Tag Archives: Trump campaign

‘Blameless life’? Really, judge?

I am not going to get too worked up — just yet! — over the surprisingly light sentence handed to former Donald Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The federal judge who sentenced Manafort handed out a 47-month prison term for a guy who’s been convicted of tax fraud, mail fraud and all sorts of conspiracy charges. He bilked the nation out of millions of dollars in taxes.

But the judge said in his statement that Manafort — prior to getting hooked up with the Trump campaign — had led a “blameless life.”

A blameless life? Really, judge?

I guess that is his way of saying that as a “first-time offender,” Manafort was entitled to a federal prison sentence that is significantly briefer than the sentencing guideline that called for an 18- to 25-year term in the slammer.

I can think of a few “blameless” lives that ended badly for the men who committed heinous crimes. John Wilkes Booth? Timothy McVeigh? Sirhan Sirhan? Did any of those individuals turn up on anyone’s radar prior to their commission of heinous crimes?

So, Paul Manafort gets a nearly four-year prison term for lying and stealing. And, no, I am not equating what Manafort did with murder. I am only suggesting that the “blameless life” rationale doesn’t make sense.

Well, the former Trump campaign boss ain’t out of the wilderness. He’s got another sentence awaiting him for some more misdeeds he performed on behalf of his friend and former boss.

Then he might get what he deserves.

AG joins the crazy chant? Are you kidding?

To think I actually once said something positive about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. What in the world was I thinking?

He recused himself from the Russia investigation because of his key role as a Donald Trump presidential campaign adviser. He handed it over to his deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein, who selected Robert Mueller as special counsel. I applauded the AG for demonstrating an awareness of conflict of interest.

Then the attorney general does this: He stands before a group of teenagers and laughs at the “Lock her up!” chant that came from the audience. Oh, and then he repeats it along with them.

Rule of law, Mr. Attorney General? Due process, sir? Executive decorum? What in the world is going on here?

As CNN reported: “Lock her up,” Sessions said, chuckling at the brief interruption from the audience as the chant then grew louder.

“I heard that a long time over the last campaign,” he said before continuing with his prepared speech.

The chant became a part of the GOP mantra in 2016 as controversy swirled over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s e-mail controversy. Clinton, of course, ran for president as the Democratic Party nominee. The “Lock her up!” chant became the theme of the Republican National Convention.

For the attorney general to laugh it off now is both disgusting and disgraceful.

Therefore, I hereby take back my positive comments about the attorney general.

Nothing to this probe? Check this out

Matthew Dowd is no squishy liberal, a “snowflake.” He’s a long-standing Republican political operative.

He also serves as a broadcast and cable news “contributor” and, yes, he is a Donald J. Trump critic.

He sent out a tweet just a while ago that reiterated something he said this morning on ABC News’s “This Week” program: As i said on to give some perspective: “Benghazi was a 4 year investigation, there were zero indictments. The Clinton emails was a 2 year investigation, there were zero indictments. The Mueller investigation has been 14 months, there have been 23 indictments.”

“Benghazi” involved a terrible firefight that occurred at a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on the watch of then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; the “Clinton emails” also involved the former secretary’s use of her personal email account while serving in the State Department.

The Mueller investigation? Well, it’s that probe that is occurring at the moment to explore questions relating to Trump’s presidential campaign and its possible relationship with the Russian government … among other things.

GOP hardliners want Robert Mueller’s probe to end. Now! They forget about the length of time they insisted on maintaining while GOP members of Congress looked at Hillary Clinton’s conduct.

All that time, money and effort produced zero indictments. None, man!

Mueller — who, by the way, also is a Republican — so far has harvested a much healthier crop of criminal complaints.

And, no, this isn’t a “witch hunt.” It is a serious investigation being conducted by a serious public servant.

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.

Collusion or not? Let’s wait for the FBI to do its job

FBI Director James Comey today dropped two more live grenades into our laps.

The first one is that the FBI can find no evidence, zero, that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Donald J. Trump’s campaign office in Trump Tower. He cannot locate any indication that any order was given by a federal judge; he cannot find evidence of any sort of surveillance.

So …

The suggestion that the president of the United States essentially defamed his predecessor — when he tweeted the allegation of wiretapping — now has been given some credence.

The bigger grenade might be the second disclosure that Comey made to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.

It is that the FBI is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Comey said FBI policy usually doesn’t allow comment on active investigations. The director made an exception in this case. The public interest is too great to ignore, he said.

What in the world does that mean?

I believe that if the FBI determines there was collusion, that the Trump campaign worked actively with Russian spooks/goons/intelligence officers to torpedo the campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton … well, I think we have a certifiable impeachable offense on our hands.

To be fair, there hasn’t been a shred of evidence presented yet to suggest any such collusion. There’s been a lot of chatter, gossip and what might be called charitably “circumstantial evidence.” We cannot go on circumstance, however. We need incontrovertible proof, man!

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Comey told committee members that this probe will require lots of time to complete. It’s complicated and detailed, he said.

Take all the time you need, Mr. FBI Director. I think we can wait for a detailed answer, no matter your conclusion.

This campaign is running on all cylinders?

A woman holds signs depicting the head of Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump as she waits to enter the auditorium to hear him speak, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H.  (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

Someone will have to help me out, make me understand something that’s gone over my head.

Donald J. Trump has just brought in his third campaign chairman in the past eight weeks. He’s demoted the guy who had the job the day before yesterday. The new man in charge, a fellow named Steve Bannon, comes from a rightwing website, Breitbart.com.

The Republican presidential nominee also hired longtime GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway as his new campaign manager.

The Trumpkins say “not to worry. The campaign is going great! We’re going to finish so, so strong. Donald Trump is going to win!”



Well, Trump doesn’t have any organizations established in the key battleground states. There appears to be no one handling what’s known commonly as the “ground game,” which involves recruiting volunteers for get-out-voter drives and targeting key precincts.

He’s trailing Democratic opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton in every one of those key states. In some of them the deficit is in double digits.

What am I missing?

How does a candidate go from Corey Lewandowski to Paul Manafort to Steve Bannon as campaign chairs in eight weeks and still pretend to have all his oars in the water?

Moreover, reports are surfacing about growing panic within top Republican circles. Does this assuage that panic?

I do not believe it does.