Friday, May 24, 2019

Republicans Justin Amash, Bill Weld And Tom Coleman Use Thursday To Pound Trump


What Would Freud Do? by Nancy Ohanian

Pelosi and Trump were attacking each other yesterday after his temper tantrum and walk-out from the infrastructure talks at the White House. Pelosi said Trump "needs an intervention" and called him "villainous," while Trump kept referring to Pelosi as "crazy Nancy." But Pelosi wasn't the only one attacking the orange imbecile yesterday.

The Washington Post published an interview Jacob Bogage did with McKinsey Pete yesterday. And Pete, a military vet tore into the draft-dodger-in-chief. Pete accurately described Trump as using his "privileged status to fake a disability" in order to avoid the Vietnam War. "This is somebody, who I think it is fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was a child of multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place... I don't have a problem standing up to somebody who was, you know working on season 7 of Celebrity Apprentice when I was packing my bags for Afghanistan."

Justin Amash was pounding Trump again for his criminal behavior and talking about the need to impeach him. Here's his twitter storm in narrative form:
Mueller’s report describes a consistent effort by the president to use his office to obstruct or otherwise corruptly impede the Russian election interference investigation because it put his interests at risk.

The president has an obligation not to violate the public trust, including using official powers for corrupt purposes. For instance, presidents have the authority to nominate judges, but a president couldn’t select someone to nominate because they’d promised the president money.

This principle extends to all the president’s powers, including the authority over federal investigations, federal officials, and pardons.

President Trump had an incentive to undermine the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which included investigating contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The investigation threatened to uncover information, including criminal activity, that could put Trump’s interests at risk. Ultimately, the investigation did uncover very unflattering information about the president, his family, his associates, his campaign, and his business.

It also revealed criminal activities, some of which were committed by people in Trump’s orbit and, in the case of Michael Cohen’s campaign finance violation, on Trump’s behalf.

The investigation began before the president was elected and inaugurated. After Trump assumed the powers of the presidency, Mueller’s report shows that he used those powers to try to obstruct and impede the investigation.

Some excuse Trump’s conduct based on allegations of issues with the investigation, but no one disputes the appropriateness of investigating election interference, which included investigating contacts between the Trump campaign and people connected to the Russian government.

Some examples in Mueller’s report of the president’s obstructing and impeding the investigation include:
1. Trump asked the FBI director to stop investigating Michael Flynn, who had been his campaign adviser and national security adviser, and who had already committed a crime by lying to the FBI.

2. After AG Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation on the advice of DoJ ethics lawyers, Trump directly asked Sessions to reverse his recusal so that he could retain control over the investigation and help the president.

3. Trump directed the White House counsel, Don McGahn, to have Special Counsel Mueller removed on the basis of pretextual conflicts of interest that Trump’s advisers had already told him were “ridiculous” and could not justify removing the special counsel.

4. When that event was publicly reported, Trump asked that McGahn make a public statement and create a false internal record stating that Trump had not asked him to fire the special counsel, and suggested that McGahn would be fired if he did not comply.

5. Trump asked Corey Lewandowski, his former campaign manager, to tell AG Sessions to limit the special counsel’s investigation only to future election interference. Trump said Lewandowski should tell Sessions he was fired if he would not meet with him.

6. Trump used his pardon power to influence his associates, including Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, not to fully cooperate with the investigation.
Trump, through his own statements-- such as complaining about people who "flip" and talk to investigators-- and through communications between his personal counsel and Manafort/Cohen, gave the impression that they would be pardoned if they did not fully cooperate with investigators.

Manafort ultimately breached an agreement to cooperate with investigators, and Cohen offered false testimony to Congress, including denying that the Trump Tower Moscow project had extended to June 2016 and that he and Trump had discussed traveling to Russia during the campaign.

Both men have been convicted for offering false information, and Manafort’s lack of cooperation left open some significant questions, such as why exactly he provided an associate in Ukraine with campaign polling data, which he expected to be shared with a Russian oligarch.

Some of the president’s actions were inherently corrupt. Other actions were corrupt-- and therefore impeachable-- because the president took them to serve his own interests.

And Amash wasn't the only Republican criticizing Trump. Former Governor Bill Weld (R-MA), Trump's GOP primary opponent mentioned that he celebrates "that America has always been a melting pot. It seems he would prefer an Aryan nation... a nation with no immigrants." And Aryan Nation? That has some pretty strong connotations.

Also yesterday, a third Republican, former Missouri Congressman Tom Coleman penned an OpEd for the Kansas City Star calling for Trump's and Pence's impeachment. Coleman served as Missouri's Assistant Attorney General from 1969 to 1972. He was then elected to the state House of Representatives and, when the district's Democratic congressman suddenly died, he flipped the district from blue to red in 1976 and served in Congress until 1993, becoming a lobbyist in a Republican firm after that. His OpEd doesn't sound like what any currently-serving Republican elected official would dare write.
According to the redacted Mueller report, candidate Donald Trump, along with members of his team, on multiple occasions welcomed Russian interference on his behalf during the 2016 presidential campaign. For example, the report details a meeting between the Trump campaign chairman and a Russian intelligence asset where polling information and campaign strategy were shared... the net effect was that the Trump campaign encouraged a foreign adversary to use and misrepresent stolen information on social media platforms to defraud U.S. voters. Because the presidency was won in this way, the president’s election victory brought forth nothing less than an illegitimate presidency.

What should be done now?

...Contemplate the possible behavioral problems of a Trump untethered from the law and who is frequently untethered from reality. Would we be surprised if he were to repeatedly brandish his get out of jail card while breaking, at will, democratic norms, presidential precedents and criminal statutes? Trump said early in his campaign that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?” Are we now at that point?

Because DOJ regulations put a president above the law while in office, I believe the only viable option available is for the House of Representatives, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, to open its own investigation, hold public hearings and then determine if they should pursue removal of the president through impeachment. There is a trove of evidence in the Mueller report indicating Trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses, including abuse of power and lying to the American public. Both were part of the articles of impeachment brought against President Richard Nixon. This process would allow a full public review of wrongdoing, while providing Americans an opportunity to obtain a better understanding of the consequences to our national security and the lingering threat to our democracy.

If this process leads to impeaching Trump in the House of Representatives and also results in convicting him in the Senate, his illegitimacy would survive through Vice President Mike Pence’s succession to the presidency. Because the misdeeds were conducted to assure the entire Trump-Pence ticket was elected, both former candidates-- Pence as well as Trump-- have been disgraced and discredited. To hand the presidency to an illegitimate vice president would be to approve and reward the wrongdoing while the lingering stench of corruption would trail any Pence administration, guaranteeing an untenable presidency. If Trump is impeached, then Pence should not be allowed to become president. The vice president should resign or be impeached as well if for no other reason that he has been the chief enabler for this illegitimate president.

...What if House Democrats decide not to embark on impeachment? If that were the case, I believe the public would conclude Democrats are no better than the Republicans who have enabled Trump for the past two years, putting party above country. It could hand Trump a second term. Failure to pursue impeachment is to condone wrongdoing. To condone wrongdoing is to encourage more of it. To encourage wrongdoing is to give up on the rule of law and our democracy. To give up on the rule of law and democracy invites autocracy and eventually dictatorship. History has taught us this outcome. In my lifetime, it has occurred in other places including the Soviet Union and Germany, as well as in Russia and Venezuela today.

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At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It took weld 2.5 years to come to that conclusion?

Sentient americans... about .1% of us (maybe 320k) knew trump was total garbage a generation ago.
Sentient NYers knew a generation before that.

sadly, even in a nation where rule by a minority has been the meme for at least 50 years, one tenth of one percent still isn't enough to do any good.

the other 99.9% (dumbest motherfuckers in the history of earth) can still win every election even when only half of them vote.

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big deal! One current and two GOP has-beens chiding Trump. How far is that going to go when democraptic leaders have prevented the House from even looking into potential charges?

At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And THAT, 10:40, is why the democraps are WORSE than the Nazis.

I ask, rhetorically, again: which is worse -- the pure evil minority who are who they say they are... or the OTHER purely evil party who never EVER undoes any evil done before and LIE about who they are?

I prefer the honest evil party. I'd never vote for either of them BECAUSE THEY'RE EVIL! but honesty is better.

At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

remember how the Nixon impeachment went?

Ds opened the impeachment investigation and publicized their findings (that Nixon was a criminal and a liar).

Rs decided that they'd rather minimize their losses by impeaching than to continue their fealty to him. Nixon resigned rather than be removed. Ford kept his promise and pre-emptively pardoned him even though he had not been convicted (or even indicted) on anything. Ford's action probably cost the Nazis in '76.

I'm not saying that today's Nazis won't continue their fealty. They're clearly much worse than they were in '74. But the facts of the investigations would make their next elections pretty uncomfortable in a lot of districts and states.
The democraps could ask for no more than that.

Yet the democraps (Pelosi, hoyer, Nadler and the rest of Pelosi's acolyte committee chairs) expose rank cowardice by refusing to do something that will clearly help them in 2020.

Hoyer already openly admitted that it's (refusing to impeach) all a political gamble. Are he and Pelosi really stupid enough to not know that refusing to impeach will actually COST the democraps votes?


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