On Thursday, it was revealed that a whistleblower in the intelligence community has submitted a complaint about President Donald Trump’s conduct with a foreign leader.
There was widespread speculation Friday on the nature of the complaint, but experts suspect it has to do with the president trying to extract opposition research on Joe Biden from the president of Ukraine. Recently, Trump’s lawyer and friend Rudy Giulani traveled to the country to unearth dirt on Biden’s son.
And experts are concerned that Trump promised the foreign leader a better relationship with the U.S. in exchange.
On MSNBC Friday, former prosecutor Barbara McQuade pointed out that if Trump did that, it’s tantamount to extortion—and she’s helped put people in prison for far less.
“There’s certainly things he could have said that would have been highly inappropriate, if not illegal,” said McQuade about Trump’s conversation with the president of Ukraine.
“For example, I don’t know what the facts are here, but all of the words I’m hearing sound very consistent with an extortion demand,” McQuade continued.
“When you withhold something that you have in your official power the ability to give in exchange for a thing of value to yourself, that is a classic case of extortion,” she added.
“We prosecuted cases like that in my own office involving the former Mayor of the city of Detroit who withheld public works contracts until the contractors agreed to pay kickbacks to members of his association and his office. And so there are a lot of parallels there,” McQuade said.
“If that’s what President Trump is doing, withholding this military aid unless and until Ukraine agrees to perform this investigation and president Biden, that would be extortion,” she said.
“We all know a president cannot be indicted, but I think it could be very much an impeachable offense if those facts were to turn up to be true. What he said very much matters.”
Internet recoils at Trump’s latest ‘insane’ news conference: ‘Maybe this guy shouldn’t be president’
President Donald Trump ranted at length about the Kurds, military deployments overseas, Sen. Lindsey Graham and former President Barack Obama in a bizarre conversation with reporters in the White House.
The president met with the media Wednesday afternoon during a bilateral meeting with Italian president Sergio Mattarella, and he touched on a bewildering variety of topics -- much to the confusion of onlookers.
This is fucking insane.
This press conference is purpose-built to empower and delight every bad actor in the world.
Biden finally unloads on Trump for smearing his son: ‘Release your tax returns or shut up’
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump for an ongoing attack on his son Hunter.
At a press conference in Ohio, Biden was asked if he had done enough to stop his son from taking a retainer from a company in Ukraine.
But the former vice president insisted that "corruption" in Trump's government should be the immediate focus.
"He is running the most corrupt government in the history of the United States of America," Biden charged. "He is running the most corrupt government in the history of the United States of America."
Biden then turned to the camera as if he were speaking directly to Trump.
Trump rants about Christopher Columbus during press conference with Italy’s president
President Donald Trump on Wednesday insisted that he would never stop celebrating Christopher Columbus.
"The United States and Italy are bound together by a shared cultural and political heritage dating back thousands of years to ancient Rome," Trump said during a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
"Over the centuries, the Italian people have blessed our civilization with magnificent works of art, science, philosophy, architecture, and music. On Monday, we paid tribute to the Italian explorer who led a voyage of discovery to the new world. A gentleman known as Christopher Columbus. To me, it will always be called Columbus Day. Some people don’t like that. I do."