By Robert A. Vella
Normally, a president who has survived two historic criminal investigations into his clearly demonstrable wrongdoing (i.e. the Muller investigation, and Impeachment) would be both relieved and contented with the outcome. That is, if that president was even remotely close to being normal. Donald Trump, however, is not only abnormal he is a raging megalomaniac. The psychology of such persons is driven by an insatiable hunger for money, power, and status. Whatever they achieve, or get away with, in life is never enough for them. Right up until their death, they are obsessively compelled to gain even more. The bar of attainment never stops rising. There simply is no limit to what they desire. That’s what makes megalomaniacs so dangerous to society, and especially so if they reach positions of authority.
This psychology evolves from intense insecurities. Adolf Hitler was a classic underachiever who failed at everything including careers in art and in the military. Prolonged frustration led to the buildup of misguided resentments and a relentless determination to prove his critics wrong. Donald Trump was born into wealth and privilege. In contrast to self-made men who earned their achievements through genuine skill and hard work, Trump’s advantages were given to him on a silver platter. But, Trump was also heavily burdened by something else given to him by his father – i.e. the fear of failure. Not being blessed with great intelligence and other respectable talents, Trump had to meet his father’s high expectations through more sinister means – i.e. through deceit, coercion, and a whole host of corrupt behaviors typical of organized crime and dictatorships.
The insatiability of megalomania always ends in disaster because the afflicted person’s ambitions keep extending beyond their reach. At some point, reality comes crashing down upon the fragility of human mortality. Unfortunately for America and the world, Trump’s inevitable downfall could have the gravest of consequences. Hitler’s end didn’t come until the devastation of World War II was unleashed upon civilization in which approximately 70 million people died and unknown millions of others suffered physical and emotional injuries.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday defied Attorney General William Barr’s request that he stop tweeting about federal judges presiding over Department of Justice cases, sending a tweet critical of U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson. The latest Trumpian salvo left attorneys and political experts wondering whether Barr was sincere in his latest ABC News interview–and would consider resigning in protest–or whether the whole thing really was “absolutely nonsense theatrics.”
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Tuesday said she would stick to the sentencing schedule this week for Roger Stone, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump.
Stone is due to be sentenced on Thursday after he was found guilty in November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.
A lawyer for Stone on Tuesday argued that Thursday’s sentencing hearing should be postponed until after Judge Amy Berman Jackson rules on a request he made for a new trial.
From: Trump suggests he may sue over Mueller investigation [notation by The Secular Jurist: a civil lawsuit is rather absurd here because the defendant would be the federal government in which Trump leads]
President Trump on Tuesday suggested he may file lawsuits over the outcome of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, saying its findings are “badly tainted.”
The president in a series of tweets also made multiple misleading claims about Mueller and his investigation as he again lashed out over the trial of longtime associate Roger Stone, who is scheduled to be sentenced this week in a case stemming from the former special counsel’s probe.
WASHINGTON — A national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting Tuesday to address growing concerns about the intervention of Justice Department officials and President Donald Trump in politically sensitive cases, the group’s president said Monday.
Philadelphia U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, said the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to weigh in on a deepening crisis that has enveloped the Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr.
More than 2,000 former Department of Justice officials are calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign, according to the group Protect Democracy.
“Political interference in the conduct of a criminal prosecution is anathema to the Department’s core mission and to its sacred obligation to ensure equal justice under the law,” according to the group, which has been critical of the administration in the past.
The former DOJ officials said it is “outrageous” the way Barr interfered in the Roger Stone case.
The top lawyer for the intelligence community, whose decision to block a whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump and Ukraine from reaching Congress helped jumpstart the impeachment inquiry, is resigning from his post, officials confirmed.
Jason Klitenic, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will depart early next month, according to an agency spokeswoman. His exit comes as the acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, nears a March 11 deadline to depart as well. Federal law prevents Maguire from serving in an acting capacity beyond that date, meaning a new director must be nominated and confirmed by then, or Trump must pick a new acting official.
From: Bolton Warns of Possible ‘Censorship’ of His White House Memoir [comment by The Secular Jurist: Bolton appears to have lost his nerve and is fading away into irrelevancy]
(Bloomberg) — Former National Security Advisor John Bolton raised alarm the Trump administration could block his memoir that describes his interaction with the president over Ukraine.
“I hope it’s not suppressed,” Bolton said Monday in a talk at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “This is an effort to write history, and I did it the best I can. We’ll have to see what comes out of the censorship.”
Bolton added later: “I say things in the manuscript about what he said to me,” referring to Trump. “I hope they become public someday. He tweets but I can’t talk about it. How fair is that?”
SILIVRI, Turkey — A Turkish court ordered a prominent philanthropist, Osman Kavala, acquitted of all charges and released from prison, one of several surprising verdicts on Tuesday in an important human rights trial that had been widely criticized as unjust.
Sixteen members of Turkish civil society, including Mr. Kavala, had faced charges in a case seen as a litmus test of popular opposition to the increasingly authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the tightly controlled justice system.
Nine people in total were acquitted on Tuesday, and arrest warrants were lifted for the remaining seven defendants, on the condition that they appear in court. They have left the country and will be tried separately.
Charged with trying to overthrow the government by force, the defendants faced trial for participating in the 2013 Taksim Square protests, when demonstrators occupied Istanbul’s central square to halt the construction of a shopping mall in one of the city’s few parks.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday ordered the arrest of nearly 700 people, including military and justice ministry personnel, state media said, intensifying moves against a network accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.
Authorities have carried out a sustained crackdown on alleged followers of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen since the failed bid in July 2016, in which about 250 people were killed.
The latest operations marked an escalation by police against alleged supporters of Gulen, a one-time ally of President Tayyip Erdogan who subsequently became his arch foe.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Ashraf Ghani won a second term as president of Afghanistan, the country’s independent election commission announced Tuesday, more than four months after polls closed.
The commission said Ghani garnered 923,592 votes, or 50.64%, in the election that took place last Sept. 28. His main challenger, the country’s chief executive Abdullah Abdullah received 720,841 votes, or 39.52%.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — In a major legal defeat for the Russian government, a Dutch appeals court on Tuesday reinstated an international arbitration panel’s order that it should pay $50 billion compensation to shareholders in former oil company Yukos.
The ruling overturned a 2016 decision by The Hague District Court that quashed the compensation order on the grounds that the arbitration panel did not have jurisdiction because the case was based on an energy treaty that Russia had signed but not ratified.
The Hague Court of Appeal ruled that the 2016 decision “was not correct. That means that the arbitration order is in force again.”
Humanity’s ongoing destruction of nature threatens the survival of our species, a group of former foreign ministers has warned, calling on leaders to step back from “the precipice” of irreversible ecological ruin and protect the planet.
The planet’s rapidly warming oceans must be the focus of increased conservation efforts due to their importance in producing oxygen and food for billions of people, the former ministers added, as governments prepare to begin negotiations for a Paris-style UN agreementon nature next week.
In a statement signed by 23 diplomats – including former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former British foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind – world leaders are urged to back the draft UN agreement to protect almost a third of the world’s oceans and land.