Thursday, July 04, 2019


This is exactly what it appears to be:
July 4th fireworks donor lobbied President Trump on tariffs and won a reprieve

President Donald Trump's Fourth of July celebration will feature $750,000 of donated fireworks from an Ohio retailer who has lobbied the White House against expanded tariffs on Chinese imports.

And last week, the same day the donation was announced, the company -- Phantom Fireworks of Youngstown, Ohio -- got what it wanted: Trump decided to hold off on his threatened $300 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, which include fireworks.

"This is another example of how private companies attempt use their money to influence the government by stroking the president's ego," said Jordan Libowitz with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan watchdog group.
It looks like bribery because it is bribery. Remember, the Constitution doesn't limit the reasons for impeachment to "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" -- the full phrase is "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

It's unlikely that the House of Representatives will ever impeach Trump for this or any other misdeed. If the Mueller report didn't lead to an impeachment effort, nothing will. I know many of you believe that Robert Mueller's congressional testimony in a couple of weeks could change everything, but it won't. He'll use dull, bureaucratic language. Witch-hunt conspiracy theorists in the GOP will make more noise than the Democrats on the committee.

Even impeachment advocates don't belive there can be a conviction in a Republican Senate. The point is to let the public see a full accounting of Trump's crimes. But we don't need an impeachment for that.

If I were Tom Steyer, I would stop running ads full of people simply demanding impeachment. I'd commission ads that succinctly summarize every obstruction allegation in the Mueller report -- maybe one ad for each allegation. C'mon, folks, we're the side whose members include most of America's writers and filmmakers. Why can't we find anyone who can recount what's in the Mueller report in vivid language? In his testimony, Mueller won't. So why aren't we doing it?

Beyond that, people with the necessary skills -- constitutional lawyers, former congressional staffers -- should simply draw up every plausible article of impeachment against Trump and publish them, on as prominent a platform as possible. The effort should be spearheaded by a person of some notoriety -- a member of Congress, a political commentator, a celebrity, maybe even a presidential candidate -- or someone with money, like Steyer, so the public will take notice.

Publicize the effort. Maybe run the articles as a full-page ad in The New York Times or USA Today. Post them online and keep updating them as Trump commits new crimes.

We know what the crimes arr. If Democrats in Congress won't enumerate them, someone outside Congress should.

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