At #AIWA! NO! News, we focus on people and events that affect people's lives. We bring topics to light that often go under-reported, listening to all sides of the story and giving a 'voice to the voiceless'.
CNN’s Brian Stelter shared the image, by artist Edel Rodriguez, to Twitter late Wednesday. It follows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) assertion on Monday that it was “not worth it” for the Democratic-led House to impeach Trump.
“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” Pelosi told The Washington Post.
Time earlier this month used its cover to showcase the crowd of Democrats vying to challenge Trump in the 2020 election:
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Only a small number of Americans have not yet made up their minds about whether Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign coordinated with Russian officials, according to new Reuters/Ipsos polling, which also showed deep divisions in the United States in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.
Eight out of 10 Americans decided almost immediately about Trump campaign ties to Moscow and only about two in 10 appear to be undecided, the opinion poll released on Friday showed.
Both the Judge and the lawyer in the Paul Manafort case stated loudly and for the world to hear that there was NO COLLUSION with Russia. But the Witch Hunt Hoax continues as you now add these statements to House & Senate Intelligence & Senator Burr. So bad for our Country!
About half of Americans believe President Trump tried to stop federal investigations into his campaign, the survey found.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to soon wrap up his investigation into U.S. allegations that Moscow interfered in the U.S. political process as well as the Trump campaign links and possible obstruction of justice. Moscow and Trump deny the allegations.
Barring bombshell revelations, the survey results suggest the investigation’s influence on voters in the 2020 campaign may already have run its course.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll has tracked public opinion of the investigation since Mueller was appointed in May 2017 following Trump’s firing of FBI chief James Comey, gathering responses from more than 72,000 adults.
Public opinion appears to have hardened early, changing little over the past two years despite a string of highly publicised criminal charges against people associated with the Trump campaign.
Every time respondents were asked about the investigation, about 8 in 10 Democrats said they thought the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, while 7 in 10 Republicans said they did not.
On March 7, 1965, an estimated 525 to 600 civil rights marchers headed southeast out of Selma on U.S. Highway 80. The march was led by John Lewis of SNCC and the Reverend Hosea Williams of SCLC, followed by Bob Mants of SNCC and Albert Turner of SCLC.
Throughout March of 1965, a group of demonstrators faced violence as they attempted to march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, to demand the right to vote for black people.One of the pivotal days was March 7, when 17 people were injured by police, including future Congressman John Lewis.
Since that time, March 7 has been known as “Bloody Sunday.”
February 1965 – Marches and demonstrations over voter registration prompt Alabama Governor George C. Wallace to ban nighttime demonstrations in Selma and Marion, Alabama.
February 18, 1965 – During a march in Marion, state troopers attack the demonstrators. State trooper James Bonard Fowler shoots and kills Jimmie Lee Jackson. Fowler was charged with murder in 2007 and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2010.
March 7, 1965 – About 600 people begin a march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, led by Lewis and Hosea Williams. Marchers demand an end to discrimination in voter registration. At the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state and local lawmen attack the marchers with billy clubs and tear gas, driving them back to Selma.
March 9, 1965 – Martin Luther King Jr. leads another march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The march is largely symbolic; as arranged previously, the crowd turns back at a barricade of state troopers. Demonstrations are held in cities across the United States to show solidarity with the Selma marchers.
March 9, 1965 – President Lyndon Johnson speaks out against the violence in Selma and urges both sides to respect the law.
March 10, 1965 – The US Justice Department files suit in Montgomery, Alabama, asking for an order to prevent the state from punishing any person involved in a demonstration for civil rights.
March 17, 1965 – Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. rules in favor of the marchers. “The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups.
“March 18, 1965 – Governor Wallace goes before the state legislature to condemn Johnson’s ruling. He states that Alabama cannot provide the security measures needed, blames the federal government, and says he will call on the federal government for help.
March 19, 1965 – Wallace sends a telegram to President Johnson asking for help, saying that the state does not have enough troops and cannot bear the financial burden of calling up the Alabama National Guard.
March 20, 1965 – President Johnson issues an executive order federalizing the Alabama National Guard and authorizes whatever federal forces the Defense Secretary deems necessary.
March 21, 1965 – About 3,200 people march out of Selma for Montgomery under the protection of federal troops. They walk about 12 miles a day and sleep in fields at night.
March 25, 1965 – The marchers reach the state capitol in Montgomery. The number of marchers grows to about 25,000.
June 4, 2015 – After a state resolution to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge is not acted upon, Lewis and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Alabama), publish an article in the Selma Times-Journal in favor of keeping the name. “Keeping the name of the bridge is not an endorsement of the man who bares its name but rather an acknowledgment that the name of the bridge today is synonymous with the Voting Rights Movement which changed the face of this nation and the world.”
Trump’s remark at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) prompted a chant of “Lock her up” from attendees at the event in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington.
The president lamented that he couldn’t joke without upsetting the media while facetiously reiterating his past comments inviting Russia to find Clinton’s deleted emails.
“I’ve learned, because with the fake news, if you tell a joke, if you’re sarcastic, if you’re having fun with the audience,” he said, “If you say something like ‘Russia, please if you can, get us Hillary Clinton’s emails, please, Russia, please, please get us the emails.”
The crowd cheered enthusiastically and chanted “lock her up.”
Trump goads the crowd into booing “the fake news,” then suggests he was just being sarcastic when he called for Russian hackers to go after Hillary Clinton’s emails during a 2016 news conference.
Trump was referencing a press conference in July 2016 when he addressed Russia directly, stating, “Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating whether Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, including whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.
Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen testified before Congress on Wednesday and said that Trump’s former informal adviser Roger Stone had informed Trump in advance of WikiLeak’s release of hacked Democratic emails in the summer of 2016.
“Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Cohen testified, referring to the founder of WikiLeaks.
“Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of ‘wouldn’t that be great,’” Cohen added.
Both Stone and WikiLeaks denied Cohen’s account.
CPAC is an annual gathering of conservative activists that features high-profile speakers. Many conservative university students attend the event.
“The question of the Russian interference and the possibility of collusion by the president and his people has twisted our politics into something unrecognizable for the last two years, including behaviour on the part of the president, attacking the FBI, attacking Bob Mueller,” Himes said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.“ “You know, everything about this has become political. The way to end that, of course, is for the truth to be out there.” – AIWAI! NO!
As special counsel Robert Mueller prepares his final report and Congress ramps up its own investigations, we soon will have answers to questions over collusion, obstruction, and Russian influence. Yet, President Trumpmay answer one of the most intriguing questions of all: Is it better to fight one horse-sized duck or a hundred duck-sized horses? New developments make it likely that Trump will fight a hundred duck-sized horses, in the form of alleged collateral crimes rather than collusion. None appears life threatening in their own right, so the real question here is what they will represent collectively during the next two years of this administration.
When Mueller was appointed, Trump faced a horse-sized duck in the form of Russian collusion allegations. That duck has yet to materialize over the course of dozens of “speaking” indictments and filings. One indictment stated that any contact between Trump officials and Russians was done “unwittingly,” and not one filing or witness has established a link between either Trump or his campaign and Russian hacking of Democratic emails. At most, there is evidence that Trump associates like Roger Stone, as well as Trump himself, wanted to see that material. But many journalists and political operatives were trying to obtain the same material, which had already been teased as forthcoming by WikiLeaks. That itself not a crime.
Trump also faced a horse-sized duck with the obstruction allegations. The problem is that there is still no clear obstruction by Trump despite a litany of inappropriate comments. He did not fire Mueller. He did not order the end of the special counsel investigation. He also has not been accused of destroying evidence. He has tweeted aplenty but that is more obnoxious than obstructive. None of that changed with the testimony of Michael Cohen, who expressly said he has no evidence of collusion. He offered little more on obstruction beyond saying that he believed Trump wanted him to lie about Trump Tower in Moscow, without Trump ordering him to lie. There is still far more duck than the horse in obstruction theories.
Instead, Cohen in his testimony became a virtual wrangler of duck-sized horses, including portraits bought with charity funds, insurance claims with inflated damages, a bid for a National Football League team with inflated assets, hush money for mistresses, even false medical claims to avoid the draft. Many of these little equines are coming from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, rather than the special counsel in Washington. Yet, these pint-sized horses would make a poor case for impeachment even in the aggregate. Many occurred before Trump became president, and most would fall short of the constitutional standard. Even as criminal matters, presumably in prosecutions after Trump leaves office, this herd is even less threatening than it appears.
Of the various legal horses, the most formidable is the allegation that Trump knowingly participated in a violation of campaign finance laws. Cohen produced checks signed by Trump after he became president that were reimbursement for hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Federal prosecutors had treated the payments as a criminal matter when charging Cohen for his role in this violation. Under the same theory, Trump was also a party to the crime.
Justice Department policy, wrongly in my view, maintains that a sitting president should not be indicted. Prosecutors could pursue a charge on the payments against Trump after he leaves office but this is no easy case to make. The Justice Department failed in such a prosecution against former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. The signing of these checks and the alleged directions given to Cohen make the case stronger, but Cohen may have weakened the chances for the prosecution. The most obvious defense for Trump is that he was motivated in making the payments not by the campaign but by his marriage and reputation.
Cohen gave Trump a major lift in that defense in two respects. First, he testified that Trump never thought he was going to win the 2016 election. Many others did not either, and even Trump himself said he continued to pursue business deals in anticipation that he might lose. Second, Cohen recounted how Trump had him speak to the first lady about the payments, to assure her that the stories of affairs were untrue. That would support a defense that Trump was worried about his wife finding out and may have been protecting his marriage and his reputation. This all comes down to motivation, and Cohen supplied Trump with a much stronger defense.
Cohen has been charged with bank fraud, as has former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Cohen implicated Trump in both insurance fraud and bank fraud in the inflation of damages and assets. Those, too, could be charged as crimes. In business, however, assets often are exaggerated. For example, Trump reportedly gave Deutsche Bank figures on his worth that jumped in one year by $4 billion. Yet, the list of liabilities and assets on the “summary of net worth” seems like a fairly preliminary document.
It might not constitute the type of accounting data that would trigger a fraud claim. The $4 billion is also explained as “brand value.” That might be dismissed as a tangible value for accounting purposes, but Trump clearly indicated the source of this claimed value. Inflated insurance claims can be a cut and dried criminal case if they are outside the range of valuation. However, that is a big “if” as businesses often claim the highest potential value or damage when they seek insurance coverage.
The best example of the scourge of tiny horses is the controversy over a portrait of Trump. Most of us were transfixed by the notion that Trump would rig an auction with a straw buyer to make sure that his portrait was the most expensive purchase. That is not a crime but he allegedly used money from his charity to buy the portrait, then hung the painting in one of his properties. In July 2013, Trump tweeted about his portrait being the most valuable item. The date is important, since most forms of fraud have a statute of limitations lasting five years. The statute on fraud involving financial institutions can be as long as 10 years. However, these violations are rarely prosecuted criminally anyway. In the worst cases, the charity is disbanded, which is precisely what happened to the Trump Foundation.
These are all examples of why fighting a hundred duck-sized horses is easier but can take more time. Trump will be answering questions and subpoenas on these allegations for the next two years. It is unlikely to be lethal, absent false statements or obstructions, but it is likely to exhaust him and his presidency. His mounting troubles are likely to rekindle his anger at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who will leave the Justice Department in coming weeks. It was Rosenstein who ordered the referral of the Cohen criminal case to the Southern District of New York.
At the time, I wrote that the move made more strategic than legal sense. It made little sense for Mueller to pursue Manafort on unrelated fraud and other crimes but then to send similar claims against Cohen to New York. If anything, Cohen is linked more closely to Trump, as recently shown. Yet, in doing so, Rosenstein has insured that any forced closure of the special counsel investigation would not end all investigations. In other words, if the horse-sized duck toppled in Washington, a stampede of duck-sized horses was coming from New York. Now we will see which one is worse.
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.