Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is bragging that he’s handing over control of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to President Donald Trump.
“Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House Counsel,” the Kentucky Republican Leader told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday night. “There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”
“We’ll be working through this process, hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House Counsel’s Office and the people representing the President in the well of the Senate,” he said, presumably referring to Republican Senators.
Mitch McConnell: Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House Counsel. There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this pic.twitter.com/baFaTKWvUl
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) December 13, 2019
To be clear, this is effectively the jury foreman taking orders from the defendant’s attorneys to determine how the trial will play out, how long it will go on for, who – if any – the witnesses will be, and how it will end.
In short, McConnell just admitted there will not be a real trial.
NCRM was the first outlet to report earlier Thursday that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland had walked in to McConnell’s office this afternoon.
Later, NBC News reported they in fact did meet with McConnell for an hour to plan how the impeachment trial will go forward.
Legal, political, and ethics experts seeing McConnell admit to relinquishing control of a co-equal branch of government to the person who will be on trial in the Senate are expressing shock.
My god. https://t.co/im3PiFNntL
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) December 13, 2019
Mitch McConnell rejects the founding fathers’ creation of a system of checks & balances to keep any one branch of gov’t from becoming too powerful & engaging in corruption/abuse of power. https://t.co/hqOuNznaX0
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) December 13, 2019
This is so inappropriate.
Impeachment isn’t about team sports, it’s about correcting malfeasance.
This is turning malfeasance into an airborne virus.
It’s an ethical hemorrhagic fever. https://t.co/eha8cmj7Bb
— Tiffany Bond (I) 🎱🦞🇺🇸 (@TiffanyBond) December 13, 2019
Sayeth the supplicant to King Don, “Everything I do, I do it for you.” https://t.co/iVC0YzhAg2
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) December 13, 2019
How is that not a violation of the basic premise of separation of powers under the Constitution?? Such a stance is tantamount to surrender of authority of the legislative branch, leaving us open to the imposition of tyranny. McConnell & those who vote with him violate their oaths https://t.co/KJlhGIi394
— Melissa Allen Heath (@melisheath) December 13, 2019
Someone should remind McConnell that the Constitution requires that the Senate act as a jury on impeachment. Imagine the foreman of a jury announcing before a trial that there will be no difference between the jury’s position and a defendant’s. https://t.co/IRRPbrjTPY
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) December 13, 2019
Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party have been acting in bad faith and violating democratic norms for a long time now. What’s terrifying is how they’re not even trying to hide it anymore. https://t.co/OUCAtbcrJq
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) December 13, 2019
Chief judge notes on national television that he is carefully coordinating planning for the trial with the defendant. https://t.co/QpgxyTHZeY
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) December 13, 2019
We all assumed this, but McConnell feeling the need to go on Hannity and make it this explicit that the Senate majority plans to prostrate itself before Trump is a testament to how weak Mitch, who is up next year, is with his own party’s base.https://t.co/658xKRZHAD
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) December 13, 2019
So much for an impartial fair trial in the Senate. This is not how it went down in 1999. https://t.co/lLh9hWZCDY
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) December 13, 2019
Shorter Mitch McConnell: I’m totally in the bag for full authoritarianism now. Forget checks and balances, I’m at the service of Dear Leader™. https://t.co/asdcEl1Lp2
— Jason Karsh (@jkarsh) December 13, 2019
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Trump Launches Late-Night All Caps Rant Implying He Wants to ‘Cure’ the Coronavirus Crisis by Sending America Back to Work
Trump’s Tweet Creates Images of Dystopian Sci-Fi: ‘Is This How the Hunger Games Began?’
At ten minutes to midnight on Sunday President Donald Trump launched a disturbing all-caps Twitter rant that suggests his “plan” to cure the coronavirus crisis will be to send everyone back to work, thus likely killing millions.
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Trump actually tweeted, proving he values profits over people and saying clearly that if people have to die so the economy can get better than so be it.
“AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!”
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
Sunday marked day seven of the 15-day “stay at home” policy just one-third of the nation is under.
It’s not surprising, given his recent statements on the coronavirus pandemic.
For instance, barely more than two weeks ago, on March 5, Trump lied about what medical experts were saying while he tried to minimize the lethality of COVID-19. The President falsely suggested to Americans it is not dangerous to report to work as normal if they have the deadly coronavirus – and even went so far as to say going back to work will make people get better.
“So we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that just get better, by, you know, sitting around and even going to work,” Trump lied.
Thousands of people did not recover from the deadly coronavirus by “going to work.”
But it looks like the President is poised to consider implementing that as policy, instituting what Britain tried – until a study showed “that as many as 250,000 people could die as a result.”
Here’s how some are responding:
Translation: Trump cares about the Dow Jones Industrial Average and his re-election chances more than he cares about the lives of the American people.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 23, 2020
Trump is literally torn between two choices. He can either redirect people fears and anxiety about the coronavirus and the economy towards Asian Americans as vulnerable scapegoats like a racist demagogue or he can go back to, “it’s just the flu, bro.”
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 23, 2020
Is this how the Hunger games began? https://t.co/Qe0MXzJwwO
— Chuck (@ChuckChaneyBCTG) March 23, 2020
Good luck everyone. https://t.co/GFcDUpHMzO
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) March 23, 2020
Is he hinting at lifting quarantine to initiate widespread herd immunity… scary https://t.co/WcEGRsbzUf
— matteo di bernardo (@Dibernardo_10) March 23, 2020
TL;dr: “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.” https://t.co/9Sr0dp4ksf
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) March 23, 2020
If you’re thinking about herd immunity, you go first big guy https://t.co/P1NAwFEEIl
— eu_נøиαтħαи 🌐#VampiradaXOpalas (@Jn_malvadous) March 23, 2020
Remember 2016, talk of taking his phone away because it was embarrassing? I’m not hearing that now, yet behold: all caps vague-tweeting about pivoting pandemic strategy to herd immunity nine hours before the NYSE opens completely electronic, no humans, for the first time ever https://t.co/Qk8wxEKJuk
— Joe Spurr (@joespurr) March 23, 2020
YOUR INCOMPETENCE IS STAGGERING…
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) March 23, 2020
Looks like theres another herd immunity strategy in the works https://t.co/vWgR2pwmbc
— simon 🌹 (@bolloticks) March 23, 2020
P.S. It's midnight and we're in the greatest national health and financial crisis in decades, and you're supposed to be leading the nation.
Why in the hell are you tweeting right now, you malignant fraud? pic.twitter.com/PMhTuKRmBW
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) March 23, 2020
Trump Deploying Border Patrol’s Highly-Armed Elite Tactical Agents to Round Up Undocumented Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities
Continuing his attacks on his enemies one week after being acquitted on articles of impeachmenmt President Donald Trump on Friday ordered a group of the Border Patrol’s elite tactical agents to deploy in major sanctuary cities to round up and arrest undocumented immigrants, The New York Times reports.
Agents from the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tactical Unit, BORTAC, are being sent to sent to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, N.J.
BORTAC “acts essentially as the SWAT team of the Border Patrol.”
These are top border patrol agents, who use stun grenades and other weapons usually reserved for warfare “in the most rugged and swelteringly hot areas of the border.”
BORTAC agents receive “enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification,” and “the officers typically conduct high-risk operations targeting individuals who are known to be violent, many of them with extensive criminal records.”
“Their presence could spark new fear in immigrant communities that have been on high alert under the stepped-up deportation and detention policies adopted after Mr. Trump took office,” the Times notes.
Former CBP commissioner Gil Kerlikowske calls the decision a “significant mistake.”
“If you were a police chief and you were going to make an apprehension for a relatively minor offense, you don’t send the SWAT team. And BORTAC is the SWAT team,” Kerlikowske, a former chief of police in Seattle, told the Times. “They’re trained for much more hazardous missions than this.”
Image by Kristoffer Grogan/U.S. Customs and Border Protection via Flickr
Mike Pence Now All In: Defends Trump’s ‘Appropriate’ Phone Call to Ukraine
Vice President Mike Pence insisted on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s controversial call to Ukraine’s president was “appropriate.”
During an event in Arizona, Pence was asked if it was “appropriate” for Trump to ask Ukraine’s president to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Earlier on Thursday, Trump had also asked China to investigate Biden and his son.
“Is it appropriate, as the president did this morning and with a phone call to Ukraine, to ask foreign governments to investigate his political rivals? China, for example,” a reporter said to Pence.
“I am vice president of the United States, and I was elected to this job along with President Trump,” the vice president droned. “One of the major reasons we were elected was to drain the swamp. I think the American people have right to know if the vice president of the United States or his family profited from his position as vice president during the last administration. That is about looking backwards and understanding what really happened.”
According to Pence, Joe Biden and his son are “worth looking into.”
“And the president made it very clear that he believes our other nations around the world should look into it, as well,” he continued. “The simple fact is, when you hold the second highest office in the land, it comes with unique responsibilities. Not just to be above impropriety but to be above the appearance of impropriety. There are legitimate questions that ought to be an asked. We will continue to ask them because the American people have a right to know whether or not the vice president of United States or his family profited from his position.”
Pence also insisted that there “was no quid pro quo” offered when Trump called the president of Ukraine.
“I think that’s of the American people would expect and anticipate but this is going to continue, to advance what we were elected to advance,” he said. “That includes draining the swamp and demanding that our allies operate in an upright way, as well.”
“The president was raising issues that were appropriate that were of genuine interest to the American people,” Pence said of the Ukraine call.
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