“The guy is freaking evil.”
— Special Operator Miller describing Trump’s ‘election hero’ Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher.
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (12/30/19)
Dear Fellow Readers,
This was the year:
On January 25, 2019 special counsel Robert Mueller announced criminal charges against long-time Trump associate Roger Stone.
On March 22 Mueller delivered his 448-page report to Attorney General William Barr. Ignoring Mueller’s own summaries of his report, Barr issues his own 4-page summary, which we will eventually learn is intentionally misleading, erasing any consideration of whether Barr is biased in support of Trump – he is.
On April 18 Mueller’s report was released to the public. Mueller offered a detailed account of Russian involvement in the 2016 election to benefit Trump. While Trump was not indicted, Mueller made it clear that Department of Justice policy prevented this, but the report also offered, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
On July 24 Mueller appeared before Congress. Mueller’s testimony confirmed Russian interference and Trump conduct and obstruction but the 7-hour hearing was far from scintillating and offered Dems few political talking points. One example of the challenge in extracting advantageous remarks is this statement by Mueller, “The president was not exculpated for the acts he allegedly committed.”
On July 25 Trump had his phone call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky where he famously stated, “I would like you to do us a favor…” Over time we learn that this call was part of a series of steps in advance of the call and following the call, months of coordinated efforts to influence Zelensky to make a public announcement of an investigation of Hunter Biden as well as investigating conspiracy theories originated by Russia to discount Russian 2016 election interference and promote a well disproven notion of Ukraine election interference.
SharpieGate: During September Trump persistently and inanely defends warning that Hurricane Dorian was on track to strike Alabama – even altering a National Weather Service map with a Sharpie to make his case.
September 24 – House Impeachment inquiry against Trump begins. On September 26 the Whistleblower complaint is made public after being filed in August.
During October Trump abandoned US support for Kurdish troops in Syria putting lives at risk. Putin, Turkish President Erdogan and Syrian President Assad benefit in addition to Iran, Iranian militias like Hezbollah and ISIS.
October 10 – Associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Giuliani are arrested. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman are arrested and linked to Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine. Parnas is later found to have received a $1 million payment from Russian billionaire oligarch Dmytro Firtash who is wanted by the US for money laundering. Parnas in turn paid Giuliani $500,000.
November was the month of the releases of the witness deposition transcripts followed by House Intelligence Committee hearings. Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) was excellent in process, his questioning of witnesses and summaries of proceedings and findings. Witnesses like European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland made clear that Trump was calling the shots and Giuliani was his point person for all things Trump-Ukraine: his demand for Ukrainian investigations to aid his personal reelection effort.
On November 15 Roger Stone is convicted on seven felonies for lying to Congress and obstruction of investigations.
On December 3 the House Intelligence Committee released its report.
On December 18, Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The House will reconvene on January 6, 2020.
I have commented a number of times about my expectation that Trump’s attacks will get increasingly worse. I’ve said so because it’s been an observable trend: the endless lies, the angry insults of so many. Now we have this wonderful explanation of the ‘why’ of this…
Donald Trump, Whiner In Chief
Paul Waldman is an opinion writer covering politics for the Washington Post and offered this incisive observation:
“One of the central challenges that Donald Trump has faced over the course of his presidency is the need to keep supporters in a state of constant agitation. It’s an unending task, because while you can get people angry enough to stomp to the polls to express their outrage, once you’ve won, it becomes hard to maintain that energy. The last thing you want is for them to feel satisfied, which could lead to complacency.”
There it is. Waldman points out that sometimes Trump’s comments are inane or comical – but never forget — his comments are also dangerous.
And I nominate ‘this’ as my most outrageous act of 2019, an act designed to feed the always-bumbling energy of Trump’s base.
Make No Mistake. Edward Gallagher Will Be a Star of the Republican Presidential Campaign
Esquire writer Charles Pierce makes this prediction with his sub-head: “The president* is going to use him as a representative of the Troops”.
I wondered about this, would pardoning a US war criminal rally support for Trump with active and retired military? Ah, but here’s how Pierce explains this:
“The president* is going to use him as a representative of The Troops, and as an antidote to his own contempt for military personnel who are as revolted by him as any decent human being would be. Gallagher is going to be the anti-Khizr Khan. He is going to appear at presidential* events. I make him even money to speak at the 2020 Republican National Convention. Edward Gallagher is going to be the symbol of the U.S. military and there’s nobody in the GOP who can stop this from happening.”
Pierce likens Gallagher’s peers who testified against him as heroes, heroes akin to:
“It’s akin to Ron Ridenhour’s talking to the Army, and then to Seymour Hersh, about the events at My Lai, or Hugh Thompson, landing his helicopter between the Vietnamese civilians and William Calley’s murderous platoon to put a halt to those events in real time.”
If you want to know more about these heroes, the crimes committed by Gallagher and the trial, go here: Anguish and Anger From the Navy SEALs Who Turned In Edward Gallagher.
Trump refers to Gallagher as one of “our great fighters”. One of Gallagher’s peers, Special Operator Miller offers a different view, “The guy is freaking evil”.
Only in Trump World can that be considered a qualification.
That’s my Trump-Russia, Trump-Ukraine 2019 summary. I would like to tell you that 2020 will be better, but…
Impeach AND Remove.