One of the obvious signs of fascism is the co-option by a despot of the legal system, which includes law enforcement and the judiciary. The Weimar Republic of Germany enjoyed a robust and relatively fair legal system prior to the rise of the Nazis. After Adolf Hitler came to power, the German legal system was steadily replaced by one based on the Führerprinzip, which deemed that Hitler was above the law. German citizens who were designated by the Nazis as being outside the German community (Volksgemeinschaft) were not afforded any legal rights under the Third Reich.
These same Nazi legal principles are currently part and parcel of Donald Trump’s desire to transform the United States into a fascist state, where Trump is the supreme leader and the federal legislature and judiciary merely exist as his rubber stamps.
Concentration camps for asylum-seekers, including children, from Central America and elsewhere—people considered by Trump to be Untermensch, the Nazi term for inferior people—are now the rule of the day in states across the country. Names and faces, like that of 2-year old Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez, who died on May 14, after being apprehended, along with his Guatemalan mother, at the El Paso border crossing by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents, are being etched into the memories of decent Americans. Wilmer’s mother, a native Guatemalan Q’eqchi, were fleeing their village, which is the subject of a Guatemalan military-supported depopulation operation by Hanna Mining Company, a nickel mining firm teamed with JPMorgan. One of Barr’s U.S. attorneys recently argued before a stunned panel of the Ninth U.S. Court in San Francisco that children in Homeland Security custody do not require soap, toothbrushes, or toothpaste. Attempts by social welfare groups to deliver such items to Trump’s child concentration camps have been rebuffed.
Hitler, of course, placed Nazis in charge of the legal system, including the judiciary. Today, Trump has his personal “mob lawyer,” William Barr, in place at the Justice Department as Attorney General.
The American public is beginning to witness the transformation of the Justice Department into a political police and retribution force eager to carry out the diktats of Trump. It is becoming clearer that upon taking over as attorney general, Barr moved immediately to wrap up the investigation being conducted of foreign involvement in Trump’s 2016 election victory. There is also the distinct likelihood that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was not permitted to continue certain lines of investigation. We know that because on April 1, 2019, just a week-and-a-half after Mueller submitted his report to Barr, the Attorney General ordered closed seven lines of inquiry initiated by Mueller. The seven sealed cases that were closed involved Mueller’s attempt to subpoena records from AT&T, Facebook, and Twitter, among other matters. WMR is making available the raw data list of all the entities involved in the Trump and Kushner criminal enterprises, as well as their related partners. It appears that Barr is now prepared to shut down all of Mueller’s spin-off investigations by U.S. attorneys around the country, including the Southern District of New York.
On June 25, Barr’s federal attorneys in Miami rejected an earlier decision by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra that the 2007 plea deal worked out between then-U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida Alex Acosta—now Trump’s Labor Secretary—and underage sexual assault victims of Trump friend, Jeffrey Epstein, violated the victims’ rights under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA). The current Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida, Byung Pak, did concede that Acosta’s office failed to treat Epstein’s victims—who were between 13 to 16 years old—fairly, but said the law gives prosecutors discretion in deciding how to dispose of a case. Pak said victims had a right to confer with prosecutors, but no rights beyond that. Pak also warned Judge Marra “not to interfere with the free exercise of the discretionary powers of the [United States attorneys] in their control over criminal prosecutions,” adding, “The decision whether to prosecute Epstein lies solely within the executive branch, and any order today, by this court, as to what the government must do in the future would be wholly inappropriate.”
Pak, one of many fascists appointed by Trump to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and federal benches around the country, believes that the judiciary merely exists to protect the Trump administration. In the case of Epstein, any re-hearing of the victims’ cases will likely show that Trump and a number of Trump’s friends and associates were involved in repeated sexual assaults of underage girls hired by Epstein over a period of several years.
Trump’s and Barr’s misuse of the Justice Department to protect Trump and his cronies from criminal liability has also been extended over to the department’s civil side. Justice Department attorneys have filed a civil suit against former Trump White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman for failing to file a “termination financial disclosure report” after she was fired by then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in December 2017. The Justice Department is seeking a $50,000 fine on Manigault Newman for failing to file the little-known disclosure form. In 2018, Manigault Newman released a book, titled “Unhinged,” in which she levels a number of charges against Trump, including charging him with being a racist. Previously, the Trump White House filed a legal action against Manigault-Newman for breaching a 2016 Trump campaign “non-disclosure agreement” when she published her book. Legal scholars contend that such private NDAs do not apply to government service.
It is suspicious that Barr’s department filed suit against Manigault-Newman just after the House Government Oversight Committee was rebuffed in its attempt to call Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway to testify. Manigault-Newman’s attorney has responded to Barr’s weaponization of the Justice Department to attack Trump’s political enemies: “Once again, the White House chooses to abuse process and use the Department of Justice to carry out retaliation. The lawsuit alleges that Omarosa Manigault Newman ‘knowingly and willfully’ failed to file a report. This is untrue . . . This is premature, retaliatory and yet another attempt to silence a dissenting voice.”
The trend lines on Trump further turning the Justice Department into a lawless political vendetta operation are already present. Perhaps Trump is taking inspiration from Brazil’s neo-Nazi president, Jair Bolsonaro, who conducted a right-wing political operation with former federal prosecutor Sergio Moro to criminally indict, convict, and imprison the only person who stood a chance of beating Bolsonaro in the 2018 election, left-wing former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
In reward for his services to the far-right, Bolsonaro made Moro his justice minister. If this all sounds familiar, it should. Trump’s tweets have made no secret of his desire to put his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, behind bars, along with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and former President Barack Obama. Furthermore, Trump tried to enlist his personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, to go to Ukraine to dig up political dirt and evidence of criminality on the leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden. It was the government of Ukraine, not the U.S. Justice Department, that deterred Giuliani’s mission.
Barr has shown his willingness to act as Trump’s hatchet man acting under the color of law. Therefore, Barr bears constant surveillance by the press as he seeks to take any action to insulate Trump from the ill-effects of past and current election fraud, statutory rape, and kiss-and-tell books. No one who has irritated Trump can rest easy, be it Joe Biden and Barack Obama or Trump’s recent rape accuser, New York magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, and Omarosa Manigault-Newman.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
Copyright © 2019 WayneMadenReport.com
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).