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Do Republican Senators Have the Civic Integrity of Paula Duncan?

Bubble Boy Ventures Out into the Real World (Getty Images)

Trumpican Paula Duncan was a juror in the Paul Manafort trial. As such one might have expected her to acquit Manafort on all charges. She would know that the trial was perpetrated by the Deep State witch hunt to remove her Lord and savior, the chosen one, blessed be his name from the presidency. Therefore one could expect with reasonable confidence that her loyalty to the president would trump her loyalty to the Constitution.

Such an assumption proved wrong. The exact opposite occurred.  She voted to convict on all charges. She voted guilty even on the chargers where one and only one other juror voted not guilty.  Reporters asked her about her votes after the trial concluded. Her reply demonstrated the primacy of her civic responsibility. It was not enough to not convict someone simply because of his ties to the president. Instead she examined the evidence, weighed its meaning and voted accordingly. That vote was GUILTY. GUILTY AS CHARGED, all 18 times.

Another exercise in evidence examination just occurred in a different venue (“The History Class Focuses on an Extraordinary Era: The Present,” Audra D. S. Burch, NYT October 24, 2019, print edition). In the Chalmette, Louisiana, high school, world history teacher Chris Dier, conducted classes on impeachment. He provided background material on the three previous impeachment-related American presidents before turning to the current example. The instructor recognized an opportunity to teach a real-time lesson in civics and political science. He devoted two 90-minutes class periods to the subject. He considered it a civics class at a time when many Americans are not familiar with civics.

His goal in the class was for the students acting as [better-behaved] Representatives and Senators to answer the same questions the American people are going to be asked during the impeachment process. In the two classes, the students would deal with the questions to be faced by both the House and the Senate: should the President of the United States of America be impeached and if so should he also be removed from issue? The question of should a President who is removed from office remain eligible to run again for the office, say in 2020, was not included. Since many of the students are 17 years old, their first presidential election may revolve around these issues.

The students followed a more rigorous approach than adult voters are likely to. They studied impeachment as developed by the Founding Fathers and the procedures used in the two houses.  The students then examined the Ukrainian evidence as provided by the teacher, evidence which is growing by the day and will grow more so by the time of the actual impeachment and vote to remove.

Initially the 21 students divided into 12 to impeach, 4 not to impeach, and 5 undecided. After another round of discussion by the students the vote shifted to 14 impeach and 7 not to impeach. The district was won by Trump with 65% of the vote. Presumably not all the students told their parents how they voted.

These two examples from two different venues, a courtroom and a classroom, provide the Democrats with a blueprint for conducting the actual impeachment hearings. Both the jurors and the students examined the evidence presented to them and then discussed it. One sees hear the importance of the prosecuting attorney and the teacher. It is essential for them to present sufficient evidence in a clear narrative format accessible to the deciders to reach a desired outcome. The Kavanaugh hearings won’t work. Apparently the Democrats have wisely chosen to let lawyers make the case rather than the politicians. That process worked in the Manafort case and in the classroom. Although the teacher did not take sides, he did present the relevant material (at least in a condensed manner) sufficient for the class to work He also did instruct the students to behave in a respectful manner, a far cry from the way Congress conducts itself.

One issue for the Democrats to address in the impeachment is to recognize that there are two audiences. I do not mean the House and the Senate. As we were reminded again and again during the Mueller investigation, the confrontation is a political one which will be fought in the public arena. One side did an extremely effective job in poisoning the jury pool while the other was lackluster to the point of nonexistence. The Mueller report and the Congressional appearance turned out to be the most anticlimactic events in American history. If the Democrats do not learn from the Mueller fiasco, they are doomed to the same unsatisfactory results.

While certain events in the impeachment will take place televised during the day, the battle also will be fought in the media and on the web during and after the televised hearings. We already have seen the scorched tactics that will be unleashed against anyone who dares to tell the truth under oath. The number of people who anticipated Vindman be characterized as a double agent loyal to the Ukraine is probably about the same who foresaw the purchase of Greenland and sharpiegate. Naturally the so-called whistleblower is not one, but a Deep State operative working for Biden. The firestorm will be fierce.

One strong possibility is the impeachment hearings and removal hearings may not have the stage alone. Last summer Duped-by-Russia Hannity repeatedly stated that any day, the Inspector General would release his report documenting the abuses of the Deep State in initiating the Mueller report in the first place. He could scarcely contain himself as he anticipated the indictments of all the people he had identified as being part of the witch hunt. So far that has not happened. It is only a matter of time before the report it is released and when it is it is likely to be during the hearings. Who will be best prepared to deal with that report when it happens?

In the meantime there is a second report or action to consider now. Bill Barred-for-Life has been tasked with indicting all the people Duped-by-Russia Hannity has identified as being part of the Deep State witch hunt. The integrity of the DOJ attorney is irrelevant. Look at how Barred-for-Life spun the Mueller report and quashed an investigation into the Ukrainian incident. Is there any doubt that he will attempt to indict the entire Deep State? According to Bull Trump station talk shows, all these conspirators are now quaking in fear and lawyering up for onslaught to come. They are sore afraid. The day of reckoning is soon upon when the true guilty parties of the fake Russian collusion inquiry are exposed. That exposure will then spill over into the fake Ukrainian impeachment. The impeachment and removal hearings will not have a monopoly on the news. The war will be fought on multiple fronts.

That war already is underway. By the time Rachel Maddow has completed one of her long extended essays, Duped-by-Russia Hannity will have excoriated corrupt Schiff and his Soviet-style secret hearings a dozen times. He will do so relentlessly and persistently every single day from now until the 2020 elections if necessary. He will use the exact same words and phrases to do so as he instructs his Trumpican audience in what to believe. That audience is the one Republican Representatives and Senators fear…unless they are retiring, are not worried about backlash or primary challenges, or have a conscience.

To answer the question then, “Do Republican Senators have the civic integrity of Paula Duncan?” the answer is “NO!. WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME! IS THAT A TRICK QUESTION?”  However, they are not all blithering idiots. They know that the President is guilty on all charges. What they may do then is attempt to thread the needle and adopt the Democratic strategy from the last impeachment: “Yes, he is guilty but his actions do no rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors warranting removal from office.” They may soothe their conscience and satisfy the Trumpican voters with that maneuver but it may not satisfy the President. After all how can he be compared to Lincoln and Washington if the House impeaches him, a majority of the Senate votes to remove him from office, and the other Senators think he is guilty as charged but the infraction was too small to justify expelling him. What infraction? The phone call was perfect. Absolutely perfect. Read the transcript!

Game Not Over: Flying Monkey Barr versus Dorothy Democrat

Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men

Remember the good old days of Matthew Whitaker? He does not seem so bad in retrospect.

As it turns out, I was completely wrong about William Barr. I had written (The Mueller Report: Paula Duncan, William Barr, and the American People):

We know how Paula Duncan reacted when she was exposed to the truth. What will Barr do when he has his OMG moment?  What will Barr do when he learns that the slimiest and sleaziest real estate developer in New York operated and operates identically when he moved his business to the White House? Barr is a career officer of the court who will have taken an oath to the Constitution to serve the American people. He knows that he will not have taken an oath to be loyal to the President. So when he has his OMG moment will he like Paula Duncan vote to convict, that is, release the report or will he put the wishes of the President first? There is no way to know for sure but I suggest that it is quite likely that when the OMG moment occurs justice will trump loyalty.

It would be hard to have been more wrong about William Barr and his moment of truth although he did release the Mueller report.

So far the reaction has tended to focus on how he let the American people down. There has been little attention directed towards how he blindsided the President. One wonders if it ever occurred to him how he will be remembered in history for his decision not to tell either the American people or Individual #1 the truth.

Consider the situation before the report went public. At that point, it is reasonable to conclude that Barr had read the entire 448-page report with no redactions. That means he know what the report contained.

That Individual #1 never told the truth.

That Individual #1 instructed others not to tell the truth.

That for Individual #1 t law is irrelevant in his decision-making process.

That the White House was dysfunctional.

That White House staff and “friends” of Individual #1 routinely disobeyed instructions from “the Boss” or simply ignored such instructions.

That there were at least 10 examples of obstruction of justice by Individual #1.

That the only reason Individual #1 had not been indicted on obstruction or specifically charged with obstruction in the Mueller report was because of department policy.

That the Mueller report invites Congress to do what it could not do and charge Individual #1 with obstruction.

That there are multiple additional investigations (unidentified to the public but not to Barr) underway that guarantee a steady stream of bad news for Individual #1 for months to come possibly right through to the election.

Finally, that We the People shortly would know all of the above after the report was released.

So how did Individual #1 learn about the contents of the Mueller report?

He did not learn about it from reading the report itself.

He did not learn about it from just reading the summaries.

He apparently did not learn about the devastatingly negative portrayal of himself for his lack of character, morality, and management skills from Fox.

His actions and words during the morning and into the early afternoon were those of a person who had won, who had been completely vindicated, and who was having once of the best days of his presidency.

Then while basking in the glow of his complete and total triumph, he began to watch the Fake News shows.


Suddenly and without any warning and preparation, he was exposed to the truth of the Mueller report. Since that moment of revelation, he has not attacked the Fake News stations or the Fake News reporters or analysts who have appeared on those shows. Even though he himself has not and will not read the actual report, he takes for granted that Fake News outlets like CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post have accurately reported what is in the Mueller report even though it contradicts what William Barr had told him.

Barr knew the truth of what the Mueller report contained and he chose not to inform the President of the United States about it. Forget about how he misled the American public and concentrate on that shirking of his duty and responsibility. He chose to spin the President. He chose not to disclose what the report really said about him. He chose not to prepare the President for the firestorm to come once the report was made public. He chose to allow Individual #1 to bask in the sun for hours enjoying the glory of his triumph while knowing that at some point later that same day, the truth of report would become known. In so doing, he failed the President.

For a subordinate to bring bad news to a boss always is difficult. It is particularly difficult with our immature child-president who inhabits an alternate reality. One can easily understand and indeed sympathize with the challenge Barr faced with he became aware of the truth of the Mueller report. Even in the best of times, it would not have been easy to inform a boss of such a report. It was a report about to go public and become part of the historical record. It was a report that documented that Individual #1 was a dishonest, immoral, and incompetent person who was saved (for now) from removal from office and jail time because his staff and friends refused to follow his instructions and department policy prohibited indicting a sitting President (but might indict him once he left office!).

Putting aside all the political polemics, Barr was not in an envious position. While he never will be a profile in courage it is understandable why he would throw the President under the bus and not tell him the truth about what the Mueller report contained. Better to let CNN and MSNBC be the bearer of bad news than for him to be. Barr correctly gauged that when the truth came out, Individual #1 would direct his ire towards the people he knew who had told the truth to Mueller rather than be loyal to him. And, of course, to the 18 angry Democrats engaged in a witch hunt who should have been investigating Crooked Hillary and the cover-up of her collusion with the enemy… not that asking for information from the Russians is wrong, mind you. Better to be a coward and deceive the boss then be the one to tell him the truth.

Barr’s CYA helped himself but did not do Individual #1 much good. True, it allowed Fox and its Congressional Friends to demand an apology for the witch hunt and call for moving on. That would work if the Republicans were still the majority in the House and Nunez the Clown was still in charge. But Individual #1 did a superb job in helping Democrats take back control of the House. The result is a guaranteed steady beat of bad news. There will be public testimony by people Individual #1 does not control, new evidence, and new charges. The immature child will fixate on all these goings on and never move on.

I am not suggesting that Barr could have prevented this from happening. The only way he might have was to suppress the report in its entirety. I am saying that given the release of the Mueller report, he failed the President of the United States by not informing him of the truth. All this makes one wonder how often government people choose not to tell the President the truth out of fear he can’t handle the truth except to have a tantrum.

Now is the moment for Congress to demonstrate it can handle the truth. The eyes of the world are still upon us.

At a polling station in central Jakarta, Trianasari Arief… said the ex-general [Prabowo], known for his quick temper and unpredictable behavior, reminded her of President Trump and his upset victory in 2016. “I don’t want what happened in the United States to happen in Indonesia…and [we] get the orange-skin guy into office.” (Richard C. Paddock and Muktit Suhartono, “President of Indonesia Re-elected, Polls Indicate,” NYT 4/18/19)

The Mueller Report: Paula Duncan, William Barr, and the American People

A Real Lawyer (

The tone over the Mueller Report has changed. The incessant drumbeat to shut down the Mueller investigation has ended. The call to fire Rod Rosenstein has ceased. The attacks on Mueller have lessened. The fear the Matthew Whitaker would close the Mueller probe with a report that never would see the light of day has dissipated. All eyes now turn to William Barr.

The example of Paula Duncan should be remembered. She served as a juror in the Manafort trial. She was and presumably still is a Trump supporter. One might think therefore that she would have been an unwelcome juror from the perspective of the prosecutors. Instead she voted guilty on all 18 counts. How come despite the steady tweets that it was all a witch hunt and the relentless disparagement of the entire process by the Trump Propaganda Network (TPN), did she end up voting with the prosecutor on all 18 counts?

The answer is the evidence. The answer is that once she took an oath to serve as a juror that is precisely what she did. She listened as the prosecutors walked the jurors through the evidence. She listened as the defense attorneys sought to undermine that evidence. And when both sides were through there was no doubt in her mind: the evidence was overwhelming. So she voted to convict. Again and again and again until all the counts had been adjudicated.

Barr will experience something similar. The Mueller team gathered the evidence day by day, week by week, month by month, painstakingly following leads and sorting through the material until they were ready to prepare an indictment. That is not how Barr will encounter the evidence. He is not going to get it piecemeal. Instead he will be hit with a tsunami. What the Mueller team took months to prepare, he will be hit with all at once.

He will see what was redacted on those court filings.

He will see what indictments are in the process of being filed.

He will see what data has not yet been revealed to the public in any of the public filings so far.

How many indictments have there been based on the testimony of Michael Flynn? Why did he get immunity?

How many indictments have there been based on the testimony of Allen Weisselberg? Why did he get immunity?

How many indictments have there been based on the testimony of David Pecker? Why did he get immunity?

How many indictments of other people including Person #1 have there been based on the testimony of Michael Cohen?

Right now, Barr knows no more about the Mueller investigation than anyone else in the public arena. Then suddenly he is going to know everything.

We know how Paula Duncan reacted when she was exposed to the truth. What will Barr do when he has his OMG moment?  What will Barr do when he learns that the slimiest and sleaziest real estate developer in New York operated and operates identically when he moved his business to the White House? Barr is a career officer of the court who will have taken an oath to the Constitution to serve the American people. He knows that he will not have taken an oath to be loyal to the President. So when he has his OMG moment will he like Paula Duncan vote to convict, that is, release the report or will he put the wishes of the President first? There is no way to know for sure but I suggest that it is quite likely that when the OMG moment occurs justice will trump loyalty.

What about with the American people. We the people have been in the same dark as Barr has been about the full story of what has happened. Then suddenly when the report is released we will have our OMG moment. For some people it will be a moment of vindication. For others it will be “is that all there is?’ There will be a lot of guano to digest very suddenly,

One should expect the TPN to be fully activated and in high gear to combat and denounce the Mueller report once it goes public. It’s all process crimes. It’s not even criminal acts anyway. It’s poisoned fruit anyway and not admissible. So what if he did it? It’s the last gasp of the Deep State seeking to remove the legitimately elected President and to thwart God’s plan.

That approach probably won’t work with the American people. There are likely to be more Paula Duncans than Sean Hannitys in the country. There may be a clamor for the Democrats to impeach. There already is. The policy of not impeaching unless the Republican Senate supports removal may be overwhelmed by the OMG reaction to the Mueller report.

Think of Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland. Oh, that’s right, you can’t because he never became one. He never became a Supreme Court justice because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never allowed a vote to be held. He used the excuse that is was too close to the presidential election and it should be up to the people to decide. McConnell’s gamble worked. The Democrats did not hold the White House and the republicans prevailed in approving the next Supreme Court justice. Will he try again? Will he put the Senate in play in order to save the Republican President after the American people have had an OMG moment with the release of the Mueller report?

I don’t know but we will find out sooner or later.