In one sense, it’s actually a pretty good thing that I’m practically a “shut in.” Every night, from 6-8 pm PDT, my dance card is full. From 6-7 it’s the national treasure that is Rachel Maddow, and from 7-8, it’s Lawrence O’Donnell, the only one in cable news that can run neck to neck. If for some reason I’m out, mandatory curfew is 9 pm to catch the reruns…
On a segment last night, Lawrence went into graphic detail of the increasing peril that both Treasury Secretary Steve
Munchkin Mnuchin, as well as IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, are facing in defying Chairman Richie Neal’s written demand for Trump’s tax returns. Assisting Lawrence was income tax savant David Cay Johnson, who had found an even more obscure part of the tax code that called for the immediate dismissal or discharge of any government employee who interfered with the application of the tax code. This code section included possible conviction and up to a 5 year stay at the Crossbar Hilton.
Absolutely nothing either O’Donnell or Johnson said last night was wrong. As far as I can tell, no one was misquoted, and the pertinent parts of the tax code were read verbatim for the audience to soak up. Where I feel that Lawrence O’Donnell slipped up was either an error of omission, or a simple miscalculation.
Here’s why. Even if all of those things are true and applicable, and I have no reason to doubt that they are, there is still one practical roadblock. Of the many tools and powers that congress holds, especially committee chairmen and women, prosecutorial discretion is not one of them. If Donnie Redux lied to a committee, the committee can’t charge and try him for perjury, they have to refer him to the DOJ for criminal prosecution. Even if Neal passes a motion of contempt of congress charges against Mnuchin and Rettig, and it passes the House, Capitol Hill police can’t just wander on over to the Treasury Department and perp walk Mnuchin out the front doors, no matter how much the media and the general public may love it. Everything has to go through the DOJ. And anybody who thinks that that Trombie Ewok in tortoise shell glasses is going to lift a finger to expedite the release of Glorious Bleaters tax returns mat want to look at getting a little counseling.
So, for whatever reason, I think that Lawrence’s assertion that there was a serious possibility of any of these things actually happening was off the mark, it did make for sweet dreams. And while I continue to lie prostate at the feet of the all knowing Lawrence O’Donnell, just this once I couldn’t resist looking up and pointing out the fact that I think he has some spinach caught between his teeth.
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