of the rule of law, we have the capricious rule of Trump.