Tag Archives: collusion

What became of America’s Mayor?

Rudolph Giuliani used to be a revered public figure. He stood tall amid the rubble of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and rallied a stricken city in the wake of the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center.

Time magazine named him Person of the Year in 2001. It was richly deserved. Giuliani became America’s Mayor.

Then something happened to him. He decided to get involved in national politics. He dressed in drag to spoof something or someone. He ran for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2008.

Rudy Giuliani has gotten a bit strange. If you saw his shtick at the 2016 Republican National Convention, then you understand my point. If you haven’t seen it, take a look:

His latest gig is as Donald J. Trump’s lawyer, representing the president as he does battle against what he calls the “witch hunt” being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Giuliani has managed to step all over Trump’s denial about hush money being paid to a porn star; he argues now that the president cannot be subpoenaed or indicted by the special counsel, even if Mueller produces evidence that Trump broke the law.

Giuliani has become a shill. He has behaved in a seriously unattractive manner as he defends the president against Mueller’s investigation in whether Trump obstructed justice or “colluded” with Russians who interfered in our 2016 presidential election.

Honestly, I much prefer the former Rudy Giuliani, the man who faced down terrorists while standing in the rubble.

The “new Rudy” is acting like a clown.

Obstruction of justice, anyone?

The news of the long list of questions special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask Donald J. Trump hits me hard at two levels.

First things first.

Mueller appears loaded for a deep probe into obstruction of justice, according to the questions obtained by the New York Times. From what I’ve read of the NY Times account of the inquiry, Mueller isn’t looking too carefully into collusion, given that there appears to be no federal statute that covers whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian government officials who meddled in our 2016 presidential election.

He is zeroing in on obstruction and whether the president sought to derail the investigation by pressuring the Justice Department, and former FBI Director James Comey to back off their probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s role in those meetings with the Russians.

The Times also reports that Mueller is looking at the Trump family’s business dealings and whether there is any link between that aspect of the president’s other life and the one he inherited by getting elected president of the United States.

Mueller is known to be a meticulous lawyer. He dots all the “i’s” and crosses all the “t’s” before proceeding.

I hope he is allowed to continue this probe to its conclusion.

The second part of this story is the troubling aspect of the leak that apparently allowed the Times to obtain the questions in the first place.

I am forced to ask: Did someone within the Mueller legal team leak these questions to the media and possibly undermine its integrity?

I hope that’s not the case.

Tell the whole story about GOP findings, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump keeps leaving out a critical portion of a U.S. House Intelligence Committee report on the ongoing Russia meddling investigation.

This really matters. Honest. It does.

The president once again thanked the Intelligence Committee for concluding “there was no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives who meddled in our 2016 presidential election.

Except for one little thing. The “exoneration” came from committee Republicans. Intelligence panel Democrats are having none of it. The GOP members drafted the 250-page report all by themselves, with no comment, input or contribution from Democrats who serve on the committee.

According to RealClearPolitics: “No collusion, which I knew anyway. No coordination, no nothing, it is a witch hunt,” the president said. “The report was very powerful, very strong. There was no coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian people.”

“With that all being said, we can get along with Russia. That is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he added.

With that the House Intelligence Committee has wrapped up its work.

However, there’s more work to be done. It’s occurring at the other end of the U.S. Capitol Building, by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Perhaps when the Senate panel finishes its work it will issue a report that includes all its members, not just one side whose only interest is to provide cover for the president.

I should note, too, that former FBI Director James Comey — who’s on a speaking tour promoting his new book — has said that “collusion” isn’t covered specifically by federal statute. If there are indictments to come from, say, special counsel Robert Mueller, they will involve charges of conspiracy or attempts to defraud the government, according to Comey.

Is this investigation nearing an end?

I, um, do not believe that’s the case — no matter what House Intelligence Committee Republicans might think.

Tell the whole story about ‘collusion,’ Mr. President

That silly Donald Trump just cannot tell the truth about anything.

For instance, he declared this week in the presence of the media and the Japanese prime minister that the U.S. House Intelligence Committee has absolved the president of any “collusion” with Russians who meddled in our 2016 presidential election.

Wrong! Double wrong! Triple wrong!

The committee did nothing of the sort. The panel’s Republican majority issued a partisan statement ending the committee’s investigation. Intelligence Committee Democrats had no part in the statement. The panel’s GOP members decided to protect the president’s backside by issuing a statement that has no basis in fact.

The collusion issue hasn’t yet been determined finally by anyone. Special counsel Robert Mueller continues to look into it. The Senate Intelligence Committee also is continuing its work on this complicated matter.

Yet the president continues to insist repeatedly that there was “no collusion” between his campaign or himself personally and the Russian goons who hacked into our electoral system.

They launched an attack on our political process. They presented a clear and present danger to the integrity of our system of government. The president still won’t say it out loud. He still keeps giving Russian President Vladimir Putin political cover on that issue.

So, Mr. President, knock off the lying. I know I’m making an impossible request of the Liar in Chief, but I have to make it anyway.

Go ahead, make our day, Mr. President

Donald Trump reportedly “believes” he has the legal authority to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

A part of me wants to caution the president against doing something so patently stupid and political suicidal. Another part of me wants him to cut his own throat politically by firing the man hired by the Department of Justice to probe “the Russia thing.”

Indeed, several key Republican lawmakers are arguing against doing it. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas says it would be “a mistake”; Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa called it “suicide”; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Mueller “should be allowed to finish his job.”

Will the president heed those words of wisdom? Does he ever listen to anyone with a semblance of common sense?

He might have the “legal authority” to act with profound stupidity. That doesn’t make it the right thing — or the smart thing — to do.

Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein because AG Jeff Sessions had recused himself over his connection to Trump’s campaign and his transition into the presidency. Mueller is supposed to determine whether the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russians who meddled in our 2016 election.

Trump calls the Mueller probe a “witch hunt.” He calls allegations “phony” and a product of “fake news.”

Good grief, Mr. President! If it’s phony, if there’s no “there” there, then let Mueller finish his job and issue a report that declares there’s nothing more to do.

Trump, though, insists on acting as if he’s got something to hide. A summary dismissal of Mueller — a former FBI director and a first-rate, meticulous lawyer — would send a signal all around the world that, yep, we’ve got a smoking gun out there … somewhere!

Wouldn’t it just stink of, oh, obstruction of justice?

As President Ronald Reagan once said — quoting another well-known Republican, Clint Eastwood — “Go ahead. Make my day.”

GOP calls it: No collusion with Russians

THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

Where do you suppose the above message came from?

Why, none other than Donald John Trump Sr., 45th president of the United States, who fired off the tweet earlier today.

Trump left out a key provision of what the House Intel Committee has declared. He didn’t mention that the findings come from the Republican majority on the panel.

The GOP members of the committee, chaired by Devin Nunes of California, have issued a partisan statement that, shall we say, isn’t shared by the Democrats who also serve on the committee.

So, what the hell is the point here? It surprises not a single person with any knowledge and/or interest in this “Russia thing” that Intelligence Committee Republicans would reach this conclusion.

Nunes has been colluding with the Trump campaign and with the Trump administration from the get-go to subvert the committee’s search for the truth behind allegations that the campaign conspired with Russian hackers to influence the 2016 presidential election outcome.

The House panel’s work has been politicized from the beginning.

The GOP members want the investigation to end. Democrats want it to continue.

To be honest, no one on the outside can draw any conclusions about what the Trump campaign might have done. Committee Republicans say it’s over.

Here’s a thought. Let’s allow special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to reach its own conclusion. Perhaps his probe will end up in the same place. To be honest, I would rather hear the “no collusion” verdict from Mueller, given the dysfunction that has infected the House Intelligence Committee from the beginning of its investigation.

Mueller has a lot of ground to cover. It involves business dealings, obstruction of justice and, oh yes, whether the Russians actually meddled in our 2016 electoral process.

House Republican Intelligence Committee members say there’s no evidence of collusion? That’s their view. It’s not necessarily the view of others who also are up to their armpits in a search for the truth behind this sticky, sordid mess.

Let’s hear the other side of this memo matter

We now know what Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee think of Robert Mueller’s investigation into the “Russia thing.”

Let’s now hear what Democrats on the panel think about it.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes released “The Memo” that alleges bias in Mueller’s probe into whether the Donald Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russians who hacked into our electoral system and influenced the outcome of the 2016 election.

The memo has touched off a firestorm, caused an earthquake, initiated a tsunami — pick your metaphor.

So, let’s hear what Democrats think. Nunes can make that happen, given that he’s the chairman. So can the president, who’s at the center of all this tumult.

If we’re going to talk about “transparency,” and some members of Congress are doing so, then let’s be totally transparent.

I want to hear what Democrats are saying about their GOP colleagues’ effort to discredit the Mueller investigation.

C’mon! Come clean!

Inquiring minds — such as yours truly’s — want to know. Hey, we deserve to know.

Dare we say, ‘Lock him up’?

It’s difficult to feel much sympathy for retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

He has pleaded guilty to lying under oath to the FBI about when and with whom he met with the Russian government. He faces a possible prison sentence — once he finishes cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into that “Russia thing.”

I doubt he’ll serve prison time. But that’s just me. Whether he remains free or in behind bars might depend on the quality of the goods he delivers to Mueller’s team of legal eagles.

However, Flynn now is being cast in a curious role in this probe. He stands to become the star witness for the special counsel’s office in its search for answers into whether the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government that hacked into our 2016 presidential election process.

Here’s the juxtaposition that cannot be ignored:

Flynn stood at the podium in the summer of 2016 during the Republican National Convention and led the GOP faithful into that ghastly chant “Lock her up!” — the reference being aimed at Hillary Rodham Clinton and her use of her personal e-mail service while she was serving as secretary of state during President Obama’s first term.

I use the term “ghastly” because such conduct was totally unbecoming of a man with a distinguished military career who morphed into a leading politician’s national security adviser. Flynn, though, took the low road in that preposterous display.

Will this guy be locked up? Will he get the kind of punishment he urged for a political foe?

It’s tempting to shout “Lock him up!” I won’t do it, though.

Oh, wait! Maybe I just did.

Donald Jr. steps in it … bigly?

Did the eldest son of Donald J. Trump just say something terribly incriminating?

Don Jr. has told the New York Times that he met with a Russian lawyer on the promise that the Russian had some dirt that the Trump campaign could use against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Collusion anyone?

Isn’t that precisely what special counsel Robert Mueller is examining, whether the Trump presidential campaign worked hand in glove with Russian operatives seeking to damage Clinton’s presidential campaign?

The president denies any collusion. Indeed, there’s been no proof of any collusion. So far it’s all been speculation and allegation.

Now, though, Don Jr., has poured some fuel on the smoldering embers that keep producing all that smoke.

The Washington Post reported the Times story and took particular note of something that Trump the Younger said. According to the Post: “‘It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting,’ Mr. Trump said.

“Read that last part again: ‘the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.’”

So, if the young man is telling the truth, he went into the meeting expecting to receive dirt on Clinton. Did he pass it on to Dad? Did Dad do anything with it?

This story is getting murkier by the hour.

Mueller’s job appears safe … for now

I am going to give Donald John Trump the benefit of the doubt on what’s being reported about special counsel Robert Mueller’s immediate future.

Mueller will continue his probe of the president’s campaign and its alleged contact with Russian government goons/hackers who sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has decided — as I understand it — that he won’t ask a deputy U.S. attorney general to fire Mueller.

Did sanity overcome the president? Has he been infected with the “sound judgment bug” required for those who occupy the highest office in America? Did someone tell him about the horrendous political consequences were he to engineer Mueller’s ouster?

Trump’s staff reportedly talked him out any cockamamie notion of firing Mueller. He’s already canned the FBI director, James Comey. The Justice Department picked Mueller to provide a semblance of integrity to an investigation that needs to be done thoroughly.

Mueller’s on the job

I continue to be utterly flabbergasted at the president’s inability to control the messages that pour out of the White House. What’s more, he cannot find capable, competent staff members to operate his White House communications department.

These reports get leaked out about the president considering a patently and profoundly stupid act … which would be firing the special counsel.

Democrats and Republicans all over Washington are highly complimentary of Mueller, his reputation, his record and his dedication to detail.

Let the man do his job, already!