After a successful official visit to Paris, President Donald Trump returned home to find the knives out for him, as ever.
The London Evening Standard covered his French visit by showing a large colour photo of the July 14 flypast and an article entirely about his alleged collusion with Russia based on the press conference he gave whilst there. As for his meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron or the tribute the French paid US troops who arrived in 1917, there was nothing. Pitiful.
On the Standard‘s editorial pages that day, was an article by a Columbia University professor, Philip Bobbitt, ‘Resigning may be the best way out of this mess for Donald Trump’. It was about Don Jr’s meeting with the Russian lawyer last year.
Bobbitt quoted former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who said the US is heading for a ‘constitutional crisis’. Bobbitt alleges the president committed bribery in remarking to James Comey about terminating the Russia investigation.
He also alleges that the president might be guilty of violating the Espionage Act.
However, he sees Don Jr’s meeting as being the catalyst for what he hopes will be Trump’s resignation:
The likeliest possibility is the President’s resignation, as a consequence of the criminal prosecution of his children. Whatever his policy goals, it has long been clear that creating a dynasty — having destroyed the two reigning political dynasties in the last campaign — is his greatest objective. Resignation, as remote as it seems right now, might well be a choice the President would make to save his children from prison, and himself from future prosecution.
Would the President pardon them? If he did, it would seal his impeachment and his own prosecution.
Don Jr played a blinder on Tuesday, July 11, when he released the emails regarding the meeting with the lawyer. An independent journalist and university lecturer Jared Yates Sexton practically cried. The Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) interviewed him and introduced their article with this:
The internet exploded with tweetstorms. One of the best came from independent journalist Jared Yates Sexton. For the past year, Sexton has been chasing the Trump-Russia scandal. He shared his shock with followers, calling the story “the dumbest and biggest crime in the history of American politics.”
They included Sexton’s tweet:
I…worked on this story for a year…and…he just…he tweeted it out.
Sexton started his work one year ago:
When it originally started, it was back in July 2016, right around the time of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Of course, this was on the heels of the DNC hack and the emails being released. I had heard rumors that this was some sort of organized thing between the Trump campaign and Russia. I just followed up on sources, kept finding people who wouldn’t go on the record, kept finding people who were more than happy to give background information or lead to other sources. Again and again, it was just people who wouldn’t go on the record. They just wanted to remain anonymous and give background information. So I basically followed those leads for the last year, finding a lot that didn’t bear any fruit.
This entire time, I kept hoping I or somebody else would come across some sort of smoking gun, but I never expected the son of the president to just tweet it out on a Tuesday.
… to simply have the principal of the case release the documents without being subpoenaed or ordered by law, or under threat of perjury, or anything, to just have it released as if it wasn’t a big deal, it’s just one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen.
He told the CJR that he wasn’t even close to publishing his article when Don Jr released the emails:
It feels like being a HAM Radio operator in your basement. It’s something I did for a year, and to just have it land in the lap of the American public is bizarre.
What a strange thing to say. As if the American public do not deserve to know the truth. Sexton is also upset about independent pro-Trump websites borrowing from Trump’s tweets:
They started using his quotes, they started using his vernacular, and this ended up sort of being a revelation that they don’t really need Fox News anymore. They’ve got far, far, right websites basically distilling Trump’s own message from his tweets. What I actually think is happening here is they’re able to take this and shape it however they want, basically give their supporters and base the talking points to push whatever agenda they want from them. I think that’s one of the reasons this got released on Twitter.
Again, he objects to Trump — and Don Jr — communicating directly with their supporters. As if only Sexton and the rest of the anti-Trump gang have that privilege. It’s a bizarre way of thinking, but only too prevalent.
On July 19, Zero Hedge reported that Don Jr and Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who stood down last summer, will be testifying in a public hearing before the Senate judiciary committee on July 26. Jared Kushner will be appearing in a closed-door session on July 24:
Both the open and closed-door sessions set up what could be one of the most highly anticipated interviews for lawmakers to date.
No doubt the New York Times article of July 8 will be mentioned:
Donald Trump Jr. had denied participating in any campaign-related meetings with Russian nationals when he was interviewed by The Times in March. “Did I meet with people that were Russian? I’m sure, I’m sure I did,” he said. “But none that were set up. None that I can think of at the moment. And certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way, shape or form.”
Asked at that time whether he had ever discussed government policies related to Russia, the younger Mr. Trump replied, “A hundred percent no.”
The Trump Tower meeting was not disclosed to government officials until recently, when Mr. Kushner, who is also a senior White House aide, filed a revised version of a form required to obtain a security clearance.
However, there is another angle to this. On July 14, Zero Hedge reported that Loretta Lynch authorised the tapping of Manafort’s phone during Don Jr’s meeting (emphases in the original):
According to a tweet by former Massachusetts Trump campaign official James Brower and first reported by independent journalist and author Jack Posobiec, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s phone was tapped by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the now infamous meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya – who was let into the United States under “extraordinary circumstances” by Obama’s DOJ, headed by Lynch.
Fusion GPS appears to have been involved in setting up the meeting:
The meeting included Donald Trump Jr., Manafort, Jared Kushner, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Fusion GPS associate Rinat Akhmetshin – a Russian-American lobbyist who confirmed today that he was present during the June 2016 sit-down.
The meeting was arranged by another Fusion GPS associate, Rob Goldstone – in what is looking more and more like a deep-state setup to justify FISA wiretapping warrants. Of note, Veselnitskaya is publicly anti-Trump.
Fusion GPS, the firm behind the discredited 35 page Trump-Russia ‘dossier,’ was co-founded by Glenn Simpson, who abruptly canceled his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week in light of recent events linking the democrat opposition research firm to a second attempt to take down the Trumps.
I do not understand how Fusion GPS can cancel testimony before the Senate.
Incidentally, Loretta Lynch refused to answer any questions on Hillary’s emails when she appeared before a congressional committee on July 12. How can that be allowed?
Zero Hedge raises questions about Lynch’s involvement in the Don Jr meeting, if true:
If Brower’s tweet is proven correct and Paul Manafort’s phone was being tapped during the meeting – it means Loretta Lynch’s surveillance of Manafort, an American, was done without a FISA warrant – as the first FISA request by the Obama administration came in July, the same month as the meeting in Trump Tower.
This also calls into question the June 27th, 2016 “tarmac” meeting between Lynch and Bill Clinton, which would have come after the meeting at Trump Tower. Was Lynch reporting the results of the alleged surveillence to Clinton?
Also important is that the Russian lawyer was able to enter the United States on an expired visa for this meeting. How? With the Obama administration’s blessing. On July 13, Zero Hedge reported:
With everyone now rummaging through every document, intercept, and memo for something, anything tying Trump to Russia, The Hill’s John Solomon and Jonathan Easley have unearthed details that show the Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” after she had initially been turned down.
A 4chan/pol/ contributor summed everything up beautifully. I am unable to copy the image, but the message says, in part:
People are now trying to play armchair lawyer attempting to say that a crime was committed, except
> Lawyer wasn’t affiliated with a foreign government
> The meeting didn’t yield any info of value
> It isn’t clear Don Jr. would even offer anything for said info
> Lawyer states she never had the info Don Jr was promised by Goldstone, showing that she may have been baited by Goldstone and GPS Fusion as well
It’s also looking like this meeting may have been the pretense to try and get a FISA warrant on the Trump campaign back in June 2016
The Columbia professors and Sextons of this world are upset that the American people — if only Trump supporters at this point — are beginning to find out exactly how corrupt the Obama administration was. Unfortunately, there are too many Obama people still in the White House and other government offices. Trump cannot do much about that at this point, because of past delays on getting his nominees approved. His cabinet also face delays on their appointments. The designed result is that the Trump administration is being bucked all the way. Despite that, much work is getting done, but not as much had they been able to operate as previous presidents have.
The health care situation is in parlous state and Trump has been holding meetings over dinner and lunch, respectively, with Republican senators to devise a plan they can agree to vote on before their summer recess.
There is also a question mark over Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Some think he could resign early in August. Trump gave an interview to the New York Times on July 19. Later that day, the paper issued a partial transcript, which is much better.
I am not in here six months, and they’ll say, “Trump hasn’t fulfilled his agenda.” I say to myself, wait a minute, I’m only here a very short period of time compared to Obama. How long did it take to get Obamacare?
TRUMP: Well, Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else.
HABERMAN: He gave you no heads up at all, in any sense?
TRUMP: Zero. So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have — which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, “Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.” It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself. I then end up with a second man, who’s a deputy.
TRUMP: Who is he? And Jeff hardly knew. He’s from Baltimore.
TRUMP: Yeah, what Jeff Sessions did was he recused himself right after, right after he became attorney general. And I said, “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” I would have — then I said, “Who’s your deputy?” So his deputy he hardly knew, and that’s Rosenstein, Rod Rosenstein, who is from Baltimore. There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any …
Someone commenting on a conservative website said that Sessions, who started a big chain of paedophile and human trafficking arrests across the nation earlier this year, is like a Tour de France rider who helps his team leader in one phase of a stage then drops off, as his job is done. It could be that Sessions was fine for the first several months and can now go. His successor can continue Sessions’s work then start a new phase, i.e. investigating and prosecuting those involved in the many Deep State scandals over the past several years.
In other news, of which there is much, the Trump administration is also investigating voter irregularities from the 2016 election. So far, 30 states have supplied requested election information to the bipartisan Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, the first meeting of which was held on Wednesday, July 19. Trump chairs the commission. In his remarks to the press at the meeting, Trump said, in part:
If any state does not want to share this information, one has to wonder what they’re worried about. And I asked the Vice President, I asked the commission: What are they worried about? There’s something. There always is …
We call on every state to give its full support and total cooperation in this effort. Most of them have really done brilliantly, and we appreciate it. And the rest, all of that information will be forthcoming.
The commission is comprised of officials from several states who serve in various capacities, from county clerk to judge to Secretary of State. Two legal experts are also part of the panel.
If anyone is wondering what states have refused to comply with the commission’s requests, the worst and biggest offenders — e.g. New York and California — are on the list.
And finally, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), 80, has brain cancer. Those with glioblastoma have only months to live. He should stand down, but will he?