This week’s delicious Donald smackdown comes from the Guggenheim museum, which made a rather overt statement about their opinion of Donald and his presidency when he asked for the loan of a Van Gogh and they offered him a golden toilet instead.
Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Pat Meehan was removed from the House Ethics Committee for… (wait for it) an alleged ethics violation: using thousands of taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual misconduct complaint against him, and he has announced he will not be running for reelection amidst the fallout.
Pennsylvania’s supreme court threw out the congressional district map as unfairly gerrymandered, giving state lawmakers till mid-February to redraw the maps more fairly. (For a wonderful take on gerrymandering—how it happens, why it’s undemocratic, and how to fight it—read this Q&A with Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf.)
The Russia investigation is growing tentacles. Jeff Sessions apparently tried to influence FBI director Christopher Wray to fire or demote deputy director Andrew McCabe (whom, it was revealed, Donald asked how he voted in 2016) and all other Comey-affiliated investigators. Bob Mueller plans to interview Donald, and ask among other questions about the ousters of lying national security adviser Michael Flynn and resisting former FBI head James Comey, indicating he may be pursuing an obstruction-of-justice avenue. This follows Mueller’s several-hours-long interview with Jeff “I don’t recall” Sessions last week about Donald’s campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
But wait, there’s more! Michael Flynn met with the FBI last year without the knowledge of the White House about his meeting with the Russian ambassador. Mueller’s team has also interviewed Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency director Mike Rogers, and CIA director Mike Pompeo as “peripheral witnesses” to the James Comey firing, and Pompeo “was allegedly asked by Trump to lean on Comey to drop his investigation.” Steve Bannon will meet with Mueller, and his attorney says Bannon will not be able to invoke executive privilege, as he did in his belligerent testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. Mueller’s team has interviewed more than 20 White House officials so far, and to the reported dismay and surprise of friends and advisers, Donald says he will testify under oath with Mueller—in fact he says he “would love to do it” and he “can’t wait!” —despite new revelations that he moved to fire Mueller in June of 2017, which sources say was stopped only by lawyer Don McGahn’s threat to resign. In true Trumpian fashion, Donald’s attorney Ty Cobb immediately walked back Donald’s very clear statements as not what he meant.
The Senate Judiciary Committee announced it will be releasing all transcripts of testimony related to the infamous “I love it!” Trump Tower meeting with Donny Jr. hoping to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Amid all this, some in the GOP are leading a frantic propaganda campaign to distract attention from Mueller’s net closing, alleging misconduct by the FBI.The Justice Department (yes, the one under the aegis of Donald) issued a rebuke to one arm of this baseless smear campaign, warning Devin Nunes, head of the House Intelligence Committee, that it was “reckless” for him to continue to push for a public release a committee memo drawing on classified information to try to malign the Russia investigation. And despite many at FOX News trying to perpetuate the unsubstantiated attacks on the integrity of American intelligence agencies, a rebuke against the propaganda efforts was issued by…well, FOX News, insanely.
A federal judge in Maryland has indicated he might be sympathetic to hearing anti-corruption cases against Donald’s many ethical breaches and violations of the emoluments clause in Maryland and DC.
Donald’s 24-year-old entirely inexperienced drug policy appointee will step down after less than a month in his position.
Even the pope is now defending freedom of the press and speaking out against “fake news”: “a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes [that] leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred.”
If this administration is rolling back women’s rights, the rest of the world is roaring louder than ever to protect them, as seen in the one-year anniversary women’s marches that drew hundreds of thousands last weekend. The unrepentant sex abuser Larry Nassar was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison after the judge in his multiple sex-crimes case allowed more than 150 women to testify about the abuse they suffered at the hands of the Olympic doctor under the guise of medical exams, and the entire board of directors of Olympics USA has been asked to resign in the wake of questions about how his abuse was allowed to go on so long. RNC finance chairman Steve Wynn resigned after allegations of pressuring employees to perform sex acts. A reporter went undercover in a high-society men-only charity event in London and revealed a culture of sexual harassment and abuse that has resulted in the dissolution of the event and its parent foundation. Women are driving the resistance, with Indivisible national reporting that in 2017, 86% of calls to members of Congress were made by women, and 70% of Indivisible group members, and the majority of group leaders, are women.
And in other civil-rights advances, this year Texas has 48 LGBTQ candidates running for office—more than any other election cycle.
So far 50 senators have indicated support for upholding net neutrality rules—and Burger King has thrown its corporate support behind net neutrality with a new video that attempts to show why a fair and open internet is essential.
Finally, a must-listen for resisters: Vox’s Ezra Klein presented a podcast called “How to Oppose Trump without Becoming More Like Him.” A great reminder to hold on to what we’re fighting for as we continue to engage in battle with what we’re fighting against.