Trumplandia: Things Left in the Attic

Special Edition

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Quinnipiac University Poll — May 7, 2019
Did the President Commit a Crime?
Voters who think Trump committed crimes before entering office: 64%
Voters who think Trump committed crimes while president: 45%

Welcome to Trumplandia’s special edition: “Things left in the Attic!” Although our normal visit to the enchanted land of the Donald is met with a bit of wit and snark each week, here we focus on the stuff that was left on the cutting room floor. There is no time period, so who knows what we’ll find. What did you think we did with all of those left-over scraps? We filed them away in our attic, right alongside the Christmas tree and the Halloween decorations! Here you’ll find odds and ends you may have missed from the past couple of weeks. Dig in and catch up!

So just like the president, we start it all with a little tweet like this:

This Muthaf*#~er

This day in Trump — May 13, 2019: Yesterday was Mother’s Day in the United States, but for our commander-in-chief it was just another day to rage tweet and focus on himself.

Self-absorbed and feeling the heat of state and federal investigations into most aspects of his personal and political life, Don Juan forgot all about First Lady Melania and jumped into a tweet storm focused on, you guessed it — the Mueller Report, the alleged Deep State conspiracy that created the Russian probe, and of course Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

Donnie hit up Twitter at about 7 a.m. and did not get around to remembering Melania’s holiday until about 1 p.m. Maybe that’s when all the news programs ended.

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Sigh.

I sure hope Barron at least chipped in for a Mother’s Day card.

Love Letters

Although the Trump administration has turned ignoring congressional subpoenas into an art form, legal professionals outside the purview of Attorney General William Barr spent the last couple of weeks turning up the heat on the president and his businesses outside of Washington, D.C.

New York Attorney General Letitia James last week announced her office had filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for failing to respond to a records request.

The lawsuit says the New York state attorney general sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in search of more information about revised standards that eliminated donor disclosure requirements for non-501-c (3) tax-exempt groups for donors who give more than $5,000. The New York attorney general’s office said it needed more information on the decision to implement the new standard, and said the IRS did not respond in a timely fashion.

The suit also states the new rules make it difficult for the state attorney general’s office to regulate for-profit organizations due to the changes.

“No one is above the law — not even the federal government — and we will use every tool to ensure they comply with these regulations to provide transparency and accountability,” James said.

Meanwhile, in Albany, N.Y. last week, the state Senate passed a bill that would require the release of any state tax returns requested by the chair of the federal House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Due to go before the state Assembly today, the bill would vet an IRS policy of automatically auditing each president, which has placed The Donald’s personal and business returns from 2013–2018 under scrutiny. Because the president resides in New York state, the disclosure of his state returns could offer the U.S. Congress a window into Trump’s finances, something it has requested and not received from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The measure has gained the full backing of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who would have to sign the bill into law in the near future.

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In addition, more than 700 former federal prosecutors last week signed a letter that contends President Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice as a result of the findings in the Mueller Report.

Signed by federal prosecutors ranging from those who served under past presidents for both major political parties dating as far back as the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, the signatories state that Attorney General William Barr’s assertion that a conviction on obstruction charges would not be sustainable is counter intuitive:

“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of the Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”

The letter went on to state that Barr’s examination of the facts presented in the report, yet not offering a recommendation of obstruction was unacceptable:

“To look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice — the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution — runs counter to logic and our experience.”

The document concluded that if not for the Office of Legal Counsel’s policy for not indicting a sitting president, “the overwhelming weight of professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the conduct outlined in the Mueller Report.”

Outro

Weeks back, “Full Frontal” with comedian Samantha Bee held its second not-annual “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

Although the event was held on April 26, at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., the actual show aired at the same time as the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 27.

Held since 1921, the annual event used to bring the media and the president together for a night of goodwill. President Trump has never attended the gala since taking office and this year held a campaign style rally instead. The annual event also was not hosted by a comedian for the first time since 1982.

The video above is one of actor Robert De Niro, one of the invited guests who attended Samantha Bee’s event.

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