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Pierce writes: "At the end of another eventful Infrastructure Week, we have Scooter Libby pardoned by the president*, possibly for Obstruction-Signaling purposes."

Trump, Libby, Bush. (photo: Getty Images/Shutterstock)
Trump, Libby, Bush. (photo: Getty Images/Shutterstock)

Trump's Scooter Libby Pardon Is a Signal in More Ways Than One

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

15 April 18

It's not just a sign for Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.

t the end of another eventful Infrastructure Week, we have Scooter Libby pardoned by the president*, possibly for Obstruction-Signaling purposes. We have Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein adopting quite a fatalistic approach to what appears to be the onrushing end of his employment at the Justice Department. And the president* is bouncing off the walls of the White House.

The Libby pardon is signifying, and not in the way you think I mean it. The president* may indeed be sending a flare up for Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort and all the rest of them. But it also fashions an unbreakable link between the malfeasance and misfeasance of the Bush administration and the malfeasance and misfeasance of the Trump administration*. Primary among Libby’s partisans are veteran Republican legal hacks Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing. They’ve been pitching Scooter’s case for years. Now, they’re also working as legal advisers down in Camp Runamuck.

Since I don’t believe that Trump would know Libby if the latter sat in his lap, I’ve got to believe that this pardon is at least partly a little cookie thrown to Libby’s legal team. But this ties it all up in a nice bow. DiGenova and Toensing became famous for being TV lawyers during the Great Penis Hunt of 1998. They’ve since surfed the Republican sewage-treatment plants for clients, finally washing up in the sludge maelstrom of this White House. Their very presence, and what they’ve just managed to bring about on behalf of Scooter Libby, is all the proof you need of one fundamental fact.

Republicanism simply was Trumpism in waiting, and Trumpism is Republicanism in excelsis.

The administration* also had a pretty bad week in the courts. First, the appeal of a lawsuit that argues that Mick Mulvaney’s appointment to head the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is unlawful and illegitimate was allowed to move forward.

And a federal judge took a look at the administration’s plans to dragoon local cops into its immigration cleansing activities and broke out the big old spiked gavel. From The New York Times:

United States District Judge Manuel Real in Los Angeles issued a permanent, national injunction against the federal funding rules, giving the city an important win in a long-running legal battle with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the White House. The ruling is “a complete victory,” Mike Feuer, the Los Angeles city attorney, said Thursday. “This is yet another dagger in the heart of the administration’s efforts to use federal funds as a weapon to make local jurisdictions complicit in its civil immigration enforcement policies.”
In the ruling, Judge Real said that the funding rules violated the notion of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution and improperly tried to force local police officers to take on immigration enforcement, which legally is the responsibility of the federal government. The department’s action “upset the constitutional balance between state and federal power by requiring state and local law enforcement to partner with federal authorities,” he wrote. He added that Congress, not the executive branch, has the authority to control government spending.

A mark, that will surely leave.

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+22 # economagic 2018-04-15 11:23
"Republicanism simply was Trumpism in waiting, and Trumpism is Republicanism in excelsis."

Many of us have been saying that for nearly two years, when it first became relevant. But to the best of my knowledge none of us has said it quite so eloquently.
+15 # futhark 2018-04-15 11:37
The pardoning of Scooter Libby is nothing more than a sop to the Neocons, a peace offering, as it were, to the Dick Cheney wing of the Republican Party. Mr. Trump has now clearly allied himself with the Project for a New American Century crowd that gave us the 9/11 attacks and the disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the latter on the entirely bogus pretense of the nonexistent "Weapons of Mass Destruction".

Now Mr. Trump is ready to push and push hard for more spending on military hardware and more active violent engagement with the "enemies" of the United States that he selects.
+19 # Texas Aggie 2018-04-15 14:14
1. separation of powers
2. immigration the responsibility of the feds, not the locals
3. upset the constitutional balance between state and federal power
4. Congress, not the executive controls funding

Four different reasons, any one of which is sufficient to shoot down the fed's policy, why the DOJ and the ICE need to go back to law school.

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