The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Bullying Ukraine

Rich Galen

Monday September 23, 2019

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  • Donald Trump is a bully.

  • I wrote that first so that readers who don't want to read bad stuff about Trump can move on to the more obliging news of the day.

  • Trump admitted on Sunday, that he did, indeed speak to the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, about investigating both former VP Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

  • According to the New York Times, Trump told reporters:
    "The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don't want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine."

  • Largely speaking What did he say?

  • Donald Trump has been a bully all his life. He has had bully-helpers for most of his life.

  • His first big-time bully-helper was attorney Roy Cohn who ended up being disbarred after also beging a bully-helper to Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wis) before moving on to New York City after McCarthy lost his mojo.

  • A more recent Trump bully-helper was attorney Michael Cohen (no relation) who is better known as Trump's "Fixer." He is more recently known as inmate number 86067-054.

  • Michael Cohen used to do things like call reporters who he thought were going to write ill of Trump and say things like this to Daily Beast and NPR reporter Tim Mack:
    "Mark my words for it, I will make sure that you and I meet one day over in the courthouse and I will take you for every penny you still don't have, and I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know. Do not even think about going where I know you're planning on going. And that's my warning for the day."

  • Then Michael "The Fixer" Cohen would run back to Trump Tower and hide behind Donald Trump's robes until, one day, he found those robes were made of gauze and now Cohen is serving a three year term in federal prison.

  • Trump's most recent bully-helper is the Attorney General of the United States, Bill "Bagpipes" Barr who has chosen to join the august company of Cohn and Cohen in that role.

  • Barr has extended the theory of "Executive Privilege" to include just about everything Donald Trump has ever said, or thought about saying, to everyone he has ever had contact with.

  • Ok, that's an over statement, but here's how the term is defined by George Mason University professor Mark Rozell:
    Executive privilege is the right of the president and high-level executive branch officers to withhold information from Congress, the courts, and ultimately the public.

  • It is a concept developed to allow a president to have unfettered conversations with aides, experts, and others without fear they will be subpoenaed and those conversations made public.

  • Executive Privilege is not mentioned in the Constitution but, according to the concept dates back to George Washington.

  • The questions soon to be asked beyond today's Mullings is:
    Is Trump harassing the President of Ukraine to launch an investigation of a political opponent - in this case Joe Biden - impeachable?

    Does Executive Privilege extend to a conversation between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine and, thus, put it beyond the reach of investigating committees in the U.S. House?

  • I am not making this up. has a piece headlined:
    "Biden demanded Trump release transcripts of a call where he reportedly badgered Ukraine's leader to investigate his son 8 times"

  • Trump's bullying power is not absolute: He couldn't bully either James Comey or Jeff Sessions into dropping the Russia investigation. And, he couldn't bully the voters in 235 Congressional Districts not to vote for the Democrat on the ballot in 2018.

  • Sooner or later Trump's bullying will force Congressional Democrats to go to court to see if the Justice Department's memo that says a sitting president can't be indicted is a correct interpretation of Article II, Section 4:
    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

  • When geniuses like me have said "That's the last straw" about something Trump has said or done, he has simply reached into his desk and pulled out another straw.

  • Someday, he may reach in to find the box is empty.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Wikipedia's bio of Roy Cohn, the like to the Michael Cohen screed, the WashPost's reporting on the Trump phone call to Ukraine, to's discussion of executive privilege, and the review of Biden's demand for a release of the phone call transcript.

    The Mullfoto is one in the license plate series and is the first taken with my new iPhone 11.

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