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"Seeking liberty and truth above suppression and mendacity!"
"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech," said Benjamin Franklin.
Everyone has an opinion and the right to speak that opinion our forefathers granted us that right it's called the First Amendment. Read it then discuss it in the Forums. Find out about Donald J. Trump’s time in the white house. Donald J. Trump is a crook, a con man and liar who uses alternative facts and projects himself on to other.


Donald J. Trump Administration Scandals and Corruption page 1


The Trump Administration will go down as the worse, most corrupt, comprised and dishonest administration in American history. Donald J. Trump has corrupted the white house, the DOJ, the state department and other government departments and agencies to protect and defend Donald J. Trump. Instead of putting America and the constitution first, they are putting Donald J. Trump first. Any government employee who puts Donald J. Trump before America and the constitution is not patriot. The oaths they have taking are to America and the constitution not to any individual. Any government employee who puts Donald J. Trump above America and the constitution is neither protecting nor defending America and the constitution. Moreover, they have broken the oath they have sworn to America and the constitution. This page is dedicated to tracking that corruption.


Donald J. Trump Impeachment Inquiry

Donald J. Trump has committed abuse of power, high crimes and misdemeanors this page is dedicated to tracking the impeachment inquiry of Donald J. Trump. more...

Donald J. Trump Senate Impeachment Trial

Donald J. Trump has been impeached by the house. Moscow Mitch and GOP Senators will make a mockery of our Republic to protect Donald J. Trump

Trump-Ukraine Affair

Donald J. Trump used the powers of the presidency to bully Ukraine into digging up damaging information on a political rival, Democrat Joe Biden. more...

Donald Trump Administration Scandals (2017–present)

As of July 2019, President Donald Trump (R), his children, the 2016 Trump election campaign, the Trump Inaugural Committee and/or the White House were being investigated by 10 federal criminal, eight state and local, and 11 congressional investigations, according to the New York Times. This doesn't include investigations into administration officials or closed investigations led by Special Counsel for the Department of Justice Robert Mueller. The Mueller investigation resulted in 34 indictments, and seven convictions or guilty pleas. While adhering to Justice Department policy barring the indictment of a sitting president, the Special Counsel did pass on to Congress "numerous instances in which President Trump may have obstructed justice." more...

Trump Team’s Conflicts and Scandals: An Interactive Guide

Donald Trump promised to drain the Washington swamp. Instead, he has  surrounded himself with family members, appointees and advisers who’ve  been accused of conflicts of interest , misuse of public funds , influence peddling , self-enrichment , working for foreign governments , failure to disclose information  and violating ethics rules . Some are under investigation  or facing lawsuits , others have resigned  and five have either been convicted or pleaded guilty , including three for lying to government officials . Scandals plague all administrations, but Trump’s is only two years old and the allegations keep on coming. more...

The Biggest Donald Trump Scandals (So Far)

White House Insiders Describe an Administration in Chaos
by Tom Murse
It didn't take long for Donald Trump's presidency to become mired in scandal and controversy. The list of Donald Trump scandals grew long soon after he took office in January 2017. Some had their roots in his use of social media to insult or attack political enemies and foreign leaders. Others involved a revolving door of staffers and senior officials who either quick or were fired. The most serious Trump scandal, though, emerged from Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election and the president's efforts to undermine the investigation into the matter. Some members of Trump's own administration grew concerned about his behavior. Here's a look at the biggest Trump scandals so far, what they're about and how Trump responded to the controversies surrounding him. more...

Donald J. Trump is Filling His Pockets With Foreign Money and Your Tax Dollars

There may be no one more crooked or corrupt than Donald J. Trump. Trump is using taxpayer money to prop up his properties and making a profit at the expense of the American taxpayer. Trump is greedy con man who does not care about America or the American people, but he does want their money. Trump only cares about himself and how much money he can put in his pockets. He does not care where the money comes from the American taxpayer or foreign money he just wants money. Now we know why he refused to divest, Trump wanted to use the power of the presidency to put money in his pockets. Below you can find some examples of how crooked and corrupt Trump is using taxpayer dollars to prop up his properties and accepting foreign governments spending at Trump properties wishing to gain favor with him. more...   

EPA chief of staff under investigation in document destruction

By DANIEL LIPPMAN

The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general is investigating whether chief of staff Ryan Jackson was involved in destroying internal documents that should have been retained, according to two people familiar with the matter. The IG's office is asking witnesses whether Jackson has routinely destroyed politically sensitive documents, including schedules and letters from people like lobbyist Richard Smotkin, who helped arrange a trip for then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to Morocco when he was in office, according to one of the sources, a former administration official who told investigators he has seen Jackson do that firsthand.

The previously unreported allegations add to the controversy around Jackson, a former aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) who has been at EPA since the early days of the Trump administration. EPA's internal watchdog accused Jackson earlier this week of refusing to cooperate with other ongoing investigations. Jackson was put on notice that the document destruction was improper, something the former official said he discussed earlier this year with an official from the IG’s office.

“They would scold us on a daily basis and Ryan would say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know, we’ll do better next time,’" the former official said. Jackson told POLITICO he was “unaware” of the IG investigating him for destroying documents. He didn't respond to a further request for comment. Michael Abboud, an EPA spokesperson, disputed the allegations, noting that a previous investigation had not found evidence of illegal document destruction at the agency.

“Even the National Archives have publicly stated these claims are ‘unsubstantiated,'" Abboud said in a statement. "Politico choosing to run this story on the baseless claims of one disgruntled former employee does not make it true. EPA takes record retention seriously and trains all employees (career and political) on proper protocols and will continue to follow them.”

The interest in whether Jackson destroyed records may indicate renewed interest in allegations that Pruitt kept a "secret calendar" to hide controversial meetings with Republican donors or industry officials. In July 2018, CNN reported that Pruitt aides would regularly "scrub" his calendar, but a subsequent investigation by the National Archives and Records Administration ended in January and found no evidence of wrongdoing. Full Story

Mnuchin Pressed on ‘Alleged Rampant Corruption’ at Treasury Department

The Fiscal Times
By Michael Rainey

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) on Tuesday asked Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for more information related to a report in The New York Times alleging that Mnuchin personally intervened to provide the financier Michael Milken with tax breaks through the federal “opportunity zone” program meant to direct investment to distressed neighborhoods. In a letter to Mnuchin, Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he was writing regarding “alleged rampant corruption” at the Treasury Department and questioned how Mnuchin sees his role: “[D]o you see your job as protecting the interests of the entirety of the American people or a handful of plutocrats and personal friends? Do you think it is appropriate for the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States to seek special favors for one of the most prolific financial criminals in world history?” more...

Warren, Castro dismiss reversal on holding G-7 at Doral, saying it doesn't change Trump's 'corruption'

By Justin Wise

2020 presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro on Saturday dismissed the significance of President Trump reversing his decision to hold next year's Group of Seven (G-7) summit at one of his properties in Florida, saying that the president will likely continue to use the White House for personal gain. "The G-7 may no longer be at Trump National Doral, but that won’t stop foreign nations from dumping money into Donald Trump's pockets by spending at his hotels," Warren, a Massachusetts senator, said on Twitter "And it won’t stop Trump from rewarding Mar-a-Lago members with ambassadorships."

Castro, a former Housing and Urban Development Secretary, added: "Trying to be a complete crook of a politician didn’t quite work out for him this time, but I’m sure he’s not done trying. We need integrity back in the Oval Office." Donald Trump is corruption in the flesh—we must call it out, and I have a plan to fight back: https://t.co/k32fZwonHP — Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 20, 2019. Trying to be a complete crook of a politician didn’t quite work out for him this time, but I’m sure he’s not done trying. We need integrity back in the Oval Office. https://t.co/u7EUX84iQr — Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) October 20, 2019.

Following a wave of backlash from Democrats, Republicans and ethics watchdogs, Trump said on Saturday that he would no longer host the 2020 G-7 Summit at the Trump National Doral in Florida. The decision came just two days after acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced that the annual event would be held at the Miami-area resort next June. Despite arguing that Trump would not profit from the gathering, Mulvaney's announcement sparked widespread concerns about the appearance of a conflict of interest for the president. Many asserted the move represented a violation of the Constitution's Emolument Clause, which bars federal officeholders from accepting payments from foreign countries, U.S. states or the federal government.

Trump reverses course and says his Florida resort won't be used for G7 summit

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

(CNN) - President Donald Trump on Saturday night abruptly reversed course and announced next year's G7 economic summit of world powers would not be held at Trump National in Doral, Florida, in a rare departure after facing bipartisan backlash. The President tweeted the major change just over 48 hours after the initial announcement: "We will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020. We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately."

The President called the rising criticism his administration was facing "Irrational Hostility," and wrote, "I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders." The White House had been defending its decision to use Trump's own property as the site for the G7 in the face of mounting outrage and disapproval. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told CNN that the Doral site would be "significantly cheaper" than other options. The administration had argued the event would be run "at cost," or without profit, by the Trump National property because of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which largely prohibits the President from accepting gifts and money from foreign governments. But it is not clear that simply avoiding a profit would keep the administration from running afoul of the emoluments clause.

The administration also had not clarified the details of how it would determine what "at cost" would be. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Friday that holding the G7 at Trump's property was "completely out of the question." The move to host the summit at Trump's property had added to deep fractures in the President's relationships with some allies in Congress already upset with his decision to pull troops out of Syria. However, several of Trump's staunchest defenders on Capitol Hill said they were not concerned about it. GOP Rep. Jim Jordan told CNN that "the American people are much more concerned about not where it happens, but what happens at the event."

But some members of the President's party suggested otherwise. Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said he was "not happy about it." "I read the emoluments clause again yesterday," Kinzinger said on Friday, "and it talks about titles and nobility and all this. I don't know if it's a direct violation, but I don't understand why at this moment they had to do it." Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, weighed in on the President's reversal, calling it "a bow to reality."

"President Trump's decision to award the G-7 Conference to his own property was outrageous, corrupt and a constitutional violation. It was stunningly corrupt even for a stunningly corrupt administration," Bookbinder said in a statement. "His reversal of that decision is a bow to reality, but does not change how astonishing it was that a president ever thought this was appropriate, or that it was something he could get away with." At a Thursday press briefing, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defiantly addressed the concern that hosting the G7 there already creates profit by highlighting the resort, asking reporters to "consider the possibility that Donald Trump's brand is already strong enough on its own."

Mulvaney told reporters it was Trump who brought up the idea of hosting the G7 at Doral, explaining: "We sat around one night. We were back in the dining room and I was going over it with a couple of our advance team. We had the list, and he goes, 'What about Doral?' And it was like, 'That's not the craziest idea. It makes perfect sense.'"

Trump’s move to host the G7 at his Doral resort takes self-dealing to new levels

The corruption is becoming more and more brazen.
By Aaron Rupar

In one of the starkest examples of how the Trump administration is normalizing the sort of self-dealing that would have been unfathomable in previous eras, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday that next June’s G7 summit will be held at a resort that President Donald Trump still owns and profits from in Doral, Florida. During a news conference, Mulvaney portrayed the decision as one based on holding the event at the best facility possible. But there are plenty of other suitable venues that the president doesn’t profit from — such as Camp David in Maryland, which hosted the G7 the last time it was in the US in 2012 — and there’s no denying that turning one of the world’s foremost annual gatherings of leaders into a free infomercial for Trump’s resort represents a major branding opportunity.

Tellingly, Mulvaney himself didn’t even try to deny that. Instead, he argued that Trump is too rich and successful to care about branding opportunities since his “brand is probably strong enough as it is.” Trump “doesn’t need any more help on that,” Mulvaney added, alluding to the free promotion the G7 will provide. “It is the most recognizable name in the English language and probably around the world.” That Trump’s name is one of the most well-known in the English language might arguably be true — but “Trump National Doral Miami” is less so. And beyond the branding opportunity, it’s also a financial one, especially seeing as how Doral’s net operating income has declined by nearly 70 percent since 2015. Mulvaney promoted Trump Doral from behind the White House briefing podium as “far and away the best physical facility for this meeting” and “perfect for our needs.”

The move perhaps isn’t surprising, given Trump’s willingness to break decades of precedent by refusing to divest from his business interests when he took office. And Trump has used the guise of diplomacy to promote his businesses before. He’s hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort and has repeatedly hosted Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo there as well. Those summits served as textbook examples of corruption, but hosting the G7 at a resort that Trump has described in federal disclosures as one of his biggest moneymakers takes things up a notch. While it’s on brand, Trump’s decision to have the next G7 meeting in a place where the US government and international governments would be forced to patronize his business is perhaps the starkest illustration yet of how he’s thumbing his nose not just at tradition and ethical standards but also the Constitution’s emoluments clause, a little-used provision aimed at guarding corruption of presidents by foreign interests. Mulvaney, however, dismissed concerns that Trump’s conflicts of interest are a bad look by insisting he “got over that a long time ago.”

Trump’s push to hold the G7 at a resort he still owns and profits from, explained

In one of the starkest illustrations of his corruption, the president wants to have next year’s G7 at Trump Doral.
By Aaron Rupar

President Donald Trump wants to host 2020’s G7 meeting of international leaders at Trump Doral in Florida, a private club he still owns and profits from — a move that would serve as perhaps the starkest illustration yet of how Trump is normalizing corruption. Having the G7 at Doral would be tantamount to “a free, giant international promotion” for Trump’s business, said Jordan Libowitz, the communications director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), in an interview with Vox. Trump first raised the idea of hosting next year’s meeting at his Doral, Florida-based golf resort during a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, the last day of this year’s G7 in France, saying of Trump Doral that “we haven’t found anything that could even come close to competing with it, especially when you look at the location right next to the airport” in Miami.

Trump uses G7 to promote private Doral resort he still owns and profits from, which he says may host the G7 next year: "It's a great place. It's got tremendous acreage ... people are really liking it ... we haven't found anything that could even come close to competing with it." pic.twitter.com/MK2vY2inK1 — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 26, 2019 . Trump’s comments raised some eyebrows, and during his G7-ending press conference a few hours later, he was asked by NBC’s Hallie Jackson to respond to people who are concerned he’s profiting from the presidency. He responded by plugging Trump Doral. “With Doral we have a series of magnificent buildings — we call the bungalows — they each hold from 50 to 70 luxurious rooms, with magnificent views. We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants. It’s, like, such a natural,” Trump said, before adding, dubiously, that “in my opinion I’m not going to make any money.” Shortly after the press conference ended, the White House Twitter account seemed to make the announcement official in a tweet featuring video of the comments Trump made promoting Doral.

The Trump Administration Has Been Sued More Than Any Other Since 1982

By Natasha Bach

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is racking up his lawsuits against the Trump administration. The state’s AG added yet another to his belt this week, challenging proposed legislation that would invalidate the Flores settlement, thereby enabling the administration to indefinitely detain undocumented children. President Trump and his administration have been sued by state attorneys general more times than any president since Ronald Reagan. As of late August, there are currently 88 ongoing multi-state lawsuits against the administration, according to the latest count from State Attorneys General Data, a database compiled by Dr. Paul Nolette, associate professor of political science at Marquette University.

This represents more than double the next highest number, 38, which is the number of times the Obama administration was sued in the president’s second term. The lawsuits against the Trump Administration have been led mainly by Democratic AGs, while the lawsuits against the Obama Administration were mostly let by Republicans coalitions, according to the database. Nolette’s tally includes multi-state lawsuits against specific actions taken by various U.S. government departments. He defines multi-state lawsuits as those in which “multiple states filed an original complaint or petition,” instances in which “multiple states joined an existing non-state lawsuit as intervenors,” cases when “only one state appeared as a plaintiff...but a multi-state coalition filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the plaintiff state,” and “non-state cases in which a multi-state coalition sought to intervene, but the court denied the motion to intervene.” more...

Trump's Ukraine Call Might Violate Election Laws, But No One's Enforcing Them

By Brian Naylor

While Congress mulls whether President Trump's phone call soliciting help from the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son is an impeachable offense, Trump's action raises another question. Did the president's requests violate campaign finance law? The Department of Justice doesn't think so. DOJ officials and career prosecutors in the department's public integrity section examined the text of the July 25 phone call and concluded there was not a potential campaign finance violation, according to senior Justice Department officials. The facts did not provide a basis for a predicated investigation, they said. In part, it depends on whether the president solicited a "thing of value" and how that term is defined.

Brendan Fischer, an attorney with the Campaign Legal Center, believes there was a violation of the law. He says that "there is a long list" of examples of the Federal Election Commission finding that "intangible items like opposition research can constitute a thing of value for purposes of campaign finance law." Fischer noted that when looking into Russia intervention in the 2016 election, special counsel Robert Mueller investigated whether Donald Trump Jr. violated campaign finance law with his apparent willingness to accept dirt about Hillary Clinton. Mueller couldn't determine whether Trump Jr. knew that what he was doing violated the law, Fischer says, and furthermore, the information being solicited "appeared to be nonexistent."

For a criminal prosecution, the worth of the "thing of value" must be more than $25,000 for a felony and $2,000 for a misdemeanor. The chair of the Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub, tweeted the day after the transcript of Trump's phone call was released last month that "the Commission has recognized the 'broad scope' of the foreign national contribution prohibition and found that even where the value of a good or service 'may be nominal or difficult to ascertain,' such contributions are nevertheless banned." Former FEC senior counsel Dan Weiner says the question of whether intangibles such as opposition research is a thing of value is "fairly well-settled."

He says because the FEC is the agency charged with interpreting and administering federal campaign finance law, getting the agency involved in this question "is crucial." There's only one problem: The FEC currently lacks a quorum and cannot take up any new investigations until additional commissioners are nominated and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Fischer at the Campaign Legal Center isn't sure that even if there were a quorum, the FEC would act. The alleged violation, he says, "arose in the course of the president carrying out his foreign policy responsibilities and the president has wide latitude to conduct diplomacy. I would be very surprised if the FEC were to issue civil penalties against the president or his campaign." more...

Treasury’s watchdog says it is looking into the handling of Democrats’ request for Trump’s tax returns

By Kevin Breuninger

The Treasury Department’s internal watchdog is investigating how the department handled House Democrats’ requests for President Donald Trump’s tax returns, CNBC confirmed Friday. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., asked acting Inspector General Rich Delmar in a Sept. 30 letter to investigate how the Treasury handled the House panel’s request to hand over tax returns for Trump and his businesses. “I want to be assured that Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service ... is enforcing the law in a fair and impartial manner and no one is endeavoring to intimidate or impede government officials and employees carrying out their duties,” Neal wrote. Delmar told CNBC that Neal asked his office to “inquire into the process by which the Department received, evaluated, and responded to the Committee’s request for federal tax information.” “We are undertaking that inquiry,” Delmar said. more...

Was There Another Cover-Up In Response to the Whistle-Blower?

The Justice Department should have shared a campaign-finance investigation with the Federal Election Commission.
By Neal K. Katyal and Joshua A. Geltzer

One of the first things new prosecutors at the Justice Department learn is that cover-ups are rarely singular. There is often a cover-up of the cover-up. Allegations of one cover-up, then another, emerged last week. Officials in the Trump administration tried to “lock down” the phone call memo between President Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine (the first cover-up), and then officials in the executive branch made efforts to keep this information from reaching Congress (the second cover-up).

Now we have discovered what may be a third cover-up. In its handling of the investigation and a potential campaign-finance violation, the Department of Justice appears to have ignored a rule that a matter under investigation must be referred to the Federal Election Commission. Critically, if the department had followed the rule, the Ukraine affair would have been disclosed to the American public. Were it not for the efforts of the whistle-blower, everything about this would have been hidden from the F.E.C. and the American people. Here’s how the Justice Department failed to follow the rule. As part of the scramble in the executive branch caused by the whistle-blower’s complaint, the Justice Department secretly investigated Mr. Trump for a potential campaign-finance violation. The department reportedly cleared him because the contributions solicited from a foreign government to his campaign were not quantifiable “things of value.”

That’s the key phrase in one of the most important campaign-finance laws. Remember that Mr. Trump’s own intelligence community inspector general — a former federal prosecutor — determined that the whistle-blower complaint was an “urgent concern.” Further, the complaint set out facts suggesting that Mr. Trump had indeed violated the federal statute that criminalizes soliciting any “thing of value” from a foreign citizen in connection with an election. A thorough investigation seemed warranted. more...

There’s lots of Trump scandal news — but one clear scandal

Don’t get confused: This is about Trump co-opting the powers of the presidency for personal gain.
By Zack Beauchamp

It’s been roughly a week since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, and the underlying Ukraine scandal keeps spiraling in new directions. Recent reports about Trump and Attorney General William Barr’s contact with leaders in Australia, Italy, and the UK have created a sense of sprawling mess, making it seem like a tough-to-follow meta-scandal akin to the Trump-Russia morass. But despite the new developments — which involve Trump and Barr attempting to enlist foreign leaders’ help in investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe — the scandal remains straightforward.

President Trump has turned American foreign policy into an extortion racket, abusing his powers to goad foreign leaders into persecuting his domestic rivals and improve his political standing. The proof for this in the case of Ukraine is irrefutable. The other news stories are supporting evidence that Trump has systematically twisted US foreign policy into a tool for furthering his 2020 reelection bid. The elegant simplicity of this narrative, the way in which it neatly encapsulates so many things wrong with the Trump presidency, is what gives these allegations the potential to bring this administration down. It is important not to let the seeming complexity and international breadth of what’s happening get in your way, in part because confusion and apathy are the White House’s best hope for containing the fallout from recent revelations.

Don’t let the flurry of news confuse you: This a clear, straightforward, and politically devastating scandal. Eye on the ball: We know that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden on the basis of a debunked nonsense allegation during a July phone call — and then tried to cover it up. We know this because of a federal whistleblower complaint, citing testimony from a number of officials who heard the call and witnessed the White House’s attempts to hide it by moving the call transcript to a server designed for classified information. We know the whistleblower is correct because of a call summary released by the White House, as well as a White House statement admitting the call transcript was transferred to a classified server. These basic facts are all you really need to know to understand the Ukraine scandal: The president of the United States asking for “a favor” (his words) from a foreign leader — an intervention in the 2020 US election on his behalf. His administration then hid this fact by using powers of classification that were designed to protect state secrets, not politically damaging information. This is an abuse of power, and we know it happened. more...

Whistleblower alleges White House coverup

By Meg Wagner, Amanda Wills and Mike Hayes, CNN

Fact check: Maguire’s rationale for not sending the whistleblower complaint to Congress within 7 days. During the hearing, Democratic members have pressed Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire on why he did not provide the whistleblower complaint to the committee within the seven-day period required by law. As the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 states, if the Inspector General determines that the complaint is credible and of urgent concern then the DNI “shall, within 7 calendar days…forward such transmittal to the intelligence committees.” The IG determined the complaint was credible on August 26.

Yet Maguire didn’t provide it to Congress until Wednesday night, September 25 -- almost a month later. Maguire claimed that because the complaint involved the President, he was required to work with the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel to determine if there was content protected by executive privilege in the complaint. "It appeared that it also had matters of executive privilege," Maguire told the committee. On September 24, the OLC issued an opinion refuting the IG’s determination that the whistleblower’s complaint was of urgent concern. Maguire said that while the complaint was forwarded to the FBI, he was attempting to work out executive privilege concerns. But the law says nothing about the President or the OLC having authority to stop or slow the complaint from being sent to the intelligence committees. more...

New York prosecutors blast DOJ filing in lawsuit over tax return subpoena

By Naomi Jagoda

The Manhattan district attorney's office on Thursday blasted the Department of Justice (DOJ) for siding with President Trump in a lawsuit over a subpoena for the president's tax returns. The DOJ on Wednesday filed a court document that agreed with Trump that the lawsuit belongs in federal court. The DOJ also called for enforcement of the subpoena to be temporarily blocked if necessary while the court considers Trump's constitutional claims. But the district attorney's office said in its new filing that DOJ's document "ignores the reality" underlying Trump's lawsuit. "In short, the Plaintiffs only goal in this litigation, now supported by the DOJ itself, is to obtain as much delay as possible, through litigation, stays, and appeals," prosecutors with the district attorney's office wrote.

The district attorney's office in late August issued a subpoena to Trump's accounting firm for the president's personal and business tax returns and financial records. The subpoena is part of a grand jury investigation into payments made ahead of the 2016 presidential election to women who claim they had affairs with Trump. In September, Trump's personal lawyers filed a lawsuit against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. (D) and the president's accounting firm, Mazars USA, in an effort to block the subpoena. The DOJ weighed in Wednesday. In its filing on Thursday, the district attorney's office argued that it could be harmed by delaying enforcement of the subpoena because any postponement "will likely result in the expiration of the statutes of limitation that would apply to some of the transactions at issue in the grand jury investigation." The district attorney's office also took issue with the DOJ's argument that Trump should receive interim relief to prevent him from being irreparably harmed.

The New York prosecutors argued that Trump wouldn't be harmed if asked to comply with the subpoena, because there's no risk that his tax returns would be published under grand jury secrecy rules and because there's isn't anything "sacrosanct" about a president's tax returns. The district attorney's office also disputed the DOJ's arguments that the case belongs in federal court. The New York prosecutors reiterated that they think the case should be dismissed and that a legal challenge to their subpoena should be brought in state court. Trump's personal lawyers argue in the president's lawsuit that Trump can't be criminally investigated while in office. The DOJ didn't say in its filing Wednesday whether it agreed with that position.  However, the district attorney's office argued that through its filing, the DOJ "has elected to insert itself into this private lawsuit to support the Plaintiffs extravagant claim that, given his current position, he and all of his prior business associates and related companies are immune, not just from prosecution, but from any routine grand jury inquiry into transactions undertaken before he was a government employee." more...

How many of Trump's minions will go down with him: Bill Barr? Mick Mulvaney? Possibly Mike Pence?

How deeply is Bill Barr entangled in Ukraine mess? Has he forgotten the rule that whatever Trump touches dies?
By Sophia Tesfaye

It’s hard to recall anything that Donald Trump has touched which initially looked bad but eventually turned out to be nothing. With Trump, things are always worse than they appear. Throughout his recent career, that has usually ended up hurting those closest to Trump more than the president himself. If that pattern holds true in the growing Ukraine scandal, then several top members of Trump’s administration should be worried right now. This is likely to get real messy before it ends.

While attempting to defend himself from accusations that he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid during at least one phone call — a reconstructed transcript, or "memo" of which was released on Wednesday — Trump gratuitously dragged his vice president into the middle of his mess. "I think you should ask for VP Pence's conversation because he had a couple of conversations also," Trump told reporters during a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations summit. "I could save you a lot of time. They were all perfect. Nothing was mentioned of any import other than congratulations."

Of course, Trump previously described his own call with Zelensky as "perfect.” An aide to the Ukrainian president has since told ABC News that “it was clear that Trump will only have communications if they will discuss the Biden case.” Earlier this month, Pence met with Zelensky and promised to relay to Trump just how hard Ukraine was working to fight corruption — a term Trump has repeatedly used to explain his interest in getting Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who was formerly employed by a Ukrainian gas company. When Pence was asked if U.S. aid was being held up over Ukraine’s failure to investigate Biden, he acknowledged that “as President Trump had me make clear, we have great concerns about issues of corruption.” A week after Pence met with Zelensky, U.S. military aid was finally released to Ukraine. more...

Whistleblower complaint is out: It alleges Trump abused power to influence 2020 election

by Jacob Pramuk

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released a redacted version of the whistleblower complaint that has embroiled President Donald Trump in an impeachment inquiry and clouded his political future.The nine-page document details an “urgent concern” that the president is “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.” It not only details Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president during which he asked his counterpart to investigate the Biden family, but also alleges administration efforts to “lock down” records of the conversation.

The complaint, based on the accounts of more than half a dozen U.S. officials, implicates more than Trump. It calls his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani a “central figure” in the effort and says Attorney General William Barr “appears to be involved as well.” Concerns that the document would show Trump trying to get a foreign state to investigate one of his chief political rivals — and accusations that the White House improperly stonewalled efforts to see it — led House Democrats to accuse the president of abusing his power. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that the chamber would start impeachment proceedings into Trump, alleging a “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of integrity of our elections.” Shortly after the document’s release, Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified about the complaint at the House Intelligence Committee.

Members of congressional intelligence panels had a chance to review the document Wednesday. In a statement Thursday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said, “Nothing has changed with the release of this complaint, which is nothing more than a collection of third-hand accounts of events and cobbled-together press clippings—all of which shows nothing improper.” She said the president released a memorandum summarizing the call Wednesday “because he has nothing to hide.” more...

How many of Trump's minions will go down with him: Bill Barr? Mick Mulvaney? Possibly Mike Pence?

How deeply is Bill Barr entangled in Ukraine mess? Has he forgotten the rule that whatever Trump touches dies?
By Sophia Tesfaye

It’s hard to recall anything that Donald Trump has touched which initially looked bad but eventually turned out to be nothing. With Trump, things are always worse than they appear. Throughout his recent career, that has usually ended up hurting those closest to Trump more than the president himself. If that pattern holds true in the growing Ukraine scandal, then several top members of Trump’s administration should be worried right now. This is likely to get real messy before it ends.

While attempting to defend himself from accusations that he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid during at least one phone call — a reconstructed transcript, or "memo" of which was released on Wednesday — Trump gratuitously dragged his vice president into the middle of his mess. "I think you should ask for VP Pence's conversation because he had a couple of conversations also," Trump told reporters during a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations summit. "I could save you a lot of time. They were all perfect.

Nothing was mentioned of any import other than congratulations." Of course, Trump previously described his own call with Zelensky as "perfect.” An aide to the Ukrainian president has since told ABC News that “it was clear that Trump will only have communications if they will discuss the Biden case.” Earlier this month, Pence met with Zelensky and promised to relay to Trump just how hard Ukraine was working to fight corruption — a term Trump has repeatedly used to explain his interest in getting Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who was formerly employed by a Ukrainian gas company. When Pence was asked if U.S. aid was being held up over Ukraine’s failure to investigate Biden, he acknowledged that “as President Trump had me make clear, we have great concerns about issues of corruption.” A week after Pence met with Zelensky, U.S. military aid was finally released to Ukraine. more...

Whistleblower complaint is out: It alleges Trump abused power to influence 2020 election

by Jacob Pramuk

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released a redacted version of the whistleblower complaint that has embroiled President Donald Trump in an impeachment inquiry and clouded his political future.The nine-page document details an “urgent concern” that the president is “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.” It not only details Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president during which he asked his counterpart to investigate the Biden family, but also alleges administration efforts to “lock down” records of the conversation.

The complaint, based on the accounts of more than half a dozen U.S. officials, implicates more than Trump. It calls his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani a “central figure” in the effort and says Attorney General William Barr “appears to be involved as well.” Concerns that the document would show Trump trying to get a foreign state to investigate one of his chief political rivals — and accusations that the White House improperly stonewalled efforts to see it — led House Democrats to accuse the president of abusing his power.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that the chamber would start impeachment proceedings into Trump, alleging a “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of integrity of our elections.” Shortly after the document’s release, Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified about the complaint at the House Intelligence Committee. Members of congressional intelligence panels had a chance to review the document Wednesday. In a statement Thursday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said, “Nothing has changed with the release of this complaint, which is nothing more than a collection of third-hand accounts of events and cobbled-together press clippings—all of which shows nothing improper.” She said the president released a memorandum summarizing the call Wednesday “because he has nothing to hide.” more...

Administration blocks ‘urgent’ whistleblower disclosure

By MARY CLARE JALONICK and LISA MASCARO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration plunged into an extraordinary showdown with Congress over access to a whistleblower’s complaint about reported incidents including a private conversation between President Donald Trump and a foreign leader. The blocked complaint is “serious” and “urgent,” the government’s intelligence watchdog said. The administration is keeping Congress from even learning what exactly the whistleblower is alleging, but the intelligence community’s inspector general said the matter involves the “most significant” responsibilities of intelligence leadership.

A lawmaker said the complaint was “based on a series of events.” The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Thursday that at least part of the complaint involves Ukraine. The newspapers cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The Associated Press has not confirmed the reports. The inspector general appeared before the House intelligence committee behind closed doors Thursday but declined, under administration orders, to reveal to members the substance of the complaint. The standoff raises fresh questions about the extent to which Trump’s allies are protecting the Republican president from oversight and, specifically, if his new acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, is working with the Justice Department to shield the president from the reach of Congress.

Trump, though giving no details about any incident, denied Thursday that he would ever “say something inappropriate” on such a call. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he was prepared to go to court to try to force the Trump administration to open up about the complaint. “The inspector general has said this cannot wait,” said Schiff, describing the administration’s blockade as an unprecedented departure from law. “There’s an urgency here that I think the courts will recognize.” Schiff said he, too, could not confirm whether newspaper reports were accurate because the administration was claiming executive privilege in withholding the complaint. But letters from the inspector general to the committee released Thursday said it was an “urgent” matter of “serious or flagrant abuse” that must be shared with lawmakers. more...

Transcript of Trump's call with Ukrainian president shows him offering U.S. assistance for Biden investigation

By Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky, Carol D. Leonnig and Josh Dawsey, The Washington Post

President Donald Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart to work with the U.S. attorney general to investigate the conduct of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and offered to meet with the foreign leader at the White House after he promised to conduct such an inquiry, according to a newly released transcript of the call. Those statements and others in a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were so concerning that the intelligence community inspector general thought them a possible violation of campaign finance law. In late August, intelligence officials referred the matter to the Justice Department as a possible crime, but prosecutors concluded last week that the conduct was not criminal, according to senior Justice Department officials.

The administration's disclosures underscore how the president's phone call has consumed the federal government in recent days, and how the White House is now scrambling to defuse the situation by offering more details of what the president said. White House officials said the transcript does not show the president seeking an investigation of Biden's son in exchange for providing aid to Ukraine. When the president reminds Zelensky of how the United States helps Ukraine, Zelensky responds that he appreciates the tough sanctions the United States has imposed on Russia. On Wednesday, the administration released a White House transcript of the call and detailed behind-the-scenes discussions about how to handle the accusations.

As public reports emerged about the call and pressure mounted to impeach the president, prosecutors quietly considered whether they should again investigate whether the president committed a crime. They declined to do so. The call begins with Trump congratulating Zelensky on his election victory, but quickly devolves into the president pressing for an investigation of his political rivals and endorsing an apparent conspiracy theory. He seems to suggest Hillary Clinton's private email server is in Ukraine and asserts that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation started with that country.

"I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it," Trump says, according to the transcript. He adds later: "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. . . . It sounds horrible to me." Zelensky replied that "my candidate" for the prosecutor job "will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue." At the outset of the call, Trump also asks for Ukraine's help in finding the location of the Democratic National Committee server that U.S. officials say was hacked by Russian intelligence in the run-up to the 2016 election. "The server, they say Ukraine has it," Trump says according to the transcript. "I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it." more...

White House also involved in advising DNI not to share whistleblower complaint

By Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, Kevin Liptak and Manu Raju, CNN

(CNN) - The White House and the Justice Department have advised the nation's top intelligence agency that a controversial complaint involving President Donald Trump isn't governed by laws covering intelligence whistleblowers, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The revelation is the first known evidence of the White House's involvement in the standoff between Congress and the intelligence agency. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said he didn't know whether the White House was involved.

So far, the director of national intelligence has not allowed lawmakers access to the complaint, which earlier a source familiar with the case said was prompted by communication Trump had with a foreign leader. Trump responded to the reports Thursday, tweeting he would never "say something inappropriate" on a phone call with a foreign counterpart. The episode -- with its potential for explosive information about the President -- has created new resentments between the administration and Capitol Hill, and cast a sense of mystery about the precise nature of the complaint across Washington. In a closed-door briefing Thursday, the intelligence inspector general suggested that the whistleblower had concerns about multiple actions, sources familiar with the briefing told CNN.

The watchdog did not say specifically all the acts of concern involved the President, the sources indicated, with one saying the IG referenced "a sequence of events" and "alleged actions" that took place. The White House Counsel's office and Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel have both been involved in discussing the complaint with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which has refused to reveal the nature of it to Congress. In explaining their position, ODNI has suggested there is a question of privilege. The agency wrote in a letter to lawmakers on September 13 the complaint "involves confidential and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community." The letter ends by noting the agency would work toward "protecting Executive Branch confidentiality interests." The refusal to provide the information to lawmakers has enraged Democrats, who emerged from a closed-door briefing with the agency's watchdog on Thursday accusing the administration of suppressing potentially damaging information.

"There is an effort to prevent this information from getting to Congress," Schiff said. The California Democrat and other lawmakers said neither the nature nor the specific details of the complaint were revealed during the closed session. Previously, the White House has cited longstanding precedent in refusing congressional requests for documents related to Trump's meetings with foreign leaders, including his Russian counterpart. "It is settled law that the Constitution entrusts the conduct of foreign relations exclusively to the Executive Branch, as it makes the President 'the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations,' " White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter to Democrats in May. The complaint had spurred a standoff between Congress and Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence. more...

White House advised DNI not to share whistleblower complaint

They said it's 'outside intelligence activities'
By: Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, Kevin Liptak and Manu Raju, CNN  

(CNN) - The White House and the Justice Department have advised the nation's top intelligence agency that a controversial complaint involving President Donald Trump isn't governed by laws covering intelligence whistleblowers, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The revelation is the first known evidence of the White House's involvement in the standoff between Congress and the intelligence agency. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said he didn't know whether the White House was involved.

So far, the director of national intelligence has not allowed lawmakers access to the complaint, which earlier a source familiar with the case said was prompted by communication Trump had with a foreign leader. Trump responded to the reports Thursday, tweeting he would never "say something inappropriate" on a phone call with a foreign counterpart. The episode -- with its potential for explosive information about the President -- has created new resentments between the administration and Capitol Hill, and cast a sense of mystery about the precise nature of the complaint across Washington. In a closed-door briefing Thursday, the intelligence inspector general suggested that the whistleblower had concerns about multiple actions, sources familiar with the briefing told CNN.

The watchdog did not say specifically all the acts of concern involved the President, the sources indicated, with one saying the IG referenced "a sequence of events" and "alleged actions" that took place. The White House Counsel's office and Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel have both been involved in discussing the complaint with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which has refused to reveal the nature of it to Congress. more...

Trump: My Crimes Can’t Be Investigated While I’m President

The president’s latest attempt to keep his tax returns hidden is a novel one.
By Bess Levin

As you may or may not have heard, Donald Trump refused to release his tax returns while running for president, claiming, falsely, that an audit prevented him from doing so but that the public would see them just as soon as he got the green light. Two years and 242 days after moving into the White House that, of course, has not happened. Instead, Trump has sicced his Treasury secretary, attorney general, and various personal lawyers on anyone attempting to get their hands on the information, in a manner suggesting the details within could make a person look quite bad. Typically, Trump’s attorneys have argued that such requests, like the ones from various House committees, constitute “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT” or supposedly lack “a legitimate legislative purpose.”

On Thursday, though, they came up with a novel new argument: It’s illegal to investigate a sitting president for any crimes he may have committed. In a lawsuit filed today against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who recently subpoenaed eight years of Trump’s tax returns to determine if the Trump Organization falsified business records relating to Stormy Daniels payments, the president’s lawyers claim such a request is unconstitutional because the founding fathers believed sitting presidents should not be subject to the criminal process. “The framers of our Constitution understood that state and local prosecutors would be tempted to criminally investigate the president to advance their own careers and to advance their political agendas,” the suit reads. “And they likewise understood that having to defend against these actions would distract the president from his constitutional duties.” Strangely, actual legal experts aren’t entirely convinced of this argument.

“Even assuming that the president cannot be indicted while in office, it does not follow that his business and associates are likewise immune from investigation,” Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor, told Bloomberg. “The complaint makes light of the idea that ruling in their favor would elevate the president above the law, but it certainly seems as if the president views himself as above the law.” Vance, who agreed not to enforce the subpoena—issued to Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA—until a scheduled September 25 hearing, is investigating if executives at the Trump Organization filed false business records concerning hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who both claim to have had affairs with Trump, charges he, naturally, denies. The president’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, admitted to arranging the hush money payments and released audio of him discussing the Daniels payment with Trump. more...

Trump Demands Staff Break Any Laws Necessary to Get Wall Built by 2020

The president has reportedly told staff he’ll just pardon them.
By Bess Levin

As you might have heard once or twice, Donald Trump kicked off his bid for the presidency by proclaiming that he was going to build a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. Unfortunately for the supporters who voted for him based on that pledge, construction on the barrier hasn’t exactly panned out as the president promised, in that virtually none of it has been built, due to a combination of factors like Mexico shockingly declining to finance the thing, Democrats refusing to provide the billions in funding, environmental concerns, and logistical issues like people living where Trump wants the fencing to go. Sure, the president could just lie about the wall being built already, which he has many times.

But he really wants to make good on an ineffectual passion project that the base can point to like a beacon of hope for racists. So he’s got a new plan to get it done in time for 2020: Break the law. Honestly, it’s so simple he’s probably kicking himself for not having thought of it sooner. The Washington Post reports that the president has “directed aides to fast-track billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, aggressively seize private land, and disregard environmental rules, according to current and former officials involved with the project.” In the coming weeks, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is expected to approve the White House’s request to reroute $3.6 billion in Pentagon funds to the project, money that the president decided to divert from apparently less important Defense Department projects after lawmakers refused to pony up $5 billion.

When staffers have nervously suggested that Trump’s demands are unworkable or illegal, the president has apparently told them not to worry because he’ll pardon everyone who helps him get this thing done, and has “waved off worries about contracting procedures and the use of eminent domain, saying ‘take the land,’” according to officials who sat in on the meetings. more...

‘Conspiracy, extortion and bribery’: Ex-prosecutor ticks off crimes Trump and Rudy may have committed with Ukraine gambit

By Matthew Chapman

On MSNBC Saturday, former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah laid out all the ways that President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani could be breaking federal law with their apparent scheme to push Ukraine into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. “Extortion, conspiracy to engage in extortion, and violating federal election law,” said host Alex Witt. “Do you agree with all those premises?” “I do, Alex, and I would add one to that, which is federal bribery,” said Rocah. “Here, Trump essentially was trying to get the Ukrainian president to bribe him, give him information about his political opponent in exchange for aid to the country.

So, that is soliciting a bribe. And you know, look, we can get into this more. Obviously, this is my area of expertise, whether something violates federal criminal laws, but I do worry that we’re going down a path that we went down with the Mueller investigation, because for the president of the United States, that is not the standard.” “I think Rudy Giuliani should be investigated,” she continued. “I don’t know if this Department of Justice is independent enough to do that. He is a private citizen, though. He can be prosecuted. The president we know cannot be prosecuted, but this is something that Congress must take action on now. And one other point with respect to what you were saying in the prior conversation with the other panelists.” “You know, this isn’t about what Joe Biden’s son did or didn’t do,” added Rocah.

“There are avenues to investigate United States citizens through a process known as mutual legal assistance treaties. The Department of Justice does it all the time. If there is reason for a U.S. citizen to be investigated and the aid of another country is needed, there are proper channels to do that through, and they don’t include the president of the United States calling up the leader of another country and demanding it in exchange for foreign aid. I think we’re going down a rabbit hole there.” “What kind of hot water could Rudy Giuliani be in for having gone over, and potentially at the president’s behest, have these conversations with the Ukrainian president and leadership?” Witt pressed her. more...

If Whistleblower Is Right, Trump May Have Committed Extortion and Bribery

The president supposedly dangled millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine in exchange for Kiev investigating Joe Biden. That looks a lot like old-fashioned corruption.
By Barbara McQuade

If the latest allegations about President Donald Trump’s conversations with the leader of Ukraine are true, his conduct may constitute a garden-variety public corruption crime: extortion and bribery. The Washington Post has reported that the subject of an intelligence community whistleblower’s complaint relates to a “promise” made by Trump in a conversation with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. Further reporting indicates that the conversation amounted to a threat to withhold $250 million in military aid to Ukraine unless Zelensky investigates the family of Joe Biden, who is of course running to unseat Trump in 2020. more...

Biden accuses Trump of ‘abuse of power’ in whistleblower scandal

By NATASHA KORECKI

DES MOINES, Iowa – An angered Joe Biden on Saturday accused President Donald Trump of “using every element of his presidency to try and smear me,” and called for an investigation into Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president. “You should be asking him the question: why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader?” Biden told reporters. “This appears to be an overwhelming abuse of power. To get on the phone with a foreign leader who is looking for help from the United States and ask about me and imply things … this is outrageous. You have never seen anything like this from any president.” The Biden campaign is pushing back strongly against the president's claims that as vice president he demanded Ukraine fire a state prosecutor who was investigating a gas company where Biden's son held a board position. Multiple news organizations this week reported that Trump had repeatedly pressed Ukrainian authorities to investigate the allegations in a phone call. "Any article, segment, analysis and commentary that does not demonstrably state at the outset that there is no factual basis for Trump’s claims, and in fact that they are wholly discredited, is misleading readers and viewers," the campaign said in a statement. During the gaggle, Biden grew irate, pointing his finger at a reporter who asked the former vice president if he had ever spoken to his son about his overseas business dealings. Biden said he hadn’t. “You should be looking at Trump,” Biden said. “Everybody looked at this and everybody who’s looked at it said there’s nothing there. Ask the right question.” Biden briefly spoke to whether the episode was a possible preview of a general election battle against Trump. more...  


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