White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham says President Donald Trump did not engage in witness intimidation Friday morning when he, in real time, posted tweets attacking his former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovich, during her testimony before a House impeachment inquiry hearing. Trump is being accused by Democrats and Republicans alike of witness intimidation or witness tampering, with even Fox News anchors saying Trump’s tweets constitute an additional article of impeachment.
“The tweet was not witness intimidation, it was simply the President’s opinion, which he is entitled to,” Grisham said in a statement given to Fox News. “This is not a trial, it is a partisan political process – or to put it more accurately, a totally illegitimate, charade stacked against the President.”
(Grisham is wrong on all counts. Impeachment is embedded in the U.S. Constitution.)
President Donald Trump has claimed he is on “trial” and repeatedly – eight times, at least – complained he is not being afforded due process. A few examples:
It was just explained to me that for next weeks Fake Hearing (trial) in the House, as they interview Never Trumpers and others, I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS. It is a Pelosi, Schiff, Scam against the Republican Party and me. This Witch Hunt should not be allowed to proceed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2019
….This is a phony showtrial. There is zero due process, none. It is yet another fraudulent hoax conspiracy theory. It is another Witch Hunt. This is what the Socialist Doemocrat Party has become. There’s not one thing the Democrats have done in the past 3 years except try…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2019
Schiff is giving Republicans NO WITNESSES, NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS! It is a totally one sided Witch Hunt. This can’t be making the Democrats look good. Such a farce!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2019
Regardless, witness intimidation and witness tampering can be done whether or not there is a trial, so Grisham is wrong on all counts.
As coronavirus seizes the state, Florida hospitals are in panic mode
This article first appeared in Salon.
There are 47,663 hospital beds in the state right now with 11,782 available (meaning a remaining capacity of 19.82 percent) and a total staffed bed capacity of 59,445, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's Hospital Bed Capacity Dashboard. The state Department of Health also reported on Friday that, out of 95,300 individuals who received coronavirus test results over the course of the previous day, 11,433 tested positive for COVID-19 (all but 90 of whom were Florida residents), meaning that more than 12 percent of the new cases had positive test results. The state also reported 93 new deaths due to COVID-19. (Salon reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment on this story.)
The GOP is a suicide cult
Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.
Back in March, we argued that Donald Trump had become the charismatic leader of the dumbest suicide cult ever. There were fewer than 500 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the time, but it wasn't difficult to see the trajectory we were on at even that early date. At the time, we were commenting on the President's* repeated claims that the whole thing was a big hoax and polls showing that Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to say they were taking steps to avoid becoming infected.
Trump has committed at least 11 disgraceful acts just since April: conservative
On Saturday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Max Boot outlined all of the chaos President Donald Trump has caused just in the last three months — arguing that "he has disgraced the nation’s highest office as no previous occupant has come close to doing."
"Think about all that has happened since April 5," wrote Boot. "That was before security forces attacked peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square so that Trump could stage a bizarre photo-op. Before he pushed to send the armed forces into the streets. Before he embraced 'white power' and called Black Lives Matter 'a symbol of hate.' Before he vowed to veto the defense authorization bill to prevent the renaming of military bases named after Confederate generals. Before he used the novel coronavirus as an excuse to shut down immigration and threatened to revoke the visas of college students unable to attend classes in the fall."