“We Know Trump Is Guilty”
“The greatest conceit in public life today is the notion that we don’t already know President Trump is guilty. Guilty of what? Conspiring, by whatever level of directness, with a foreign power to win the Presidency and then continuing to cater to that foreign power either as payback for the assistance or out of fear of being exposed. In other words, collusion, a national betrayal that may break some statute laws but which far transcends them and isn’t in the past but is rather on-going…The relevant concept is consciousness of guilt…From the very beginning the President has used every power at his disposal to stop investigations into what happened…In ordinary life, such flagrant and on-going efforts to prevent the truth from coming out are a clear sign of guilt. We rightly demand a higher standard before the criminal law because that is about taking away someone’s liberty. That’s not the case here. We’re only talking about taking away or restraining the power we have given him to use on our behalf…Trump is guilty.”
– Josh Marshall, “We Know Trump Is Guilty. We’re Having a Hard Time Admitting It”, Talking Points Memo
Let’s cut to the chase. Whatever the details may be – and we can leave those to Mueller and to enterprising journalists – Trump is clearly, as Marshall notes, guilty. He’s also committed more impeachable offenses than you can count. And he’s defying his oath of office. Please, let’s stop pretending that we don’t know or aren’t sure or that the jury’s still out. It’s staring us in the face and we need to be willing to say so – and demand that level of truth from others, including our representatives and the press.
But that’s not all. It’s also crystal clear that there are no Republicans who will stand up to Trump or will try to stop him. They won’t even try to slow him down. As with Trump, you can look for and debate why, but what’s not up for debate is that it’s true. And, really, right now the why doesn’t much matter. They’re on his side and they’ll stay there. They will never “put country before party” or heed any appeals to their better selves. Whether they, in fact, have better selves is therefore beside the point.
So let’s drop the speculation, about Trump and his entire party, and acknowledge what is: they, together, are working to destroy our democracy, all that makes us America. We have to stop them. And we have just one chance.
is how long we have until that chance. Forecasters have gotten very busy in the last week or so, publishing their models of how likely we – the Democrats – are to take back the House and, possibly, the Senate. Things have continued to shift our way, with more districts considered in play. That’s great. But everything has to be seen in light of what will happen if we lose.
Trump is dismantling our government and attacking anyone and any institution that attempts to constrain him. He’s actively promoting Putin’s interests. And he’s packing the courts. Republicans, for their part, are working to disenfranchise voters that don’t support them. There won’t be a way back from the authoritarian state that Trump will impose if we don’t take back at least the House. This is why we have just one chance. Because if we lose, we won’t get another.
This isn’t someone else’s battle. It’s mine and it’s yours. It has to be, because of what’s on the line. We’re literally fighting for our lives as citizens of a free and just nation. Find a way to do all that you can. Look for electoral actions you can take – postcarding, phone banking, text banking, registering voters, canvassing, donating to campaigns – in the districts we must flip. Attend our August General Meeting and we’ll introduce you to teams doing each of these things. If you’re new to this, join the club. None of us has had to save our country before, but we’re doing it now. Join us. We can’t know what it will take, so we have to assume the answer is “everything we’ve got”.
In Other News
- Republicans continued to refuse to allow the normal release documents elucidating the history of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Instead, what’s being made available is being selected by Kavanaugh’s former clerk. What’s more, there’s concern that Kavanaugh may have lied previously in testimony to Congress. Nonetheless, Republicans are attempting to ram his nomination through starting in September.
- Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, who has been a relentless critic of Trump’s treasonous behavior. The president* is threatening to revoke the security clearances of other critics in the intelligence community, now that he’s gotten a taste for it. The reason is clear: he’s attempting to silence his critics at the expense of our national security. (The reason people like Brennan still have/had clearance is so that they can still help out when needed. Our nation is less safe now that Brennan has been shut out.) Retired Admiral William McRaven wrote a scathing op-ed piece, asking to have his clearance revoked, too. McRaven oversaw the successful attack on Bin-Laden.
- 565 migrant children still haven’t been reunited with their parents. The deadline was July 26th and the regime is making a mockery of it. I don’t know about you, but I think Secretaries Nielsen and Azar should be held in contempt and sitting in jail until all the kids are back safe where they belong. The damage being done to them will last their entire lives. Meanwhile, the regime continues to illegally deny asylum claims and had to be restrained from deporting families.
- Climate change research is being blocked by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s high school friend.
- Georgia is moving to close seven of the nine polling places in a black-majority county, claiming that they don’t meet ADA requirements. Randolph County is poor and without public transportation, which means closing polling places would make it impossible for many to vote. Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor would, if elected, be the nation’s first black female governor. Kinda makes you wonder why they don’t want the citizens of Randolph County to vote.
- Large parts of the western United States are, again, burning. We’re seeing higher average temperatures than ever before. Climate change is here with a vengeance and we’re running out of time. Which must be why the Trump regime is introducing a proposal which would let states set their own emissions limits for coal-fired plants. This is estimated to release 12x the carbon dioxide over the next decade than the current limits would allow.
- Trump's beloved military parade got postponed after it was reported that the cost had gone up 666%. Seriously. You can't make this stuff up. Evangelicals, ready to reconsider? Trump will go to a parade in France, instead, to get his supreme ruler fix.
- Lawyers rested their cases in the first of two trials for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, accused of money laundering and bank fraud. The jury deliberated for two days and will resume deliberations on Monday. The judge in the case didn’t sequester them, so they may well have become aware of Trump’s comments on Friday lamenting how unfairly Manafort is being treated. He just keeps interfering any way he can.
- The Times reported that White House counsel Douglas McGahn has been interviewed at length by Mueller’s investigative team. He was so forthcoming in part because Trump’s earlier lawyers allowed him to be, but also because he feared being set up as the “fall guy” by Trump. The counsel represents the presidency, not the person who happens to be president, so being completely forthcoming was the right thing to do. Still, Trump seems to have been taken by surprise.
- Trump’s “fixer” Michael Cohen appears to be on the verge of being charged with more than $20M in bank fraud. Stay tuned.
It’s now or never. Time to save our country. Join us at our General Meeting on August 27th to get started, or find an electoral action you can take on our Actions page. Let’s leave nothing to chance!
– Tom Benthin
A reminder: a key resource for tracking all the abnormal events from the past week of the Trump presidency is Amy Siskind’s Weekly List: theweeklylist.org .
Before the disaster of the 2016 election we could follow the events that affected our lives by checking the news or seeing occasional posts on Facebook. Since then, with Trump’s erratic, aggressive and autocratic behavior and the Republicans’ unceasing attacks on our government and their efforts to transfer ever more money from working Americans to the rich, it has become much more difficult – and more important – to find our way through the weekly onslaught of news. To get ourselves grounded in the facts and to prepare for the week of action ahead, we provide this weekly summary of critical events to help us cut through the distractions and stay focused and informed as we fight to preserve our democracy.