Of Color, Crime and Punishment

Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody—don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, O.K.?

– Donald Trump on police brutality

If you’re going to shoot him, you got to shoot to kill. And that requires an overwhelming majority of a bipartisan kind. Otherwise, you’re just going to nick the guy and make him feel empowered and vindicated.

–  Lawrence Tribe on a Trump impeachment

Seventeen investigations in and an undissipated miasma of suspicion continues to envelop Donald J. Trump. And yet, if his defenders are to be believed, the actions which prompted those investigations are neither technically crimes nor even impeachable offenses. Meanwhile, a U.S. district judge has condemned Michael Flynn’s behavior as “treasonous” and Michael Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison, but their boss remains free to stalk the halls of power unimpeded, as America hurtles from one “constitutional crisis” to another.

One wonders what fruit, if any, Robert Mueller’s much-vaunted investigation will eventually bear. Like most investigations of the powerful, its conclusions may prove edifying if not sufficiently punitive. If the Snowden case taught us anything, it is that the power elite lie with impunity: the fact a poker-faced James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, could deny under…

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