Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The scope of Trump's corruption is known - without end, like a kraken it entangles all it touches

Trump corruption
The Kraken of Trump's corruption
entangling American democracy

The kraken (/ˈkrɑːkən/) is a legendary cephalopod-like sea monster of giant size …

Like the kraken, The scope of Trump’s corruption is mind-boggling. New developments show how. explains Greg Sargent at the Washington Post.

At this point, the broad contours of the Ukraine scandal are well understood. President Trump appears to have used hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money appropriated as military aid to extort a vulnerable ally into helping him rig the 2020 election on his behalf.

But there are two other aspects of this scandal that need elaboration. The first is the degree to which this whole scheme is corrupting multiple government agencies and effectively placing them at the disposal of Trump’s reelection effort.

The second is that two of the scheme’s goals — getting Ukraine to validate a conspiracy theory absolving Russia of 2016 sabotage, and to manufacture smears of one of Trump’s leading 2020 rivals — are really part of the same story. At the core of this narrative is Trump’s continuing reliance on foreign help in corrupting our democracy to his advantage, through two presidential elections, and the covering up of all of it.

… [snip]

We still haven’t gotten our arms around the mind-boggling scale of corruption on display here. Multiple government agencies [Justice and State] are actively helping Trump absolve Russia of sabotaging the last presidential election on his behalf — thus burying his own campaign’s eagerness to benefit from it — and helping him cover up his effort to solicit more foreign help in cheating his way to victory in the next one.

But it gets worse.

Impeachment transcripts become latest point of panic for Trump, wrote Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog).

Up until now, the congressional impeachment inquiry has unfolded largely behind closed doors. There have been some exceptions – some witnesses, for example, have publicly released their opening statements – but by and large, a limited number of officials have been privy to the depositions.

That will soon change. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CBS’s Face the Nation [this last Sunday], “I think you’re going to see all of the transcripts that are going to be released probably within the next five days. I don’t know if they’re all going to be released on the same day. But they’re going to be very telling to the American people.”

Yup. Those transcripts were (and are being) released.

And that is precisely what Donald Trump appears to be afraid of.

President Trump suggested Sunday that Republicans should release their own versions of transcripts of interviews in the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Just as he invited Russia to intervene, he now is corruptly asking Republicans in Congress to further betray our country by doctoring official records.

In case this isn’t painfully obvious, if the White House were confident that the transcripts from the impeachment inquiry would exonerate Trump and derail the impeachment proceedings, Trump wouldn’t be panicking like this.

It’s unlikely that anyone in the West Wing has reviewed the deposition transcripts, but dozens of House Republicans have participated in the behind-closed-doors process – claims to the contrary notwithstanding – and they’ve had an opportunity to let the president know how the evidence has unfolded.

And given the weekend’s presidential tweets, Trump has apparently been told to expect some discouraging news.

There’s also a degree of irony hanging overhead: for weeks, the White House and its GOP allies have condemned the private nature of the impeachment inquiry and demanded more transparency. But now that transcripts are poised to be released, Trump appears to be scrambling to undermine public confidence in the materials – which Republicans claimed to be eager for us to see.

During the assorted depositions, some House Democrats told reporters that Republicans were actually lucky that the discussions were unfolding in private. In light of Trump’s stress-tweeting, the president is starting to realize those Dems were right.

Postscript: In case anyone is tempted to take Trump’s concerns about “manipulated” transcripts seriously, George Conway explained that the conspiracy theory the president is raising isn’t really possible.

Below is Trump’s tweet and Conway’s takedown. As usual, Truth 1, Trump 0.

Trump tweeted twice:

If Shifty Adam Schiff, who is a corrupt politician who fraudulently made up what I said on the “call,” is allowed to release transcripts of the Never Trumpers & others that are & were interviewed, he will change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes. Republicans…

… should give their own transcripts of the interviews to contrast with Schiff’s manipulated propaganda. House Republicans must have nothing to do with Shifty’s rendition of those interviews. He is a proven liar, leaker & freak who is really the one who should be impeached!

To which Conway responded:

Dummy—I mean “Mr. President”—you do realize that they use real court reporters—stenographers—to transcribe these depositions, don’t you? That the stenographers are under oath?And that the witnesses get to review the transcripts for errors before they sign them under oath?

As Republican Strategist Rick Wilson said, everything Trump touches dies (and few are spared reports NPR). Unfortunately, for our nation, Trump is touching our democracy.

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