TRUMP WATCH-The Republicans on the House so-called Intelligence Committee this week precipitously announced a "bi-partisan" report and decision to shutdown their investigation of Russian meddling and interference in the2016 election.
Which bi-partisan report and decision would that be? The one that none of the Democrats on the committee knew anything about before it was sprung on the whole country? That kind of bi-partisan? Do the Republicans mean that as a sick joke, or just a farce?
Bi-partisan, really? Is that like the bi-partisanship of the Republicans, when just last month they released a secret kangaroo court memo smearing the FISA court, which again they cooked up on their own and in which the Democrats had no input? The Dems then had to release their own rebuttal memo to correct all the lies and omissions in the Republican hatchet job. Which, not incidentally, Trump refused to approve or release on flimsy security concerns.
But hey, it wasn't just the Republicans who were all rah-rah for their exoneration of Trump and Russia. The Russians tweeted their ownenthusiastic approval of the Republican statement, as did Trump, always anxious to proclaim premature absolution.
That’s the true bi-partisanship -- Trump and Russia. Or maybe it’s not justbi-partisan, but tri-partisan. Trump-Russia-Congress!
I think we just found the Russian collusion, and the Republicans inthe House are now in on it too. Presuming there is a history ofcivilization in the future -- now a seriously open question -- their names will go down with the worst traitors ever.
This whole thing was -- blind-folded and hand over the ears –an agenda inservice of a self-ordained conclusion. Key witnesses were allowed to appear in private, and when they refused to answer important questions at all, the Republicans refused to exercise their power of subpoena to compel them to answer. How do you reach any respectable conclusion without answers? How?
Plus, there were other witnesses that the Democrats wanted to call to testify but the Republican committee nixed that.
Frankly, I’ve never held out much hope that the Republicans would suddenly be overcome by integrity. One reason I was so sure that Mueller would in fact indict Trump himself, instead of just submitting a report as a basis for impeachment, was because it was so obvious to us, and it must be so to him as well, that there was no set of facts, no matter how incriminating, that would make this Republican majority suffer asudden attack of civic duty.
And that is why, while we wait for Mueller to finish to methodically build his case, moving as fast as he and the most crackerjack prosecutors in the country can move, the immediate priority is booting as many Republicans out of congress as possible, so we can get our country back from the thugs, the idiots, the incompetents, the liars, the destructive, the embarrassingly corrupt, and the plain just ugly mean spirited usurpers of our hard fought for U.S. Constitution.
We saw that on garish display in Trump's rally yesterday in Pennsylvania, a greatest hits performance of the most ignorantly gratuitous insults he has ever hurled in his contemptuous political career. His demonization of the press in particular, complete with 120 decibel jeers from his brown shirt level mob, was so deeply disturbing we frankly fear for very future of our country.
Oh yeah, Steve Mnuchin was on TV afterwards smirking about what alaugh riot it all was. There is nothing so indefensible that it cannot be self-righteously defended by Trump's designated loyalists. If the president does it, it's not un-presidential.
Who does that remind you of? Can we say, Richard Milhous Nixon, Republican president #37 who famously said, “If the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.” The State Department has deliberately not spent a single dime of the $120 million already appropriated to protect our voting process from the Russians in the next election. The only thing that can possibly save us is massive voter turnout, blue wave or not.
No hate. Just a heap of concerns.
And keep the heat on Trump himself too. The Republicans like to say we are just haters. Remember when they said that about anyone who opposed George Bush too, even if it was entirely policy based? Call us whatever you like until Trump stops being such a truly hateful caricature of a human being, who has made inciting hatred the new voice of America, and for whom divisiveness is a form of performance art.
Just this past week, while “several White House staffers with pending security clearance issues have been reportedly fired or reassigned,” Trump’s personal assistant or “body man” John McEntee was escorted out of the White House without being able to retrieve his coat.
If McEntee was acting up to the point that he had to be escorted out, it doesn’t seem likely that he would be hired immediately by Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, which he was, according to multiple media reports and a campaign statement.
Well, being guilty of serious financial crimes, and being a known forger, would seem to fit in perfectly with the Trump crime family.
I suspect he’ll be given the assignment of perfecting the signatures of all the people likely to run on the Democratic ticket. (It is known, and he has confirmed, that he signs memos with Trump’s signature as a joke.) So now they can start forging the fake documents the Russian troll farms will be promoting come 2020.
(Michael N. Cohen is a former board member of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, founding member of the LADWP Neighborhood Council Oversight Committee, founding member of LA Clean Sweep and a contributor to CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.