'We now have an all-powerful president' who can do whatever he wants 'with no oversight': Former prosecutor
Donald Trump during CNN debate (Photo: Screen capture via video)

An MSNBC panel discussion with a slate of Republicans and legal scholars lamented that it is clear the Republican Senate is delivering omnipotence to President Donald Trump.


As the impeachment trial took a break, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance explained that the Republican Senate is handing Trump all of the power he wants.

"The problem is [John] Bolton is not just one witness," Vance said. "Bolton testifies and the fear has to be that it opens the door on other witnesses who then have to testify. Whether it's [Mick] Mulvaney, other witnesses Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked for, and maybe the sudden, apparent victory begins to dissolve over time."

She described it as a Franz Kafka novel because "there is no longer a rule of law in the United States Senate, because they have just handed over their ability to engage in oversight of the White House. We now have an all-powerful executive, who can do whatever it wants to do, maybe not as much as Alan Dershowitz thinks it can do, but they can at least make sure that the president is not subject to any legitimate oversight."

Former Republican Party chairman Michael Steele asked what will happen when it is discovered there is additional interference in the election and the White House says they won't do anything.

"Do they step in? No, they're going to fall back," he predicted. "So, what would be ironic is all of the criticism of the Obama administration for his delay in not addressing information as they received it, earlier in 2016 about Russian interference, where do they go with that? They're not even going to address it at all. So, that's where we are, in the Senate and the House at least, the Republicans have said, 'Whatever you want to do, Donald, you're the man. Do it.'"

Former Florida Rep. David Jolly has left the Republican Party in the wake of the GOP being overtaken by Trumpism, but he still has hope and optimism about America, even in the face of the Republican ridiculousness.

"The entire experiment we have of the United States Government is that it is run by temporary custodians," he said. "It will be followed by custodians in the coming years. There is an opportunity for a demand of the next custodians that they do abide by what is a rule of law that does persist throughout our founding documents that should be honored by those who follow."

He believes that if Americans can summon themselves to speak with their votes that there can be a demand of their officials that future laws reflect greater protection against corruption.

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace said that Trump was caught trying to cheat in the next election and asked what Jolly's faith is that Americans will be able to ensure a legitimate process.

"What gives us confidence? What gives us faith?" Jolly asked. "Look at 2018 when people went to the polls and said, 'We are rejecting Trumpism as a leadership style in America.' And I sat right here at this table and said to our colleague Brian Williams, when Donald Trump gave the George Stephanopoulos interview and said, 'Yes I would accept foreign interference' -- a Thomas Paine quote, Thomas Paine said, 'It is exactly for the people who intend to benefit from freedom, they are burdened with absorbing the fatigue of defending it.' This is not going to break us as a nation. We're going to get through this."

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