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The headline news for the last few days has surrounded the resignation of Michael Flynn, the President’s National Security Adviser. Flynn was the National Security Adviser just 23 days.
Erosion of Trust:
When did the President know?
It seems there is no dispute that Flynn had conversations with Moscow’s ambassador to the US before the inauguration regarding sanctions against Russia. Such a move could be a breach of the law. But the greatest concern should be the attempts of the Trump administration to target not the wrongdoing of Flynn, but the people who leaked the story. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said “Instead of investigating General Flynn’s lies and his troubling ties with Russia, he (Trump) chose to target those who brought them to light. Congress should be doing independent oversight of the Executive Branch and protecting whistleblowers, not running interference while the White House conceals their abuses and misleads the American people for weeks.”
Trump knew of the breach of national security by Flynn weeks ago,and failed to take any action. The Justice Department warned the White House last month that Flynn had not been truthful about the calls with the Russian envoy and could be susceptible to Russian blackmail.
Much speculation has surrounded John Boehner’s sudden resignation as Speaker of the House. The amazing thing is that he resigned his position as Speaker of the House, and his position as a member of the House. With the Budget debate and the possibility of another government shut-down, it was understandable why he would no longer wish to fill a leadership role within the Republican Party. But why did he resign as a member of the House, an elected official from Ohio? He was elected in 2014, so he had served less than half of his term. Such an unplanned move “threw Ohio Republicans into chaos “No one, not even some on Boehner’s staff, had received notice the U.S. House speaker planned to resign.” He has been a member of the House since 1991, 24 years.
The answer may be as predictable as the resignation of any other politician who is caught doing something immoral, unethical, or illegal. Politicususa reported that a federal investigation had been launched two years ago into excessive campaign contributions. It was reported that:
“The Federal Election Commission is examining whether dozens of political action committees and individuals contributed more than the legally allowed amount to House Speaker John Boehner during last year’s election cycle.
Letters the Federal Election Committee sent Monday to Friends of John Boehner indicated that donors including coal, energy, and gambling interests, exceeded contribution limits to Boehner’s committee by more than $150,000.
Among the groups that were allegedly overgenerous to Boehner were Coalpac and Minepac, which represent the mining industry, as well as political committees representing the Exelon, Constellation and Luminant power companies, and the Ceasars and Penn National gambling enterprises.
“Although the commission may take further legal action concerning the acceptance of excessive contributions, your prompt action to refund the excessive amount will be taken into consideration,” the letters say.”
Certainly Boehner has been known for his ability to raise substantial donations. After the announcement of his resignation, the New York Times reported:
“Even Mr. Boehner’s most strident opponents will almost certainly miss him for his ability to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, for his critics as well as his allies.”
Boehner seems to have taken pride in his ability to raise large sums of campaign contributions. In June 1995, Boehner distributed campaign contributions from tobacco industry lobbyists on the House floor as House members were weighing how to vote on tobacco subsidies. In a 1996 documentary by PBS called The People and the Power Game, Boehner said:
“They asked me to give out a half dozen checks quickly before we got to the end of the month and I complied. And I did it on the House floor, which I regret. I should not have done. It’s not a violation of the House rules, but it’s a practice that‘s gone on here for a long time that we’re trying to stop and I know I’ll never do it again.” Boehner eventually led the effort to change House rules and prohibit campaign contributions from being distributed on the House floor.
Boehner was “Tightly Bound to Lobbyists” and “He maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R.J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.”
We will watch in the weeks ahead to see if the Federal Election Committee is about to take “further legal action.”
The Republican Party suffered a fatal blow when John McCain nominated Sarah Palin to be his VP running mate. It wasn’t obvious at first, but within a few weeks people across the country were mortified! How could anyone place America at risk by putting someone so inexperienced, so uneducated, and so ignorant in a position to potentially be the leader of the free world. Regardless of your political allegiances, most would agree that Sarah Palinshould never be allowed near the White House. Fortunately she doesn’t know where it is, so we thought we had dodged a bullet.
With crazy people like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz running for President, we are still suffering from the damage of Sarah Palin’s influence.
Remember the Donald indicated that he thinks so much of Sarah that he’d put her in his cabinet. Sarah thinks so much of Trump that she’d accept the position as Secretary of Energy, because “that’s my baby”. Then after accepting the position she admits she’d quit.
Ted Cruz admits that he’d never have been elected but for the help of Sarah Palin. Cruz said:
In October of 2013, Ted Cruz was responsible for shutting down the Government. Republicans lambasted him. McCain has spoken out against Cruz and his antics ,calling him a “wacko bird.” McCain has explained that
“I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans. They’re not.”
In 2013, Congressional Republicans knew that all of their efforts to amend or repeal the Affordable Care Act by Constitutional means had failed. The Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional. The linchpin of the act, the “affordability credits” that have helped more than 10 millionAmericans obtain coverage, were about to go into effect.
Thrown into a fury, the GOP shut down the federal government. Health and safety inspections halted. Federal loans and import/export licenses were put on hold. Tax refunds totaling $4 billion were postponed. The National Institutes of Health stopped accepting patients. More than 800,000 federal workers were sent home.
It was embarrassing, costly and pointless. Standard & Poor’s estimated that the 16-day federal shutdown in 2013 cost us $24 billion. This from the self-proclaimed “fiscally responsible” party. It was also political self-mutilation by the GOP; its support in the polls dropped by 10%.
Now, two years later, once again we face the threat of another shutdown. This time because a small faction of the GOP wants to choke off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, even though Planned Parenthood provides medical services to poor women across the country. Planned Parenthood received roughly half a billion dollars in federal grants each year. The federal government spends approximately $3 trillion a year. So the GOP is threatening to shut down federal spending, over a concern regarding about one-sixtieth of 1% of federal spending.
Just yesterday an article on CNN highlighted the pressure which was “most acute” on Boehner. Cruz and other Tea party members accused GOP leaders of “surrender.” The No. 2 House Democrat, Steny Hoyer, blasted Republicans who control Congress for running this debate right up to the deadline again. “It’s a terrible, inefficient, wrong way to run the government of the United States,” Hoyer told reporters Wednesday.
“The pressure is most acute on Boehner, who is facing a revolt from the conservative House Freedom Caucus over his leadership position. Some are warning they will try to force him out of the speakership if he allows federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a battle that could prompt an unprecedented fight on the House floor for the Ohio Republican to keep his job.” In a sign of how concerned House GOP leaders are about the vote, Boehner summoned to his office some of the conservatives who are threatening him. Mulvaney, Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Arizona, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wisconsin, and Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho arrived at the speaker’s office Thursday afternoon. On his way in, Mulvaney said he felt like he was being called “to the principal’s office.”
The reconciliation has already drawn scorn from the right, but a growing number of House Republican freshmen have called on the GOP to take the threat of shutdown off the table. A letter sent to Republican House members from 11 freshmen said their party should avoid and “unnecessary and harmful government shutdown” and support a short-term funding bill. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, told CNN’s Jake Tapper he didn’t believe forcing a shutdown over defunding Planned Parenthood was the right strategy, instead favoring defunding the organization through the reconciliation process. “There are better ways in getting at this issue, defunding this barbaric process and this group that does this, than involving the shutdown issue,” Ryan said.
This morning John Boehner resigned. He announced that he is resigning his position as Speaker of the House, and as a Congressman. Senator John McCain of Arizona was taken aback, and he said Mr. Boehner’s resignation had perilous implications for Republican prospects going into next year’s elections.
“It means that’s it in disarray,…basically he has been unseated. And that’s not good for the Republican Party.”
His advice? “We’ve got to unite and recognize who the adversary is.”
For decades, Mr. Boehner had legislated as a stalwart Republican.
The conflict over the affordable care act resulted in a 16-day government shutdown in October 2013. We were on the brink of default on the nation’s debt service and the undoing of former Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader. Mr. Cantor oversaw the movement of the right to empower Republicans, but he was ultimately defeated in a primary in 2014 by an unknown challenger whose candidacy was fueled by Tea Party energy.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the agency that determines the costs of proposed legislation, estimates that stripping Planned Parenthood of its federal funding would increase government spending by $130 million over a decade. It would also have a disproportionate effect on low-income women. This is especially repugnant as the Hyde amendment, passed years ago, prevents any Federal money from being used to fund abortions.
Thus Ted Cruz, with the support of Sarah Palin, continues to injure and damage the United States of America. Instead of saving us money, they cost us money. Instead of promoting the election of more conservative politicians, they are causing the resignation of conservative politicians. It is uncertain who will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016, but whoever it is will surely be elected as a result of the damage caused by Sarah Palin, and people she’s supported.
After three years of waiting, a law suit, and thousands of dollars in attorney fees, the Secret Service has finally produced the statement of David Chaney regarding the allegations made against him by Shailey Tripp. Here are the documents produced.
The documents produced include a statement David Chaney in which he denies even knowing Shailey Tripp. The statement of Chaney is inconsistent with previous national news reports. The statement of Chaney is dated June 6, 2012. The statement of Chaney is troublesome as the date of that statement is June 6, 2012 and the statement produced to me by A.T. Smith in June of 2013 was also dated June 6, 2012. In comparing the two statements, it appears that the two statements are identical, but it is unclear if that is infact the case as the Secret Service redacted a significant portion on the statement produced in June of 2013. Comparing the statements side by side it appears that the portion of Chaney’s statement that was redacted included the statement that “I am willing to take a polygraph tot he aforementioned facts.” If that statement was redacted it is particularly objectionable, as it appears the Secret Service was trying to cover-up the fact that Chaney gave, or was willing to give, a polygraph statement. Significantly, the Secret Service has not produced a single polygraph statement of any agent involved in the Colombia scandal to me in response to my FOIA requests.
One additional fact is proof that the Secret Service reported incorrect information to the press regarding the scandal, or the statements of Chaney are untruthful. In multiple news outlets it was reported that David Chaney resigned in April of 2012.
- On April 19, 2012, the Washington Post reported that “The Secret Service announced Wednesday that three of the men were being dismissed from the agency for their involvement. The third man is a junior member of the team who has voluntarily elected to resign, those familiar with the investigation said.”
2. On April 20, 2012, CNN reported:http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/20/us/secret-service/
“Three more Secret Service employees have “chosen to resign” in the wake of a prostitution scandal that emerged last week, the agency said in a news release Friday.”
“Six Secret Service members now have left their jobs in the wake of the incident in Cartagena, Colombia, which came while they were on a security detail in advance of President Barack Obama’s trip there for the Summit of the Americas.
“The agency also announced Friday that a 12th Secret Service “employee has been implicated,” having previously said 11 were under investigation.”
“One employee “has been cleared of serious misconduct, but will face administrative action,” the Secret Service said.”
“Five employees are on administrative leave and have had their security clearances temporarily revoked.”
3. The Dallas Morning News reported on the scandal. Dallas residents were particularly interested in the scandal as David Chaney was a 48 year-old graduate of W.T. White High School in northwest Dallas. He was reported to be one of two supervisors on the President’s security detail. The DMN reported “That agent and five others have resigned or been fired.” Sarah Palin repeated this information on Fox News saying: “Check this out body-guard, you’re fired.”
4. NBC News featured an article and a live newscast with Kristen Welker in which they reported on April 20, 2012 that both Greg Stokes and David Chaney had both left their jobs in the wake of the Cartagena, Colombia prostitution scandal. NBC reported that the investigation included polygraph examinations, interviews with the employees involved, and witness interviews, to include interviews being conducted by our Office of Professional Responsibility in Cartagena, Colombia.
5. During a press briefing it was clear that the president was angry about the involvement of the Secret Service agents in Colombia. That press briefing was reported on April 25, 2012. At that time it was indicated that the Secret Service had “decided the career fates of all 12 of these people.”
However the statement produced to me by A.T. Smith in June of 2013 and the Statement of David Chaney dated June 6, 2012 indicate that David Chaney was still employed by the Secret Service on June 6, 2012.
To date there has also been a total failure of the Secret Service to produce any evidence or documents related to the “ongoing enforcement proceedings” that were reportedly pending in Feb. of 2013.
To date there has also been no production of documents regarding a government issued credit card for David Chaney. It is my impression that each of the agents were given a government issued credit card to cover expenses while on assignment. This is particularly troubling given the cryptome site that reveals a credit card purportedly issued to David Chaney that includes a charge of $40.00 to Shailey Tripp.