Category Archives: Obstruction of justice

Video: Rachel Maddow, Senator Elizabeth Warren on impeachment

Repost from MSNBC Youtube – Rachel Maddow
[Editor: See this powerful 8-minute video.  Warren is spot on: “We’re not an America that can be politics all the time. There come moments that are serious enough that we have to stop, take a deep breath, and be willing to say, that’s wrong.” Also below, watch Maddow lay out Mueller’s “road map” to impeachment.  – R.S.]

Senator Elizabeth Warren First 2020 Candidate To Call For Impeachment | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren talks with Rachel Maddow about her call for impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. The first 2020 candidate to call for impeachment, Senator Warren says she came to the decision after reading the Mueller report.


ALSO EXCELLENT…

Robert Mueller Report: Outline For Prosecution | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Rachel Maddow hones in on Volume II of the Mueller report the day after its release and shows why it could serve as a road map to prosecution after Trump leaves office.

Share...

    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.

    Share...

      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.”

      Share...

        Democrats warn Trump after Attorney General Sessions forced out

        Repost from the Reuters

        Democrats warn Trump after Attorney General Sessions forced out

        By Sarah N. Lynch, NOVEMBER 7, 2018 / 11:57 AM
        U.S. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions button their coats as they stand for the national anthem at a graduation ceremony at the FBI Academy on the grounds of Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia, U.S. December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

        WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions by President Donald Trump on Wednesday drew sharp criticism from Democrats, who warned Trump against moving to squash a probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

        The probe, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller under the supervision of the Justice Department, has clouded the Trump presidency. The president had long complained about Sessions recusing himself from supervising Mueller.

        Democrats raised concerns about Sessions’ acting replacement, Matthew Whitaker, who now oversees Mueller and once argued Mueller’s probe was going too far. They also questioned whether the removal of the top U.S. law enforcement officer was an attempt to undermine or end the investigation.

        “Congress must take bipartisan action to protect the integrity of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” said Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, hours after Democrats won a House majority in Tuesday’s elections.

        If Sessions’ departure was an “opening move” by Trump to meddle in Mueller’s investigation, Hoyer said in a statement, “the president must be held accountable.”

        Asked if Whitaker would now oversee Mueller, a Justice Department spokeswoman said: “The acting attorney general is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice.”

        A spokesman for Mueller’s office declined to comment on Sessions’ departure. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Reuters on Tuesday that he assumed it was “not going to affect” the Mueller investigation.

        Justice Department rules on special counsels set boundaries on how Mueller could be removed. Under those rules, he could only be discharged for good cause, such as misconduct or dereliction of duty, such as violating department policy.

        Mueller is investigating if Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia, and whether Trump unlawfully tried to obstruct the probe, along with possible financial misconduct by Trump’s family and associates.

        The special counsel has brought charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman and other campaign figures, along with 25 Russians and three firms accused of meddling in the campaign to help Trump win.

        Trump has denied his campaign colluded with Russia.

        RECUSAL DEMAND

        In a Twitter message, the medium he often uses for dismissing subordinates, Trump said he had replaced Sessions with Whitaker, who will be acting attorney general. Whitaker was previously Sessions’ chief of staff.

        Sessions said in a letter to Trump that he had resigned at the president’s request.

        Some Democrats quickly demanded that Whitaker should recuse himself from supervising Mueller, as Sessions did because Whitaker wrote an opinion piece for CNN in August 2017 that argued Mueller had too much latitude in his investigation.

        The Mueller probe should not extend to the finances of Trump, his family or their business, the Trump Organization, he argued.

        “Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

        Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, expected to chair the House Judiciary Committee starting in January, said removing Sessions fit Trump’s pattern of interfering in the work of the Justice Department and Mueller.

        “Donald Trump may think he has the power to hire and fire whomever he pleases, but he cannot take such action if it is determined that it is for the purposes of subverting the rule of law and obstructing justice,” Nadler said in a statement.

        Republican Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee who was elected on Tuesday to the U.S. Senate from Utah, also said Mueller’s probe should not be affected by Sessions’ departure.

        “Under Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, it is imperative that the important work of the Justice Department continues, and that the Mueller investigation proceeds to its conclusion unimpeded,” he said on Twitter.

        HARSH ATTACKS

        Never in modern history has a president attacked a Cabinet member as frequently and harshly in public as Trump did Sessions, 71, who had been one of the first members of Congress to back his presidential campaign in 2015.

        Trump was only a few weeks into his presidency in March 2017 when Sessions upset him by stepping aside from overseeing an FBI probe of potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, citing news reports of previously undisclosed meetings he had with Russia’s ambassador to Washington for his recusal.

        Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took over supervision of the Russia investigation. He appointed Mueller in May 2017 as the Justice Department’s special counsel to take control of the FBI’s Russia probe after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

        Despite Trump’s criticism, Sessions aggressively carried out the administration’s conservative policies. He sought to strip federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities and states, typically governed by Democrats, that he accused of sheltering illegal immigrants from deportation.

        He also announced Trump’s decision to rescind protections for young adults brought into the country illegally as children, and backed Trump’s ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

        A permanent replacement for Sessions must be confirmed by the Senate, which Trump’s Republicans will continue to control as a result of Tuesday’s midterm elections.

        Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Kevin Drawbaugh and John Whitesides; Editing by Will Dunham and Peter Cooney
        Share...