SO MANY WITCHES! As Donald’s former attorney Michael Cohen heads to jail for a three-year sentence and former national security adviser (and, let’s not forget, current felon) Michael Flynn asked for leniency for his “substantial assistance” with Mueller’s investigation, now Russian spy Marina Butina pleaded guilty to operating on U.S. soil to further Russian interests.
Then National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. admitted to prosecutors that it bought and buried stories about women’s alleged affairs with Trump during the campaign at the request of the Trump campaign, further embroiling Individual 1 in hot legal waters.
And THEN federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether Individual 1’s 2017 inaugural committee misspent the $107 million it raised and whether some donors gave money to Don John’s incoming administration in exchange for access or influence on policy and administration positions.
Ivanka Trump negotiated rates for Trump hotels for Donald’s inauguration, an irregularity that caused one hotel exec to write a letter to Ivanka concerned about an audit. If the negotiated rates were inflated it’s a violation of the law.
After Nick Ayers announced he wasn’t interested in Donald’s chief of staff position and in fact was leaving the White House entirely, Donny can find no one interested in taking the position, so he named Mick Mulvaney as “acting” chief.
Donald called a meeting with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi that was recorded on camera, then tried blindsiding them to demand more money for his border wall. But instead Nancy Pelosi owned Don John and the Oval Office like a boss, she and Schumer leading Donald to take full responsibility for a government shutdown (which Republicans had begged him not to do), while Mike Pence did…well, literally nothing, and the Internet (and late-night TV) went wild.
In related developments as the first rats see the stern rising…
Congress Grows a Spine
The Senate voted—in a symbolic but powerful bipartisan statement—to condemn Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, despite Donald’s repeated refusal to accept American intelligence conclusions that bin Salman was directly responsible for the murder.
The Senate also voted across partisan lines to end U.S. military assistance to the Saudi-funded war in Yemen.
The Senate overturned Donald’s rule that politically active nonprofits don’t have to disclose donor information.
The House approved a resolution calling the persecution of Myanmar Muslims a “genocide,” while Donald keeps silent.
Justice for All
The House and Senate agreed on bipartisan sexual harassment bill ending taxpayer-funded settlements of congressional harassment suits, extend protection to unpaid congressional staff, like interns, and providing for the public identification of Congress members who settle such claims.
An Australian court found a Catholic cardinal guilty of child sexual abuse, making him the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged.
The neo-Nazi who killed Heather Heyer and injured dozens of others at the Charlottesville white supremacist rally has been sentenced to life in prison.
After three lower courts ruled that Medicaid recipients have a right to sue states that withhold funding for providers like Planned Parenthood, the Supreme Court declined to review the ruling and the lower courts’ judgment will stand.
A bipartisan group of 44 former senators wrote an open letter to Congress urging members to stand up and protect democracy and put country over party, saying, “the foundational principles of our democracy and our national security interests are at stake, and the rule of law and the ability of our institutions to function freely and independently must be upheld.”
A California chief justice has left the Republican Party, citing the Kavanaugh trial, which “greatly disturbed” her.
Civil and Social Rights Advances
A church in the Netherlands has been conducting services nonstop for six weeks to protect an Armenian family seeking asylum in the church from deportation; Dutch law prohibits police from interrupting a service to make an arrest.
More than 200 faith leaders and religious advocates gathered at the U.S.-Mexico border on Human Rights Day to protest the U.S. not allowing migrants their legal right to seek asylum.
A Boston Symphony Orchestra flautist is suing the organization after learning she is paid $65K less than her male counterpart.
The largest seminary in the Southern Baptist Convention issued an extraordinary statement acknowledging its role in institutionalized racism, admitting all its founders were slave owners and “deeply complicit in the defense of slavery.”
FOX News’s Tucker Carlson said immigrants make America “dirtier,” and advertiser Pacific Life promptly pulled its support.
After losing a court battle, Betsy DeVos is canceling $150M in student loan debt for 15,000 students.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke finally resigned amid several investigations into his multiple ethics and finance abuses of office.
Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) of the Senate Armed Services Committee purchased between $50 and $100K of defense stock he bought days after encouraging a sharp increase in defense spending.
Your Feel-good Stories of the Week
Mick Mulvaney, current director of the Office of Management and Budget, will take the role of chief of staff that no one—not even Chris Christie—wanted, after Mulvaney referred to Donald as “a terrible human being.”
Most Americans don’t believe Donald’s lies, according to a new Fact Checker poll by the Washington Post—fewer than 3 in 10 people and fewer than 4 in 10 Republicans are buying his nonsense.