Week of 5/8/18: “That’s your stink. Mr. President, that’s your swamp.”
Donald’s allies among the far-right GOP in the House have escalated attacks on Donald’s own DoJ, drafting articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein, a Trump-appointed Republican who is guilty of doing his job and observing the letter of the law, rather than being a Donald flunky. Rosenstein is having none of that nonsense, decrying the document “nobody has the courage to put their name on” and asserting that “theDepartment of Justice is not going to be extorted” and that he will obey the rule of law despite their threats. BOOM, bitches—Rosenstein in ya face.
Donald, despite claims that “many lawyers and top law firms” want to represent him, is losing yet another member of his legal team, as Ty Cobb announced his retirement at the end of the month. At this rate Don John may wind up representing himself. He may be called upon to do so sooner than later—as he continues to resist being interviewed by investigation lead Robert Mueller, Mueller is bringing up the possibility of a presidential subpoena before a grand jury. Interestingly the only lawyer on Donald’s team who had the security clearances to discuss these negotiations with Mueller, John Dowd, has left.
This leads us right to…
Republicans against the Law
Donald’s new lawyer, the wild-eyed, mouth-foaming Rudy Giuliani, stated on FOX that contrary to Donald’s earlier statements that he didn’t know about the Stormy Daniels payout that his lawyer Michael Cohen made with his own money, he in fact did, and repaid Cohen. That might mean no campaign finance violations if it didn’t come out of campaign money, but it could violate campaign finance lending laws if it wasn’t documented—and more than that, former OGE ethics lawyer and unlikely superhero for right and justiceWalter Shaub says it means Donald has admitted to filing a false financial disclosure. Other legal analysts believe it may offer new leads and evidence in the Russia investigation. And Neil Cavuto, a news host on FOX, of all miraculous places, laid into the president about his trail of lies and contradictions: “I guess you’ve been too busy draining the swamp to stop and smell the stink you’re creating. That’s your doing. That’s your stink. Mr. President, that’s your swamp.”
Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels) is suing Donald for defamation for his comments about her after the artist’s rendering of the man she claims threatened her on Donald’s behalf. Summer Zervos, a former Apprentice contestant who also claims sexual harassment by the pussy grabber in chief, is also suing for defamation.
Eighteen states are suing Donny’s administration over its plans to relax Obama-era greenhouse-gas emissions standards, and California is suing the EPA directly.
Along with the ACLU and another reproductive health organization, Planned Parenthood is suing the administration over proposed changes to the Title X program that will have a negative impact on low-income families, such as touting the “rhythm method” over comprehensive reproductive health services.
Marco Rubio stated in an interview with the Economist that despite the promises of the GOP with their new tax plan, there’s “no evidence whatsoever that the money’s [from corporate tax cuts] been massively poured back into the American worker.”
Michael Cohen—Donny’s lawyer whose records were seized last month—has been hit with $200K more in state warrants for unpaid taxes on his businesses, bringing his grand total to nearly $300K (so far). Interesting things happen when Robert Mueller finds criminal charges against those he’s investigating who might have information relating to Donald when those people are looking to save their own skins…
Investigation into Ronny Jackson—Donald’s personal physician who last week withdrew from his nomination to head the VA upon multiple allegations of ethics violations—may be bolstered by revelations that there were top-level concerns aired about Jackson’s actions last year…By VP Mike Pence’s physician, in part based on Jackson’s treatment of Pence’s wife, Karen. Who then abruptly resigned Friday.
Republican Missouri governor Eric Greitans, facing multiple charges of felony, is refusing to step down from office, so a group of MO lawmakers is convening to consider impeachment proceedings.
“Draining the Swamp”
Ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a request for investigation into Mick Mulvaney, against acting head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, with the Senate Budget Committee and the inspector general for the Federal Reserve for allegedly misleading a Senate panel committee last year about his real estate dealings in his confirmation hearing.
Thomas Homan, Donald’s appointee to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has stepped down six months after being appointed.
In the wake of Scott Pruitt’s abuses of his position and taxpayer dollars as head of the EPA, his closest officials are resigning—one of whom is a top aide fined $125,000 by the FDIC a year ago (around the time Pruitt hired him) and banned from the banking industry for life. Pruitt’s offenses continue to come to light—most recently with revelations that he apparently picked places he wanted to travel and asked his friends and political allies to invent reasons to charge these trips to taxpayers, and that he spent $100K—twice what was initially reported—on a trip to Morocco arranged by a lobbyist who subsequently received a $40,000/month contract from the Moroccan government. Oh, and he secretly bought a house with a lobbyist.
Taking a page from Donald, Paul Ryan basically fired the House chaplain, who often leads prayers for the poor and less fortunate, which apparently cannot be tolerated in the House—along with Father Patrick Conroy’s Catholicism, apparently, which seems to offend the Protestant and evangelical Pharisees in the House. But after Ryan asked for and received the chaplain’s resignation, the chaplain realized Ryan didn’t have cause to fire him, and rescinded the resignation.
Gina Haspel, Donald’s pick to head the CIA, controversial for her role in the torture of interrogated detainees,sought to rescind her nomination Friday, but was talked out of it by the White House.
Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer for the White House under George W. Bush—and outspoken critic of Don John—has announced he is leaving the Republican party to run for Al Franken’s Senate seat in Minnesota as a Democrat.
Parkland students—and even some NRA members—are citing hypocrisy after the NRA announced that all firearms would be prohibited when Mike Pence spoke at the gun-lobbying organization’s annual meeting. Apparently guns are too dangerous for Pence at the annual meeting of gun owners, but just fine for schools.
Meanwhile this idiot running for governor in Georgia (oh, hometown, you are embarrassing me so much lately) ran an ad in which he held a loaded gun on a teenager—to the outraged response of even gun owners for “breaking the first two rules of gun safety: treat every gun as if it’s loaded and don’t point a gun at anything or anyone you don’t intend to kill.”
Social and civil-rights advances:
Australian Cardinal George Pell will face trial over sexual abuse allegations against children, making him one of the most senior Catholic prelates to be brought to trial.
In north Texas, 57 members of a white supremacist gang were charged with drug trafficking and a kidnapping conspiracy, while a white nationalist has been convicted of malicious wounding for beating a black man at last year’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA and may face up to 10 years in prison. The two black men arrested in Starbucks for doing nothing (except being black) have settled with Philadelphia for a symbolic $1 each, and the city will also donate $200K for a program to help young entrepreneurs.
Despite Don John’s puffed-up bluster about immigration, the U.S. is allowing groups of the Central American caravan of asylum seekers to cross the border.
Cambridge Analytica is shutting down and declaring bankruptcy after its breaches of privacy in gathering info from Facebook users resulted in public outrage and the loss of clients. The company will continue to face potential investigations and sanctions from regulatory agencies around the world.
Arizona teachers achieved a 20 percent pay raise and more than $130 million additional dollars invested in schools by the state after their weeklong class walkout, and North Carolina looks to be following suit any second.
Your Feel-good Stories of the Week:
Enjoy this brilliant takedown of attacks on Michelle Wolf’s White House Correspondence Dinner monologue, using quotes from Donald’s own sphinctery mouth. Speaking of being repelled by Don John, residents of his Trump Place building on the Upper West Side went to court to battle for the right to remove Donny’s name from their building—and won. Feeling bleak and hopeless about the state of the world? Take comfort: It’s been worse—a lot worse, plenty of times, and author and historian Jon Meacham thinks it’s going to get better, too.