Trump Openly Violates Emoluments Clause

Ken AshfordEmoluments Violation, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

As if his Syrian blunder wasn’t enough, and his Ukraine telephone call extortion wasn’t enough, Trump is now violating the Constitution brazenly. He has announced that next year’s G7 meeting will be held at the Trump National Doral in Miami. His acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney explains that there’s nothing wrong with this: MULVANEY: “Again, anticipating your questions, how … Read More

Mulvaney Says It Out Loud

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Ukraine, Polls, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Yesterday marked the day when even Donald Trump’s own people placed him squarely at the center of the impeachment inquiry into his efforts to extort Ukraine for personal political gain. White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney made a stunning admission of a quid pro quo by confirming that President Donald Trump froze nearly $400 million in U.S. security aid to Ukraine in part … Read More

The Cease Fire That Wasn’t

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Russia, Syria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

So Trump sent this embarrassing letter a couple days ago: Oh my God. A “deal”??? It didn’t go over well in Turkey either Wow. #Erdogan tells news conference the letter sent by @realDonaldTrump telling him not to be a ‘tough guy’ wasn’t in line with diplomatic or political customs. He said they wouldn’t forget the lack of respect. “When the … Read More

The July 25 Phone Call Was Act Two

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Today, The Washington Post reported that it wasn’t just Rudy Giuliani and his merry band of international criminals who were running U.S. policy in Ukraine. Instead, that role was also shared by Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Special Envoy Kurt Volker, and—as earlier head-scratching statements had suggested—Energy Secretary Rick Perry. And all of them were apparently assigned their roles not via direct contact … Read More

The Case Against Rudy And How Citizens United Got Us Here

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, L'Affaire Ukraine, Supreme Court, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Since the NYT revealed that SDNY is investigating Rudy Giuliani for what they call “lobbying” laws, Mr. Lutsenko initially asked Mr. Giuliani to represent him, according to the former mayor, who said he declined because it would have posed a conflict with his work for the president. Instead, Mr. Giuliani said, he interviewed Mr. Lutsenko for hours, then had one of his … Read More

Trump’s “America First” Means We Have No Influence Anymore

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Donald Trump sure has made the rest of the world respect us: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected a U.S. offer to mediate a cease-firebetween Turkish forces and Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria….“The terrorists should drop their weapons and leave the area that we have identified as the safe zone,” he said in a speech Wednesday to the Turkish parliament. He vowed to press … Read More

Trump Orchestrates Disgusting Reality TV Moment

Ken AshfordTrump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This is vile and bizarre, even for Trump. A 19-year-old British motorcyclist, Harry Dunn, was killed in August by an American wrong-way driver who subsequently fled the country under cover of diplomatic immunity. Dunn’s grieving parents are in the U.S. trying to get justice for their son, and Trump lured them to the White House for a mind-bogglingly gross reality TV … Read More

ProPublica: Trump Businesses Lied On Finances

Ken AshfordPolitical Scandals, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

It’snot that we didn’t suspect this, but ProPublica has the receipts…. literally. ProPublica obtained the property tax documents using New York’s Freedom of Information Law. The documents were public because Trump appealed his property tax bill for the buildings every year for nine years in a row, the extent of the available records. Thney compared the tax records with loan … Read More

Dem Debate Review

Ken AshfordDemocrats, Election 2020Leave a Comment

I didn’t watch it. I learned from watching the last few debates that ten is too many candidates to have on a stage at one time. Here’s the NY Times summary: Here are six takeaways from the debate: Warren draws fire, for a change For the first time this year, Ms. Warren was frequently called out and criticized by her … Read More

Hill Testifies; Rudy In Deeper Trouble (And Other Impeachment Updates)

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

The White House did not try to block Fiona Hill from testifying yesterday, it did tell Hill’s lawyers about four areas that could potentially fall under executive privilege. Those areas involved direct communications with the president, diplomatic communications, meetings with other heads of state and staffing the president had on calls with foreign heads of state. Hill’s lawyers wrote back … Read More

The Sickness Of Trump Supporters

Ken AshfordRight Wing Punditry/Idiocy, Rightwing Extremism/Violence, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

President Trump is facing calls to condemn a parody video shown at a conference of his supporters that featured him massacring members of the media and his political rivals. The New York Times first reported the video — played at a conference at the Trump National Doral resort featuring Donald Trump Jr. and Sarah Huckabee Sanders — that shows Trump violently murdering an array of his perceived foes in a church, from John … Read More

Fiona Hill Testifies Today

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Fiona Hill, the White House’s former top adviser on Russia, arrived on Capitol Hill this morning to testify in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump’s criminal enterprise currently operating out of the Oval Office. It is being reported that Hill’s testimony “has caused concern among those close to Trump because she played a central role in the administration’s Russian and Ukrainian policy.”  … Read More

Trump’s Inexplicable Turkey Policy Raises Questions Of Loyalty To America

Ken AshfordSyria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds will likely go down as the greatest American foreign policy disaster since the invasion of Iraq. While the cost, destruction, death toll and moral miasma of the invasion of Iraq are unparalleled, the Kurdish betrayal is uniquely bad in a key way: America’s imperialist misadventures against perceived enemies are sadly commonplace, but rarely have we … Read More

The President’s Joint Defense Agreement With The Russian Mob

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, L'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Marcy Wheeler wrote all of this: If we survive Trump and there are still things called museums around that display artifacts that present things called facts about historic events, I suspect John Dowd’s October 3 letter to the House Intelligence Committee will be displayed there, in all its Comic Sans glory. In it, Dowd memorializes a conversation he had with HPSCI Investigation … Read More