This has been a particularly disturbing week for anyone paying attention to the news, each new story overshadowing the previous one.
Donald Trump and his appointees have become more brazen in their refusal to follow the law, that seems to be the theme.
The story that kicked off the week, that of Trump’s latest fixer, Attorney General Bill Barr, and his sustained squat on Bob Mueller’s report.
Barr was questioned by congress this week, and contends it is his right to decide what anyone sees with regards to Bob Mueller’s report. He promises to give congress a heavily redacted version next week… color coded redactions…. 4 colors, each one a reason he chose to redact that particular section.
Who will be surprised to hear 90% of the report is censored? The only mystery left is what colors he will choose, and will he use Smencils?
Congress is investigating Barr. That’s the good news.
Barr went on record saying he believes spying occurred during Trump’s election campaign. Those are Trump’s words coming out of Barr’s mouth.
Trump and Barr are attempting to vilify the FBI, by accusing them of illegally spying, in order to cushion the impact of the inevitable release of the Mueller report.
The second story is Steve Mnuchin ignoring a congressional request to turn over Trump’s taxes. A deadline set by congress came and went… ignored. The law is clear, it requires Mnuchin provide congress with Trump’s taxes on request. With his refusal to comply, Mnuchin risks a 5 year prison sentence. He does not appear to be worried.
In response, democrats are threatening to hold him in contempt.
Meh… shrugged off.
A third story this week sheds light on one reason Trump doesn’t want us to see his taxes. Tax fraud is a Trump family tradition.
Donald Trump’s sister, appellate court Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, officially retired this week after receiving official notification of a complaint filed against her (and her siblings):
An investigation into fraudulent tax schemes committed, with regards to inheritance money, is receiving “the full attention of a judicial conduct council”.
Apparently tax fraud is in violation of judicial conduct rules, but perfectly acceptable for the executive branch of government.
Other Trump family real estate business crimes include padding invoices to justify raising rent- in rent regulated buildings.
Undervaluing the properties to avoid tens of millions of dollars in taxes.
No need to worry about Judge Barry suffering along with the majority of retired Americans, trying to get by on Social Security and Medicare… she can collect in both, but she’ll also keep her six-figure, taxpayer-funded salary in retirement.
Also, in 2004 and 2006, the siblings sold off their father’s empire, her share was $182.5 million… so she has that to fall back on.
The fourth story is regarding Julian Assange of Wikileaks. He was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy, in London, where he sought asylum 7 years ago because he was wanted in Sweden for sexual assault. He has been removed for extradition to the United States under indictment, not for his indiscriminate dumping of sensitive documents and stolen e-mails, but for the conspiracy of unauthorized computer access.
Many have tried painting Assange as a journalistic martyr, warning us that his arrest puts the free press is at risk. Assange is an asset of Russian intelligence, not a journalist.
Why do I think so? Julian Assange had one line he refused to cross— he would not publish the Panama papers or any documents he was in possession of, that implicated Putin for his interference in the Ukraine.
More Fun Assange facts:
- Julian Assange outed a gay man in Saudi Arabia.
- Published the medical records of teenage rape victims.
- Wikileaks was responsible for releasing the names and personal information of 7 Jews who remained Baghdad.
- He assisted American traitor, and spy, Edward Snowden, in his escape to Russia.
- He worked in a coordinated effort with Roger Stone, Don Junior, Edward Snowden in the release of stolen Podesta emails an hour after the Access Hollywood tape dropped, to distract from the scandal that should have ended Trump’s political aspirations.
- Assange has been indicted on a variety of charges across Europe, ranging from extortion in Spain to rape in Sweden.
Mike Pompeo has called Assange: “Head of a non-state hostile intelligence service aligned with Putin’s Russia.”
Assange is not a journalist.
His arrest is a result of Robert Mueller’s work, and offers another opportunity for congress to obtain the Mueller report.
The fifth story, and the last I’ll mention today, I find most alarming:
The personal information of 4,000 FBI members was hacked and posted online, including names, personal and government email addresses, job titles, phone numbers and their postal addresses.
The timing of this with regards to both Assange and Barr should not be overlooked.
FBI hacked days after Assange arrested for unauthorized computer access, and while Barr is pushing Trump’s narrative attempting to discredit the FBI, implying their justified investigation included “spying”.
Trump and his appointees believe they’re immune to any repercussions from their illegal behavior, in part because they’ve repeatedly been protected by the GOP members of congress.
Our country is currently under control of those who own the GOP- the Koch brothers, the Mercers, the Forbes, the, NRA, etc.
They not only control the GOP, but they use their money to manipulate the masses. For example, the Mercers funded Cambridge Analytica, the company that used Facebook data to target propaganda in order to suppress the vote in 2016. Steve Bannon worked for Cambridge Analytica. (The company has re-formed under a new name— Emerdata.)
The CNP- Council for National Policy is a far right libertarian party.
They can check off much of their agenda.
I lied, there is one more story… more Trump playing dictator. If congress is in need of another reason to impeach Trump, this is it.
Trump instructed a Customs and Border Patrol head to break the law, and promised him he’d issue him a pardon if he was sent to jail.
Of all the impeachable offenses Trump has committed, this one is the boldest.
The democratic congress has a valid argument to try to avoid Impeachment for now. While it would be successful in the House, the GOP still holds the majority in the Senate. McConnell would shut it down. I keep hearing- we are playing a long game, when we take back the Senate in 2020 this will end.
Any success of a long game would depend on the GOP and Russia not successfully rigging the election in 2020, and let’s not forget that Trump continues appointing questionable judges.
Regardless of the GOP majority in the senate, beginning Impeachment proceedings would allow for the release of Mueller’s report.
The GOP has been playing dirty for decades. Democrats have to find a way to end this now.