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William Barr, Might Be In Violation Of Ethics Policy

William Barr, Might Be In Violation Of Ethics Policy

Opinion

William Barr was appointed United States Attorney General in the Donald Trump administration February 14, 2019.  As a federal employee, Mr. Barr must abide by the federal government ethics policy which states employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual. Barr may have violated this policy by seemingly protecting Donald Trump from having his misdeeds and crimes revealed to Congress and the American Public.

Barr is now in charge of the United States Justice Department and as such comes under the ethical guidelines outlined within the  Permitted and Prohibited Activities found within and for that agency. That document goes into the details of laws and regulations governing the conduct of Department of Justice employees. William Barr, as an employee of the Justice Department, might be in violation of the Hatch Act and if true should be dismissed from office for his most favorable treatment of Donald Trump.

“All Department of Justice employees are subject to the Hatch Act, 5 U.S.C. 7323(a) and 7324(a), which generally prohibits Department employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty, in a federal facility or using federal property. Political activity is activity that is directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group. The statute carries serious penalties including REMOVAL from federal employment.”

William Barr evidently believes in the unitary executive theory which holds that the President possesses the power to control the entire executive branch.  What Barr fails to understand is that the purpose of the government is to serve the needs of it’s citizens first and always and doing so through the efforts of the president and his administration.  If the president runs afoul of working for the best interests of the people then proper ethics for federal employees should have them resist.  We all need to guard against this country sliding toward being a dictatorship.

Another Source To Further Understand Unitary Executive Theory.

This unitary executive theory belief intuitively runs counter to a person avoiding running afoul of the Hatch Act.  This belief also could be a rather sneaky path toward the United States becoming a dictatorship.

What then are alleged instances of William Barr acting toward the success of Donald Trump?  Here is a list of William Barr’s alleged federal government ethics policy and Hatch Act violations:

      • Alleged attempts to minimize the impact and importance of the Mueller Report by clouding its findings.  Barr repeatedly declared that Trump had been cleared of collusion when the report did not come to that conclusion.
      • Barr’s news conference repeatedly (but not universally) mischaracterized what the Mueller Report itself presents.
      • Barr allegedly killed the investigation being conducted into the Trump Organization by U.S. attorneys in the Manhattan District of New York.  Sources:  Politico,  Washington Post, The Atlantic
      • The Justice Department sent Muller the command, to limit his testimony“Any testimony must remain within the boundaries of your public report because matters within the scope of your investigation were covered by executive privilege, including information protected by law enforcement, deliberative process, attorney work product, and presidential communications privileges,”   As a result, the Justice Department is  interfering with Congress and preventing the citizens of the United States from being properly informed about the alleged misdeeds and possible crimes of the president. 

Summary: It appears that United States Attorney General William Bar may have violate both the federal employee ethics guidelines and the Hatch Act and the penalty for that crime is termination.

 

Further Reading: How an Attorney General Works


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The above blog post was asked by and written for the web site  IndivisibleCA39.org.

Posted: July 23, 2019
Edited comment:  July 27, 2021

Continuum Of Treason

Continuum Of Treason

Continuum is a mental realization, a mental tool, that we use as a means to realize natural and man made things we view in life. It is a really interesting intellectual way that we can visualize, in our minds, some opposite situations that are related. We are, in effect, placing a mental ruler of varying length between two opposite situations that we see, when those situations lend themselves to be measured together.

For a continuum to work there should be two opposite extremes but they are connected typically by degree. We typically “see” or realize the connection of the two extremes because they shout at us that they are opposite and connected in some way. But, there should be a factor of degree or how much of one side or the opposite side we are looking at and set a value on that point. The word I used is “degree” and that is vitally important to appreciate because it is a concept that will link the two opposite extremes. Typically there is more or less degree of something. There are an incredible number of continuum’s.

Let me offer some simple continuum examples followed by how each can be measured:

  • Light to Dark (Light meter)
  • Happiness to Sadness (Expressions on a person’s face)
  • Dry to Wet (Rain gauge)
  • Still air to Hurricane (Anemometer)
  • Short to Tall (Ruler)

The word “to”, in the above examples means that there can be a transition or movement from one extreme to the opposite extreme or one side to the opposite side. This transition can be short or long or any length. It is up to the person telling or writing where on the continuum scale we are concerned.

A really good continuum is one where the two opposite extremes are far apart because we are more likely to notice the differences. A really good example is the change of seasons. When this takes place in the northern hemisphere where the trees change color and plants go dormant the continuum process is very slow but unmistakable.

Some continuum’s lend themselves to be shown in graphic form.  When showing a continuum graphic, there are some common standards that some people use. Usually a line is used and the end points are labeled as to the minimum at one end and maximum at the other end. Typically the graphic continuum line is horizontal but for some measurements like height it is usually vertical. Let me show you a continuum line for treason (see below).

Accident        Collude        Coordinate         Conspire         Treason
X_______________________________________________X

In the Mueller Report there is a continuum that is revealed in the Introduction To Volume I. This continuum is explained as the degree that the Trump administration worked hand in hand with the Russians. At one end of the continuum is low criminal level called helping, which might be done by “accident”. Next serious might be helping Russia on purpose, called “collusion”, for some implied gain by one or both parties. The next, more serious degree is to “coordinate” with Russia. This third to last degree, coordinate, is considered illegal in the United States. The Mueller Report hones into two points on the continuum, collude and coordinate. For some reason collude is not illegal. Obviously coordinate is illegal because it implies BOTH parties are working together for a single purpose. But, I propose that coordinate might also mean that BOTH parties were working together but avoided detection.

Conspire, second to the last right side continuum point, is definitely a crime.  The Mueller Report failed to establish this activity took place by the Trump administration.

The last, far right, point on the continuum is treason and this is definitely illegal. It is a bit different in that it specifies that individuals actually work against the interests of the country.  The Mueller Report did not show examples of this continuum extreme by the Trump administration.

Let me state this again. In the Mueller continuum he talks about three out of the five main continuum measure points:  collude,  coordinate and conspire. The continuum begins with less formal and works toward more formal working together between Trump administration and Russia. Let’s read the definition of all five continuum points:

Accident: “an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause”. Obviously we have no concern for individuals in the Trump administration helping Russia by accident.  This is the low end of the continuum, non criminal.

Collude: “cooperate in a secret or unlawful way in order to deceive or gain an advantage over others”.  This sure sounds like we are getting close to criminal activity.

Coordinate: “negotiate with others in order to work together effectively” implying, in this case, that the Trump administration was working with Russia toward some nefarious end.  But, “”coordination” does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law”.  The Mueller Report states that coordination requires an agreement – tacit or expressed – between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.  The Mueller Report failed to support the view that the Trump administration came to this level on the continuum.  (The Mueller Report goes on to state “That requires more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions”.  I think this is a mistake in the report because it states “more than the two parties”.  Coordination typically implies two or more parties.  Two is enough to make coordination!)

Conspire:  To make secret plans jointly to commit an unlawful or harmful act.  The Mueller team used this threshold on the continuum to trigger a response that the Trump administration broke the law which they did not reach.

Treason: the action of betraying one’s country, the United States.  There are no reports that the Trump administration approached this level on the continuum.

One definition of treason uses the word “betray’ which has further meaning of “expose one’s country to danger by treacherously by giving information to an enemy.” Think of the number of times Donald Trump had private consultations with the ruler of Russia and no one was allowed to record what took place.

Looking at the above continuum points, I find it impossible not to categorize “collude” as a crime. But, collusion, itself, is not a specific federal crime. The dictionary definition comes close to saying that the Trump administration did commit a crime. The Trump administration did collude with the enemy of the Untied States, Russia, as outlined in the Mueller Report. Russia wants a weak United States and Putin viewed Trump as acting toward that end. Donald Trump received help in getting elected and possibly received more secret benefits from Russia. That should be illegal and a punishment should be handed out to those who participated in those acts..

References: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/12/what-is-collusion-215366

Posted: May 14, 2019