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Mythomania, or Pseudologia Fantastica: Boris Johnson and He-who-must-not-be-named: the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone. Lies are hateful to people who value science and the truth.

2020-06-21

picture courtesy of pixabay.com

Reference this opinion piece by Simon Hattenstone in the Guardian on June 21.

The one thing I hate the most, especially from politicians, is lies.  Simon Hattenstone gives a list of Boris Johnson’s most famous lies during his long career and uses the terms “pseudologia fantastica” and “mythomania” to describe his obsession.  Compared with [redacted], Boris is something of an amateur.  [redacted] lies almost every time he opens his mouth.  He even induces people to lie for him: witness Attorney General William Barr.

Friday night, late, Barr announced that Southern District of New York (SDNY) Attorney General Berman had “stepped down” when it wasn’t so, according to Berman.  In fact, Barr had held a discussion with Berman in which he offered him another position in the Administration.  According to Berman, he had declined the offer and the discussion ended without a conclusion.  Barr seems to have jumped the gun and issued a press release saying Berman had resigned.  On Saturday, Berman finally agreed to resign after he was told Berman’s deputy Audrey Strauss would take his place instead of an outsider, New Jersey Attorney General Craig Carpenito– the person Barr had wanted to replace Berman.

It seems that, in having [redacted] fire Berman instead of his voluntarily resigning, the post automatically devolved on Strauss instead of Barr being able to hand-pick his successor.  This is a defeat for Barr and [redacted]– it appears that it was intended that Carpenito would torpedo the investigations Berman is directing against [redacted] and his cronies.

There are several consequential investigations going on at the SDNY, including one that names [redacted] as “Individual 1” in an inquiry into an illegal “campaign contribution” that actually went to pay off one of [redacted]’s mistresses for her silence during the 2016 presidential campaign.  This inquiry includes a subpoena for the president’s financial records from Deutsche Bank which is presently in front of the Supreme Court.  We should hear a decision from the high court this summer as to whether that subpoena can go forward.

In fighting the subpoena, the Justice Department absurdly claimed that SDNY could not even investigate a sitting president, much less indict him for criminality.  This is not exactly a lie, but it certainly stretches credulity to claim that the law or the Constitution prevents a state attorney general from investigating criminal conduct committed by the president of the United States.  Whatever happened to “equality before the law” and “no-one is above the law”?  Defending a liar generally requires the defender to add to the lies.

See also this opinion piece by Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post on June 20: “A Friday night massacre that backfired.”

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