The Licensing of the Presidency (White House for Sale)

It’s how Trump has done business the past couple of decades. After six bankruptcies, Trump did learn a new trick and started selling his name and not trying to run a profitable business. Trump doesn’t really own many of the properties with his name on them. In 2015, his name was on seventeen properties in New York of which he owned only five. At present, the number of buildings in New York with his name has dwindled to eleven, as the six“Trump Place” properties elected to have the Trump name removed. The Trump Organization continues to manage the properties. A typical deal involves Trump licensing his name which once attracted buyers/renters for a fee while also being paid for management duties.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Trump’s new business model allowed him to eliminate risk while raking in a percentage, whether the venture succeeds or fails. When The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City filed for bankruptcy in 2014. It was the owner Roger Khafif that took the hit, even though it was the mismanagement by Trump Panama Condominium Management LLC. that helped run the property aground, approving $2.2 million in unauthorized debts, and approving undisclosed bonuses to its executives.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Trump had found a way to make money he couldn’t possibly screw up. Until he brought the same tactics to his campaign and ultimately to the White House. The first clue should have been when Paul Manafort volunteered to work with the Trump campaign for free. At the time, Manafort was being sued by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska for an allegedly misspent $19 million and had reportedly received an additional loan for $26 million. In all, Manafort was on the hook for up to $60 million dollars. How was he in any position to work in a highly visible position for free when people with ties to the Russian mob were trying to collect from him.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

The answer, which was part of a now obvious pattern is that Manafort provided services to Trump, and was allowed to run free with his own side deals, using access to Trump to make money. Among the first things he did was provide information to Deripaska about internal Trump polling data and get Trump to change the Republican Platform in a manner favorable to Russia.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

That change to the RNC platform didn’t go unnoticed but Trump and Manafort were able to stonewall efforts to pin down the story and it got lost in a sea of Trump scandals. One might think Trump would be wary of selling his name and position after that but apparently he was just getting started.

At the time of Scott Pruitt’s resignation as the EPA head, he was facing eleven investigations including his relationships with lobbyists which included a highly favorable housing arrangement while in D.C. Pruitt used his White House expense account to fly first class and use private planes. He had a woman on the payroll as an advisor that apparently rarely came to work. It was all good as long as Trump got his wishes which included gutting regulations that were protecting the environment.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry recently resigned as Energy Secretary (a department he couldn’t remember in a televised debate when running for President). It seems he took advantage of his role as one of the “Three Amigos” advancing Trump’s Ukranian policy to hook up his friends with a huge energy contract. Those friends were loyal Perry campaign donors and I consider it likely Perry would ultimately be rewarded for the favor.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Guiliani was apparently working his own side deals while allegedly doing the country’s bidding. He was paid $500,000 by recently-arrested Lev Parnas; a Ukranian-American businessman that was allegedly working for Rudy, digging up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Who pays someone else half-a-million bucks to go work for them?

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Recently released documents show Rudy was negotiating a contract with former Ukranian prosecutor Yuriy Letsenko with whom he was working to dig up Biden dirt. Their negotiations got as far as a deal memo which Guiliani signed for $300,000. Trump is suddenly “unaware” of what Rudy was doing in Ukraine. Weeks ago Rudy said Trump was his “only client,” while Trump claims Rudy has lots of other clients than himself. One of them is lying.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Extend the pattern of grifters throughout the Trump administration. Take Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross whose net worth is over $700 million. He’s was sued by and later settled with former business partner David Storper who alleged Ross ripped him off for millions. Ross was Vice-Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus when he oversaw a Russian deal for which the bank was found to have laundered hundreds of millions of Russian money and was also Paul Manafort’s bank at the time. Birds of a feather. Throw in Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka who made $80 million last year while “volunteering” at the White House and it’s all so clear.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Government service is supposed to be honorable; serve your country for a few years at a government pay scale and perhaps you go on to make real money afterward. Trump and associates couldn’t wait that long. Everyone has a side hustle and is using Donald Trump’s name as collateral. The worst part is that many people within his own party know, but simply don’t care. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ever pressed the issue, someone might start looking at the millions in gifts he’s received from his father-in-law who owns a Chinese shipping firm? Selling access and favors is a great job if you can get it.

The Pros and Cons of Trump Receiving a Pardon (What Happened When Nixon Got Pardoned?)

We know the Impeachment of Donald Trump is coming. That the House of Representatives will send multiple counts to the Senate for trial is a given. Whether Republicans are able to put Country before Party is another thing but despite the theory that if Trump survives Impeachment it allows him to declare himself a victor. The more likely outcome is that even if he’s not convicted by the Senate. American voters won’t want to put themselves through four more years of this perpetual madness. Once he’s out of office, he’ll be eligible to be prosecuted for his crimes and there’s a line forming of people waiting to charge him. The question is; should Trump receive a pardon as Nixon got? Allegedly to keep from tearing the country apart.

For those Ever-Trumper’s demanding to know what crimes he’s committed? The rest of the nation is sure he’s broken Federal Election laws and obstructed justice as well as violated the Logan and Hatch Acts. When his finances are finally revealed, we can add tax fraud, regular fraud, and money laundering to the list. There won’t be a question as to whether he and his family have broken the law. The question is; what are we willing to do about it?

When Nixon resigned in disgrace, President Gerald Ford pardoned him before charges could be brought in order to “spare the nation.” We’ll never be able to know how the nation would have responded had Nixon been jailed but America was pretty much in turmoil after he was pardoned. Ford discovered the voters held a grudge as he was beaten in the next election by a peanut farmer from Plains, GA. I’ve been to Plains and don’t suspect they’ll be producing any more Presidents anytime soon.

Yes, Trump’s base will be upset if he goes to jail. They’ll be upset if he doesn’t go to jail. They’d be upset if he managed to win re-election. When your constituency is glued together by rage, being upset is what they do. I’m less concerned about the Trump base than I am the next politician who wants to use the Office of the Presidency to enrich himself and his friends at the expense of the rest of us. It’s going to take enough to rebuild this nation as it is without a pissed-off Donald Trump on Twitter all day about how he was wronged.

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Donald Trump didn’t reach the highest office in the land with lofty aspirations to help the country and maintain high ethical standards. He was a crook when he arrived, surrounded himself with more crooks in his Cabinet and administration. It seems almost all of his political appointees were either crooks, white supremacists, or both. None of the people Trump pardoned went through the normal process of having been reviewed by the Office of the Pardon Attorney within the Justice Department. They were issued because someone knew someone or had a celebrity advocate like Kim Kardashian. Like every other American. Trump should have the opportunity to file for clemency. This usually takes place after someone has served a portion of their sentence and met all the guidelines.

I don’t want Trump to go to jail because I dislike him (although I do dislike him). Not because he’s a Republican (he’s not really a Republican although they are willing to follow him off a cliff). Not because he’s conservative (have you seen his deficits?). But because an example must be set. There’s a criminal right now thinking he can avoid a jail sentence if he can just get to be President and avoid prosecution. No, America doesn’t want to become a banana republic where politicians who lose or are ousted are thrown in prison. But America can no longer consider itself a nation of laws if its most visible citizen is above it.


What if Trump Won’t Leave?

It’s not as ridiculous a question as it seems. Trump has already hinted at the possibility of not leaving office; even if he completed two full terms in office. Of course, there are two distinct means by which he might not serve more than one term. He could be voted out of office in the 2020 Presidential Election, or he could be Impeached. The ongoing Impeachment investigation has reached the public hearing stage. America is learning more daily about Trump’s back-channel diplomacy and apparent extortion of Ukraine to improve his chances of staying in office.

“We’re cutting record numbers of regulations — we’ve cut more regulations in a year and a quarter than any administration whether it’s four years, eight years, or in one case 16 years. Should we go back to 16 years? Should we do that? Congressman, can we do that?”

The immediate threat to his presidency is the Impeachment inquiry. After the first week of public hearings, there is the testimony that Trump blackmailed Ukraine to force them to make public statements about an investigation of a political rival and his son; in order to receive hundreds of millions in military aid. Trump’s engaged in an unprecedented level of obstruction; refusing to let administration witnesses testify or release records and documentation. We’ve seen how an Ambassador was demonized, forced out, and even intimidated while on the stand testifying. He told a foreign leader she was “bad news,” and that:

“She’s going to go through some things!”

The official Impeachment inquiry began after a September 25th phone call during which Trump demanded a favor from the Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky; immediately after he brought up his willingness to purchase additional javelin missiles. An opening statement from closed-door testimony shows on September 26th, Trump talked by phone to Ambassador Sunderland and pressed him on the progress of Ukraine releasing the statement Trump wanted.

It is fairly certain, that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will formally Impeach the President and send the case to the Senate for a trial. Less clear is whether the Republican-controlled Senate will do anything other than to vote by Party line. Impeachment requires a two-thirds majority in order to oust the President and currently that isn’t likely. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says he “won’t even read the transcripts” from the House investigations. He may not be alone.

There is a precedent, however; Republican support to impeach Richard Nixon was even less than it is for Trump. Yet televised hearings and public opinion pressured them to the point that Republicans went to Nixon and told him he “didn’t have the votes” to survive Impeachment. Nixon ultimately resigned “for the good of the country.” From what we know of Trump, the good of the country won’t cross his mind and resignation is unlikely. So what if he won’t leave?

“You know the last time I jokingly said that the papers start saying, ‘He’s got despotic tendencies, (staying in office longer) “No, I’m not looking to do it. Unless you want me to do it, that’s OK.”

The first thing Trump would likely do is to file lawsuits. Sue the House of Representatives, the Senate, the whistleblower; everybody. That he has no chance on the merits won’t bother him. He has claimed that the President has absolute immunity while in office and that the President cannot even be investigated; in his legal filings. He said publicly that he could “shoot someone on 5th Ave.,” and get away with it. People thought he was joking.

We’ve all seen how long he’s been able to avoid releasing his taxes as various lawsuits wind their way through the court system. He’s lost on every lower level, including appeals to the Federal courts. All that remains is the Supreme Court which these days is highly unpredictable. The goal for Trump won’t necessarily be winning, although he would like that. It would be the delay, up to two years. Certainly long enough to run in the next election. If Impeached during one term is there anything to stop him from running in the next election? He wouldn’t be a felon as he wouldn’t have been prosecuted or convicted while President.

“Do you think the people would demand that I stay longer?”

The other possibility where Trump might try to go against tradition and stay in office; is if he is defeated in November 2020, but decides not to stay. He would have no problem declaring it a “rigged election” and either declare himself the winner or demand a whole new election (or recounts in only the states he lost). He’d declare (as he did in 2016) that millions of illegal voters were allowed to vote, provide his own set of unverifiable numbers which would be instantly be backed up by his surrogates and Fox News. Because of our built-in transition period between the election and inauguration. For over two months after the election, Trump would still be President; with control over the Justice Department, the Secret Service, and the military.

America has always set itself apart from the rest of the world with its history of peaceful transition of power. Despite Trump’s constant declarations, there has never been a coup with a leader forced out of power. Usually, an attempt to illegally take power or stay in power involves the military. Whatever Trump believes, the military is not so ingratiated to him that they would obey any order. There’s also the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits American troops from acting on American soil. That doesn’t apply to the National Guard which is controlled by individual states. We might see some Governors call out soldiers in an attempt to defend the President. Trump has had a loyal base of 30–40 percent of the nation. Would they stick with him even in an attempt to unconstitutionally remain in power?

The one thing we can’t say is that Trump would never consider it. He put himself ahead of the country’s interest in Ukraine. He’s indebted to the Russians to a degree we’ll never know until his financial records are released. He will lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power. Overstaying his term will seem relatively minor in his view. He’ll do what he always does; make statements to test the waters, measure the level of resistance… act. Speaking of Chinese President Xi Jinping he said:

“He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”

What Was True of Trump in 2016 is No Less True Today

I wrote this in May of 2016. Looking back it shows just how much we knew about Trump before he became President and if anything, he’s worse today.

“There is a long list of things that Donald Trump does not understand. The list is long and normally his ignorance would have seen him removed from consideration for the Republican nomination for President. But the one thing he does understand has proven to be enough to attract enough of the Republican base that he steamrolled 16 other candidates to finish on top and now has a chance to become our next President. To those who are supporting Donald Trump, you know the following:

  1. Donald Trump doesn’t know a damn thing about foreign policy. He has no beliefs you can count on. Everything he’s said regarding Mexico, Muslims, China and the few other countries he can name, is contradicted by something else he’s said on the same subjects. He says he is anti-war, yet he has a secret plan to destroy Isis which has no specific base of operations and is spread out amongst nations all over the world, mostly living in major cities intermingled with the civilian population. Ask him how much his wall will cost? How will he make Mexico pay for it? You know he has no plan but you don’t care.
  2. You know Trump has little respect for women. He cares little about them besides their appearance. He calls them “dogs” and rates their bodies. He calls out Hillary for allegedly “enabling” Bill Clinton yet you ignore that he himself is a serial cheater. He want’s credit for giving one of his wives a large role in a casino yet he paid her one dollar a year as salary.
  3. You know he doesn’t really tell it like it is. He lies! Not just an occasional lie but pretty much every public statement he makes is full of lies, many of which have already been disproven. He lies, you know he lies and he knows you won’t care.
  4. You know he doesn’t understand the economy. Being fair I’ll give him credit for taking advantage of tax loopholes, using eminent domain and using the system to enhance his personal wealth. But he has no clue as to how the economy operates, which you know, and it doesn’t matter.
  5. You know he doesn’t hold traditional Republican values. I’m not sure that he has many values at all but he certainly doesn’t believe in the conservative values the party claims to espouse. He just joined the Party, has threatened Party leaders throughout his campaign including possible riots at the Convention should things not go his way.
  6. He has no plan to replace Obamacare, you know his promises are not backed up by any coherent plan and you might not be able to state what specific promises he’s even making other than to be “the best” and “making America great again” and “winning”.

You hear a lot about people voting against their interests. I don’t think Trump supporters or most voters actually vote against their interests. Outsiders simply fail to dig deep enough to find out which interests they care about more than those you think they could be considering.

A Donald Trump Presidency would be a failure on so many levels for most Americans yet many would see him as a champion. Because for all the things Donald doesn’t understand, he knows the loss of white privilege. When he says he’ll “make America great again” he’s clearly saying he’ll reverse the gains made by minorities at the expense of white males. Of course, he’s disregarding that minorities have never had a level playing field in the first place and any gains were to simply get closer to even. His supporters understand that Donald Trump will stand up to any effort that diminishes white people which he lets you know as he bashes Mexicans and “the Blacks” and Muslims and China and Japan, and, and, and.

Donald Trump is xenophobic, he says “America first”. You not only know this but you like it. Donald Trump is clearly racist. He’s counting on you not to care. To vote for Trump is to convince yourself to ignore all the things you know he doesn’t know, in favor of the one thing you’re certain of.”

Although he is on the precipice of Impeachment based on events that weren’t predictable in 2016. His character was always clear. We didn’t know which crimes and abuses of power he’d commit. Just that he would do so.

No, Donald Trump, There’s Only One Kind Of Lynching!

In his most recent attempt to get Republicans to defend him against a looming Impeachment. Donald Trump reminds them that they are witnessing, “a lynching.” Let’s be clear. If you don’t end up dead at the end of the day, you haven’t been lynched.

“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN” Donald Trump

Lindsey Graham, who used to be John McCain’s friend and tried to claim some of his integrity by osmosis. Backed the President up in a statement by saying that what is going on is a “political lynching.” Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court called the investigation into him a “high-tech lynching.” Democrats were too afraid to face the possibility of being called racist so they opted instead to be sexist and misogynistic.

While some people debate whether anything other hanging counts as a lynching (most now agree that shooting and other causes of death count). It’s quite clear that if nobody is dead, nobody got lynched.

If it wasn’t so sick it would be amusing to see the biggest bully on the planet, throwing a pity party trying to rev up support. People who have been lynched have mourners. Family members that have experienced tremendous loss and buried their loved ones, assuming the body was left to be found or in the case of mass lynchings, distinguishable from other bodies. I could point you to the Ocoee Massacre where two men tried to vote and white people shot or burned out the whole black population of the town. Ocoee (a stone’s throw from Orlando) had no black residents for 40 years afterward). That was a lynching.

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Donald Trump has disparaged the entire continent of Africa calling them “shithole countries.” He literally left Puerto Ricans to die after a hurricane by making George Bush’s effort after Katrina look Herculean. Trump visited, laughing and threw paper towels. He tried to ban Muslims, put Hispanic children in cages, and now wants us to feel sorry for him because his crimes and abuse of power and being investigated.

His next move after his claim of being lynched was likely the golf course, making him the first lynched person to demand a mulligan. There and everywhere else he goes, he’ll cheat and lie and beg for protection from people he doesn’t give a damn about. Eventually, he’ll get on Twitter and lash out at others. On a good day, he might destroy a political career or cause someone else to suffer. That same Twitter is now mocking him for evoking the imagery of lynching, applying the term to one of the most privileged people on the planet. Trump should be made to see pictures of people who’ve actually been lynched but he’s likely too sensitive to endure it. There’s no situation ever comparable to lynching. Impeachment is far behind in comparison and Trump is fully deserving.

What is most likely to happen now is that an army of surrogates will support Trump’s use of the word lynching as Sen. Graham has already done. The opinion shows on Fox News will do the same, trying to make it acceptable to their viewers as well. Kamala Harris said what it would do well for them all to remember:

“Lynching is a reprehensible stain on this nation’s history, as is this President. We’ll never erase the pain and trauma of lynching, and to invoke that torture to whitewash your own corruption is disgraceful.” Kamala Harris

Hakeem Jeffries added:

“Thousands of innocent African-Americans were murdered during the lynching epidemic.

They were viciously slaughtered because of the color of their skin.

The House impeachment inquiry is mandated by the Constitution.

Keep. Your. Historically. Ignorant. Mouth. Shut.” Hakeem Jeffries

Congressman Jeffries’s last words deserve repeating. Keep your ignorant mouth shut!

Take a Letter Ivanka

Last night, as I got home, about a half-past ten

There was the woman I thought I knew, watching CNN

I kept my cool I ain’t no fool let me tell you what happened then

I packed some clothes and I walked out and I ain’t going back again

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gotta start a new life

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

You’ve been many things but most of all a very good daughter to me

And it’s times like this I feel… You’ve always been close to me

Was I wrong to cheat and lie, I gave her a very good life

Ever since I’ve been President, my life’s been full of strife

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gotta start a new life

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Send a copy to Giuliani, gotta start a new life

When a man loves a woman, it’s hard to understand

Why she would turn from Fox News, and start watching CNN

I never really noticed, how sweet you are to me

It just so happens I’m free tonight

Would you like to have dinner with me?

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gotta start a new life

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Think I’ll go to Russia, gotta start a new life

And now here comes Impeachment, it’s all based on fake news

Just because I used other countries, to make sure I couldn’t lose

I told Ukraine you’ll get no money unless you get the goods on Joe

I just don’t get why people think it’s some kinda quid pro quo

And now it’s out all over town that I keep two sets of books

One that shows I’m ultra-rich on top of my good looks

The other set says that I’m dead broke so my taxes are really low

I know you understand Ivanka because that’s the way we roll

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gotta start a new life

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

Apologies to R.B. Greaves

Who Thought John Bolton Would Be The Moral Center of Trumpworld?

I don’t pretend to like John Bolton. He is the warmonger of warmongers. He has no use for the rest of the world and thinks they deserve no input into anything.

“If I were doing the Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member, the United States, because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world. All international laws are invalid, meaningless attempts to constrict American power.”

His solution to problems with other nations is typically regime change.

“The only way to resolve the North Korean problem is to change the regime.”

“Iran has essentially mastered all of the complex science and technology that they need to have a completely indigenous nuclear weapons program. That means that our options on Iran are extremely limited, to regime change or as a last resort, the use of force.”

“It was right to overthrow Saddam Hussein. It was the regime itself that was a threat. I think in hindsight, what I would have done is turn authority back over to Iraqis much more quickly and say: “Your country, you figure out how to run it.”

When you look up “neo-conservative” in the dictionary. John Bolton’s mustache is next to the definition. Yet still, in one of the few bright moments from within the Trump administration. John Bolton saw a crime, refused to take part, and had it referred to White House lawyers for review.

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up.”

Bolton went further according to former NSC Russia Expert Fiona Hill, he said,

“Giuliani’s a hand grenade and is going to blow everybody up.”

Bolton made sure that when shit goes down, and it will, he had absolutely nothing to do with it.

John Bolton recently left the Trump administration with differing accounts of the circumstances. Bolton says he quit… Trump says he fired him. Bolton has said almost nothing publicly since his departure but left no doubt he has plenty to say and will in due time. I didn’t like Bolton when he served as American Ambassador to the United Nations during the Bush administration. I didn’t care to hear and see him as a contributor to Fox News. I didn’t like him in the Trump administration. But when he’s inevitably called to testify in a House hearing. I’m getting the popcorn and pulling up a chair.

Why Republicans Want House Democrats to Vote for Impeachment

Mitch McConnell already said it…

“I would have no choice but to take it up. How long you’re on it is a whole different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up.”

Democrats in the House of Representatives now have the votes without needing any Republicans, to vote to Impeach the President and send the matter to the Senate for a trial; and that’s just what Trump and Republican lawmakers want.

Right now, Republicans are the minority in the House and though they control the other two branches of government. There’s little they can do to keep 6 separate House committees from investigating and calling witnesses. One or more breaking or even leaking negative news against the President. The dam has broken on the White House stall tactic of refusing to let witnesses testify. Even after the White House demanded they not, they are starting to come forward, last being former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. She dropped some new names when she quoted John Bolton as telling her to contact White House lawyers saying,

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up.”

House Republicans have no power to stop this assault on the well-deserving Trump. They spent years running roughshod over Democrats when they were in the majority and you know what they say about payback. Rep. Matt Gaetz tried to sit in on a hearing of a committee he wasn’t on and got kicked out. Their ability to question witnesses is limited and they don’t have subpoena power. Trump has demonstrated his full lack of understanding of the Constitution by calling for the Impeachment of Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi (House members can’t be Impeached). He’d have been better off using King Henry II’s tactic of asking, “Will no one rid me of these meddlesome Democrats?” Of course, Trump has little knowledge of history though there’s a small chance he caught the line in the award-winning movie, “Becket.”

So, how do Republicans end the madness, watching as polls slide more and more in favor of Impeaching and removing the President? Put it in the hands of the Senate of course. Didn’t Mitch McConnell handle Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for the Supreme Court? And like it or not, he got Brett Kavanaugh through, even conducting a fake investigation where he and the White House controlled the scope, refusing to interview multiple witnesses who called the FBI saying they had relevant testimony. If the House has an Impeachment vote, Mitch will immediately begin a Senate trial as he’s promised. His first order of business will be to try shutting down the investigations of the House committees which he’ll say were interfering with the solemn duties of the Senate.

As soon as Mitch gets his hands on the process, he’ll start shaping what will be investigated, which witnesses will be heard, and what will be held in the open vs kept in the dark. Casual observers will wonder exactly who is on trial as at least half the testimony will be about whistleblowers, the deep state, and Hunter Biden. They’ll lead you to believe Donald Trump has acted no differently than Democrats doing opposition research and the Hillary campaign. All while planning to host the next G-7 conference at Mar -a- Lago. Trump will probably suggest the Senate Hearings be held in the Trump Internationale ballroom because the acoustics are “the greatest.”

Make no mistake, Republican efforts to have an immediate House vote are a ploy to take over the reins of the investigation. If you’ve ever watched a Senate confirmation hearing you get the gist. Republican Senators like Susan Collins (ME) will wring their hands but ultimately vote with their majority. They’ll find Trump’s actions “concerning” but that they don’t rise to the level of “High crimes and misdemeanors.” Meanwhile, the unindicted coconspirator from a case which saw one of his personal lawyers go to jail, won’t be prosecuted as a sitting President, while another personal lawyer of his faces the same fate.

Nancy Pelosi is doing the right thing by holding off the Impeachment vote. Trump’s reputation such that it is, is dying by a thousand cuts and even the Trump base is realizing the crimes he’s committed. Whether some of them care is another matter but public opinion is shifting and fair-weather Senators will invariably shift with it. Unless they get an early chance to stop the Impeachment altogether.

Ukraine is Important- Impeach Trump – Don’t Forget to Follow the Money!

Democrats in the House of Representatives have finally gotten traction against Donald Trump. Revelations of his conversation with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which he requested multiple times Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Along with moving transcripts of that conversation along with those with Soviet leader Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, seems to have done the trick. The narrative was simple, Trump traded our national security for his personal political interest; holding up $391 million in military aid approved by Congress unless he “did us a favor” and investigated the Biden’s to hurt Joe’s bid as a contender in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Add to that, revelations that Trump in the Oval Office told two Russians he was “unconcerned” about Russian interference in the 2016 Election because “we do it all the time in other countries,” was simple enough that the White House has yet to issue a response two days later. Surrogates on the Sunday shows twisted themselves in knots trying to defend the President. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy literally denied Trump said what the White House released transcript admitted he said. Stephen Miller pointed to the “deep state” and cited his vast knowledge after three years in government. Lindsey Graham forgot everything he learned in law school by discounting, “second-hand” information, forgetting his own reliance on Linda Tripp during the Clinton Impeachment.

Most of all, the public has reacted to the Ukraine information with a majority of Americans, 55% according to recent polls, now supporting an Impeachment investigation. Nancy Pelosi has indicated the focus of the investigation will be Ukraine and national security which is understandable, but it’s critical not to take their eye off the ball and ignore Trump’s finances which is what Trump clearly has been trying to keep from the view of Democrats and the American public.

As rewarding and the Ukrainian line of inquiry has been. Expecting Republican Senators to vote against Trump in an Impeachment trial based on moving documents to a different server and disobeying the Presidential Records Act is expecting more that they’ve demonstrated they should be credited for. Their ability to ignore the Quid Pro Quo in Trump’s suggestion Ukraine investigate Biden cannot be underestimated, especially after listening to Lindsay Graham, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee put Tump above both Party and Country. What will be needed, is to remind the public, that not only is Trump a lawless traitor, he’s also a crook, which is why the ball shouldn’t be dropped on following the money.

AT this moment, Trump’s personal financial information and that of The Trump Organization is being sought by various Congressional committees, the State of New York, a Manhattan District Attorney, the State of California, and various private groups suing Trump. Trump has gone to extreme lengths to keep that information secret including ignoring subpoenas, instructing the IRS not to comply with rules about providing taxpayer information to the Ways & Means Committee. Trump has sued his banks and accountants to keep them from complying with legally issued subpoenas. He’s using the Malcolm X approach to keep his finances secret… “by any means necessary.”

We’ve heard testimony from Michael Cohen that Trump used fraudulent financial data to secure loans or get better insurance rates. Ivanka and Don, Jr had criminal fraud charges dropped after a Trump attorney visited the Manhattan District Attorney and later made a huge donation to his campaign fund. The Trump Foundation has been shut down as a fraudulent charity. The Trump Organization has been accused of money laundering, and there have been multiple suspicious real estate transactions Trump and his sons once bragged about with Russia and Saudi Arabia. There seems to be fertile ground to uncover illegal activity once the financial records are reviewed. This is no time to give up and chase the shiny Ukranian object.

Yes, Ukraine is important, Trump’s secret conversations with Putin and MBS equally so. But follow the money; in all likelihood it will lead to proof of multiple other crimes, equally understandable by the public and impossible for Republican senators to ignore.

For Those Who Don’t Remember Watergate… Here’s What To Expect

If you were old enough to remember October 8, 1998. That’s the date when Impeachment proceedings were launched against President Bill Clinton. The process itself took 16 months from the House authorizing an Impeachment vote by a count of 258–176. Republicans were supported by 35 Democrats who supported the proceedings.

The year before the Impeachment started was marked by Independent Counsel Ken Starr holding a Grand Jury and steadily leaking his findings to tarnish Clinton. He eventually presented his 3,183-page report to the House of Representatives, dropping off 18 boxes of supporting material and dropping the mike. The Senate trial presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, began January 7, 1999.

There were breaking news highlights including Monica Lewinski presenting the semen-stained blue dress she’d saved for years without ever cleaning. Her alleged friend Linda Tripp appeared before the grand jury four times producing secret tapes she made of Lewinski baring her soul. When it was all said and done, it was a highly partisan affair and Clinton was acquitted on the two counts presented for trial. Republicans lost seats in the House of Representatives after failing to Impeach Clinton and Newt Gingrich who headed up the charge, resigned as House Majority Leader. Clinton apologized and went on to finish his second term with a high approval rating. That was how Clinton’s Impeachment went, Trump’s will be more like Watergate.

Watergate got very little traction in the beginning. On June 17, 1972, five inept burglars were caught breaking into the DNC headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. One of the five, James McCord, was a security coordinator for the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Committee to Re-Elect the President, aptly named CREEP. He was fired from both positions the day after the break-in. The story would have died out but for the dogged reporting of the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The saga was played out in the film, “All The President’s Men,” starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. If you’ve seen the movie or know your history (perhaps lived it). You already know the ending. Nixon resigned when a few Republican Senators told him he “didn’t have the votes” and he quit to spare his pride the nation the trouble of kicking him out. I don’t expect Trump to have the decency to resign, but here’s where the similarities will be between the upcoming Trump Impeachment and Nixon’s Watergate.

The power of television is what made Trump the President and it’s what will bring him down. Television killed Nixon’s first chance of becoming President as he came off poorly in a televised debate with John F. Kennedy. Nixon had a five-o’clock shadow and came across sour and stiff. Kennedy was youthful and passionate and won the election. Nixon had the experience, Kennedy had the looks and energy. Trump was famous because of his television show, “The Apprentice” and reveled at any chance to perform. He took control of every media opportunity and even those who didn’t like him often watched to see what he’d say next. Impeachment will be different, and Trump will be without control.

Impeachment hearings will be a daily reminder of all the failings of a President with many. Clinton was generally well-liked and his sins as they were, weren’t viewed as that outside the norm by most Americans. Only in recent years has Bill Clinton been viewed as a negative and his popularity helped him. Trump has had negative approval ratings since his first day in office. Even the Republicans in Congress that have steadfastly supported him don’t like him. They stay with him out of fear of reprisal from either Trump’s tweets or his base. As long as the public stays with him, they will too. That’s where television comes in.

During the time of Watergate, there were but a few television networks and all but Ted Turner’s were fixated on the hearings carrying basically the same material. You’ve heard the expression, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” That came from having John Dean testify on live TV about Nixon’s secret tapes. Nixon tried to keep them out but eventually, the nation heard that Nixon led the cover-up of Watergate and even approved the break-in in advance. Nixon was paranoid and would do anything he could to get an edge. Sound familiar?

There was no Fox News at the time or a network of right-wing media outlets to keep Nixon loyalists in a bubble. Trump’s problem today is that Fox is already planning for a post-Trump era. New board member Paul Ryan is already suggesting they move away from Trump. Sean Hannity has conceded the recent coverage “looks bad” and on-air personalities Shepard Smith and Carlson Tucker have hurled broadsides at each other on their shows over coverage of Trump. Impeachment will bring us all the witnesses that Trump has blocked, copies of financial records including his taxes. There have always been suggestions Trump has committed fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and more but they’ve never been dragged out on live television with his own employees testifying against him. That plus evidence he disregarded national security in favor of his personal business interests and re-election ought to be enough to make his most ardent supporters in the Senate consider putting the nation first just one time.

The Trump Impeachment will consume the news cycle on a daily basis. New reports will break regularly and people will flip on him to save themselves, just like Watergate. My interest in politics stemmed from reading all the books published afterward by the participants, especially the guilty ones like John Dean and H.R. Haldeman. The only way they got to be heroes was by baring their souls, at the expense of Richard M. Nixon. Such will be the case with Trump. they’ll all turn on him, and their evolution will be televised.

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