Sunday, May 14, 2017

Prediction: The Trump Impeachment Trial Will Have Much Higher Ratings Than The Apprentice Ever Did


Everyday I find myself saying that another insane thing Trump has said or done will be eventual-- after January, 2019 when the new Congress is seated-- evidence in the impeachment hearings, impeachment trial and, I would imagine, the criminal trial as well. Like the video of the Lester Holt interview in which Trump blithely admits to obstruction of justice when he asserted he had made up his mind to fire Comey because of Putin-Gate.

The Wall Street Journal's Shane Harris and Carol Lee may not be attorneys but they laid out a breathtaking page of evidence against Trump that no needs a law degree to understand. They wrote that in the weeks before Señor Trumpanzee fired Comey, the Bureau's "investigation into potential collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government was heating up," and that Comey had become increasingly occupied with it, had started receiving daily instead of weekly updates and was growing increasingly "concerned by information showing possible evidence of collusion" with the Kremlin.

Trump's desperation-- strong enough for him to have fired Comey-- was heightened because the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to Mike Flynn, seeking documents, last week and because a federal grand jury in Northern Virginia also issued subpoenas for records tied to Flynn. Trump's not especially intelligent but even he and his imbecile son-in-law could figure out where this was leading.

FBI and Senate investigations into Mr. Flynn, which had been looking into the nature of his contacts with Russia before he joined the White House, expanded in recent weeks to include an examination of Mr. Flynn’s tenure as Mr. Trump’s chief security adviser, people familiar with the probe said.

Investigators are interested in companies that have done business with Mr. Trump or have connections with him, said people familiar with the matter. That could include businesses associated with members of Mr. Trump’s family, such as Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law turned aide who was formerly the CEO of his family’s real-estate business, Kushner Cos., one person said.

...With his concerns mounting, Mr. Comey last week sought more resources to support the bureau’s investigation, which began last July. He requested additional personnel from Rod Rosenstein, who had been recently installed as the deputy attorney general, overseeing the FBI, people familiar with the discussions said.

 ...On Monday, Mr. Comey briefed lawmakers on his request to boost the investigation, people familiar with the discussions said. The lawmakers, who have been running their own probe of alleged meddling in the U.S. election by Russia, and possible Trump campaign links with it, asked Mr. Comey if he could accelerate the FBI investigation, said a person with knowledge of the conversations.

Mr. Comey had been providing updates to top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has taken the lead on Capitol Hill in the Russia probe, the person with knowledge of the conversations said.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump informed Mr. Comey in writing that he was removing him as the head of the nation’s top law enforcement agency.

Mr. Comey’s dismissal prompted concerns among Democrats and Republicans that Mr. Trump’s White House was interfering with the FBI probe.

“That’s a big investigation the FBI is doing, and they are well into it,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “As you know now, subpoenas are being requested.”

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday he was “troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination.”...Senate Intelligence Committee investigators have grown alarmed as they reviewed intelligence reports, according to people familiar with the investigation.

...The goal of the financial inquiry is to understand the nature of any financial ties Mr. Trump may have to foreign interests, including Russia, and to determine to what extent, if at all, Mr. Trump or his associates have investments that may be tied to the Russian government, people with knowledge of the inquiry said.
This is all impeachable territory they're digging around in. Trump knows it and he's fighting back in ways likely to trigger a national emergency sooner or later, one that even apologists like Paul Ryan and Miss McConnell will be forced it recognize. Friday, distinguished NYU law professor and former Obama White House Counsel Bob Bauer penned 2 pieces for the highly regarded LawFare blog about the jeopardy Trump has put himself in. It won't just be Trump's interviews offered as evidence that will hang him-- but his tweets as well. "Trump," he wrote, "appears not to understand that he is drawing a certain picture of himself, which is neither pretty nor  without consequence for his legal position. This self-portrait can be counted on to color unfavorably any assessment of his motives when more formal inquiries into his behavior are considered or take place. While it is certainly true that prosecutors should pursue the crime and not specific individuals, suspicious behavior cannot help but draw attention to itself and push forward an investigation."
The picture that Mr. Trump has managed to create so far consists of the following:
The admission that he sought repeated assurances about his legal exposure in an ongoing criminal investigation
The pursuit of those reassurances at a time when he was quite actively holding open the possibility that Mr. Comey might not hold onto his job. (Apparently one of these conversations took place over dinner—as it was being served, was the President making it clear that Mr. Comey might have “to sing for his supper”?)
The admission that in firing Mr. Comey, he was moved decisively by his frustration over the FBI's handling of the Russia probe investigation.
The President's repeated very public statements, heard by all, including those charged with investigating the matter, that he views the Russia probe as having no merit. Responsible for the faithful execution of the laws and the integrity of the system of justice, Mr. Trump has chosen to actively dispute the basis for an ongoing FBI investigation that affects his interests.
The repeated adjustments to the story the White House originally told about the circumstances surrounding the decision to dismiss Mr. Comey. As noted in the earlier posting, it is not advantageous to somebody under suspicion to be altering his story-- or, in this case, changing it in every material detail.
And now Mr. Trump has resorted to Twitter to suggest that he might have information about these conversations with the former FBI Director that the latter should worry about before deciding to disseminate his version of events. The President has drawn attention to the possibility that he has some material-- some evidence-- bearing on those conversations, which will certainly be of interest in any future inquiry into this dismissal.  Mr. Trump’s threat to deploy these “tapes” unless Mr. Comey refrains from giving his side of the story is highly imprudent.

What is most remarkable is that the President has willingly created this self-portrait.  As scandals-in-the-making go, this one may become famous for featuring the President as the principal witness against himself: he seems committed to uncovering any cover-up.
Elected officials who have participated in the cover-up-- especially Devin Nunes (R-CA), McConnell (R-KY), Ryan (R-WI) and Burr (R-NC)-- are unlikely to ever be charged with any crimes around this scandal and their roles in the coverup. It'll be up to the voters to deal with them-- as judge, jury and-- hopefully-- executioners for each. But even third rate backbenchers advocating for Trump's "nothing to see here" position-- like, for example, Texas Republican John Culberson-- are putting themselves in jeopardy. When Trump promised this week at the RNC meeting to campaign for his congressional allies in 2018, the progressive Democratic oncologist in Houston campaigning for Culberson's seat, Jason Westin, immediately told us he's hoping Trump comes to Houstion to try to help out the floundering Culberson.

"In the 2016 election," he explained, "the voters of the 7th congressional district of Texas rejected the Trump agenda, voting for Clinton with a more than 20% point swing from 4 years prior. Our district is rapidly changing-- this is not Trump territory. Many TX-07 residents work in the famous Texas Medical Center, consisting of 54 medicine-related institutions, which will be directly impacted by Mr. Trump's plans to slash research funding. And with John Culberson 'absolutely' supporting the TrumpCare 'healthcare' bill, both he and Mr. Trump will even less popular here in 2018. Another reason Mr. Trump won't receive a warm Texas welcome here is his antagonism of Mexico-- a huge trading partner for the Lone Star State. In 2015, Texas had over $175 Billion in trade with Mexico-- and Mr. Trump's plans to impose a huge tax on this trade would be brutal to our local economy. If Mr. Trump comes to campaign with Mr. Culberson, he'd be greeted with a warm, "oh bless your heart."

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At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the Republicans will circle the wagons around this scumbag no matter what he's done under the IOKIYAR Principle, I won't be holding my breath waiting for this to happen.

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nunes, for one, has committed actionable offenses (conspiracy, obstruction) offenses.

The Dutch press just released proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that this guy is in cahoots with Russians, gangsters and other unsavories in money laundering and profiteering. All actionable and impeachable (the emoluments clause is a slam dunk impeachable). Yet all anyone in this country is told about is the well disguised and easily obstructed collusion with Russia over elections.

Where I'm from, we pick the low-hanging fruit first, enjoy the shit out of it... THEN we climb to the top of the tree for more.

This country is so fucked I don't think anyone will EVER be investigated, much less indicted, for anything.
The government is shit. The institutions are shit. Politics are shit. The people are shit.
When I die, my last request will be for my ashes to be spread anywhere else BUT us territory. I want my resting place to be anywhere else.

At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm less terrified by Trump completing his term than the prospect of a President Mike Pants!

Scylla, meet Charybdis.

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'll never see an impeachment trial.

But what would get the bigliest ratings ever would be the tape of the Russian hookers peeing on him. Never see that one either.

More kardashian tits and more propaganda about the evil muslims, minorities, poor, elderly, liberal, women and kids. That's what we'll see. That's what we WANT to see. specially the tits.


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