“In addition to refusing Congress’s demands for documents, Trump’s legal team is moving to prevent key witnesses from testifying at hearings, or to place strict limits on what they say, by looking to assert executive privilege retroactively over issues covered in the Mueller report. An appearance by by Robert Mueller himself, which had been rumored to be in the works for this week, didn’t take place. And it looks like Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, won’t be appearing next week, either. The Washington Post reported on Friday evening that “any hopes of . . . McGahn facing a congressional panel on Tuesday are slim, as the White House moves to block all current and former aides from cooperating with congressional inquiries.”
“Even setting that aside, the Mueller report sets out substantial evidence that Trump criminally obstructed justice in at least some instances. The former Justice Department and FBI official Chuck Rosenberg has said that, in the absence of the Justice Department guidelines against the indictment of a sitting president, as a prosecutor, he would have brought an obstruction case against Trump. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates have made similar arguments. And while lawbreaking is not required for impeachment, it is notable both that all three serious efforts to impeach a president in U.S. history have involved allegations of legal violations and that two of those three instances—against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton—concerned criminal behavior, specifically obstruction of justice.”
The Coming Collapse
“The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age . . .
. . . “The leadership of the party, the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Tom Perez, are creations of corporate America. In an open and democratic political process, one not dominated by party elites and corporate money, these people would not hold political power. They know this. They would rather implode the entire system than give up their positions of privilege. And that, I fear, is what will happen. The idea that the Democratic Party is in any way a bulwark against despotism defies the last three decades of its political activity. It is the guarantor of despotism.” . . .