Trump’s Inner Mob Boss Emerges with Alarming New Threats to Politicians and the Press

One of the most prominent and disturbing elements of Donald Trump’s character (or lack thereof) is his tendency to embrace the language and behavior of mafia dons. He regards himself as an infallible and unchallengeable force who demands total obedience and blind loyalty. This weekend Trump displayed that mob boss fixation on several occasions.

Donald Trump

The recording of him telling Lev Parnas to “take out” U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich was chilling to hear. Trump gave orders to Parnas, a shady figure with ties to Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian politicos, to “Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”

Trump’s apologists in Congress and on Fox News dismiss this as being within the President’s power to fire an ambassador. That’s true, but then either he fires her or he instructs his Secretary of State to do so. Parnas has no government role or authority to terminate the employment of an American diplomat. So what did Trump mean and why would he assign this mission to such a fringe player who is currently under felony indictment?

Similarly, Trump threatened the whistleblower who reported Trump’s extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky, as well as the whistleblower’s White House source[s]. Trump alleged that they could be considered spies and warned “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.” That’s an overt death threat aimed at someone who legally protected from such retaliation.

On Sunday morning Trump also aimed a threat at House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, saying that he “is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet…” Here Trump is baselessly alleging that Schiff is both “corrupt” and “sick,” two traits that are more recognizable in Trump himself. And what “price” does Trump have in mind that he’s implying Schiff will soon be paying?

This is typical behavior from Trump. And it manifested again in another Sunday tweet wherein he implied his interest in sabotaging National Public Radio (NPR) by eliminating their federal funding. This attack was triggered by an NPR reporter’s interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mary Louise Kelly asked Pompeo a couple of perfectly fair questions about Ukraine that he wanted to avoid. He became angry and erupted in a profanity laced outburst which she reported.

This led to Fox News host Mark Levin tweeting his disapproval of Kelly and asking “Why does NPR still exist,” and “Why are we paying for this big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation?” Trump replied that it was “A very good question,” setting the stage for potential budget cuts to the public radio broadcaster.

First of all, NPR is not a “big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation.” In fact, it receives very little federal funding. According to its latest financial report, just one percent of its annual operating budget consists of public monies. By far, most of its funding comes from corporate sponsorships, dues paid by member stations, and listener donations. The greater harm would come to radio stations that air NPR programming, most of which serve rural communities in what Trump would call his base.

What’s more, it’s simply ignorant to accuse NPR of being politically slanted to the left. If anything the opposite is true. After all, the board of its governing agency, the U.S. Global Media Agency (USGMA), is headed by Kenneth Weinstein, a Trump appointee. Also on the board … Mike Pompeo. That’s right. The Secretary of State is an ex officio member of the board of directors of the USGMA. And this is what Trump and Levin believe is a “Democrat Party propaganda operation.” It must be another department within the “Deep State” that is staffed by Trump loyalists.

Trump’s foul and menacing behavior is notable not only for its similarity to that of a mob boss. It represents an imminent danger to innocent people in politics and the press. Past episodes of this rhetoric has resulted in actual bomb threats and other attempted violence. And the scary part is that that is precisely what Trump wants. He is a bully who believes that he can get his way through threats and intimidation. It actually fits the legal definition of terrorism.

If he isn’t stopped he will only get worse. That’s why his impeachment is so urgent. Even if he were to be defeated at the ballot box in November, that would give him 77 days to exact revenge on those he deemed to have betrayed him. That’s a risk that American can’t afford.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Perverse Impeachment Defense: He Should Not Be Impeached Even If He’s Guilty

The Senate trial of Donald Trump’s Articles of Impeachment is set to begin on Tuesday. In advance of that, the Democrats released a 111 page brief on how they intend to prosecute the case against Trump. It’s a detailed and comprehensive outline of the high crimes and misdemeanors that justify Trump’s conviction and removal from office.

Donald Trump, Constitution

On the other side of the aisle, Trump’s motley crew of Fox News lawyers released a shallow and lie-riddled response that hardly touches on the specific allegations against Trump. In fact, Trump’s official answer to the Articles of Impeachment is an emotional seven page rant that repetitiously makes a single point: that “the Articles of Impeachment are constitutionally invalid” because they “fail to allege any crime or violation of the law.” It further states that it is “a lawless process that violated basic due process,” and that its consideration would be “subverting the will of the American people.”

Every bit of that is utterly false and has no legal basis as a defense. The charge that there is no crime alleged is false because Trump’s efforts to coerce the Ukrainian president into aiding his scheme to smear Joe Biden is, in fact, a crime. So is withholding military aid allocated by Congress and signed by the President. So is ignoring Congressional subpoenas for documents and ordering his subordinates not to cooperate. But even if those weren’t crimes, it wouldn’t matter because the Constitution doesn’t require violations of criminal statutes. For one thing, there weren’t any criminal statutes at the time the Constitution was written.

As for due process, that is a right granted in courts of law conducting criminal prosecutions. Due process doesn’t apply here because impeachment is a political process conducted in the Congress. Even so, Trump was permitted to present his witnesses and defense, but he declined to do so. He even refused after complaining about not having such an opportunity. And he’s still refusing to allow witnesses and documents that he says are exculpatory.

The claim that impeachment “subverts” the will of the people is bizarre on its face. Was it subverting the will of the people when Clinton was impeached? How could any impeachment – which is, of course, in the Constitution – be pursued without the prospect of removing an elected president? To suggest, as Trump’s response does, that impeachment is “a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President,” is to assert that the Framers were out of their minds for including impeachment in the Constitution in the first place. They obviously didn’t include it with the intention that it never be used because it might result in a president being removed from office. And Trump probably shouldn’t raise the issue of “the will of the people” to “freely choose their President,” when he lost the election by 3,000,000 votes. If the will of the people were being respected, Hillary Clinton would be president.

To bolster his argument that impeachment is invalid, Trump assigned the newest member of Fox News legal team, Alan Dershowitz, the task of presenting his case to the media. Dershowitz was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos where he offered up this preposterous legal theory:

Stephanopoulos: Is it your position that President Trump should not be impeached even if all the evidence and arguments laid out by the House are accepted as fact?
Dershowitz: That’s right.

The foundation of Dershowitz’s argument is that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress do not meet the criteria for impeachment under the Constitution. So he isn’t arguing that Trump isn’t guilty of abuse of power or obstruction of Congress, only that, in his view, the Constitution allows him to do so.

Think about that. Dershowitz, as well as Trump’s defenders in Congress and the press, believe that a president may abuse power and obstruct Congress without ever having to worry about being held accountable. They can collude with adversarial foreign governments to interfere with an election. They can publish stolen emails and other private documents to smear their opponents. They can withhold critical funds in order to coerce foreign leaders to do their bidding on personal matters. And they can refuse to disclose such behaviors, and even lie about them to the American people.

That’s the crazy vision that Trump and the Republican Party are offering to the nation. That’s their depraved interpretation of the Constitution. And that’s the legal basis for which they believe Trump should be exonerated. They know that they cannot defend Trump as innocent, so they’re embracing his guilt as acceptable. That’s how far Trump and the GOP have fallen.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

BONUS ADDITION: Dershowitz is flagrantly contradicting himself on the question of whether a crime is a necessary criteria for impeachment. In an interview with CNN’s Larry King in 1998, Dershowitz said that impeachment “certainly doesn’t have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don’t need a technical crime.” So there’s that. Democrats should play video of that during the Senate trial immediately after Dershowitz’s statement.

Trump-Fluffers at Fox News Begin War Mongering Before Soleimani’s Body is Cold

On the second day of the new year Donald Trump launched a new conflict in the Middle East, this time with the region’s largest military, Iran. Contrary to his frequent promises to withdraw the United States from the Middle East, Trump’s assault is likely to result in another prolonged war that will be costly in both lives and dollars.

Donald Trump

No American will mourn the demise of General Qasem Soleimani. He was the leading purveyor of Iran’s international terrorism and was responsible for hundreds fatalities among both Americans and civilians in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. But the mission to assassinate Iran’s second highest military leader in Iraq was nevertheless a provocative act that could lead to further unnecessary tragedies for the U.S. and the region.

This is particularly apparent since Trump has no coherent strategy, policy, or end game. He failed to consult members of Congress as the law requires and, therefore, had no legal authorization for the attack. And in a flurry of syrupy, worshipful retweets, Trump included one by disgraced pundit Dinesh D’Souza that shamefully implied that had Trump told Congress they would have told Iran. To date, the only one who has disclosed state secrets to hostile foreign nations is Trump when he speaks to Putin.

In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that he discussed this attack with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in advance. So Trump informed Russia, but not Congress. It’s also notable that, by targeting an individual, as opposed to military assets, Trump possibly violated international laws against assassination.

Trump’s initial justification for the attack is that it was executed in order to prevent imminent future attacks on Americans. However, he provided no evidence of any such threat. It sounds very much like the false assertions of the Bush administration alleging nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Also familiar is the statement by Pompeo, who baselessly claimed that “We have every expectation that people not only in Iraq, but in Iran, will view the American action last night as giving them freedom.” That recalls Dick Cheney’s preposterous assertion that “My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators [in Iraq].”

Immediately following Trump’s attack, Fox News predictably leaped to his defense with a vigor that can only be described as gleeful. Although he was on vacation, Sean Hannity called into his own program to insist that Iran had “put American lives in jeopardy and the president very quickly acted,” and that it was “a huge victory and total leadership by the president.” But Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends was representative of the Fox position when he rebutted Geraldo Rivera’s criticism of the attack by gloating that “I will cheer this on. I am elated.”

Make no mistake. This is the host of a popular Fox News program expressing his elation about a potential war that would result in untold casualties of Americans for a purpose that no one in the Trump administration has been able to define.

If you’re looking for a plausible reason for why Trump would take this action at this time, look no further than the news that broke earlier the same day. The release of newly unredacted emails from Trump’s national security personnel that state unequivocally that Trump knew his withholding of military aid to Ukraine was illegal. The discovery of this provides additional urgency for the Senate to agree to call witnesses and to introduce documents when it takes up Trump’s impeachment.

Trump knows this, and it escalates his fear that impeachment could result in his removal from office. So in order to deflect from the growing political peril he is enduring, Trump appears to have taken the course of action that he once falsely accused President Obama of considering: Start a war with Iran:

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Best/Worst Donald Trump Advice of 2019: Read The Transcript!

It’s New Year’s Eve and Donald Trump is doing what he does most of the rest of the year: Lounging at his golf resort, watching Fox News, and posting asinine lies on Twitter. It’s a lazy lifestyle of ego gratification that he has adopted since becoming president and rarely wavers from it.

Trump Lies

True to form, Trump was busy tapping out tweets on Tuesday morning to insult Democrats, praise Putin, and insist on his innocence with quotes from some Fox News flunkies. And stuffed into the mix was one of Trump’s favorite phrases that he thinks is an effective argument for his impeachment defense. And as it turns out, it’s actually the most useful suggestion that Trump has given to the nation for the whole year. Therefore News Corpse has chosen it as…

The Best/Worst Donald Trump Advice of 2019: Read the Transcript!

Everyone really should read the summary memo that Trump falsely calls a “transcript.” The memo that Trump himself released reveals with crystal clarity that Trump extorted President Zelensky of Ukraine. Trump asked Zelensky to interfere in the U.S. election by trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. And he conditioned critical U.S. military aid on Zelensky’s cooperation. What the memo says that Trump said, in response to Zelensky’s inquiry about the aid, was…

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

That’s a textbook quid pro quo. Trump then talks about getting some information related to a debunked conspiracy theory about a computer server that belonged to the Democratic National Committee. But he quickly segues from that to explicit requests for dirt on Joe Biden:

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with [Rudy Giuliani and] the Attorney General [William Barr] would be great … so if you can look into it.”

So yes, please take Trump’s advice and read the “transcript.” It’s one of the most precise confessions that Trump has made to his criminal behavior. And if that isn’t enough, there is also Trump’s explicit admission that he wanted Zelensky to probe the Bidens, which he made on national television. Yet somehow, Trump still had the audacity to spend much of the year denying that he asked for that obvious quid pro quo. In fact, he tweeted that there was no such request at least 43 times this year.

Trump’s Twitter timeline was awash with flagrantly dishonest declarations of his innocence that he usually couched in attacks on others. He tweeted about the whistleblower 119 times this year; he swore that there was “no collusion” 153 times; he called his critics “crazy” 209 times; and he whined impotently about impeachment a whopping 589 times. That’s nearly twice every day.

Trump is particularly obsessed with the whistleblower whose whereabouts he repeatedly asks for. He accuses the whistleblower of having gotten everything wrong in his report to the Inspector General. That claim was chosen by PolitiFact as their Lie of the Year for 2019. But worst of all, in a post-Christmas tweet, Trump retweeted a shady account that allegedly named the whistleblower. Of course, that cannot be substantiated, but the harm is done to that person whether or not he/she is involved.

What’s more, the post that Trump retweeted was extraordinarily suspicious. The name on the account changed at least four times. And with each new name, the previous one was deleted. But all of the accounts had the exact same tweet content, were created at the same time, and linked to known Russian propaganda sources.

It’s a year-end enigma that just drips with criminal, if not treasonous, intrigue. But it Trump is confidant that everything will be resolved if you would only “read the transcript!” Even if none of his own willfully ignorant cult followers will:

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Violates Whistleblower Protection Laws with Retweet of Suspicious (Fake?) Twitter Account

You have to wonder if Donald Trump is now actively seeking additional Articles of Impeachment that can be filed against him. Apparently “Abuse of Power” and “Obstruction of Congress” are not stigmatizing enough for a malignant narcissist who considers himself the greatest [fill in the blank] that the world has ever seen, not to mention the Earthly personification of The Chosen One.”

Donald Trump, Prison

Late on Friday night Trump embarked on a three hour Twitter-palooza that included panicky attacks on his perceived foes, fear-soaked cries of unfair persecution, and featured a random assortment of worshipful Twitter defenders, including QAnon crackpots. Trump tweeted until midnight, saving what he must have considered the best for last. The final post of this 40-plus, witching hour harangue was a tweet that could land Trump in even deeper impeachment trouble. The posting that Trump retweeted will not be linked here because of its profoundly illegal content and reckless endangerment of the innocent. But here is a graphic with appropriate redactions:

Donald Trump Whistleblower Tweet

This tweet includes the name of someone that the original tweeter (Sophia), and Trump, are asserting outright is the whistleblower. Of course, they have no evidence to make such an assertion, and there is no credible validation of its accuracy. Nevertheless, Trump is disseminating this rumor as if it were true. There are two big problems with this.

The first problem is that it is unlawful to expose the identity of an anonymous whistleblower. The whistleblower statute is provided to protect the individual from harm and/or retaliation, and to maintain the right for others to safely come forward when they encounter government waste, fraud, abuse, and to protect public health and safety.

The second problem is that, because the identity of the whistleblower is still unknown, the person identified in this tweet could have nothing to do with this, but his/her welfare is still put in jeopardy. That is an act that is beyond reckless. It would be irresponsible for anyone to post this sort of information. but it’s far worse that a president would participate in such a potentially harmful act.

Trump is not only speculating about someone whose identity he doesn’t know, he is threatening the person with prosecution for perjury. That’s precisely the sort of retaliation that the Whistleblower statute prohibits. What’s more, there is no evidence of perjury. While Trump has repeatedly claimed that the whistleblower’s report was untrue, a simple comparison of the filing to the summary memo (what he falsely calls a transcript) of Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president shows that the whistleblower was correct on every point made. Trump himself has corroborated the whistleblower’s account.

But there is even more wrong with this tweet. For one thing, Sophia is not exactly a credible source. The picture in her Twitter profile is, in fact, a stock photo available from Getty Images. Furthermore, the text of her tweet is a verbatim copy from a three week old posting on the blog of a notorious, right-wing conspiracy nut, Jim Hoft (Gateway Pundit). The text of the tweet of her own that she retweeted was also copied from Hoft’s page. And it bizarrely claims that “secret” hearings exonerate Trump. But how could Sophia (Hoft) know that if they’re secret? And for the record, those hearings were open to both Democrats and Republicans.

Clearly Sophia is a dubious character who is endeavoring to plant and disseminate disinformation on the Internet. And Trump somehow managed to stumble upon this bogus account and retweet it. Coincidence? Who knows? But what is know for certain is that Trump has put an innocent person’s life in danger. (Note: the person is innocent whether or not he/she is the whistleblower). And he has also added to the potential list of legal breaches for which he can be impeached. If only the Senate would do its job with integrity and concern for the nation, rather than coddling the criminal occupying the White House.

UPDATE: This is bizarre. The Twitter account for “Sophia” (Surfermom77) has been deleted entirely. But when that name is entered it redirects to someone named “Emma” (2Samson67) that has all of the exact same content as Sophia. The tweet that Trump retweeted is still in the same place on his Twitter timeline, but now says it’s from Emma.

UPDATE II: Now Emma’s account is deleted and was replaced with “Leona” (2Leona65), which was also deleted and replaced with a second “Leona” (4Shereene4). All of these accounts have the same content (tweets) and say they are “100% Trump supporters” in California and joined Twitter in July 2013. They seem to be trying to evade detection and suspension by Twitter.

UPDATE III: And the parade of fake accounts continues. The second Leona has been deleted and replaced with “Gigi” (LovelyGigi33). Stay tuned.

UPDATE IV: The mysterious tweet that kept changing identities is now gone. But the damage was done, and Trump’s complicity in this deceit – and illegal naming an alleged whistleblower – needs to be fully investigated.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Smoking Gun? Trump Ordered Pentagon to Delay Ukraine Aid Shortly After Zelensky Phone Call

The fact that Donald Trump has now been impeached (despite what the loons on Fox News say), hasn’t slowed the discovery of new evidence of his guilt. This is one of the reasons that it’s so important to ensure a comprehensive consideration of the Articles of Impeachment when they get transmitted to the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows this, and so do the vast majority of Americans who favor a full and fair hearing, including witnesses and document production.

Donald Trump

The impeachment controversy has sparked as epic battle between Pelosi and the Senate’s GOP majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who has already announced that he has no intention of conducting a fair hearing and will be “taking his cues” from White House lawyers. In the meantime, new evidence has already emerged that appears to be profoundly damaging to Trump:

That’s right. Less than two hours after Trump got off the phone with President Zelensky of Ukraine, he ordered the Defense Department to withhold military aid to a country that was being invaded at the time by Russia. The order included a directive to keep it quiet due to it’s “sensitive nature.”

Trump is fond of telling everyone to “read the transcript” of his phone call with Zelensky. He’s tweeted that demand 29 times in the past few weeks. Most recently, yesterday. He is referring to reading the notes made in a memo that describes his conversation with Zelensky. And he is apparently too oblivious to recognize that the memo actually confirms that he conditioned military aid on Zelensky’s promise to help him smear Joe Biden. What Trump said, in response to Zelensky’s inquiry about the aid, was…

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

That’s a textbook quid pro quo. Trump then talks about getting some information related to a debunked conspiracy theory about a computer server that belonged to the Democratic National Committee. But he quickly segues from that to explicit requests for dirt on Joe Biden:

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with [Rudy Giuliani and] the Attorney General [William Barr] would be great … so if you can look into it.”

This new memo was acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Center for Public Integrity. It is among the documents that the White House had previously refused to surrender to congressional investigators. There are many more that Trump continues to withhold. And he is still refusing to allow his staff to give testimony.

But if there’s one thing this memo proves, it’s that there is a real need to continue probing this criminal president and the accomplices in his administration. And when the Senate takes up the impeachment, they must permit the introduction of new evidence and testimony from relevant witnesses. The truth will likely come out eventually, anyway. But if Republicans in Congress allow Trump to deny access to it at this stage, they will be held accountable by both the courts and the voters.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Impeachment in the House is All that Matters – The Senate Cannot Acquit

The United States House of Representatives is set to impeach Donald Trump next week, making him only the third American president to suffer this indignity. However, many pundits and pro-Trump media bootlickers are misrepresenting the gravity of this affair. There is a contingent of excusers who seek to dismiss its significance if the Senate doesn’t vote to remove Trump from office.

Donald Trump, Impeach

Trump himself has been making noises that he is anxious to have the impeachment move from the House to the Senate where he believes he will be coddled by sycophantic Republican loyalists. That, however, is a thinly veiled facade of bravado that is betrayed by his frantic tweetstorming (hitting a record of 123 in one day). Clearly Trump is consumed with fear and anxiety at the thought of being branded for life with impeachment.

The argument circulating the GOP drain is that a failure to oust Trump from office is tantamount to an acquittal. But that relies on the false analogy that the House impeachment vote is akin to an indictment, after which the Senate conducts a trial. But a more accurate analogy would be to cast the House as the de facto courtroom and impeachment there is a conviction. After all, the language of the Articles of Impeachment state flatly that “President Trump has abused the powers of the Presidency in a manner offensive to, and subversive of, the Constitution.” Note that it doesn’t say he is charged with abuse of power, but that he “has abused” his power. Consequently, a “yes” vote is a finding of guilt.

The Senate’s role is, therefore, not one of a trier of fact, but more that of a sentencing hearing. The House establishes the facts and will shortly rule that Trump is guilty. The Senate decides if he should be punished by removal from office, or pardoned and allowed to complete his term. But the conviction stands.

Trump knows this and it is eating him up. That’s why he is putting so much pressure on his Senate defenders. It’s why Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, told Sean Hannity of Fox News that “I’m going to take my cues from the president’s lawyers.” McConnell went on to say that…

“Everything I do during this I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this […adding that he’ll be in…] total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate.”

What’s more, the GOP Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Lindsey Graham, told CNN that “I will do everything I can to make it die quickly […] I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”

So the chairman of the Committee of jurisdiction and the majority leader have both stated publicly that they have no intention to conduct a fair, impartial hearing. In fact, they are openly conspiring with the defendant (Trump) to allow him to escape any punishment for his crimes. Which means they are admitting in advance to violating the oath that they will be taking prior to commencement of the hearing, which states that…

“I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.”

This tells you precisely what these Republicans think about the Constitution, the law, and even God. That they are willing to brazenly and shamelessly breach this oath is evidence that their word is meaningless. And in taking this position before they begin deliberating, they are effectively cancelling any validity that their role in this might otherwise have had. As a result, the outcome of the Senate hearing is irrelevant. Which leaves the House vote to impeach as the final word on what will become Trump’s tarnished legacy. And if yo think that isn’t driving Trump nuts, see his Twitter feed.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

IMPEACH NOW! Why Trump Cannot Be Allowed to Stay in Office Until the 2020 Election

The impeachment inquiry hearings held last week by the House Intelligence Committee revealed a case for the impeachment of Donald Trump that is – in the words of the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News“OVERWHELMING!” Career diplomats and national security professionals provided first-hand testimony affirming Trump’s efforts to extort the president of Ukraine in order to help him smear a potential political rival.

Donald Trump

Nevertheless, Trump continues to insist that he’s done nothing wrong. And Republicans in Congress, along with Trump cultists in the press, refuse to give any ground or to acknowledge the piles of evidence against the President. In fact, in their zeal to defend Trump, they are brazenly advancing conspiracy theories concocted by Russia intended to harm the U.S.

When their reserve of talking points and slander against Trump critics run out, the Trumpian brigades resort to the pitifully weak backup argument that efforts to impeach Trump should be abandoned because there is an election next year. However, when that proposal is explored in detail it makes no sense whatsoever. So in the interest of providing a concise and logical rebuttal, what follows are three principle reasons for why it would be unthinkable to allow Trump to remain in office until the election of 2020:

REASON NUMBER 1: Cheaters Gonna Cheat
The offenses that Trump is being charged with are specifically related to his attempts to undermine a fair election. By abusing his power of the presidency in a plot to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, with the forced assistance of a foreign country, Trump has shown that he cannot be trusted to run an honest campaign. No one would play a round of golf for money with someone who has been proven to cheat at golf (as Trump has also done). And no one should expect Trump to conduct a fair campaign in 2020. What’s more, with what we know about his unsavory connections to Russia and Wikileaks, it’s clear that he cheated in 2016 as well. That’s not someone to whom you give the benefit of a doubt for an upcoming election.

REASON NUMBER 2: No Free Pass
Were we wait until 2020 for Trump to be voted out of office, that would not suffice as punishment. Any president who runs for reelection is subject to voters choosing someone else for the next four years. It might be due to dissatisfaction with his performance in his first term, or rejection of political policies, or even a personal dislike. Or it could be be simply because voters liked the other candidate better. But there is nothing associated with an electoral loss that can be strictly designated as punishment. However, when a president commits offenses that warrant impeachment, it is imperative that a historical record show what happened and why. Impeachment is the only way way to insure that the president is punished and that a deterrent is established for future presidents.

REASON NUMBER 3: You Can’t Trust a Con Man
The argument that we should all just a wait patiently because the next election is only a year away is an argument to be blindfolded for a year. In this context a year is quite a long time. A president inclined to breach ethical and legal standards can do a lot of damage in a year. He can issue executive orders, appoint judges and other powerful political allies, and engage in vengeful retaliation against critics. Someone under the kind of cloud that impeachment presents – particularly when it’s related to unlawful or corrupt acts – cannot be trusted to behave honorably for another twelve months in an office that they shouldn’t occupy to begin with. That time could be spent obstructing justice, maligning opponents, or just feathering his nest financially.

CONCLUSION
Those who say we should wait and let the voters decide are forgetting that the voters already decided. In 2016 they chose Hillary Clinton by a 3,000,000 vote margin. In 2018 they handed the power of the majority to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House of Representatives. And all of the polling today indicates that most Americans favor impeaching Trump and removing him from office. Given that endorsement, and the reasons stated above, there really is no other path forward than impeachment. The arguments to the contrary are impotent, devoid of logic, and steeped in the cult worship of glassy-eyed disciples whose only interest is in appeasing Dear Leader.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Terrified that His Taxes Will Become Public, Trump Sics His DOJ on the Supreme Court

Last week’s impeachment hearings revealed overwhelming evidence of the criminal behavior of Donald Trump. The witnesses were largely from his own administration, including Dr. Fiona Hill who was a top aide to Trump’s ultra-conservative National Security Advisor, John Bolton. And every one of them testified that Trump improperly threatened to withhold military funds from Ukraine unless they helped him smear a political rival. In fact, Trump himself admitted it.

Donald Trump

However, in just the few hours since the hearings adjourned, there have been some startling stories of corruption and dirty dealing by Trump and his sycophantic defenders. The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has been implicated in a scandal of his own wherein he was seeking foreign assistance to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Which is precisely the crime that the Committee is investigating Trump for. As for Trump, he visited his Friends at Fox News to spread propaganda manufactured by Russia. But These aren’t the only problems Trump faces.

The state of New York has been trying to get Trump’s tax returns as evidence in a case probing alleged campaign finance violations. Trump, of course, has been refusing to cooperate, but having lost in the lower courts, Trump is taking his challenge to the Supreme Court. In advance of any decision, the Department of Justice is now weighing in with their own opinion. And naturally they are siding with Trump. This is just further proof that Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr is a toady for Trump who is breaching his oath to serve the American people.

There is no justification for the DOJ to interfere with this litigation. It is outside of the purview of the Department as it involves Trump personally and is not associated with his duties as president. What’s more, the case that the DOJ is presenting to the Supreme Court is typically biased, shallow, and weak on legal rationale. According to their filing

“The brief, filed by Solicitor General Noel Francisco, says allowing Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance to obtain the tax returns would create a precedent that ‘may subject the president to highly burdensome demands for information’ and ‘raises the risk that prosecutors could use subpoenas to harass the president as a result of opposition to his policies.'”

Literally none of that is is justification for the Justice Department to interfere with this case. The President is not immune to investigations by state prosecutors. And it isn’t the DOJ’s job to define what constitutes a “burden” to the President. Nor is the DOJ permitted to insert itself into what may or may not be a political affair. The President has his personal attorneys for those purposes. The brief went on to say that…

“’The United States has a substantial interest in protecting the office of the president and the powers and duties vested in that office,’ the brief reportedly reads. ‘The United States also has a substantial interest in protecting the autonomy of the federal government from potential interference by the states.'”

To the extent that the DOJ is tasked with “protecting the office of the president,” it is limited to the his official duties, not his personal affairs. Especially those that took place prior to his election. However, the argument that the DOJ has an interest in protecting the President “from potential interference by the states,” is downright ludicrous. It is, in effect, a claim to protect the President from the nation he is sworn to serve. If upheld it would set a precedent that allows any president to violate state laws with impunity. And along with the tax laws that are central to this case, that could include rape and murder.

Trump’s stubborn refusal to release his taxes – as every other president in modern times has done – is a pretty good indication that there is something terribly wrong hidden in them. He isn’t even pretending to be audited anymore. Now he claims that just asking to see his returns is an abuse of power. He’s just sending his lackeys out to make absurd arguments in the hopes that he can keep his skeletons in the closet. And while the DOJ’s case is so thin as to be laughable, it is not outside the realm of possibility that it will be received favorably by a Supreme Court that is stacked with right-wingers and Trump appointees. Time will tell if they honor the law and the Constitution more than their misplaced loyalty to a criminal president.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Brings His Crowdstrike Conspiracy Theory Clown Show to Fox News

No one is going to be surprised to hear that Donald Trump unleashed another flurry of flagrant lies in a barely coherent attempt to extract himself from the impeachment quandary that is burying him. But the weakness of his latest arguments is a cringeworthy display of intellectual impotence.

Donald Trump, Pennywise

Trump made yet another appearance on his favorite Fox News morning program, Fox and Friends. He called in to chat with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes and to rail against his perceived enemies in Congress and the media. It was a forty-five minute spectacle of deranged babbling that even Fox’s hosts seemed to find excessive and exasperating.

Among the myriad of topics that Trump meandered about as he vainly sought to persuade people that he isn’t criminally insane, was one that he has been obsessed with for three years. It is also one that has been certified as Russian propaganda. The subject concerns his bizarre notion that a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee contains some unspecified evidence of wrongdoing by Democrats. And that server has somehow been transported to Ukraine for unknown reasons. It’s all pretty ludicrous, but oh so Trumpian. His wildly careening rant eventually led to this screwball soliloquy (video below):

“They have the server from the DNC, Democratic National Committee. The FBI went in they told them ‘Get outta here. We’re not giving it to you.’ They gave the server to Crowdstrike, or whatever you call it. Which is a country…a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian. And I still wanna see that server. You know the FBI has never gotten that server. That’s a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company.”

Literally everything in that outburst is false. There is no evidence whatsoever that Ukrainians have any DNC server. Democrats never told the FBI that they couldn’t have it. Infact, the DNC provided the FBI with a mirror copy of it, which is all the FBI ever asked for. Crowdstrike is not owned by a wealthy Ukrainian. It’s actually a publicly owned U.S. technology company based in Sunnyvale, California. It was founded by two American citizens, one of whom was born in Russia. It would be difficult for Trump to have gotten more wrong in this statement. It was so preposterous that even Fox’s co-host Steve Doocy questioned it:

Doocy: Are you sure they did that? Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?
Trump: Well, that’s what the word is.

So we have now descended to the point that the President of the United States is justifying his ridiculous conspiracy theories by citing “the word” of unnamed rumor mongers. Trump’s former White House Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, recently addressed this nonsense saying that “It’s not only a conspiracy theory, it is completely debunked.” Bossert was also troubled by the fact that this theory was being propagated by Trump’s personal attorney, and executive tripe wrangler, Rudy Giuliani.

This isn’t the first time Trump has gone haywire over the Case of the Mysterious Server Just last month he seemed to have had a mental malfunction that produced this unholy gibberish:

“I still ask the FBI, where is the server? How come the FBI never got the server from the DNC? Where is the server? I want to see the server. Let’s see what’s on the server. So the server they say is held by a company whose primary ownership individual is from Ukraine. I would like to see the server. I think it’s very important for this country to see the server. Nobody wants to see it. The media never wants to see it. I’ll tell you, Republicans want to see it.”

And if you think the text of that is wacko, you should see the video It is one of the best arguments for the impeachment of Trump as an urgent necessity. But if that isn’t enough, Trump also told the Fox Friends that “If I didn’t fire Comey, I would be in some trouble right now … It turns out to be the best move I ever made, firing Comey, because they were trying to take me down.” And that is as blatant a confession of abuse of power and obstruction of justice as you’re ever likely to see on television. Trump seems to be determined to impeach himself. So let’s help him out and get it done.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.