TRUMP WATCH: A Total Witch Hunt!
The Russia investigation is a “total” witch hunt, the just released House Intelligence Committee Report has confirmed it! Trump instantly and triumphantly tweeted the news:
Just Out: House Intelligence Committee Report released. “No evidence” that the Trump Campaign “colluded, coordinated or conspired with Russia.” Clinton Campaign paid for Opposition Research obtained from Russia- Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2018
More remarkably, he even saw fit to mention the “witch hunt” right at the start of the press conference he held with German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she arrived in Washington. This is extraordinary behavior. It is disrespectful to a major American ally, Germany: The press conference should have been all about the relationship between the two countries, there should have been no space for a personal rant about a “witch hunt”.
Worse, the concluding press conference when Angela Merkel left clearly shows that the differences between Germany and the United States are NOT mended. A “reciprocal relationship”? Trump, unable to leave behind his campaign mode, comes close to being insulting:
Source of video: Reuters 28 April 2018
But he was so happy to go on about the “witch hunt” that he couldn’t resist mentioning it again in his phoned-in interview with Fox & Friends.
It is very likely that Trump’s triumphalism is premature: The House Intelligence Committee Report is flimsy and patently guided by Republicans in Congress. In one word, a biased report that did not upturn anything new and proves nothing.
Is Trump afraid of the truth, is that why he is going on a “rampage on Twitter” and whenever he gets a chance to talk to the press to defend himself? Many Democrats think so.
The House Intelligence Committee Report Cannot Stop the “Witch Hunt”
It cannot stop the on-going investigation by Special Counsel Mueller into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
It cannot counter the just-announced (20 April) multi-million dollar lawsuit the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has filed against the Trump campaign, the Russian government and the Wikileaks Organization, alleging a “far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump”.
Since this is a civil suit with a lower bar than a criminal probe, you can expect that in the course of “discovery”, many uncomfortable truths for Trump will be uncovered.
As the DNC Chairman Tom Perez graphically put it:
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign. This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for President of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency.
This won’t surprise Facebook users still reeling from the discovery that Cambridge Analytica swept up the private information of some 87 million FB users with the purpose of assisting the Trump campaign in fine-honing its outreach strategy. The firm Cambridge Analytica, closely tied to Steve Bannon, Trump’s (former) adviser but still close friend, and GOP mega-donor and gun-toting Robert Mercer, is now mired in scandal both in the US and UK (it also worked on tilting the Brexit vote).
And it cannot alter the course of the Southern District of New York investigation into Michael Cohen, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, who is involved in the Stormy Daniels scandal (he allegedly paid $130,000 to stop her from reporting an affair she had with Trump).
Michael Cohen is taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid prosecution. As the press gleefully noted, this is embarrassing for Trump considering the strong stand he took during his campaign against using the Fifth Amendment as a shield:
The Cohen story could prove to be Trump’s undoing: In the course of the talk to Fox & Friends, Trump was caught lying by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti. Trump’s rants tend to take him to dangerous places, including threatening his own Justice Department (he said in that interview: “…the Justice Department – which I try and stay away from, but, at some point, I won’t”).
One may well ask what witch hunt Trump is talking about. As to “cleaning up the swamp” in Washington, as he promised he would do, that too will come back to haunt him…