A REPUBLIC IN DANGER
BY JOHN P. FLANNERY
A nation without laws that are enforced or a constitution that is not embraced by the body politic is a nation at risk.
As a young prosecutor, I was drawn to prosecute corruption cases, the betrayal of a public trust, persons in low and high office who were unfaithful to their office and oath, and took what they could anyway they could.
I didn’t know if I’d be accepted in the Southern District of New York after my clerkship; I believed that was the best legal office in the nation..
I was particularly drawn to that office because the US Attorney Whitney North Seymour, a republican appointed by Nixon, who served the Attorney General John Mitchell, took the extraordinary step of indicting his own boss, Mitchell, in what was the first of the Watergate prosecutions. Now, that’s independence.
I sat in that court, at the trial of John Mitchell, invited by the presiding district judge, whose chambers adjoined my office, and I listened to John Dean, former counsel to the president describe in great detail what had gone badly and corruptly wrong.
Main Justice, those offices in DC, thought of the Southern District of New York as the “Sovereign” District of New York because my old office had a reputation for going our own way. I’d like to think it was the right way. But they are not doing much this political season.
I’ve since been involved in a number of positions and investigations in and out of court and on and off the Hill but I’ve never seen so many prosecutors auditioning to fail, to play the big palooka who takes a dive to the canvas in the first round rather than fight for what’s right and just.
My old office has not indicted anyone involved in former President’s Trump’s ambit.
Not for Trump’s earlier obstruction offenses (reported by the disappointing Robert Mueller).
Nor his campaign violations (remember the ladies for favors he sought to silence).
There was Trump’s competing sets of accounting books (inflating properties to obtain debt, and deflating the value of the same props for tax purposes).
But the topper after two impeachments, was Trump’s effort to overthrow the government (to declare he won what he had soundly lost)/
On the night of the presidential election, Rudy Giuliani, who was following the returns in the White House while drinking, went to Trump and gave him this advice — JUST SAY WE WON.
When AG Garland was installed as mouth piece Barr’s successor, he spent enormous time and resources to prosecute the rioters who did what Trump told them to do directly and indirectly.
Mostly, they were charged with trespass. Only a few received heavier charges.
The Department and its resources were absorbed into chasing those who did Trump’s corrupt bidding and stormed the Congress.
But what about those in the Oval Office, Trump, and his Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, and the outsiders, Rogue Rudy, and Steve Bannon? Who investigated them at AG Garland’s direction? No one. All we hear are crickets.
What prosecutor would think chasing after broken windows was more important than getting the ring leaders?
What prosecutor would not feel duty bound to bring to justice those who betrayed our nation.
The Justice Department should have instituted long ago a “Get Trump” investigation, like Bobby Kennedy launched against Jimmy Hoffa.
Rip Van Garland, however, apparently doesn’t see this historic effort to undo our government as worth his time to enforce the law and the basic precepts of our democracy.
He’s not casting an investigative eye toward Trump, the head of the snake, and all his loyal minions in the West Wing and on the Hill.
Consider the fact that the 1/6 Congressional Committee and the Congress passed a contempt resolution against Meadows for failing to appear and to supply documents demanded from him; Garland hasn’t done anything with it since December to prosecute this referral; this is a one hour trial; the indictment could be written and rubber stamped by a grand jury in about an hour. Still, nothing. More crickets.
It’s hard to believe Garland would do so little if President Biden didn’t want it that way.
Some hold out the hope that the 1/6 House Committee will recommend prosecution.
Plainly we don’t want Garland to be the one who executes that directive should it occur.
We need a prosecutor and staff independent of the cavalier Justice that is the hall mark of the Garland Administration.
Number One, the President should call for an independent prosecutor. His oath does say “preserve and protect.”
Number Two, under Article I4, section 3 of our constitution, a person who took an oath of office but who then betrays that oath by seeking to overthrow the government may be barred from holding any public office. We have to rid our nation of these traitors.
It is a shortcoming that the Congress can’t indict anyone, when the Justice Department sleeps.
The 1/6th Committee can’t even pass a resolution in both houses, nor any legislation, and that’s because of the 60 vote cloture requirement in the Senate that the Dems won’t vote to change.
Third, our last form of action, given the delay by “our leaders” is political — to fight like hell in the closing days of the mid-term elections to win the mid term elections. Our democracy is at risk if we don’t fight Trump’s preference for a monarchy over democracy.
Benjamin Franklin was asked in 1787 if we had a Republic.
His answer was — “you have a Republic if you can keep it.”
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