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Trump employing Al Capone’s same criminal schemes to stay out of jail: columnist

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In a piece for New York, columnist Jonathan Chait claimed there is little difference in how Donald Trump is staving off investigations and possible criminal charges and the way that notorious mobster Al Capone conducted his affairs.

As Chait notes, there is no shortage of crimes that the President is under investigation for — including what may be contained in his tax returns that he has yet to release — and that the president is using a multiple-pronged attack on his foes and critics to stay in office and out of jail.

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“But rather than growing into the office, Trump has fulfilled the darkest fears about his character and his conduct,” Chait writes. “Trump has run through the authoritarian threats he made as if it were a to-do list. Retribution against owners of independent media? Check. Promoting the use of war crimes? Check. Collecting money from interested parties at home and abroad? Check. Inciting violence to intimidate critics? Check.”

“Trump has compounded all the abuses of power he promised before taking office by committing new ones he hadn’t,” he continued. “He engaged in a long series of acts that would be textbook obstruction of justice but for Robert Mueller’s decision that he couldn’t directly accuse Trump of a crime. He has smashed the delicate balance of power between the legislative and executive branches by refusing to accept any role for congressional oversight whatsoever. And he has promised pardons to his subordinates in advance if they break the law carrying out his agenda.”

Stating, “It may be the brazenness of Trump undertaking a new foreign collusion scheme immediately after escaping punishment for his last one,” the columnist suggests Trump’s pattern of deceit and obstruction has a historical precedent in the actions of mobster Capone.

“The feds were looking to nail Al Capone for a long time before they finally prosecuted him for tax evasion,” he explained. “Capone, like Trump, had a knack for intimidating law enforcement, bribing witnesses, and withholding evidence. His crimes were something everybody knew but were difficult to prove. His punishment was both procedurally fair — Capone was as clearly guilty of tax evasion as Trump is of pressuring Ukraine to investigate his domestic rivals — yet frustratingly too narrow to capture the full breadth of his culpability. ”

“That discrepancy will challenge historians who study Trump’s criminal presidency. But it is truly odd to see it used as a case against impeaching him at all,” he concluded.

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Trump declares himself the ‘greatest of all presidents’ in manic tweetstorm attacking Pelosi and Democrats

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Donald Trump broke out of his Twitter hibernation on Saturday afternoon just before flying off to Florida for a pair of fundraisers, and used the opportunity to declare himself the "greatest of all presidents."

Attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for not passing his signature trade bill, Trump then went after Democrats for trying to impeach him -- saying they were making a big mistake.

On Twitter, the president wrote: ""Hard to believe, but if Nancy Pelosi had put our great Trade Deal with Mexico and Canada, USMCA, up for a vote long ago, our economy would be even better. If she doesn’t move quickly, it will collapse!"

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Donald Trump sounds like a complete lunatic because he’s isolated himself in a far-right media bubble

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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.

If you have an older relative who spends way too much time stewing in the conservative media, you may have experienced a moment when you not only disagreed with him, but you realized that you had no earthly clue what he was going on about. Perhaps it was when he started talking about the UN plot to eliminate golf courses and replace paved roads with bicycle paths. Maybe he stopped you in your tracks with a discourse on why flies were attracted to Barack Obama, or complained about the government insisting on referring to Christians as "Easter-worshippers" or expressed outrage over 9/11 hijackers being given leniency by Muslim jurists.

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Trump’s claim impeachment ‘nullifies’ 2016 election blown up in new House Judiciary Committee report

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released their report outlining the offenses committed by President Donald Trump, and the legal framework for impeachment — which clears the way for Congress to write and approve articles of impeachment against him.

One of the key issues examined by the report is the claim, repeatedly made by the president and his supporters, that impeachment would "nullify" the 2016 presidential election and the popular will — which is already a weak claim given that Trump never won the popular vote, and that impeaching Trump would still install Mike Pence as president. But the report more broadly rejects the entire claim that an election result immunizes a president from punishment for official misconduct.

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