President Donald Trump has inadvertently thrown his best Nazi-loving friend and adviser, Steve Bannon, under the proverbial bus. The best part is that Trump did not do this out of spite, but out of stupidity and an astounding ignorance to the laws by which he is bound.
The trouble began when it was announced Trump had cut the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from his National Security Council’s Principals Committee – a shocking and unprecedented move – and installed Steve Bannon, Goldman Sachs alumn, former boss at Breitbart.com, and avowed white supremacist in their place. This, of course, made rational sense in Trump’s bizarro reality to replace a 4-star general and the head of every U.S. intelligence agency with a former conspiracy theorist website editor.
Now it has been discovered through an obscure law that Trump has set up Bannon for a severe session of national humiliation.
Trump foolishly thought that he had circumvented the system by removing individuals who disagree with him and replacing them with his own
sycophant puppet master. However, Trump apparently doesn’t know about 50 U.S. Code § 3021 which says an individual like Bannon must be confirmed by the Senate if he wants to hold such a prestigious seat. The reason Trump did not know about this law is because he knows absolutely nothing about the laws that govern the United States. No other president has attempted to place someone so woefully unqualified for the job on the National Security Council.
Breaking: obscure law requires Sen confirmation for WH aide like Bannon to serve on NSC. 50 U.S. Code § 3021 https://t.co/1sRQEnP3CY
— Jonathan Alter (@jonathanalter) January 31, 2017
In total the language of the law specifically states:
The Council shall be composed of—
(1) the President;
(2) the Vice President;
(3) the Secretary of State;
(4) the Secretary of Defense;
(5) the Secretary of Energy; and
(6) the Secretaries and Under Secretaries of other executive departments and of the military departments, when appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve at his pleasure.
The implications of Bannon having this type of security clearance are terrifying. The National Security Council functions to help the president determine, among other things, who is eligible to be nominated to be placed on the secretive “kill list.” Imagine the vindictive Bannon with the power to legally advise who should or should not be killed with a drone strike, including American citizens, without a trial or even presenting to the public any evidence to support the justification.
Now America’s fearless leader has painted himself into a corner – and it is glorious to behold. He can either admit defeat and withdraw Bannon’s name, which would be the smart play but is impossible for a man like Trump to accept. The other option for Trump is to feed Bannon to the Democratic senatorial wolves, who are surely chomping at the bit to get Bannon under oath for hours of grueling questioning.
Bannon’s entire history would be aired out on national television, including when he was charged for beating his wife, and all of the various conspiracy nonsense he oversaw at Breitbart. Bannon is known for his hair-trigger temper, so the likelihood of an explosion when placed under the hot lights of scrutiny is incredibly high. This scenario should be the preferred of anyone who wishes for Trump to take a hit to his ego, or if they merely enjoy watching a trainwreck.
Furthermore, the Republican party enjoys a razor-thin majority in the Senate, and it would only take a few Republicans to flip against Bannon to block his confirmation. Two of the most likely targets are Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who have both been highly critical of Trump’s foreign policies. It is difficult to imagine them signing up to endorse an oaf like Bannon. Other Republican senators will have to look forward to being grilled by their constituents to explain why they supported Bannon’s nomination. It’s a recipe for disaster and that’s great news for Democrats.
In either regard once again Trump has shown how woefully inept he is at governing the nation, and how uneducated and unprepared he is to deal with various governmental mechanisms. Trump believes he is above the law, but he is now getting a crash course that even the powers of the presidency have their limits.
Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.