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.”
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Trump alerts ‘active-duty U.S. military police’ for possible deployment to Minnesota: report
President Donald Trump's administration is contemplating using active-duty U.S. troops in an attempt to quell the protests in Minneapolis, the Associated Press reported early Saturday morning.
As unrest spread across dozens of American cities on Friday, the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests," the AP reported.
"Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours. The people did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations," the AP explained.
John Roberts joins liberals as Supreme Court rejects challenge to Newsom’s COVID-19 limits on California church attendance
In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California. The San Diego area church tried to challenge the state's limits on attendance at worship services:
The church argued that limits on how many people can attend their services violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and had been seeking an order in time for services on Sunday. The church said it has crowds of 200 to 300 people for its services.