How will this mob get prosecuted, after impeachment?

Everything has flipped this week…

For two years, we had the Russia probe, and then talk about impeachment after it ended.

Now, we got the Ukraine crimes and coverup, and impeachment has already started.

But all the indictments and convictions over Russia came from the probe, not from impeachment, which never happened over Russia.

So, dumb question…

Don’t we need a new probe now, with a new guy like Mueller? If this whole racketeer mob gets impeached, how else do they then get criminally charged and convicted? Impeachment is political. At best, it will just get them out of office.

Do we have a major constitutional crisis over this? …Because Barr is the one that needs to make another Mueller happen, to get himself and the others tried, not just impeached and removed, yet Barr is part of the criminal mob.

All that has to wait until we have a democratic administration, right?

It’s kind of like when we were sure Bush people had committed war crimes. We had to wait until Obama’s inauguration to do anything about that. (Of course, he chose to drop it all.)

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I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me the way forward is for House Democrats to intensify the dozen or so investigations they already have going on: subpoena dozens (hundreds?) of low- and mid-level administration officials and Trump campaign staffers, interview them under oath, find them in contempt (and fine them) if they refuse to appear, then hold public hearings that build a case(s) from the bottom up, go after top officials, get them to flip on each other (and on Trump), repeatedly force Republicans to defend Trump (hurting themselves) or abandon/attack Trump (hurting him).

If Barr keeps stonewalling everything, impeach him. If McConnell keeps stonewalling, increase the pressure on him and his caucus.

There’s no guarantee this strategy works. But there’s no other strategy that comes close to working as well as this one does—legally, constitutionally, and politically.

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The simple answer is they won’t.

We don’t do that in this country.

Once he is out of office, in the interests of healing or coming together or putting it behind us or some other happy horseshit, all the investigations will be closed and we will move along.

That’s how we have gotten to where we are now. No one is held responsible, so they keep doing the same thing over again because they know they will get away with it.

Prime example is Roger Stone. He has been in on every Republican scandal since Watergate.

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I think it may be different this time @bstern. I think the lawlessness is serious enough, and the failures of the Ford/Nixon pardon now clear enough, that we’ll instead have a prosecution, just to make clear that this kind of behavior really will have consequences and that there will be respect for the rule of law. Two things have become clear over the past 40 years:

  1. Whatever “healing” and “coming back together of the country” was supposed to be allowed by the Nixon pardon, the same troglodyte, culture-warrior, neo-confederate base that was Nixon’s “silent majority”[1], was in no way brought back into the fold (indeed, they came roaring back in '80). They just were forced into silence, but Trump is their Tribune - he really does speak for them, heart and soul. There’s no dog-whistle there, and no coded language (ala Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes). They aren’t going anyplace, and pardoning Trump won’t do anything to de-escalate.

  2. It has become evident that a huge part of our problem today is the loss of faith in democratic institutions. The rule of law is the foundation of democratic institutions…it’s the courts and the equal applications of law. All Trump has done is to project his own criminal behavior onto his opponents (eg, “lock her up”, Hunter Biden in Ukraine), generally before his opponents point out Trump’s criminal behavior, and the disaffected non-voting public, and a huge swath of low information voters go right along with it, because - certainly since Vietnam, but really for our entire history - there’s been a (correct) strong sense that we live in a society where the rules are class-dependent: the justice you get depends on what you can pay for.

I don’t think the Democrats can afford to allow that erosion to continue because if we let this turn into a fight between just elites, we’re going to lose - more (financial) elites are, ultimately, going to vote their pocketbooks (tax breaks). If we want our vision of a healthy democracy/society (which I personally ultimately believe enrichens all of us, including the investor/rentier class, the most) to succeed, it must be a society grounded in a full, participatory citizenship. So many people just quit bothering because they lose all faith in the process (and this is the real goal of the “libertarians” like the Kochs: persuade people that attempting to use the government as a means of accomplishing their goals is pointless, because in fact, government is the only thing that constrains the "might makes right’ - network effect - of people like the Kochs).

On the tactical: I think what we want is to have Congress continue it’s oversight functions, investigating and documenting - preparing the cases for the prosecutors - and biding our time, until we get a change in administration, and then, through a series of well-documented criminal referrals, get a non-captured Justice Department to start actually bringing people to jail. Manafort-Stone are just the first; we need that to be followed with Trump, and anybody who was colluding (pretty much the entire cabinet). If there are people like McGuire, who are patriots and were placed in untenable and conflicting positions (legally), then trade their testimony for non-prosecution.

[1]Some recent Obama critique I read said that a lot of people who worked for him in '08 basically felt like they’d finally won the '72 election…that Obama would deliver on what they’d hoped to achieve with McGovern.

I think Trump represents for the DixieCrat/GOP neo-Confederate base what they were hoping they’d get from Nixon in '72 - a rollback of the Civil Rights advances of the 60s - not just for African Americans, but advances for women, and real equal protection of the laws for all citizens. These people will never come back “into the fold” or make common cause with the rest of us. They have to be crushed politically, and with the loss of their political power, lose the preferential treatment they’ve long received as first-class citizens (the relative cost of the current farm bailout vs. the auto bailout in '09 are the most egregious recent example, and it all stems from the pro-rural gerrymander embedded in the constitution as a result of slavery). Eventually, as a real minority, they’ll lose their network-effect power to pull in new adherents. We won’t change their minds, but we can free the country of them through attrition (look at the generational shifts on wedge issues to see this effect clearly).

And on the thrust of my main comment: a lot of that commentary about '72 in '08 was about how disaffected those left/Democratic voters were when Obama failed to go after the Shrub administration (and to immediately confront McConnell, et al, with the same level of scorched earth opposition). I don’t think Democrats can afford not to prosecute.

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How will this mob get prosecuted, after impeachment?

One at a time, just like the others. They will also be prosecuted after losing an election, since impeachment may not come to pass and most likely will not result in removal from office.

While generally an optimistic person, I am a pessimist on this issue.

I hope you are correct, but think you are not…