“Your Damn Right I Ordered The Code Red!” [With Updates]

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

The Washington Post and The New York Times posted stories within one minute of each other last night reporting that the conversation that caught the ear of an intelligence whistleblower was between Trump and the Ukrainians. WaPo’s posted at 8:04 p.m. and NYT’s at 8:05 p.m. Now I have to go back and give tags to all the whistleblower posts … Read More

Whistleblower Issue Blows Up Bigly [With Updates]

Ken AshfordBreaking News, L'Affaire Russe, L'Affaire Ukraine, Political Scandals, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

I’ve been pointing to it the last couple days. Last night, we learned a little about what the whistleblower complaint discussed. The whistleblower complaint filed on Aug. 12 by an official in the U.S. intelligence community involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter told The Washington Post yesterday. During the interaction, Trump made a … Read More

Mysterious Whistleblower Complaint Points To Serious Shenanigans

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Ukraine, Political Scandals, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

The whistleblower thing I mentioned yesterday gets weirder. This story is about to get a whole lot more media scrutiny, because it involves secretive back-channel maneuvering, a possible threat to national security and potential lawbreaking at the highest levels of the Trump administration, possibly at the direction of President Trump himself — all with a whole lot of cloak-and-dagger intrigue … Read More

Chaotic Lewandowsky Hearing Ends With Artful Cross-Examination

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Jennifer Rubin explains Corey Lewandowski sneered and dodged and raised phony privileges when questioned by members of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. He did, however, make a fatal error (fatal to President Trump, that is) when he repeatedly said the White House had instructed him not to answer questions. After the hearing, Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told CNN: “Article 3 of Nixon’s … Read More

Lewandowski Testifies

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Why is he relevant? Because according to the Mueller Report, Trump instructed Lewandowski to tell then Attorney General Jeff Sessions to unrecuse himself. Lewandowski did not deliver that message. But a White House letter sent out a couple days ago directed him not to testify to anything beyond the Mueller Report, because of executive privilege. The obvious problem is that … Read More

What’s This? No Seriously, What’s This?

Ken AshfordCongress, L'Affaire Ukraine, Political Scandals, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This is a confusing and bizarre story but I think it may be one of those escalations that could wind up being an important moment. Talking Points Memo lays out the story: What’s there to hide? That’s what a congressional panel investigating a potentially urgent whistleblower complaint from the intelligence community wants to know. On Friday, House Intelligence Committee chair … Read More

Manhattan DA Subpoenas Trump’s Income Tax Returns

Ken AshfordStormy Daniels & Karen McDougal Affairs, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

NY Times: State prosecutors in Manhattan have subpoenaed President Trump’s accounting firm to demand eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns, according to several people with knowledge of the matter. The subpoena opens a new front in a wide-ranging effort to obtain copies of the president’s tax returns, which Mr. Trump initially said he would make public during the 2016 campaign … Read More

White House Chief Of Staff Gave The Order To Override Weather [UPDATE: TRUMP Ordered It]

Ken AshfordDisasters, Political Scandals, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

NY Times: The White House was directly involved in pressing a federal scientific agency to repudiate the weather forecasters who contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian would probably strike Alabama, according to several people familiar with the events. Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, to have the National Oceanic and … Read More

Trump Destroying National Security Apparatus As CIA Loses Critical Asset Due To Trump

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & Administration, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

The Washington Post has the goods on the spy who came out of the cold: In 2017, the United States extracted from Russia an important CIA source who had provided information about the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to current and former officials. The operation, known as an exfiltration, followed mounting concerns among U.S. officials that the individual could be … Read More

Nothing To Do With Me?

Ken AshfordEmoluments Violation, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

NYT: WASHINGTON — Back in 2014, soon after acquiring a golf resort in Scotland, Donald J. Trump entered a partnership with a struggling local airport there to increase air traffic and boost tourism in the region. The next year, as Mr. Trump began running for president, the Pentagon decided to ramp up its use of that same airport to refuel … Read More

Trump Turnberry Resort Brings Emoluments Clause Back Into Focus

Ken AshfordEmoluments Violation, Political Scandals, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Hmmmmm: The U.S. Air Force has ordered a world-wide review of how it chooses overnight accommodations on long flights following revelations that air crews had occasionally stayed at President Donald Trump’s Scotland resort while refueling at a small commercial airport nearby. The review comes as additional instances of military personnel staying at Trump properties have been uncovered. The C-17 crew’s … Read More

House Judiciary To Focus On Hush Money To Porn Star Scandal

Ken AshfordCongress, Stormy Daniels & Karen McDougal Affairs, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

I’ve always thought that the Stormy Daniels scandal was much worse for Trump than L’Affaire Russe, if only because it doesn’t involve dark unknowable Russians AND the White House cannot hide everything in executive privilege. It seems others agree: House Democrats plan to shift their focus this fall to President Trump’s alleged role in the hush money scheme that led … Read More

DOJ Inspector General Report Is Not The Bombshell Trump Supporters Made It Out To Be

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a scathing report Thursday on the conduct of former FBI Director James Comey during the first few months of the Trump administration detailing his actions that violated FBI and DOJ policy. But despite its harsh tone, the narrowly tailored report failed to find Comey guilty of any serious criminal wrongdoing while revealing the IG’s actually … Read More