By Robert A. Vella

In the news today, a powerful state agency is investigating possible financial crimes prompted by testimony given to Congress last week by Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.  As president, Trump cannot stop this investigation nor can he prevent state prosecutors from indicting him;  however, if he is called to appear before a state court, he can file a motion in federal court to block or delay it on the grounds that compliance would negatively affect his official duties.

The anticipated legal battles between the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and the White House is now underway with voluminous requests for documentary evidence as well as resistance to providing it.  Noncompliance will likely be met with numerous subpoenas and legal challenges which could protract the whole process for a long time.

President Trump is moving the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who oversees Russia-related prosecutions (e.g. Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, WikiLeaks, etc.), to a civil position (i.e. not involved with criminal matters) at the main Department of Justice office.  The move will allow Trump to pick a replacement who could be hostile towards the prosecution of those criminal cases.

New public opinion polls released in the aftermath of Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony indicate that President Trump is still in deep political trouble nationally and also in Florida where his support was expected to remain strong.

Criminal indictments have been issued in North Carolina regarding the election fraud committed on behalf of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris who has decided not to run again in the upcoming election redo.

North Korea is attempting to pressure President Trump into conceding what he didn’t concede to in last week’s failed summit meeting in Vietnam.  It is ramping-up preparations for testing long-range nuclear missiles at a site recently photographed by a commercial satellite.  That Kim Jong-un thinks this strategy might be effective in removing economic sanctions against his country reveals how little respect the North Korean dictator has for the American president.

From:  New York state officials subpoena Trump Org’s longtime insurance broker

State officials in New York have subpoenaed the longtime insurer for the Trump Organization, Aon, over claims that the Trump Organization and President Trump himself were involved in efforts to inflate the company’s assets for insurance purposes.

The New York Times reports that AON received a subpoena Monday, a sign of a state investigation into Trump’s business ties.

The New York State Department of Financial Services, which has no prosecutorial power of its own but can refer potential instances of illegality to state attorneys, is reportedly overseeing the investigation.

From:  Former Trump adviser says he does not plan to cooperate with House Judiciary inquiry

A former campaign aide for President Trump, one of 81 people to receive a request for documents this week from the House Judiciary Committee, has already informed the committee that he has no records responsive to their inquiries and he does not plan to testify in front of the panel.

The letter from an attorney for Michael Caputo, who worked for Trump during part of the 2016 campaign, represents the first skirmish in what is likely to be broad resistance from Trump aides and associates to new inquiries issued this week by the Judiciary Committee.

Caputo told The Washington Post that he has already begun talking with four other Trump associates who received requests from the committee this week to begin a joint strategy of resisting requests for testimony.

See also:

White House refuses Democrats’ demand for security clearance records

President pressured staff to grant security clearance to Ivanka Trump

From:  Trump to nominate federal prosecutor Jessie Liu for No. 3 Justice Department post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jessie Liu, the current U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, to serve in the third-ranking post at the Justice Department, the department said on Tuesday.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Liu would serve as associate attorney general – a job that involves overseeing the department’s civil litigation, including antitrust matters, civil rights, and environmental law.


The associate attorney general’s job at the Justice Department does not involve overseeing criminal cases or national security.


At the time of her exit, she was next in the line of succession to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.

From:  Poll: 64 percent believe Trump committed crimes before presidency

Among those surveyed, 64 percent believe that the president committed crimes before he was elected, with 24 percent saying they don’t think he did.

Those polled were split on whether they believe Trump has committed crimes while in office: According to the poll, 45 percent believe the president has, while 43 percent say he hasn’t.


When asked who they believe more, half of Americans — 50 percent — said they trust Cohen, while only 35 percent believe the president.

The majority of Americans, however, do not think that Congress should begin the process to impeach Trump. Only 35 percent say the process should begin, compared with 59 percent who say it shouldn’t.

From:  Trump in trouble in Florida poll

Donald Trump is in trouble in Florida, a state that’s crucial to his reelection hopes.

Just 40 percent of Florida voters said they believed the president should be reelected, while 53 percent were opposed to a second term, according to a new Bendixen & Amandi International poll.

Trump’s approval ratings were also poor, with 43 percent having a favorable impression of Trump, and 52 percent viewing him unfavorably — and 46 percent very unfavorably. Trump’s approval ratings look even worse when compared with the man he helped make Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, who has a 50 percent approval rating while only 23 percent disapprove.

“Trump is in trouble,” pollster Fernand Amandi said, noting that 23 percent of all Florida Republicans said he doesn’t deserve reelection. “When that many people from your own party don’t support you, it means you have to spend more time consolidating your base.”

From:  5 were indicted in alleged ballot fraud scheme. A week later, only 2 have been arrested

RALEIGH, N.C. – In the week since a Wake County grand jury indicted five people on charges related to an alleged ballot-harvesting scheme in Bladen County, just two of the accused have been arrested.

The State Bureau of Investigation arrested the alleged ringleader, Leslie McCrae Dowless, a 63-year-old political operative and elected official, last week. He made his initial appearance in court Tuesday, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said.


Dowless faces three counts of felony obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of an absentee ballot.

From:  North Korea rebuilding long-range rocket site, photos show

WASHINGTON — North Korea is pursuing the “rapid rebuilding” of the long-range rocket site at Sohae Launch Facility, according to new commercial imagery and an analysis from the researchers at Beyond Parallel.

Sohae Satellite Launching Station, North Korea’s only operational space launch facility, has been used in the past for satellite launches. These launches use similar technology to what is used for intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“This renewed activity, taken just two days after the inconclusive Hanoi Summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, may indicate North Korean plans to demonstrate resolve in the face of U.S. rejection of North Korea’s demands at the summit to lift five U.N. Security Council sanctions enacted in 2016-2017,” the analysts said. As NBC News reported, Beyond Parallel, a project sponsored by the defense think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, recently identified 20 undisclosed missile sites in North Korea.

39 thoughts on “Wednesday Headlines: Trouble in Trumpland

  1. PHEW!

    Never a dull moment since tRumpsky took office. It may actually get boring when he’s gone … and at this point, I would welcome boredom!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Brace yourseves, these two words, “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT,” are going to drive everyone nuts.

    It’s starting to look like Trump will resign in return for amnesty for him and his family.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I’ve been thinking for some time now that resignation/immunity-from-prosecution is the only way out for Trump. His political situation can’t get any better, and it’s likely to get much worse. Sooner or later, Senate Republicans will realize that continued support of Trump might become too costly for them. It will take a lot for that to happen, but I see it coming eventually. If it does, it’ll happen suddenly and behind closed doors. Obviously, Trump will resist. If he does announce his resignation, he’ll surely try to frame it in a way to avoid criticism and to shift blame onto others. We’ll see.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Why would the Dems/Feds agree to this, though? 2020 is just around the corner, and with the house in Dem hands Trump can’t do as much damage. Throw the bastard and his family in jail.

        Liked by 2 people

        • This situation is a balancing act between political calculus and doing what’s right for the nation. Having Trump remain in office while under a barrage of investigations and prosecutions would probably be the best thing for Dems in 2020. Any reasonable candidate would have a great chance to win. However, that scenario could further damage America’s constitutional foundations and its international relations. Trump has gone too far. He must go ASAP. If his resignation is the easiest way out, then there will be a lot of bipartisan support for it.

          Conversely, if the DOJ throws Trump and his family in jail, it could cause the country to become even more polarized than it is now; and, nobody here wants to see another Civil War.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. Yep, Kim Jong-un can keep playing tRump like a fiddle because tRump can’t keep his 8th-grade level mouth shut OR his 6-year old arrogant tantrums in check. No surprise there. 🙄😒 That’s the price Americans pay for putting an utterly state & federally inexperienced numb-skull into the Oval Office. Well, unless one includes his illegally and unethically social and business behavior the last 30-40 years. He IS quite experienced in how to cheat the system and screw the average American.

    Liked by 2 people

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