By Robert A. Vella

President Trump went crazy yesterday when CBS’ 60 Minutes factually refuted his politically-motivated attempts to blame China for the coronavirus pandemic (see:  Trump accuses CBS, ’60 Minutes’ of ‘doing everything within their power’ to defend China).  In its lead segment on Sunday, the program’s investigative journalists not only revealed the total absence of evidence which might support Trump’s claim that COVID-19 was engineered and released (accidentally or intentionally) by a research lab in Wuhan, they also discovered that all the genetic evidence indicates that the virus originated from the selling of wild animal products in so-called “wet markets.”  Furthermore, the segment exposed the Trump administration’s cancelling of a valuable and respected research project – which had been long supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) – as a political maneuver aligned with Trump’s conspiracy theory.  Here’s the link to that program segment plus another for the following segment on Amazon‘s unsafe working conditions and retribution against its frontline employees:

Trump administration cuts funding for coronavirus researcher, jeopardizing possible COVID-19 cure

Examining Amazon’s treatment of its workers

Trump also went apeshit after NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd quoted Attorney General William Barr saying that “history is written by the victors” in regards to the DOJ dropping the criminal case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn who had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his secret discussions with the Russian ambassador (see:  Trump Blasts Comcast’s NBC and Calls for Firing Host Chuck Todd).  That highly controversial move by the Department of Justice has sparked a firestorm of condemnation from nearly 2,000 former DOJ officials.

From:  More than 1,900 former Justice Dept. employees again call for Barr’s resignation

More than 1,900 former Justice Department employees on Tuesday repeated a call for William P. Barr to step down as attorney general, asserting in an open letter he had “once again assaulted the rule of law” by moving to drop the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn.

The letter, organized by the nonprofit Protect Democracy, was signed by Justice Department staffers serving in Republican and Democratic administrations dating back to President Eisenhower. The vast majority were former career staffers — rather than political appointees — who worked as federal prosecutors or supervisors at U.S. Attorney Offices across the country or the Justice Department in downtown D.C.

From:  Top Roger Stone prosecutor slams Barr for influencing cases against Trump allies

The top prosecutor of Roger Stone — who quit the Justice Department when his superiors overruled his team’s work on the case before Stone’s sentencing — slammed Attorney General William Barr for influencing cases against President Donald Trump’s friends and accused him of undermining the integrity of the department, in a Washington Post op-ed published Monday.

Jonathan Kravis and the other federal prosecutors who quit the Stone case had not spoken publicly about it, and the op-ed breaks Kravis’ silence on why he left and how he thought Barr had handled the case.

It adds to a growing backlash against Barr’s moves in the cases from top former officials; a day earlier, former Justice Department national security chief Mary McCord also condemned Barr in a New York Times op-ed.

“In both cases, the department undercut the work of career employees to protect an ally of the president, an abdication of the commitment to equal justice under the law,” Kravis wrote. “Prosecutors must make decisions based on facts and law, not on the defendant’s political connections. When the department takes steps that it would never take in any other case to protect an ally of the president, it betrays this principle.”

More news and headlines:

From:  A 2nd wave of US virus cases will plunge the economy into a depression, Moody’s economist says

  • A second wave of coronavirus cases would quash hopes for a swift recovery and push the US into a depression, Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told CNBC on Friday.

  • States have begun reopening their economies to keep businesses afloat, but public-health experts have said that a return to pre-virus norms could drive a surge in new infections.

  • Zandi defined a depression as at least a year of unemployment above 10%. Labor-market data released Friday showed that the joblessness rate spiked to 14.7% in April.

  • The US economy sits in “quicksand” until a vaccine can reverse the damage to consumer confidence and business operations, Zandi added.

From:  The Forgotten Law That Could Compel Mnuchin to Hand Over Trump’s Tax Returns

This unassuming statute, buried four paragraphs under the heading “Reports” in 31 U.S.C. § 331(d), requires the Treasury secretary to provide the House or Senate with any information they request. It reads: “The [Treasury] Secretary shall report to either House of Congress in person or in writing, as required, on matters referred to the Secretary by that House of Congress.” By law, therefore, the House could order Mnuchin to investigate and report (in person, no less) on the president’s taxes, and he would have to obey.

The statute has sweeping implications for our modern understanding of separation of powers law, and the authority of each chamber of Congress relative to the president. For one, the statute is constitutional. The Supreme Court has said that existing laws originally passed by Congress in 1789, the same year the Constitution went into effect, must be interpreted today as Congress interpreted them immediately after passage—that those laws are de facto constitutional unless specifically found otherwise. This statute, which has been used often throughout U.S. history, has always been followed by the executive branch and, accordingly, never been challenged in court.

The 1789 statute also refutes the Justice Department’s OLC memo. The memo, which contends Congress doesn’t have the authority to compel the executive branch to supply information, reasoned by analogy from a handful of modern Supreme Court decisions on separation of powers. But the “duty to report” provision predates those decisions by more than a century, calling into question not only the memo but also the assumptions underlying those Supreme Court opinions.

The rich infected the poor as COVID-19 spread around the world

[Senator Lamar] Alexander to remotely chair coronavirus hearing after staffer tests positive for virus

Iowa governor [Kim Reynolds], after possible coronavirus exposure at White House, to partially self-quarantine

Sioux tribes reject South Dakota governor’s request to take down coronavirus checkpoints

Tennessee appeals judges say it’s OK to make creepy videos of women without their consent

28 thoughts on “Trump goes berserk over media exposing his lies and corruption, ex-DOJ officials slam Barr, and more

  1. Re: The Forgotten Law … what do you think are the chances that Trump will defy this as he has done so many others? And if he does, what, in your opinion, will happen? Will he finally get his comeuppance? Or will this end up as the others … something the justice system will be forced to consider?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t care what Trump will do. We can all presume that he’ll do the worst. My sole reason for including that story in today’s post was to inform readers about the U.S. Constitution, our system of laws, how it all relates to our governmental separation of powers, and how Trump and his fascist cronies are purposefully attacking democracy and the rule of law.

      Did you learn something?

      Liked by 1 person

        • I’m not sure if that last comment was directed at me, but it was uncalled for if it was.

          Quite frankly when I posted my comment, I was hoping you would offer your opinion, which I value. You chose not to and instead asked if I learned something … ??

          Be that as it may, it’s unfortunate we didn’t seem to be on the same page.

          Liked by 1 person

        • My opinion is irrelevant. Your comment addressed FACTUAL INFORMATION relayed in this blog post which you trivialized by trying to shift attention away towards speculating about Trump’s future possible behavior (which is also irrelevant). You have done this repeatedly on this blog even after numerous warnings (some subtle, some not), and that is what is truly uncalled for.

          This blog isn’t for everyone. I work very hard every day to research, analyze, and present accurate information to readers about politics and current events. Honestly, I don’t care if anyone appreciates it or not. For those who don’t, I urge them to visit other blogs more to their liking. If you want to speculate about what Trump will or will not do, or if you insist on prioritizing subjective opinion over objective knowledge, then please go elsewhere. Yes, we are definitely not on the same page and it’s past time to move on.


        • I find it terribly disappointing that you censure me yet allow Jeff to make comments related to Trump’s colon. Your bias is showing, Robert. But not to worry, I won’t take away from your research, analysis, and presentation again. I’ve learned my lesson and will not be back.


  2. Once again Robert, outstanding links you are sharing and excellent commentary Sir! Thank you! 👏🏼👍🏼

    I’ve shared that CBS 60-minutes link with several of my older extended family (many of them Conservatives and a few hyper-religious) and with my Mom, also a Blind-following-the-Blind Moderate Conservative, but nonetheless a tRumpfy supporter to this day—as a long-time Republican only. 🙄

    I have to keep reminding my immediate and extended family members to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE consider all sources, all viewpoints, and various news agencies! But I’m afraid my words fall on deaf ears or blind, rose-colored eyes/glasses. After all, every single one of my extended family are in small rural towns around Austin, TX. :/

    Liked by 1 person

      • OH MY Robert, did you hit the bull-horn Panic-button 🚨 for them with that recognition!!! 😆 Yes, out of 254 counties Travis County is the only county that is politically, consistently NOT Republican. It is indeed traditionally very liberal, VERY highly educated for obvious reasons, right? From 2014 Rice University and UT Austin studies of “most liberal to most conservative” counties:

        Hence, most of my extended family down there live OUTSIDE of Travis County for exactly what you recognized. All of them have one identical reason—along with many other—why they hate Travis County. What is the consistent reason, the consistent, vehement complaint? High taxes in all categories, especially property taxes. The latter is why almost all of them have their actual homes underneath massive barns! I kid you not Robert. Why? …

        A state and federal agricultural exemption rather than the federal residential annual property tax. 😠🤬 As you may know, Texas has no state income tax.

        Liked by 1 person

    • As I’ve mentioned to Scottie, their prime source of info is Faux News. And since their esteemed leader has vilified all other sources as “Fake News,” it’s doubtful they ever view any other stations. Further, whether liberal or conservative, newspapers tend to cater to their audience. And in most rural areas, I think you know which group that would be.

      Liked by 2 people

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