New Lawyers, Attacks on Mueller & Cambridge Analytica….

I’m just a lifelong GOP’er wanting to get my party back.  There’s just no way I can in any way support the monstrosity it has become.  What has become appallingly obvious is the extent the party’s mindset has shifted to the radical right, & this absurdly dishonest administration corrupts all those around them.  Most people are busy with their own lives & can’t follow the political scene that closely, so they’re largely unaware of the subtle political shift in recent years which have steered the GOP off the rails.  That’s why those trapped in the rightwing echo (which we always focus on every time in part 2) for a balanced perspective need to plug into objective sources like The Voracs.  How’s that for a plug?

As he is proving to us repeatedly, President Donald Trump is well beyond being clueless & incompetent, he is very dangerous.  There are increasing signs he engaged & continues to engage in abusing his power & trampling on the Constitution, which he is now increasingly aggressive in pulling all the levers to cover up his crimes.  Just for starters, it looks like obstruction of justice is a slam dunk, in addition to whatever else can be found.  And to this day, he is still engaging in actions undermining our democracy.  Prime examples are his relentless attacks on the DOJ/FBI, featuring the shameless firing of Andrew McCabe, a hot story over the weekend which we feature in Part 2.  But as we can see below with all the Russian scandal updates, which includes a new crazy lawyer & shady dealings from Cambridge Analytica, this has become a sick reality show.  White House news is more like tabloid trash.  He should have stayed on The Apprentice.

With Mueller furnishing team-Trump a list of potential interview questions (mueller-gives-trumps-legal-team-questions-for-potential-interview), along with documents from the Trump Organization being subpoenaed, my hunch is they didn’t like the direction the inquiry is going, since it’s likely offering hints Mueller is hot on the trail of illegalities closing in on Trump.  Plus the prez knows as well as anyone what he has actually done, so he is looking more & more desperate.  Just look at all the angry tweets over the weekend, showing he’s in panic mode.  Quite frankly, they appear to be the rants of a jackass, which we’ve grown accustomed to with a lunatic at the helm.  But seriously, he’s even shown signs of being a psychopath & there’s no limits to the depravity he could bring on America, including sparking a constitutional crisis should he vigorously pursue the steps for sabotaging the investigation.

With new members on his legal team & a more aggressive posture, it looks like the new legal strategy is to accuse Mueller, the DOJ & FBI of a ridiculous claim they’re trying to frame the prez: trump-just-hired-a-lawyer-who-says-the-fbi-and-doj-conspired-to-frame-trump.  So this diGenova character looks like a real conspiracist nutjob.  Trump found him on cable TV spouting some of the craziest conspiracy theories imaginable (ala Alex Jones), so Trump figured he was perfect for his legal team.  While one of Trump’s lawyers (Cobb) is still publicly stating they’re cooperating with special counsel, this new guy throwing out wild claims look as though a new approach is to go nuclear on Mueller.  If they go that route, Trump’s defense becomes to rally the base fervently against the investigation & basically present him as being above the law.

These attacks on Mueller only add to the obstruction case.  Because actually firing Mueller would be politically perilous, it’s more likely the strategy is to discredit &/or constrain the investigation, convincing his base the whole thing was rigged: donald-trump-may-not-be-able-to-fire-robert-mueller-so-hes-doing-the-next-best-thing.  Mueller could respond in kind with subpoena power & perhaps an indictment.  With Trump seemingly becoming more unhinged & he did throw out this trial balloon gauging what the reaction might be should he follow through with Mueller’s firing, which some in the GOP did issue muted warnings, but a crazy president might just do something crazy.  At least Lindsey Graham had enough nerve to say firing Mueller could be an impeachable offense, but since Trump often doesn’t act rationally, he could be laying the groundwork to irresponsibly do the unthinkable.  Actually firing Mueller could indeed ignite the constitutional crisis that could tear our nation apart!  At that point it really could erupt into a quasi-American civil war, an epic battle of good vs. evil.  True Americans would need to rise up, as seen in the words of John Brennan from the article you-will-not-destroy-america:

“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you.”

In a constitutional crisis should it come to that, the internal enemies to American democracy would be easily identified.  They would be Trump’s accomplices inside the White House & Congress, surrogates & pundits in the media especially populating the echo, & that doting army of Trumpeters representing his cultist base.  These ramped up attacks on Mueller signal a full-throttle attack in fighting the probe instead of cooperating with it, which only makes Trump look guilty.  It’s probably because he really is guilty as time will show.  It’s abundantly obvious he is hiding something.  We must find out what that something is, so any attempts to shut down the investigation & prevent the facts from coming out, America would have an emergency to deal with & must deal with it quickly.  So let’s please pay attention & brace ourselves.

The number of links below in the Related Articles are astounding since the newsfeeds are overwhelmed with Trump news.  Even just perusing the link titles can be extremely informative.  As can be plainly seen, myself & so many media editorials are going after Trump relentlessly, since we view him as waging a relentless assault on our democracy.  Patriotic Americans with moral principles should hope & pray the various evidence & factors come together to rightfully remove this dangerous president ASAP, before he permanently does great damage to our nation.  He’s tearing our nation apart & disregarding the rule of law.  In the link mueller-sent-questions-to-trump-dowd-before-calls-for-russia-probe-shutdown with these excerpts below, I think it’s safe to assume the prez didn’t much care for the list of question categories:

Trump is currently the focal point of Mueller’s obstruction-of-justice investigation, which stems from Trump’s decision to fire Comey last May. Comey and McCabe, both of whom kept detailed memos about their conversations with Trump, are critical witnesses in the obstruction probe. Mueller is also scrutinizing Trump as he investigates whether his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. In particular, Mueller is said to be looking into whether Trump had any advance knowledge of Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee and the subsequent dissemination of stolen materials.

 

The Times reported on Thursday that Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents related to its efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The revelation appears to be a breach of the “red line” Trump told Mueller he would cross if the investigation ventured into the Trump family’s personal finances. On Friday, Felix Sater, the Russian-born businessman who acted as an intermediary between the Trump Organization and Russia on the deal, confirmed that the company was actively negotiating with a sanctioned Russian bank to secure financing for the building at the height of the 2016 election.

In the Jeff Sessions section of links, we see where it’s now in dispute that he actually shot down that idea floated by George Papadopoulos during a meeting in the spring of 2016, where George was all for the Russians spilling the dirt they had stolen from Hillary’s campaign to help their campaign: exclusive-sources-contradict-sessions-testimony-he-opposed-russia-outreach.  We also understand in the list of questions Mueller has for Trump, one topic is wanting to know the extent Sessions played a role in Comey’s firing.  Could that explain why Trump hasn’t fired Sessions despite venting against him for more than a year, since Sessions may have some real dirt on the prez.  Might Sessions have already flipped to cop a deal?

As I said in the title, could this become the smoking gun?  Cambridge Analytica illegally obtained the personal data of 50 million Americans through Facebook, an abuse of privacy protections.  Some undercover videos just revealed their level of improprieties.  This looks like a serious sticky wicket for many supporting Trump’s campaign, especially Kushner, Bannon & the Mercers (very big donors).  We do know Cambridge was working with the Trump campaign.  I speculated months ago in my comments the Mercers would likely be caught up in the middle of this.  The Cambridge CEO who was on those videos has just been suspended.  This is also a big mess Facebook must wage a more committed effort in fixing/preventing: mark-zuckerbergs-moment-of-truth.

Collecting such data while passing onto sources like WikiLeaks working on behalf of the Russians, if such a connection can be found, would allow forces acting as enemies to America the ability to micro-target specific audiences with phony ads that hit their personal hot-buttons.  Such a yet to be definitively established coordinated effort would likely be as effective as it is illegal.  These sinister weaponized posts further divides a divided America, represents a direct attack on our electoral process, plus sells a narrative critical/destructive of democracy itself.  The special prosecutor’s team should be able to make the connection by reviewing whether the Cambridge Analytics’ Facebook ads matched the contents from numerous Russian ads, by perusing the Cambridge documents, plus by following the money trail as is the case with most things involving this scandal.  We do know around that time the Cambridge Analytica CEO had been in contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.  And from Mueller’s standpoint, it could end up being an important piece to the proof of collusion he’s been investigating, a smoking gun showing there was a connecting bridge between the Trump campaign & the Russians: cambridge-analyticas-russia-connection.

Also check the updates in the Stormy links, plus she’s attacking Trump in tweets much like Trump is always bashing his opponents.  That Stormy was threatened with physical violence may not even be the worst of it.  Numerous women have claimed Trump sexually assaulted them, which some of them may be a part of the group of women prepared to testify along with Stormy.  As the Russian scandal threatens to take down this presidency, the sex scandal can feed into the narrative where most Americans are figuratively holding the door for Trump as he exits the White House for good.  More should be coming out soon on Stormy’s 60 Minutes interview, she did originally pass a lie detector test about the fling, & an ex-Playboy playmate is also speaking out while filing a lawsuit: ex-playboy-playmate-karen-mcdougal-sues-to-break-silence-on-alleged-trump-affair.  An Apprentice contestant has also filed a lawsuit.  The Trump dam is springing leaks all over!  Should proof of criminality from a number of illegalities implicate the prez, many Americans would be ready to slam shut the prison doors & turn the key against this possibly soon-to-be former president.

In singling out a couple articles beyond the Russian & Stormy scandals, please click on president-trump-fails-as-ceo which includes these excerpts here.  But they said he was this great businessman:

Regardless of your beliefs about oil companies, Rex Tillerson was an outstanding CEO of ExxonMobil Oil Company by every criteria. The contrast with President Trump, as CEO of our country, tells us we are in deep trouble as a country, not from the perspective of the liberals who dislike the president’s policies, but from the perspective of what it takes to lead a private corporation in America. CEOs of private corporations produce big returns for their stockholders when they behave with integrity as Tillerson does. CEO’s fail their stockholders when they behave as Trump behaves and the boards of directors of those companies fire those CEO’s. In our view, Trump fails many criteria for CEO success. We are his board of directors and we must fire him before our country fails.

 

The single most important criterion utilized by boards of directors and the accounting firms in the U.S. that audit corporations is the “tone at the top.” This term defines management’s leadership and commitment toward openness, honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior. It evaluates the ethical tone that the CEO of the organization sets through his or her own behavior and the actions required of others. Tone at the top is correlated with company success. Indeed corporate greed originating with the CEO has destroyed hundreds of companies with Enron being the poster child.

 

Bipartisan ethics lawyers have characterized Trump’s first year in office as the most unethical in modern history, and perhaps the history of the nation. In violation of the constitution, for example, Trump has refused to divest from businesses that are borrowing money from foreign governments. The president’s own acting head of the Office of Government Ethics David Apol, noted his deep concern about the behavior of leading Trump officials. Trump’s unprecedented travel to his privately owned commercial golf properties (91 times since the inauguration for a taxpayer cost of over $52 million) highlight a particularly troubling ethics issue. Any CEO who behaved like Trump behaves would be fired and fired quickly by the company’s board of directors before damage to the company and its stockholders ensued. We can wait until 2020 to fire him or we can insist on impeachment now via our current elected officials and those elected later this year.

 

Inside flake-cannot-win-in-trumps-gop-and-thats-the-problem, Rubin offers her critique of Jeff Flake’s critique of the GOP.  As I’ve been saying, this party is so broken & so off course, we may need to burn the whole thing to the ground, echo & all, in order to rebuild with something sane:

His indictment was so powerful that one cannot escape the conclusion that the GOP would need to be thoroughly scrubbed of any residue of the Trump era before entrusting it with power again. The leaders who did the “norming” betrayed our democratic principles and enabled a deeply unfit president. None deserves a second chance. The question remains: Where do Flake and like-minded Republicans go — to a new party? To permanent political exile? Much depends on whether the Democrats make a foolish choice in 2020, opening up space for a third party. In any event, Flake implicitly (and I think, unintentionally) makes a powerful argument that the first step is the complete demolition of a reckless, soulless party.