Much of the news yesterday revolved around the aftermath of Trump’s State of the Union speech. Speaker Pelosi received praise on social media for “clapping” at Trump at the end of his speech in a way that was polite yet indignant. Then there were the predictable criticisms of Democratic women, including conservative Peggy Noonan throwing shade on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter:
AOC had a rare bad night, looking not spirited, warm and original as usual but sullen, teenaged and at a loss.
AOC tweeted an epic reply:
Why should I be “spirited and warm” for this embarrassment of a #SOTU? Tonight was an unsettling night for our country. The president failed to offer any plan, any vision at all, for our future. We’re flying without a pilot. And I’m not here to comfort anyone about that fact.
Of greater importance yesterday was likely the announcement by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff that his committee will broaden the scope of their Trump inquiry beginning with these “threads”:
(1) The scope and scale of the Russian government’s operations to influence the U.S. political process, and the U.S. government’s response, during and since the 2016 election;
(2) The extent of any links and/or coordination between the Russian government, or related foreign actors, and individuals associated with Donald Trump’s campaign, transition, administration, or business interests, in furtherance of the Russian government’s interests;
(3) Whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates;
(4) Whether President Trump, his family, or his associates are or were at any time at heightened risk of, or vulnerable to, foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion, or have sought to influence U.S. government policy in service of foreign interests; and
(5) Whether any actors – foreign or domestic – sought or are seeking to impede, obstruct, and/or mislead authorized investigations into these matters, including those in the Congress.
Here’s the full text of the House Committee on Intelligence news release:
It’s notable that number (5) includes domestic actors who impeded the investigation “including those in Congress,” which could be a direct shot at former Chairman Devin Nunes, who many feel did some shady stuff while in control of the committee.
Trump quickly attacked Schiff, calling him a political hack who’s trying to make a name for himself. But it was clear Trump was terrified. Trump said long ago that looking into his personal finances and business interests would be “crossing a red line.” Which made sense considering that Trump spent his career rubbing shoulders with mobsters and Russian gangsters. Of course he was terrified, and the speed and fury of his response was a clear indication of his feeling of vulnerability and jeopardy.
Adding to Trump’s anxiety should be the other interesting news item yesterday. Paul Erickson was indicted for wire fraud and money laundering charges related to businesses he ran in South Dakota that were supposed to help seniors and the disabled. The charges related to crimes that allegedly occurred while Erickson was a member of the Trump team, and Erickson’s Russian girlfriend Maria Butina has already been indicted on spying charges and is awaiting trial. So many are speculating that the charges against Erickson may eventually expand to include activities related to Butina, none of which would be welcome news to the Trump regime.
Every week the law gets a little closer to Trump and his family, who are now being investigated in something like seventeen separate inquiries. It’s not because a vast conspiracy is out to get poor Trump. It’s because Trump and the people around him are deeply crooked, and have been for a long time.
Stay tuned and keep resisting…