It took no time at all for Turkish President Erdoğan to begin implementation of his plan to attack the Kurdish troops in Syria. Two days, I believe. Today, Turkey launched airstrikes and fired artillery across its border into northeastern Syria. This, Donald Trump, is what you have done …Already, two civilians have been killed and others wounded. There will be many more innocent people who will die or be injured, and the blood of those people is on the hands of Donald Trump. These were people who were going about their lives, minding their own business, hurting nobody. They were our allies, until Monday when Trump betrayed them.
It is a complex situation that Trump does not comprehend, that even those who are scholars in Middle-Eastern affairs often find confusing. But, Trump sold out for some favour from Erdoğan and now the U.S. has sent a clear warning to all of our allies that we are not to be trusted, that we may turn on them any day, with no notice.
I really didn’t want to talk about or even mention the impeachment issue today, but to ignore it would be to ignore the elephant in the room, for it looms larger than life. Yesterday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi and the chairmen of the various committees conducting the investigations in the House of Representatives. An eight-page letter, as it were. I have muddled through about half of it so far, and a more pompous letter I have never read. What he had to say could have been said in a single paragraph.
In a nutshell, Cipollone, acting as Trump’s mouthpiece, says that the impeachment process is unconstitutional and that nobody in the Trump administration will cooperate in any way, shape, or form. Duh … leave it to a lawyer to take up 8 pages to say that. But, most of it was hateful, arrogant verbiage attempting to defend the indefensible and criticize all those who would wish to hold Trump accountable for his actions.
But wait … it gets even better.
Since there is precedent for impeaching a corrupt, lying, cheating president, the Department of Justice is now claiming that Nixon’s impeachment was unconstitutional and that the courts in 1974 were wrong to approve the release of Watergate documents to Congress during the impeachment inquiry. This came when Beryl Howell, chief judge for the U.S. District Court, indicated that she may rule in favour of giving the House Democrats access to certain of the redacted parts of the Mueller report. The judge asked the Justice Department to explain its “extraordinary position” of trying to block lawmakers from seeing the special counsel’s grand jury materials, which include testimony and evidence that has been kept private since the Mueller probe ended in March.
Elizabeth Shapiro, a deputy director in the DOJ civil division, argued that if the same Watergate road map arose today, there’d be a “different result” because the law has changed since 1974. She said the judge wouldn’t be able to do the same thing absent changes to the grand jury rules and statutes. The judge was stunned, saying only “Wow. Okay.” Hopefully she will find her voice soon.
Let’s put this in context here. President Bill Clinton was impeached because he lied to Congress about a consensual affair with a staffer. Period. Nothing more. But Donald Trump has twice … not once, but at least twice that we are aware of … sought favours from foreign governments to unfairly influence our elections. And, whereas Clinton lied to Congress, Trump has done something much, much worse: he has lied to We the People … all 330 million of us.
And, on that note I find that I really don’t feel like writing any more, and so I will leave you with Stephen Colbert’s latest take on it all.