Nancy is Praying
(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
At the beginning of the week the White House introduced an organic definition of the presidency to justify Donald Trump’s instructing Don McGahn not to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. According to his lawyers the president enjoys total immunity from congressional investigations as do his current and former staffers, who should be looked at as the limbs – if not the tentacles – of the presidency. Implied by these legal acrobatics is that everybody who ever worked for Trump during his first term would be above the law, but committee chairman Nadler wouldn’t have any of it and held McGahn in contempt while he subpoenaed his former Chief of Staff, Annie Donaldson, and Hope Hicks, Trump’s former Communications Director. It was only the beginning of a rollout of bad news for the president during the rest of the week. First it was revealed that within Deutsche Bank several ‘suspicious activity’ reports had been generated concerning the possibility that both Trump and Jared Kushner had been involved in money laundering. For reasons unknown the reports never made it to the Treasury, where they belonged.
Subsequently a federal judge in DC made public that there had been attempts to affect both Michael Flynn’s willingness to cooperate with the Mueller probe and the completeness of that cooperation, information supported by voicemail messages left by one of Trump’s lawyers. As if that was not enough to bring the president’s blood to a boil another judge in DC ruled that Mazars USA, Trump’s tax preparer, can share information with Congress, handing the Trump family its first defeat in court. Out of the IRS leaked the news that an internal memo had been drafted arguing that Trump’s tax returns should be handed over to Congress, but that it had been squatted by the IRS Commissioner, who was hand-picked by the president exactly for that purpose. Next, a judge in New York City decided that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can share information about the Trump organization’s finances with Congress, and William Barr decided that he cannot keep information away from the House Intelligence Committee. To cap it off the New York State legislature decided to make Trump’s state tax returns available to Congress.
So it was understandable that the president was not his charming self when Wednesday morning he got ready to talk with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer about a $2 trillion infrastructure plan and heard Pelosi say on TV that he was involved in a cover-up. Adding to his plight was that he didn’t have $2 trillion, because he had given $1.5 trillion to the rich and US corporations in tax cuts, and that he didn’t have an infrastructure plan either. Knowing that Pelosi and Schumer would have a plan and would expect money to implement it he decided not to meet with them.
He kept them waiting for 15 minutes while his staff set up a podium in the Rose Garden with posters containing two lies, ‘NO collusion’ and ‘NO obstruction,’ and then walked into the Cabinet Room to tell the Democrats that he would not work with them until all investigations had been halted. Following his walk-out Trump declared in the Rose Garden ‘I don’t do cover-ups,’ and called himself ‘the most transparent president ever,’ forgetting how he had just silenced all of his current and former staffers.
It was the beginning of a public exchange with Pelosi, who questioned the president’s mental health and said that she hoped his family or staff would stage ‘an intervention’ while she was praying for him. Trump responded by calling her ‘crazy’ and retweeting a doctored video in which the Speaker appeared to be drunk and slur her words. Stay tuned if you think we’ve seen the lowest point of this presidency yet.
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