Warning: This is an extremely long post…I apologize but this subject cannot be covered in my usual 350 words…..please read it and learn.
This whole impeach thing is just fascinating. Not because of the process playing out for I think there is enough evidence to hold the vote now and enough for a guilty verdict in the Senate…..but that would be if there were statesmen in the Congress and not a bunch of cowards that spend time trying to define the Constitution than actually working for their money.
None of that is fascinating…what is however is watching the president and his minions, Barr, Rudy, dance their way through the media trying to convince the American people there is nothing to see in these accusations.
What is most fascinating is that the tale changes almost daily trying to find that hook that can smooth the facts iver and make it appear that nothing of value is to be seen by searching the information out there.
Any watcher of American politics should be totally fascinated with these events and the saga as it unravels almost everyday.
These are just a few of the story lines in the past week….if you do not like the ones that have been reported just wait an hour they will change and will keep changing until something sticks.
Just a small reminder in case your are comfortably numb…..
I start on 02 October and Trump starts using a old reliable of a “coup”…….
Not for the first time, President Trump is falsely claiming a coup against him. “As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP,” the president tweeted late Tuesday. Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro had suggested the same hours earlier, telling Fox Business that the impeachment inquiry was “nothing less than an attempted coup d’état,” reports the Hill.
Trump also claimed a failed coup in April, reports USA Today. “They tried for a coup, it didn’t work out so well,” he said of the Mueller report at the NRA’s annual meeting. Trump is likely to expand on his defense at a Wednesday press conference. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff will jointly hold one of their own, per NBC News, while the State Department’s inspector general will brief congressional committees on documents related to the Ukraine scandal.
Just a short time after his latest coup statement news comes out about yet another whistleblower…..
Tired of reading about the President Trump whistleblower complaint? Well there’s another complaint involving Trump that kind of flew under the media radar, Business Insider reports. Turns out a federal worker presented “an unsolicited communication” on July 29 summarizing allegations of “inappropriate efforts to influence” the compulsory IRS audit of tax returns filed by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence—at least according to a letter from Rep. Richard Neal to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Aug. 8. Neal added that the “grave charge” underscored “the pressing need for complete and meaningful oversight” of the mandatory audit program. For more, including Trump’s response:
- Release it? Neal says he’s talking to lawyers about whether to release the whistleblower complaint. Revealing the complaint could help his lawsuit to obtain six years’ of Trump tax returns, according to Bloomberg.
- Trump fires back: Trump’s attorneys say the whistleblower accusations are irrelevant to obtaining his tax returns, per HuffPo. The committee “does not explain how these allegations are in any way related to its demand to see six years of tax returns and return information, let alone why only the tax returns and return information can satisfy its supposed legislative interest,” they say.
- An interview: Neal says his committee is seeking an interview with the whistleblower, WBUR reports. But he won’t say whether the complaint will affect his lawsuit or the impeachment inquiry.
- Little-noticed, at first: The complaint emerged in an obscure court filing that was part of the continuing legal battle over Trump’s tax returns, CNN reports.
- ‘Pretextual’: In July, Neal sued Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig for the returns, but the administration refused, calling the request “pretextual” and saying Neal’s committee just wanted “to make the President’s tax returns public, which is not a legitimate legislative purpose.”
- Is Trump hiding something? At the Washington Post, Catherine Rampell says it could be “legally dubious or even fraudulent” financial dealings or evidence that “Trump has been profiting off the presidency.” But “we don’t know exactly what he might be hiding.”
Pompeo is lying to the country…the MSM say he is misleading….bullshit! HE IS LYING!
Then on the rope line on the rope line on the way to Marine One Trump made things a little worse when he said that China should investigate the Bidens as well…..as if Ukraine was not bad enough…….some of us asked “what the Hell is this person harping on about”?
President Trump got into political hot water by suggesting that Ukraine investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. On Thursday, he not only doubled down, he made a similar request of China. “Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” the president told reporters, per Politico. “Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.” Details on what the president is talking about in regard to China, including a fact-checker’s analysis that labels Trump’s claims about the issue “false”:
- The trip: In 2013, Hunter Biden traveled to China with his father, who was then the vice president and on an official visit, reports NBC News. At the time, Hunter Biden was involved with forming a Chinese equity company, per NBC. During the trip, Hunter Biden met with a Chinese banker who was his partner in the fund, though a Biden spokesman characterizes the visit as “social.” So does Hunter: “How do I go to Beijing, halfway around the world, and not see them for a cup of coffee?” he told the New Yorker in a profile.
- What Trump says: “When Biden’s son walks out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund, and the biggest funds in the world can’t get money out of China, and he’s there for one quick meeting and he flies in on Air Force Two, I think that’s a horrible thing,” Trump said last week. Trump has said similar things of late, including, “The son took money from China—a lot of money from China.” On Thursday, he said he hasn’t formally asked China to investigate, but it’s “certainly something we could start thinking about,” per the AP.
- Fact-checker: A Washington Post Fact-Checker post has labeled Trump’s claims “false.” For one thing, the claim of a $1.5 billion fund seems to come from right-wing author Peter Schweizer, and the Post says the fund came nowhere near that. An attorney for Hunter Biden says the fund was capitalized for about $4.2 million. “There is no evidence to support” the assertion of a $1.5 billion fund, writes Glenn Kessler. Nor does it appear that Hunter Biden has made money from the venture.
- Measure of criticism: “One could argue Hunter Biden has been trading off his father’s name, and certainly arranging a handshake between a business partner and the vice president in China raises eyebrows,” writes Kessler. “But Hunter Biden did not raise money for the fund; instead, he was on a board that advised potential investors. He did not obtain an equity stake until after his father was no longer vice president—and that investment of less than half a million dollars has not yet yielded a payoff for Hunter Biden, according to his attorney.”
- Back to Ukraine: A new phase of the Democratic impeachment inquiry begins Thursday with the private testimony to Congress of former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker, reports NPR. Volker, who resigned on Sept. 27, met with Ukraine officials the day after Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president to help them “navigate” Trump’s request about an investigation into the Bidens, per a whistleblower complaint. Volker will testify about his role in the controversy, including putting an adviser to the Ukraine president in contact with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Let’s be honest….the Dems in the House have enough votes to proceed….and the fun part now is to watch the dance of the Repubs and the White House to try and delay this process as long as possible…hopefully they can do so until after the voter in 2020…..
President Trump defended himself on Twitter and in person to reporters on Friday, insisting that his appeals to China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden were all about corruption, not politics. “Everything, to me, is about corruption,” Trump said, per CNN. “I don’t care about Biden’s campaign, but I do care about corruption.” He also said he’s not sure whether the White House will comply with House subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry, saying the decision would be up to lawyers. Related:
- Daring Pelosi: The White House will be sending a letter to Nancy Pelosi essentially “daring” her to hold an impeachment vote, reports Fox News. The White House objects to Democrats beginning an impeachment inquiry without a formal floor vote, and the letter will state that the White House isn’t compelled to comply with Democratic requests until such a vote takes place, per the AP. Pelosi maintains the vote isn’t necessary for the inquiry to begin.
- A ‘red wall’: Trump on Friday acknowledged that the House has enough votes to impeach him, though he’d only be removed from office if the Senate agrees by a two-thirds majority. Axios notes that Trump looks safe given that he has a “red wall” in the Senate—a reference to the 51 senators from states where Trump won in 2016. He needs only 34 of them to save him from impeachment. The analysis has all the particulars.
- Romney speaks out: That “red wall” means that even if some GOP senators vote against Trump, he’s safe. On Friday, Mitt Romney moved closer to that opposition camp, with tweets calling Trump’s appeals to Ukraine and China on Biden “wrong and appalling.” He added: “When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated.”
- Bad news for Schiff: The Washington Post Fact Checker blog gives Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry, a damning “Four Pinocchios” score for statements regarding the Ukraine controversy, including: “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”
- Surprise criticism: One of Trump’s staunchest defenders, Tucker Carlson of Fox News, co-wrote an op-ed in the Daily Caller asserting that Trump should not have asked Ukraine’s leader to investigate Biden. “Some Republicans are trying, but there’s no way to spin this as a good idea,” write Carlson and Neil Patel. However, they are skeptical that it amounts to an impeachable offense.
- Senate control: Trump may have enough votes in the Senate to stay in office, if it comes to that, but the Los Angeles Times notes that the controversy could cost Republicans control of the chamber in 2020 because of vulnerable senators in tight races. They include Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Martha McSally of Arizona, and Cory Gardner of Colorado.
Finally on Friday, 04 October, the text of the conversation that started this whole circus was released……..and this is how the reports went….
Text messages provided to the House Intelligence Committee by former US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker were released by Democrats late Thursday night—and NBC News sees them as “explicitly linking” a potential White House meeting between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with a Ukraine probe into the 2016 election. As NBC puts it, Trump has “long promoted the baseless theory that Ukraine—not Russia—was responsible for 2016 election meddling.” Texts after a July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky reference both the 2016 election and the company Hunter Biden worked for. Standout texts and related news:
- On July 19, less than a week before Trump and Zelensky spoke on the phone, Volker texted US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland the following: “Had breakfast with Rudy [Giuliani] this morning—teeing up call with [Zelensky advisor Andrey] Yermak Monday. Must have helped. Most (important) is for Zelensky to say that he will help investigation—and address any specific personnel issues—if there are any.” CNN‘s read is that it reveals “how Giuliani was pushing for the call and for Zelensky to talk up the investigation.”
- The morning of the call, Volker messaged Yermak the following: “Heard from the White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/’get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.”
- On Aug. 9, Volker and Sondland talked about a possible White House meeting and the statement Zelensky would make in announcing it. One line the two allegedly drafted, per NBC News: “We intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes, including those involving Burisma and the 2016 US elections.” (Burisma is the gas company linked to Hunter Biden.)
- The Hill reports that on Aug. 10, Yermak let Volker know he needed a confirmed date before any statement would be made. No date was confirmed and the statement was never made.
- Then came the news that Trump had halted $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. “Need to talk with you,” Yermak messaged Volker on Aug. 29.
- “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Bill Taylor, a senior US diplomat in Ukraine, texted Sondland on Sept. 1, per the Washington Post. Sondland replied by asking Taylor to call him.
- “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor then texted on Sept. 9. Sondland responded that “the President has been crystal clear, no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.”
- In a Thursday night statement, Democrats expressed their view that the texts make clear that military aid and a meeting between the leaders “were being withheld in order to place additional pressure on Ukraine to deliver on the President’s demand for Ukraine to launch politically motivated investigations,” per the Hill.
Mitt speaks out and Trump lowers the ass rant……as usual Trump attacks anyone that does not fall in line and Mitt is the one that speaks truth to power…..Trump cannot let that go without hism usual BS.
President Trump is really going after Mitt Romney. In tweets on Sunday, the president kept hammering the Utah senator after calling for his impeachment the day before, Fox News reports. “The Democrats are lucky that they don’t have any Mitt Romney types,” Trump tweeted. “They may be lousy politicians, with really bad policies (Open Borders, Sanctuary Cities etc.), but they stick together!” This after Trump accused him Saturday of not knowing “how to win” and calling him “pompous,” saying Romney “begged me for my endorsement for his Senate run (I gave it to him), and when he begged me to be Secretary of State (I didn’t give it to him). He is so bad for R’s!”
Trump’s anti-Romney tweetstorm included insults—like “Pompous Senator” and “a fool”—along with the hashtag #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY, the Hill reports. And when Fox News reporter Kevin Corke asked whether Romney was “the new #JeffFlake,” Trump responded, “No Kevin, Jeff Flake is better!” This after Romney took Trump to task for asking Ukraine and China to investigate the president’s political foe, Joe Biden, and Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling,” Romney wrote. For the record, senators can’t be impeached but can be recalled in some states. Utah isn’t one of those states
As usual when dealing with Trump….. it is someone else who did it….this time it is not Obama but rather Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry…..
President Trump didn’t really want to call Ukraine’s president in the first place, he has told Republican members of Congress, but Rick Perry wanted him to. Trump told lawmakers this in a conference call Friday, Axios reports, saying that Perry asked him to talk to President Volodymyr Zelensky about a liquefied natural gas plant. The energy secretary, who reportedly plans to resign soon, wasn’t mentioned in newly released US-Ukraine texts or the White House’s detailing of the July call between Trump and Zelensky. A spokeswoman for Perry said he “absolutely supported and encouraged the president to speak to the new president of Ukraine” about energy and economic matters.
House Democrats are looking into Perry’s Ukraine involvement. He was an administration point person on the country, Politico reports, and was active in Trump’s attempts to push Ukraine to make changes. Perry delivered the message to do more to eliminate corruption and pressured the state-owned natural gas company to add Americans to its board. He has met with Zelensky and other officials repeatedly since he led the US delegation to Zelensky’s inauguration in May.
I am exhausted writing this post!
This is just about 4 days of last week and the news flew off the pressers (I am an old fart)….this whole thing is as clear as mud…..plus there is a new excuse everyday….trying to make any revelation moot….
It gets sillier by the day….I promise to stop writing about this unless there is something really big that develops….(my fingers are bleeding and crossed)
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