Nel's New Day

February 5, 2020

Profiles in Courage

Only one Republican senator voted to convict Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in one of the two articles of impeachment, abuse of power. When Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) gave a speech on the floor of the Senate to explain his vote, only three Democrats and two Republicans, one of them there to preside over the Senate, were present. Yet the transcript and video of Romney’s have gone viral. DDT was so upset by both the vote and his speech that he disinvited reporters to join him in a meeting with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

Mitt Romney’s speech about his vote against DDT:

The Constitution is at the foundation of our Republic’s success, and we each strive not to lose sight of our promise to defend it. The Constitution established the vehicle of impeachment that has occupied both houses of Congress for these many days. We have labored to faithfully execute our responsibilities to it. We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other’s good faith.

The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a Senator-juror, I swore an oath, before God, to exercise “impartial justice.” I am a profoundly religious person. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the President, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

The House Managers presented evidence supporting their case; the White House counsel disputed that case. In addition, the President’s team presented three defenses: first, that there can be no impeachment without a statutory crime; second, that the Bidens’ conduct justified the President’s actions; and third that the judgement of the President’s actions should be left to the voters. Let me first address each of those defenses.

The historic meaning of the words “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the writings of the Founders and my own reasoned judgement convince me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they are not statutory crimes, they would demand removal from office. To maintain that the lack of a codified and comprehensive list of all the outrageous acts that a president might conceivably commit renders Congress powerless to remove a president defies reason.

The President’s counsel noted that Vice President Biden appeared to have a conflict of interest when he undertook an effort to remove the Ukrainian Prosecutor General. If he knew of the exorbitant compensation his son was receiving from a company actually under investigation, the Vice President should have recused himself. While ignoring a conflict of interest is not a crime, it is surely very wrong.

With regards to Hunter Biden, taking excessive advantage of his father’s name is unsavory but also not a crime. Given that in neither the case of the father nor the son was any evidence presented by the President’s counsel that a crime had been committed, the President’s insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit. There is no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the President would never have done what he did.

The defense argues that the Senate should leave the impeachment decision to the voters. While that logic is appealing to our democratic instincts, it is inconsistent with the Constitution’s requirement that the Senate, not the voters, try the president. Hamilton explained that the Founders’ decision to invest senators with this obligation rather than leave it to voters was intended to minimize—to the extent possible—the partisan sentiments of the public.

This verdict is ours to render. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfilled our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the President committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

Yes, he did.

The President asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival.

The President withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so.

The President delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders.

The President’s purpose was personal and political.

Accordingly, the President is guilty of an appalling abuse of the public trust.

What he did was not “perfect”— No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security interests, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.

In the last several weeks, I have received numerous calls and texts. Many demand that, in their words, “I stand with the team.” I can assure you that that thought has been very much on my mind. I support a great deal of what the President has done. I have voted with him 80% of the time. But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented, and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.

I am aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters, I will be vehemently denounced. I am sure to hear abuse from the President and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?

I sought to hear testimony from John Bolton not only because I believed he could add context to the charges, but also because I hoped that what he said might raise reasonable doubt and thus remove from me the awful obligation to vote for impeachment.

Like each member of this deliberative body, I love our country. I believe that our Constitution was inspired by Providence. I am convinced that freedom itself is dependent on the strength and vitality of our national character. As it is with each senator, my vote is an act of conviction. We have come to different conclusions, fellow senators, but I trust we have all followed the dictates of our conscience.

I acknowledge that my verdict will not remove the President from office. The results of this Senate Court will in fact be appealed to a higher court: the judgement of the American people. Voters will make the final decision, just as the President’s lawyers have implored. My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate. But irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability, believing that my country expected it of me. I will only be one name among many, no more or less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the President did was wrong, grievously wrong.

We’re all footnotes at best in the annals of history. But in the most powerful nation on earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that is distinction enough for any citizen.

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) denied that his vote to convict DDT was a “profile in courage,” but he is running for reelection this year in a very red state. He said, “It is simply a matter of right and wrong. Doing right is not a courageous act.”

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) explained her vote against DDT to the Arizona Republic:

“The facts are clear — security aid was withheld from Ukraine in an attempt to benefit the president’s political campaign. While White House attorneys claim this behavior is not serious, it is dangerous to the fundamental principles of American democracy to use the power of the federal government for personal or political gain.”

The irony of her statement is that at least ten GOP senators agree with her first sentence, but they still voted to acquit with a variety of justifications for DDT. One excuse will come back soon to bite them–that he’s learned his lesson. Proponents of this flawed argument include Sens. Lamar Alexander (TN), John Boozman (AR), Mike Braun (IN), Sherry Capito (WV), Susan Collins (ME), John Cornyn (TX), Joni Ernst (IA), James Lankford (OK), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Rob Portman (OH), and others expressed concern about DDT’s actions.  [A few hours after her vote to acquit, Collins admitted she was probably wrong.] DDT has learned his lesson–that he can do anything and Republicans will cover for him. These senators, part of what Chief Justice John Roberts called “the greatest deliberative body in the world,” will go down in history with their profiles of cowardice. 

 

January 31, 2020

‘We Don’t Want to Hear the Truth’

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said:

“If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost. If truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost. The framers couldn’t protect us from ourselves if right and truth don’t matter.”

On Friday, January 31, 2020 at 5:42 pm, Republicans cast 51 votes in favor of having a trial with no witnesses, no documents, and no debate. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) voted for witnesses; retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he would vote against witnesses because he had heard enough. Like other Republicans, Alexander said that the actions of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) aren’t “impeachable.”

The entire world has now watched Republicans ignore the U.S. Constitution. Even Chief Justice John Roberts has come out as a loser. Despite his measured demeanor, his face fell when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked

“Does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court and the Constitution?”

Since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry, Democrats gave Republican lawmakers everything that they asked for the process. When Democrats met GOP requirements, Republicans changed their demands. By the end, Republicans resorted to the “so what” decision: DDT did what he was charged with, but his actions, which violated the U.S. Constitution, didn’t go beyond “inappropriate” or “improper.”

The possibility of former national security council adviser John Bolton being called as a witness frightened GOP senators. They wanted “first-hand witnesses” but rejected a person who was present when DDT issued his orders. Reporting has already provided enough information from Bolton’s forthcoming book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, to know that his testimony can make DDT look guilty.

According to Bolton, DDT did try to extort Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing a Biden investigation in exchange for DDT releasing congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine—and ordered Bolton to tell Zelensky to meet with DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to issue the threat last May. Bolton said he didn’t make the call, but his statement adds to the timeline of Ukraine’s knowledge about the withholding of aid. New reporting also cites the presence of acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and Giuliani in the room with Bolton and DDT when the order was given. All four of the officials with DDT would be “first-hand” witnesses.

If Bolton’s narrative is true, Cipollone could be disbarred because he took part as a lawyer in a proceedings where he was potentially a “fact witness,” having observed the events of the trial. The lawyer who is supposed to represent the office of the president and not the person in the Oval Office failed to disclose that he witnessed the crime from which he is defending DDT even after House Managers wrote Cipollone ten days ago demanding that he dislose all first-hand facts and information before the trial.

Bolton’s book has much more about DDT. He called DDT “mentally unstable” and said that DDT would pull the U.S. out of NATO if he is reelected. Bolton wrote about DDT giving favors to autocratic leaders like Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Xi Jinping of China. He also wrote that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo knew about the smear effort against Ambassador Yovanovitch, Giuliani’s claims about her being false, and Giuliani’s work on behalf of others. Last September, Bolton asked House Democrats to investigate DDT’s firing of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in September before the impeachment inquiry, contrary to DDT’s claim that Bolton stayed quiet about his concerns regarding Ukraine.

DDT’s first attempt to shut up Bolton was to tweet about his “nasty & untrue book.” Joined by officials in danger of Bolton’s testimony such as Pompeo and Mulvaney, DDT described Bolton as a departed, disgruntled government employee. Former acting chief of staff John Kelly, however, disagrees: “If John Bolton says that in the book, I believe John Bolton.” DDT’s next step was to block the book from its March 17 release on the basis of “classified information.” Defined broadly, the term could be making DDT’s “job very hard” if foreign leaders find out he doesn’t have a “positive” opinion of them. DDT thinks all information making him look bad is “classified.”

Before GOP senators denied all witnesses, Lev Parnas’ lawyer wrote Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about Parnas’ evidence regarding DDT’s involvement with the Ukraine debacle: personal knowledge and evidence including text messages, phone records, documentary evidence, and travel records. Parnas’ information directly involves not only those cited by Bolton but also other top Republicans such as VP Mike Pence, AG Bill Barr, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Nunes’ adviser Derek Harvey, journalist John Solomon, attorneys Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, and pro-DDT super PAC America First.

In testimony about DDT’s pressure on Bolton to help push Zelensky into an announcement into investigating Biden, Parnas would testify to:

  • His trips to Ukraine “to directly convey the president’s alleged ‘quid pro quo.’”
  • Times and places where he overheard Giuliani talk to DDT along with Parnas’ direct interaction with DDT.
  • His meeting with a top Zelenskiy aide when Parnas communicated the conveyed the quid pro quo.
  • A conversation between Giuliani and then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry that communicated DDT’s arrangement
  • His trip with Giuliani to Madrid to meet with Zelenskiy aide Andrey Yermak.
  • Coordination during the UN General Assembly in September 2019 when Zelenskiy met with DDT.
  • The origins of his relationships with DDT and Giuliani.
  • His actions “at all times” “at the direction of Mr. Giuliani, on behalf of the president,” and with DDT’s knowledge about these demands on Ukraine.

Alan Dershowitz—Fox contributor, Jeffrey Epstein and O.J. Simpson lawyer, and member of DDT’s legal team, gave Republicans the reason that they will acquit DDT:

“Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest. And if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.

“’I want to be elected. I think I’m a great president. I think I’m the greatest president there ever was. If I’m not elected the national interest will suffer greatly.’ That cannot be impeachable.”

Garry Kasparov, Chair of the Human Rights Foundation tweeted:

“Dershowitz is actually making the King Louis XIV argument right now! Trump is good for the country, so anything he does to stay in power is the national interest, even if corrupt or illegal. That’s the language of every king & dictator: I am the end and the means justify me.”

In an attempt for backup, Dershowitz frequently cited Harvard Law School professor Nikolas Bowie as agreeing with Dershowitz’s arguments. Bowie labels his arguments for acquitting DDT as “irresponsible and ludicrous.” Bowie said, “Abuse of power is a crime” and followed up by stating that people are convicted of this criminal offense. Dershowitz’s standard of “national interest” allows DDT to “order the military to start rounding up black people because he’s afraid of losing the next election.” Or a president could promise a federal job to a state election official who selectively suppresses the opponents’ votes or paying people to spread false information. Or withhold tax dollars for his personal gain to push a foreign country into helping him with his reelection.

Acquitting DDT, as GOP senators are wont to do, permits presidents to do all this and more because this trial sets that precedent—at least for DDT. Dershowitz claimed in his book The Case against Impeaching Trump that a president can give Alaska back to Russia without being impeached. A president could even allow Russia to annex the entire United States, according to Dershowitz’s standard.

Dershowitz protested the media coverage of his statements. He tweeted:

“They characterized my argument as if I had said that if a president believes that his reelection was in the national interest, he can do anything. I said nothing like that.”

He claimed that his absence from the trial on the day after his “national interest” speech was because of a prior commitment and that DDT’s legal team “begged me to stay.”

Even the editorial board of the conservative National Review disagrees with Dershowitz, stating “that the Framers did not intend to limit impeachable offenses to certain statutory crimes and their close kin.” With Dershowitz’s standard, “the president could subvert the Constitution itself,” something that the Constitution does not permit.

Senators are scheduled to vote on the two articles of impeachment against DDT on Wednesday, the day after he gives his State of the Union speech. Giuliani must be making plane reservations to Ukraine in order to continue his pressure on Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. And DDT will be able to do anything he wants.

January 27, 2020

Impeachment Defense Concentrates on Revisionist History, Lies

Republicans have blocked former national security adviser John Bolton from testifying, but in his forthcoming book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, Bolton wrote that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) told him he wanted to continue freezing military aid to Ukraine until their officials investigated Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Bolton’s book also implicates Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, AG Bill Barr, DOJ Secretary Mark Esper, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and DDT’s private secretary Rudy Giuliani. Because DDT’s defense team testified under oath before the Senate that there is no evidence of DDT’s tying Ukraine aid to investigations, they may be in jeopardy of criminal perjury charges or legal disciplinary actions because they knew what was in Bolton’ book since December 30. 

The White House received only one copy of Bolton’s book, but reports show that multiple copies are being passed around, resulting in multiple leaks. For example, Bolton told Barr about his concerns about DDT’s granting personal favors to the autocratic leaders of Turkey and China.

Complaining about the impeachment, DDT tweets lies such as this one:

“The Democrat House would not give us lawyers, or not one witness, but now demand that the Republican Senate produce the witnesses that the House never sought, or even asked for? They had their chance, but pretended to rush. Most unfair & corrupt hearing in Congressional history!”

A headline from last month: “White House rejects House Democrats’ invitation to participate in impeachment process as Trump focuses on friendly Senate.” DDT has also provided no definition for “corrupt hearing.” Every time Republicans complain about “unfair,” the Democrats offer them involvement in the impeachment process, Republicans turn them down and continue to cry “unfair.”

DDT will be even unhappier with the Fox after it published an op-ed by its consultant Andrew Napolitano stating “ample” evidence exists to remove DDT from office, that DDT is wrong about his “hoax” defense:

“What is required for removal of the president? A demonstration of presidential commission of high crimes and misdemeanors, of which in Trump’s case the evidence is ample and uncontradicted.”

With no evidence to refute last week’s House presentation, DDT’s defense strategy began with anger at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), head of the prosecutorial House Managers, and lies from Russian propaganda and conspiracy theories. The defense team is so desperate that it used video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) handing out pens from her signing of the articles of impeachment as “evidence” of something. An analysis of today’s defense performance. Knowing that Bolton’s book is disastrous to the defense, the team spent much of Monday smearing Joe and Hunter Biden with misrepresentations of the Burisma affair and revisionist history before television personality channeled the Founding Fathers to explain why no one can impeach a president. One of the team did admit the July 25 telephone call between DDT and Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky was less than “perfect” but moved on to say that DDT didn’t know any better and that it’s not impeachable. 

The defense team spent two hours on Saturday with its outline of lies:

  • He did not commit an “impeachable offense.” [Constitutional experts disagree.]
  • No witness has said the military aid was withheld to force an investigation of his political opponents. [DDT blocked any witnesses who might provide this information, but he did block aid. The defense supports an argument for witnesses.]
  • House managers are hiding evidence that exonerates DDT. [Again, no evidence.]

More Lies:  

Fiction: DDT released the “actual transcript” of the July 25 telephone call between DDT and Zelensky. Fact: The public has only a “memorandum of telephone conversation.” The “actual transcript” is concealed on the government’s highest security computer.

Fiction: DDT didn’t condition either security assistance or a meeting in the telephone call. Fact: The public doesn’t know because the complete transcript was not released.

Fiction: Zelensky didn’t state a quid pro quo. Fact: Zelensky had to be careful to not upset DDT, but a video shows DDT saying that he conditioned aid on the demand that Zelensky help him “investigate” Biden. DDT and his private lawyer Rudy Giuliani threatened to withhold a White House meeting from Zelensky to force him to announce investigations into Joe Biden when addressing Gordon Sondland’s claim that there was a “quid pro quo.” Sondland testified that he was acting on DDT’s behalf when he offered the trade of military aid for Zelensky’s announcement about an investigation into Biden.

Fiction: No witness testified that DDT said that there was any “connection between any investigation and security assistance, a presidential meeting, or anything else.” Fact: Several witnesses, including Sondland and Alexander Vindman, said that Trump had made a such a connection. DDT is blocking other witnesses who can testify about any “connection.”

Fiction: Ukraine made no announcement about investigations before the military aid was released on September 11. Fact: Aid was released after a whistleblower complaint “caught” DDT and the news went public.

Fiction: Zelensky didn’t know about the freeze on military aid until a month after the telephone call. Fact: The Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister said that Ukraine was aware of a U.S. freeze in military aid as early as July, and Zelensky discussed DDT’s reluctance to release the aid as early as May 7

Fiction: Democrats are trying to overturn the 2016 election. Fact: Impeachment doesn’t overturn an election.

Fiction: Democrats are trying to keep “the people” from electing DDT in 2020. Fact: Democrats are trying to keep foreign governments from election a president in 2020 the way that they did in 2016.

The brevity of defense  on Saturday allowed a larger audience when the team returned Monday. A few Republicans said that defense “shredded” the House managers’ arguments—but not how. In fact, the defense “shredded” the U.S. Constitution. As Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated in a press conference following the two hours that the defense is “trying to deflect, distract from, and distort the truth.” 

Another bogus GOP argument is that Democrats refuse to call Hunter and Joe Biden. One suggestion is that GOP senators will call a Democratic-chosen witness in exchange for calling Hunter Biden. With 53 votes, GOP Senators can do anything they want in the impeachment trial, including a subpoena for Hunter Biden, but Senate Majority Leader McConnell thus far convinced DDT that calling these witnesses could backfire on him.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is feeling the stress of the political climate. According to NPR correspondent Mary Louise Kelly, Pompeo said that he has defended “every State Department official” and then cut off the interview, leaving the room. An aide returned and took Kelly to Pompeo’s private living room where she said that he screamed and used the F word frequently. “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?” After Kelly said she could find Ukraine on the map, in response to Pompeo’s question, he demanded she do so on a map with no writing. [He evidently keeps one with him.] Kelly followed his directions. Later she released information about the interaction because Pompeo did not say that it was off the record. 

Pompeo didn’t deny his behavior but issued a statement lambasting the media and claiming that Kelly lied about not being off the record. He concluded with “Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine.” This statement may be a false insinuation that Kelly couldn’t identify Ukraine on an unmarked map—a juvenile demand—that adds to Pompeo’s many other lies. Kelly, a former national security reporter with a master’s degree in European Studies from Cambridge University, would not have selected a country (lower right) 3,000 miles from Ukraine (upper left). NPR is standing behind Kelly’s account of her exchange with Pompeo.

DDT is now threatening to do away with NPR to protect Pompeo. Pompeo’s lying, cursing, and abuse of the media appears to exemplify evangelical Christian values; he will give the commencement speech for Liberty University on May 9.

As Pelosi said, “All roads lead to Putin.” DDT’s acceptance of foreign election aid from Russia that has been made public:

June 9, 2016: Secret meeting between a Russian emissary and Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort seeking “dirt” on DDT’s opponent Hillary Clinton.

June 14, 2016: Russian government hackers gained access to DNC email and chat traffic; DDT echoed Russian denial of being the perpetrators and accused the DNC of trying to “distract.”

July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks dumped tens of thousands of stolen emails and documents, and DDT again denied that Russia did the hacking.

July 27, 2016: DDT calls on Russia to find Clinton’s “missing” emails, and five hours later Russian government hackers tried to break into emails tied to Clinton and her personal office.

Summer 2016: DDT’s campaign attempted a secret connection with the Russian government after cybersecurity experts and U.S. intelligence agencies identified Russia as responsible into the DNC hacking.

Early August 2016: Manafort shared internal campaign polling data with a Russian asset and discussed a pro-Putin peace plan for Ukraine.

Mid-August 2016: DDT received federal intelligence about Russian hacking but publicly and repeatedly denied that it happened, parroting Vladimir Putin’s false claims. DDT also lied about having no business in Russia.

October 2016: Immediately after the release of the “pussy grabbing” video, Wikileaks daily released hacked emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, and DDT repeatedly declared he “loved” WikiLeaks with its foreign intervention in the election. The recent trial of DDT’s adviser Roger Stone shows DDT tried to use him as a contact with WikiLeaks.

Since his election, DDT continuously denies any Russian involvement based on Putin’s disavowals, asks for China’s help in investigating political opponent Biden, and states that he would see no problem in getting damaging information on candidates from foreign governments.

In supreme irony, DDT, the man with the motto “America First,” is being impeached because he won’t put the United States first.

January 24, 2020

A Potpourri of Impeachment Quotations

Filed under: impeachment,Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 4:11 PM
Tags: , ,

“Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”—Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) reportedly at a private dinner about then U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in a conversation with Lev Parnas (who DDT said he didn’t know) and Igor Fruman. [A president has the power to “fire” anyone in an open, civilized manner without sounding like a mob leader.]

“It was all about 2020, to make sure [Trump] had another four years.”—Lev Parnas describing the Ukrainian scandal which he observed from the inside.

“One good thing about surrounding yourself with tawdry gangsters and grifters is that if they flip on you, you can claim they have no credibility because they’re criminals.”—Michelle Goldberg, writing about Lev Parnas’ statements about DDT. She also cited Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, Rudy Giuliani, and Robert Hyde who texted about surveilling Marie Yovanovitch when she was U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

“Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.”—a warning for Republican Senators during the impeachment trial.

“All I can tell you is from the president’s point of view, he did nothing wrong in his mind.”—Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chair of the Judiciary Committee, about DDT’s actions.

“How has the president largely avoided the consequences of his corruption? By employing the methods of his mentor Roy Cohn. Admit nothing. Stonewall investigators. Defy subpoenas. Viciously attack opponents. Flood the zone with exculpatory lies. Feel no shame. Show no mercy. Claim anything short of prison to be complete exoneration.”—Michael Gerson.

“So far what [head impeachment manager Adam Schiff] has said we’ve heard before.”—Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) after he voted multiple time for no new information.

“With me, there’s no lying.”—DDT, before he gave 14 more falsehoods.

“That’s not a crime…. We felt that in that episode the government would not be able to establish obstruction… To be obstruction of justice the lie has to be tied to impairing the evidence in a particular proceeding.”—AG Bill Barr about DDT telling former White House counsel Don McGahn to lie to investigators about Trump instructing him to remove Mueller.

“The Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy.”—Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). [In 1803, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us.”]

“Impeachment is the Constitution’s final answer to a president who mistakes himself as a king.”–Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).

“Donald Trump must be convicted and removed from office. Because he will always choose his own personal interest over our national interest. Because in America, right matters. Truth matters. If not, no Constitution can protect us. If not, we are lost.”—Rep. Adam Schiff (R-CA) in his closing statements at the end of the impeachment trial’s Day Three

“President Trump’s arguments in the impeachment trial contradict DOJ’s assertion in this case that the Committee may not seek to enforce its subpoenas in court.”— House Counsel Douglas Letter to an appeals court regarding Jay Sekulow’s argument that the House should have gotten witnesses before the trial. [Despite a court order to the contrary, the DOJ blocked the testimony of former White House counsel McGahn, arguing that federal judges should stay out of disputes between Congress and the executive branch.]

“There was all this discussion about why the President was suspicious of some of his intelligence information, some of the leaders he was dealing with within his own government. Well, the No. 3 at the Department of Justice, his wife was working for a firm that was working on a dossier against the sitting President of the United States … we’re concerned about it.”—Jay Sekulow, showing that DDT’s defense will be procedural rather than based on any evidence that DDT is innocent of the charges. [The DOJ inspector general said reported that “No. 3” had nothing to do with the FBI opening an investigation into the connection between DDT’s campaign and Russia.]

“You seem fixated on this storyline about this inquiry.”—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when questioned about his lack of support for State Department employee Yovanovitch

The United States has had 15 full impeachment trials in the Senate, two of them for presidents. All of them had witnesses. The Senate heard from seven witnesses at Walter Nixon’s trial who had not testified before the House; three at Clinton’s trial who also had not testified before the House; and 17 at Porteous’s trial who had not testified before the House.

People have protested the Electoral College because a minority of people in the United States, 63 million, put DDT in the Oval Office over the wishes of the majority, 66 million people. The same situation exists in the Senate. The 53 senators who defeated amendments to have witnesses, subpoena first-hand witnesses, and present new information represent only 153 million people while the outvoted 47 senators represent 168 million people. These 53 senators oppose the majority of people in the U.S. who want witnesses to testify in the Senate’s impeachment trial. In 2018, Democratic Senate candidates won the popular vote by eight points, 54 to 46 percent, but Republicans picked up two additional seats in the Senate. The reason for this imbalance of power comes from the Founding Father who protected slave-owner states when they wrote the Constitution. The 34 senators who can block DDT’s removal from the Oval Office can represent only seven percent of the nation’s population. Seven percent of the U.S. population can keep a corrupt president who believes that he has the right to seek foreign aid to be elected.

DDT’s legal team is scheduled to begin its 24 hours of presentation on Saturday after the 24-hour allotment for House managers. Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) surmised that DDT’s lawyers will wait until Monday because Fox viewers watch less on the weekend. She was almost right: DDT’s defense plans about two hours on Saturday and wait until Monday for a longer presentation. DDT called Saturday, “Death Valley in T.V.” After the defense team closes, senators have 16 hours for questions before a vote on additional witnesses and evidence. McConnell will undoubtedly keep his caucus to his personal schedule, acquitting DDT before his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, February 4.

Schiff said that if DDT were not stopped, he would continue his corruption and extortion. Schiff was right, for example DDT’s threat to withhold federal funding from California unless the state drops its requirement that private insurers cover abortions. This is money allocated to the state that was sent to the federal government in taxes. Five other states have the same requirement as California for insurers.

Opinion favoring impeachment of DDT, his removal from office, and need for witnesses in a trial have slowly crept higher, but polarization has remained between the two sides. A study from Pew Research purports that opinions come from media that people watch. Research used 30 news sources running the gamut from Rush Limbaugh to the New York Times. The few news outlets that Republican trust were on the list of those that Democrats distrust, including Fox network and radio programs from Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In the November 2019 survey, at least one-third of Republicans received political or election news from only Fox network, but one-third of Democrats got the same news from five different sources—CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, and MSNBC.

Almost two-thirds of Republicans and leaner trust Fox as a source, and 60 percent found political or election news from that source in the previous week. Among Democrats and leaners, 67 percent trust CNN, and 53 percent got news from that source. The difference in news outlet trust is even higher among conservative Republican and liberal Democrats, and the partisan divides grew in the past five years although the Democrats’ levels of trust and distrust has changed much less that those of Republicans. The report has a wealth of information.

Fox promised gavel-to-gavel video of the impeachment trial, but last night, it ran the trial in a small box at the corner without audio while Tucker Carlson smeared Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a U.S. patriot who testified to what he heard on DDT’s so-called “perfect” telephone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 when he extorted Zelensky for an investigation into DDT’s political rival, Joe Biden. Sean Hannity played a few clips of Schiff which he called “mindless rambling.” To Fox, gavel-to-gavel means about 22 seconds during prime time. And that’s all that most Republicans know about the impeachment trial.

December 24, 2019

Holidays Don’t Stop Impeachment Talk

‘Tis the season for Republicans to rail about impeachment. Comments from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) are becoming more vicious, and GOP lawmakers are downright grumpy. 

The day before Richard Nixon’s resignation, Rep. Earl Landgrebe (IN) gave Republicans their line for supporting Dictator Donald Trump (DDT):

Don’t confuse me with the facts. I’ve got a closed mind. I will not vote for impeachment. I’m going to stick with my president even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot.”

Republicans will ignore a newly released email revealed in a lawsuit showing that 91 minutes after DDT got off the phone with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on July 25, the Defense Department was ordered to withhold military aid to a country being invaded at the time by Russia. In the order, Office of Management and Budget’s Michael Duffey asked the Pentagon to keep quiet about the order due to its “sensitive nature.” That directive breaks the law although Duffey lied about the hold being “programmatic”—consistent with congressional intent. It wasn’t, and Duffey refuses to testify about his actions. The email also doesn’t justify withholding congressionally-appropriated funds or hiding the information.

Other witnesses DDT ordered to not testify:

DDT’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani: DDT ordered Giuliani to create the plan, find dirt on the Bidens, and participate in the quid pro quo.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney: He said DDT withheld the aid to Ukraine as leverage for DDT.

Former national security adviser John Bolton: He “was personally involved in many of the events, meetings, and conversations about which you have already received testimony, as well as many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed in the testimonies thus far,” according to his lawyer.

Acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russell Vought: He oversees the agency signing off on releasing aid.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry: He talked about his work with Giuliani to set up a meeting between DDT and Zelensky.

Vice President Pence: He was continually involved in DDT’s dealings with Ukraine but continually denied any knowledge about pushing for investigations. He’s also concealing a telephone conversation that his aide Jennifer Williams referenced as useful. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/06/adam-schiff-pence-jennifer-williams-impeachment-077532

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: He’s in the middle of everything that happened and was involved in the dismissal of Marie Yovanovitch from her post as ambassador to Ukraine.

Neil Abercrombie, former Democratic governor of Hawaii, asked Tulsi Gabbard to immediately resign her congressional seat because she wasn’t representing the people of Hawaii. She voted “present” on the impeachment of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and missed over 85 percent of the votes in the past two months. She said that DDT is guilty but didn’t like the “partisan endeavor” of the process.  Gabbard is still a Democratic presidential candidate, but she isn’t running for the House in the next election.

More impeachment charges against DDT may be imminent. Next week, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will review two separation-of-powers lawsuits, former White House lawyer Don McGahn’s refusal to respond to a subpoena and a request for access to secret grand jury material from Mueller’s investigation. A judge already ruled that McGahn must comply with the subpoena.

DDT’s House impeachment used two limited actions: his extorting a foreign country to gain its support for his re-election in 2020 and his blocking justice by refusing legal subpoenas. Mehdi Hasan has more suggestions in “The A to Z of Things Trump Could and Should Have Been Impeached For”:

Amazon: In his hatred for the company’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, DDT personally repeated his demands to the Postmaster General to double shipping rates for Amazon to make Amazon pay billions of additional costs. 

Bigotry: To DDT, African countries are “shitholes,” Mexicans “rapists,” and neo-Nazis “very fine people.” Andrew Johnson was impeached for racism and white supremacy.

CNN: DDT tried to block a merger between AT&T and Time Warner to punish CNN, owned by Time Warner, because he didn’t like CNN’s coverage of him. He told aides that he’s mentioned the lawsuit “fifty times” and “I want that deal blocked.”

Deaths: Six migrant children between two and 16 died in DDT’s custody in the past year; no migrant children died in the previous ten years. ICE’s bad medical care resulted in two preventable surgeries and four deaths.

Emoluments: Trying to use his faltering Doral resort for the G7 summit, making almost weekly trips to his own properties, profiting from domestic and foreign leaders’ stays at his hotels—all this and more illustrate DDT’s violation of the U.S. Constitution in what he calls “this phony emoluments clause.”

Fraud: Since he was elected, DDT settled three lawsuits against his Trump University and was forced to pay $2 million for misusing Trump Foundation charitable funds for his personal gain after the organization was “shut down for its misconduct.”

General Services Administration: DDT blocked the sale of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. headquarters to keep competition away from the Trump Hotel.

Hush Money: DDT’s illegal payments during his campaign to two women claiming to have affairs with him violates campaign finance laws.

Incitement of Violence: DDT consistently encourages his supporters to attack political opponents, and domestic terrorists cite his name, inflammatory rhetoric, or both when arrested.

Jared: DDT gave son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a security clearance after intelligence officials refused to grant him one because he could be compromised by his business ties to foreign governments.

Kids in Cages: DDT separated over 5,400 children and babies from their migrant parents at the southern border and locked them up in a policy that has been described as torture.

Lies: DDT has told over 15,000 falsehoods since he was inaugurated, and the pace of his lying is accelerating. The first article of impeachment against Nixon was “making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States.”

Media Attacks: DDT asks the FBI to jail reporters who publish leaks, threatens to revoke the broadcast licenses of media organizations critical of him (aka printing the news), and demonizes journalists as “scum,” “slime,” “sick people,” “fake news,” and “the enemy of the people.”

Negligence: Almost 3,000 Puerto Ricans died after 2017 Hurricane Maria because of DDT’s negligence and incompetence, and he still illegally withholds desperately needed disaster relief appropriated by Congress. White House officials reported that DDT said “he did not want a single dollar going to Puerto Rico… Instead, he wanted more of the money to go to Texas and Florida.”

Obstruction of Justice: Robert Mueller reported ten instances of DDT’s possible obstruction of justice in the investigation of Russian interfering with the 2016 election, and over 1,000 former federal prosecutors stated that DDT’s conducted would have resulted “in multiple felony charges” if he were a private citizen. 

Perjury: Under oath, DDT told the Mueller inquiry that he didn’t remember talking with Roger Stone about WikiLeaks or Stone talking about WikiLeaks with people in his campaign. Former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, however, said Stone told him DDT knew about these disclosures in 2016.

QAnon: DDT retweeted the group’s conspiracy theories, invited them to speak at his rallies, and hosted them at the White House—supporting QAnon’s desire to “carry out criminal or violent acts.”

Rape: In addition to his sexual assault and harassment, reported by dozens of women, DDT was accused of raping writer E. Jean Carroll in the dressing room of a luxury department store.

Syria: DDT’s airstrikes against Syria had no vote from Congress.

Tax Evasion: Much of the at least $413 million in today’s dollars that DDT received from his father’s real estate empire came from tax dodges in the 1990s. Loan papers from New York properties later show more tax evasion.

Ultra Vires: DDT admitted he lied about a “national emergency” to fund his border wall through circumventing Congress. (Ultra vires is Latin for “beyond the powers.”)

Vladimir Putin: Among other favors for Russia, DDT welcomed Russian help to get elected and handed over classified intelligence to Russians in the Oval Office.

Witness Intimidation: Like a mob boss, DDT threatened his former lawyer Michel Cohen and attacked former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch while she testified to the House Intelligence Committee.

XI: DDT asked for help from Chinese president Xi Jinping to investigate Joe Biden in DDT’s re-election efforts.

Yemen: Opposing Congress, DDT helped Saudi Arabia drop bombs and vetoed a bipartisan bill calling for an end to U.S. military involvement in the Saudi air war as a “flagrant defiance of the 1973 War Powers Act that checks a president’s ability to engage in armed conflict without express consent of Congress.”

Zelensky: DDT tried to bribe Ukraine’s president.

Another DDT-follower listed 100 impeachable offenses as of last April.

Poll results:

  • 71 percent want DDT’s top aides to testify in a Senate impeachment trial.
  • 55 percent say that DDT was fairly treated in the House committee impeachment inquiry hearings.
  • 52 percent approve of DDT’s impeachment and want him removed from office.

Meanwhile, the trial is in limbo while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argue about process, causing DDT to continually rage.  

December 19, 2019

Conservative, Evangelical Support for Impeachment

Bret Stephens may be one of the most conservative columnists in the mainstream press, but he defended impeachment. His recent column started with a discussion about Gerald Ford’s deputy attorney general “Laurence Silberman, a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and a man widely admired by conservatives for his wisdom and rectitude,” talking about “the secret files of F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover.

“’Accompanied by only one F.B.I. official, I read virtually all these files in three weekends … Silberman, who was then President Gerald Ford’s deputy attorney general, recalled in a speech to a judicial conference. It was the single worst experience of my long governmental service…’

“’As bad as the dirt collection business was, perhaps even worse was the evidence that [Hoover] had allowed — even offered — the bureau to be used by presidents for nakedly political purposes. I have always thought that the most heinous act in which a democratic government can engage is to use its law enforcement machinery for political ends.’”

Stephens then wrote about the impeachment of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT):

“According to the public transcript of Donald Trump’s July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, Trump said: ‘The server, they say Ukraine has it …. I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.’

“Trump also said: ‘There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.’

“Here is a textbook case of Judge Silberman’s ‘most heinous act in which a democratic government can engage.’ The president is unambiguously proposing to employ his chief law-enforcement officer to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory that Trump hopes will burnish his political legitimacy. And he also proposes to use the attorney general in an attempt to investigate a political opponent for undeniably political ends.

“That Trump didn’t get away with it is a relief, not an exoneration. That he continues to insist the call was ‘perfect,’ as he did Tuesday in his letter to Nancy Pelosi, means that he is likely to do it again. That he attempted to subvert the will of Congress by impounding congressional funds for his political ends threatens the separation of powers in ways that will haunt a future Republican Congress. That he was prepared to endanger an ally and benefit an enemy is not treason, as the Constitution defines treason, but it is a travesty, as any American ought to understand travesty. That Republican leaders are cheering him only serves to define deviancy down and debase our political norms. That conservative pundits claim to be outraged at the F.B.I.’s investigation of the Trump campaign — or the smearing of Carter Page — while being indifferent to Trump’s attempt to investigate Joe Biden — and the smearing of Hunter Biden — marks a fresh low in rhetorical sophistry.

“There are people who believe that law, morality, traditions and institutions are at least as important to the preservation of freedom as the will of the people. Such people are called conservative. What Republicans are now doing with their lock step opposition to impeachment — and with their indifference to the behavior that brought impeachment about — is not conservative. It is the abdication of principle to power.

“I might think differently about impeachment if Trump had shown any sense of contrition. Or if Republicans had shown any inclination to censure him. But Trump hasn’t, and they haven’t. Whatever the political ramifications of impeachment now, history will judge members of this Congress harshly if they fail to state their revulsion at the president’s behavior in the strongest terms they can. Impeach and convict.”

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Christianity Today, an evangelical magazine founded by televangelist Billy Graham, called for impeachment and described DDT’s actions “immoral.” [DDT’s photo for the article.] Editor-in-chief Mark Galli wrote:

“In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith. The impeachment of Donald Trump is a significant event in the story of our republic. It requires comment….

“The facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.

“The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.

“Trump’s evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the president. We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.

“This concern for the character of our national leader is not new in CT. In 1998, we wrote this:

“The President’s failure to tell the truth—even when cornered—rips at the fabric of the nation. This is not a private affair. For above all, social intercourse is built on a presumption of trust: trust that the milk your grocer sells you is wholesome and pure; trust that the money you put in your bank can be taken out of the bank; trust that your babysitter, firefighters, clergy, and ambulance drivers will all do their best. And while politicians are notorious for breaking campaign promises, while in office they have a fundamental obligation to uphold our trust in them and to live by the law.

“And this:

“Unsavory dealings and immoral acts by the President and those close to him have rendered this administration morally unable to lead.

“Unfortunately, the words that we applied to Mr. Clinton 20 years ago apply almost perfectly to our current president….

“To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?…

“To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence. And just when we think it’s time to push all our chips to the center of the table, that’s when the whole game will come crashing down. It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern.”

Galli erroneously wrote that DDT was not allowed to give his side in the impeachment inquiry. He was invited to send witnesses and lawyers but refused. But his other information is right on target.

DDT’s base sometimes seems deeply entrenched in its cult-like behavior, but a few votes can make a different. He won the Electoral College by under 80,000 votes, a small number in the approximately 138 votes cast for the 2016 presidential election.

December 18, 2019

Day 1063: Impeachment

Eleven years ago, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “impressive,” defended Bill Clinton, and expressed surprise that Pelosi didn’t aim for George W. Bush’s impeachment after he misled people about Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. This week he ridiculed Pelosi’s teeth and sent her a six-page letter filled with lies and vile accusations of “declaring open war on American democracy.” That accusation and others were identical to his own actions: abuse of power, violation of the Constitution, and violations of oaths of office. The six pages were a synthesis of his tweets and speeches for the past few months—lies about Pelosi’s statements, attacks on Joe Biden, whining about no due process, calling the impeachment a “coup,” and extolling his excellent economy which may be headed downhill.  

Today, on the 1063rd day of DDT’s first term and one day short of the 21st anniversary of Bill Clinton’s impeachment, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach DDT for abusing his power and obstructing congressional investigations. The vote labeled him a threat to national security and recommended his removal from office. Article I, Abuse of Power, was adopted 230-197, with one member voting present and three not voting. Article II, Obstruction of Congress, was adopted 229-198, with one member voting present and three not voting. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a Democratic presidential candidate, was the only representative to vote “present.” According to the U.S. Constitution, the Senate is now required to have a trial, in which a two-thirds vote would remove DDT from office.

The Senate cannot begin its process until it receives the articles of impeachment. When that will be is not known because the House has not made that determination. McConnell said that he will speak on the Senate floor tomorrow at 9:30 am (EST).

The Judiciary Committee began the week with a report describing DDT’s “multiple federal crimes” including bribery and wire fraud for attempting to leverage military aid to Ukraine and a White House meeting with its president. In exchange, DDT demanded a Ukrainian investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden and another one into DDT’s unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukraine conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

The House Rules Committee then met on the resolution to impeach DDT to determine the parameters–six hours floor time evenly divided between the two parties and led by the House Judiciary Committee leaders followed by another hour of debate before a vote on the two articles of impeachment.

Both the debates in the Rules Committee and on the floor were consumed by GOP common complaints of “shame,” “sham,” “flawed,” etc. Republicans presented no defence of DDT or his actions, instead angrily smearing Democrats with lies. With no evidence for DDT’s innocence, Republicans use these and many more defenses:

  • You can’t impeach a president when the economy is good. (Not that it is!)
  • Impeachment will tear the country apart. (Not that the country is together.)
  • Impeachment is just like foreign election “interference.
  • People elected DDT president so he must stay. (No matter how much he violates the Constitution and his oath of office.)
  • An election is coming soon. (But the U.S. is in international danger.)
  • An impeachment should be nonpartisan. (Yet the GOP impeached Clinton on a partisan basis.)
  • DDT is too incompetent to shake down Ukraine.
  • DDT is only investigating “corruption.” (He said he wanted the Bidens investigated after Joe Biden appeared to be a viable political candidate, and DDT has never investigated any other “corruption.”)

A real investigation into corruption would be into his fake university, fraudulent charity, shady business affairs, prejudiced renting practices, undocumented immigrants’ employment, money laundering through real estate sales, lawsuits with no justification, violation of campaign financing, fraudulent tax evasion, concealment of legal documents, constant lying (including working with mobsters), etc. Many of those, however, are already in court. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spent the week refusing to call “fact witnesses” from the White House, a category they were so desperate to use in the inquiry. He repeated that, as the jury foreman, he was working closely with the defendant, DDT, to guarantee that he won’t be convicted. Along with other senators, he proclaimed that he would violate his legal oath to “do impartial justice” in order to exonerate DDT in the impeachment trial.

The big question now is how Republicans will vote in the (probably abbreviated) trial. Although the assumption that they will all protect DDT, nothing is ever sure. In addition, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has been personally involved in the Ukrainian scandal which should legally force him to recuse himself from any legal trial.

The Constitution requires the Supreme Court Chief Justice to “preside” over an impeachment trial. McConnell, who announced that DDT will be exonerated, might want to check with John Roberts about whether he wants his legacy to be that he would “preside” over a sham trial. McConnell, a juror for the trial, declared, “I’m not impartial about this at all.” He made that statement although the Constitution requires that he swear under oath that to “do impartial justice.”

McConnell thinks that all Republicans support his blind loyalty to DDT despite his crimes. GOP State Sen. John McCollister’s tweet disagrees:

“There are Republicans ALL OVER the country who want you impeached. We don’t fall for some cult of personality. We’ve read the constitution. #RepublicansForImpeachment.” 

DDT may now know how bad the impeachment poll numbers are for him after Brian Kilmeade talked about them on Fox & Friends:

“The Fox poll came out — and I was stunned by this. This says 50 percent of the country want the president impeached. I was stunned to see that that’s the number, because I thought that things were trending away.”

The 50 percent was for people who wanted to see DDT removed from office after impeachment; another four percent wanted him impeached but not removed. In case DDT missed the information on his favorite TV show, Joe Biden tweeted it to him.

DDT’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani is still searching for “dirt” on the Bidens, one of the actions listed in the article describing DDT’s abuse of power. Giuliani said to The New Yorker:

“I believed that I needed [U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie] Yovanovitch out of the way. She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody.”

On Monday night, Giuliani told Laura Ingraham, “I forced her out because she’s corrupt.” Since then, he told CNN that DDT is “very supportive” of his continued efforts to dig up dirt on Democrats in Ukraine. “We’re on the same page,” Giuliani said about DDT.

Giuliani had to get rid of Yovanovitch because she told Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev to resist natural gas projects like the corruption before Ukraine cleaned house of corrupt officials. U.S. businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman worked with Giuliani and then-prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko to negotiate licensing rights for oil and gas blocks, import LNG from the U.S., and build a gas pipeline from Poland. Yovanovitch, Kobolyev, and the Naftogaz supervisory board blocked the sole-source contract that Parnas and Fruman wanted for supplying LNG to Ukraine. Giuliani’s clients Parnas and Fruman not only lobbied not only DDT but also then-Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) in May 2018 by promising him campaign donations from illegal foreign money. Sessions lost his 2018 election and is denying any connection with foreign campaign funds. Now Parnas and Fruman have been indicted, Giuliani is being investigated, DDT has been impeached, and Sessions’ name is throughout the scandal.

A judge let Parnas walk out of court today and back to home detention despite the discovery that Parnas’ concealed $1 million transferred into his account from a Russian bank account belonging to Dmytro Firtash and another $200,000 of “payment” for work. Firtash is fighting extradition to the U.S. in a bribery case. Prosecutors had argued that Parnas is a flight risk. When he was picked up, he had a one-way plane ticket to Vienna, but the judge said that Parnas probably forgot about the $1 million. Earlier, Parnas pled for a lower bond bail of $200,000, saying that he and his wife had only $450,000 in assets. He has been charged with violating campaign finance laws and additional charges from helping Giuliani find damaging information on Joe and Hunter Biden.

DDT now plans to be even more secretive about his dealings with foreign leaders—fewer people listening and fewer people having access to transcripts of the calls. One official called the change “The Vindman Rule.”

Although conservatives blame Democrats’ “hatred” of DDT for the impeachment, DDT held an even more virulent hate-fest in Michigan tonight, complete with “lock her up” chants about Hillary Clinton and Pelosi, references to the “electric chair” when falsely talking about Hunter Biden, and hitting a new low by saying that Michigan’s former representative John Dingell, a World War II veteran, is in hell because her widow, elected to her husband’s seat, voted for impeachment. DDT won Michigan in 2016 by about 10,000 votes.

December 13, 2019

Impeachment Heads to House Floor

The House Judiciary Committee approved the two articles of impeachment in a partisan vote of 23-17, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) unleashed more fury, and the vote goes to the full House next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who will swear “under God” that he will be impartial in the impeachment trial, said that there is “no chance” his chamber will vote to remove Trump from office. He’s undoubtedly right because this action would require 67 votes in a Senate with 52 Republicans, but deciding the outcome before the process shows an illegal public rigging of the system.

In his position as jury foreman, McConnell said, “I’m going to take my cues from the president’s lawyers.” At the same time, McConnell bragged and laughed about blocking confirmation of judges for two years until DDT was elected. The White House director of legislative affairs, Eric Ueland, said that he and the White House counsel, theoretically working for the people of the U.S., “are having a lot of good conversations with Senate Republicans.” The White House has been meeting frequently with the GOP senators, who will also be complicit in not following their sworn oaths when they become a jury for the proceedings. This approach to the trial may mean acquittal for DDT but not exoneration.

House Republicans stalled yesterday for over 15 hours of shouting and lying on television during the Judiciary Committee hearing after agreeing with Democrats to hold the hearing to five hours. GOP committee members cared nothing for the U.S. Constitution. For example, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) justified opposition to impeachment by saying that  Republican lawmakers were “sent here to obstruct this Congress.”

At the hearing’s 12th hour, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) called on GOP representatives to quit, saying, “I have not heard a new point or an original thought from either side in the last three hours.”  He described the hearing as an “institutional embarrassment.” At almost midnight last night, Committee chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) gaveled the session in adjournment and infuriated ranking member Doug Colling (R-GA) by announcing the vote on the next day. Stunned by not immediately voting, Collins bellowed about how wanted to leave Washington, but Nadler said that he wanted the vote during the light of day.

DDT showed his disregard for protecting the constitution by entertaining Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov while the impeachment articles were published. Although DDT claimed he told Lavrov not to interfere in U.S. elections and resolve Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, Lavrov said they didn’t talk about any interference. Lavrov did deny any Russian interference in the 2016 election when he talked with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. DDT tweeted a photograph of him and Lavrov in the Oval Office.  

Today, DDT met with his private lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the White House in their plotting to “prove” the false conspiracies about Ukraine instead of Russia interfered in the 2016 election and the Bidens’ corruption. Fresh from his trip to Ukraine, Giuliani supposedly said that he found “more than you can imagine,” a meaningless statement like the ones DDT made when he claimed to have proof that President Obama was not born in the United States. DDT continues to use a foreign government to get “dirt” on a political opponent while he may be impeached for the same reason. He also asked Giuliani to tell lawmakers and AG Bill Barr when he found in Ukraine. Leaving DDT in the White House also allows him to continue his illegal approach to smear his political opponents for the 2020 election.

After DDT froze aid to Ukraine, and the OMB scrambled to find a justification. Then they said that it was legal to freeze aid on a “temporary” basis—eight times in August and September to look legal. Now a new memo claims the aid was frozen to study whether the spending complied with U.S. policy. Congress passed the aid, and DDT signed it. No one made a “study” until DDT withheld the aid for his personal benefit. The memo cited times that Congress had withheld aid, but not the executive branch. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tried to defend DDT by saying that the money was released to Ukraine which takes away any problems, but at least $20 million legally owed Ukraine is still sitting in the United States. The biggest irony of Thursday’s “debate” was the desire of GOP House swamp creatures calling for draining the swamp. Where will GOP members of Congress go without a swamp?

DDT claims not to be watching the impeachment hearings, but his 123 tweets yesterday say differently. That number tops his former record of 105 last Sunday.

U.S. prosecutors may investigate corruption in Ukraine by focusing on associates of DDT’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani and their relationship to Ukrainian state-owned Naftogaz natural gas company that may have violated a law prohibiting paying bribes to foreign officials. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman offered to make a senior official at Naftogaz the CEO to get business for their own liquified natural gas operation. The two men used ties to Giuliani to try to get U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch fired because she might oppose their plans. The scheme fits a foreign bribery charge that doesn’t require consummation to be a violation. Parnas and Fruman have already been indicted for funneling foreign money into U.S. elections and hiding the source of other donations. Prosecutors are pursuing Giuliani’s involvement, and Ukrainians complained about his trying to change the Naftogaz board while seeking investigations of the Bidens.   

In the midst of impeachment publicity, DDT seems to be trying to put on his best face for his being in the midst of a maelstrom. He claims that he “wouldn’t mind the long process” and that yesterday’s approval of the articles of impeachment has politically benefited him. Before the Senate trial, however, the House must finish its business.

Tomorrow, the House holds a brief pro-forma session; on Sunday, the House Judiciary Committee releases its report to the Rules Committee. Jim McGovern (D-MA), chair of the House Rules Committee, said that the panel would meet Tuesday to debate the rules for the floor debate such as the length of the debate and the number of amendments. The process might be shorter than other committee debates because it has only 13 members, nine Democrats and four Republicans. A hot topic could be no Judiciary Committee hearing with GOP-chosen witnesses. Listeners can expect more repetition of the word “unfair.” Although the House rules require such a hearing, it could be held after the Judiciary Committee votes.

Another decision from the Rules Committee is whether to vote on GOP amendments to the articles of impeachment. Democrats could block them, but Republicans presented five amendments in the Judiciary Committee, including attempts to remove the articles. DDT and House Republicans are still protesting the allegation that DDT withheld a White House meeting and $391 million in military aid until Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky announced investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter along with admission of a false debunked allegation Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. Republicans say that DDT met with Zelensky and released the aid without the announcement; Democrats say DDT released the aid only because his threats became public. About $20 million has also not been released yet.

The second article, obstruction of justice, is based on DDT’s direction for aides and agencies to not comply with congressional subpoenas. Republicans claim that the articles detailed no specific crimes and still maintain, falsely, that impeachment cannot exist without crimes.

Democrats comprise 233 members in the House to the 197 Republicans and independent Justin Amash, who demanded impeachment when he shifted from his earlier GOP registration. Four seats are vacant—two Democratic and two Republican. Several “blue dog” Republicans who earlier said they preferred censure and might not vote for impeachment are moving toward votes for impeachment. If the House approves impeachment, it will pick lawmakers, called managers, to present the case against DDT for the Senate trial.  

The House is expected to impeach DDT on Wednesday, December 18, just one day shy of the 21st anniversary of Bill Clinton’s impeachment. U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the trial, and DDT’s legal team could respond to the House managers. Unless the Senate votes on the articles of impeachment immediately after the opening arguments, according to McConnell’s suggestion. He would avoid the trial if the law did not require him to at least vote—after all the senators swear “under God” that they will render “impartial justice.”

Former Florida AG Pam Bondi, who received a questionable donation from DDT’s now-defunct charitable foundation in exchange for quashing an investigation into DDT’s university, is senior legal adviser for DDT’s Senate trial defense. To get this job, she had to quit her job for Ballard Partners, a lobbying firm connected to both DDT and part of the investigation into Giuliani’s associates including Lev Parnas. The company paid Parnas, who referred a client, the Turkish government, to Ballard Partners which is cooperating with New York prosecutors. Bondi, Parnas, DDT, conspiracy theories about Ukraine, extorted investigations into the Bidens, frozen military aid to Ukraine, impeachment, the Senate trial—they’re all tied together, even the Turkish government.

The winner of the DDT’s polarization of U.S. politics? Russia.

December 11, 2019

Impeachment on Its Way

Well, the House Judiciary Committee really did it. They really prepared articles of impeachment against Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). The two articles seem brief, but they are clear—representing his corruption since his inauguration.

Article One charges DDT with abuse of power because he “solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election .. through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.” The charge added that DDT tried to pressure Ukraine “for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit … and compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.”  The charge proceeds with specific details about DDT’s corrupt actions and includes Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign to elect DDT.

Article Two charges DDT with obstruction of Congress after he “directed Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with … subpoenas [to testify]” and refused to provide documents requested through subpoenas despite the U.S. Constitution giving the House “the sole Power of Impeachment.” Both Nixon and Clinton impeachments used the argument and this defiance is an impeachable offense. According to the charge:

“In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment — and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives.”

Bribery was not included because the criminal charge would end up in debate about statutory elements and judicial precedents. Impeachment does not require a specific crime.

Republicans have called for dragging out the impeachment, but House Intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff stated that time is of the essence to keep DDT from continuing his calls for 2020 election interference.

The impeachment inquiry came four days after the release of the second House impeachment inquiry report, this one 52 pages, from the Judiciary Committee. Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) tweeted:

Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) tweeted:

“President Trump abused his power, betrayed our national security and corrupted our elections, all for personal gain. The constitution details only one remedy for this misconduct: impeachment.”

After the report was released, the White House counsel told House Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to “end this [impeachment] inquiry now,” indicating that he thinks the executive branch is in charge of impeachment. DDT also refused to send lawyers to the committee hearings.

Two days later both Democratic and Republican lawyers testified and answered questions before the Judiciary Committee. Monday’s hearing was a lot of hot air with Republicans focusing on process because they had no defense against the substance of DDT’s corruption. The GOP lawyer, Stephen Castor, used Russian propaganda to push the conspiracy theory about Ukraine meddling in DDT’s election and referred only on the July 25 telephone call, ignoring the senior federal officials who testified about a quid pro quo. Castor could only claim that Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky’s said that he felt no pressure. Zelensky was actually pressured into saying what he did because DDT holds the winning hand in a “power disparity.” Castor also claimed that Joe Biden isn’t a legitimate political opponent for DDT and implied that DDT was too incompetent to carry out corruption of foreign policy, an earlier GOP talking point. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) argued that people in the U.S. are doing fine so there should be no impeachment inquiry. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), rabid DDT supporter, may be breaking with him. About DDT’s private secretary Rudy Giuliani traveling to Ukraine this week to find “dirt” on the Bidens, Gaetz said:

It’s weird that he’s over there. It would seem odd having him over there at this time.”

Defense Secretary Mark Esper avoided answering Chris Wallace’s question about whether military aid to Ukraine was held up because of political reasons. Sounds like a yes—from DDT’s GOP appointee.

According to Daniel Larison in The American Conservative, “The Case for Impeachment Is Overwhelming.” He concluded:

“Members of the House have been given a simple test of their fidelity to the Constitution. Are they enablers of presidential abuse of power and corruption, or will they do what their oaths of office require of them and hold a corrupt president in check?”

The ultra-conservative caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) keeps sticking with DDT by claiming that Giuliani is “over there [in Ukraine] as a citizen” and that Giuliani should bring anything “inappropriate” to Congress. DDT, who claims he didn’t tell Giuliani to go to Ukraine, has already said that he wants Giuliani to take his discoveries to the House. On CNN, host Dana Bash cut down Meadows’ Russian propaganda after 15 minutes. Meadows also pushed the argument that DDT accidentally named his political rival’s son, Hunter Biden.

DDT said that Giuliani got “a lot of good information” on Biden during his trip to Ukraine, and Giuliani said DDT told him to brief Congress. Barr has told DDT that Giuliani is a liability for him.  One of Giuliani’s meetings in Kyiv was with Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker, formerly a pro-Russian party member and son of a KGB officer. Derkach attended the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB in Moscow.

Zelensky is doing exactly that DDT said that he wanted—wiping out corruption. One of the at least 569 prosecutors who Zelensky plans to fire is Kostiantyn H. Kulyk, who gave Giuliani ammunition in the form of false information. Zelensky’s new prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, is auditing former investigations into the owner of Burisma, the energy company employing Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Anti-corruption activists believe that the probe will not show any corruption on the part of Hunter Biden because the alleged self-dealing of Burisma’s owner predates Hunter Biden’s relationship with the company. 

Tonight the House Judiciary Committee met to “markup”—in short, to address—the articles. The event was quieter than the earlier ones, but the same defense kept appearing. A popular GOP defense of DDT beyond conspiracy theories is not sending military aid to countries with corruption. Yet DDT hasn’t blocked military aid to Iraq and Afghanistan, countries receiving tens of billions of dollars in the 21st century. The research group Security Assistance Monitor reported that, in its examination of 36 countries receiving U.S. counterterrorism, 24 of them “posed serious corruption risks.” None of them has faced investigation—perhaps because they are not connected to any of DDT’s political opponents.

President Obama was concerned about providing military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to oppose Russian attacks. With his departure, DDT requested, and Congress complied, providing anti-tank missiles in addition to security aid to protect themselves from Russia. DDT did not concern himself with corruption. Last spring, two months before DDT suspended aid and talked about corruption to Ukraine, the Pentagon praised Ukraine’s “substantial” progress in tackling corruption. U.S. provides military aid to a avoid sending large forces overseas. DDT froze the $391 million to Ukraine for his personal benefit.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney won’t testify, but he’s still giving media interviews. This week, he said that “politics can and should influence foreign policy.”

Over 522 prestigious legal scholars have signed an open letter stating that DDT committed “impeachable conduct” and lawmakers would be justified in voting to remove him from office. The letter also stated:

“Conduct need not be criminal to be impeachable. Impeachment is a remedy for grave abuses of the public trust.”

The latest “reason” to close down the impeachment is that it will “hurt people’s Christmas experience.” Former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and former acting AG Matthew Whitaker have been spreading this concern through state TV (aka Fox). Gingrich may have forgotten that, as House Speaker, he led his party through a 14-hour debate before passing two impeachment charges against Bill Clinton—on December 19, 1998, a Saturday. The votes were largely partisan with some GOP defectors: perjury (228-206) and obstruction (221-212). Gingrich, involved in an extramarital affair while pushing Clinton’s impeachment for an extramarital affair, resigned because Democrats picked up five seats. He supported Dennis Hastert (R-IL) for House Speaker who was later convicted for evading bank reporting requirements while bribing the men who he had sexually molested when they were teenagers.   

The members of the House Judiciary Committee return tomorrow for debate. If they vote in favor of the articles, the entire House could vote as early as next week–maybe in time for the 21st anniversary of the vote to impeach Bill Clinton.

 

December 5, 2019

DDT’s Disasters: Impeachment Inquiry, NATO

This week’s news has largely focused on the impeachment inquiry and the NATO conference in London, both of them crazy. Corrupt GOP Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz wants to impeach President Obama—who left the office almost three years ago—for wiretapping Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) which didn’t happen. DDT pretends he’s in charge of the impeachment and tweeted, “Do it now, fast …. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify.”

When the House Judiciary Committee entered the impeachment inquiry yesterday, three of the constitutional experts were selected by Democrats, and Republicans picked the fourth, Jonathan Turley who had already written op-eds opposing the impeachment. His weak arguments against impeachment included Democrats are acting only out of anger and moving too fast. Turley testified for Bill Clinton’s impeachment because he was a “perjurer” but now finds insufficient evidence despite DDT’s refusal to allow executive employees to comply with subpoenas, threats to deny congressionally approved funding for Ukraine without an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden, lying under oath, attacks and intimidation on impeachment inquiry witnesses, cover-ups of the scheme, setting himself up above the law, etc.

Republicans piled on by supporting Russian propaganda, claiming insufficient information, listing faults of other presidents, and crying “unfair” as well as the argument that Democrats shouldn’t polarize the country with impeachment. Outside the hearing, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said DDT is just using “the blunt talk of a Manhattan businessman” instead of “smarmy talk of politicians.” Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) said withholding the aid for corruption in exchange for investigating a major political opponent was just a coincidence. He added that changing the term quid pro quo to bribery proves that there are no grounds for an impeachment inquiry. DDT’s latest defense is that the term “do us a favor though” is actually “doing U.S. a favor though.” That one took 130 days to think up. The GOP defenses for DDT are remarkably similar to those for Richard Nixon almost 50 years ago as shown in this Art Buchwald column during Nixon’s impeachment.  [visual Art]

In 2010, Turley defended the most recent person impeached in the U.S., Louisiana federal district court Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr, who was charged with taking a vast sum of gifts while he was a state court judge and lied under oath to the Senate and FBI to be confirmed. Although Turley didn’t disagree that Porteous had taken money and other gifts, he defended his client with claims that Porteous didn’t break any laws, although he may have been guilty of bad judgment; he didn’t act unethically; and his actions were business as usual in New Orleans. Turley described Porteous’ decades-long egregious behavior as mostly personal failings that failed to meet the “high crimes and misdemeanor” standard for impeachment. A super majority of Senators found Porteous guilty of all four counts, one of them with a vote of 96-0. This is the constitutional expert who Republicans hired to present their defense of DDT and who opposes “perjurers.”  

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asked House committee chairs to draft articles of impeachment.  

Angered by the House hearings, DDT had a rocky time in London from NATO colleagues. Intending to look like a statesman, he either argued or suffered ridicule. He schmoozed with reporters for over two hours on the first day but escaped more mocking by unexpectedly canceling a press conference on the second day of the 70th anniversary meeting of 29 countries to immediately leave for the U.S. The night before, a secret mike at the Buckingham Palace reception caught Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gossiping with French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. DDT first called Trudeau “two-faced” and then referred to himself as “funny.”

Macron had called out Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for threatening to oppose NATO’s defense plan for Baltic countries if NATO refuses to classify as terrorists anyone Turkey wishes. Then he criticized the lack of U.S. leadership because DDT pulled troops out of northern Syria without warning NATO allies, allowing Turkey to send troops against the Kurds. DDT called Macron’s comments “nasty” and met with Erdogan at NATO, perhaps the only NATO leader who wasn’t upset with him. Up for election on December 12, Johnson avoided photographs with DDT.

NATO leaders have agreed to “a forwarding-looking reflection process … to further strengthen NATO’s political dimension including consultation.” The next meeting is scheduled for 2021 to avoid DDT’s fourth year in office.

While DDT was in London, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui called him a dotard, a “an old person, especially one who has become physically weak or whose mental faculties have declined,” in his dotage, “the period of life in which a person is old and weak.” DDT had earlier said the U.S. would use force against North Korea if necessary and called President Kim Jong-Un “Rocket Man”–again. Despite DDT saying that North Korea was no problem for the U.S., the hostile country has regularly launched missiles while DDT called off military exercises. Kim’s latest threat is an unwelcome “Christmas gift” for the U.S.

Rudy Giuliani is back in Ukraine this week, meeting with discredited prosecutors Yuri Lutsenko, Viktor Shokin and Kostiantyn Kulyk and still looking for damaging information connected to his conspiracy theories. He’s also working on his documentary series highlighting the same falsehoods. Investigations into Giuliani’s affairs show that a major source of his income may result from selling access to DDT and the DOJ. For example, Giuliani charged Lutsenko $200,000 for a meeting with AG Bill Barr. DDT’s officials indicated irritation and frustration about the trouble that Giuliani may be causing during the impeachment inquiry.

As Giuliani digs deeper and deeper in trouble, DDT distances himself from his private lawyer. DDT told Bill O’Reilly that he “didn’t direct [Giuliani] to go” to Ukraine on his behalf, that he was just one of Giuliani’s clients, in direct contradiction to DDT’s own transcript of the July 25 phone call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. A few days before that claim, Giuliani declared to Fox that DDT would never “throw me under the bus” but that he has “insurance.”

DDT’s aides dispute the report of Giuliani’s many calls to the White House and the Office of Management and Budget during the freeze on funds to Ukraine. They did not dispute, however, the close contact with DDT while he ran DDT’s shadow Ukraine policy pushing Ukraine’s president to announce investigations that personally benefit DDT politically. And they are refusing to comply with subpoenas to clarify who Giuliani called. Two days ago, Giuliani said that he had nothing to do with withholding aid from Ukraine and talked to the OMB about other subjects. The next day he said he didn’t talk to anyone in OMB. Russian can most likely provide the text of any phone calls to the White House.

Like Giuliani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may disappear from DDT’s circle. In London, he visited with GOP donors, possibly raising funds for a Senate run in Kansas this coming year. Pompeo is still pushing Russian propaganda that Ukraine interfered in the U.S. election after swearing as CIA director that Russia was totally responsible for the inference.

Republicans like Sen. John Neeley Kennedy (R-LA) still behave like Russian assets by spreading Russian propaganda. Kennedy sees the false claim about Ukraine interfering with the U.S. election as “fact” and Ukrainian expert Fiona Hill’s testimony refuting this conspiracy theory as “opinion.” Senators were briefed on Russian involvement as opposed to the false Ukrainian theory, but Kennedy didn’t attend the briefing. The GOP-run Senate Intelligence Committee found no evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

Fox’s Tucker Carlson has joined the Russian assets in the United States when he said:

“Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? I’m serious. Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which by the way I am.”

Members of DDT’s base proudly wear shirts stating, “I’d rather be Russian than Democrat.” Their position about DDT? All businessmen cheat. So what? 

Get some rest this weekend. The impeachment inquiry continues on Monday with Democratic and Republican counsels to the House Intelligence and House Judiciary committees. It begins just hours before the DOJ release of the internal review of the 2016 Russian investigation origins, predicted to be a bust for AG Bill Barr who wants evidence for his personal conspiracy theories.

Next Page »

Mind-Cast

Rethinking Before Restarting

the way of improvement leads home

reflections at the intersection of American history, religion, politics, and academic life

© blogfactory

Genuine news

Civil Rights Advocacy

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

AGR Daily News

Quaker Inspired, Evidence Based, Art And Science Of Sustainable Health Plus Success - How To Create Heaven On Earth - Education For Seventh Generation Rainbow Warriors

JONATHAN TURLEY

Res ipsa loquitur - The thing itself speaks

Jennifer Hofmann

Inspiration for soul-divers, seekers, and activists.

Occupy Democrats

Progressive political commentary/book reviews for youth and adults

V e t P o l i t i c s

politics from a liberal veteran's perspective

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

Rainbow round table news

Official News Outlet for the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association

The Extinction Protocol

Geologic and Earthchange News events

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Over the Rainbow Books

A Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: