Category Archives: Donald Trump

Adam Schiff delivers massive smackdown: Trump is “immoral,” “unpatriotic” and “corrupt”

Repost from Salon

Under attack from Trump and the ludicrous Devin Nunes, Intelligence Committee chair focuses on the real question

By HEATHER DIGBY PARTON, MARCH 29, 2019 12:00PM (UTC)

President Trump held his first rally since mid-February on Thursday in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sounding alternately buoyant and furious, he took a big victory lap and declared himself to have “won” against the witch hunt. In an extended rant right out of the gate he proclaimed:

After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead. The collusion delusion is over. The Special Counsel has completed his report and found no collusion, no obstruction … Total exoneration, complete vindication. …

The Russia witch hunt was a plan by those who lost the election to take power by framing innocent Americans — they suffered — with an elaborate hoax. They tried to destroy a movement like nobody has ever seen before. They did it because they refused to accept the results of the greatest presidential election results in American history … they perpetuated the single greatest hoax in the history of politics, they have to be — I’m sorry — they have to be accountable.”

As we saw telegraphed as early as Monday, Trump wants revenge. His motto for years has been “get even” and he obviously thinks that wreaking vengeance on his political opponents will keep him in the White House past 2020. Even his decision to back the lawsuit repealing Obamacare, made against the advice of many Republicans, is really just a way for him to exact revenge on his most hated rival — who happens to be a dead man, John McCain.

Trump went out of his way to crudely insult House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif.:

He didn’t talk about the size of his own neck, thankfully.  But he did get a bit more rhetorically pungent, saying, “The Democrats need to decide whether they will continue to defraud the public with ridiculous bullshit.” (Yes, he said bullshit.)

The attack on Schiff is obviously a specific strategy to try to shut down the Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into Trump and Russia. Earlier in the day Trump had tweeted out:

When the House Intelligence Committee held a hearing later that day to hear Russia experts talk about how that country’s intelligence services infiltrate various aspects of American life, the committee’s ranking member and former chair, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., stepped up to make an opening statement:

We should not be used as a platform to spread false information and bizarre conspiracies. We have unique capabilities and authorities to do crucial oversight work and now, frankly speaking, that is not being done.

You read that right. Then Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, read a letter signed by all nine Republicans on the committee demanding that Schiff resign, claiming that he was promoting a demonstrably false narrative and had abused his position to knowingly promote false information about Russian collusion.

This, coming from the same Republicans who contrived the ludicrous alternate universe around a “deep state” plot, culminating in the preposterous “Nunes memo,” could and perhaps should have resulted in convulsions of laughter in the hearing room. The idea of Nunes, the man who was caught red-handed, literally in the middle of the night, conspiring with the White House, accusing anyone else of conspiracy theories really cannot be taken seriously. He is a ridiculous person.

But Schiff didn’t laugh. And he was right not to. This is a serious issue of national security, and he responded with one of the more memorable congressional speeches in a very long time:

If you haven’t heard the whole thing I urge you to listen to it.

The reason that was so important is because Schiff brought the issue back to where it rightfully belongs: in the Congress. The only thing we know right now about any criminal liability is that Robert Mueller’s investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

But none of the events or behaviors Schiff cited are in dispute. Most of it happened right out in public. Whether it was legal or not, it was stupid and it was wrong and no president should be defended for behaving in such a craven, corrupt and unpatriotic way. What he did may not have been criminal conduct, but it was pathologically unethical. Anyone who didn’t find all that behavior suspicious has no business holding a responsible position in the United States government.

Schiff’s speech explains something important that Trump and the Republicans fail to grasp. People know what they saw. That’s why the polls aren’t moving toward the president in the wake of Bill Barr’s letter and Trump’s triumphant victory tour. Whether the president was part of a criminal conspiracy, or was simply so ignorant and corrupt that he didn’t know or care about the ramifications of his actions, isn’t really the question. What Schiff did in that speech was to bring the subject back to the central question: Is this president acting in the interest of the people of the United States, or is he acting in the interest of Donald Trump? I think we know the answer. And it’s not OK.

Some of the Republicans on the panel understood that what Schiff had said was a powerful indictment of their own lack of ethics and morals. After Schiff finished  and attempted to go on, one member demanded to be allowed to respond to his comments, insisting, “No one over here [on the Republican side] thinks that.”

You don’t? Could have fooled us. At every step of the way the Republicans have acted as Trump’s accomplices, refusing even to suggest that he might have done something wrong in all this. They clearly don’t think he did.

I’m willing to be generous and say that at the end of the day we may very well find that Trump is so dim-witted and narcissistic that he literally does not know right from wrong. That obviously makes him unfit for the presidency but it doesn’t make him guilty of conspiring with a foreign government. Fine. But all these Republicans who refuse to even acknowledge the outrageousness of his conduct definitely do know better.They are shameless and that’s hard to fight against, still less to defeat. But Adam Schiff laid out the real issue more successfully than anyone we’ve seen in recent times. Let’s hope it’s the first of many illustrative moments as the Democrats start to provide the serious oversight that has been lacking these past two years.

HEATHER DIGBY PARTON

Heather Digby Parton, also known as “Digby,” is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.

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    Video: Adam Schiff’s historic speech: “You might think it’s okay…I don’t think that’s okay.”

    Repost from Adam Schiff on Youtube
    [Here’s all you need to know about Trump collusion and obstruction. Adam Schiff speaks for me!  – Roger Straw, The Benicia Independent]

    AdamSchiff on Youtube, Mar 28, 2019
    On Thursday, March 28, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), during a House Intelligence Committee open hearing, responded to Trump and Congressional Republican’s calls for his resignation.

    [Significant moment in Schiff’s remarks at 3:27]

    “You might say that’s all okay.  You might say that’s just what you need to do to win….But I don’t think that’s okay.

      • I think it’s immoral
      • I think it’s unethical
      • I think it’s unpatriotic
      • and yes, I think it’s corrupt
      • and evidence of collusion.

    “Now I’ve always said that the question of whether this amounts to proof of conspiracy was another matter.  Whether the Special Counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the proof of that crime would be up to the Special Counsel and I would accept his decision, and I do.  He’s a good and honorable man and a good prosecutor.

    “But I do not think that conduct – criminal or not – is okay.  And the day we DO think that’s okay is the day we will look back and say, that is the day America lost its way.”

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      We resisted and resisted and resisted… and now what – over and out?

      After the 4-page Barr Report

      By Roger Straw, March 27, 2019
      Roger Straw, The Benicia Independent

      OK, Attorney General Barr.  OK Rosenstein and Mueller.  OK Donald … I’ve had it.

      We stood out in the rain here in our small west coast town during the Inauguration and in February and March of 2017, we stood vigil, stood strong here and vowed, promised, to remain vigilant against the corruption we knew would spew forth from the p****-grabbing narcissistic liar who took a near-majority of the nation and a fateful majority of the Electoral College down a hateful path to the presidency.  We promised to remain vigilant.

      And we did.  And what did it get us – so far?

      Every blankety-blank day, we watched the news.  Sickened at first – for maybe 6 months, then allowing ourselves for the next 6 months to laugh at the ludicrous shenanigans reported on the daily “Trump Show” on CNN and MSNBC…  Every single day for these last 22 months, we’ve tuned in and read the papers in print and online, tracked the indictments, the leaks, the investigative reports, the fact-checks and distillations of uncovered seamy stories and the ridiculous “presidential” pronouncements, one after another after another…

      And it’s filled our brains.  And yes, our hearts have been strong.

      We lit votive candles with Robert Mueller’s saintly image on them, fully expecting he would bring us indictable facts that, indicted or not, would lead to impeachment and removal of the malingering sore on our nation’s face.  Most of us took the advice of our truth-telling Democratic congressional leaders and were patient.  Wait until Mueller issues his report.  OK.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait…

      And what do we get?  A Barr Report.  Bar none, the worst news of our 22-month vigil.  A whiteman wash.  An exoneration that promises a bump in electability for the ninny who holds the office but does not serve.

      What do we get?  He didn’t do it.  No culpability in the Russia attack on our democratic election.  Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t obstruct justice.  NO WAY!  We’ve watched the evidence pour in for 22 months and we know that the Barr Report is a mischaracterization at best, a conspiracy of obstruction in its own right at worst.

      Well, for a day or two, I seriously considered quitting.  Maybe move to Canada, maybe just retire and eat ice cream.  Think and act locally and forget globally.  Give up on my nation, a nation that was.  And yes, a nation born in genocide and raised on slavery.  A nation whose heart is spoiled, whose lingering hatred flows unstopped in bloody red veins.  It’s not just Donald.  What, 40% of us support him?!

      For a day or two, I was convinced that only evil lay on our horizon.  War, civil and/or otherwise.  Reversal of human rights.  A wall to define a gated people, a wall to unwelcome the masses, a tearing down of the Statue of Liberty.  A stiff-arm to the world and to human kindness.

      Yes, for a day or two, I was ready to give it over to Donald and FOX and Kellyanne and Rush and Ann Coulter and Mitch and Lindsey and the mercenary breath of Sarah Sanders.  OK, Barr and Mueller – you can have it.  I quit.

      But today is day three.  And I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.  My time – our time – isn’t over yet.  We will swamp you in 2020, and meanwhile, we will remain vigilant.  And who knows, the Democratic House and New York’s Southern District may yet send you packing before then.

      Watch out, Donald – we’re still here and we’re not going anywhere!

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