Look Mama, without Lawyers

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

In a western I watched last night a cowboy with a quick draw was bragging about his prowess with the gun, but when he came face to face with a bank robber he froze and got himself killed. It reminded me of Trump, who made a name for himself in his reality show with ‘you’re fired,’ but cannot say those words in real life. He called VA Secretary David Shulkin but was only able to produce some small talk, to subsequently ask John Kelly to call Shulkin and tell him he’s fired. The firing was then announced by the president via a tweet. Like that cowboy, Trump is all talk and no balls. The same character trait is reflected in his deafening silence about Stormy Daniels. Her lawyer made a smart move by demanding that the non-disclosure agreement be voided because it was part of a campaign finance violation, but suffered a minor setback when a judge ruled that a motion to bring in Trump and Michael Cohen for depositions was premature. Cohen’s lawyer, David Schwartz, ‘the fixer’s fixer,’ didn’t help however, by declaring that the president knew nothing about the agreement. It opens Cohen up for disbarment for not having informed his client, and Trump for campaign finance violation charges.

Trump has more lawyers working on the Stormy Daniels case than on Robert Mueller’s investigation, for which he cannot find lawyers because he is a difficult client with a weak case who doesn’t pay his bills. In that probe collusion and obstruction of justice are now coming together. It turns out that Paul Manafort’s Kiev office was managed by a Russian secret agent, a man Rick Gates stayed in touch with throughout the campaign. Mueller is also showing renewed interest in Jeff Sessions’s contacts with Russians during the GOP convention. On top of this it became known that Trump’s former lawyer, John Dowd, in the summer of 2017 approached lawyers for Michael Flynn and Manafort to discuss the possibility of a pardon for their clients, which would have been a clear case of obstruction of justice. Meanwhile, much to the chagrin of the Trumpists, Sessions decided not to appoint a second Special Counsel to investigate the FBI’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails, and a group of Democratic senators sent a letter to the whole chain of command in the Department of Justice asking for guarantees that Mueller will not be fired.

Trump’s foreign policy remains a mystery even to those who are closest to him. Grudgingly he joined more than 20 countries in expelling Russian diplomats, which prompted Sarah Huckabee Sanders to tout America’s ‘leadership’ role in this matter, but simultaneously he instructed White House staffers not to speak critically of Putin. With his improvised statement that the US would soon completely withdraw from Syria he totally surprised the Pentagon and the State Department.

And the surprises didn’t end there. The president appointed the White House physician Ronnie Jackson, who has no management experience, as VA Secretary, and announced that the US military would pay for the Mexican border wall. This makes him an Indian giver, because Trump will take away part of the funding provided via the omnibus bill that he has been bragging about.

In his uninterrupted decline into the deepest depths of depravity Trump has now declared war on Amazon, because its owner also owns the Washington Post. And as the Department of Housing and Urban Development stops fighting racial discrimination, the EPA lowers emission standards.

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