13 November 2019

Guiltier Than a Ham Sandwich (and Just About as Kosher)

It's been said — somewhat sarcastically, but also somewhat understatedly — that a decent prosecutor can convince a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Since the impeachment process in the House of Representatives is highly analogous to grand jury proceedings — if with considerably more rights and protections for the prospective accused — today's show was enlightening. If this really was a grand jury, Drumpf would have been indicted by the end of the day. Remember, the standard for indictment is probable cause, and the witnesses today established probable cause that Drumpf did, directly or by proxy, interfere — in furtherance of his personal interests — with spending authorized by the United States Congress and with the performance of sworn duty by officers of the United States (both principal and inferior), and did so in violation of his own oath of office.

But it's not a grand jury. Unlike in a grand jury proceeding, advocates for the prospective accused have the right to ask questions of their own. And present their own witnesses. And even be voting members of the body that will make the final decision. So those claiming that this is an unfair process should consider what it's like being some poor schmuck from Detroit who doesn't have those advantages. Or, often, a lawyer who met him more than half an hour before the hearing (although, on the evidence both of recent statements and shenanigans over a quarter of a century ago, maybe said schmuck should be glad that public defender isn't… Drumpf's personal fixerlawyer). Maybe even consider the racial and economic disparities for why they're there in the first place… in each place in the first place.

And I don't want to hear any grousing about the mayonnaise (it's always the mayonnaise). Right now: It's a ham sandwich, and it probably is a months-old plastic-wrapped monstrosity from one of the machines in the courthouse basement.

That's guilty, guilty, guilty! (Doonesbury reference entirely intentional; have a nice day, Jeff Sessions Bill Barr John Mitchell).