Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018.


Today’s Tweetstorm: Trump vs. the Constitution

Trump Maladministration

Today, the Creature threatened the Justice Department. This morning’s tweets in chronological order:

Article II of the Constitution does not say anything about unfettered power to fire anyone.

Alex Ward at Vox explains,

Here’s what he’s referring to: Trump’s GOP congressional allies are upset the DOJ won’t hand over unredacted documents related to ongoing investigations. Basically, law enforcement officials say it’s inappropriate to hand over those materials to Congress while investigations are still in progress. But conservatives in Congress allege the DOJ is a corrupt institution that bungled multiple investigations — not least the one about possible Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential election — and, therefore, requires stringent oversight.

That, in part, is why Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) requested the memo Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote where he outlined what special counsel Robert Mueller could investigate. But on Monday, the Justice Department told the Congress members it would not send along that memo.

Trump may have heard of the denied request and threatened to involve himself in the standoff — which could jeopardize the DOJ’s independence to do its job.

But you know does have the power to declassify anything he wants to declassify? The President of the United States. So he’s whining about not being allowed something that he could get if he just asked. Apparently no one has explained this to him. Perhaps even his handlers lawyers don’t want him to know.

In other Creature news, the New York Times reports that Ukraine is refusing to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.

In the United States, Paul J. Manafort is facing prosecution on charges of money laundering and financial fraud stemming from his decade of work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

But in Ukraine, where officials are wary of offending President Trump, four meandering cases that involve Mr. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, have been effectively frozen by Ukraine’s chief prosecutor.

The cases are just too sensitive for a government deeply reliant on United States financial and military aid, and keenly aware of Mr. Trump’s distaste for the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into possible collusion between Russia and his campaign, some lawmakers say.

The decision to halt the investigations by an anticorruption prosecutor was handed down at a delicate moment for Ukraine, as the Trump administration was finalizing plans to sell the country sophisticated anti-tank missiles, called Javelins.

As Jonathan Chait explains, supporters of the Creature have been pointing to Trump’s sale of weapons to Ukraine as a sign he was willing to crack down on Russia. Today’s news puts a darker spin on it — he’s bribing Ukraine to withhold evidence from Mueller. Chait wrote,

Ukrainian officials are not even hiding the fact that they’re doing so because of the missile sale. “In every possible way, we will avoid irritating the top American officials,” one Ukrainian lawmaker says. “We shouldn’t spoil relations with the administration.”

Also, it’s looking more and more like the list of questions leaked by Trump’s lawyers didn’t even come from Bob Mueller. It’s very possible that they were drawn up entirely by Trump’s lawyers to prepare him for what questions Mueller might ask. Leaking them and blaming Mueller might have been Trump’s idea.

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