And while they’re at it, can the guys at Justice also fix it so that Trump, if found guilty of having colluded with Russia of whatever, receives the death penalty?
The modest proposal advanced by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) stopped short of that radical solution, though the fix he prescribes — changing the Department of Justice guidelines so that sitting presidents can be indicted — has far-reaching implications.
Cummings, the likely incoming House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, made his recommendation during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” telling host Jake Tapper:
I think the Justice Department needs to reexamine that OLC opinion, Office of Legal Counsel opinion, that you cannot indict a sitting president under circumstances in which the failure to do so may mean that person escapes justice.
“This is one we definitely should reconsider,” Rep. Elijah Cummings says, agreeing with Rep. Adam Schiff that the Justice Department should reconsider guidelines that exist that say that a sitting president cannot be indicted. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/qzTiBPFANU
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) December 16, 2018
Cummings, whose wish list also includes having Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen testify before his committee, would have likely blown a gasket had the same recommendation been made by a member of the Republican-controlled House following the 2012 election. Although the Obama-friendly media strenuously avoided entertaining the possibility that Barack Obama may have had a hand in his own re-election, U.S. News & World Report “went there,” albeit well after the fact. In October 2017, the website reminded its readers in an article titled “Last Chance for the Truth”:
The partisan overtones of the Obama administration IRS scandal meant the major media would never take it seriously. To them it was little more than conservative hype designed to embarrass the president and distract from pressing business at hand.
The Republicans in Congress who led the investigation couldn’t make anything stick either. Not that they didn’t try, but without the daily pressure of CNN and the New York Times repeating the allegation that Obama administration officials had used the IRS for political purposes to muzzle the tea party movement by denying organizations that sprung from it tax-exempt status, it ended up a big yawn, with just about everyone losing interest after Donald Trump was elected president.
Those looking for a smoking gun would find it in the curious request to a federal court by Lois Lerner that all tapes and transcripts of depositions given by her and her former deputy, Holly Paz, remain sealed in perpetuity. The reason for the request? Lerner and Paz say they fear physical harm from an enraged public in the event the testimony was ever published.
As U.S. News notes:
That’s an awfully strange concern considering the way Lerner and others within the IRS and throughout the Obama administration insisted for months there was nothing to the charges being made and that everyone should just move along onto other business.