Well. Robert Mueller filed a flurry of new disclosures, and things are getting juicy. Russians interacted with at least 14 of Donny’s associates, most of them in the inner circle, Including Jared and Don Jr. Don John is directly implicated in trying to buy the silence, during the campaign, of the women he had extramarital affairs with, and Manafort told “discernible lies” as the Cohen filing indicates that Russia was making contact with Donny’s campaign as far back as 2015. Stay tuned, friends—I suspect there’s still lots more juice to be squeezed as the noose closes around the neck of Individual 1 and his cronies.
Certainly at least one White House staffer is feeling the pinch—almost immediately after Mike Pence’s boy Nick Ayers was reported to be the heir apparent to John Kelly as Kelly vacates the position of chief of staff, Ayers tweeted fresh on the heels of Mueller’s filings that not only won’t he be taking the job, but he’s fleeing the White House entirely by year’s end. Seems like the first rats are fleeing the sinking ship. And while Donny and Rudy Giuliani keep bleating the usual baseless denials, former Donald associate (and erstwhile lawyer) Chris Christie seems to see the writing on the wall, stating that the “very definitive” verbiage in Mueller’s filings would indicate a high level of confidence in the findings, likely including more “than just one witness.”
Former national security adviser and current felon Michael Flynn has apparently been extremely so helpful to the investigation, sitting for 19 interviews, that Mueller declined to seek sentencing for him, citing Flynn’s “substantial assistance.” Mueller has also reportedly interviewed John Kelly, the White House chief of staff who is finally joining the exodus of staff away from the administration amid what by all accounts has been ferocious tension.
House Dems say that once they take over the House, they will provide Mueller with transcripts of all interviews pertaining to Russian collusion that were withheld from the investigation by Republicans.
Meanwhile the DC and Maryland attorneys general subpoenaed the Trump organization, the IRS and dozens of other entities to determine whether Don John is profiting off the presidency in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
And that leads us right to…
Senators demanded a briefing from CIA head and Donald appointee Gina Haspel on the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after the White House blocked her from last week’s propaganda “briefing” by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who denied that any “direct” evidence linked Mohammed bin Salman to the murder (which Democratic senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a member of the foreign relations committee, called “misleading”).
Following Haspel’s briefing, a bipartisan group of senators condemned the Saudi crown prince, stating that there was “zero question” he was complicit in the murder (which our CIA ascertained weeks ago with “high confidence,” despite Donald’s rejection of American intelligence findings and continued defense and support of the crown prince that Republican senator Bob Corker called “unacceptable”). Even Trump toady Lindsey Graham said, “You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi,” and stated he will no longer support arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Now the bipartisan group of senators wants MBS formally blamed and punished.
Tucker Carlson—Tucker Carlson!—says Trump is not capable, has failed to deliver on his goals, and that the Republican Party “will die” without changes. (How are you enjoying your first bite of reality, Tucker? Join the rest of us—we’ve been feasting on it for years now.)
Rex Tillerson stated that the Very Stable Genius is undisciplined, doesn’t read, and frequently wanted to break the law. (And how are YOU enjoying your first bite of reality, Rex?)
After Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, said on a FOX Business segment that it’s “not anti-Semitic” to criticize Soros. A Fox Business Network host later apologized for the segment.
Democrats won their 40th pickup in the House this past week when another Republican conceded in California, bringing their total winning vote margin for the 2018 elections to 9.5 million votes, beating the all-time record of 8.7 million votes in 1974 after Nixon’s resignation, where Democrats picked up 49 seats.
In North Carolina, investigations into voter fraud are continuing, despite denials from the GOP—ironically usually the party crying “Voter fraud” at every turn. Their silence this time is likely due to the fact that the investigation centers around a political operative who worked for a GOP candidate, and that the GOP had early warning about potential voter fraud that they ignored.
Donald’s unconcerned about his benefit-the-wealthy tax cuts swelling national debt ($21 trillion and counting) because he “won’t be here” when it comes due. Not his problem, apparently.
Recently released emails reveal that a top White House appointee to the VA tried to silence his department from condemning white nationalists after the Charlottesville rally.
And the Washington Post discovered documents that reveal that a month after the election, Saudi lobbyists paid for 500 rooms at Donny’s DC hotel, which were used a lure for veterans who were brought all-expenses-paid to DC to lobby against a law Saudis opposed, but were not told whose interests they were furthering nor who was funding their stay. And undocumented workers employed by Donald in his reports came forward, and Rex Tillerson admitted that the president asked him to do things that were illegal (good of you to finally speak up, Rex).
Climate Change Advances
Fishermen in Oregon and California are suing 30 companies, mostly Big Oil, for their role in concealing their knowledge of the deleterious effects of climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels, and causing global-warming related damages to area fisheries and sea life populations.
In the face of increasingly urgent reports of the pace of global warming, the first major utility company in the U.S. has committed to going completely carbon free by 2050 (and 80 percent by 2030).
The jury in the trial of the self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who plowed down Heather Heyer in Charlottesville found him guilty of first-degree murder.
Your Feel-good Stories of the Week
Pretty much everything in the first section of this newsletter. Plus this magical thing happened when Rudy Giuliani doesn’t know how to use the interwebs. As did this one when Donald again showed he doesn’t know how to use the English language.
Pop the popcorn, warriors! I do believe we’ve hit a tipping point and things are only going to get more interesting from here.