Tag Archives: impeachment

Wanting to cheer Bolton … but now cursing him

I wanted to cheer John Bolton when word got out that his memoir would hit the bookshelves.

I am left now only wanting to curse him.

The former national security adviser to Donald John “Liar in Chief” Trump has written a book that lays even more bare what many of us knew already. “The Room Where it Happened” is a blistering tell-all.

He tells us that Trump asked China for help in his re-election effort; he confirms that Trump asked Ukraine for political help in exchange for weaponry; he also tells us that Trump gave China a pass on construction of concentration camps. There’s more, of course.

Why curse him instead of cheer the ex-national security adviser? Because he could have told us all of it during the impeachment of Trump. He didn’t. He sat on it. Why? Bolton says the impeachment was too narrowly focused and had become “too political.” What a crock of fecal matter!

I am cursing Bolton not because I believe his impeachment testimony would change enough minds to convict Donald Trump of abuse of power and/or obstruction of Congress — the charges the House brought to the Senate during the impeachment inquiry.

I curse Bolton because he withheld this information from a public that needed to hear it from someone who, as the book title suggests, was “in the room” when Donald Trump committed these impeachable offenses. He heard this stuff first hand, in real time, at ringside.

The Republican majority in the U.S. Senate that acquitted Trump of the charges brought against him likely would have been unmoved by any Bolton testimony. It’s just that Americans needed to hear this in the context of that impeachment trial and needed to hear GOP senators explain how Trump’s behavior didn’t rise to an offense worthy of his expulsion from office.

John Bolton choked.

I am glad he is speaking out now. I happen to believe what he has said about Donald Trump. I just wanted him to speak out when it really mattered.

Damn you, John Bolton!

Hell freezes over: Trump tells the truth!

I never thought this day would come, but it did … yesterday, during a White House campaign rally-style riff by the president of the United States who supposedly was briefing the nation about the health outbreak that has gripped the world.

A reporter asked Donald Trump whether he declined to appoint U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, to join a task force to reopen the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic out of anger at Romney’s criticism of him.

Trump said he is “not a fan of Mitt Romney. I don’t want his advice.”

So, the answer is “yes,” Trump is still angry at Romney because the Republican senator voted to convict the president of abuse of power during the Senate impeachment trial.

See what I mean? Trump actually told the truth that he does hold a grudge against Romney!

This fit of truth-telling isn’t worth any sort of praise, given the smallness and pettiness it represents about what passes for Trump’s thought pattern.

Good luck getting POTUS to come clean on this one

I want to wish U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley all the luck he can muster as he tries to get Donald Trump to explain fully why he fired a dedicated inspector general.

Trump canned intelligence community IG Michael Atkinson because he had “lost confidence” in the man who revealed to Congress a complaint that whistleblower brought regarding that “perfect phone call” Trump made to the president of Ukraine.

The report led to Trump’s impeachment in the House of Representatives. Why? Because Trump asked the Ukraine president for a political favor; he wanted dirt on Joe Biden. In return, Trump would release money appropriated by Congress to supply Ukraine with weapons to fight Russia-backed rebels.

Grassley, a Republican, has joined a bipartisan group of senators who want a thorough explanation for Trump’s firing of Atkinson. A loss of “confidence” is insufficient.

The whistleblower law is intended to provide an ability for government officials to report fraud, waste and abuse of power. That was the case here. The whistleblower did what the law allowed … as did Atkinson, the inspector general.

The law requires the president to notify Congress of his decision to fire an IG; the notification must come 30 days prior to the IG’s removal. Trump didn’t do that. He acted impulsively, which according to Grassley is an inappropriate way to handle this matter.

Will the president do as the senators have demanded? He might if he had any appreciation or understanding of the limits of his power. He doesn’t. Which is one of the many reasons why he is unfit to serve in the office he occupies.

Trump torpedoes inspector general role … once more

Donald Trump’s venality is on full display for all the world to see and to gasp at the president’s shamelessness.

He fired an inspector general selected by a panel of inspectors general to oversee the spending of coronavirus relief funds appropriated by Congress. Trump, who signed the relief bill into law, then selected an IG of his choosing to do the task.

Do you get where I’m going with this? If not, I shall explain.

The panel of IGs had picked an independent inspector general, Glenn Fine, to serve as a watchdog. Trump wouldn’t stand still for that, so he canned Fine, who serves as the Pentagon’s inspector general, and installed someone from the Environmental Protection Agency to oversee the disbursement of the $2.2 trillion pandemic relief package.

This switch comes in the wake of Donald Trump’s firing of Michael Atkinson, the former intelligence community inspector general, who became a player in the Trump impeachment inquiry. How? Because Atkinson submitted the findings of a whistleblower who complained that Trump had abuse the power of his office by soliciting a political favor from the Ukraine president; that complaint resulted in Trump’s impeachment.

Atkinson was fired because he did his job. Trump, though, called Atkinson’s report “fake news” gleaned from a “fake report.” Which is absolute crap. Republicans in the House and Senate actually acknowledged that what Atkinson revealed was true. It wasn’t false, or phony or anything that Trump called it.

Now this venal individual who serves as president has undercut an inspector general’s role in providing transparency in the way that relief money would be spent.

Donald Trump’s ignorance and arrogance are utterly — and breathtakingly — without limit.

Disgraceful.

Trump undermines IG’s authority, ability to serve the public

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff — to no one’s surprise — has condemned Donald Trump’s decision to fire the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson.

Why did the president can the IG? Because, in my view, Atkinson was doing the job to which he was assigned, which was to root out allegations of government fraud and abuse of power.

Trump, though, sees it differently.

Atkinson had revealed to Congress a report from a whistleblower who had reported that Trump had placed a phone call to the president of Ukraine in which he sought a political favor in exchange for weapons that Congress had approved for Ukraine’s fight against Russia-backed rebels.

The phone call led ultimately to Trump’s impeachment by the House and a Senate trial that acquitted him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Trump this week called Atkinson’s report “fake news.” He said Atkinson did a “terrible job” as inspector general and that the report of alleged abuse of power was discredited by his acquittal in the Senate.

Indeed, the report was not “fake.” It was credible. The acquittal in the Senate trial came about only because insufficient numbers of senators voted to convict Trump.

So, for Trump to fire an inspector general simply for doing his job amounts to one more example of presidential bullying.

As for Schiff’s criticism, the congressman said that Trump is trying to undermine the independence of the IG. As Newsweek reported: The congressman warned that the president was “retaliating” against perceived enemies and placing “cronies” to lead oversight, all while the nation is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Retaliation against “perceived enemies” sounds completely believable to me.

Trump’s revenge machine kicks back in

Let’s add Michael K. Atkinson to the growing list of federal public servants who’ve been kicked out of the way because they were doing their job.

Atkinson happens to be the intelligence community’s inspector general who brought to light the complaint of a whistleblower who revealed to the world that Donald J. Trump committed an impeachable offense in an infamous phone call to the president of Ukraine. You remember that one, right? That was the call where Trump asked the Ukraine president for a “favor, though,” asking him to dig up some dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for sending him money for weapons he needs to use in his ongoing war with Russia-backed rebels in Ukraine.

Did the former IG commit a firing offense? Was he acting illegally or unethically? Did he violate government policy? Oh, no! He was doing what he was charged to do, which is reveal misconduct in the government.

And, oh brother, did he reveal it … bigly!

The Ukraine phone call of course led to Donald Trump’s impeachment in the House of Representatives and then to a trial in the Senate, where senators acquitted Trump.

So now the president is exacting revenge. He said in a letter that he had “lost confidence” in Atkinson. Yeah, no sh**, not because he was doing his job badly, but because he was doing it well.

So now the president has appointed a White House aide to act as the independent IG who will monitor the disbursement of coronavirus pandemic relief funds to millions of Americans. The IG’s job is to ensure that the funds are going to the proper individuals and businesses in accordance with legislation that Trump signed into law the other day.

As The New York Times reported: The slew of late-night announcements, coming as the world’s attention is gripped by the coronavirus epidemic, raised the specter of a White House power play over the community of inspectors general, independent officials whose mission is to root out waste, fraud and abuse within the government.

Hmm. Let’s see. It looks to me as though Michael Atkinson fulfilled his mission to the letter.

Politics invading serious discussion

A Facebook meme popped up on my news feed that deserves a quick rebuke.

It wonders how much money that the government spent on impeaching Donald Trump could be spent fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Whoa! Let’s hold on here!

Yes, I will criticize the president’s reaction to the pandemic. I will question whether he has the smarts or the empathy or the understanding to lead us in this fight. I will not re-litigate the impeachment or drag that issue into this current matter.

I now want to implore those who seem to support Donald John Trump to avoid the temptation to dredge up that miserable chapter in our recent political history.

We are being swallowed up by this coronavirus issue. It’s enough to cause plenty of worry and anxiety all by itself.

How about keeping our eye on the enemy that stands directly in front of us … right now?

Has Trump been ‘chastened’ by impeachment? Not even!

Some of the congressional Republicans — House members and senators alike — who voted to acquit Donald John Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress talked about him learning the lessons of the impeachment and trial.

Hmm. Has the president learned anything? Is he feeling chastened by the acquittal in the Senate?

Umm. No. He isn’t. He has learned a single constructive thing.

Instead, he is feeling emboldened. Trump is proceeding as if the acquittal actually means something other than Republicans (more or less) standing behind him. Except for GOP U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah voting his conscience on the abuse of power impeachment allegation, the rest of the Republican caucus refused to budge.

Trump, though, sees it this way: an acquittal is an acquittal. It doesn’t matter how it came to pass.

He issued those 11 pardons and commutations. He fired Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because the DNI briefed members of Congress on reports that Russia is attacking our election system this year just as it did in 2016. The president is purging his administration of those who would seek to provide critical analyses, replacing them with yes men and women, with blind loyalists.

What’s more, the president is dismissing reports about Russia’s renewed attack on our election. He is disparaging, just as he has done so many times already, the hard work of our expert and patriotic intelligence analysts who speak with a single voice on one critical point: Russia is attacking us! 

Donald Trump is unleashed. He should frighten all of us.

Impeachment saga wore me out

The Donald John Trump Impeachment Saga is now history.

The current president of the United States will be forever remembered as the third president ever to be impeached by the House of Representatives. No amount of expunging the record will erase that fact.

Now, though, we can move on to the next saga, which involves the president’s effort to win re-election to a second term as POTUS. To be candid, I am grateful to be free of the impeachment story.

It wore me out! Seriously, man! It got on my nerves. The seriousness of it gave me plenty of worry about the strength of our system, of our Constitution, of our governing bodies … and of our national spirit.

Trump got acquitted. The vote to acquit on the obstruction of Congress fell along strictly partisan lines: Senate Republicans voted to acquit; Senate Democrats voted to convict.

The abuse of power article, though, is where history occurred, with GOP Sen. Mitt Romney voting to convict Trump, becoming the first senator in U.S. history to cast a vote to convict against a president of his own party.

That’s in the past. I am now ready to move on. I want to find a way to use this blog as a forum to defeat Donald Trump in his bid for re-election. I’ll just need to get plenty of sleep to guard against the campaign wearing me out all over again.

It was the manner of the firing that rankles us, Mr. POTUS

Hey, I absolutely understand that a president of the United States needs to trust those who are closest to him and that the POTUS has the authority to hire and fire staffers at will.

Thus, when Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president, fied Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council staff after Vindman offered negative impeachment testimony to congressional questioners, I get it.

However, the manner of the dismissal and the spectacle that Trump and his senior White House staff made of it is what gets under my skin.

Lt. Col. Vindman is a war hero. He is a decorated Army officer who has shed blood on the battlefield in defense of his adopted country. He is a Ukraine native who came to this country as a toddler when his parents fled the Soviet Union.

How did the president let him go? By ordering him escorted out of the White House in broad daylight. He was shown the door and told, in effect, to “hit the road.” What’s more, so was Vindman’s twin brother, who had not a single thing to do with the Ukraine matter that got Vindman on the wrong side of the president. Yevgeny Vindman’s only “sin” is to be related to twin bro Alex.

Why couldn’t Trump have shown just a touch of discretion, of class, of empathy for a war hero? He could have issued a private directive, told Vindman to vacate his White House office. Then he could have issued a simple statement declaring that he had relieved Vindman of his duties based on, oh, “differences in policy.” Sure, those who had paid any attention to what Vindman said during the House impeachment hearings would know what he means … but that would be for us to determine.

That isn’t how Donald Trump rolls. He wants to make spectacles of others around him, not to mention of himself.