Lazy Caturday Reads: The Dotard Dictator’s Open CorruptionPosted: September 7, 2019
It’s the end of another week in which the Dotard Dictator’s insanity and massive corruption have dominated the news. And once again more unbelievable stories broke on Friday.
After spending days ranting about Alabama being in the path of Hurricane Dorian because he said so, Trump forced administrators at NOAA to issue an unsigned statement claiming he was right all along.
The federal agency that oversees the National Weather Service has sided with President Trump over its own scientists in the ongoing controversy over whether Alabama was at risk of a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated Alabama was in fact threatened by the storm at the time Trump tweeted Alabama would “most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”
Referencing archived hurricane advisories, the NOAA statement said that information provided to the president and the public between Aug. 28 and Sept. 2 “demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama.”
In an unusual move, the statement also admonished its National Weather Service office in Birmingham, Ala., which had released a tweet contradicting Trump’s claim and stating, “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian.”
The NOAA statement said: “The Birmingham National Weather Service’s Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”
The Dotard Dictator must not be questioned! But:
Released six days after Trump’s first tweet on the matter, the NOAA statement was unsigned, neither from the acting head of the agency nor any particular spokesman. It also came a day after the president’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser released a statement justifying Trump’s claims of the Alabama threat.
The NOAA statement Friday makes no reference to the fact that when Trump tweeted that Alabama was at risk, it was not in the National Hurricane Center’s “cone of uncertainty,” which is where forecasters determine the storm is most likely to track. Alabama also had not appeared in the cone in days earlier, and no Hurricane Center text product ever mentioned the state.
And this next story that broke last night is even more shocking. Not only has the Dotard Dictator been profiting from his golf outings to his personal properties, he has forced the Defense Department to pay extra use his preferred airport in Scotland and pay for members of the military to stay at his Scottish golf resort.
In early Spring of this year, an Air National Guard crew made a routine trip from the U.S. to Kuwait to deliver supplies.
What wasn’t routine was where the crew stopped along the way: President Donald Trump’s Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow, Scotland.
Since April, the House Oversight Committee has been investigating why the crew on the C-17 military transport plane made the unusual stay — both en route to the Middle East and on the way back — at the luxury waterside resort, according to several people familiar with the incident. But they have yet to receive any answers from the Pentagon.
The inquiry is part of a broader, previously unreported probe into U.S. military expenditures at and around the Trump property in Scotland. According to a letter the panel sent to the Pentagon in June, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport — the closest airport to Trump Turnberry — since October 2017, fuel that would be cheaper if purchased at a U.S. military base. The letter also cites a Guardian report that the airport provided cut-rate rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for U.S. military members.
“The Defense Department has not produced a single document in this investigation,” said a senior Democratic aide on the oversight panel. “The committee will be forced to consider alternative steps if the Pentagon does not begin complying voluntarily in the coming days.”
Normally, refueling in foreign countries is done at U.S. military bases where layovers are less expensive.
House Democrats are also investigating why Mike Pence stayed at the Dotard’s golf resort in Ireland on his recent visit as well as the wannabe dictator’s efforts to make foreign countries pay him to attend the next G7 meeting.
House Democrats, furious over President Trump’s continued promotion of his branded properties for government business, said on Friday that they would scrutinize whether two recent cases would violate the Constitution’s ban on presidents profiting from domestic or foreign governments.
Two chairmen acting in tandem sent letters to the White House, the Secret Service and the Trump Organization asking for documents and communications related to Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to stay this week at Mr. Trump’s resort in Ireland during an official visit, as well as Mr. Trump’s recent statements promoting Trump National Doral, near Miami, as a possible site for the Group of 7 summit of world leaders next year.
In both cases, the Democrats argued, Mr. Trump stands to benefit financially from American taxpayer dollars, and in the case of the potential summit in Doral, from foreign funds as well. The Constitution’s emoluments clauses prohibit presidents from accepting any payment from federal, state or foreign governments beyond their official salary.
“The committee does not believe that U.S. taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family, and his companies,” wrote Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee. The cases in question, he added, could be a conflict of interest.
And from a couple of days ago, the Dotard Dictator is trying to strong arm a foreign country into helping him win the 2020 election. Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is trying to move his country toward reform and away from Vladimir Putin’s influence, but the Dotard is apparently trying to blackmail Zelensky.
The Washington Post: Trump tries to force Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election.
Not only has Mr. Trump refused to grant the Ukrainian leader a White House visit, but also he has suspended the delivery of $250 million in U.S. military aid to a country still fighting Russian aggression in its eastern provinces.
Some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin, who is dedicated to undermining Ukrainian democracy and independence. But we’re reliably told that the president has a second and more venal agenda: He is attempting to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Mr. Trump is not just soliciting Ukraine’s help with his presidential campaign; he is using U.S. military aid the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it.
The strong-arming of Mr. Zelensky was openly reported to the New York Times last month by Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who said he had met in Madrid with a close associate of the Ukrainian leader and urged that the new government restart an investigation of Mr. Biden and his son. Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, while Joe Biden, as vice president, urged the dismissal of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who investigated the firm.
Mr. Giuliani also wants a probe of claims that revelations of payments by a Ukrainian political party to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, were part of a plot to wreck Mr. Trump’s candidacy. In other words, Trump associates want the Ukrainian government to prove that Ukraine improperly acted against Mr. Trump in the 2016 election; but they also want it to meddle in his favor for 2020.
The situation is getting more and more dire, and finally the Jerry Nadler has decided to openly more toward impeachment.
The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to take its first formal vote to define what Chairman Jerry Nadler calls an ongoing “impeachment investigation” of President Donald Trump, according to multiple sources briefed on the discussions.
The panel could vote as early as Wednesday on a resolution to spell out the parameters of its investigation. The precise language is still being hammered out inside the committee and with House leaders. A draft of the resolution is expected to be release Monday morning.
The issue was raised Friday during a conference call among the committee’s Democrats. A source familiar with the discussion said any move next week would be intended to increase the “officialness” of the ongoing probe, following a six-week summer recess in which some Democrats struggled to characterize to their constituents that the House had already begun impeachment proceedings. Democrats are hopeful that explicitly defining their impeachment inquiry will heighten their leverage to compel testimony from witnesses.
More from CNN: House panel to take formal steps on impeachment probe next week.
The vote, which is expected to occur on Wednesday, will lay out the ground rules for conducting hearings now that the committee has publicly announced it is considering recommending articles of impeachment against Trump. It is expected to follow the precedent set in 1974 over the committee’s procedures during then-President Richard Nixon’s impeachment proceedings.
Sources told CNN on Friday that the resolution is expected to spell out that Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, has the authority to call hearings at either the full committee or subcommittee level in connection with its impeachment deliberations.
The resolution, sources say, is expected to make clear that future House Judiciary hearings can be conducted in ways different from most congressional hearings since the panel is considering impeachment. For instance, the resolution is expected to authorize committee staff counsels to question witnesses, something that is typically not done at congressional hearings.
The resolution also will spell out how secret grand jury information can be reviewed in closed-door sessions. And it will say that the President’s counsel can respond in writing to the committee.
The exact legislative language is still being drafted and could be introduced as soon as Monday. The committee Democrats discussed the matter on a Friday conference call, which Politico first reported.
Can it get any worse? My guess is yes it can. Please post your thoughts on this and links to your own recommended stories in the comment thread below.