As it has begun to dawn on the Trump criminal enterprise that it is in danger of losing in November, it’s ramping up its efforts to destroy federal agencies and the rule of law–and in its haste, abandoning efforts to be subtle about it.
The Republican National Committee and the Trump Campaign has budgeted twenty million dollars to fight efforts to expand voting by mail. Wouldn’t want to make it easy for people to vote…..
Congressional investigators are asking for information about loans and other bailout funds that the Trump Organization has tried to get from Britain, Ireland and other foreign governments, to cover the wages of employees who’ve been furloughed from the company’s golf properties in Europe due to the pandemic–setting up a conflict-of-interest that probably violates the Constitution.
Then, of course, there’s the astonishing move by Attorney General and Trump lackey William Barr, who has petitioned the court to drop the Justice Department case against Michael Flynn. Tellingly, the filing was signed only by Barr’s hand-picked US Attorney for the District of Columbia–not by a single career prosecutor.
In order to understand how stunningly improper this request is, it may help to remember the behaviors for which Flynn was prosecuted–and for which he twice pled guilty–and why, after the election, President Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn.
Flynn was evidently being watched because he had suspicious connections to Putin. When the Obama administration announced retaliatory measures for Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, he immediately made five phone calls to the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. When the FBI interviewed Flynn, he lied about those calls, prompting the famous warnings from Sally Yates to the White House that Flynn was compromised and vulnerable to blackmail.
Trump ignored Yates’ warnings, and when Comey wouldn’t drop the investigation into Russia–focused largely on Flynn’s activities– he fired Comey.
Flynn subsequently offered to testify about the campaign’s connections to Russia in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution, but was turned down. When it became obvious that Mueller had enough evidence to bring criminal charges against both Flynn and his son, he began to cooperate with the investigation. He subsequently pled guilty to lying to federal investigators. (Evidently, he was not sentenced at that time because he had not yet finished cooperating with the special counsel’s office.)
These are hardly the actions of an innocent man, but when Mueller’s investigation ended–and, presumably, heartened when the Senate GOP supinely refused to convict Trump despite evidence of impeachable offenses– he moved to withdraw his guilty plea.
Barr’s pleading (it would be a mistake to attribute it to the professional Justice Department since none of the career prosecutors would sign on) is based on an astonishing assertion: any investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election was unfounded and illegitimate. It’s a flatly dishonest assertion, one clearly dictated by Trump, who is talking about rehiring Flynn.
We learn something new–and appalling–about this horrific administration every single day.
The fossil fuel lobbyists currently dismantling the EPA are continuing their assault on the environment–the number of regulations they have rolled back or eliminated is approaching one hundred. Betsy DeVos continues her efforts to gut public education and to funnel our tax dollars into private and for-profit schools. The Interior Department is busy giving away public land. Etc.Etc.
And Trump, of course, is barreling ahead with his insistence on “opening” the economy, in an effort to salvage his re-election prospects– despite universal warnings from health officials that we are not nearly ready and that many people will die unnecessarily.
His administration is already killing people with increased pollution, so I’m sure a few thousand extra deaths won’t bother them.
If the voters don’t throw this crew out in November–and by “this crew” I very much include the Republicans in the Senate, whose partisanship and lack of patriotism have enabled it all–we can just bid farewell to the America we thought we knew.