It seems that the system of checks and balances has deteriorated to its core.
Trump blocked the release a Democratic memo rebutting GOP claims that the FBI abused its surveillance authority as it probed Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Instead, he has directed the Justice Department to work with lawmakers so some form of the document could be made public.
According to the Washington Post, in a letter to the House Intelligence Committee, White House counsel Donald McGahn wrote that the Justice Department had identified portions of the Democrats’ memo that it believed “would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests” if disclosed. McGahn included in his note a letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray supporting that claim.
Last week, Donald Trump authorized the release of the Republican version of the memo, which claimed the FBI improperly obtained a warrant to spy on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, and his connections to Russia.
Trump’s approval for the release was given despite FBI’s objections. On 31 January, the FBI stipulated in a statement: “We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
However, there were no objections from the FBI regarding Democrats’ memo. In fact, the FBI declined to comment on the Democrats’ memo.
Ironically, The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously Monday to release the memo.
Official explanation provided by the White House doesn’t make any sense because even the FBI warnings did not change Trump’s decision.
The US constitutional system includes a notion known as the Separation of Powers. In this system, several branches of government are created and power is shared between them. At the same time, the powers of one branch can be challenged by another branch. This is what the system of checks and balances is all about.
There are three branches of the United States government as established by the Constitution. First, the Legislative branch makes the law. Second, the Executive branch executes the law. Last, the Judicial branch interprets the law. Each branch has an effect on the other.
Although Separation of Powers is stipulated in the Constitution, it appears that such separation is just a redundant formality.
Branches of the government are not willing to challenge each other. Moreover, it looks like their actions are well-synchronized.
Donald Trump is no longer trying to hide that his actions are nothing but obstructions of justice. Despite his limited intellectual capacity, he has learned that people are going to take anything he does. They, perhaps, would scream for a while but eventually, they’ll get used to it.
When people tolerate something unacceptable, they may need to learn that such “unacceptable” starts from small but it is not going to remain small for long.
For quite sometimes Trump was firing people, issuing harmful executive orders, etc. But when people talked about it, the conversation did not go further than the limits of authority.
But the limits of authority is not automatic. When someone is fired or harmful regulation is issued it must be supported by rational arguments.
Without rational, it might not be call limits of authority. Instead, it might be called abuse of power. And if so, appropriate measures should be taken.
Trump’s decision to block the release of Democrats memo is not supported by rational. Nevertheless, there is no sign that any measures are planned to be taken.
It applies not only to Trump but also those who don’t want to do their job – the Republicans.
It is not up to them whether to impeach Trump. If there are facts supporting the impeachment, it is their responsibility/obligation, not discretion, to initiate the process.
Such despicable lack of actions on the Republicans part means that they refuse to carry out their duties, to say the least. However, it might also mean that they breach the law.
It is difficult to find another country whereby laws are violated so publically and shamelessly by members of all branches of the government on the almost daily basis.
Questions: Are laws are still legal in the United States? I am not asking whether laws are effective because it appears that the entire US legislation is being suspended.