A day that underscored the corruption swamping the Trump presidency

  
Via:  john-russell  •  4 weeks ago  •  35 comments

A day that underscored the corruption swamping the Trump presidency
It was notable that while Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee protested the process and highlighted that Yovanovitch was gone before Trump's alleged scheme to get dirt on Biden came to fruition, they did little to counter her story of a back door diplomatic scheme led by Giuliani.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



And on Friday evening, things took another turn for the worse for Trump.



Diplomatic aide David Holmes testified  that he had heard Trump on a telephone call ask US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland whether the Ukrainians were going to open investigations he had asked for into former Vice President Joe Biden and a conspiracy theory surrounding the 2016 election.

(CNN)A fateful convergence of events Friday  reflected a culture of corruption and intimidation  endemic to the circle of a President who vowed to drain the swamp but instead became its incarnation.


First,  a US ambassador told how her reputation was shredded  and she was hounded out of her job by President Donald Trump's rogue associates after a faultless 30-year career advancing America's interests.



"Ukrainians who prefer to play by the old corrupt rules sought to remove me,"  former US envoy to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch  said at the House impeachment hearings. "What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them."



Incredibly, her testimony was  interrupted by a Trump attack tweet that visibly exacerbated her anguish  over his bullying tactics, lent credibility to her testimony and could now be folded into articles of impeachment.










As she spoke, and less than a mile away across Washington's mall,  Roger Stone became the latest associate who will pay  for his loyalty to the President.










The Nixon-era political trickster was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering, apparently motivated by a desire to protect Trump from embarrassment over the Russia scandal.

"Truth matters. Truth still matters, OK?" prosecutor Michael Marando had told the jury on Wednesday. "In our institutions of self-governance, committee hearings, courts of law ... truth still matters."



All this came during a week in which the  President made a new last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court  to shield his tax returns from public scrutiny.



And on Friday evening, things took another turn for the worse for Trump.



Diplomatic aide David Holmes testified  that he had heard Trump on a telephone call ask US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland whether the Ukrainians were going to open investigations he had asked for into former Vice President Joe Biden and a conspiracy theory surrounding the 2016 election.



Sondland told Trump on the call in July that Ukranian President Vlodymyr Zelensky was ready to do "anything you ask him to," according to a transcript of an opening statement delivered by Holmes to a closed-door session of the impeachment investigation.



The revelation significantly raised the stakes for Sondland's testimony in a televised hearing next week and suggests that Trump was intimately involved in his lawyer Rudy Giuliani's scheme to pressure the Ukrainians.



Whether Americans ultimately come to believe that the President's alleged misconduct merits the terrible sanction of removal or come to believe the Democratic impeachment attempt is narrowly political and unjustified, this was a clarifying day.



At a time of swirling misinformation, propagandistic pro-Trump news coverage and conspiracy theories, it showed that while facts may be under assault, they can ultimately still emerge in a way that will allow history to render a judgment even if the fractured political climate makes that it impossible in the moment.



Friday piled more testimony on the mountain of evidence suggesting that the US is in the grip of not just the most unorthodox, but the most corrupt presidency of the modern era.



The Stone and Yovanovitch dramas did not take place in isolation. They fit into a pattern of questionable behavior clouding Trump's entire political career. The sheer weight of such evidence confounds his supporters' claims that the real problem is that Democrats and the media are caught up in some kind of "Never Trump" mania that amounts to a coup.



This, after all, is a President who demanded misplaced personal loyalty from FBI chief James Comey, then fired him and said he did it because of the Russia investigation. Trump also repeatedly berated his first Attorney General Jeff Sessions for honoring an obligation to recuse himself from the Russia probe.



While special counsel Robert Mueller did not establish cooperation between Trump's campaign and Russia, he said the President's team expected to benefit from his election meddling.

And he pointedly did not exonerate Trump of obstruction.



This is a President who  tried to get the US government to cut him a check to host next year's G7 summit  before backing off because of the political outrage. As if to underscore conflicts of interests posed by his financial entanglements, Trump filed suit with the Supreme Court Friday to stop prosecutors pulling his tax returns,  setting up a landmark separation of powers showdown .



For sure, there are legal questions about immunity and the extent to which an individual in that job should expect financial privacy at play here.



But Trump's move still raised the question about what he has to hide from the people for whom he holds a public trust.




The human toll of the Ukraine scandal




Yovanovitch's only offense may have been that she got in the way of a plan by Giuliani, working at Trump's direction, to get the Ukrainian government to investigate one of the President's domestic political opponents -- Biden.



It was notable that while Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee protested the process and highlighted that Yovanovitch was gone before Trump's alleged scheme to get dirt on Biden came to fruition, they did little to counter her story of a back door diplomatic scheme led by Giuliani.



Democrats scheduled the former ambassador in their second televised impeachment hearing to suggest the human cost of the President's Ukraine scheme.



She also helped them flesh out an argument that Giuliani, acting at the direction of the President, and with associates in Ukraine like now indicted Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had trampled over America's foreign policy interests in pursuit of their own personal and political enrichment.



Yovanovitch also found herself the target of a fierce campaign by conservative pundits that including the President's son, Donald Trump Jr.



Far from working to drain corruption as Yovanovitch was in Ukraine, she testified that Giuliani's team was working with corrupt figures in Kiev and importing their methods to the US.



Like her colleagues, George Kent and Bill Taylor who testified Wednesday, she seemed like an envoy to a country she no longer understood -- her own -- where governance is beginning to share characteristics of corruption-laced nations where they served.



"How could our system fail like this?" Yovanovitch asked.

"How is it that foreign corrupt interests could manipulate our government? Which country's interests are served when the very corrupt behavior we have been criticizing is allowed to prevail?" Yovanovitch said.

Like other witnesses from the foreign service bureaucracy, Yovanovitch also warned that current turmoil will damage America's reputation.



"Such conduct undermines the US, exposes our friends and widens the playing failed for autocrats like President Putin," she said. "Our leadership depends on the power of our example."

Trump's tweet in which he accused Yovanovitch of making each country that she served in -- for instance Somalia -- worse, only lent credibility to her account of feeling intimidated by the commander-in-chief's smears and threats.


Several Republicans decried Trump's attack as counterproductive.


"It was idiotic to tweet today about her," one Trump campaign source told CNN's Jim Acosta. "She seems legitimately worried."



The President's intervention could be a sign that he understood the damage the ambassador's testimony was doing. But he insisted later that he had every right to go after her.



"You know what? I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech just as other people do, but they've taken away the Republicans rights," the President said.



It's unclear whether the tweets reach a standard of witness tampering that might stand up in court. Democrats suggested they could become part of eventual articles of the political process of impeachment in any case.



But the attack couldn't have been a clearer sign of the intimidation that characterizes Trump orbit.

And the assault by the most powerful man in the world will surely be on the mind of witnesses called to testify in next week's frenetic week of impeachment theater.




Trump rails at 'double standard'




Stone's conviction stems directly from the Mueller investigation. He was accused of lying about his efforts to contact Wikileaks to get information that could have helped Trump during his 2016 election campaign against Hillary Clinton.



Prosecutors argued that his crimes were partly motivated by a desire to save the President from political embarrassment.



Stone became the sixth Trump associate to be convicted  -- a list that includes former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the campaign's ex-deputy chairman Rick Gates, short-lived national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos.



So far, the President has largely avoided such legal consequences. But each of these men now has cause to regret their decision to jump aboard the Trump train. If a man is judged by the company he keeps, their convictions reflect poorly on the President.



Trump reacted furiously to Stone's conviction, claiming his fate at the hand of a jury of his peers was another example of an establishment plot against him.



"So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come," Trump tweeted, before raging at his usual punching bags including Clinton, Comey and Obama administration intelligence community officials.

"A double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country?" the President wrote.

Speculation is already running high that the President could use his power to pardon Stone -- a move -- at the time of an impeachment drama that would be politically radioactive.



The President has exceedingly broad power to pardon offenders, but saving Stone would suggest that people around him are above the law. And it would further color in a portrait of rampant corruption already threatening to dominate his legacy.




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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

If we sucked all the right wing bamboozling out of the atmosphere Trump would be impeached and removed tomorrow.  That is how vast and obvious the corruption of Trumpworld is. 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 weeks ago
That is how vast and obvious the corruption of Trumpworld is. 

That is how vast and obvious the INSANITY of the NEVER Trump World is.

No thanks necessary for the very obviously needed corrections.

 
 
 
JBB
1.1.1  JBB  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1    4 weeks ago

Thanks for making JR's point so succinctly... 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.2  XDm9mm  replied to  JBB @1.1.1    4 weeks ago
Thanks for making JR's point so succinctly...

No need to thank me.....   the NEVER Trump bast shit crazy left is simply insane.  

And now YOU know the truth.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.1.3  FLYNAVY1  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.2    4 weeks ago

Left is insane eh?

Then how do you explain Stone, Cohen, Manifort, Flynn... Et al.... being found guilty of so many "nothing-burgers"?

It would seem that it's the right's inability to deal with reality that is the real psychosis that needs to be addressed.

 
 
 
WallyW
1.1.4  WallyW  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.1.3    4 weeks ago

Yeah.....all those nothing burger "process" crimes that had nothing to do with Trump

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.1.5  FLYNAVY1  replied to  WallyW @1.1.4    4 weeks ago

And what do they all have in common Wally...… They all reported directly to Trump, or were close confidants for decades....

The chances of Trump not being involved at all is infinitesimal.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.6  MUVA  replied to  WallyW @1.1.4    4 weeks ago

Wait till the slew of process crimes that are coming for the deep state then some on the left will call it a nothing burger.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.7  XDm9mm  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.1.3    4 weeks ago
Then how do you explain Stone, Cohen, Manifort, Flynn... Et al.... being found guilty of so many "nothing-burgers"?

Your fixation on people accused and/or convicted of process crimes is quite telling.

May I ask you one question?

During the inquiry into Hillary Clinton and her abdication of rules regarding handling of classified information, did you take umbrage at how many surrounding her were granted immunity from prosecution for their roles in that debacle?

I don't anticipate an answer as the question is rhetorical.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.8  MUVA  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.7    4 weeks ago

If the FBI and justice department had followed the same pattern they could have rolled up 3 or 4 people in Clinton's investigation of her having classified info on her computer and private server.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.1.9  FLYNAVY1  replied to  MUVA @1.1.6    4 weeks ago

We found out who the deep state is MUVA.... They are those that have worked for decades supporting presidents of both parties, that took their oath to defend the US Constitution to heart.  AKA..... "Patriots".

 

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.1.10  FLYNAVY1  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.7    4 weeks ago

Oh balls!  The GOP led house has investigated Clinton for decades and couldn't find enough that even they thought was worth bringing her up on charges. Process or otherwise...…  You really need to come up with some fresh defelection material XD.

There are six N-1s that have been found guilty or have plead guilty to crimes in the Trump administration.  And this thing is just getting warmed up. 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.11  XDm9mm  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.1.9    4 weeks ago
that took their oath to defend the US Constitution to heart

Where in that oath, which I also have taken several times, is there any mention of working to remove a duly elected President of the United States simply because you dislike him or his policies, which by the way ARE the purview of the President to establish?  Please be specific as I've reviewed it several times and am unable to locate it.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.12  XDm9mm  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.1.10    4 weeks ago
Oh balls!

Glad you have a couple.

But since you opted to answer, was it not the Obama administration Justice Department that provided the top cover of immunity to all the Clinton confidants or was that a figment of my and the news media imagination?

As to just getting warmed up, I personally believe the fire is going to be roaring once the IG Horowitz report comes out followed shortly by the Durham findings and potential criminal indictments.  So, we most certainly agree on that point.

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1.14  bugsy  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.12    4 weeks ago
immunity to all the Clinton confidants or was that a figment of my and the news media imagination?

It was a figment of the news media, but the vast majority of Americans knew better.

[deleted]

I wonder when the next "I hate Trump" tirade is going to be posted. His google is probably working in overtime.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.15  MUVA  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.11    4 weeks ago

Don't you realize you really took a oath to the democratic party.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.16  MUVA  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.1.9    4 weeks ago

No patriots I know are looking to remove a president for every word he utters or action he takes. I was in the service about 13 years ago not last century I remember the oath I took very well. 

 
 
 
Dulay
1.1.18  Dulay  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.11    4 weeks ago
Where in that oath, which I also have taken several times, is there any mention of working to remove a duly elected President of the United States simply because you dislike him or his policies, which by the way ARE the purview of the President to establish?  Please be specific as I've reviewed it several times and am unable to locate it.

Which of them are you claiming are working to remove Trump? Please be specific because I've reviewed all of the testimony and I haven't seen it. 

 
 
 
cjcold
1.1.19  cjcold  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.1.3    4 weeks ago

At what point do true patriots pull their firearms and take out TRUMP criminal fascists?

Oh! that was just a joke like so many jokes lethal Donald tells.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.1.20  FLYNAVY1  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.11    4 weeks ago

Nice try....Where in any of last weeks testimony did you hear any of the witnesses say...

"I took my actions because the president needs to be removed from office!"?

or..

"Because I don't like the president's policies, I believe he needs to be removed from office!"?

The only person working hard at trying to get Trump thrown out of office, is Trump!

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.1.21  FLYNAVY1  replied to  MUVA @1.1.16    4 weeks ago

I was in the service about 13 years ago not last century I remember the oath I took very well.

Sound like you think that there's an expiration date on patriotism.  For the record, a copy of my oath, and Article I of the POW code of conduct have adorned every desk I've occupied since I left the military.

It the president would stop taking actions and sides that benefit him financially, and the Russians at every turn, he'd have better support.  He'd be on even better terms if he would actually be found to be working FOR AMERICANS! 

 
 
 
WallyW
1.2  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 weeks ago

Same old tiresome boring shit, just a different day.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.2.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  WallyW @1.2    4 weeks ago

I'm sure you're bored to tears Wally. 

This process is all about putting country before party, and the actions of patriots.  In hitching their wagon to the Trump train, those on the right find no value for either of those activities.

 

 
 
 
katrix
1.2.2  katrix  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.2.1    4 weeks ago

It's very sad to see the lack of patriotism in so many people ... putting Trump and the GOP before our country. I wonder why people like that even stay in America, if they so disdain our values and system of government.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
1.2.3  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  katrix @1.2.2    4 weeks ago

384

 
 
 
Ozzwald
1.2.4  Ozzwald  replied to  katrix @1.2.2    4 weeks ago
I wonder why people like that even stay in America, if they so disdain our values and system of government.

They like our money.

 
 
 
Dulay
1.2.5  Dulay  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.2.3    4 weeks ago

Since you speak fluent meme, here's one for you:

512

 
 
 
JBB
2  JBB    4 weeks ago

Roy Cohen, Olde Joe McCarthy and Dick Nixon.

Hated, Shameless and Resigned in Disgraced...

Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Donald Trump.

In Prison, Convicted and Facing Impeachment...

At long last has the gop no decency, no shame?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  JBB @2    4 weeks ago
At long last has the gop no decency, no shame?

Judging by Trump supporters on social media and internet forums like this one?   Hell no. Trumpsters are proud to stand behind the most corrupt president in American history. "He makes liberals cry" donctha know?

It is a phrase that will go down in absurdist lore along with "Brawndo Has What Plants Crave" from the satire movie Idiocracy. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
2.1.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    4 weeks ago

That movie is a documentary.

 
 
 
lady in black
3  lady in black    4 weeks ago

As I keep I posting and will keep doing so, they have a very bad case TDS, TRUMP DENIAL SYNDROME.

 
 
 
devangelical
4  devangelical    4 weeks ago

here's the meme that was deleted from the teanderthal seed. bwah ha ha

78271473_2588946871142993_52315648184643

 
 
 
MUVA
4.1  MUVA  replied to  devangelical @4    4 weeks ago

It makes no sense wait let me get my democratic party decoder ring ok it's bullshit.

 
 
 
devangelical
4.1.1  devangelical  replied to  MUVA @4.1    4 weeks ago

it would probably seem that way to anyone too ignorant to know what socialism is...

 
 
 
bbl-1
5  bbl-1    4 weeks ago

Trumpian Swampian corruption great and small.  Trump moves the pace so fast and so far with every second, the fiasco of the Pruitt and Price 'sneaky stuff' is so far removed it could be classified as being dated in BC.  Of course there have been many others but gawd, can't keep track anymore.

Besides, the real corruption is with Russian and Saudi money and the Trump family. 

Ukraine corruption?  Sure.  Very corrupt ever since it's independence in 1991.  The Russians moved in with money stolen from the Russian people and their Western contact-------Manafort.  And maybe Ross.  A close look must be taken at the Cyprus Banks-----which is----Ross's baby.  Money laundering----look for it.

 
 
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