The Justice Correspondent for The Nation tells Joy Reid that now is not the time to fear sacrifice. Lawyers must stand up for the law, and those it is supposed to protect.
February 15, 2020

As usual, Joy Reid gathered the best of the esteemed best to discuss the weightiest issues of the day: Glenn Kirschner, Maya Wiley, David Jolly, Elie Mystal, and... and... well, let's not call Sam Nunberg "esteemed," exactly, but you get my meaning. The segment's topic was Bill Barr's and Donald Trump's complete degradation of the Justice Department. No longer a secret, the DOJ is functioning as Trump's personal private law firm, paid for with your tax dollars. No longer quiet are Trump's calls for his criminal pals to be exonerated and his detractors to be jailed. No longer covert are the threats to any legislator or judge who dare cross him with a vote or ruling. We're not traveling the road, people, we're at the Destination Despot.

After Kirschner and Wiley held master classes in strength combined with quietude, Elie Mystal blew the lid off the studio with impassioned (and frankly, righteous) calls for mass DOJ resignations. The former are brilliant at making you quake in your boots with a quiet condemnation or a raised eyebrow, and the latter blasts the grand slam to get you on your feet. Reid, Kirschner, and Wiley all expressed empathy with the plight of prosecutors now in the position of having to consider consequences of doing their jobs with impartiality and protection of the people in mind. But Mystal was like, "Yeah, yeah, me, too, but these people can get jobs ANYWHERE, OKAY? They need to get in the DAMN STREETS!"

MYSTAL: He's tampered with all the witnesses and he's going to continue to do it. I don't care what he tweets, at who, or what Barr said. It's all theater, they're all liars, I do not care what they say. What I care about is what we're going to DO about it. Everybody here knows that what Barr is doing is immoral, illegal and unjust. We've known that since the moment that he was appointed. We've known that since November when he gave a speech to the Federalist Society announcing his view of executive power. We know what Barr is. So what are we going to do about it? I applaud the prosecutors who have resigned over the stone case. That's FOUR guys. There are five thousand federal prosecutors across 94 offices in this nation. If 2,000 of them resign tomorrow, THAT would be a thing.

And I agree with Glenn. I agree that it's a tough call. I agree with you, Joy, that we're asking a lot of people to put their careers on the line to protest this authoritarian despot but, you know what? During authoritarianism much must be asked, and we are in a situation where much must be asked with the will and strength to stand up to this man. And so, that is where I feel like we are. If we're going to do something, we need a thousand people out of D.C., out of New York, out of San Francisco, who can ALL get jobs tomorrow, high-paying law jobs tomorrow. We need them to stand NOW, we need them to say, "Enough is enough," and we need them to resign. We need protests in the streets.We need to do all that we have left to do, which is to shout and scream and shake our fists against the dying of the light.

And the light is dying. We cannot allow the people who have been doing the dangerous, draining work of standing up to this psycho-ruler (Adam Schiff, Marie Yovanovitch, the thousands of less famous resisters) to remain unsupported by those of us who can sacrifice but have not. "During authoritarianism, much must be asked."

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