It's Broken

By Bill Mefford

I feel pretty sure everyone opposed to donald trump - and that means everyone committed to truth and justice - is fairly sick to our collective stomachs today (Monday). On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr, who was appointed by donald trump after Barr wrote a nineteen page memo condemning the Mueller investigation, sent a four page letter to Congress clearing trump of all collusion charges and then stating that while charges of obstruction could not be proven, he was not exonerated either.

The response by trump and his administration was sickening familiar - they lied and claimed total exoneration. What do you expect from a pig but a grunt?

So, yes, there will continue to be investigations by the various House committees as well as the various US district attorneys as well there should be. The trump family is a crime family and not a very good one at that. They deserve to have all that they have done, all of the crimes they have committed, all of the unethical and immoral acts they have committed, brought out into the open. Though, I am not holding my breath that they will pay any price for anything they have done. For as much as they love to proclaim how persecuted they are - like the white evangelical martyrs who follow them - they are truly benefactors of the way our systems work.

And I have to say that I knew all along that this was going to happen.

I know Robert Mueller is probably a decent man, but he is a white, male, Republican, career law enforcement establishmentarian and I have had a very hard time imagining him coming to any other conclusion he has seemed to have come to (though we still have not seen his entire report). My main frustration today, and immediately when Barr’s letter to Congress came out, was with the fact that our criminal justice system is deeply broken. Though trump and his crime family have broken all kinds of laws right out in the open, the criminal justice system is working over time to profile, arrest, indict, and sentence to prison for years at a time people of color and poor people.

And at the start of the Mueller investigation, as well as all the way through, far too many progressives proclaimed fidelity to a system that has not earned it. The system of justice in the United States is badly broken and this entire investigation and it supposed findings brought to light through Barr’s letter only makes that more evident.

donald trump and his family will likely never have to face any serious repercussions for their long list of criminal conduct. Here are just a few things that I can name off the top of my head:

  • trump’s hotels regularly reap huge profits from foreign governments who stay in them while they seek the administration’s favor, thus breaking the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution

  • The trump Foundation has been used illegally to pay off debts, pay off porn stars and girlfriends, and was never used for its intended goal of helping people

  • Donald Trump Jr met with representatives of the Russian government in order to collude with them for the purpose of winning the election, which they did

  • trump ordered that Jared Kushner be given top secret security clearance even though he had repeatedly been denied such clearance by career State Department officials

  • Jared Kushner regularly defends Saudi leader MBS while his failing family business seeks deals with Saudi businesses all the while MBS ordered the killed of Jamal Khashoggi and commits other human rights atrocities

  • trump shared state secrets with Russian officials and bragged to them about firing James Comey shortly after he did so

  • trump inflated the value of his properties for insurance companies and then devalued his properties for tax purposes

  • trump publicly intimidated witness and dangled pardons for cooperating witnesses, thereby obstructing justice

And so much more. This is what I can remember in one setting! And let’s not forget the corruption of all of his cabinet secretaries or the number of members of his campaign or administration who have gone or are going to jail (6 so far).

No two ways about it - this is the most corrupt administration in the history of this country.

While this crap show has been happening, real lives have been hurt by our broken criminal justice system that rewards you if you are rich and white and convicts you if you are not. There are thousands of cases documented by the ACLU, but here just a few:

  • A black man was sentenced to 45 years for stealing a women’s purse off her arm

  • A black man was sentenced to 70 years in prison for stealing a tuna sandwich from a Whole Foods while holding a knife

  • A black man was sentenced to life in prison - life in prison - for stealing a jacket from a department store

Can you even imagine such injustices? But these kinds of sentences are handed down day after day after day. Should we even be surprised that a rich, white, privileged male is likely never gonna spend a day in jail because he is a rich, white, privileged male?

While trump takes numerous victory laps and progressives wring our hands, we would do well to remind the country of the basic reality of the racism and injustice inherent in the criminal justice system. It wil likely take the next life for trump to be given the justice he has earned, but let’s not wait for that to happen. Let’s force Congress to fix our criminal justice system because it is indeed deeply broken.

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