With each new revelation, Donald Trump and his campaign move the goalposts in the Russia investigation. At first there was the flat denial that anyone in the campaign had contacts with the Russians. Then the campaign had to concede, OK there were contacts with the Russians, but we did not discuss collusion. Then it was revealed that the Trump campaign did attempt to collude with the Russians to “get dirt” on Hillary Clinton, but the campaign was unsuccessful in obtaining that information, so “we’re good.”
Trump and his apologists appear to be unaware of “inchoate” crimes—attempts, conspiracy, and solicitation—actions that fall short of the final act of commission, but may still be a prosecutable crime.
George Papadapolous has already plead guilty for lying to the FBI about his multiple contacts with the Russians to “get dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Papadapolous reported on his activities to several senior Trump campaign officials: his supervisor Sam Clovis, then campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, subsequent campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, and foreign policy adviser Walid Phares. Who’s who in the George Papadopoulos court documents (there are additional persons not identified).
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Scandals, War
Tagged abuse of power, Cyber Crime, Cyber War, Department of Justice, FBI, Foreign Policy, Impeachment, Intelligence Agencies, National Security, obstruction of justice, Presidential Pardons, propaganda, Russia, Special Counsel
The Washington Post recently editorialized, Trump pulls another stunt of cynical distraction:
The party in power is demanding the investigation and possible prosecution of its defeated political rival on trumped-up claims of wrongdoing. This is what happens in banana republics, not the world’s greatest democracy. Even if this is just a strategy to divert attention, it is unbecoming of the leaders of a rule-of-law state and a disservice to their oaths.
The authoritarian wannabe autocrat Donald Trump has gone full banana republic in the past few days, pressuring his Attorney General and the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute his “defeated political rival on trumped-up claims of wrongdoing” or, once again, he is threatening to fire Jeff Sessions for not using his office to pursue his political rivals. Trump breaches boundaries by saying DOJ should be ‘going after’ Democrats:
President Trump on Friday repeatedly called on the Department of Justice and FBI to investigate his Democratic political opponents, a breach of the traditional executive branch boundaries designed to prevent the criminal justice system from becoming politicized.
Trump urged federal law enforcement to “do what is right and proper” by launching criminal probes of former presidential rival Hillary Clinton and her party — a surprising use of his bully pulpit considering he acknowledged a day earlier that presidents are not supposed to intervene in such decisions.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Conspiracy Theory, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Ethics, GOP War On..., Justice, Law Enforcement, Media, Party Politics, President, Scandals
Tagged abuse of power, banana republic, Impeachment, obstruction of justice
Senator Bob Corker is a “Reconstructed” Southerner from the former Confederate state of Tennessee. He rejects the institutional racism, violence and terrorism of white supremacy that is the heritage of slavery and Jim Crow in the old South.
Sen. Corker is the first GOP senator of whom I am aware to finally come out and say what everyone is thinking and knows to be true: Trump has not demonstrated ‘stability’ or ‘competence’ to lead effectively:
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has been one of the most outspoken GOP Trump critics in Congress, expressed displeasure with Trump’s response to the deadly weekend violence in Charlottesville and warned that if the president does not change his behavior, “our nation is going to go through great peril.”
“The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,” the senator told reporters in Tennessee. “And we need for him to be successful.”
Corker’s remarks came on a day when at least two other Republican senators — Tim Scott (S.C.) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska) — also faulted the president. Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, said in an interview with Vice News that Trump’s “moral authority is compromised.”
In his interview with Vice News, Scott said: “What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority. And that moral authority is compromised when Tuesday happens. There’s no question about that.” Tuesday was when Trump said, “I think there’s blame on both sides.”
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Elections, Ethics, Party Politics, President, Racism, Religion, Scandals, Terrorism
Tagged 25th Amendment, Impeachment
Last Friday Donald Trump’s Tweet alleged secretly recorded “tapes” of his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey.
Tuesday night we learned that James Comey can say “I’ll see your alleged tape recordings, and raise you the contemporaneous memorandums of conversations that I maintain to cover my ass. And I want to testify in both public and private hearings before Congress.”
If Trump was bluffing about his “tapes,” now’s the time for him to fold. He’s about to lose this hand “bigly.”
The New York Times reported, Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation:
President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.
“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.
This is the basis for an obstruction of justice charge.
Mr. Comey created similar memos — including some that are classified — about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said. It is unclear whether Mr. Comey told the Justice Department about the conversation or his memos.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Corruption, Crime, Ethics, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Scandals
Tagged Impeachment, obstruction of justice, witness intimidation
I am still on vacation visiting relatives during what has been a busy news week.
The most important developments from last week were the New York Times report on Donald Trump’s insistence of personal loyalty from FBI Director James Comey, as if he is a mafia Godfather insisting on the code of omertà; Trump’s interview with Lester Holt of NBC in which he essentially made a public admission of obstruction of justice; and Trump’s threatening Tweet to fired FBI director James Comey about “tapes” of their alleged conversations.
Trump cannot control his own destructive impulses from acting out on intimidation of witnesses and obstruction of justice — Count One of the Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon.
Here is a good summary from New York Magazine. Trump Asked Comey for Loyalty a Day After He Was Warned About Flynn:
Unsatisfied with his press office’s handling of the fallout from the firing of FBI Director James Comey, on Thursday night President Trump took matters into his own hands — and made things much, much worse.
Though their story kept shifting, for days White House officials stuck to their claim that Comey was fired because the president and top Justice Department officials felt he was doing a bad job, not because of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible Russia ties.
Then in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump proclaimed that he had actually decided to fire Comey regardless of what Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommended — and the Russia probe was on his mind.
“In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said [self], ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,’” the president said.
Trump speaking about himself in the third person is your first clue that this Dude is bonkers.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Election Integrity, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Scandals
Tagged Impeachment, obstruction of justice, witness intimidation
The Rush Limbaugh of The Republic, Doug MacEachern, was pushing the GOP narrative last week that all this impeachment talk is just Democrats trying to rally their base and raise buckets of money. Dems chant: Impeach him, please!
MacEachern has never been one to let the facts get in the way of mindlessly parroting GOP talking points. Apparently he has not run across the ‘Impeachment Store’ that sells all things Impeachment (graphic).
For the love of God, will someone please buy a gold pocket watch and a cake and throw Doug a surprise retirement party — then have security escort him out of the building! This guy has degraded the value of The Republic as a credible news source for far too long.
Iowa Congressman Steve King admitted today on, where else, FAUX News Sunday, that the Tea Party Caucus non-compromise border emergency funding bill that he drafted was just a set-up for what Tea-Publicans really want: to impeach the president. It is their way of saying, “Go ahead, make my day. Take action on immigration on your own and we will file articles of impeachment.”
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Elections, Immigration, Legislation, Media, Party Politics, President, Racism, Scandals