(Door hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
In 18 US Code paragraph 2381 treason is defined as ‘giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States,’ and by that definition Trump and his GOP allies in Congress come close. Yesterday’s two meetings of DOJ, FBI and assorted members of Congress not only violated constitutional oversight procedures, but risking the exposure of the identity of an FBI informant involved in the Russian collusion investigation may very well jeopardize US intelligence gathering in the future, not only aiding Russia but all enemies of the US. As unheard of as it is that a subject of a criminal investigation would get information about the details of that investigation, that was exactly the purpose of the meeting Trump demanded, as Rudy Giuliani confirmed in one of his many verbal guffaws. The initial presence of John Kelly and White House attorney Emmett Flood in both meetings was a severe violation of due process, even if they left after making opening remarks in which they expressed the president’s ‘desire for full transparency,’ and Trump’s attempt to criminalize the investigators of his potential crimes will go into the history books as an abuse of power that trumps Watergate.
Having thus violated the constitution and created an unsolvable dilemma for DOJ and FBI, Trump turned his eye to his upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un and must have felt something running down his pants. Stupid remarks by John Bolton about the ‘Lybian model,’ echoed by Mike Pence, had produced an aggressive response from North Korea, which gave the president an excuse to cancel a meeting he was totally unprepared for and therefore scared of. In the run-up to the meeting Trump had primarily been focused on tertiary issues, like the unlikely chance that he might win the Nobel Peace Prize and the issuing of a commemorative coin with Kim’s name misspelled, but as the June 12th date came closer he must have realized that denuclearizing the Korean peninsula was a deal he could not make. Without informing the American allies Japan and South Korea Trump notified Kim with a letter that was typified by some pundits as ‘what a high school student would write to break up with his girlfriend before she does it.’ To illustrate the chaos in the administration, an hour and a half before the letter went out the State Department issued a statement that contacts with North Korea were on track.
With regards to the Mueller probe Trump’s powers of misinformation were on full display. He called an FBI informant a ‘spy,’ and suggested that Obama had planted the man in his campaign. George Papadopoulos, once called a ‘coffee boy,’ was now a ‘high ranking campaign official,’ who had been spied on by the FBI. Unclear remains, however, why the FBI, according to Trump dead set on sabotaging his candidacy, kept its surveillance of his campaign a secret while exposing Hillary Clinton’s email problems.
The cancellation of the meeting with Kim has not improved the atmosphere in the White House. Apparently Trump blames Pence and Mike Pompeo blames Bolton, so unless they all find a common patsy they’ll be sniping at each other for a while. In all of this China is the big winner: not only have the sanctions on ZTE been lifted and are the tariffs on hold, but North Korea is also back in the fold where according to China it belongs.
After speaking with Mueller’s staff Giuliani prophesized that the investigation would be over by September 1st, but he forgot to add ‘only if Trump sits down for an interview with the Special Counsel.’ Meanwhile according to legal experts Mueller probably has indictments ready to go out to federal prosecutors the moment he would get fired.
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