News broke yesterday that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was under investigation by the Feds for campaign finance violations and possible bribery of foreign officials, probably falling under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Giuliani has been under a microscope ever since his Ukrainian goons were indicted several weeks ago, and since then it appears that one of them, Lev Parnas, might have decided to cut a deal and work prosecutors. Parnas was apparently hurt and angered when Trump claimed he didn’t know Parnas, who has reportedly spent much time in Trump’s orbit. Giuliani is the second of Trump’s personal lawyers to be investigated, the first being Michael Cohen who is serving a three-year term for campaign finance violations. As others have noted, Everything Trump Touches Dies.
The continuing fallout from the impeachment inquiry seemed to land in one of two categories yesterday. Democrats remained steadfast and serious in their determination to call more witnesses and expose more evidence of a bribery and extortion scheme by Trump and his circle. Republicans remained committed to a delusional alternate reality where up is down and wrong is right, insisting that Russia had no role in election interference and anyway insisting the impeachment hearings are boring and lack drama.
This last claim is worth of our attention and resistance. If the standard for justice in our legal system requires drama and pizzazz, our republic is lost. Crime is often boring, especially white collar crime. Al Capone wasn’t sent to jail for murder–he was sent away for tax evasion. So activists have to beat back the notion that a web of extortion and deceit can’t amount to an impeachable offense because it’s too complicated and dull. Trump enlisted a team of people outside the administration to pressure Ukraine to accept his corrupt demands. It went beyond a single phone call. And now we’re learning the details of how this scheme was conducted.
We have to hammer home a simple message. A president who engages in bribery to help his re-election while hurting our foreign policy and making us less safe is unfit for office. Trump has exposed his moral bankruptcy and lack of character. His actions are indefensible and unacceptable.
The public inquiry continues today with former Ambassador Yovanovitch scheduled to testify, so stay tuned, keep resisting, and keep working to “vote his ass out of office” if he isn’t removed first.