Some very interesting news has just appeared in recent days in the mainstream press–i.e. NY Times and Wall St. Journal–raising questions about Justice Kennedy’s recent resignation at the last minute before the Supreme Court’s session ended. As is obvious, Kennedy announcing his retirement will enable Trump to appoint a more radical right winger to the Supreme Court before the November 2018 elections. Should Trump lose control of the Senate in November, he might not be able to get another radical right winger through a Senate confirmation process, to give him a 6-3 super majority on the Court. Kennedy’s resignation all but ensures now he will get his second right winger (after Gorsuch last year) and get it approved by the Senate before the November 2018 elections.

But what’s behind Kennedy’s early retirement now, before the November elections, that enables all this to happen?
Justice Kennedy privately went to the White House before his announcement. Why was that necessary? What did he and Trump perhaps discuss? Here’s a possible scenario:

The Mueller Report on Trump will soon be released. My bet is that it will show very close financial connections between Trump and various Russian Oligarchs. The oligarchs loaned Trump large sums of money when US banks would not. It kept Trump’s real estate empire from collapsing. And who knows what else the Oligarchs have on him during Trump’s trips to Moscow before the 2016 elections.

So what does that Trump-Oligarch connection have to do with the Trump-Justice Kennedy connection and Kennedy’s recent surprise resignation?

Deutsche Bank Connection

It happens that the shady global investment bank, Deutsche Bank, known to broker deals under the table and launder money worldwide for elites like Trump, served as the money launderer for Trump and the Russian Oligarchs. And guess who, as senior manager at Deutsche bank, was in charge of the Oligarch-Trump deals? None other than the son of Justice Kennedy. (source: OZY Daily Presidential Brief, ‘Deutsche Bank Fails Federal Reserve Stress Tests’, June 29, 2018).

This raises some interesting questions. Was Kennedy ‘encouraged’ by Trump to resign now so he, Trump, could push through his latest radical candidate for the Supreme Court, to ensure his 6-3 majority? Trump knows Mueller’s report will show his Russian Oligarch connections. Trump will definitely fire Mueller. That’s a done deal already. And he’ll probably fire Rosenstein and others at the Justice Dept. to clean house of his adversaries there (including possibly even Jeff Sessions). It will create a firestorm response. And if he, Trump, loses control of the Senate or the House in November, it will almost certainly result in impeachment proceedings being raised or debated.

But Trump has already publicly declared he has the right to pardon himself under the Constitution. A 6-3 majority Supreme Court will then support his interpretation and likely rule that the president can pardon himself under the US Constitution.

A Trump self-pardon will dispel the fiction that in America no one is ‘above the law’. Trump believes he is, has said so publicly in recent weeks, and he is now setting up a scenario where he will be able to pardon himself. Kennedy’s resignation is one element on the road to that end.

Trump: Neither Fascist Nor Dictator but Tyrant

Progressives and even liberals increasingly today are warning of a kind of ‘creeping fascism’ in the US today, driven by Trump. Or they say that Trump is a dictator. But fascism is a movement resorted to by ruling elites to destroy opposition to them in a crisis by unions, opposition parties, and the press. Trump doesn’t need to resort to physical destruction of his opponents. The Unions are on the run, or all but destroyed already. The Democratic Party has moved so far to the right since Bill Clinton that it has lost its mass base and has become merely a legislative party. It has retreated to enclaves in a few big cities or on the coasts. Its leadership since Clinton has been in the pocket of big moneybags, who are doing all they can to prevent an internal resurrection by Sanders and other grass roots elements. So there are no alternative progressive or liberal forces on the left that are organized to stop Trump that Trump needs to take on ‘in the streets’ to destroy. Trump doesn’t need a fascist movement. He (and the ultra right wing capitalists behind him–i.e. the Mercers, Olins, Adelsons, Kochs, etc.) don’t need it, at least not yet. Trump is winning without it. The traditional capitalist elite who thought they could populate his cabinet and ‘tame’ him, have all been driven out of his administration (Priebus, McMaster, Cohn, Tillerson, and soon to leave Kelly as well). Trump is mobilizing and agitating his domestic political base with his anti-foreigner ‘America First’ ideology–both immigrants and other capitalist globalists in Europe, Canada, Mexico, etc. (America First echoes other ‘foreigners are the problem’ appeals when ‘jews, communists, and gypsies’ were identified as the enemy). The ideology in development may be there with Trump, but the organized fascist movement is not yet.

Nor, contrary to liberal and progressive claims, is Trump yet a ‘dictator’, although he is well on his way to taming the Republican party and reconstructing it as his own. Trump doesn’t need to directly ‘dictate’ laws in lieu of a representative legislature determining the law. His Freedom Caucus friends in the House now do his bidding, his buddy Mitch McConnell in the Senate is in his pocket, and now Trump’s packing of Federal Courts (with the help of McConnell) means Trump is able indirectly to dictate and thereby negate the laws established democratically before him. But he’s not yet a ‘dictator’ in the direct sense. That too is not yet necessary. The form of democracy still remains, even as its content is being significantly destroyed. No, he’s not a fascist nor a dictator yet. He doesn’t have to be to get what he wants.

But what Trump is much nearer to becoming is a Tyrant. He already believes he is ‘above the law’. He even says it publicly. And a politician ‘above the law’ is the classical definition of Tyranny!! Of a Tyrant. Trump is a tyrant in the making. Tyranny is being installed before our very eyes. So what has this to do with the Trump-Justice Kennedy connection?

Trump’s Next Step: Firing Mueller & Self-Pardon

The resignation of Kennedy will enable Trump to take one step closer (now very close) to his avowed desire to be ‘above the law’, a Tyrant. Trump will pardon himself after November if the Mueller report leads to an impeachment–which itself is a long shot. But Trump is taking no chances. Packing the Supreme Court with a solid 6-3 majority in his favor is his way to protect himself against Mueller and a possible impeachment down the road. If charged, Trump will pardon himself. And the Supreme Court 6-3 will rule the US Constitution allows him to self-pardon–that is, to declare himself ‘above the law’, to permit a Trump Tyrannus.

It will be interesting to see if the forthcoming Mueller report says anything about the Kennedy-Deutsche Bank-Russian Oligarchs Trump connections. It should. But don’t count on it. Congress, the Presidency, the media are all held in the lowest esteem by the American people. One of the few democratic fictions left in America is that the US Supreme Court is impartial and not political. That it is not part of the destruction of democracy in the USA that has been developing now for two decades since the Supreme Court in 2000 manipulated the national election to give George W. Bush the presidency that year. Americans forget the role of the Supreme Court in that subversion of Democracy that gave George W. Bush the presidency (and the rest of us the Iraq war, the banking crash of 2008, and the Great Recession that followed).

If anyone thinks that Justice Kennedy’s recent surprise announcement of resignation from the Court is just an individual act and has nothing to do with broader political developments in the US, they are naively deluding themselves. And all the liberal media spin recently that Justice Kennedy was a sometime liberal ‘swing vote’ on the Supreme Court is such bull. He’s the guy that gave us Citizens United and enabled billionaires like Trump and his buddies to buy American democracy and elections, with his 5-4 ‘swing vote’. And his replacement by Trump will be even worse! More brazenly anti-democracy, anti-worker, anti-immigrant, and pro-Trump.

One can only wonder what Justice Kennedy and his son at Deutsche Bank will get out of a deal with Trump? We know what Trump gets.
Dr. Jack Rasmus
copyright 2018

Dr. Jack Rasmus is author of ‘Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression’, Clarity Press, August 2017, and the forthcoming ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism’, Clarity Press, 2018.