Dems sound alarm that Mueller report findings could expand executive powers

In their desperate search for a straw to grab onto in the wake of the Mueller report’s vindication of President Trump, Democrats are apparently settling on a shrill warning that short and long-term expansion of executive power could be in store.

The left is deeply disappointed by the intense, two-year investigation determining that there is no proof of collusion with the Russians. So what can they tell the sheep who have been following their every lie for all this time about the conservative President?

Well, it seems the lack of a conclusion in the report on the subject of obstruction in the investigation by the President is an exploitable opening. The subject is not definitively addressed, so it’s easy to make the non-story into one … especially when evidence is not a requirement for progressive audiences.

So the great fear now is about expanding executive power.

The issue also fits nicely with the call for full release of the Mueller report so that clues might be derived from it regarding potential administration interference in the investigation.

Democrat Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland is in harmony with the new tune. “You are seeing a move toward expanding executive powers,” he said. “Congress needs to do more investigation, particularly on the obstruction issue,” he continued. “And our inability to get that (information) simply empowers not only this president, but future presidents, to be bold in their disrespect for the law.”

At least for the time being, the balance of power has shifted to the executive branch, speculated Rep. Gerry Connolly, Democrat from Virginia. “He (Mueller) had the opportunity to make a decision about obstruction, and he chose to punt,” he said.

“And so we — at Mueller’s own hand here — we have seen further accretion of executive power, when he could have helped fortify constraints, checks and balances. And I think that’s an almost-tragic missed opportunity, because he pulled his punches.”

The Justice Department is a part of the executive branch of government, though with a supposed functional autonomy … independent of influence from the President.

Extended pause here … trying not to think about how the Obama Justice Department headed by Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch was a policy enforcement arm of the White House.

When Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Dems charged he was obstructing the investigation into Russian election meddling. Never mind that Democrats has previously been loudly calling for Comey’s head.

Mueller’s Special Counsel team picked up where Comey left off, and among all the other issues it assumed in its purview, looked at the obstruction issue but arrived at no conclusion.

Rep. Mark Meadows, Republican from North Carolina and the head of the conservative Freedom Caucus, rejected the claim that Trump could have obstructed justice by firing Comey. “Comey told the president he was not subject of an investigation. From the director’s mouth, himself, he said you’re not,” Meadows stated.

On the obstruction matter, in Attorney General William Barr’s “principal conclusions” derived from the Mueller report, he pointed out that the report does not recommend obstruction charges against the President and “it also does not exonerate him,” directly quoting Mueller. Barr also said he examined the issue and found that evidence was not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.

On Friday, Barr sent a letter to Congress reporting that he’s in the process of redacting sensitive material throughout the 400 page Mueller document and that he expects to deliver his report “by mid-April if not sooner.”

Connolly predicted that Congress would ultimately restrain executive powers. “We’re going to be faced with questions, in the aftermath of this, of how do we constrain a future presidency?” he said. “And the only way to do that is by statute. In the near term, they get away with it. But in the longer term I think they actually will invite significant statutory erosion to the executive branch.”


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Victor Rantala


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