I refer to the current occupant of the White House as President Plausible. He is great at delivering lines and sometimes those lines seem innocuous until you really give some thought to what he said. Bush was characterized as an empty suit, this guy is the king with no clothes. He parades around naked while all his acolytes ooh and ahh and talk about how well his suit fits.
I’ve been around a while and that means sometimes what was old becomes new again. This may be a case where the old saw about,”those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.” Then again this may illustrate why the “old saw” doesn’t apply any longer.
In August of 1970 Charles Manson and his murderous family were on trial in Los Angeles for multiple counts of murder. The case was characterized as the Tate La Bianca murders was later documented in the book Helter Skelter. This was a prosecution by the State of California with no Federal nexus.
Then President Nixon made a comment about the trial at a press conference in Denver, Colorado. Nixon was not a witness, and had no official standing in the proceeding. His statements according to, “The Harvard Crimson” triggered a constitutional crisis. Fortunately the trial wasn’t held in Boston and this was before California went totally to shit and Charlie and the family were all convicted.
Nixon Calls Manson Guilty; Attorneys Move a Mistrial
By LEOPOLD N. LOEB, August 4, 1970
President Nixon may have freed Charles Manson-not by an act of executive clemency, but by one of errant stupidity.
Defense attorneys for Manson, Leslie Van Houten, and Susan Atkins-who face charges of murder stemming from the mass killings last August of actress Sharon Tate and six other persons-moved for a mistrial yesterday after learning that Nixon had said that Manson was “guilty, directly or indirectly, of eight murders without reason.”
Trial Judge Charles N. Holder denied the motion pending an official version of the Nixon remarks, but a defense attorney said the judge was “alarmed” at the report.
Late last night, however, Nixon said flatly he did not mean to imply that Manson was guilty.
Nixon made the remarks during an impromptu press briefing at a law enforcement conference in Denver. He criticized the press, saying that it tends to “glorify and to make heroes out of those who engage in criminal activities.”
Referring to the Manson case, Nixon said, “here is a man who was guilty, directly or indirectly, of eight murders without reason.”
Nixon said that “as far as the coverage was concerned [Manson] appeared to be rather a glamorous figure.”
In Los Angeles, defense attorney Paul Fitzgerald told reporters, “If we’re going to have the chief executive of this nation categorically or uncategorically speculate on people’s guilt, we ought to abandon this court system. Maybe President Nixon in a news conference ought to determine whether these people are guilty.”
Thanks to Patterico’s Pontifications we can flash forward to 2015 and another American President, President Plausible notes to “Sixty Minutes” that one of his Federal appointees, Hillary Clinton is under investigation for malfeasance while Secretary of State. She has been caught in repeated lies while under investigation by Federal law enforcement and the Federal Inspector Generals of three different agencies. The lies center on her mishandling of classified material and the cover up surrounding her private e-mail servers. According to President Plausible, Hilary made a mistake Obama on Hillary e-mail scandal. A mistake is wearing brown socks with a gray suit because in the dark they looked black.
The press reaction, crickets. Here is the guy who has politicized the entire Federal criminal justice process sending out a very clear message to investigators, prosecutors and judges, “I’ve got a pen and a telephone (and the power of a pardon). There is not a doubt in my mind that I have sent better men to prison than President Plausible.