Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, January 20th, 2019 - 160 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, corruption, democracy under attack, Donald Trump, International, Politics, us politics - Tags:
The orange haired one intends to make an announcement about the US Government shutdown this morning New Zealand time.
The shut down is in its 28th day. And it is clear that it is hurting the Republican Party. Because most Americans see the event as one big temper tantrum by someone just because he did not get his way. Although I am surprised that all Americans do not blame him because the evidence is crystal clear.
And it must be hurting the Senate Republicans especially badly. The Democrats in the House had wisely passed a funding bill based on one the Senate had previously supported which would allow the Government to be reopened. But Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has vetoed the reopening by refusing to put it to a vote.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is handling herself very well and mounted an all out attack on McConnell’s credibility via twitter by getting the #wheresmitch hashtag working as intended.
My twitter feed suggests that Trump may not announce that he will use emergency powers. But that he could go close.
He must or at least should lose in Court if he does. The first question will be why, if this is an emergency, wasn’t anything done at any time in the past two years during which the Republicans controlled all of the Government agencies.
Hand in hand with the constitutional crisis is Trump’s personal crisis, with the prospects of impeachment growing stronger by the day.
The latest problem he has to deal with comes from this Buzzfeed article which suggests that the Mueller Investigation had uncovered evidence that Trump told his lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. From the article:
President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.
Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.
And even as Trump told the public he had no business deals with Russia, the sources said Trump and his children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. received regular, detailed updates about the real estate development from Cohen, whom they put in charge of the project …
Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying about the deal in testimony and in a two-page statement to the Senate and House intelligence committees. Mueller noted that Cohen’s false claim that the project ended in January 2016 was an attempt to “minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1” — widely understood to be Trump — “in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.”
Now the two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.
The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.
Aspects of the story have been disputed by Mueller’s office. Again from the article:
A spokesperson for special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, Peter Carr, disputed aspects of BuzzFeed News’ report.
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” Carr said.
Cohen still intends to testify before Congress on February 7. This promises to be very interesting.
Trump has responded by saying that he is aware of damaging information about Cohen’s family. Let that sink in. The President of the United States has threatened to smear a person’s family if that person gives evidence before Congress.
It is still not clear how or when the US government will be reopened. Or if or when Trump will be impeached. But it seems that every day both events become more likely.