Rod who?

OK, this post will be brief. Although the details are endless, the point can be made briefly, and adding evidence upon evidence will sway no one.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had been under a corrupt activity investigation by United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald.

Image result for rod blagojevich

Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself out of the Governor’s Office and into Prison

Blagojevich ultimately was impeached and removed from office for wire fraud, attempted extortion, and conspiracy to solicit bribes.

He had attempted, though failed, to sell Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat after Obama was elected president.

Blagojevich had also been charged with:

*Attempting to extort the owners of the Tribune Company to fire Chicago Tribune editors who criticized the governor’s handling of state affairs.
*Abuse of power concerning the release of $8 million of state funds to Children’s Memorial Hospital, as a quid pro quo for a $50,000 campaign contribution

Blagojevich’s defense was in part, that he never actually had received the bribe money, and that the accusations were politically motivated.

During the impeachment trial, Blagojevich requested the opportunity to deliver his own closing arguments, although he would not testify or submit himself to cross-examination.

Blagojevich’s said the process was tainted because it did not allow him to call witnesses or challenge the evidence (although, the process did allow the governor to call witnesses and challenge the evidence, but he did neither).

But perhaps the best witness was (inadvertently) Blagojevich himself, who was recorded saying, “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden. I’m just not giving it up for fucking nothing. I’m, I’m not going to do it and I can use it and fuckin’ parachute me there.”

Sometimes, crooked leaders simply can’t keep their crooked mouths shut.

Blagojevich was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

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Donald Trump had been under investigation for corrupt activity by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Mueller released a document that depicted a Trump campaign expecting to “benefit electorally” from information stolen and released by Russia and a president who saught the firing of various officials and who demanded a memo that would clear his name.Image result for zelensky trump

Mueller concluded that he could not clear the president of obstruction of justice, and in fact, listed ten incidents that could be considered obstruction.

Trump is now being impeached for abuse of power, extorting Ukraine, and conspiring — and temporarily succeeding — to delay $400 million Congress had allocated for Ukraine, in exchange for an investigation of Trump’s political opponent, Joseph Biden, and his son.

That was the “favor” Trump requested in exchange for the money Ukraine desperately needed.

The money finally was given to Ukraine two days after the scheme was discovered and reported by a whistleblower, who heard about a damning phone call (i.e. wire fraud).

Trump has complained that the investigation is politically motivated. Democrats claim that Trump’s prevention of testimony by administration officials amounts to obstruction of justice.

Excerpts from an article by Damon Linker:

Trump has flagrantly, almost flamboyantly, violated the Emoluments clause of the Constitution from his first day in office.

He regularly warps policy by placing his personal interest ahead of the public good — which is what the ongoing impeachment inquiry is all about.

The administration has responded to this inquiry by refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas or cooperate with routine efforts at congressional oversight.

And of course, the president has also asserted as a blanket claim that the Constitution gives him the “right to do whatever I want.”

This is reminiscent of President Nixon’s famous line, “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” 

The phrase is,  “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But power, in itself, neither is good nor bad, neither corrupting nor purifying.  God is not corrupt.

Blagojavich, Trump, Nixon, Hitler, Putin, Kim, Stalin, Mao, et al were corrupt with negligible power long before they gained enormous power and enormous corruption.

Greed, immorality, and corruption do not spring forth, suddenly and unpredictably, when an otherwise compassionate person achieves power. Corruption grows within the corrupt, often quiescently, waiting to be energized by power.

Some people do wondrous things with power. But corrupt people absolutely corrupt power.

We are seeing that demonstrated every day.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
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