As hard as it is to believe, we have underestimated the intensity and breadth of the fight within the White House about Trump’s hold on Ukrainian aid. Surprisingly high and formerly undisclosed officials desperately fought against Trump’s plan.
A devastating new report in the New York Times led by Maggie Haberman, practically screams that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and National Security Director John Bolton must testify, as democracy’s fate might ride on whether the Senate suppresses this critical testimony or a majority manages to compel subpoenas.
The new information, never previously reported, involves two critical matters. It reports the intensity of a fight that was entirely out in the open among staff. This reckless and explosive plan was not closely guarded by a secret small group of people. Second, new information includes the fact that the people fighting the issue included officials at the highest levels of our government. Pompeo, Esper, Bolton, not mere White House staffers, but Senate approved department heads clashed with Trump and Mulvaney. These cabinet officials knew of the plan. They involved themselves in an attempt to talk Trump out of it, and damn well knew that the entire thing was about helping Russia and attacking Biden, and not Ukrainian corruption for godsake. They knew exactly why Trump was taking a selfish, Russian-based and illegal risk.
If these men do not testify, history will recored that the entire trial was a political hit job by Republicans, Trump, and quite possibly, the Russians.
The fight started early:
In June, Trump first asked about putting aid to Ukraine on hold — and on June 27, aide Robert B. Blair warned, “Expect Congress tobecome unhinged.” Blair feared that Trump’s request would further the narrative that he was pro-Russian government.
No wonder the administration attempted to hide and find a legal justification, for keeping the matter from Congress.
Should we note that “fighting Ukrainian corruption” is inconsistent with fear that withholding aid will appear pro-Russian.
In a “previously undisclosed” Oval Office meeting that took place in late August, according to the NYT, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton “tried but failed to convince” Trump that “releasing the aid was in interests of the United States.”
Trump was doing this at least as much to help the Russians as helping his own campaign. Of course, the dual motivation is one in the same.
A key figure in the turmoil during that 84-day period was Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who the Times describes as a “conduit for transmitting Mr. Trump’s demands for the freeze across the administration.” And the Times reports that “by September, after the freeze had become public and scrutiny was increasing, the blame game inside the administration was in full swing.”
They knew shit was coming, that possible arrests were in their near future and they were scared shitless, probably still are. They needed McConnell, and they needed Collins to cover this entire thing up.
“The task of dealing with the president’s demands fell primarily to a group of political appointees in the West Wing and the budget office, most with personal and professional ties to Mr. Mulvaney,”
And not a single one has testified.
In the single most important act done by the Trump administration, at least with respect to international relations and possible pro-Russian and Trump political interests, none of these people have testified. The truth is right there, everyone knows that happened – it’s in the New York Times for godsake! – and yet Trump and the Republicans have managed to keep it safe from legal proceedings.
But the most infuriating and dangerous takeaway is that Republicans will cover Trump for doing something even they attempted to talk him out of, because they knew the action to be so diabolical and illegal.
Trump took action that one expects from a Saddam Hussein, or Vladimir Putin, and yet he is still president, because the Republicans have made a determination that they will tolerate a pro-Russian agent in the White House, so long as he remains true to Republican domestic policy. Republicans have sold out the United States government to Russian interests, and Trump’s reckless corruption, resulting in a clear dictatorship, and will allow it all to pass through without legal examination of any of the real evidence.
The evidence is sitting out there. Everyone knows the facts. Everyone knows who could and should testify to the facts. Everyone nows this is the most corrupt act by a president in one hundred years. Everyone knows Trump is a danger to world stability. Yet here we sit, listening to Republicans bitch (sorry) about the “lack of due process” in the House, and the “hoax” that Nancy Pelosi has perpetuated.
It is sickening, and it will likely succeed, but there are no guarantees. This is a fight for nothing less than democracy and the constitution itself. Republicans are the ones willing, and working, to tear the entire thing up.
Let that sink in, and motivate all you do politically.
Peace, y’all (and some typos are due to a computer that is so overused it is on its last legs, so slow and unreliable. The days right after Christmas are the hardest to consider replacement, we run on fumes, sorry. This story took 90 minutes to edit. I hope you can forgive small errors.)
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MiciakZoom