Connect with us

News

House Democrats Zero in on the President’s Talks With Putin — and Whether Trump Broke the Law to Conceal Them

Published

on

House Democrats investigating the administration have a long list of questions to pursue about President Donald Trump’s actions in office and before his entry into politics. One of the most intriguing of these lines of inquiries led to a letter sent Monday by the chairs of the Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees: what exactly is the nature of Trump’s communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin?

The letter from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Eliot Engel (D-NY) asks the White House for a large swath of documents and records including:

• The substance of President Trump’s communications with President Putin, including any discussion between the two individuals—during in-person encounters and phone calls— on matters that are within the Committees’ jurisdiction;
• The existence and contents, if applicable, of any documents related to President Trump’s communications with President Putin;
• Whether any such communications have provided a basis for reconsideration, modification, or implementation of foreign policy;
• Whether President Trump or any person(s) acting at his behest or with his knowledge sought to conceal, obscure, or otherwise misrepresent the substance of those communications to other federal officials, departments, or agencies, and/or to shield President Trump from scrutiny by Congress or law enforcement; and
• Whether President Trump, or any person(s) acting at his behest or with his knowledge, failed to create records of, or in any way destroyed, suppressed, mishandled, or otherwise withheld any federal or presidential records, contrary to federal law, including the Federal Records Act and Presidential Records Act.

The letter noted that the House has previously requested basic information to about whether Trump destroyed records of his meetings with Putin, but that request was ignored. Because of this lack of response, the chairmen wrote, “we are now expanding our investigation.”

In January, the Washington Post reported that Trump has gone to unprecedented lengths to conceal information about his meetings with Putin from those within his administration. Not only is this atypical, its the exact opposite of what presidents usually want because their aides can help shape policy and interpret foreign adversaries’ actions when they are involved in these meetings.

And last year, the White House announced that it would stop the practice of regularly issuing readouts of phone calls between Trump and foreign leaders, which means the public has no idea how often he speaks with Putin by phone.

The committee chairmen note that Trump’s bizarre actions with regard to Putin “raise profound counterintelligence and foreign policy concerns, especially in light of Russia’s ongoing active measures campaign to improperly influence American elections.” Indeed, in light of the Trump campaign’s repeated coordination with Russian agents in 2016, and the president’s efforts to interfere in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s campaign, his work to hide his communications with Putin looks downright sinister.

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

‘Malevolent Kraken’: Tulsi Gabbard Mocked After Attacking Hillary Clinton Over Claim Russia Is Grooming a Woman Democrat

Published

on

‘Unhinged and Disgraceful’

Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii launched an attack against her own party and her own party’s most-recent presidential nominee late Friday afternoon, as reports grew that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Russia is grooming an unnamed but current 2020 presidential candidate, a woman, to run as a third-party candidate.

Gabbard – as did many – apparently assumed Clinton was referring to her, and took to Twitter to slam Clinton as “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”

She also said Clinton has been “cowardly” behind a “concerted campaign to destroy my reputation,” and invited her to once again run for president.

Clinton, whose charges against Donald Trump have come true, said Russia’s goal is to throw the election once again to Trump.

While Clinton did not name or even suggest Rep. Gabbard, many on social media assumed it was the Congresswoman from Hawaii.

Gabbard has a history of aligning herself with Russian and Syrian talking points. Her unannounced and largely to this day unexplained 2017 trip to visit Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad, who has been accused of war crimes including gassing his own people.

On Twitter, Gabbard was quickly berated and mocked:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading

News

Watch: Trump Announces Perry Out

Published

on

President Donald Trump has just announced his Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, has resigned.

“Rick and I have been talking for 6 months” Trump told reporters in Texas minutes ago. “In fact, I thought he might go a little sooner. But he’s got some very big plans, he’s going to be very successful. We’ll announce his successor pretty soon.”

Trump added he will announce Perry’s replacement at a rally tonight.

Perry was Trump’s second Energy Secretary. He appointed Grace Bochenek as Acting Secretary on his first day in office. She stayed until March, when Perry was sworn in.

UPDATE:
Video –
Trump says Perry leaving by end of year.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

Continue Reading

News

Ambassador Serves Up Devastating Testimony Trump Ordered Him to Work With Giuliani on Ukraine

Published

on

President Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the European Union is testifying behind closed door to congressional impeachment investigators and has just delivered a devastating indictment of the president. Ambassador Gordon Sondland says President Trump ordered him to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, on Ukraine.

“He directed those of us present at the meeting to talk to Mr. Giuliani, his personal attorney, about his concerns,” Ambassador Sondland said, according to The Washington Post. “It was apparent to all of us that the key to changing the president’s mind on Ukraine was Mr. Giuliani.”

Sondland added that it was not “until much later that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the president’s 2020 reelection campaign.”

Vice News’ Cameron Joseph adds that “Sondland, in prepared opening statement, says Trump directed him, Volker and Perry to work with Giuliani on Ukraine corruption in late May.” Volker is former United States special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Perry is Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

CNN adds, from Sondland’s prepared remarks that he “will testify that Trump put on hold effort to strengthen relations with Ukraine until top US officials were in contact with Giuliani, who had been pursuing investigation into the Bidens and 2016 elections.”

But one expert is poking holes in Sondland’s claims of innocence.

Matthew Miller, a former Dept. of Justice top spokesperson:

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 AlterNet Media.