I Beg Your Pardon… Dad

“So Dad, if I get indicted for some of the stuff I did for you, will pardon me?”

“It’s not as simple as that Junior. If I pardon you, my lawyers tell me it will almost certainly lead to impeachment against me? It will look like obstruction.”

“But I was doing what you told me to do?”

“I know son… it’s complicated. Just believe I know what’s best.”

“I’ve heard you say the same things to Paul and now he’s in jail?”

“You’re different, you’re my son, I’d never let you down.”

“You once practically disowned me, you didn’t speak to me for a few years.”

“You started it.”

“I was a kid, and you were blasting my mother in the tabloids during your divorce.”

“That was just tough negotiating, I had to get the alimony down.”

“Because your kids might have too much stuff?”

“No, because your mother doesn’t have the head to manage so much money.”

“So it was for her own good?”

“Right”

“So what about my pardon?”

“I told you it’s complicated.”

“You pardoned fucking Joe Arpaio and won’t pardon your own son?”

“Did you do it?”

“I didn’t write that letter you dictated on Air Force One. I just stuck to the story you made up. Now I’m about to be charged with lying to the FBI.”

“You should never lie to the FBI. You should have just done like me and refused to talk to them.”

“All of us don’t have that option.”

“I’ve screwed up my life trying to support you.”

“I didn’t tell you to mess up your marriage by having an affair with that woman from The Apprentice. I told you to ‘cut it out’ as a matter of fact.”

“Oh, do as I say and not as I do! Your whole life has been an example to me.”

“I think you’d better watch your tone, son.”

“Or what? You won’t pardon me?

“Pretty much.”

“Good talk dad.”

 

Paul Manafort Goes To Jail

Paul Manafort has a certain sense of style, his fashion sense might not be for everyone, but records show he paid $849,215 to a men’s clothing store in New York. He paid New York tailor Eugene Venanzi almost $100,000 on items including two sports coats made of silk and custom cashmere at $8,500 each, along with several $7,000 suits. Over six years he paid $520,440 to a Beverly Hills clothing store. In his several court visits, he was always well-groomed and properly accessorized. As of today, he’s forsaking his tailored suits for a prison uniform as a Federal Judge ordered him jailed while awaiting trial based on his attempts to contact and influence witnesses. At 69-years-old, Manafort likely hadn’t anticipated going to jail at this point in his career for even a brief time. He may now never see another day of freedom, based on the average sentences for the crimes he has been charged with by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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The additional charges against Manafort, which led to his jailing. Have no doubt sent shock waves through the remaining uncooperating witnesses, not yet giving Mueller what he needs? Michael Cohen must be feeling increased pressure to sell out the President. Manafort may decide that real jail wields far more influence than a potential pardon. Until now Manafort has been inconvenienced, house arrest and occasional trips to court… two ankle bracelets. Now he has to worry about dropping the soap in the shower? That’s a whole different scenario.

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Michael Cohen has told friends he feels like he’ll be arrested in the near future. Rumors are circulating that Mueller will announce a new round of indictments so as not to be too close to the mid-term elections. Donald Trump Jr… are you ready? Jared Kushner? For all those for whom potential charges were just a mental exercise, shit just got real!

The Funeral Of Donald Trump

As must we all, Donald Trump will eventually meet his demise and the country will be faced with the need for the funeral of an ex-President. Always a revered occasion, these events are typically attended by all living former Presidents along with the current office holder. These plans were upset when a mysterious tweet originated from the official @realDonaldTrump twitter account, disinviting former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle, inviting Bill Clinton but allocating no priority seating for his wife, Hillary. He also specified front row seats for three former Playboy playmates and two porn stars, none of whom were Stormy Daniels or Karen McDougal. When questioned, Ivanka Trump acknowledged, “these were my father’s last wishes.”

There was speculation as to whether Melania Trump would attend the service? She was last seen in public on the day they left the White House in disgrace, Donald Trump having been impeached by Congress. When walking to the helicopter on the White House lawn to depart, Trump reached for her hand and she smacked it away… twice. A Marine guard stepped between the couple as it looked as though she might be considering a full assault, but she went ahead and climbed the steps of the helicopter. Trump followed, when he reached the top, instead of turning and waving in his normal manner, he bent over and showed the public his ass. Ultimately, she attended the funeral with all appropriate decorum.

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The location of the funeral and where the body would lay in state was initially undecided. There was no Donald Trump library, no architect had been found to design the building. Tod Williams, one of the architects for the Obama Presidential Library in Chicago is alleged to have said, “How do you design a library for a man that didn’t read?” Some of the versions of that story said he, “couldn’t read.” The family had hoped to have the service at Trump Tower in New York but residents were successful in getting a restraining order against it. That effort ironically was led by a group of Russian tenants. When asked for comment they simply said, “Nyet!” Ultimately, the family accepted an invitation from Greene County, PA on the West Virginia border to host the funeral and bury the body in an abandoned coal mine. The town of 38,000 people was excited about the prospects of new jobs, conducting tours of the Presidential burial site and staffing the gift shop. A resident was overheard to say, “God Bless Him! He kept his promise to reopen the mine!” Invitations to host the funeral were also received from Russia and North Korea.

The service itself was relatively uneventful. The press elected to send a single pool reporter rather than throngs of journalists. Three cameras were mounted including one on the single road leading to the mine so no dignitaries were missed. Greene County Airport didn’t have nearly enough rental cars to accommodate the visitors but arrangements were made from several surrounding Counties to provide school buses. Students that were normally to be in school were dropped off outside the mine and given signs and “Make America Great Again,” hats. Each was promised $50 for their effort but several students later reported not getting paid. Nevertheless, a crowd of about 3,000 lined the road outside the mine. Eric Trump said, “Dad would have loved this, he loved big crowds.”

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Speakers included Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Steve Bannon and Sean Hannity. Donald Trump Jr was unable to attend, having violated prison rules where he was serving his sentence for fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. Diamond and Silk performed a musical selection, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” but forgot the words. Kanye West, not missing a beat, jumped up and led the crowd in “Swing Down, Sweet Chariot” by Parliament Funkadelic providing the one true bright spot of the service. George W. Bush broke out in a dance that was confusing for not being on the beat but entertaining nonetheless. After a prayer by Franklin Graham, everyone piled back onto the buses and left town, save a few of his most loyal supporters who thought they’d stand by the mine entrance for three days… just in case.

Donald Trump: 7 Hours of Hell

A Manhattan Judge just ruled that Donald Trump must sit for a 7-hour deposition with lawyers from Summer Zervos in her defamation case. Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” has alleged that Trump rubbed his genitals against her in 2007 at the Beverly Hills Hilton. Her lawyers will be asking questions about Trump’s harassment of other women, a tactic Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz says he’ll fight. He indicates that unless any other women have been defamed, their testimony is meaningless. Unfortunately for Kasowitz, his client has called “all the women” liars and therefore made their accusations relevant.

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Even worse for Trump is the discovery sought by Zervos and her lawyers. She has requested videotapes from the set of Thye Apprentice including outtakes where Trump is reported to have harassed women, used abusive and tawdry language and even used the “N-word” according to people present. That Trump is capable of the things described was made clear in the infamous Access Hollywood video where Trump himself say’s he can just kiss women, even grabbing them “by the pussy.”

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An argument Trumps criminal lawyers have put forward in their discussions with Special Counsel Robert Mueller is that their client is “too busy” to sit for an interview given his extensive duties as President. He does appear to be getting busier and busier, defending himself against civil and potential criminal complaints including the advancing legal efforts of the Special Counsel, Stormy Daniels lawyer and now Summer Zervos. The Manhattan judge has given Trump until January 31, 2019, to comply with the order. Of course, the President being who he is, his deposition could lead to perjury charges making him busier yet. Stay tuned!

Donald Trump… Above The Law!

“When the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.” Richard Nixon

The New York Times has obtained a 20-page memo from the then Trump lawyers to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, indicating Trump “could not possibly” have committed Obstruction of Justice because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations. His lawyers, Jay Sekulow and former attorney John Dowd, also asserted his ability to use Presidential pardon powers, even saying he has the power to “terminate the inquiry.” They also disputed the authority of the Special Counsel to subpoena records and to compel Trump to testify. In other words, the laws that apply to every other American, do not apply to Donald Trump. He has made the legal assertion that he is above the law!

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Many of the points raised in the memo have already been decided by the Supreme Court. The United States v. Nixon decided a President can be compelled to turn over records. Clinton v. Jones showed a President can be forced to testify. Trump’s constant golf trips to Mar-a-Lago, show he’s just not that damn busy. The memo also verifies that Donald Trump himself dictated the famous Air Force One press release, lying about the Trump Tower meeting including Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump, Jr.

This President has acted as if he were above the law his entire term. He failed to divest himself of business interests, flaunting his conflict of interest by his constant use of Trump properties to conduct government business. He has ignored ethics laws, security clearances, and many long-standing protocols. His Cabinet reflects the ethics of the man himself as they feed at the public trough. It’s time Trump learns that he too is governed by the law, he may even need an introduction to our penal system.

Trump’s memo suggests that no other witness can testify to the President’s intent when considering whether or not he obstructed justice. All the reason to drag him to court and question him under oath. Of course, there’s no reason to believe he won’t commit perjury? That’s another law he should become acquainted with. All the steps Trump’s legal team are taking seem to be in anticipation of Impeachment. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy!

Impeachment or Indictment? That is the Question.

Each day, new revelations reveal the depths of depravity of the Trump campaign, administration, family, and the President himself. What is also apparent is that in every instance reported by the media, Special Counsel Robert Mueller already knew and has known for some time. The final report when issued will be damning, incriminating and it will be clear to the majority of Americans that it’s time for him to go. The question will be, how to proceed?

The two primary options, excluding the unlikely scenario of Trump’s Cabinet committing mutiny and conspiring with VP Mike Pence to remove him for being unfit mentally or physically, is to have him indicted in criminal court or impeached by Congress.

There is an open-ended legal question as to whether a sitting President can be indicted. The issue has never been settled by the Supreme Court, nor is it delineated in the Constitution. There are two Department of Justice findings suggesting it shouldn’t be done but neither carry any legal weight, they are simply Justice Department rules. Filing an indictment will generate a round of appeals as to whether the indictments themselves are legal and the protracted court battle could last well past the President’s term in office, at which time any indictments could be filed without objection on those grounds.

Impeachment is a political process vs. a legal one. It depends on getting a majority of the House of Representatives to vote for impeachment, after which the Senate would conduct a trial, which would require a two-thirds vote to remove the President. Timing is critical as there would be a world of difference between Impeachment proceedings led by House Republicans as opposed to House Democrats if they regain control of the House, Under Republicans, they would draw up the Articles of Impeachment (what crimes will be considered) which would likely be narrow and limited. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee would normally conduct the proceedings and could disallow certain areas of questioning as not being directly related to the Articles and could control witnesses testifying before the House. An attempt at Impeachment prior to the mid-term elections would likely face rejection unless the Mueller report is so compelling it cannot be denied. That won’t keep Devin Nunes, Mark Meadows, and others from attempting to reject the Mueller findings and blame some vast deep state conspiracy against Trump. Should Democrats take control of the House in November, Impeachment becomes much more likely but Democrats shouldn’t jump the gun and get ahead of the report from the Special Counsel.

Should the President be impeached; witnesses may be compelled to give testimony that might be excluded from a criminal trial. If the President is later indicted, that testimony could likely be used against the President and the possibility of a successful indictment leading to a guilty verdict intensifies if he were impeached first. Even an unsuccessful Impeachment will bear fruit in later criminal action taken against the President and those surrounding him.

Most importantly, the impeachment will be televised. Not only will America have the chance to hear first hand of Trump’s high crimes, misdemeanors, and moral failures. Each member of Congress will have to stand up and indicate whether they put Party before Country. They will either continue to protect someone that has literally sold out the nation, putting his personal interests and wealth before any consideration of the people. Or, our representatives will do the will of the people. Trump has not been able to do this alone; it took Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Devin Nunes, Mark Meadows, Lindsay Graham, and from time to time even John McCain who found mavericking a little too tough on some crucial votes. Like the village it takes to raise a child, it also took one to support a would-be dictator.

Indictments will still be there awaiting Trump when he finishes his term. In perhaps wishful thinking, I find it hard to believe our government will stand for allowing him to pardon himself. Criminal and civil actions will follow Trump the rest of his life and there is no one more deserving. For the moment, using the legal means of impeachment, we must rid ourselves of this menace before he does any more harm.

 

Trump Word For The Day: Discovery

Forgotten amidst the omnipresence of Stormy Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti is the defamation suit brought by Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” contestant. Miss Zervos accused Trump of “inappropriate sexual contact,” saying he “ambushed” her,  “tried to kiss her repeatedly” and “touched her breast.” Trump responded by saying Zervos and “all the other women” lied, accusing her of making up the incidents to help Hillary Clinton. Zervos lawyer, Mariann Meier Wang argued in court,  “Trump cannot be allowed to attack a woman who has factually described his sexual groping and be allowed to get off scot-free.”

Trump has fought the lawsuit, seeking its dismissal, yet The First Department of the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division just refused to stay the lawsuit and is allowing Summer Zervos to proceed with pre-trial discovery. New York Supreme Court Justice said, “No one is above the law, It is settled that the president of the United States has no immunity and is ‘subject to the laws’ for purely private acts.” That ruling relied heavily on a 1977 Supreme Court ruling indicating Bill Clinton, a sitting President, could be sued in Federal Court.

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Zervos has requested records regarding accusations that Trump  “subjected any woman to unwanted sexual touching and/or sexually inappropriate behavior.”  She is also requesting tapes known to exist from The Apprentice where Trump says demeaning things about women, is seen engaging in inappropriate behavior and alleged to have used the “N” word as well. Forget the Access Hollywood tape where Trump describes what he does. We may yet see Trump actually engaging in sexual assault and harassing women.

Given the Mueller investigation, raid of his lawyer’s home, office, and hotel, and possibility of both his son and son-in-law facing indictment. Perhaps “Discovery” isn’t high on his list of priorities. If he has any concerns remaining about his image? It should be!