A Complete Breakdown Of Trump’s 21st Unpresidented Week As POTUS

21st Weekend (June 10–11)

President Donald Trump (AP/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump (AP/Andrew Harnik)

The President of the United States is under criminal investigation and he has only himself to blame.

Repeated meddling in an ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling. Self-incriminating statements. Paranoid tweets. If Trump wants to continue crying “WITCH HUNT,” then he should stop casting spells.

As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation heated up and the nation was captivated by this slow moving train wreck, a lot happened. Americans were shot, strategy was shifted in the Middle East, and lawsuits concerning Trump’s potential emoluments clause violations continued to pile up.

Here’s a complete breakdown of Trump’s 21st week as POTUS:

While Trump Claims Vindication, Mueller Searches For Incrimination

Special Counsel Robert Mueller (AP)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller (AP)

The morning after former FBI Director James Comey’s bombshell testimony outlining circumstances leading up to his firing that many believe create a valid case for obstruction of justice, Trump and his administration did everything they could to try and spin it. They cherry picked the fact Comey confirmed he did indeed tell President Trump that he himself was not under investigation (at the time) but tried to discredit the remainder of the damning testimony by essentially saying Comey committed perjury.

While Trump was claiming vindication, Special Counsel Robert Mueller was doing the legal equivalent of assembling the avengers. Mueller is building a team of legal experts including his former partner James Quarles (was an assistant Watergate prosecutor), Andrew Weissman (head of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud unit), and Michael Dreeben (deputy solicitor general). This build up was obviously sending tremor’s through the Trump administration, as Trump’s attorney wouldn’t rule out firing Robert Mueller in a Sunday interview on ABC.

As we learn later in the week, Mueller’s investigation is expanding in scope and dismantles Trump’s claim that he is not personally under investigation.

Meanwhile…

  • On Sunday, President Trump crashed a wedding at his golf club in Bedminster, NJ . This raised even more ethics concerns, as many saw this as a way to promote his clubs. Individuals will be more likely to hold events at Trump properties if they are likely to run into the President. Given that Trump has retained ownership of his businesses, he would then directly profit from an increase in profits. Philip Bump of The Washington Post points out the large amount of time President Trump spends at his properties.

  • In an interview, Former US Attorney Preet Bharara claimed that there is sufficient evidence for obstruction of justice against Trump regarding the Comey firing and also detailed some unusual calls with President Trump leading up to his own firing. Bharara recalls Trump trying to build a relationship with him. It’s important to note Bharara was investigating Trump’s HHS Secretary Tom Price for making potentially illegal stock trades in health companies while he sponsored and voted on legislation that would affect health companies. Bharara was also in the middle of a high-profile federal investigation of Fox News. But most importantly, Bharara was asked to investigate Trump’s potential violations of the emoluments clause a few days before his firing

  • Trump touted jobs numbers

CNBC’s John Hardwood put those numbers into perspective.

  • The Department of Justice made an argument that since Trump’s businesses are legally able to do business with foreign nations, Trump is not violating the emolument’s clause…The constitution begs to differ

21st Week (June 12–16)

Monday, June 12

9th Circuit Strikes Again

New York City protest — January 2017 (Getty Images)

New York City protest — January 2017 (Getty Images)

Trump’s favorite court of appeals gave his conquest to implement a Muslim Travel Ban yet another defeat. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously ruled against the Trump administration, upholding the freeze of his controversial executive order. The court ruled that “Trump had exceeded his lawful authority in suspending the issuance of visas to residents of six Muslim-majority countries and suspending the U.S. refu­gee program.” Trump expressed his enthusiasm over the decision and appeared to make reference to the fact an appeal to the Supreme Court would be incoming.

Meanwhile…

  • Senate Republicans continued to work on their healthcare bill in secrecy, refusing to release the draft
  • The Attorneys General for the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland sued President Trump for “unprecedented constitutional violations” by retaining ownership of his businesses which transact with foreign governments
  • Trump held a bizarre cabinet meeting which ended up being a room full of adults taking turns praising him

Tuesday, June 13

“I don’t recall”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sessions was pressed on many topics including his role in firing FBI Director James Comey, whether or not he met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel on April 27th, and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. One of his favorite answers was the assertion that he does not remember.

Sessions contested that he didn’t respond when Comey broached his concerns over private meetings with Trump, claiming that he “responded to his comment by agreeing that the F.B.I. and Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policies regarding appropriate contacts with the White House.”

Sessions also refused to comment on some details of his conversations with President Trump, claiming that he wouldn’t do so in the case Trump invoked executive privilege. There was no legal basis for his denial.

As the hearing went on, Sessions contradicted himself on many occasions, sometimes in the same sentence.

This is the meeting in question:

Sessions was noticeably rattled, and at times raised his voice denying that he colluded with any Russian operatives. In another exchange, Sessions not only appeared to question whether or not it even occurred, he made a claim that should alarm every American: He has not had a single briefing, or sought one out, on Russia’s expansive interference in our democracy.

Regarding his claims on the lack of briefings, either Sessions is lying or he, the Attorney General of the Unites States, has absolutely no interest in one of the most blatant attacks from a foreign power on our democracy in history. Both are unacceptable.

Meanwhile…

  • Bloomberg dropped quite the report:

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database….In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

  • Trump reportedly told Republican Senators that their healthcare bill is “mean and urged them to craft a version that is more generous”
  • Trump’s lawyer handling the Russia investigation, Marc Kasowitz, has reportedly bragged to friends and colleagues that he was behind the firing of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, claiming that he warned Trump “This guy is going to get you”
  • Senate Republicans abruptly barred reporters from filming representatives in the hallways of the Capitol

  • Sessions is reportedly asking congressional leaders to undo federal protections for medical marijuana providers so he can prosecute them
  • The House Intelligence Committee is beefing up their investigation with additional staff and funding
  • After being detained in North Korea for over a year, Otto Warmbier was returned to the US. It was revealed that he was in a comma for over a year…
  • Trump continued his blocking spree on Twitter, this time targeting a progressive veterans group

  • Trump added 6 more trademarks in China, raising more ethics concerns
  • And…

Wednesday, June 14

A Moment Of Unity Punctuated With Obstruction Of Justice

House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise and Speaker Paul Ryan (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise and Speaker Paul Ryan (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a terrible thing happened. Four people were shot at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, VA. Two brave Capitol Police Officers (David J. Bailey and Crystal Griner) who fended off the shooter, lobbyist Matt Mikka, and House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise. Scalise was shot in the hip. The bullet ricocheted off his rib cage and punctured some organs, causing internal bleeding. After being rushed to the hospital and undergoing surgery, Scalise was in critical condition. The Two Capitol Police Officers are doing well. Matt Mikka is still in the hospital but is expected to make a full recovery. Scalise’s health is improving, but he is still in “serious” condition.

The shooter was a far-left nut job who had previously volunteered on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Despite many of the public playing the blame game (liberals pointed to the lack of gun control while conservatives pointed to anti-Trump rhetoric), the leadership surprisingly did none of the above. Trump gave a measured statement, calling for thoughts and prayers for Scalise and his family. Paul Ryan spoke in the House chamber asserting, “an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” drawing a standing ovation from both sides of the aisle. Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi echoed his sentiment. It was a brief moment of unity during a chaotic time of political partisanship.

But by the end of the day, the public’s eye moved elsewhere as The Washington Post published a report that completely dismantled Trump’s primary takeaway from the Comey hearings. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, a criminal offense. The investigation is looking into the circumstances surrounding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Mueller has quite a bit to work with here, because other than Comey’s own account of the events, he has Trump’s own words to verify it. Let’s remember that Trump told Lester Holt in an interview the week of Comey’s firing that he had Russia in mind when he fired Comey. Trump also told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak that he fired “nut job” Comey so the “pressure” of the Russia investigation should be lifted.

The New York Times reported Mueller is also seeking testimonies from “Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence; Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, the former N.S.A. deputy director.” It was been reported that Trump attempted to pressure Coats to interfere in Comey’s testimony. The report also revealed that the team is looking into money laundering by Trump’s associates. As Mueller and his team dig, they may find more than they bargained for…

Donald Trump, Russian Oligarchs, And A Trail Of Money Laundering

Meanwhile…

  • Trump’s ethics concerns continued, as 200 Democratic members of Congress filed a lawsuit accusing him of violating the emoluments clause by profiting from business dealings with foreign governments
  • A congressional hearing on gun legislation previously planned for Thursday was cancelled due to the shooting of Steve Scalise
  • According to The New York Times, not a single state supports the AHCA
  • Mueller met with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss the path forward for the Russia investigation
  • Trump handed control over troop levels in Afghanistan to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. This comes after Mattis was also given this power in Iraq and Syria. With both the Pentagon and the State Department understaffed, concerns have grown over the lack of civilian oversight and scrutiny of the US military

President Trump Has Abandoned The Duties Of Commander-in-Chief

Thursday, June 15

Paranoia

Wax model of President Donald Trump stands near a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, displayed in the wax museum in Sofia, Bulgaria — Friday March 31, 2017 (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

Wax model of President Donald Trump stands near a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, displayed in the wax museum in Sofia, Bulgaria — Friday March 31, 2017 (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

President Trump has been doing himself no favors. Trump’s repeated efforts to interfere in the various investigations into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election have put himself under criminal investigation. And on Thursday, his paranoia was on full display.

As Trump cried “WITCH HUNT,” Vice President Mike Pence hired legal counsel to handle the investigation into the Trump campaigns potential collusion with Russia.

Meanwhile…

  • NBC News corroborated The Washington Post’s reporting

  • The Washington Post reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating Jared Kushner’s finances and business dealings
  • After meeting with Mueller, the Senate Intelligence Committee says they will steer clear of obstruction of justice given the fact it is a criminal offense
  • The Energy Department closed an office that works with other countries to develop clean energy technology
  • The Congressional Baseball game went off without a hitch, as Congress continued their display of unity

Friday, June 16

“I Am Being Investigated”

President Donald Trump talks to reporters during a meeting with Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under President Richard Nixon, in the Oval Office of the White House — May 10, 2017, (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump talks to reporters during a meeting with Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under President Richard Nixon, in the Oval Office of the White House — May 10, 2017, (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

After latching onto Comey’s assertions that he was not under investigation and using it as his only defense, Trump went ahead and verified the Washington Post’s reporting.

“I am being investigated.” There it is. Trump admitted that he is under investigation for obstruction of justice. End of story right. Nope. Over the weekend, his attorney Jay Sekulow asserted Trump is not under investigation…after saying he was being investigated just a few seconds earlier…

Trump’s second tweet appeared to turn his fire towards Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, given the fact Rosenstein wrote the recommendation to fire Comey. Speaking of Rosenstein, reports began to surface that Rosenstein is considering recusing himself from the Russia investigation due to his involvement in the firing of FBI Director James Comey. That would lead to the third in command at the DOJ Rachel Brand to run point on the investigation.

Meanwhile…

  • Trump’s Personal Attorney Michael Cohen secured an attorney

  • Trump chose his family wedding planner, who has no experience with this kind of work, to “head up the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, where she’ll oversee distribution of billions of taxpayer dollars.”
  • Trump announced a roll back of Obama’s Cuba policy
  • The Pentagon will send about 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan
  • The USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel and 7 missing sailors have been found dead

An innocent man wouldn’t do everything in their power to end an investigation.

An innocent man wouldn’t have fired James Comey.

An innocent man wouldn’t consider firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

If Trump really is innocent and wants to be vindicated, then he should let the investigation into his campaign’s potential collusion with Russia and his potential efforts to obstruct justice move along undisturbed.

The people are fed up with these games. We want the truth. Let us have it.

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Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Government / Journalism / Politics