Is Anyone is Charge?

Everyone agrees a President should have his own administration. But Trump’s bumbled firing of the 46 US Attorneys makes us look bad. World leaders already are rattled by Trump. More missteps are intolerable. POTUS looks like incompetent administrator … at best.

(At worst, he’s unethical or criminal. if Justice was investigating something potentially tied to the President, the firing is an impeachable offense. It is a “high crime.” I am not accusing him of that.)

I AM accusing him of incompetence.

If you’ve ever dealt with a US attorney, you know they’re rigidly quiet. “Good morning,” is the extent of their pleasantries. Why? They keep secrets: secrets that put federal felons in prison.

Lawyers — and doctors — require time to ready a case for hand-off.  To the extent possible, they try to have things in place all the time. A bus could hit them any day.

A bus labeled “Trump” hit 46 US attorneys on Friday. They’ll bounce; the President’s reputation does not. US attorneys are the most employable lawyers in America.The Fortune 500 will go into a bidding war for them. If the CEO’s don’t hire them, the crooks WILL. They’ll be filthy rich by next week.

You, fellow citizens, were the ones injured. Why? Abruptly leaving a case can imperil it; delays mean victims suffer. Federal crimes are not victimless. Firing people without their replacements waiting is irresponsible.

US attorneys got the death penalty for Timothy McVeigh; US attorneys slammed the prison door on mobster John Gotti.

US attorneys also scare the sh*t out of Wall Street. They are the counterbalance to the the venal, high-pried lawyers who tell the corporate maharajahs, “That’s legal-ish.”

They do a job where death threats from dangerous people are just part of the office noise. Plus, the pay’s lousy. Some are independently wealthy and this is their way of giving back. Would you do the job?

These guys are THE LAW AND ORDER guys.

Politicians KNOW the US attorneys don’t give a hoot about anyone’s politics (though they say so little it’s hard to discern). They try to be equal opportunity prosecutors. They will indict their moms for jaywalking.

These guys protect you and me.

Yes, they served “at will” and they expected to go after tidying up their cases. TWO DAYS before they were summarily fired, Attorney General Sessions gave them a PEP TALK.  Two days later? They’re putting mugs and pictures in a file box. WTF? Who, if anyone, is in charge?

Compare Preet Bharara’s ethics to the White House’s. (Kellyanne pushing Ivanka’s shoes, Trump sending the Chinese to Mar-a-Lago and thereby directly enriching himself, etc. They should come to the White House.)

According to the NY Times, an aide from the White House asked Bharara to call the President. Click here for details. John Q. Citizen would pick up the phone, dial 202-456-1111 and hope the President got on the line.

Bharara did NOT do that. Instead he and another attorney looked up the ethics/protocol for speaking to a sitting president. They knew they couldn’t discuss a case; they wanted to know if ANY contact was ethical. After some legal research, Bharara did nothing. Why? It was the correct thing. He didn’t even tell the White House, “I can’t talk to you.” No contact means no contact.

Forget “extreme vetting,” this man showed “extreme ethics.”

The mass firing either was stupid and rude … or it was trying to get rid of something messy. At best, the rest of the DOJ cannot function optimally in chaos. Work doesn’t get done if everyone’s around the water cooler.

Was Trump stupid, criminal or both?  What? You say someone else is behind this? That’s even WORSE. We elected Trump, not Gannon, Preibus, Conway, Miller or Kushner.

Trump is always responsible. That’s why he gets the fancy desk.

This is not the first fumble by the White House. Sessions’ own appointment required partisan hardball. Ditto for the firing of  Sally Yates. Now Trump looks like an INCOMPETENT partisan.

He can’t even appropriately install his own people. The State Department is missing upper management — no one has been appointed. Rex Tillerson couldn’t even get Elliott Abrams as a deputy.  Elliott Effing Abrams is a non-partisan, foreign policy superstar! Now Justice is missing upper management.

The Executive Branch cannot be run by absent people; we need functioning US attorneys and State Department senior officials. The whims of flunkies like Bannon are not a substitute for those people. We deserve a logical transition in a dangerous world.

It feels like each day is a new round of paper cuts — for a nation on blood thinners.