Thursday, January 16, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He complained about impeachment on a day when multiple government agencies implicated him or his associates in crimes.

Trump had this reaction to the formal start of his impeachment trial in the Senate:

Strictly speaking, he was impeached a month ago, and not just for the phone call—also for trying to hide evidence and silence witnesses about the thing the phone call was about.

Also, within the last 24 hours:
  • the Government Accounting Office, a nonpartisan agency of the U.S. government, released a report saying that the Trump administration had broken the law by illegally withholding military aid to Ukraine. This was Trump's leverage in his attempt to force Ukraine to announce that it would investigate Joe Biden for corruption.
  • the FBI interviewed Robert Hyde, who apparently had former Marie Yovanovitch stalked as part of Trump's lawyer's efforts to gin up the investigation against Joe Biden that culminated in that "perfect phone call."
  • another one of Giuliani's Ukraine contacts, Lev Parnas, explicitly accused Trump of trying to bribe a Ukrainian gas billionaire, Dmitriy Firtash, with an offer of dropping criminal charges against him. In exchange, Firtash was expected to come up with politically damaging material against Trump's political rival Joe Biden, or special counsel Robert Mueller.

Why should I care about this?

  • Presidents who get implicated in at least three crimes by three different law enforcement agencies in two countries and one of their own co-conspirators in a single day probably shouldn't be surprised that they get impeached.