Now we’re getting another mini-frenzy about a phone call of which nobody knows the contents, except the two people on the call. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:
It wouldn’t be the first time we ask ourselves what American journalism has come to, but that question sure appears relevant today. There are again new accusations floating around about Trump. And of course we are all weary by now, after the Russiagate bomb and the Ukraine fizzle, but okay, let’s take a look.
There is a newfangled poetically named “ethics watchdog” named American Oversight, which has received some documents after a FOIA request. And everybody’s talking about it! So it must be real interesting, right? The word bombshell comes to mind. Or at least, the minds of much of the press. There’s the BBC:
The US State Department has released records relating to the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine. Documents were released to the ethics watchdog American Oversight after a freedom of information request. The records show repeated contacts between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mr Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. US ties with Ukraine are at the centre of an impeachment investigation against Mr Trump.
The president is accused of withholding aid to Ukraine that had been approved by Congress to pressure the country into investigating his political rival Joe Biden. Mr Giuliani has been accused of trying to discredit former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch while running a shadow US foreign policy on Ukraine. There have been questions over what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo knew.
The records show Mr Pompeo and Mr Giuliani repeatedly spoke to one another – although the topics of those conversations remain unknown. Emails among the documents suggest the pair spoke on the phone on 27 and 29 March.
When we get done with the impeachment farce, will we turn around and investigate all the shady dealing Democrats have had in Ukraine? Undoubtedly not. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Rudy Giuliani claims that US diplomats have been acting to further the interests of billionaire George Soros in Ukraine in what he described as a “massive pay-for-play” scheme which included falsifying evidence against President Trump.
“The anti-corruption bureau is a contradiction,” Giuliani told Glenn Beck, regarding Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), which Joe Biden helped establishwhen he was the Obama administration’s point-man on Ukraine.
As a bit of background, in December of 2018, a Ukrainian court ruled that NABU director Artem Sytnyk “acted illegally” when he revealed the existence of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s name to Journalist and politician Serhiy Leschenko in a “black ledger” containing off-book payments to Manafort by Ukraine’s previous administration. The ruling against Sytnyk and Leshchenko was later overturned on a technicality.
Posted in Crime, Cronyism, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Investigations, Politics
Tagged Corruption, Democrats, George Soros, Rudy Giuliani, Ukraine
The Democrats are repeating their Russiagate mistakes. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday announced to open an impeachment process against President Donald Trump:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.
Instead of running on policy issues the Democrats will (again) try to find vague dirt with which they can tarnish Trump. This is a huge political mistake. It will help Trump to win his reelection.
Posted in Crime, Cronyism, Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
Tagged Hunter Biden, Impeachment, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Ukraine
From Rudy Giuliani and Fox News:
That Rudy Giuliani is Trump’s attorney does not make his call any less appropriate. From John Solomon at thehill.com:
Rudy Giuliani has an unmistakable New Year’s message for special counsel Robert Mueller: It is time for the chief investigator in the Russia case to be investigated in 2019.
In wide-ranging interviews with Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton and me on Wednesday and Thursday, President Trump’s defense lawyer pointedly accused Mueller’s office of destroying evidence by allowing text messages from now-fired FBI official Peter Strzok and his FBI lover, Lisa Page, to be erased in the Russia probe.
“Mueller should be investigated for destruction of evidence for allowing those text messages from Strzok to be erased, messages that would show the state of mind and tactics of his lead anti-Trump FBI agent at the start of his probe,” Giuliani said.
The Justice Department inspector general (IG) reported this month that it found large gaps in the preservation of official government text messages between Strzok and Page, the two top FBI agents who helped to start the Russia probe in 2016, who were having an affair at the time, and who expressed disdain for Trump.
The report said a technical glitch was to blame for the FBI’s failure to save those text messages, but the IG was able to recover more than 19,000 from the early part of the Russia probe before Mueller was named special prosecutor.
The mainstream media had better tone down the talk of impeachment after Michael Cohen’s allegations; they’ll drive Trump voters to the polls. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
The Washington Post writes on Wednesday that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claim that he broke campaign finance laws at the direction of then-candidate Trump may spark calls to impeach, however even if true it “probably will not have any legal consequences for the president while he is in office,” according to legal analysts.
The 51-year-old Cohen, Trump’s lawyer for a decade, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to campaign finance violations and other charges, including bank fraud totaling “well over $20 million.” The alleged campaign finance violations in connection with paying hush money to two women claiming to have had affairs with Trump, however, are at the heart of what many think could be the start of impeachment talks (since that whole Russia thing hasn’t panned out so far). But even if campaign finance laws were broken, WaPo says it may not matter:
Such an explosive assertion against anyone but the president would suggest that a criminal case could be in the offing, but under long-standing legal interpretations by the Justice Department, the president cannot be charged with a crime.
The department produced legal analyses in 1973 and 2000 concluding that the Constitution does not allow for the criminal indictment of a sitting president. –WaPo
Supporting this notion, special counsel Robert Mueller admitted in May that he will follow DOJ guidance and not indict President Trump as part of the Russia investigation.
“All they get to do is write a report,” said Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
That has forced Trump’s legal team to push off making a decision about whether the president will sit for an interview with the special counsel — a decision they had hoped to reach by Thursday. –Fox News
And as far as campaign finance violations go, the Post notes that “[Mueller] determined months ago that allegations of campaign finance violations involving payments to women before the presidential election were outside the scope of his mandate to investigate whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia’s operation to influence the vote.”
To continue reading: WaPo: Despite Talk Of Trump Impeachment After Cohen Betrayal, Charges Unlikely
President Trump may want to shoot Jim Comey, but analysis suggests he can’t do so without legal consequences. From Andrew Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:
Last weekend, the White House leaked a copy of a letter sent by President Donald Trump’s legal team on Jan. 29 to special counsel Robert Mueller. The letter set forth the president’s legal strategy, arguing essentially that he is immune from prosecution for any crime.
To soften the tone of this poorly received letter, the White House dispatched Rudy Giuliani, the president’s most visible legal spokesperson, to address the issues that his colleagues had raised. He made matters worse when he suggested that if the president ordered Jim Comey “shot in the Oval Office,” he couldn’t be prosecuted because the president can pardon himself and because the president’s personal and presidential behavior is beyond the reach of the criminal justice system.
Giuliani was supposed to be making a principled case for why the president cannot be subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, and he ended up discussing absurd hypotheticals about a self-pardon and shooting the former FBI director in the White House.
Here is the back story.
Trump’s lawyers’ letter argued that obstruction of justice refers to interference with a judicial proceeding and that an FBI investigation is not a judicial proceeding. That was the law before 2002, but an amendment adopted that year provided that any corrupt interference with an FBI investigation that is aimed at producing evidence for a grand jury constitutes obstruction of justice.
The letter’s second argument offered that Trump could not have committed obstruction of justice because he controls all that is done in the executive branch and decides what is just, whom to prosecute and whom to overlook. This is the Nixonian argument that “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal,” which was rejected by the lessons of Watergate.
The president is not a king. He took an oath to uphold the Constitution. That includes the rule of law. The rule of law has three unassailable elements. 1) No one is beneath the law’s protections. 2) No one is above the law’s requirements. 3) No one can be a prosecutor or judge in his own case. The Giuliani argument over the weekend that Trump could have Comey shot in the Oval Office with impunity is not only needlessly tasteless and patently absurd but also contrary to the rule of law, and it is an invitation to presidential lawlessness.
To continue reading: Can President Trump Shoot Jim Comey?