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Mon Dec 18, 2017, 05:11 PM

Recipe for a Honking Constitutional Crisis [View all]

Lots of talk of late about whether or not Herr Trumpster will attempt to fire Mueller and his investigating team. Which is why I found the video of Norm Eisen of interest. You can find the vid on Susan Hennessey’s twitter site; she’s the executive editor of Lawfare. Norm Eisen is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute and specializes in . . . ethics. Twitter site here:


Eisen prefaces his comments about the long-held tradition (since the time of Grant) of presidential investigations requiring a special counsel to be one-step removed from the acting executive and someone outside the Administration.

The big question: does the Trumpster have the authority to directly fire Mueller? According to Eisen, the manner in which the statute for special counsel is written the answer is no. However, Trump could demand that Rod Rosenstein, acting deputy AG, fire Mueller. If he refused, the Donald could go down the line until he found someone to do the dirty deed. In Nixon’s time, this period of refusals and firings was referred to as the Saturday Massacre. Nixon went through several deputies until arriving at Robert Bork then Solicitor General of the United States, who agreed to fire Archibald Cox, special counsel investigating the Watergate affair.

The rest is history that most recall or have read about. I recall distinctly the phrase ‘Constitutional Crisis’ leading most newspaper headlines and TV News Hours at the time.

However, since Richard Nixon ultimately resigned before being impeached two questions remain open and unanswered;

Can a sitting president be indicted and if not,
What remedies does a special counsel have if he/she finds wrong-doing?

Apparently, we do not have definitive answers to these questions. Which opens us up to the question of what constitutes a Constitutional Crisis? 538 took a stab at this very question with 4 examples:

The Constitution doesn’t tell us what to do.
The Constitution’s meaning is in question (vague),
The Constitution tells us what to do but it’s not politically feasible or,
Our Institutions Themselves Fail.

Personally, I’m concerned about number 4, particularly with Trump deliberately dumping and casting doubt on all major institutions at the moment. The damage he’s exacting is real and could have long-lasting effects.

In any case, both pieces are interesting and informative viewing/reads, a preparatory course in what we might expect in the coming weeks/months.

Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory (Cervantes).

Even for the unfolding craziness.

You can read the full 538 piece here:


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peggysue2 Dec 2017 OP
Proud Liberal Dem Dec 2017 #1
peggysue2 Dec 2017 #3
Turbineguy Dec 2017 #6
Turbineguy Dec 2017 #2
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unblock Dec 2017 #5