What Now ?! – 4/20/19

Andrew Sullivan: “To refuse to use the one weapon the Founders gave us to remove such a character from office is more than cowardice. It is complicity. It is a surrender to forces which aim to make the world safe for authoritarianism. It may not work. But if we acquiesce, pretend it isn’t happening, or look away, it cannot work. This disgusting man is not just a cancer in the presidency. His presidency is a cancer in our Constitution and way of life. How long do we let this metastasize even further? How long before we take a stand? Mueller has given us the roadmap. He has done his duty. Now it’s our turn to do ours: ‘to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’”

“There is no qualification in that oath of citizenship.”

“The Trump administration on Tuesday took another drastic step to discourage migrants from seeking asylum, issuing an order that could keep thousands of them in jail indefinitely while they wait for a resolution of their asylum request,” the New York Times reports. “In an effort to deliver on President Trump’s promise to end ‘catch and release’ at the border, Attorney General William P. Barr’s order directed immigration judges to no longer allow some migrants who have sought asylum from posting bail.”

“The order will not go into effect for 90 days, and is all but certain to be challenged in federal court.”

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is planning to leave the Trump administration, but his departure is not imminent, Reuters reports.

New York Times: “The White House that emerges from more than 400 pages of Mr. Mueller’s report is a hotbed of conflict infused by a culture of dishonesty — defined by a president who lies to the public and his own staff, then tries to get his aides to lie for him.”

Washington Post: “The vivid portrait that emerges from Mueller’s 448-page report is of a presidency plagued by paranoia, insecurity and scheming — and of an inner circle gripped by fear of Trump’s spasms. Again and again, Trump frantically pressured his aides to lie to the public, deny true news stories and fabricate a false record.”

NBC News reports there was a second offer of help from the Russians “to provide negative information about candidate Clinton to the Trump Campaign,” included in the Mueller report, but the particulars are redacted because the matter remains under investigation.

“That may or may not relate to something that happened with Trump associate Roger Stone, who was absent from the report because he has been accused of lying to the FBI and the case is still pending.”

Greg Sargent: “As the political world digests the shocking scale of corruption, misconduct and skirting of criminality detailed in the Mueller report, Democrats have been pushing back on the idea that it’s time to initiate an inquiry into the impeachment of President Trump.”

“But there’s a key tell lurking in all this pushback: Democrats are not seriously arguing that all the misconduct that has now come to light does not merit an impeachment inquiry.”

“This is creating a situation that’s shaping up as a moral and political disaster. Yet there’s no indication that Democrats are reckoning with the problems this poses. This, even though the basic dynamics of the situation strongly suggest that initiating an inquiry will grow harder to resist over time, not easier.”

Garrett Graff: “If Donald Trump isn’t guilty of obstruction of justice, who ever could be?”

President Trump on Friday lashed out over special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report a day after declaring the report cleared him of collusion and obstruction, claiming some statements about him in the document “are total bullshit,” The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “Watch out for people that take so-called ‘notes,’ when the notes never existed until needed. Because I never agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the ‘Report’ about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad).”

He added: “This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened.”

“Complete and total exoneration” is now “total bullshit.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) called for the resignation of Attorney General William Barr, after Barr’s news conference before releasing the Mueller report, MSNBC reports.

Said Swalwell: “He’s lost the credibility of the American people…he’s embedded deeply in to the Trump team and that affects the credibility that the attorney general must have.”

After a grand jury indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, Manafort told Gates that it was stupid to plead because he had spoken to the president’s personal attorney and they were “going to take care of us,” the Washington Post reports.

Gates, who cooperated with Mueller, told investigators that Manafort told him that he thought they should “sit tight” and “we’ll be taken care of.”

George Conway: “As for Trump’s supposed defense that there was no underlying “collusion” crime, well, as the special counsel points out, it’s not a defense, even in a criminal prosecution. But it’s actually unhelpful in the comparison to Watergate. The underlying crime in Watergate was a clumsy, third-rate burglary in an election campaign that turned out to be a landslide.”

“The investigation that Trump tried to interfere with here, to protect his own personal interests, was in significant part an investigation of how a hostile foreign power interfered with our democracy. If that’s not putting personal interests above a presidential duty to the nation, nothing is.”

“White House counsel John Dean famously told Nixon that there was a cancer within the presidency and that it was growing. What the Mueller report disturbingly shows, with crystal clarity, is that today there is a cancer in the presidency: President Donald J. Trump.”

“Congress now bears the solemn constitutional duty to excise that cancer without delay.”

The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed the full Muller report following the release of a redacted version on Thursday by the Justice Department,” the Washington Post reports. “The fight over the Mueller report is expected to land in the courts.”

First Read: “Any of those items, taken alone, would seem earth-shattering if they were suddenly being revealed by Mueller’s team for the first time.”

“But we’ve known the broad contours of that behavior for so long, either because it leaked (like Trump ordering Don McGahn to fire Mueller, but backing off when he threatened to resign), or because Trump said it aloud (like his tweets about his displeasure with Jeff Sessions or his professed enthusiasm for Wikileaks)”

“So, many of the most damning parts of the report were things we already knew. But seeing them all in one place is a reminder of this administration’s crisis of credibility. With so many instances of misleading the press and the public, it’s hard to see how this White House ever gets the benefit of the doubt — on anything — again.”

“If this was any person other than the president of the United States, I can say as a former prosecutor, this would be a knock down for obstruction. I’ve charged and convicted on obstruction of justice based on a fraction of this evidence.” — Former prosecutor Elie Honig, interviewed on CNN.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) “tried to two-step his way out of a political cow-pie, claiming a Staten Island firefighter who survived 9/11 conspired with his local congressman to stain the former Navy Seal officer’s reputation,” the New York Daily News reports.

“Crenshaw found himself boots-deep in controversy after retired FDNY firefighter Rob Serra claimed the Houston Republican snubbed him in the hallway on Capitol Hill, where survivors of the terror attacks lobbied lawmakers on a bill to renew a federal fund to help first responders and their families.”

Said Crenshaw: “He’s conspiring with Max Rose. There’s a more malicious underlying motive here I think. This accusation is a nefarious attempt to undermine me because I spoke out against Omar. It’s highly dishonest.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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