The craziness keeps coming.
Donald Trump understands no limits — legal or moral — on his "absolute right" to do whatever he pleases — including pressuring a foreign country to intervene in U.S. politics on his behalf.
Trump in his Oct. 3 tweet didn't use the word "pressuring." He called it "asking, or suggesting."
"As the President of the United States, I have an absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate, or have investigated, CORRUPTION, and that would include asking, or suggesting, other Countries to help us out!"
Looking at it another way, the Donald has given up "NO COLLUSION." Now he's adopted another defense: "I have an absolute right" to COLLUDE!
Trump's Oct. 3 tweet was referring, of course, to his efforts to get the new Ukraine president to do him "a favor" and get dirt on his old and new political opponents — Hillary Clinton (and the Mueller probe) and Joe Biden. Ukraine needed the military aid our Congress had allocated to help the country fight off Russia's aggression, but Trump had put a hold on it. A whistleblower's account of the pressuring Trump-Ukraine call and the reporting that it has prompted now has Trump facing possible impeachment.
(News flash: A Fox News Poll — yes, Fox — found that 51% of voters want Trump impeached and removed from office. Whoa! Another 4% want him impeached but not removed. And 40 percent oppose impeachment altogether. That "impeached and removed" number is up 9 percentage points since July, according to Fox.)
But as more and more probing shows, Trump isn't the only one who should be impeached.
To borrow from Washington Post columnist Max Boot: Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William P. Barr have all been "principal accomplices in his brazen assault on the rule of law" — acting as "accelerators rather than brakes" on the President Trump's indefensible conduct.
Pence, Pompeo and Barr apparently are unlike other Trump henchmen — think former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Counsel Don McGhan — who told Trump no when our president asked or instructed them to do something illegal. Of course, we did note that Tillerson and McGhan are "former" officials.
Pence, for his part, bailed — on Trump's order — on attending the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's inauguration. It was a pressuring signal that the U.S. wasn't happy with the country or the new president. Then in September after one of Pence's top advisers sat in on Trump's pressuring July 25 phone call with Zelenskyy, Pence met with the new leader in Warsaw. Pence's mission was to tell Zelenskyy that U.S. aid was still being withheld while demanding more aggressive action on corruption — code for where's the investigation we asked for on Biden?
Officials close to Pence insisted to The Washington Post that the vice president was unaware of Trump's efforts to press Zelenskyy for damaging information about Biden and his son, who had served on the board of an obscure Ukrainian gas company, when the elder Biden was overseeing U.S. policy on Ukraine. They also said Pence went to the meeting "probably without having read — or at least fully registered" — the transcript of the Trump-Zelenskyy call.
Then there's Pompeo, who also was on the July 25 call, though he pretended he knew nothing about it: "You just gave me a report about a (intelligence community) whistleblower complaint, none of which I've seen," Pompeo told reporters last month when the story began unraveling. Now he is leading the coverup, refusing to allow State Department employees to testify to Congress and helping Trump bully the whistleblowers and state and intelligence department workers.
And, of course, there's Bill Barr, the globe-trotting stiff-arm of Trump and Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, another world-touring solicitor for dirt and Russia absolution to bring to the king.
Barr is supposed to be the people's attorney — our attorney. But he's already thrown us under the bus many times, beginning with his lies about the Mueller probe findings. Most recently, he's refused to investigate whether crimes were committed during and concerning the Trump-Zelenskyy call. And adding insult to injury, we learn of his own visits and improper requests of our close allies Italy, Australia and Britain. Barr wants them to investigate the origins of the Mueller probe, furthering Trump's baloney claim of "Deep State" corruption.
Fine. President Trump and Attorney General Barr: Let's talk about dirt and corruption.
Is it true that the same China you want to investigate the Bidens are known to have expedited trademarks to the children of other leaders? Ivanka Trump, for instance, to whom China granted trademarks for multiple products, potentially including voting machines, under her Ivanka Trump brand in late 2018. Will you guys be asking Xi to check it out for us?
Or maybe we should ask Middle East countries for some dirt on presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner, whose real estate technology startup company Cadre, was "seeking an investment of at least $100 million from a private fund backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates," according to May 2018 Business Insider story.
But let's not be distracted by all this impeachment talk for all the president's men and women.
We need to keep our eyes on the prize: Donald Trump.