Wednesday, May 10, 2017

HOW MUCH MORE DANGEROUS INCOMPETENCE WILL IT TAKE BEFORE CONGRESS WILL... (Updated May 19th)




WASHINGTON — “President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved 'great pressure' on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

“‘I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,’ Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. 'I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.'
"Mr. Trump added, 'I'm not under investigation.'

"The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Mr. Comey — reinforces the notion that Mr. Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing..." (Trump told Russians that firing “Nut Job” Comey Eased Pressure from Investigation, New York Times, May 19). 

May 17th:
“The Justice Department appointed a special counsel Wednesday to investigate possible coordination between President Trump’s associates and Russian officials — a clear signal to the White House that federal investigators will aggressively pursue the matter despite the president’s insistence that there was no ‘collusion’ with the Kremlin.

“Robert S. Mueller III, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to take over the investigation as a special counsel, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced. The move marks a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation to be run independently of the Justice Department. Calls for a special counsel intensified after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comeylast week.


“‘In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,’ Rosenstein said in a statement. ‘My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.’ Mueller, often described by those who worked for him as a stern and press-averse disciplinarian, issued a characteristically terse statement: ‘I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability.’’’ […] (Deputy attorney general appoints special counsel to oversee probe of Russian interference in election by Devlin Barrett, Sari Horwitz, Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, May 17, 2017).

May 16th:

WASHINGTON — “President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting. ‘I hope you can let this go,’ the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

“The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all ‘memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings’ of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.

“Such documents, Mr. Chaffetz wrote, would ‘raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede’ the F.B.I. Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. It was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations. 

“Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter. ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,’ Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. ‘He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go…’”

For the entire article, Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End the Flynn Investigation by Michael S. Schmidt, click here.



15 comments:

  1. "We have elected a president who has immediately proved himself to be a grifter, a pathological liar, a mean-spirited bully and dangerous to American values. This not-ready-for-prime-time show is too dangerous to continue. America is at stake" (Mark P. Painter).

    Mark P. Painter served as a judge for 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
  2. “…Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, lasted just 24 days on the job after misrepresenting his contacts with Russia. Attorney General Jeff Sessions falsely testified that he’d had no contacts with the Russians, forcing his recusal from Russia investigations once the truth came out.

    “Trump’s nominee to be labor secretary withdrew in the face of broad opposition. His education secretary, who suggested that schools need guns to defend against grizzlies, was confirmed only when the vice president broke a tie vote.

    “Trump blamed a ‘so-called’ judge for striking down his first travel ban and proposed blaming the court system if there was a terrorist attack; his own Supreme Court nominee called such remarks disheartening.

    “Trump conducted sensitive diplomacy over a North Korean missile launch with the Japanese prime minister surrounded by diners at his Mar-a-Lago country club, one of whom posted online a photo of the man carrying the nuclear football.

    “Trump, after inflating the crowd size at his inauguration and embracing a conspiracy theory that 3 million to 5 million Americans voted illegally, falsely accused the media of not covering terrorist attacks. The White House then produced a badly spelled list of attacks, most of which had been covered. Conway invented one attack, the ‘Bowling Green massacre.’

    “Conway pitched Ivanka Trump’s fashion line on Fox News. Taxpayers have subsidized millions of dollars’ worth of expenses related to Mar-a-Lago and the Trump sons’ foreign travel. Trump marked Black History Month with remarks suggesting he thought abolitionist Frederick Douglass was still alive.

    “Trump opened a rift with Australia in an angry phone call with that ally’s prime minister. He provoked the Mexican president to cancel a trip to Washington, and he baffled the Swedes by alluding to fictitious refugee-related violence ‘last night in Sweden.’ Britain postponed a visit from Trump in hopes that anti-Trump protests would cool.

    “Trump’s closest aides have leaked several accounts of him raging about the White House. His team is frequently caught off guard by his Twitter attacks, which have included shots at Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nordstrom and misinformation Trump heard on Fox News.

    “This tragicomedy adds irony when you consider that the main character is the same one who campaigned by saying ‘they laugh at our stupidity’ and ‘we are led by very, very stupid people’ and ‘I have the best words, but there’s no better word than ‘stupid.’ Now the world has reason to laugh at us — because we’re with stupid” (The Washington Post, March 17).

    ReplyDelete
  3. “Had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn't have had the Civil War. ... He was really angry that he saw with regard to the Civil War, he said 'There's no reason for this.' People don't realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?" (Donald J. Trump).

    ReplyDelete
  4. “Historians may one day remember May 9, 2017 as a fateful day in American history. In firing FBI director James Comey, the 45th President of the United States may well have set in motion a series of events that could lead to more controversy and potentially even his impeachment less than a year after being sworn into office.

    “President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions set these events in motion by dispatching the highly respected former Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to craft a rationale to fire Comey.

    “In a three-page memorandum, the best Rosenstein could do was to invoke what is now ancient political history -- Comey's alleged violation of Department of Justice policies in the handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The alleged transgressions related to this investigation occurred months before Trump's Inauguration. Of course, all of this was widely known and publicly discussed well before Trump made the decision to keep Comey in the position of FBI director…” (CNN, May 10).

    ReplyDelete

  5. “It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either. This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability. It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence…

    “What is most alarming (and mortifying to the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated) is not that Trump has entered his eighth decade unscathed by even elementary knowledge about the nation’s history. As this column has said before, the problem isn’t that he does not know this or that, or that he does not know that he does not know this or that. Rather, the dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something…

    “It is, however, too late to rectify this defect: He lacks what T.S. Eliot called a sense ‘not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.’ His fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind.

    “Americans have placed vast military power at the discretion of this mind, a presidential discretion that is largely immune to restraint by the Madisonian system of institutional checks and balances. So, it is up to the public to quarantine this presidency by insistently communicating to its elected representatives a steady, rational fear of this man whose combination of impulsivity and credulity render him uniquely unfit to take the nation into a military conflict” (Trump Has a Dangerous Disability by George F. Will).

    ReplyDelete
  6. “…[Trump’s] presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite… Impulsive, egocentric, and mendacious, Trump has… set fire to the integrity of his office…

    “Trump flouts truth and liberal values so brazenly that he undermines the country he has been elected to serve and the stability he is pledged to insure. His bluster creates a generalized anxiety such that the President of the United States can appear to be scarcely more reliable than any of the world’s autocrats…

    “Trump appears to strut through the world forever studying his own image. He thinks out loud, and is incapable of reflection. He is unserious, unfocussed, and, at times, it seems, unhinged… The urge to normalize Trump’s adolescent outbursts, his flagrant incompetence and dishonesty—to wish it all away, if only for a news cycle or two—is connected to the fear of what fresh hell might come next. Every day brings another outrage or embarrassment…

    “In 1814, John Adams evoked the Aristotelian notion that democracy will inevitably lapse into anarchy. ‘Remember, democracy never lasts long,’ he wrote to John Taylor, a former U.S. senator from Virginia, in 1814. ‘It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide.’ As President, Donald Trump, with his nativist and purely transactional view of politics, threatens to be democracy’s most reckless caretaker, and a fulfillment of Adams’s dark prophecy…

    “[O]pposition to Trump also has to give deeper thought to why a demagogue with such modest and eccentric experience could speak with such immediacy to tens of millions of voters anxious about their lives and their prospects, while the Democratic nominee could not. The intellectual and political task ahead is at once to resist the ugliest manifestations of the new right-wing populism—the fears it plays on, the divisions it engenders—and to confront the consequences of globalism, technology, and cultural change. Politicians and citizens who intend to defeat the forces of reaction, of Trumpism, need to confront questions of jobs lost to automation and offshoring head on. Unemployment is at five per cent, but that does not provide an accurate picture of an endangered middle and working class…

    “The clownish veneer of Trumpism conceals its true danger. Trump’s way of lying is not a joke; it is a strategy, a way of clouding our capacity to think, to live in a realm of truth. It is said that each epoch dreams the one to follow. The task now is not merely to recognize this Presidency for the emergency it is, and to resist its assault on the principles of reality and the values of liberal democracy, but to devise a future, to debate, to hear one another, to organize, to preserve and revive precious things” (A Hundred Days of Trump by David Remnick).

    ReplyDelete
  7. “Donald Trump is ‘dangerous’ and drastic steps must be taken to protect the public from him, two leading psychiatrists have warned. The President’s erratic behaviour, including ‘repeated failure to distinguish between reality and fantasy’ and ‘paranoid claims of conspiracy.’ cast doubt over his ability to react rationally in a crisis, they said.

    “In a letter to the New York Times, Judith Herman, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Robert Lifton, a lecturer in psychiatry at Columbia University, said they were not attempting to diagnose Mr Trump. ‘We are in no way offering a psychiatric diagnosis, which would be unwise to attempt from a distance,’ they wrote. ‘Nevertheless, as psychiatrists we feel obliged to express our alarm. We fear that when faced with a crisis, President Trump will lack the judgment to respond rationally. The military powers entrusted to him endanger us all. We urge our elected representatives to take the necessary steps to protect us from this dangerous president.’

    “Last month [February 2017], 35 mental health professionals wrote to the newspaper warning the ‘grave emotional instability’ indicated by Mr Trump’s behaviour made him incapable of serving safely as President…” (UK, Independent, March 9. 2017).

    ReplyDelete
  8. From The Washington Post, May 9, 2017:

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.):

    “It is an abuse of power if the FBI was in fact investigating the president of the United States. For the president to fire someone who has him under active investigation is in my view an abuse of power.

    “If there was every any doubt about the need for a special independent prosecutor, which I’ve been advocating for months, there is no question now.

    “Only a special prosecutor can hold accountable anyone who colluded with the Russians … and the president himself has to be deemed a potential target. If not right at this moment then a potential target in the future because his associates in that campaign are targets right now.”

    Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.):

    “There is little President Trump does anymore that surprises me, but that he would fire the lead investigator into collusion between Russia and Trump campaign officials is beyond the pale – even for him. This is the biggest evidence to date of why we need an independent commission to investigate Russia’s interference in our election. We also need a special prosecutor to complete the ongoing criminal probe, now that the president has undermined the integrity of the FBI’s investigation.

    “There is no doubt that President Trump is threatened by the investigations of Russia’s ties to his campaign. His actions reinforce the need for a nonpartisan commission to work full-time on behalf of the American people to figure out who did what, when and why. The American people are entitled to answers.”

    Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.):

    “The President’s actions transcend any one individual and raise significant concerns over the basic rule of law, especially if they are intended to dissuade criminal investigators from digging too deep into Trump Administration officials and associates – or even the President himself. If any doubts remained about the need for a transparent, impartial and independent investigation into the Trump Administration, the firing of Director Comey surely eliminates them.

    "It is not clear why Attorney General Sessions, who previously claimed he would recuse himself from all Russia-related matters, was involved in firing the law enforcement official leading the Russia investigation. There are simply too many questions raised by tonight’s actions, and the American people deserve nothing less than answers from an independent investigator."

    Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.):

    “It is deeply troubling that President Trump just fired the person in charge of investigating his ties to Russia, and the President’s stated reasons for firing Director Comey are difficult to believe.

    “We know that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election, that they did so to undermine confidence in American democracy, and that they wanted Donald Trump to become President. The intelligence community has confirmed that.

    “I am also deeply troubled by the fact that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who pledged to recuse himself from the Russia investigation because of his own Russia connections, involved himself in Director Comey’s firing. This is a complete betrayal of his commitment to the public that he wouldn’t be involved in the investigation.

    “We cannot trust an investigation led by this administration. And it’s now clearer than ever that we need an independent investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia.”

    ReplyDelete
  9. "...If Trump fired Comey to impede the Russia investigation, he possibly engaged in obstruction of justice. That is a crime. That is a case for impeachment. In fact, the first of the three articles of impeachment filed by the House judiciary committee against Richard Nixon in 1974 was for obstruction of justice. That article listed as one reason for impeachment: 'interfering or endeavouring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, and Congressional Committees.'

    "Trump certainly appears to have tried to interfere with the Russia investigation by dismissing Comey.

    "A congressional investigation of Trump's action is warranted. There are White House and Justice Department officials who can be questioned on this subject. They can be asked how the firing was discussed and handled by administration officials. (Congress might also want to ask Comey about the president's claim, in his termination letter to the FBI director, that Comey had assured Trump on three occasions that he was not a target of the bureau's investigation.) There may be documents to subpoena. (One side issue: How could Attorney General Jeff Sessions participate in this decision, as he did, if he recused himself from anything to do with the Russia investigations because he had lied about his own meetings with the Russian ambassador?)

    "This is not simply a personnel matter. Trump does have the right to fire Comey. But if this was done to smother an investigation, Trump may have violated the law, defending himself and not the Constitution. He knows why he did this—and presumably so do Sessions and assorted White House and Justice Department officials. Congress needs to step in and guarantee for the American public that the president has not abused his power and obstructed justice to protect himself. And there are several committees in the House and Senate that could assume this critical mission. With Trump's firing of Comey, the Trump-Russia scandal has moved from a tale of a foreign power undermining American democracy to the story of a president possibly doing the same" (Why Trump's Firing of Comey Should Be Investigated by David Corn).

    ReplyDelete
  10. "President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

    "The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said...

    “…In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. ‘I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,’ the president said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange… Trump cast the countermeasures in wistful terms. ‘Can you believe the world we live in today?’ he said, according to one official. ‘Isn’t it crazy?’… ‘He seems to get in the room or on the phone and just goes with it, and that has big downsides,’ the second former official said. ‘Does he understand what’s classified and what’s not? That’s what worries me…’” (Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador, Washington Post, May 15, 2017).

    ReplyDelete
  11. “The time has come for Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. The remedy of impeachment was designed to create a last-resort mechanism for preserving our constitutional system. It operates by removing executive-branch officials who have so abused power through what the framers called "high crimes and misdemeanors" that they cannot be trusted to continue in office.

    “No American president has ever been removed for such abuses, although Andrew Johnson was impeached and came within a single vote of being convicted by the Senate and removed, and Richard Nixon resigned to avoid that fate.

    “Now the country is faced with a president whose conduct strongly suggests that he poses a danger to our system of government. Ample reasons existed to worry about this president, and to ponder the extraordinary remedy of impeachment, even before he fired FBI Director James Comey and shockingly admitted on national television that the action was provoked by the FBI's intensifying investigation into his campaign's ties with Russia.

    “Even without getting to the bottom of what Trump dismissed as ‘this Russia thing,’ impeachable offenses could theoretically have been charged from the outset of this presidency. One important example is Trump's brazen defiance of the foreign emoluments clause, which is designed to prevent foreign powers from pressuring U.S. officials to stray from undivided loyalty to the United States. Political reality made impeachment and removal on that and other grounds seem premature.

    “No longer. To wait for the results of the multiple investigations underway is to risk tying our nation's fate to the whims of an authoritarian leader. Comey's summary firing will not stop the inquiry, yet it represented an obvious effort to interfere with a probe involving national security matters vastly more serious than the ‘third-rate burglary’ that Nixon tried to cover up in Watergate. The question of Russian interference in the presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign go to the heart of our system and ability to conduct free and fair elections…" (Laurence Tribe: Trump must be impeached. Here’s why by Laurence H. Tribe, Special to The Washington Post).

    Laurence Tribe is Carl M. Loeb University Professor and professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School.


    ReplyDelete
  12. “Consider, too, how Trump embroiled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, despite Sessions' recusal from involvement in the Russia investigation, in preparing admittedly phony justifications for the firing on which Trump had already decided. Consider how Trump used the vice president and White House staff to propagate a set of blatant untruths — before giving an interview to NBC's Lester Holt that exposed his true motivation.

    “Trump accompanied that confession with self-serving — and manifestly false — assertions about having been assured by Comey that Trump himself was not under investigation. By Trump's own account, he asked Comey about his investigative status even as he was conducting the equivalent of a job interview in which Comey sought to retain his position as director.

    “Further reporting suggests that the encounter was even more sinister, with Trump insisting that Comey pledge ‘loyalty’ to him in order to retain his job. Publicly saying he saw nothing wrong with demanding such loyalty, the president turned to Twitter with a none-too-subtle threat that Comey would regret any decision to disseminate his version of his conversations with Trump — something that Comey has every right, and indeed a civic duty, to do.

    “To say that this does not in itself rise to the level of ‘obstruction of justice’ is to empty that concept of all meaning. Obstruction of justice was the first count in the articles of impeachment against Nixon and, years later, a count against Bill Clinton. In Clinton's case, the ostensible obstruction consisted solely in lying under oath about a sordid sexual affair that may have sullied the Oval Office but involved no abuse of presidential power as such.

    “But in Nixon's case, the list of actions that together were deemed to constitute impeachable obstruction reads like a forecast of what Trump would do decades later — making misleading statements to, or withholding material evidence from, federal investigators or other federal employees; trying to interfere with FBI or congressional investigations; trying to break through the FBI's shield surrounding ongoing criminal investigations; dangling carrots in front of people who might otherwise pose trouble for one's hold on power.

    “It will require serious commitment to constitutional principle, and courageous willingness to put devotion to the national interest above self- interest and party loyalty, for a Congress of the president's own party to initiate an impeachment inquiry. It would be a terrible shame if only the mounting prospect of being voted out of office in November 2018 would sufficiently concentrate the minds of representatives and senators today.

    “But whether it is devotion to principle or hunger for political survival that puts the prospect of impeachment and removal on the table, the crucial thing is that the prospect now be taken seriously, that the machinery of removal be reactivated, and that the need to use it become the focus of political discourse going into 2018” (Laurence Tribe: Trump must be impeached. Here’s why by Laurence H. Tribe, Special to The Washington Post).

    Laurence Tribe is Carl M. Loeb University Professor and professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School.

    ReplyDelete
  13. “President Trump appeared to acknowledge Tuesday that he revealed highly classified information to Russia — a stunning confirmation of a Washington Post story and a move that contradicted his own White House team after it scrambled to deny the report.

    “Trump's tweets tried to explain away the news, which emerged late Monday, that he had shared sensitive, “code-word” information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting last week, a disclosure that intelligence officials warned could jeopardize a crucial intelligence source on the Islamic State. ‘As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,’ Trump wrote Tuesday morning. ‘Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism’

    “Trump's tweets undercut his administration's frantic effort Monday night to contain the damaging report. The White House trotted out three senior administration officials — National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — to attack the reports…” (Trump acknowledges ‘facts’ shared with Russian envoys during White House meeting, Washington Post, May 16, 2017).

    ReplyDelete
  14. Post-Comey Firing, Trump Impeachment Is “What the Country and the World Need” by Andrea Germanos: New petition says FBI director's firing adds "another powerful reason for [Trump's] impeachment"

    In the wake of his "Nixonian" firing of FBI director James Comey, calls for Congress to begin an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump have grown. The Tuesday announcement immediately drew parallels to President Richard Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre, and fueled calls for a special prosecutor or independent commission to investigate alleged Russian interference in the election.

    But according to John Bonifaz, co-founder and president of Free Speech For People, there must also be a probe into possible impeachable offenses by the president. He said the firing Comey raises serious questions as to whether [Trump] is engaged in obstruction of justice. The FBI director recently testified before Congress, revealing that the FBI is in the midst of investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian Government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Members of the House of Representatives must now carry out their constitutional duty and initiate an investigation into whether the President has committed impeachable offenses, including obstruction of justice. Our democracy is at stake.

    But as Peter Dreier argues at Salon, that "may have to wait until after November 2018." That's because "[t]his Republican Congress is not going to impeach Donald Trump," New York Daily News' Shaun King writes. "They are all in so deep with him that impeaching him would be an indictment on themselves."

    Or, as historian Kevin M. Kruse puts it: in sharp contrast [to the House and Senate Nixon faced,] Trump has the extreme luxury of a Republican Congress that has, so far, been reluctant to provide the most basic forms of legislative oversight. Indeed, as we saw this Monday, some senators have contorted themselves into considerable knots to shield this president from any outside inquiry.

    Still, two House Democrats see Comey's firing as a catalyzing moment for the movement towards impeachment. According to The Hill, Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) laid out that view on a Wednesday call organized by Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

    The Hill writes: "We are certainly moving down that path [of impeachment]," said Gallego. "There is a lot of runway until we get there, but the president is not helping himself by firing the person investigating him. … We don't have the numbers to do something right now, but when it comes to a point when we feel there is no other recourse, you'd have—I think—we'd have the full support of the Democratic caucus."

    ReplyDelete
  15. From Post-Comey Firing, Trump Impeachment Is “What the Country and the World Need” by Andrea Germanos: New petition says FBI director's firing adds "another powerful reason for [Trump's] impeachment" continued:

    Pocan said that if Democrats had an "impeachment clock" like the "doomsday clock" meant to warn of nuclear war, it would have just moved one hour closer to midnight. As Dreier sees it, "the unfolding scandal over his Russian ties could eventually lead Trump to follow in Nixon's footsteps" and force him to leave office. "If the Democrats win a majority of seats in the House in November of next year (a real possibility), they will have the power to conduct their own investigation of the Trump-Russia connection, obtain Trump's tax returns to uncover his web of business ties, and begin impeachment proceedings."

    But calling for impeachment now "is the appropriate response," writes Ted Glick. "We need to punch back." Glick, who worked on the Nixon impeachment campaign, adds that "it is the call for impeachment, manifested in all of the various ways it can be put forward, that the people's resistance movement needs to begin integrating into all of our other various issue-oriented and political efforts."

    "Impeachment is what the country and the world need," he continues. "Up to now, as bad as Trump has been, that hasn't seemed possible. Now, after Comey's firing, it could be, not right away but over time as the pressure builds."

    Bonifaz's organization, along with RootsAction, is leading a national campaign for an impeachment investigation at www.impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org. Launched on Inauguration Day, the petition says "The President is not above the law," and calls on the House Committee on the Judiciary to investigate possible violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses "and whether the President has—in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed—prevented, obstructed, or impeded the administration of justice."

    And a new petition from the political action committee Democracy for America also says that Comey's firing adds "another powerful reason for [Trump's] impeachment." "We have no love lost for Comey, but Trump firing him in order to shut down the Russia investigation is another in a long line of impeachable offenses. This has to stop. Congress must act—NOW," the petition states.

    Post-Comey Firing, Trump Impeachment Is “What the Country and the World Need” by Andrea Germanos

    ReplyDelete