I agree with Devin Nunes’ closing comments on the second day of the impeachment investigation, with one caveat. The Impeachment Proceeding is Not the embarrassment or “Performance Art.” It is Nunes’ own behavior and that of his Republican colleagues, that is the performance, although not very artful. Their “logical” gymnastics supporting, rationalizing, and furthering of Donald J. Trump’s behavior, actions, and vile utterances, That IS THE American EMBARRASSMENT. And that is shamefully, sycophantically corrupt.
The arguments the Republicans proffer is that Trump withheld Ukraine military aid and a White House meeting with the Ukrainian newly elected president because he was concerned that the new Ukrainian administration might be against Trump and/or corrupt is absurd. On one hand, they tout and contrast the fact that Trump gave Ukraine lethal military aid, including javelin anti-tank weapons, to the previous Ukrainian administration before President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected — you know, the individuals and administration that was in power when the Republicans argue the Ukrainian actors maligned candidate Trump and favored Candidate Hillary Clinton, and are supposedly responsible for hacking the 2016 election and Trump’s campaign. Yet apparently Trump knew all this, but did not withhold military aid from Ukraine at that point. The question is why? Why wasn’t corruption and alleged anti-Trumpism a concern to Trump and his cronies then? Context is everything.
Trump has demonstrated time after time that he does nothing for anyone unless it benefits his ego’s infinitely bottomless black hole, or his financial interests. He has also proven time and again that as soon as anyone or anything challenges his ego, his own counsel (as a “stable genius”), or jeopardizes his criminal or financial liability, Trump quickly distances himself, denies knowing individuals, has memory failures, and maligns, slanders and attempts to intimidate those he perceives as threats and unilaterally disloyal to his personal aims, ideas and decisions.
“I’m the most transparent president in history.” Trump, Nov 15, 2019. Really? Who said he would release his tax returns, and hasn’t? Who has continued to legally seek to block the release of his tax returns? Who has continued to legally seek to block the release of his financial records, despite his own claims he would, eventually? Was Trump being transparent when he lied about his affair with Stormy Daniels and the illegal hush money payments to her and another woman, affairs he had when he was married to another woman, Melania, and when Melania had just given birth to their son, Baron? Was he transparent with his wife, Melania?
If Trump is “the most transparent president in history,” then why aren’t the officials who Trump and his administration have blocked from testifying to Congress, allowed to testify?; unless their testimony would either force those individuals to make a choice to tell the truth (the paragon of transparency) or lie to Congress and perjure themselves, jeopardizing their personal culpability and freedom. It is absurd and destroys any logical or factual credulity to believe Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, EU Ambassador Gordon D. Sondland, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, former Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, Vice President Pence, or anyone else did any of these things on their own motivation or direction? Things we KNOW were done and said by Trump on the phone call, as published by the White House with Trump’s approval (“a perfect phone call”) as representative of what was said on the phone call (NOT an actual transcript as defined in a non-partisan dictionary).
Trump’s “ethical” mental framework (if you can call it that), evidenced by his personal and business behaviors and actions prior to becoming president, and his personal and official behavior as President (that we know about) are a contradiction of his assertion of being “…the most transparent president in history.” Trump has demonstrably lied to and about his two ex-wives, and to his present wife, Melania. He has concealed his motives and the substance of his discussions with Vladimir Putin. President Trump’s discussion and disclosures to the Russian officials in the Oval Office May 19, 2017, that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him. “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.” Mr. Trump disparaged Comey to Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, in the Oval Office, along with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak. He also disclosed classified information, obtained from Israel, to the Russians. There was no transparency about this — the meeting was publicized by Russian media, the only media present at this Oval Office meeting. These disclosures were only leaked afterwards.
I worked in law enforcement for 37 years, studying and investigating criminal behavior, activities and strategies that a wide variety of criminal minds conjure in their efforts to continue, conceal, rationalize, and justify their crimes to their families, friends, law enforcement and themselves. None of them possessed the power, influence or wealth of Trump. Mob bosses, corporations and some politicians of all stripes often wield power, influence and financial resources approaching that of a U.S. President. Some command dangerous, lethal, illegal, and extralegal abilities. I have never personally investigated mob bosses, corporations or political figures. But I have studied these types of cases when I became aware of in news media reporting and the frequent briefing papers those of us routinely receive in law enforcement concerning major crimes, intelligence items, and since 911, terrorism. Petty criminals, liars, and those of guilty conscience, even those with corrupt intent or criminal behavior within law enforcement possess recognizable, familiar, and similar behaviors, actions and rationalizations.
It continues to astound me that many people in law enforcement are unable, or unwilling, to recognize the traits of Donald Trump and his cronies which have been readily apparent before he ever became president, and have only become more brazen as Trump has felt emboldened by the people around him who have failed to competently hold him accountable, including many of those members in Congress charged with restraining a president’s worst or illegal impulses, thoughts, and actions — in fact many of them participating in covering up or rationalizing his actions, bordering, in my opinion, on a conspiracy to protect Trump’s immoral, unethical, and often illegal misdeeds and actions, a violation of their oath to the United States Constitution. An act of Treason against the United States and the American people, which Trump’s fond of loosely accusing many patriotic witnesses against his corruption.