As of this writing, 802 former federal lawyers—all of them former federal prosecutors working for the U.S. Department of Justice—have signed a public letter headlined on May 6th “STATEMENT BY FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTORS”, which states the charges they all think should be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in an indictment of the president, which then would be considered by the U.S. Senate in a possible forced removal of him from office, which would immediately make the current vice president, Mike Pence, the nation’s president for the remainder of the existing president’s term, which ends on 20 January 2021.
Here is the complete list of those attorneys, including, for each one, the number of years in which the person served in the Justice Department, the highest position reached during that period of employment, and the Presidents who served while they were in that Department’s employ.
As can be seen there, this is a remarkably non-partisan list of retired lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice, and (as of now) 77 of them worked for 30 or more years at that department.
It can reasonably be assumed that collectively the group of individuals who signed this proposed indictment of the U.S. president are less partisan than are the 100 members in the U.S. Senate. Each member of that latter group (except its two independents) is self-declaredly partisan. The U.S. Senate is, collectively, therefore, at least 98% partisan. These 800+ former Justice Department attorneys cannot reasonably be considered to be as highly partisan as that.
Precisely why these 800+ individuals want Mike Pence to become America’s president is unclear, but if they are more concerned to punish a scoundrel who occupies this nation’s highest office than they are to advance the welfare of the American people, that could be one reason. Another reason could be a higher concern for adhering to this nation’s laws than to advance the welfare of the American people. A third possibility is a belief that Pence wouldn’t be as atrocious a U.S. president as is the man whom he would be replacing.
The first mainstream news-medium to report this letter’s existence was the neoconservative-neoliberal Washington Post, a propaganda-organ for the Democratic Party, headlining on May 6, “Trump would have been charged with obstruction were he not president, hundreds of former federal prosecutors assert”. As of now, there are around 12,000 reader-comments to that article at the newspaper’s site. That news report did not link to the list of the letter’s signers, but relied upon the readers’ trust in the characterizations that were being presented there about the signers. However, that complete list is directly visible online. It has been online since at least 7 May 2019.
Also on May 7, the non-mainstream or “alternative news” Democratic Party propaganda-organ Truthout headlined from its William Rivers Pitt, “Over 600 Federal Prosecutors Say Trump Should Be Charged With Obstruction”, and quoted and linked to the Washington Post article and added to it Pitt’s personal recollections of how effective his own father had been in the 1990s organizing retired U.S. attorneys general “and convinced most of them to endorse Clinton for president.”
Thereafter, increasing numbers of Democratic Party ‘news’ media reported about the matter. There has been a conspicuous absence of Republican Party ‘news’ media reporting on it. The further into the past the event becomes, the more that this letter’s existence will become for them like the non-existence of ‘Saddam’s WMD’ did for the Republican faithful in 2003 and beyond: a piece of history that itself doesn’t even exist for them. But perhaps, this time around, such blatant news suppression won’t actually succeed.
An excellent summary of the broader context behind this letter was presented at the independent news site, Intrepid Report, on May 10th, by the nonpartisan journalist Wayne Madsen, under the headline “Trump impeachment pressure growing from within legal ranks”. It set forth the reasons why the news-suppression this time could fail. It opened:
An unprecedented letter signed by over 720 nonpartisan and bipartisan former federal prosecutors and Justice Department career line attorneys states that Donald Trump’s conduct as president as described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report “would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.” Mueller cited current Justice Department guidelines in his decision to not indict a sitting president for obstruction of justice. The letter also serves notice on Attorney General William Barr that his conduct in representing Trump’s personal interests and not those of the American people violates a primary duty of the attorney general to carry out his oath and duties of his office. …
There is a strong possibility that the letter is a first step toward creating a groundswell of support among the federal legal community for impeachment of both Trump and Barr. Signatories include Justice Department officials who, most recently, served under Trump and span administrations as far back as those of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower. The expertise of the signatories spans federal criminal and civil litigation, including the areas of money laundering, economic crimes, major frauds, human trafficking, national security, organized crime and racketeering, white collar crime, civil rights, tax compliance, consumer protection, professional responsibility, antitrust, multinational fraud, health care fraud, public corruption and government fraud, and environmental crimes.
Interestingly, there are several signatories who were associate independent counsels in the Iran-Contra investigation, a probe that Barr helped cover-up when he served as George H. W. Bush’s attorney general.
This is the situation that exists in the U.S. when it’s ruled by two parties of its billionaires who control the government and its ‘news’ media and its voters (via those ‘news’ media).
There is a remarkable lack of public discussion and debate in this country about whether Pence would be an improvement over Trump, and about whether perhaps the now 800+ former U.S. prosecutors who signed this letter are simply deluded to think that this is a nation of laws and not of men, and a democracy at all, none of which still-propagandized views about this country bears any resemblance at all to the reality. Can these people really be so oblivious? Are they all suckered by the cloistered circles in which they circulate—individuals who happen to share their particular faiths (their prejudices, whatever those might happen to be, but either Democratic or Republican, regardless of any ‘church’)? Do they simply not care about what the practical consequences would be if their effort in this matter were to succeed? Or, if they really do believe that a President Pence would be an improvement, then why are they not publicly endorsing him to become president? Perhaps the Democrats among them (and within the DNC itself) might think that Pence would be an easier target for Joe Biden to defeat than Trump would. But do they really think that that would make any difference for the country? Do they really believe Joe Biden, whose record is poor, and whose words and promises to anyone other than his billionaire backers have been nothing more than public propaganda to fool the Democratic Party faithful?
What is this really all about? Really.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.