A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 131st Unpresidented Week As POTUS
With the Mueller hearings completed and Trump’s 2020 campaign in full swing, the President’s corruption and racism have never been more unmistakable.
Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing his every move. This is week 131.
What is there left to say about President Donald Trump? Each week, Trump seeks to surprise with the scope of his corruption, deflect with the depravity of his dishonesty, and divide with the wretchedness of his racism. We all know who he is. Question is, what will be done about it?
We now have new indications of what the answer to that question might be. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s hearings further highlighted the 10 obstructive acts on the part of President Trump and laid out for the American people the fact he has not been exonerated. Mueller went even further than his report by indicating Trump was “untruthful” in his written statements to the Special Counsel’s team.
House Democrats have now announced that they are conducting an impeachment investigation. Of course, it’s not a formal impeachment inquiry, which would need a full vote on the House floor, but the House Judiciary Committee is arguing in court that they should already be endowed with some of the grand jury powers that come with impeachment. After the summer recess, we should see an escalation as the number of House Democrats supporting an official inquiry has risen above 100.
Another piece of improper conduct that was highlighted this week was Donald Trump and his campaign’s outright capitulation to the Russian government. Mueller testified that he felt Trump’s promotion of Wikileaks, and overall receptiveness to Russia’s election help, was unpatriotic. And how did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) respond? By blocking an election security bill.
By the weekend, President Trump launched a racist attack on House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) by claiming his Baltimore district was “infested” with rats and “no human being” would want to live there. This rhetoric, which Trump only uses against people of color and migrants, has deep roots in the history of radical rights movements.
So, what is there left to say about President Donald Trump? I’d say all that’s left is “impeach him and vote him out.”
Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.
This comprehensive column sources great reporting from top news organizations, but it’s also built on brilliant analysis from my team at Rantt Media. We are independently-owned, completely ad-free, and take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for a monthly subscription. Below, you’ll see daily breakdowns that are derived from our exclusive Rantt Rundown newsletter. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:
Questions We Had For Mueller
Day 914: Monday, July 22
The day we had all been anticipating for over 2 years was about to arrive. Throughout those 2 years, President Trump has launched baseless attacks on the integrity of the Russia investigation. Attorney General William Barr has mischaracterized the findings of that investigation and has done everything in his power to protect President Trump. As Democrats seek to highlight President Trump’s corruption, and Republicans seek to conceal it, these hearings had vast importance.
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-report has been public since April 18. It covered Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the Trump Campaign’s receptiveness to Russia’s overtures, and potential obstruction of justice on the part of President Trump. Now, Mueller will testify before both the House Intelligence and House Judiciary Committees on Wednesday starting at 8:30 am.
Objectively speaking, the Trump Administration and Republicans have taken advantage of the fact only a small percentage of Americans have actually read the full Mueller report. They have lied about the findings for months, and now the Democrats have an opportunity to break through the noise and get video footage of Mueller himself debunking those lies. Mueller has said that his testimony will not go beyond his report, and the DOJ has asked him to do so, but there are several questions that must be answered.
After this hearing, Congress will head into an August recess. If House Democrats want to build the case for impeachment before the Fall, Wednesday is their opportunity to do it.
In other news…
- Reuters: Trump says deal reached on spending, debt limit
- Buzzfeed News: The Trump Administration Will Let ICE Officials Deport Certain Immigrants Much Faster
- The Hill: India pushes back against Trump offer to mediate Kashmir dispute
- The Daily Beast: Trump’s New Favorite Channel Employs Kremlin-Paid Journalist
- Politico: Trump met with Nunes to talk intel chief replacements
- NBC News: Louisiana police officer fired after suggesting AOC should be shot
Day 915: Tuesday, July 23
We read and analyzed the Mueller report to save you some time. Bottom line: it is politically ruinous for President Trump and contradicts Attorney General William Barr’s claims.
In other news…
- ABC News: Robert Mueller’s former chief of staff to be his counsel for congressional testimony
- NBC News: Trump sues to block New York law allowing Congress to get his state taxes
- Reuters: FBI Director Wray: Russia intent on interfering with U.S. elections
- NBC News: Senate passes bill ensuring 9/11 victims fund will never run out of money
- BBC: Boris Johnson wins race to be Tory leader and PM
- The New York Times: Mark Esper Confirmed as Trump’s Defense Secretary
- The Daily Beast: MAGA Bomber’s Lawyers Blame Trump, Sean Hannity for His Radicalization
- Reuters: Kabul seeks clarification on Trump talk of wiping out Afghanistan
Reuters: Big Tech faces broad U.S. Justice Department antitrust probe
- The Washington Post: Trump proposal would push 3 million Americans off food stamps
- The New York Times: Federal Budget Would Raise Spending by $320 Billion
- The Washington Post: Trump threatens Guatemala after it backs away from ‘safe third country’ asylum deal
- HuffPost: NAACP Unanimously Passes Resolution Calling For Trump’s Impeachment
- Politico: Trump transition adviser convicted on foreign-agent charges
- Politico: Trump met with Nunes to talk intel chief replacements
- NBC News: Human rights groups lead chorus of alarm over new Trump administration commission
- NBC News: Caught on tape: ICE officers break window, drag man out of vehicle in front of family
- CNN: Cuba ‘sonic attacks’ changed people’s brains, study suggests
- Bloomberg: Sanders White House Campaign Hit with Federal Labor Complaint
- CNN: A US-born citizen who was in immigration detention for three weeks has been released
- NBC News: Russian LGBTQ activist is killed after being listed on gay-hunting website
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The Mueller Hearings
Day 916: Wednesday, July 24
An excerpt from my op-ed in The Independent:
President Trump has spent the last week questioning the patriotism of four congresswomen of color. Today, his lack of patriotism was put under a spotlight on Capitol Hill.
After over two years of disinformation being disseminated from Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, and lies subsequently perpetuated by Attorney General William Barr and conservative media, we have finally heard from the man himself. In his 89th appearance before Congress, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees and showcased to the American people the extent of Donald Trump‘s deceptive corruption.
While Republicans sought to disparage Robert Mueller personally, push conspiracy theories, and protect President Trump’s image, Democrats highlighted the facts. In other words, Democrats pursued justice while Republicans sought to further obstruct it. If Republicans really feel President Trump has been exonerated by the Mueller report, why would they seek to undermine the integrity of Mueller himself? In spite of the Republican hackery, House Democrats offered solid questions that garnered testimony from Mueller that definitively debunked the Trump Administration’s false narratives.
President Trump was not “exonerated” and Mueller’s report did not say there was “no collusion, no obstruction.” The hearings highlighted the fact the Office of Legal Counsel’s (OLC) memos are the reason Mueller did not consider charging Trump and Mueller stated on live TV that Trump could be charged with obstruction after leaving office. When it comes to Russia’s interference, Mueller testified that Russia’s interference was not a “hoax,” his investigation was not a “witch hunt,” and that the Trump Campaign was receptive to Russia’s help.
In other news…
- Associated Press: South Korea: NKorea fires 2 unidentified projectiles into sea
- BuzzFeed News: Trump’s Policy Banning Most Asylum-Seekers Has Been Blocked By A Judge
- The Hill: Trump vetoes resolutions attempting to block Saudi arms sales
- Politico: House prepares to formally endorse Trump-related subpoenas
- Politico: DOJ won’t charge William Barr, Wilbur Ross after contempt vote
- BBC: Boris Johnson overhauls cabinet on first day as PM
- NPR: Justice Ginsburg: ‘I Am Very Much Alive’
The Media’s Failure
Day 917: Thursday, July 25
You’ve likely seen the headlines calling Mueller’s hearings a “dud” or “disappointment.” They’re focusing on style over substance and they’re dead wrong.
In other news…
- CNN: GOP senators block election security legislation hours after Mueller warns of Russian interference
- NPR: Senate Intel Committee Unveils Election Security Report In Wake Of Mueller Hearings
- CNN: North Korea: Launch was a “warning” to South Korea
- NBC News: AG Barr orders reinstatement of the federal death penalty
- The Washington Post: House panel votes to authorize subpoenas for all White House work communications sent via personal email, cellphone
- NBC News: Active-duty U.S. troops are now just feet away from migrants in Texas
- Bloomberg: Trump Must Face Suit Over Alleged Multilevel Marketing Fraud
- ABC News: Paris faces hottest day ever, prompting concerns for Notre Dame Cathedral
- Buzzfeed News: Trump Says Minnesota Can’t Stand Ilhan Omar. His Attacks Have Made Her More Popular Than Ever Back Home
- The Guardian: Trump speaks before presidential seal doctored with symbols of Russia and golf
- CNN: Treasury pick Monica Crowley spread Obama smears: ‘Can he be both loyal to Islam and loyal to the United States?’
- Reuters photo captures Guatemalan mother begging soldier to let her enter U.S
Democrats On The Move
Day 918: Friday, July 26
Today, House Democrats took the most significant step towards impeaching President Trump. In a court filing, the House Judiciary Committee sought the grand jury material from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. In the filing, they argued the attainment of this material was necessary for their consideration of whether to impeach President Trump. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has now said they are seriously considering impeachment and other House Democrats have called their new efforts an “impeachment investigation.”
Today, @HouseJudiciary is filing a petition for 6e grand jury materials where we made clear to the court that we are considering impeachment, along with other options, under our Article I powers. Congress must hold this President accountable. https://t.co/GCvkGdsGD0
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) July 26, 2019
The view from Judiciary Dems:
Rep. Veronica Escobar: “Yes, we’re crossing a threshold with this filing.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin: “From my personal point of view, we are in an impeachment inquiry.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell: “This is an impeachment investigation.”https://t.co/c3JX8g0dZb
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 26, 2019
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has very publicly shown her restraint when it comes to impeachment, has reportedly greenlit this language, and has shifted her own language.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 26, 2019
This is the second time Pelosi has used “when” in her statements on impeachment.
Did so in the presser on the day of Mueller’s hearings and again today. https://t.co/MbXl42yB8e
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) July 26, 2019
To be clear, this is not a formal impeachment inquiry. To begin an impeachment inquiry, the House Judiciary Committee must vote on a resolution to begin one, and then the full House must vote on. Once passed, the House Judiciary Committee would then be endowed with grand jury powers which would strengthen their ability to compel witness testimony and documents currently being withheld by the Trump Administration.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, and current CNN legal analyst, spoke to the wisdom of Nadler’s approach which seeks to flex the powers that would come with impeachment without yet formally launching the proceedings.
This is a wise approach by Nadler. It will be very difficult for any court to conclude that evidence uncovered as part of a criminal investigation of the president should be withheld from the House Judiciary Committee, which has the power to initiate impeachment proceedings. https://t.co/Qh5yD1jwXy
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) July 26, 2019
Impeachment hearings would command media attention in a way that many of the hearings Democrats have overseen haven’t. Launching an impeachment inquiry is just as much about upholding the Constitution as it is about highlighting Trump’s corruption for the American people. The inquiry would not only give the House Judiciary Committee increased legal leverage as we’ve discussed, it would be broadcasted live on networks across the US. This would likely shift public opinion on President Trump, as it did for Richard Nixon.
A reminder that impeachment is an indictment of the President from the House, which leaves the decision to convict and remove from office up to the Senate. It’s clear the Republican Senate will not convict Trump, but that does not mean impeachment would be fruitless and unnecessary.
As Rantt Editor Jossif Ezekilov pointed out in his piece on the Mueller hearings, President Trump’s corruption is unprecedented and warrants a rebuke:
Mueller had previously indicated his reluctance to testify, stating he would not deviate from the findings of his report. Even this, however, was an important testimony to provide for several reasons. First, and most importantly, most citizens and voters have not read the Mueller report, and so Mueller’s testimony was important in order to spell out the criminal wrongdoing the Mueller investigation uncovered.
Second, it provided an opportunity to dispel all of the falsehoods President Trump, his administration, and members of the GOP have flouted regarding the report: namely, that the investigation was a hoax, a witch hunt, that there was “no collusion, no obstruction”, and that it ultimately exonerated Trump. Lastly, it was a chance to affirm grounds for impeachment as the means to hold Trump accountable.
On all three counts, Mueller’s testimony delivered.
Pelosi’s methodical approach has worked up until this point, and in Rantt’s Community chat, which you can join here, we predicted that this approach would escalate. We predicted the timeline to impeachment would speed up after Mueller’s testimony, and as more public support grows heading into September, we’ll see some real movement. As we discussed above, this would take a full floor vote, so we still have a long way to go before we have the full force of the Democratic caucus backing impeachment.
Over 100 House Democrats now support launching an impeachment inquiry, and the list continues to grow. Watch closely how this plays out over the next month. During the August recess, we will likely see a growing town hall presence from impeachment advocates. This is where the American people can make a real difference.
In other news…
- The Guardian: Supreme court allows Trump to use $2.5bn in Pentagon funds on border wall
- The New York Times: Russia Targeted Election Systems in All 50 States, Report Finds
- Bloomberg: Trump’s 3% Growth Feat in 2018 Undone by Annual Data Revisions
- Rantt Media: The Ugly Truth About Trump’s Racist Attacks On “The Squad”
- Rantt Media: The Future Is Here And The GOP Is Letting It Crush Their Base
- Rantt Media: How Greedy Investors Looted Sears Into Bankruptcy
- The New York Times: U.S. Approves T-Mobile-Sprint Merger, a Deal That Would Reshape the Industry
- CNN: 10 years. 180 school shootings. 356 victims.
- CNN: Fact check: Trump made seven false claims to Sean Hannity
- Mediate: Fed Judge Dismisses Covington Student’s $250 Million Lawsuit
- NBC News: Emmett Till historical marker has been removed and will be made bulletproof
Over the weekend…
President Trump decided to get his racism news cycle back up and running.
….As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
“No human being would want to live there.” You might say Trump is dehumanizing those Americans who do live there. You might say Trump hates some parts of America, and some citizens of America. Or you might cut to the chase and say our president is a bigot. https://t.co/p6X3zln5R5
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 27, 2019
Trump said “no human being would want to live” in West Baltimore.
Trump used the term “infest,” which he only directs at people of color and migrants.
Dehumanization is historically typical of the radical right.
Let’s be clear: This is white nationalismhttps://t.co/d1W1Q3kQc7
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) July 27, 2019
Wow. This is some of the most powerful reporting I’ve ever seen.@VictorBlackwell comes through with a fierce defense of West Baltimore.
Watch until the end. pic.twitter.com/6tRlz8fp0F
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) July 27, 2019
And President Trump eyed his replacement for the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
Looks like his audition at the Mueller hearing was a success. https://t.co/0mvBJMqSqw
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) July 28, 2019
Rantt Media’s comprehensive articles source reporting from top news organizations, but they’re also built on brilliant analysis from our team. We are independently-owned and completely ad-free. We strive for quality, not clicks. We take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals: