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‘Break Glass Moment for Our Democracy’: Experts Sound Alarm Over Trump Plan to Purge 7 Inspectors General
President Donald Trump is expected to fire at least seven top inspectors general, and legal experts are sounding the alarm.
Late Tuesday night RealClearPolitics White House and national political correspondent Susan Crabtree dropped this bombshell:
Breaking: Trump is firing 7 IGs in one fail swoop, sources confirm to @RealClearNews. Most likely will be the IGs that were appointed by Pres. Obama or beforehand. He wants his own people in those positions now. Trump during his briefing said he has “put in 7 names” for IGs.
— Susan Crabtree (@susancrabtree) April 7, 2020
Crabtree later noted “more changes may come later.”
Indeed, as Crabtree mentioned, Trump in fact did make the announcement Tuesday during the coronavirus briefing, but it went largely unnoticed.
Asked by a reporter about his Tuesday firing of Glenn Fine, the Acting Inspector General for the Defense Department, Trump rambled, saying that as president he has the right to fire Inspectors General. (That could be challenged in court if he goes through with the plan.)
“Well, we have a IGs [sic] in from the Obama era,” Trump told the reporter asking about Fine, an IG who has worked for every President since Bill Clinton. “And as you know, it’s a presidential decision. And I left them, largely. I may change some, but I left them.”
“But when we have, you know, reports of bias and when we have different things coming in — I don’t know Fine; I don’t think I ever met Fine. I heard the name –” Trump continued. “I heard the name.”
There are no credible reports of bias.
“I don’t know where he is,” Trump continued. “Maybe he was from Clinton. Okay? You have to check that out? Okay, maybe he’s from Clinton.”
“But we did change him, but we changed a number,” Trump said, suggesting the firing of a veteran and highly-regarded Inspector General is akin to getting an oil change.
And then Trump snuck in the bombshell.
“We have about seven nominations in,” meaning he will be replacing seven Inspectors General, or Acting IGs. “I believe we put seven very, very highly qualified people for the IG position. And, you know, that’s a decision that I could have made three years ago and I could have made two years ago. But we’re putting in — not so much for him. We’re putting in seven names. I think it was seven. And they’re going in now.”
Trump late Friday evening fired Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community Inspector General. Atkinson fulfilled his legal obligation to report a credible whistleblower complaint to Congress, and President Trump on Monday fully admitted that was the reason he fired him.
“I thought he did a terrible job… Absolutely terrible.”
Trump fired back at a reporter who asked about the firing of Intelligence Community inspector general Michael Atkinson pic.twitter.com/ZAPWmmBocQ
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) April 4, 2020
On Tuesday President Trump fired Glenn Fine, the Acting Inspector General for the Defense Department, who had just been named by his peers to oversee the $2 trillion emergency coronavirus support program, which includes a $500 billion slush fund that will be managed by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Legal experts and lawmakers responded to the news Trump plans to purge seven Inspectors General, expressing anger and grave concern.
U.S. Senator (D-HI):
You can thank Senate Republicans for pre-approving all of the coming corruption by voting not guilty. And spare all of us a strongly worded press release. You had your chance. https://t.co/9vef638Ha8
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) April 7, 2020
Former CIA Officer:
This. Is. A. Problem. Alarm bells should be going off. https://t.co/LYTKUwV7Iz
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) April 8, 2020
Former U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications:
Trump is dismantling American democracy during a pandemic, and every Republican who voted to protect him owns it. https://t.co/Uy7n50bV5k
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) April 8, 2020
Former Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council staff:
Trump reportedly firing SEVEN inspectors general all at once.
Guess he figured out that inspectors general were created to ensure accountability & oversight.
Those are 2 things Trump can’t stand.
This move is VERY dangerous to American democracy. https://t.co/bxnUKqwUWD
— Joshua A. Geltzer (@jgeltzer) April 7, 2020
Head of the Brennan Center’s National Task Force on Rule of Law and Democracy:
If true, this is a break glass moment for our democracy. And I’m not an alarmist, nor the biggest fan of all IGs. But they play an essential role in checking abuse & preventing autocracy. If there are more @MittRomney‘s in Congress, now is the time to speak out. STRING 1/ https://t.co/EDiZFxCu20
— Rudy Mehrbani (@RudyMehrbani) April 8, 2020
Former director of USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA):
This is a huge, huge red flag. https://t.co/sLA3JmOWON
— Jeremy INVEST IN PUBLIC HEALTH Konyndyk (@JeremyKonyndyk) April 8, 2020
Noted political scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI):
This is a giant step towards a corrupt autocracy. And not a word from his enabler’s in Congress. No different than the lawmakers in Hungary, in Egypt and other countries where they turned a blind eye to vicious dictators seizing power and squeezing freedoms out of the society.
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) April 8, 2020
Former federal corruption prosecutor, now Executive Director of CREW:
If anyone thought we were exaggerating about the President’s attack on any independent oversight and accountability, and undermining of democratic checks and balances, this should make it painfully clear. Really scary. https://t.co/UxEoMxkvd4
— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) April 7, 2020
U.S. Senator (D-CT):
This is getting ridiculous.
I’m drafting legislation to give all Inspectors General protected 7 year terms. Sound like a good idea? https://t.co/pLu0PkOwT4
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) April 8, 2020
Law Professor at University of Texas School of Law, CNN’s Supreme Court analyst:
Inspectors General exist to hold the Executive Branch accountable by identifying fraud, waste, abuse, & illegality.
The President has the constitutional and statutory authority to fire them, but given their job, we have a right to know *why* he no longer values their oversight. https://t.co/kJ4uy3CRd4
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) April 8, 2020
Trump is purging oversight officials: https://t.co/GDfmDM4kE8
— Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈 (@leahmcelrath) April 8, 2020
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Feds Preparing to Charge an Ex-RNC Finance Chair With Ties to Trump Over ‘Back-Channel Lobbying Campaign’: WaPo
The U.S. Dept. of Justice is preparing to charge Elliott Broidy, a former finance chairman for the Republican National Committee who has ties to President Donald Trump, “in connection with efforts to influence the U.S. government on behalf of foreign interests,” The Washington Post reports.
Broidy, who has raised millions for Trump, made headlines in recent years and was forced to resign his GOP leadership role when it was revealed he had paid a former Playboy playmate $1.6 million to keep silent about their affair. President Donald Trump’s then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, brokered the deal. When the news broke both Broidy and Cohen were serving as RNC deputy finance chairmen.
He has also served as a vice chairman of the Trump Victory Committee, a joint Trump campaign-RNC fundraising organization.
“Broidy is under scrutiny for his alleged role in a campaign to persuade high-level Trump administration officials to drop an investigation of Malaysian government corruption, as well as for his attempt to push for the extradition of an outspoken Chinese dissident back to his home country,” The Post reveals.
But Broidy appears to have been a huge international wheeler and dealer, using his influence with the President Trump as a bargaining chip to do the bidding of foreign governments.
“A cooperating witness in the special counsel investigation worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” The New York Times reported in March of 2018. That “top Trump fund-raiser” was Broidy, the cooperating witness was now-convicted pedophile George Nader.
“High on the agenda of the two men,” the Times reported, “was pushing the White House to remove Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, backing confrontational approaches to Iran and Qatar and repeatedly pressing the president to meet privately outside the White House with the leader of the U.A.E.”
Tillerson was fired the week before, the Times reported, “and the president has adopted tough approaches toward both Iran and Qatar.”
While those events are not part of the charges reportedly being prepared, they highlight the extreme influence Broidy wielded.
Meanwhile, the Post adds, the case against Broidy “has intensified in recent weeks, with prosecutors securing a guilty plea Monday from one of Broidy’s business associates, Nickie Mali Lum Davis, who admitted to taking part in what prosecutors have described in charging documents as a ‘back-channel lobbying campaign’ to end the Malaysian corruption investigation and to return Chinese exile Guo Wengui to his home country.”
Read the Post’s full report here.
Image via Facebook
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New Leaked Documents Expose Plans to ‘Slow Mail Processing’ Ahead of 2020 Election
New documents obtained by Vice News show that the United States Postal Service is taking steps that officials say will “slow mail processing” ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Specifically, the documents show that “the United States Postal Service proposed removing 20 percent of letter sorting machines it uses around the country before revising the plan weeks later to closer to 15 percent of all machines.”
In total, this means that more than 500 sorting machines will be taken offline ahead of this year’s election, which is expected to see a record number of votes sent in by mail.
Interestingly, the documents about reducing the sorting machines date back to May 2020, which was a month before Trump-appointed postmaster general Louis DeJoy took over.
Although USPS leadership is claiming that these machines are simply being moved around in the name of efficiency, the documents show that one union official representing USPS workers saw the plans and bluntly replied that “this will slow mail processing.”
Related: Trump’s Postmaster General Removing Hundreds of Mail Sorting Machines – Before the Biggest Vote By Mail Election Ever: Report
So far, Vice News’ sources say that machine removals are right now occurring in Michigan, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Texas, and that “more machine removals are planned in the months ahead.”
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Trump’s New Postmaster General Exposed for Massive Conflicts of Interest in New Viral Video: #TrumpKillsUSPS
President Donald Trump’s new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has quickly destroyed the basic working’s of America’s 245-year old postal system, an institution the Founders knew was so vital to democracy they included it in the U.S. Constitution.
As it turns out, DeJoy – a “longtime Republican donor” – has massive conflicts of interest, as the video from the anti-Trump PAC Really American exposes.
“DeJoy and his wife have between $30 and $75 million in assets of direct competitors to the United States Postal Service,” the video, “#TrumpKillsUSPS,” reveals. “The man Trump put in charge of our Post Office has the most to gain from its destruction.”
The video has gone viral, being viewed over 2 million times in just 15 hours.
“The next 10 weeks will come down to how well the Democratic Party can hone in on the damage that Trump has done over the last four years,” says Justin Horwitz, Founder and Executive Director of Really American. “One of the most destructive things he has done is appoint Louis Dejoy to head the USPS. This is the fox in the hen house. We need to immediately demand transparency and accountability so this election isn’t stolen. The President and his friends have business interests in dismantling our government. That’s simply unacceptable.”
NEW VIDEO: Trump didn’t choose Louis Dejoy to run the Post Office. He chose him to destroy it. #TrumpKillsUSPS pic.twitter.com/OOhJNOSnit
— Really American 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) August 12, 2020
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