Category Archives: 2016 presidential campaign
Democrats are trying to keep their impeachment hopes under the radar. For example, Jimmy Carter’s not talking about it and he says you shouldn’t either. Besides, other Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi worry impeachment talk could backfire.
But former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has a different approach. He doesn’t want impeachment talk either. In fact he doesn’t want Trump impeached at all.
He wants the election annulled.
After busting Trump fixer Michael Cohen for violating campaign spending laws, U.S. attorney Robert Khuzami bragged “we are a nation of laws, with one set of rules that applies equally to everyone.”
Kimberly Strassel at the WSJ doesn’t buy it:
If there is only “one set of rules,” where is Mr. Mueller’s referral of a case against Hillary for America? Federal law requires campaigns to disclose the recipient and purpose of any payments. The Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS to compile a dossier against Mr. Trump, a document that became the basis of the Russia narrative Mr. Mueller now investigates. But the campaign funneled the money to law firm Perkins Coie, which in turn paid Fusion. The campaign falsely described the money as payment for “legal services.” The Democratic National Committee did the same. A Perkins Coie spokesperson has claimed that neither the Clinton campaign nor the DNC was aware that Fusion GPS had been hired to conduct the research, and maybe so. But a lot of lawyers here seemed to have been ignoring a clear statute, presumably with the intent of influencing an election.
President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen ratted him out. He says Trump directed him to arrange hush money payments to a playboy model and a porn star. Trump then reimbursed him for the Stormy Daniels payment. Cohen claims that helped Trump’s 2016 election chances and therefore it was an illegal in-kind campaign contribution.
But Bill Clinton’s former speech writer Mark Penn says there’s nothing illegal about it. Had Trump used campaign funds to pay hush money it would have been an illegal personal use of campaign funds. So using his own money can’t be considered a campaign contribution. And Professor Dershowitz says even if it is a campaign contribution there’s no limit to the amount Trump can contribute to his own campaign.
Trump tweets “witch hunt.” Stay tuned.
President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on eight charges of bank and tax fraud. The judge ruled a mistrial on 10 other charges. The conviction isn’t related to Robert Mueller’s collusion investigation.
But maybe it was related to Manafort’s taste for the the finer things in life. He once spent $15,000 on an ostrich jacket. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Except that he lied to banks for loans and didn’t pay taxes on $16 million.
Vox follows Manafort’s money here.
The Boston Globe organized an editorial writing campaign last week. The idea was for independent newspapers to tell Trump to stop calling them “the enemy of the people.” All on the same day.
Three hundred plus papers including the New York Times obliged.
If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional.
Free Press Group-Think
Others like the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post took a pass on the campaign. Carl Cannon in Real Clear Politics called the joint effort “group-think.” And he recalled H.L. Menken’s journalistic advice to “be a party of one.”
Jack Shafer in Politico added this bit of advice:
Editorial pages of America, don’t unite! Think for yourselves! Reject this stupid pro-press assignment!
He also agreed with Cannon that the whole scheme played into Trump’s tiny hands. (Okay, he didn’t really say “tiny.”)