Has Trump Kept his Campaign Promise to Mismanage Our Country?
Tonight on an MSNBC program, a guest pundit made a revealing comment. I think it might have been on 11th Hour, but I could be mistaken.
From memory, the comment was that in the 2016 campaign Trump had promised to run the US government like he had run the Trump Organization. The argument is that Trump has indeed kept that promise.
Well, Trump is infamous for mismanaging his business through arbitrary fiat, not paying his subcontractors, demanding personal loyalty, bullying everybody, breaking promises, accepting no responsibility, etc. Really? Is that any way to run a government? Fuck no!
So then, as per the indicated pundit, Trump has technically upheld his promise to mismanage the US government in the manner that he had mismanaged his private business. But is that the way to run the government? Fuck no!
quote:Graham: “So if there was some reason to believe that the president tried to coach somebody not to testify or testify falsely, that could be obstruction of justice,” said Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Barr: “Yes. Under an obstruction statute, yes.”
Graham: “So if there’s some evidence that the president tried to conceal evidence, that would be obstruction of justice potentially, right?”
And now an exchange with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN):
quote:Klobuchar: “You wrote on page one that a president persuading a person to commit perjury would be obstruction. Is that right?”
Barr: “Yes. Well, you know, any person who persuades another.”
Klobuchar: “You also said that a president — or any person — convincing a witness to change testimony would be obstruction. Is that right?”
Klobuchar: “And on page two, you said that a president deliberately impairing the integrity or availability of evidence would be obstruction. Is that correct?”
There is nothing novel about this opinion. Any responsible and competent lawyer would have responded the same way. Persuading or influencing or ordering someone to lie before Congress is obstruction of justice, even if you're the president of the United States.
But back to the blockbuster news. BuzzFeed reports that President Trump while in office in October of 2017 has committed obstruction of justice by directing Michael Cohen to lie before Congress about his Trump Tower Moscow deal. Cohen was directed to tell Congress that the Trump Tower Moscow deal was abandoned in January of 2016 before the election campaign season was fully underway. That Cohen lied we already knew - he was sentenced to 3 years in prison for that offense and a smorgasbord of others. What we've just learned is that President Trump instructed Cohen to lie to Congress, an impeachable offense.
The reality and the apparent truth is that Cohen briefed Trump, Ivanka and Trump Jr. about status on Trump Tower Moscow numerous times during 2016. How do we know this? BuzzFeed's sources were "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter," and BuzzFeed reports that:
quote:The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.
In other words, Mueller already knows about all this and obviously it will be in his report.
I expect that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Will Ivanka and Donald Jr. flip? Would they testify against their dad if it meant he could end up in prison after he leaves office? I think impeachment unlikely - the Republicans control the Senate, and Trump erects such a gauntlet of obfuscation and changing stories that impeachment preparations could only run very slowly. There might not be enough time or evidence.
We shouldn't forget that we haven't seen the Mueller report yet. Under current law the special counsel's report is not normally made public, but my guess is that the Democrats in the House will find a way.
Inconsequentially but still amazing, despite Trump being all chummy with Putin and despite all his dealings with Russians over the years, Trump the dealmaker couldn't make Trump Tower Moscow happen. What a charlatan.
One question often raised is why Democrats don't negotiate with Trump about the wall so that the government can reopen. I've never seen the press or the Democrats clearly explain this. Maybe I've just missed it, but the answer is simple. Trump is committing blackmail and extortion. There is no discernable connection between the wall and funding the government. If the Democrats give in this time and begin negotiating about the wall in order to open the government, then the next time the debt limit is reached Trump could again close the government until the Democrats agree to negotiate on healthcare, or on taxes, or on climate change, or on environmental regulations, or on a treaty, or any of a number of different things.
Congress has been irresponsible in allowing the growth of an imperial presidency. We're now seeing the downside of just what that means. Congress has to begin taking power back. They are three co-equal branches of government - the chief executive is not the boss of the other two, as Mitch McConnell seems to think.
The Wall Street Journal is the source but most of their article is paywalled - or I would have linked there.
Michael Cohen hired an IT firm to rig online polls in favor of Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election and instructed the company to create the @WomenForCohen Twitter account to laud how sexually attractive he is, The Wall Street Journal reports.
For more fun the IT firm is run by the CIO of Liberty University.
The IT firm doesn’t appear to have been particularly good at the task. Cohen reportedly asked for its help in a January 2014’s CNBC poll to name the country’s top business leaders. RedFinch Solutions founder John Gauger reportedly wrote a computer script to repeatedly vote for Trump—but was still unable to get him into the top 100 candidates.
It seems that working for Trump - especially when hired by Cohen - doesn’t pay as well as the uninformed might think.
Gauger disclosed the work to the Journal after he received much less money for his efforts than he expected. Gauger said he believed he was due $50,000 for it—alongside a promise of lucrative work with the president-elect—but Cohen reportedly handed him “a blue Walmart bag containing between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash and, randomly, a boxing glove that Mr. Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial-arts fighter.”
Cohen denies that part of the story, but he has good reason to deny it if it is true:
Gauger’s disclosure casts a great deal of suspicion on a $50,000 reimbursement Cohen received from Trump and his company for the work by RedFinch, which is detailed in a government document....
Re: Trump Committed Obstruction of Justice While in Office
Even more about Cohen's work . . .
Trump instructed Cohen to lie about the Trump Tower deal in Russia. On top of that, Trump as well as Trump Jr. and Ivanka were much more involved in the deal than they have claimed, including in Trump Jr.'s testimony to Congress.
Resign under pressure from major republicans with the understanding of a full pardon from ... ech, gag ... President Pence?
Pence might get caught up in this too, foreign agent Flynn was his choice. But even if Pence gets taken down i don't see how this ends up without a republican in the white house. If it looks like both Trump and Pence are going down (a long shot to be sure) I suspect you'll have Pence resign to put a "clean" republican in the VP slot who is then free to assume the presidency when Trump goes away.
It's not enough to bash in heads, you've got to bash in minds soon I discovered that this rock thing was true Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet All of a sudden i found myself in love with the world And so there was only one thing I could do Was ding a ding dang my dang along ling long - Jesus Built my Hotrod Ministry Live every week like it's Shark Week! - Tracey Jordan Just a monkey in a long line of kings. - Matthew Good If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - Get Your War On *not an actual doctor
The next election will come and go before anything useful, like impeachment and conviction, result from any of this. Maybe pull a Nixon? Resign under pressure from major republicans with the understanding of a full pardon from ... ech, gag ... President Pence?
He could also pull an LBJ and refuse to run for a 2nd term, or lose in the Republican primary. The best solution for Democrats is make a lot of noise about impeachment, carry out investigations, and then ultimately stop short of impeachment hearings using the excuse that they don't have enough votes in the Senate. Impeachment hearings would drag the Dems into the pig sty with Trump.
I also have the same feelings of revulsion towards Pence. It's like choosing between a snake oil salesman and a corrupt televangelist.
Impeachment hearings would drag the Dems into the pig sty with Trump.
Yep, I agree. Impeachment would blow up right in the face of the Dems. Hold hearings and expose the corruption publicly and widely. Indict everyone else including Trump's kids.
The only hope is a Dem president in 2020, then indict Trump and Pence.
The Dems have let themselves and America be screwed by Bush and Boehner and Ryan and McConnell and Trump and I despair that they and America have not learned that the republicans want nothing less than total destruction.
If they make America enough of a shithole country no more brown people will want to come here to scare them.
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