‘The Spies and Treason, We Used to Handle It a Little Differently’ Trump Told Supporters
President Donald Trump is facing blowback after suggesting the intelligence official who filed a formal whistleblower complaint against him should be executed for the capital crime of high treason. Some legal experts are calling his comments “obstruction of justice,” and witness intimidation, while warning against retaliation.
“I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information?” Trump asked at a private fundraising event Thursday. “Because that’s close to a spy,” he said, according to the L.A. Times.
“You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
In a further attempt to discredit the unnamed whistleblower, Trump added, “Basically, that person never saw the report, never saw the call, he never saw the call — heard something and decided that he or she, or whoever the hell they saw — they’re almost a spy.”
And the president took a disturbing swing at the media as well.
“You know, these animals in the press,” Trump said. “They’re animals, some of the worst human beings you’ll ever meet.”
One supporter present shouted, “Fake news!” led the president to repeatedly call members of the press “scum.”
“They’re scum,” Trump said. “Many of them are scum, and then you have some good reporters, but not many of them, I’ll be honest with you.”
Legal experts expressed concern and dismay.
George Conway, a prom inent conservative attorney who has successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, deemed the president’s remarks “obstruction of justice.”
Threatening actual and potential witnesses, of course, constitutes obstruction of justice. https://t.co/cgOPxOXOCl
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) September 26, 2019
Former Obama Associate White House Counsel:
The President just implied that numerous public servants and high ranking officials who he deems as disloyal to his personal interests perhaps should be executed. If these Senators don’t speak up soon and publicly, we will be in an even darker place as a country and world. https://t.co/xmO07AflFK
— Ian Bassin (@ianbassin) September 26, 2019
National security lawyer:
Someone explain the extortion and intimidating a witness laws to this guy https://t.co/aFD3nN6SBk
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) September 26, 2019
Professor, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia:
Mr. President the people who spoke to the whistleblower are not spies. They are members of your national security team. But they took an oath of office to defend the United States of America, not you.
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) September 26, 2019
Journalist, founder of ThinkProgress and Popular.info:
You could interpret this as Trump only saying we should murder the whistleblowers sources. Either way, it’s depraved.
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 26, 2019
Mick Mulvaney released treasure trove of OMB documents — 2 minutes before midnight
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney released a huge cache of documents on Tuesday evening -- minutes before the midnight deadline.
The documents were released to the ethics group American oversight, which had pursued a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the department.
"Two minutes before midnight, OMB released 192 pages of Ukraine-related records to American Oversight, including emails that have not been previously released," American Oversight announced.
"The files released tonight include emails sent by OMB Acting Director Russell Vought and Assoc Director for National Security Michael Duffey — two key players in the withholding of Ukraine aid — in on the morning of President Trump’s July 25 call with President Zelensky," the ethics group noted.
Here is the self-inflicted blunder Mitch McConnell made that destroyed his entire case: ex-DOJ official
The former chief of the criminal fraud section at the Department of Justice broke down a mistake made by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) late on Tuesday evening.
McConnell urged something known as "vote stacking" in which there would be a vote-a-rama sequence of vote after vote -- without any debate on the amendments.
Andrew Weissmann, who played a management role in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, explained how McConnell undermined his own argument.
"I think Mitch McConnell may have made a bit of a miscalculation there because what he is really saying -- 'Can you stack these?' -- is it doesn't matter what you say, because we're going to vote against it," he explained.
Adam Schiff scolds Pam Bondi for Trump’s witness intimidation to answer her process complaints
Former Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-FL) went down in flames during her only opportunity to speak on the Senate floor as part of President Donald Trump's defense.
In her accusations lodged at the House team, Bondi said that two men that Democrats requested weren't allowed the agency's lawyer to attend the deposition with them. Both Robert Blair and Michael Duffy only wanted to speak to the House if the lawyer for their department was present, not a private lawyer. The rules that Democrats used for their hearings were ones that Republicans actually outlined and members of Trump's own legal team actually argued in favor of.