High Crimes and Misdemeanors

Just before 10 PM last night, CNN national security reporter Josh Campbell asked a question:

Even though Trump didn’t use the words “deep state” in this morning’s tweet-screams, the answer to Mr. Campbell’s question is approximately 10.5 hours:

The Radical Left Democrats and their Fake News Media partners, headed up again by Little Adam Schiff, and batting Zero for 21 against me, are at it again! They think I may have had a “dicey” conversation with a certain foreign leader based on a “highly partisan” whistleblowers..

….statement. Strange that with so many other people hearing or knowing of the perfectly fine and respectful conversation, that they would not have also come forward. Do you know the reason why they did not? Because there was nothing said wrong, it was pitch perfect!

There’s nothing strange at all about “so many other people” not coming forward; the aberration in the context of Trump’s open lawlessness and gleeful subversion of institutional norms is that anyone still tries to follow the law, as the whistleblower and intelligence community inspector have done.

But the overarching message of the Trump era is that people who follow the rules are suckers, so now that person is being smeared by the POTUS, and the White House is allegedly limiting access to Trump’s “pitch perfect” calls to ensure that the only witnesses are accessories when the next crime is committed.

I’m not a fan of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s strategy of inviting shameless liars on TV to confront them to generate clicks, but kudos to him for producing a “Code Red” admission from Giuliani in the first 30 seconds of last night’s interview:

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials are walking a tight-rope over pools of molten lava, trying to get the assistance they need to counter an evil authoritarian who threatens their existence as a nation without pissing off Putin’s scammy, demented fanboy in the White House. I don’t envy them that task:

“This is a very special stage in Ukraine’s development: We have completely changed this year, our mentality has changed, we realize that the entire world is watching us right now,” Roman Truba, head of the State Bureau of Investigations, said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast.

Truba’s agency neither investigated Biden’s son nor Burisma Holding. There were no signs of illegality in Biden’s work in Ukraine, he said. “The State Bureau of Investigations should be an independent institution. I wish we would become as highly qualified, equipped with all modern technologies, and professional as the FBI.”

Oh baby, no.

Ukrainian Connection? (Updated)

As discussed in another thread last night, The Post published a scoop on the whistleblower complaint that is currently the subject of an investigation by the House Intelligence Committee. It involves a promise Trump made to a foreign leader on a phone call:

Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted the intelligence official to file a whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter. The former officials spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Trump lied about it in the usual manner this morning on Twitter:

Another Fake News story out there – It never ends! Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem!

….Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially “heavily populated” call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!

Presidential Harassment!

Trump is certainly dumb enough to blurt out inappropriate things to a foreign leader — it wouldn’t be the first time. The only question is who Trump was talking to and what was the nature of the promise.

Shortly after Trump tweeted his dumb tweets, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, the man who reviewed the whistleblower’s complaint and found it “credible” and “urgent,” met with the House Intelligence Committee. That committee’s chairman, Adam Schiff, later said Atkinson did not provide details about the complaint — Atkinson is still trying to follow the law, just as the whistleblower tried to follow the law in the first place.

Schiff says Acting DNI Joseph Maguire* will appear before the committee next week to “explain why this urgent concern should not be shared with the Congress.” The answer will be, “The [corrupt] AG [acting as Trump’s personal attorney] says I don’t gotta tell ya.”

I’m optimistic we won’t have to wait that long. We know at least two people really, really want this information to get to Congress. But while we wait, here’s an interesting story:

The house committees’ chairs say they will scrutinise a telephone call between the US president and [Ukrainian President] Zelensky on 25 July, during which Mr Trump allegedly told the Ukrainian president to reopen the Biden investigation [into alleged corruption involving former VP Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian company] if he wanted to improve relations with the US.

They claim that Kurt Volker, the US special representative for Ukraine, was told to intercede with President Zelensky by the White House, and they are looking into the activities of Rudy Giuliani, Mr Trump’s personal lawyer.

Could this be the “promise” the whistleblower heard? Maybe. Just last month, Giuliani, acting as Trump’s personal attorney, shamelessly announced that he’s pressuring a foreign government to provide dirt on a potential political opponent (again!). Because that’s the way America rolls now.

Trump and everyone associated with him are openly engaged in self-dealing, cheating and obstruction of justice. They won’t stop until they’re stopped.

*Isn’t Maguire the guy who was elevated to the acting DNI post because Trump insisted on passing over the lawful successor because reasons? Yeah, I’m sure THAT was on the up-and-up…


Whistleblower concerns were over multiple acts involving Trump, sources say

The intelligence inspector general told the House intelligence committee today that the whistleblower complaint raised issues with multiple instances involving President Trump, sources tell CNN…

The New York Times was first to report there was more than one action by the President at the heart of the whistleblower complaint.

So, if you had the “All of Them, Katie” square on your Which Foreign Leader Did Trump Shake Down for Personal Favors bingo card, collect your prize!

Open Thread: Corey Lewandowski appears before the House Judiciary Committee

Live Feed of the Corey Lewandowski

I can’t decide if this is hilarious or painful.

Open thread.

Onward Christian Soldiers

Weird how Trump complains about the US getting “ripped off” by NATO and says our military can’t be “the world’s policeman” when confronted with the costs associated with Republican predecessors’ foreign misadventures, but when violence affects Saudi oil production, he’s all “locked and loaded” and “how high, Mr. Bonesaw?”

Must be the Orb. 🙄

Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Guy

Trump just fired John Bolton by tweet, apparently for the sin of opposing peace talks with the Taliban.