By Robert A. Vella
Explosive news stories are landing on President Trump‘s thoroughly corrupt administration at a rate reminiscent of the carpet bombing campaigns during World War II. This analogy to war is not hyperbole. Trump is deliberately forcing a culturally polarized America to bow to his supremacy or else dare to incur his wrath. He knows his presidency and personal future are in jeopardy, and the only way he thinks he can save himself is through tactics used by mob bosses and dictators. By purging everyone in his administration who won’t blindly obey him, Trump is turning the executive branch of the federal government into his own personal protection agency. The threat this madman poses to the nation and to the world is clear. It is Trump’s War.
We now know that Attorney General William Barr hasn’t just been enabling Trump, he is actively working on his behalf. Barr has traveled to Italy and has met with right-wing Australian prime minister Scott Morrison at the White House in order to facilitate foreign assistance against the U.S. intelligence community and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s official investigation which both concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump. Democrats in Congress have identified redacted portions of the Mueller report which indicate that Trump committed perjury by lying in his written testimony. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is a central figure in the CIA whistleblower’s complaint on Trump’s attempt to coerce the Ukrainian government, announced he will refuse to allow any state department employee to testify before the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives; but, this obviously doesn’t apply to officials who have resigned such as former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Trump’s “personal lawyer” Rudy Giuliani, who is another central figure in the complaint and who is not a government employee, hasn’t announced yet whether he’ll comply with a congressional subpoena to testify. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has broken with his party in order to protect the identity of the CIA whistleblower, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has confirmed that the Senate must conduct a trial to remove President Trump from office if the House votes to impeach him.
There is lots of other important news today including California governor Gavin Newsom signing a groundbreaking bill which will likely produce fundamental changes in the economics of major college sports where student-athletes have been financially exploited for decades.
Bombshells hit the Trump Administration
WASHINGTON — President Trump pushed the Australian prime minister during a recent telephone call to help Attorney General William P. Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the Mueller investigation, according to two American officials with knowledge of the call.
The White House curbed access to a transcript of the call — which the president made at Mr. Barr’s request — to a small group of aides, one of the officials said. The restriction was unusual and similar to the handling of a July call with the Ukrainian president that is at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
Like that call, Mr. Trump’s discussion with Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia shows the president using high-level diplomacy to advance his personal political interests.
Australia’s top diplomat in Britain had met in London in May 2016 with George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who revealed the Russian offer of dirt on Mrs. Clinton.
Mr. Papadopoulos also said that he had heard from an academic named Joseph Mifsud that the Russians had “thousands” of Mrs. Clinton’s emails. Mr. Mifsud, who was last seen working as a visiting professor in Rome, has disappeared. Trump allies including Mr. Giuliani have put forth an unsubstantiated claim that Western intelligence agencies planted Mr. Mifsud to trap Mr. Papadopoulos.
Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.
The direct involvement of the nation’s top law enforcement official shows the priority Barr places on the investigation being conducted by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, who has been assigned the sensitive task of reviewing U.S. intelligence work surrounding the 2016 election and its aftermath.
Barr has already made overtures to British intelligence officials, and last week the attorney general traveled to Italy, where he and Durham met senior Italian government officials and Barr asked the Italians to assist Durham, according to one person familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue. It was not Barr’s first trip to Italy to meet intelligence officials, the person said. The Trump administration has made similar requests of Australia, said people who discussed the interactions on the condition of anonymity because they involve an ongoing investigation and sensitive talks between governments.
Barr’s conversations with foreign counterparts have raised concerns among some intelligence officials that he may be seeking to substantiate conspiracy theories raised by some on the political right to defend Trump.
Lawyers for the House of Representatives revealed on Monday that they have reason to believe that the grand-jury redactions in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report show that President Donald Trump lied about his knowledge of his campaign’s contacts with WikiLeaks.
The attorneys made the stunning suggestion in a court filing as part of the House Judiciary Committee’s bid for Mueller’s grand-jury materials, which have remained secret by law.
“Not only could those materials demonstrate the president’s motives for obstructing the Special Counsel’s investigation, they also could reveal that Trump was aware of his campaign’s contacts with WikiLeaks,” the lawyers wrote in the filing, which was in response to the Justice Department’s opposition to the disclosure of the grand-jury information.
To back up their claim, the House’s legal team — led by House General Counsel Douglas Letter — cited a passage in Mueller’s report about former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s testimony that he “recalled” Trump asking to be kept “updated” about WikiLeaks’ disclosures of Democratic National Committee emails. There is a grand-jury redaction in that passage, the lawyers note.
Officials in Montana are warning residents for a second time this year about surveys sent by the Republican National Committee that mimic the look of federal census forms with the goal of soliciting money for President Trump’s reelection campaign.
The mailers are labeled “2019 congressional District Census” and inform recipients that they’ve been “selected to represent voters” in Bozeman, Mont. The accompanying literature makes repeated requests for donations, urging recipients to send at least $15 to “help pay for the costs of processing [the] Census Document” should they be unable to afford an amount in the requested range of $25 to $1,000.
The potentially misleading mailings come as the U.S. Census Bureau is preparing for what’s expected to be one of the most challenging federal counts in decades as the bureau grapples with factors like a switch to digital and the fallout from the Trump administration’s efforts to get a citizenship question into the survey.
If the FDA ban had gone through, the kid-friendly vaping liquids would have been pushed off store shelves.
Instead, over the course of 46 days, a deluge of more than 100 tobacco industry lobbyists and small-business advocates met with White House officials as they weighed whether to include the ban as part of a new tobacco control rule.
The end result: Senior Obama administration officials nixed the ban and much of the evidence supporting it, according to documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.