KIEV — Ukraine does not want to get involved in U.S. domestic affairs, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, as an impeachment inquiry in Washington was set to consider whether U.S. President Donald Trump pressured Kiev to investigate his political rival.
The inquiry was triggered by a whistleblower’s complaint about a July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy. That call is central to the impeachment investigation that Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. Democratic-led House, announced last week.
Trump, a Republican, asked Zelenskiy to investigate one of his main rivals in the 2020 election, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, according to a memo released by the White House.
The Department of Justice will not prosecute former FBI director James Comey after an internal probe of Comey’s handling of memos he kept of his interactions with President Donald Trump.
In a report released Thursday, the Office of the Inspector General said its probe found that Comey violated department policy.
“Upon completing its investigation, the OIG provided its factual findings to the Justice Department for a prosecutorial decision regarding Comey’s conduct, as required by the Inspector General Act. After reviewing the matter, the DOJ declined prosecution,” the office said in a statement.
The report detailed how the inspector general “found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the Memos to members of the media,” though Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Comey’s “retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.”
Comey responded to the report on Thursday, tweeting: “I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a “sorry we lied about you” would be nice.”
WASHINGTON — Democrats on the House committees set to hear testimony next week from former special counsel Robert Mueller believe the hearings will help Americans understand “the gravity of the president’s misconduct,” staff members told reporters.
“It is not that that there will be a big, dramatic new revelation necessarily, we’re not expecting that,” a Democratic staffer on the Judiciary Committee said Thursday in a briefing ahead of the hearings. “What’s important is there is truly shocking evidence of criminal misconduct by the president — not once but again and again and again — that would result in any other American being criminally charged in a multiple count indictment.”
The committees are anticipating that “not everybody is reading the book (Mueller’s report) but people will watch the movie,” an aide said.
Mueller is expected to appear publicly Wednesday for three hours before the Judiciary Committee followed by roughly two hours before the House Intelligence Committee.
During his public statement in May after the report was complete, he said, “The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”
Trump said Friday that he wouldn’t be watching the hearings.
But both committees want to dig into Mueller’s evidence, not necessarily the conclusions — or lack thereof — laid out in his report. Democratic staffers believe the former special counsel will “lean into” the factual findings that his team made.
“Our focus is really going to be to have the special counsel talk about what the evidence is that he found, less about what the legal conclusion was, because some of the actual evidence is very concerning and has not received the attention it’s due,” an Intelligence Committee staffer said.
Mueller’s report did not establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its interference in the 2016 election.
On obstruction of justice, Mueller left it to Attorney General William Barr to choose whether to bring obstruction charges against the president; Barr declined to do so, he told Congress, based on the evidence presented and Department of Justice guidelines around prosecuting a sitting president.
The Mueller report makes it clear that Trump was not exonerated but it simply found insufficient criminal evidence to prosecute.
The Judiciary Committee hopes to show that if any other American had engaged in the same conduct as Trump did as detailed in the 400-plus page Mueller report, they would be charged for obstruction of justice.
Democratic lawmakers plan to highlight at least five instances they believe clearly show Trump committed a crime, the staffers said.
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee will highlight these actions by Trump as detailed in the report: Repeatedly directing his then-White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller; telling McGahn to deny that he had been ordered to fire Mueller; asking former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to deliver a message to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the investigation to exclude the president; telling Lewandowski to let Sessions know that he’s fired if he doesn’t meet with Lewandowski; and potential witness tampering with Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.
“Mr. McGahn is very much on our mind as you’ll also see at the hearing,” a staffer said.
President Trump said on Sunday that a group of four minority congresswomen feuding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi should “go back” to the countries they hailed from rather than “loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States” how to run America.
INSULATED within the racist tripe: is an argument, an apparent and unashamedly declaration of war between and among the different racies – not only Americans but the whole wide world. Minority people are undesirables and therefore unwanted according to Trump ‘Gospel’.
It is a call to arms. A declaration of war.
‘GO BACK’ to where you came from message poses grave consequences on race relations beyond mere American politics and 2020 presidential election campaign rhetorics; it is ‘shock and awe’ to anybody Black, Latino, Asian and or any other such other non-White human being resident to this planet. This is how I feel right now as a black man of African descent …and it is reminiscent of his other unprovoked ‘shithole’ statement referring to African countries not long ago. It is a feeling which is very difficult for to even attempt to describe or explain to who is non-black; the difficulty hinges on ethnocentrism ‘… I’m better than though worldviewcharacterised by tinted OR BROKEN sunglasses.
President Donald Trumptripled down on his Sunday attacks on freshman congresswomen to which he ostensibly said go back to where you came from, in an otherizing political commentary reminiscent of fictional 70s television character Archie Bunker.
In a Sunday morning thread, Trump tweeted: “So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey and a presidential candidate joined scores of people rebuking the unhinged Trump saying it was jarring to hear the phrase from the president.
“We’ve heard this our whole lives,” Mr. Booker said. “Now we hear it from the Oval Office.”
Trump lives in perpetual loathe for black people and the first black president of America – Barack Obama. The US president succumbed to not just the cheapest gingoism but also to militancy – revealing that hate for other races has always been inherent to that ‘being’. And that we ought to be ‘terminated’ . My God! Or chuckked out if there is still time. I am pretty sure.
Trump and his cabal of rightwingers and supremacists are obvioulsy regretting having ever allowed a black man to enter The White House….White House…which in their acutely limited and myopic minds was designed for occupancy by white people only … and so for Obama to have set foot in the adminstrative chambers not only for 4 years but for a good and successful two-term presidency – that was the worst haraam ever – forbiden or proscribed as far as their ubriddled thoughts blow them. In Christianity we call it SIN.
Ban migrants from Muslim countries
Birtherism; query Obama’s place of birth
Separate families at the US – Mexico border
Building the wall to keep foreigners out
This is, with all efforts compounded and sustained by big dollar to maintain the purity of the American white population.
Trump and the likes of Miller, Bannon et al, are kicking themselves in the ass for being caught napping (laxity) in 2008 therefore allowing a black man, whose father, a Luo was born into some non-descript African village of Nyang’oma Kogelo, Siaya District – Western Kenya to enter the White House, ‘defiling it‘.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly stoked racial divisions and tensions, willingly deploying lowest-rung of slurs and abusive language – ‘rubber bullets’ , ‘dog whistles’— commonly and crudely, cruelly used to single out the perceived foreignness of nonwhite, non-Christian people — this time the xenophic president has gone beyond the pale; deploys live and real bullets as well as racial missiles.
He is actually daring the minority. What are you gonna do about it then? Just ‘GO BACK TO WHEREVER’ the hack you came from. Full stop!
What can minority Americans do then? And yes indeed minorities everywhere in every which community? Kneel down and pray. Yes of course but also DEFEND oneself; for the only best line of attack is defense.
However perverted Trump’s message is; one cannont mistake or confuse the clarity – it has struck a code worldwide among some white people.
Last night just after: …. published; something extraordinary happened, and extraordinary for Leicester.
As I walked down town; satchel on my back and canon camera on one shoulder, I was accosted by three individuals from behind. Interestingly they politely asked me to go walk on the other side of the street. In protestation I tried to reason with them as to why; there was no moment as one of them suddenly lunged at me … I made a runner. Fortunately I was not hate. They were drunk louts of course but that is no excuse.
A homeless man seated a few yards, and they were other people too who witnessed the whole thing … they comforted me afterwards.
It is difficult to link this incident to Trump’s racist utterances; even less so the three guys were drunk anyway ….but ey there is always an underlying linkage. Did they read Trump tweets, did they watch something about it on the news – or heard it at the pub.
Trump has just replanted a seed of hate whose variety, this time would be difficult to uproot or poison even after his presidency in a short while.
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at “foolish” British Prime Minister Theresa May and her “wacky” Washington ambassador on Tuesday, stepping up a tirade against a close ally whose envoy had branded his administration inept.
May has given her full support to Kim Darroch after he described Trump’s administration as “dysfunctional” and “inept” in memos that were leaked to a British newspaper on Sunday.
While ministers and May’s spokesman have stated the leaked cables were only a partial reflection of Darroch’s assessments and did not reflect the government’s views, they have infuriated Trump, who fired off a second series of scathing tweets.
“The wacky Ambassador that the UK foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy,” Trump wrote, describing Darroch as a “pompous fool”.
“He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was handled. I told @theresa_may how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way – was unable to get it done. A disaster!”
May is due to leave office this month and the spat with the United States divided the two contenders who are battling to replace her.
Boris Johnson, the former London mayor and favorite to enter Downing Street as the next prime minister, said Britain’s relationship with the United States was incredibly important.
Asked in a television debate whether Darroch would retain his job under a Johnson government, he said he would not be so presumptuous as to think he would be in a position to take that decision.
He then said it was not “necessarily” the right thing for Trump to have said, but added: “Let’s face it, our relationship with the U.S. is of fantastic importance.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt went much further, saying the comments were “disrespectful and wrong” to May and the country.
“You said the UK/US alliance was the greatest in history and I agree,” he said on Twitter. “But allies need to treat each other with respect as @theresa_may has always done with you. Ambassadors are appointed by the UK government and if I become PM our Ambassador stays.”
The timing of the discord comes as Britain is hoping to strike a major trade deal with its closest ally after it leaves the European Union, an exit scheduled for Oct. 31.
Both Johnson and Hunt have indicated they could support leaving the bloc without a deal, making a future agreement with the United States even more important.
Britain’s trade minister Liam Fox said he would apologize to Trump’s daughter Ivanka whom he met during a visit to Washington.
On Monday, Trump had tweeted that he would sever ties with the diplomat and that it was “good news” that Britain would soon have a new prime minister.
“SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES” FOR LEAKER
Before Trump’s latest broadside, May’s spokesman said Darroch would stay in place and that envoys had to feel confident they could share their frank assessments.
“She (May) said we had made clear to the U.S. how unfortunate this leak is, and that the extracts were selective and do not reflect the closeness of our relationship,” the spokesman said.
In his confidential memos dating from 2017 to the present, Darroch had said reports of in-fighting in the White House were “mostly true” and last month described confusion within the administration over Trump’s decision to call off a military strike on Iran.
“We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept,” Darroch wrote in one cable.
British officials have launched an inquiry to find out who was responsible for the leak.
Christopher Meyer, a former British ambassador to Washington, said there was a “possible range of villains”.
“It was clearly somebody who set out deliberately to sabotage Sir Kim’s ambassadorship, to make his position untenable and to have him replaced by somebody more congenial to the leaker,” he told BBC radio.
Additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Kate Holton; editing by Jon Boyle, Gareth Jones and Jonathan Oatis