Pardon me and me and me!
We learned Wednesday former Trump lawyer John Dowd had offered the prospect of pardons for Paul a and Mike Flynn while they were under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller last year. This is not an action for innocent people and appears to have been an insurance policy for the two if they would not cooperate with Mueller’s investigation. It’s yet to be confirmed as obstruction of justice but it sure points in that direction.
Flashing forward, Flynn struck a plea deal and is cooperating but Manafort pled not guilty and continues to resist. Why? Is he angling for a pardon?
Manafort must really be in deep because Tuesday, Mueller filed a memorandum in district court that points out Manafort’s partner and Trump’s campaign manager, Rick Gates, was in contact with a business associate with known, ongoing ties to the Russian intelligence agency responsible for hacking DNC emails. No wonder Trump and his team are having kittens now that Gates is cooperating with Mueller.
All of this points to a common thread of panic running through everyone connected to Trump or at least the awareness that Mueller may be closing in. The prospect of Mueller’s firing has never been greater.
The Cut Cut Cut Cut Cut Medicare Tax Cut Bill
No one, not even the Republicans believed their tossed together tax cut plan would create tax revenues through growth. Already the drain on the treasury has increased the deficit by a trillion dollars, all for the benefit of large corporations and the richest of the rich, so Republicans are working on a fix. Well, not really a fix, it’s more like compounding the problem because Republicans are going to propose a balanced budget Amendment to make sure the tax cuts stay but everyone else will have to suffer the consequences by cutting government spending where it does the most good. I’m talking about Medicare, which face it, was the plan all along.
A Balanced Budget Amendment has 0 chance of passing in congress but it will provide cover and give the GOP some ammunition to fire at every Democrat who opposes it. But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t backfire in their faces. Not happy with the damage they’ve done, Republicans are ramping up to offer even more tax cuts just to bring to a vote to be used as campaign fodder for every Democrat who opposes more tax cuts.
Call a doctor
David Shulkin is out as VA Secretary and could be replaced by White House physician Ronny Jackson. You might remember the good doctor touting Trump’s superior genes capable of turning Big Macs and KFC into healthy nutritious foods. You might also recall he gave Trump’s weight as 239 pounds. He might need to see an eye doctor.
Shulkin who was hammered for a supposed joy ride to Europe with his wife, we’re now finding out he was gagged by the White House to offer a defense that might have exonerated him of all charges. Why did the WH do this? Seems Shulkin was not keen on all the privatization Trump is wanting to do the VA. Why just bust Shulkin? What about Ben Carson, Ryan Zinke and Scott Pruitt not to mention all the others?
Could this be something else? Is this a trial run for firing Mueller? Hold on and consider this. Trump is replacing Shulkin with an acting under secretary in the interim, which means there is no congressional approval needed and he automatically gets another Trump “yes” man for his privatization scheme for rich GOP donors . If this works he may try the same play at DoJ by firing Sessions and loading the position with another pre-approved interim replacement yes-man who would be willing to fire Mueller.
One last thing
Trump has told his aides not to brag about the U.S. kicking out 60 Russian diplomats. Trump argues rubbing it in might agitate Russian President Vladimir Putin. This moratorium on promoting the expulsion is remaining in place even though Russia announced it is kicking out 60 U.S. diplomats and more from other nations. Trump is acting like Putin is his daddy which is about as weird as his relationship with his daughter.