Impeach Trump and dump treasonous Republicans

Let’s put this into language that the disgraced president of the United States can understand: “It’s time to impeach the corrupt bastard!”

Donald Trump bragged during his campaign for president in 2016 that he could gun somebody down on Fifth Avenue in New York City and nothing would happen to him.

Then he’s proven that claim over and over again duirng his first disgusting term as presdident.

Aided by a corrupt gaggle of Republicans in Congress, and cowards on the Democratic side of the House leadership, Trump has ignored the Constitution, shredded norms of decency and legality, piled up more blatant lies than any president in history, looted the treasury for his personal benefit and imperiled the nation.

“We have devoted our lives to the service and security of our country, and throughout our careers, we have sworn oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States many times over. Now, we join as a unified group to uphold that oath as we enter uncharted waters and face unprecedented allegations against President Trump,” wrote seven freshman members of Congress in the Washington Post this morning.

They continue:

We believe these actions represent an impeachable offense. We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of “inherent contempt” and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security.

Everything we do harks back to our oaths to defend the country. These new allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect. We must preserve the checks and balances envisioned by the Founders and restore the trust of the American people in our government. And that is what we intend to do.

The freshmen members are Reps. Gil Cisneros of California, Jason Crow of Colorado, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.  All are Democrats.

“Our lives have been defined by national service,” they add. “We are not career politicians. We are veterans of the military and of the nation’s defense and intelligence agencies. Our service is rooted in the defense of our country on the front lines of national security.”

“Republicans only pretend to be patriots,” writes Paul Krugman in The New York Times.  “Democrats need to expose them for what they are.

He continues:

We have a president who really is unpatriotic to the point of betraying American values and interests. We don’t know the full extent of Donald Trump’s malfeasance — we don’t know, for example, how much his policies have been shaped by the money foreign governments have been lavishing on his businesses. But even what we do know — his admitted solicitation of foreign help in digging up dirt on political rivals, his praise for brutal autocrats — would have had Republicans howling about treason if a Democrat had done it.

Yet almost all G.O.P. politicians seem perfectly fine with Trump’s behavior. Which means that it’s time to call Republican superpatriotism what it was long before Trump appeared on the scene: a fraud.

“Republicans were never the patriots they pretended to be, but at this point they’ve pretty much crossed the line into being foreign agents,” Krugman writes.  “If a party is willing to rig political outcomes by preventing minorities from voting, if it’s willing to use extreme gerrymandering to retain power even when voters reject it, why won’t it be equally willing to encourage foreign powers to subvert U.S. elections? A bit of treason is just part of the package.”

There’s a reason why GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell is now known as “Moscow Mitch.”  He sold out America.  So has his party.

I say this as a former GOP operative.  I worked, and in most cases succeeded,” to elect Republicans to Congressional offices for more than a half-dozen years in the 1980s.  That is not the only reason that I should face enternal damnation, but it is a primary one.

Donald Trump and the GOP are flushing America down into the toxic sewer where politics swamps patriotism and benefit of self blankets service to our nation.

It’s time to dump Trump and his infected allies into that hell hole and seal it forever

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Trump’s blatant corrupt actions appear throughout report

Four pages of the Mueller Report lay on a witness table in the House Intelligence Committee hearing room on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Thursday, April 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

President Donald Trump may not have obstructed justice, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Robert Mueller’s 448-page report takes the American public inside the room with Trump as he expressed fear that the special counsel would end his presidency and made several attempts to get the people around him to curtail the probe into his campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Ultimately, Mueller found Trump’s inner circle saved him from himself. They refused to carry out orders that could have crossed the line into obstructing justice.

Some key takeaways from the report:

TRUMP TRIED TO INFLUENCE THE RUSSIA PROBE

Mueller details several occasions.

Some occurred in public. Others behind closed doors. Trump ordered his White House counsel to try to have Mueller removed. He directed his former campaign manager to deliver a message to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make a public statement calling the investigation “very unfair.” He also wanted Sessions to announce that Trump had done “nothing wrong” and to say that the investigation’s scope had been limited.

But people around Trump either refused or quietly allowed the matters to drop.
Attorney General William Barr says special counsel Robert Mueller’s report recounts 10 episodes involving President Donald Trump that were investigated as potential acts of criminal obstruction of justice. (April 18)
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“The president’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests,” the special counsel wrote.

NO COLLUSION, BUT NO EXONERATION

Barr was generally right weeks ago when he released Mueller’s key findings.

The special counsel did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. He did not recommend charging any Trump associates as agents of the Russian government or with campaign finance violations.

But on the question of obstruction, Mueller said there was evidence on both sides of the question. He said some of Trump’s actions related to potential “garden variety” obstruction.

“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment,” Mueller wrote.

IS THE REPORT GOOD OR BAD FOR TRUMP?

It depends on who you ask.

Trump’s legal team claimed “complete vindication” by the report, and Barr emphasized at his news conference that there was no evidence of collusion.

Trump even tweeted out a Game of Thrones themed meme, saying “For the haters and the radical left Democrats — Game Over.”

But the report describes in detail a president driven to interfere in the probe out of fear that it would “call into question the legitimacy of his election” and his own uncertainty that his family or associates may have violated the law.

Mueller wrote that on multiple occasions Trump did things that were “capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations.” Some of that was in private, one-on-one encounters that witnesses relayed to the special counsel.

But the president’s public acts also raised questions that they could have led witnesses to feel intimidated or alter their testimony, moves that Mueller said were equally threatening to the “justice system’s integrity.”

IGNORANCE OF THE LAW WAS A DEFENSE

That was the case for Donald Trump Jr. and a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.

In June 2016, Trump Jr. agreed to take the meeting despite it being described in emails as part of a Russian government effort to help his father. Trump Jr. was looking for dirt that could be used against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The meeting raised questions about whether Trump Jr. and others violated the federal ban on foreign contributions to American political campaigns.

But Mueller, who interviewed many of the participants in the meeting, said he didn’t find that he could bring a case.

The special counsel wrote that it was unlikely the government could prove that Trump, Jr. and others in the meeting “had general knowledge that their conduct was unlawful.”

MUELLER FELT HE COULDN’T CHARGE TRUMP— EVEN IN SECRET

The report reveals some of Mueller’s reasoning behind why he didn’t reach a conclusion on the question of obstruction.

He says that he would have exonerated Trump if he could have, but he wasn’t able to given the evidence he uncovered. Still, Mueller said that the Justice Department’s opinion that a sitting president couldn’t be indicted meant he also couldn’t recommend Trump be criminally charged, even if he made the recommendation in secret.

That’s because Trump could not defend himself during a public trial while in office.

In announcing the release of the redacted report, Attorney General William Barr said he asked Mueller during a meeting in early March about the matter. Mueller replied that he didn’t recommend charges against Trump solely because a sitting president can’t be indicted, Barr said.

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Associated Press writers Zeke Miller, Mary Clare Jalonick and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

Trump’s only achievement: A record pace of lies

Tweeter in chief Donald Trump opened the new year with a barrage of lies-laden Twitter missives that guaranteed no chance of a deal to reopen the portions of the government hobbled by the pre-Christmas shutdown that left 800,000-plus federal employees without pay.

He lied outright, as he so-often does, with another claim that Mexico will pay the cost of a the wall and added insult to anyone with a functioning brain with a another lie aht “much of the wall has already been renovated or built.”

Let’s look at the facts, concepts alien to the president:  America’s border with Mexico is about 2,000 miles.  Trump is demanded $5.6 billion immediately for about 200 miles — around one-tenth.  Less than 100 miles of mostly fence is already renovated or constructed.

After telling key Republicans that he would accept a bipartisan agreement to keep the government open without the $5 billion, he got pissed when right-wing pundits called him a “coward” for “caving” and said “no dice.”  That shut down parts of the government.

On Wednesday morning, hours before meetings with Congressional leaders to discuss the wall and shutdown, he tweet’s lies about Mexico paying for the wall and claiming most of it is “already been fully renovated or built.”

He also claims he approved a contract last week to build 115 more miles along but the border but refused to provide any new details and neither Homeland Security officials or members of Congress know of any such contract.

Before Trump met with Democrats at 3 p.m. in the White House situation room for a “briefing,” he already said “no deal” unless he gets what he wants.

“It’s not often the president gets to hear people tell him when he’s wrong.  Democrats intend to do that today,” says Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman.

Didn’t matter.  He didn’t listen.

Trump flip-flopped on the bipartisan Homeland Security funding proposal passed unanimously last month.  Now, Democratic leaders, and several Senate Republicans, wonder if the Republicans will still support the bill they approved so strongly last month.

“We are giving the Republicans the opportunity to take yes for an answer,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to House Democrats Tuesday night. “Senate Republicans have already supported this legislation, and if they reject it now, they will be fully complicit in chaos and destruction of the president’s third shutdown of his term.”

Trump’s pre-meeting response:  “Democrats to not care about Open Borders.”

Another lying claim from a president under multiple investigations for collusion with Russia, obstruction of justice, uttering thousands of lies

The only thing “open” about Trump is blatant disrespect for norms, tradition and protocol.  The same can be said for much of his “base.”

Let’s remember that Trump came into office with less than a majority of votes from those who cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election,  Most of the voters went to Hillary Clinton — by a margin of more than three million.

It took an Electoral College, controlled by gerrymandered districts created by an equally corrupt Republican Party, to put Trump into office.

That twisted political machine put a racist, misogynistic, lying con man who should be behind bars in a federal SuperMax prison and not in the White House where he continues to destroy what is left of America.

(NOTE TO READERS: Doug Thompson, who wrote this article, worked for the Republican Party as a political operative from 1981-87 and helped put a number of GOP candidates into Congress.  “It is the greatest mistake of my life,” he says.  “I cannot beg for forgiveness because I deserve none.  May I burn in hell for doing it.”)

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Copyright © 2018 Capitol Hill Blue

 

A deserved crappy Christmas for a grinch named Trump

Battered by mostly self-inflicted wounds, a lonely Donald Trump in another daily barrage of holiday gloom and doom via his voice of choice: Tweets via Twitter.

As he hides out in the White House, the isolated president unleashed his latest round of Twitter tantrums along normal tired lines: The media makes up what it reports, Democrats are hypocrites (a case of the pot calling the kettle black), Senators know less than him about foreign policy and so does outgoing Defense Secretary im Mattis.

With the failed antics of a self-declared “Tariff Man,” Trump wants to blame the worst December since 1931 to Federal Reserve, claiming they just “can’t putt.”

Then came tweet number 10:

I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security.

Writes Philip Rucker:

Even for a president accustomed to firing at foes on social media, Monday’s cascade of angry tweets on a day when many Americans were celebrating the season with their families was extraordinary. The rapid-fire missives painted the portrait of an isolated leader nursing a deep sense of injury.

For many Americans, the idea of Trump in the dumps could be the greatest Christmas present from the White House to an exhausted nation.

Comments Republican Peter Wehner, a trusted aide in three GOP administrations:

This is a picture of a lost and damaged soul. There’s something sad and poignant about a president isolated and alone. He’s like King Lear, raging against the winds.

While some Americans hope that 2019 get a break from all the madness that controlled Washington in 2018, Trump knows that the coming year will be treacherous for him, his family and his failing presidency.

Just about everything he has controlled over the last decade or longer is under investigation by federal and state agencies and when the Democrats take over the House of Representatives next month, the probes into his private business, his doomed charitable foundation, his tarnished presidential campaign, his corrupt inaugural committee and his stained administration will stick it to him in places where the sunlight of transparency never shines.

Trump is mostly alone in the West Wing.  Most of Congress is back in their states and districts to celebrate the holidays.

Leaders of other countries continue to bemoan the antics of the president who now lacks any adult supervision.

“I very deeply regret the decision made on Syria,” President Emmanuel Macron of France declared in a news conference this weekend. “To be allies is to fight shoulder to shoulder. It’s the most important thing for a head of state and head of the military. An ally should be dependable.”

Trump, however, responded in one of his many tweets Monday.

Saudi Arabia has now agreed to spend the necessary money needed to help rebuild Syria, instead of the United States. See? Isn’t it nice when immensely wealthy countries help rebuild their neighbors rather than a Great Country, the U.S., that is 5000 miles away. Thanks to Saudi A!

Calls to the White House and the Saudi Embassy for confirmation of such money.

Earlier this month, Trump bragged about an “incredible trade deal with China,” but the Chinese refused to confirm any such deal reached in private conversations between the American president and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

In other words, just more lies from a president who lies so frequently that both Politicact.com and The Washington Post now have a new “All Pants on Fire” rating for his largest and most frequent falsehoods.

Bah, humbug to our fact-starved, immature president who is spending his Christmas isolated, insecure and alone — which is what he deserves.

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Copyright © 2018 Capitol Hill Blue

 

 

When draft dodgers like Trump rule, America suffers

John McCain, released from his hellhole in North Vietnam at the end of the war, is welcomed home by then-President Richard M. Nixon, who would resign from office in disgrace.

As one of the “baby boom” generation, I lived and worked among three U.S. Presidents who could have served in the military during the Vietnam war.

Bill Clinton, the first Vietnam-era President, defied military service with multiple draft deferments, including a questionable one obtained while he studied as an Rhodes scholar in Britain.

George W. Bush served in the air reserves in Texas, but that service was marred by reports of his use of that role to avoid serving in combat in Vietnam.

Barack Obama was too young to serve in the the military during Vietnam.  As our youngest president, he avoided military service completely as the draft wound down after the war.  He said he considered the military, but choose another route for public service.

Donald Trump used a claimed “bone spur” in his ankle that may or may not have existed since no medical records have ever appeared to support what kept him out of war.  His doctor, now long dead, never produced any proof that Trump suffered from bone spurs.

Three failed presidential nominees — Democrats John Kerry and Al Gore along with the late Republican John McCain — served in the military and fought in Vietnam.  McCain, a Navy aviator, spent years in a Viet Cong prison in Hanoi after being shot down — lost early in primaries on one bid but won the nomination to lose against Barack Obama in 2008.  Al Gore lost to George W. Bush as did Kerry in Bush’s re-election to a second term.

To date, no veteran of one of America’s most controversial wars, has run this country.  The last American president to serve in war was George H.W. Bush, shot down over the Pacific in World War II.  Like McCain, he was a Navy aviator.  The elder Bush failed to win a second term, losing to proclaimed draft dodger Clinton.

Three of our last five presidents did not serve.  Two of the three served two terms.  The third’s second term will most likely be decided by voters in 2020.

George W. Bush used reserve service to stay out of war.  Ironically, he became the president who tapped the reserves and National Guard to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan during his terms.

As America honored and buried John McCain this past week — a fitting tribute to a war hero who tried twice to become president and failed — one has to wonder:  Does serving your country matter in today’s America?

A draft dodger beat a World War II veteran trying to seek re-election.

America’s current “president” is a foul-mouthed, skirt-chasing liar draft dodger who abuses the office of the presidency to “punish” anyone who disagrees with him by stripping security clearances without valid reasons while he avoids the law, traditions and decency?

Sad?  Absolutely.

Disgusting? Without a doubt.

Irreversible?  Only time can say.  Special Counsel Robert Mueller is building a documented case against Donald Trump’s corruption and crimes against the Constitution.  That’s step one.

In November, voters can take the second step in the midterm elections that could change the leadership of Congress.

Step three should be the final one to rid our nation of the loathsome son-of-a-bitch who threatens the sanctity and security of the United States of America.

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Copyright © 2018 Capitol Hill Blue

 

For now, Democrats saying little about impeachment

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez speaks in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Democrats aren’t ready to embrace the I-word.

A day after separate legal hammers dropped nearly simultaneously on two former members of Donald Trump’s inner circle, Democrats in Washington and across the country faced a delicate balance as they sought to take political advantage of the president’s growing troubles without alienating moderates and independents turned off by talk of impeachment.

Instead of calling for the president’s removal, corruption is the new buzzword in Democratic circles. They’re not just pointing to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s conviction on tax evasion and other charges and longtime fixer Michael Cohen’s plea deal implicating the president in an illegal campaign finance scheme. They’ve also got the indictment Tuesday of a second Republican member of Congress.

As the party faithful gathered in Chicago on Wednesday for the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting, Chairman Tom Perez ticked off the growing list of legal troubles for Trump and other Republicans. An “out-of-control” situation, he said, demands that voters “put up guardrails” by returning Democrats to power.

With less than three months before the midterms, that could be a potent political argument. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who could return to the speaker’s chair if Democrats pick up at least 23 new seats in November, was in her home state of California, where she recalled that Democrats won the House in 2006 by hammering Republican corruption in the wake of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

“This time, the culture of corruption, cronyism and incompetence is so pervasive that it’s in the White House,” Pelosi told the San Francisco audience Wednesday at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

Afterward, she said Democrats “can’t be political” in talking about impeachment. Separately, she sent her House colleagues a letter encouraging them to keep emphasizing economic issues, even as she pledged to “hold the president and his administration accountable” by insisting that Congress “seek the truth.”

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts sought her own nuanced position. The potential 2020 presidential candidate, who built her brand as an economic populist, unveiled sweeping anti-corruption proposals hours before the legal developments were announced Tuesday. As they consumed the news cycle Wednesday, she released years of her own personal tax returns — something Trump has refused to do.

The varied approaches reflect Democrats’ political and electoral conundrum. Opposition to Trump has flourished across the political left, already giving Democrats key electoral victories since his inauguration. The party is competing on multiple fronts: gaining control of the House, at least maintaining a closely divided Senate and making inroads in governorships and state legislatures. All of those goals could be elusive without at least some support from independents and moderate Republicans, especially those who live in suburban areas and who dislike Trump but aren’t eager to watch Congress go through the divisive and messy process of impeachment.

“We win on bread-and-butter issues. That’s what people will vote on,” said Minnesota Democratic Chairman Ken Martin, who counts four competitive House races in his state. Martin noted Hillary Clinton’s decision in 2016 to focus most of her paid advertising on Trump’s negatives. “We see how that worked out?” he said.

In Ohio, a presidential battleground that Trump won by nearly 10 percentage points, state Democratic Chairman David Pepper argued Democrats have momentum by running on local issues, even if they can be traced back to Washington.

“Good candidates don’t get sucked into the daily vortex of Washington,” Pepper said. “We’ve spent months telling Ohio voters that these Republicans have voted to take away their health care, protections for pre-existing conditions and now they want to take away Medicaid expansion. … Why deviate from that to talk about something no one in Ohio controls?”

Of course, in some elections, localizing the argument could mean embracing a discussion about Trump and corruption.

“I’ve got a governor who’s joined at the hip with Donald Trump, so hell yeah, I want us talking about it,” said South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson. He was referring to Henry McMaster, who endorsed Trump in the GOP presidential primary and then accepted the president’s help in a tough gubernatorial runoff this year.

Zac Petkanas, a Democratic operative and frequent Trump critic on cable television, offered another reason for Democrats to be cautious: Voters aren’t ready for impeachment.

“Voters are tuning in for the big things” in the investigation, he said. “And there will be more of those. … Democrats should advocate protecting the investigation and finding the truth. But you can’t be seen as prejudging.”

It’s worth noting that, for now, progressive activists aren’t looking to punish Democrats who don’t push impeachment. Emily Phelps, a spokeswoman for Indivisible, noted that the grassroots group first endorsed the notion of impeachment proceedings when Trump fired James Comey as FBI director. But, Phelps said, “Our ultimate goal is not to take down Trump … but to win elections and derail Trump’s agenda in Congress to diminish his power.”

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Associated Press writers Juliet Williams in San Francisco and Lisa Mascaro in Washington contributed to this report.

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Follow Barrow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP .

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Copyright © 2018 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved