Kavanaugh must be removed from the Federal Court

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Kavanaugh completely unhinged at Senate hearing. This guy needs help not a promotion

In the face of courageous, credible accusations in the Senate, we witnessed unhinged vile misogyny and bullying behavior. That was yesterday’s Senate Judiciary hearing on Trump lackey Brett Kavanaugh.

Senate Republicans, promoting despicable Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court found a perfect way to institutionalize their agenda and double down on the misogyny at its core. For all of us involved with the Examiner, it’s very clear that Kavanaugh should be impeached, for repeatedly lying and losing his shit on national TV.

This entitled jerk has been credibly accused of sexual assault and lying under oath in 2004, 2006 and credibility in this round of confirmation hearings. He should be removed from his current position on the Federal Court.

Republicans have proven that they care more about helping entitled privileged men to escape the consequences for sexual assault and harassment than about making sure a liar and accused sexual predator isn’t confirmed to the Supreme Court.  Members of the Congress should be feeling massive pressure demanding they have a full and complete investigation into all of the lying and credible accusations leveled at his Judge. This should be conducted under the auspices of a full impeachment investigation of Brett Kavanaugh.

We can’t let any electeds off the hook they must stand strong and fight.

Kavanaugh must be removed from the Federal Court!

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Kavanaugh is not just a conservative jurist, he’s a Republican operative who is posing as a judge

Poor Brett! We imagine Trump coaching Kavanaugh to stay strong just keep denying it. It’s what I always do.

“[Brett Kavanaugh] is not just a conservative jurist. He’s not John Roberts. He’s not even Neil Gorsuch. He’s a Republican operative who is posing as a judge” — US Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii

After the news broke on Friday about an anonymous, decades-old accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Salon’s Amanda Marcotte expressed little surprise at the possibility it might have happened. As she pointed out, despite all the treacly paeans to Kavanaugh the kindly “basketball dad,” his jurisprudence as a federal judge was enough to show his hostility to women’s rights. It wasn’t much of a stretch to imagine that he might have acted upon such impulses at some point in his life. After all, the illegitimate president who nominated Kavanaugh for the high court has bragged about assaulting women and more than a dozen have come forward to say that he wasn’t idly boasting when he said that. During his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh seemed to be as unconcerned with those allegations as the rest of his party.

Over the weekend, Republicans circled the wagons. The anonymous accuser had named a conservative writer named Mark Judge as Kavanaugh’s teenage accomplice in the assault. Judge came forward to say that he had “no recollection” of such an event saying, “It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way.” That might be true, since Judge has written extensively about the wild, debauched atmosphere at the all-male prep school he and Kavanaugh attended in suburban Maryland, and admits to having been a blackout drunk during that period.

That doesn’t exactly help Kavanaugh’s case. Neither does it help that Kavanaugh later joined a notoriously dissipated and drunken fraternity at Yale and belonged to an equally licentious secret society that even today remains one of the few all-male groups on campus. None of that is evidence that Kavanaugh assaulted anyone, to be sure. But it does call into question the Boy Scout image his sponsors so assiduously created during his confirmation hearings.

On Sunday, the woman who had lodged the complaint came forward to tell her story. She is a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University named Christine Blasey Ford, and she told the Washington Post that she was the author of the letter detailing the alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh and Judge in the 1980s, when all three were high school students. It’s a harrowing story, which Ford’s therapist had documented in her files years ago. Ford says she was reluctant to come forward because she knew that it would make her life unbearable. She’s undoubtedly right. Kavanaugh’s defenders are going to come after her with everything they have.

The Republicans are already shrieking about the Democrats playing dirty pool, which is as ironic as it gets. It was Republicans who threw away the rule book to hold a Supreme Court seat open for nearly a year so they could appoint a hard-right conservative. They are making the case that this “unprovable” accusation is unfair because, as one Townhall writer expressed on Twitter, “I don’t know how it would be remotely just to derail the nomination of someone who’s spent an adult lifetime building a personal & professional reputation based on this exceptionally thin standard.”

Perhaps that’s true, but it doesn’t get Kavanaugh off the hook. In fact, it should make everyone go back and take a closer look at Kavanaugh’s personal and professional reputation. When it comes to unfairness and character assassination, he’s an expert.

Here is just one example to illustrate the depth of his character deficiencies. Back in the 1990s, conservative activists went to DefCon One when Bill Clinton came into office. A whole group of young conservative lawyers joined the cause, Kavanaugh among them. His first big job for the movement was as Ken Starr’s point man on the Vince Foster case.

Indeed, it was Kavanaugh who pushed for the investigation even though Foster’s death had been amply covered by congressional committees, the local police, the FBI and the first special counsel Robert Fisk, all of whom had found that the former deputy White House counsel had committed suicide. But Kavanaugh was deep in the right-wing fever swamp and argued to Starr that they could unscrupulously use the fact that there were unfounded conspiracy theories surrounding Foster’s death to reopen the case, despite the grieving family’s desperate pleas for the government to stop the “outrageous innuendo and speculation for political ends.”

Kavanaugh was apparently particularly interested in Rush Limbaugh’s odious suggestion to his legions of listeners that Foster had been murdered in an apartment secretly owned by Hillary Clinton. He spent three years and $2 million attempting to dig up dirt on the dead man, at one point demanding that Foster’s teenage daughter give the authorities specimens of her hair — an apparent attempt to prove or imply that a hair found on Foster’s jacket had belonged to Hillary Clinton. Kavanaugh asked everyone involved about this nonexistent affair between Clinton and Foster — even, eventually, Clinton herself. It later became clear that Kavanaugh knew all along that Foster had committed suicide, and that he had used the power and resources of the independent counsel’s office to lend credibility to vulgar sexual rumors about the first lady, in the process needlessly torturing the family of a dead man.

Let’s just say there is more than one way to assault someone. In this case, which is proven, he assaulted two women: Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster’s widow, Elizabeth.

As of this writing, we don’t know whether Republicans on the Judiciary Committee will delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote or reopen the hearings and call Christine Blasey Ford to testify. But if they are depending on their nominee’s reputation as an upstanding, honest, decent adult to outweigh this accusation of sexual assault in high school, they are going to have to find another candidate for the seat.

As Sen. Brian Schatz said in the quote above, Brett Kavanaugh is not just another conservative jurist. He is a professional political operative with a past full of dirty tricks and character assassination. If there is any decency left in the Republican Party this latest revelation will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/09/heres-allegation-kavanaugh-credible-hes-smeared-attacked-women/

The treasonous damage Trump is committing not only needs to be stopped, but completely obliterated.

His royal “hindass”

It’s not enough to impeach Trump, says Robert Reich, his entire presidency should be annulled! (hell ya!) 

Here is how:

The only way I see the end of Trump is if there’s overwhelming evidence he rigged the 2016 election. In which case impeachment isn’t an adequate remedy. His presidency should be *annulled. *(to make void or null; abolish; cancel; invalidate. To reduce to nothing; obliterate, to cancel.)

Let me explain. Many people are convinced we’re already witnessing the beginning of the end of Trump.

In their view, bombshell admissions from Trump insiders with immunity from prosecution, combined with whatever evidence Mueller uncovers about Trump’s obstruction of justice and his aide’s collusion with the Russians, will all tip the scales.

Democrats will take back the House and begin an impeachment, and the evidence of impeachable offenses will put enough pressure on Republican senators to send Trump packing.

I don’t believe this for a moment.

First, the Senate has never in history convicted a president of impeachment.

Second, even if Democrats flip the House in November, Republicans will almost certainly remain in control of the Senate – and so far they’ve displayed the integrity of lizards.

Third, Fox News and the rest of the right-wing sleaze media will continue to distort and cover up whatever the evidence shows – convincing 35 to 40 percent of Americans, along with most Republicans, that Trump is the innocent victim of a plot to remove him.

Finally, Trump himself will never voluntarily resign, as did Nixon. He’ll lie and claim a conspiracy to unseat him.

He’s proven himself a superb conman, an entertainer-demagogue capable of sowing so much confusion and instigating so much hate and paranoia that he has already survived outrages that would have broken any garden-variety loathsome president – Helsinki, Charlottesville, children locked in cages at the border, firings and cover-ups, racist slurs, clear corruption.

In all likelihood, we’ll have him for another two and a half years.

Don’t bet the house on him losing in 2020, either. A malignant bullying megalomaniac who lies like most people breathe, and who’s able to suck the oxygen out of every news cycle, might pulverize any Democratic opponent.

Even if he loses in 2020, we’ll be fortunate if he concedes without being literally carried out of the Oval Office amid the stirrings of civil insurgency.

Oh, and let me remind you that even if he’s impeached, we’d still have his loathsome administration – Pence on down.

But lest you fall into a miasma of gloom, there’s another scenario – unlikely, but entirely possible.

Suppose, just suppose, Robert Mueller finds overwhelming and indisputable evidence that Trump conspired with Putin to rig the 2016 election, and the rigging determined the election’s outcome.

In other words, Trump’s presidency is not authorized under the United States Constitution.

Suppose these findings are so compelling that even Trump loyalists desert him, the Republican Party decides it has had enough, and Fox News calls for his impeachment.

What then? Impeachment isn’t enough.

Impeachment would remedy Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But impeachment would not remedy Trump’s unconstitutional presidency because it would leave in place his vice president, White House staff and Cabinet, as well as all the executive orders he issued and all the legislation he signed, and the official record of his presidency.

The only response to an unconstitutional presidency is to annul it. Annulment would repeal all of an unconstitutional president’s appointments and executive actions, and would eliminate the official record of the presidency.

Annulment would recognize that all such appointments, actions, and records were made without constitutional authority.

The Constitution does not specifically provide for annulment of an unconstitutional presidency. But read as a whole, the Constitution leads to the logical conclusion that annulment is the appropriate remedy for one.

After all, the Supreme Court declares legislation that doesn’t comport with the Constitution null and void, as if it had never been passed.

It would logically follow that the Court could declare all legislation and executive actions of a presidency unauthorized by the Constitution to be null and void, as if Trump had never been elected.

The Constitution also gives Congress and the states the power to amend the Constitution, thereby annulling or altering whatever provisions came before. Here, too, it would logically follow that Congress and the states could, through amendment, annul a presidency they determine to be unconstitutional.

As I’ve said, my betting is Trump remains president at least through 2020 – absent compelling and indisputable evidence he rigged the 2016 election.

But if such evidence comes forth, impeachment isn’t an adequate remedy because Trump’s presidency would be constitutionally illegitimate.

It should be *annulled. *(to make void or null; abolish; cancel; invalidate. To reduce to nothing; obliterate, to cancel.)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/08/not-enough-impeach-trump-entire-presidency-annulled/

Trump’s buddies, the Saudis, join him in bashing Canada

On Sunday, Trumps strong supporters Saudi Arabia reacted to a single tweet from the Canadian foreign ministry. The tweet called on the Saudis to “immediately release” imprisoned activist Samar Badawi, sister of Raif, as well as “all other peaceful #humanrights activists.” The Saudi foreign ministry lambasted the Canadians for an “unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable” statement, announced the “freezing of all new trade and investment transactions” with Canada, demanding the Canadian ambassador leave the country “within the next 24 hours.”

At the same time, Saudi trolls took to Twitter to declare their loud support for … Quebec’s independence. Who knew that an absolute Persian Gulf monarchy was so passionate about a French-speaking secessionist movement 6,000 miles away?


Saudi Arabia was just getting started. On Monday, the kingdom escalated the row by suspending scholarships “for about 16,000 Saudi students” studying in Canada, the Toronto Star reported, “and ordered them to attend schools elsewhere.”

Then a Saudi group put out an image on Twitter of a Canadian airliner flying directly toward Toronto’s tallest building over a warning against interfering in others’ affairs. (The Saudi group later deleted it and apologized)

Much has been made of the kingdom’s “increasingly assertive foreign policy” but, yet again, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known by his initials MBS, may have bitten off more than he can chew. It’s madness to try and bully a Western government, which up until Sunday was both a friend of Saudi Arabia and a major arms supplier, for offering the mildest of online criticisms of (undeniable) human rights abuses. What message does that send to Riyadh’s other Western allies, who also like to go through the motions of lightly condemning various Saudi abuses in order to appease their voters? Is the game up?

MBS is the reverse Midas — everything he touches turns to dust.

Why, for example, make so much noise and demonstrate such (faux) outrage over Canada’s “overt and blatant interference in the internal affairs” of the Saudi kingdom, thereby drawing attention to the country’s own “overt and blatant interference” in Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and, of course, Yemen? The double standards are stark.
They could have just ignored Canada’s passing, pro forma admonishment of their crackdown on women’s rights activists and the rest. They’ve done it before. But the Saudis, led by their impulsive and thin-skinned crown prince, have proven themselves to be their own worst enemies. Their Iranian, Qatari, and Turkish rivals couldn’t pay for the kind of negative, anti-Saudi media coverage that the folks in Riyadh seem to produce all by themselves.

Take Yemen. This summer, The Intercept reported on a Saudi airstrike that hit a wedding in the remote mountain village of Al-Raqah, killing 23 civilians, including children, and injuring dozens. In a follow-up, the Washington Post cited U.N. figures showing that “more than three years into Yemen’s civil war, more than 16,000 civilians have been killed and injured, the vast majority by airstrikes.” The Post noted that the Saudi-led coalition “is the only actor in the conflict that uses warplanes, mostly U.S.- and British-made fighter jets. The airstrikes have struck hospitals, schools, markets, motels, migrant boats, gas stations, even funeral gatherings, raising questions about the coalition’s ability to abide by humanitarian laws that call for civilians to be safeguarded.”
“Raising questions” is an understatement. The ongoing Saudi-led blockade and bombardment of Yemen has led to politicians, pundits, and activists across the West accusing the Saudi military of “crimes against humanity” and calling MBS a “war criminal.”

(don’t forget their blockade of Qatar, after they turned down Jared’s loan demands)

https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/jilted-by-qatar-jared-kushner-pushes-his-newfound-saudi-buddies-to-blockade-them/

THEN THERE IS the whole terrorism issue. This week, as the Saudis escalated their diplomatic spat with the Canadians, the Associated Press reported that the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has “cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment, and wads of looted cash,” while “hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.”
According to AP, “these compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day — and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks.”

So what’s the response from Donald Trump’s team to all this?

A State Department official told HuffPost on Monday that the administration would not be taking sides in the spat because “Canada and Saudi Arabia are both close allies of the United States.”
Sorry, what? “Both close allies”? Is Canada working with Al Qaeda in Yemen? Cutting deals with, and recruiting fighters from, the group behind the attack on the Twin Towers? And, while we’re on the subject of Al Qaeda, how many of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Canadians?

To quote Sen. Bernie Sanders, last September, “Do I consider [the Saudis] an ally? I consider them to be an undemocratic country that has supported terrorism around the world, it has funded terrorism, so I can’t. … No, they are not an ally of the United States.”

From an article by Mehdi Hasan in The Intercept

Enough of Giuliani’s BS. It’s time to subpoena Trump.

As special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III marches forward with his prosecution of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and as the case that Trump engaged in criminal conduct grows stronger, Trump and his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani continue their tango about whether Trump will deign to answer questions from Mueller’s team.

Said Giuliani on the possibility of an interview: “If they can come to us and show us the basis and that it’s legitimate and that they have uncovered something, we can go from there and assess their objectivity.” Giuliani added to his list of prerequisite demands that he wants to know about the origins of the FBI probe before agreeing to some form of an interview. Then on Wednesday, Giuliani announced that the president’s team issued yet another counter-proposal to Mueller, declining to specify the terms.

So if Mueller can prove the legitimacy of his case, and if Giuliani and Trump conclude it’s objective, and if they receive sufficient information about the probe’s origins, then they might consider answering some questions in writing. (What a load of crap!)

Rudolph W. Giuliani with Donald J. Trump

Enough is enough. It’s time to subpoena Trump.

Mueller has been extraordinarily deferential and patient while Trump and his representatives engaged in their scarcely credible gamesmanship. Notwithstanding Giuliani’s representations that Trump is pawing the stall eager to submit to an interview under oath, it has become increasingly apparent that neither Trump nor anyone in his orbit has any interest in his answering Mueller’s questions. In a word, they are playing Mueller, and in the process, playing the country.

This post is an edited version of this opinion piece by Harry Litman in the Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/time-for-mueller-to-bring-out-the-big-guns

You may not want to admit it but, Putin is winning, biggly

The happy ventriloquist and his “low IQ” dummy

Vladimir Putin and Russia’s goal is to destabilize the American system of government. Russian effort to sabotage the 2016 US presidential election was a big success and represent the most recent example of Moscow’s longstanding goal to undermine the US-led democratic order. Trump, with his wrecking ball style and tendency to destroy societal norms, became their most useful tool. (a stupidly perfect one, in fact)

Now Trump has publicly said his attorney general should shut down Special Council Mueller’s investigation into Russian sabotage.

Tensions between Trump and the media have boiled over at a couple Trump rallies and the White House has doubled down on its emerging campaign to tag the media not just as “fake news” but the “enemy of the American people.”

Now large swaths of the country have decided that Trump is guilty of conspiracy and obstruction of justice and also decided he is completely beholden to the Russians and that the Putin must have kompromat on Trump.

Whatever Trump’s motivations, we have a narcissistic moron in power, who is quite happy to destabilize our system of American government and seems honored to do it.

The next step seems to be that if the Republicans lose the house, to claim it’s rigged and to not concede defeat set up yet another constitutional crisis and confrontations in the streets. (Valdys gotta love that)

Remember Trump and Putin are set up to make vast sums of money no matter what happens.

Losing the American constitutional republic

We’re “on the cusp” of “losing the American constitutional republic forever”

Malcolm Nance on Former intelligence officer turned author says Putin is Trump’s “handler” and we’re in a “Benedict Arnold moment”

 

The crisis that has befallen America under Donald Trump’s presidency is not ripped from the pages of a John le Carré or Jason Matthews spy novel. It is all too real.

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has unanimously endorsed the intelligence community’s conclusion that the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election, with the goal of electing Donald Trump and undermining American democracy.

Former CIA director John Brennan agrees that Vladimir Putin commanded his spies and other agents to assist Donald Trump so that he would defeat Hillary Clinton. Brennan also believes that Putin may be blackmailing Trump as a means of forcing the president to do his bidding.

Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicted numerous people in connection with Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and related criminal behavior.

Trump openly encouraged Putin and his agents to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Trump continues to publicly praise Putin and make excuses for his apparent efforts to subvert American democracy. Trump now plans to meet privately with Putin later this month. It has been reported that no American advisers or other observers will attend these meetings.

If what now seems apparent is indeed true, Putin has successfully conducted one of the greatest covert operations in modern history. He and his agents have undermined the United States’ standing in the world and apparently now control a president, the Republican Party, and tens of millions of Americans who have embraced authoritarianism and betrayed their own country’s democratic values and institutions.

How was Russia able to accomplish this? Is Donald Trump actively working for Vladimir Putin and Russia, or is he just a “useful idiot”? What social cleavages did Russia exploit in order to do so much damage to the United States? How does Russia’s support of Trump and American fascism fit into a much larger global plan?

In an effort to answer these questions, I recently spoke with Malcolm Nance, a career intelligence and counterterrorism officer for the United States government. In his more than three decades working in that capacity, Nance served with U.S. Special Operations forces, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. He has worked in the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. A frequent guest contributor on MSNBC, Nance has authored several books, including the bestselling “The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election.”

Nance’s new book is “The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West.” This conversation has been edited for clarity and length. A longer version can be heard on my podcast.

It has been about a year since we last spoke about President Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election. At this point, are matters better, worse or about what you expected in terms of how Trump is behaving and his impact on the country?

Things are happening as expected. But who would have thought that Donald Trump would be feeling so much pressure about being caught working with the Russians that he would feel the need to start paying them off so greatly? Trump is now warning that he may eliminate or downgrade NATO.

It’s just insane. We created NATO. It was a United States invention for the collective security of Europe. It has been a Russian desire since 1947 to break up NATO. Trump also wants to remove the United States from the World Trade Organization. He is doing this all before his summit meeting with Putin.

But in some ways Donald Trump is way worse than I thought he would be at this point. He is acting like a guy who has to rob a bank to pay off the Colombian drug lord. Every day that he wakes up alive is like a blessing. This is the level of debt and peril that I think Donald Trump is in — that he would literally take a sledgehammer to everything the United States has built in an effort to save himself.

Donald Trump is acting like Putin’s vassal. The public evidence that Trump and his inner circle colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election is overwhelming. Yet Trump’s voters, the Republican Party and the right-wing news media keep denying the facts.

Putin is his handler. There are too many people who keep saying that they are “sick of hearing about Russia.” These people refuse to acknowledge the evidence. There is a national counterintelligence investigation targeting the White House. The president and all of his staff are implicated.

We have Michael Flynn, the [former] national security adviser to the president, pleading guilty to lying to the FBI because he covered up secret contacts with a foreign government and lied about it when confronted with the facts. The evidence is now in the realm of the Justice Department, and they’re not going to just come out and give it to you. This is what all these Republican congressmen are trying to do. For example, Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy. They’re trying to get the evidence so that they can use it to try to exonerate Donald Trump.

This is obstruction of justice on a grand scale. I suspect that when it’s all said and done and the sum total of the evidence comes out, it’ll be overwhelming and undeniable. As I told you last year, we’re entering a Benedict Arnold moment in American history. Robert Mueller is not playing games here. He cannot accelerate things because Donald Trump is taking a sledgehammer to government, although I’m certain he will accelerate things in order to make sure that justice is served. There will be more indictments, some of them very high profile. For example, Jared Kushner lied when he was asked about using Russian secret communications in an effort to hide his communications with Russia from the NSA and CIA.

Where is the mass protest and outrage among the American people? There should be massive protests and marches that disrupt day-to-day life. Is this passivity and perhaps exhaustion also part of Russia and Putin’s psy-op against the American people?

I think they chose their asset well. Donald Trump knows how to play this game. He understands that his only salvation is to manipulate the public. He doesn’t care if he destroys the fundamental infrastructure of the FBI. He has Rudy Giuliani telling him the good guys are the average field officers and the leadership needs to be completely redone because Trump wants to control the Justice Department. This is Trump’s way of obstructing justice and expanding his power.

Republicans are so taken by and loyal to Trump that they will believe and do anything he says. A good example of that is the Harley-Davidson factory and the nail factory that were shut down or may go away due to his tariffs. There have been interviews with people who said, “Well, we know it’s going to affect us firstly, but if Donald Trump says it’s for the best, then OK.” That’s cultism. Lo and behold, they actually say, “Well, Donald Trump didn’t do that. That’s the Europeans or that’s the liberals or that’s the Democrats that made me lose my job.”

We’re entering a very dangerous period in American history. It is terrifying. I was rereading my book last weekend, and I really had no idea that putting all of this together in one solid package would lead to the conclusion that there is, in fact, a plot. The Russians have a plan and a strategy. They have been executing the strategy for 15 years, by finding Donald Trump and building him up as a character and fostering his betrayal of the United States of America. They clearly set out to destroy American democracy and Donald Trump is the man to do it. We are, as of this November, on the cusp of possibly losing the American constitutional republic forever.

The Russians have been doing this in Europe with ultra-right-wing groups, fascist groups and others that have their origins with the Nazis. The Russians aren’t Communist anymore. They are ultra-conservative Christian nationalists.

Their goal is to use democracy to destroy democracy. You want to get rid of democracy, have an election. But this is an election where they vote away your rights. This is an election where you lose to voter suppression and aid from a foreign power. But at the end of that loss, these enemies of real democracy then say, “Oh, no. It was all fair and square.” The Republicans want an autocracy where the rights of minorities and others are not protected. Vladimir Putin, with Donald Trump and with the European conservative movements, are building an axis of autocracies, and the United States is on the relatively quick road to becoming an autocracy and no longer a constitutional republic.

Were American conservatives particularly vulnerable to being manipulated because they are anti-intellectual and already predisposed towards authoritarianism? Or was the Russian plan just that masterful and devious?

The Russians watch very carefully. We have to recognize their president is a former career KGB officer. The goals of Russia since 1917 have been to destroy capitalism, discredit democracy and show that Communist collectivism was the greatest social and political system in the world.

The Russians realized that the American right wing, with its hatred of Barack Obama, was a natural ally. So the Russians went about co-opting these right-wingers. I call them the “American beachhead.” Since 2005, the Russians have been hammering almost every conservative political movement in Europe — they are now funded by Moscow, particularly the neo-Nazi and the fascist ones.

The Russians really invest in these organizations because their goal is to create autocracies. To re-engineer the world away from a Washington-centric European alliance to a Moscow-centric, autocratic one.

Steve Bannon was just in Europe speaking to right-wing and fascist groups, telling them to be proud of being called racists. Trump’s former adviser Sebastian Gorka actually wore a literal medal that was awarded by a Hungarian group allied with the Nazis.

In my book I call Steve Bannon “the American Goebbels.” He is the evangelist of the American “alt-right.” In Europe there are groups such as Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West), which is the rabid anti-foreigner movement in Germany who got power through the AFD (Alternative für Deutschland), and went from something like 3 percent of the polls last year to now being the second-largest party in Germany with 30 percent of the vote.

Trump is pretty much riding a high wave with 40 or so percent support. Hitler won with 37 percent. Bannon was just in Europe meeting with the Hungarian government and the Jobbik Party. Bannon also went to meet with the Five Star Movement in Italy whose foreign minister, Matteo Salvini, just threatened to deport and put on trains all of the Roma people — the “gypsies” — in Italy. The last guy who put the Roma out of a country and rounded them up on trains was Adolf Hitler, and he sent them straight to Auschwitz.

So this is really dangerous talk that’s going on in Europe. We may be one or two elections in Europe from seeing the complete collapse of the European order that we established at the end of World War II.

In effect, Trump’s immigration policy amounted to putting the families of black and brown refugees in concentration camps. The United States has withdrawn from the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. How do these images of crying babies and broken families help Vladimir Putin’s plot against America?

This all works out for the Russians. First, note how the Russians have now shifted. Remember, last year they were starting to criticize Trump by saying that he had been consumed by the swamp. Now it is all completely reversed. Trump is a strong leader. Trump is closing his borders. Middle East and African immigration into Europe is the No. 1 platform for European conservatives. Trump is the Johnny-come-lately to the story. So Trump saying the same is a double thumbs-up for the Russians and their strategy of inciting nativism and racism and chaos.

Trump has been on Fox News and elsewhere joking about Putin and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Is he a “useful idiot” for Putin’s spies? Or is Trump actually afraid of being caught by Robert Mueller and his behavior reflects that? Either way, he is acting like a guilty person.

[I’ve] certainly been pretty vocal on this point. “Useful idiot” is a technical term. It’s a person who is an unwilling dupe, who through their own actions helps your cause. I think Trump started out as a useful idiot when it came to selling apartments and getting money from Russians who were liquidating their assets from the Soviet Union. I think he then became a willing asset when they started using him when he wanted to run for president. Trump knows everything is being done in his benefit. He is one step from being an agent. We may find out with Donald Trump that is the case. Who knows?

There are multiple examples of Trump and his confidants meeting with Russian representatives in private without American translators or media present. Trump will meet with Putin again in a few weeks. Again, this conversation will be private. How unusual is this?

It’s extremely unusual, and people that should know better, like Gen. [John] Kelly, are not alarmed. They think this is just Trump’s way of doing things. But Trump meeting Putin in private is like him going in for his quarterly evaluation. I would not doubt if it actually comes out to effectively be that. As I said, I think this nation is in a Benedict Arnold moment.

Moreover, I think that there will be multiple Benedict Arnolds in the story. No other president would ever do this. No other president would be allowed to do this. Trump is getting away with this behavior because he has cowed the Republican Party with fear that they’ll be put out of office by his cult members. There is nothing Trump cannot do at this point.

Matters are very dire. I think this “blue wave” in the midterms is much exaggerated. Trump will win in 2020 — if he runs again — for a variety of reasons. What will America look like if Trump continues to get his way in terms of serving Putin’s and Russia’s interests, rather than those of the United States and the American people?

You will not recognize the United States. The country will vote itself into an autocracy. Trump and the Republican Party will suspend parts of America’s representative democracy. They will amend the Constitution. And America will see 65 percent of its people living under subjugation. Now, I don’t say that lightly. That’s an intelligence analysis based on the empirical data. I say that with experience honed with humility. Donald Trump makes no secret of his desires in that regard. His biggest problem has been democracy. I disagree with you, however, on one point. I do believe there will be a “blue wave.”

The problem with the progressives and liberals right now is that they are still treating this situation like we are in a state of normalcy.

Vladimir Putin actually warned that if Trump wins, he has to be careful of an American backlash like the one that swept the pro-Moscow government out of power in the Ukraine. He’s terrified of democracy. He’s terrified of people power. That’s my message. We have got to mobilize.

 

It has to be made clear that American democracy may go away this November, because if the Democrats don’t win the House of Representatives, it’s done. Trump will get whatever he wants. I don’t think he will win in 2020, because at that point I hope a hero will emerge.

Michael Moore recently said that the American people must be prepared to die to stop Trump’s authoritarian and fascist movement. Do you think Moore is just being hyperbolic? Or is he correct?

I think he’s a little hyperbolic. Look, when the “alt-right” killed Heather Heyer, the response from law enforcement has essentially run the “alt-right” underground. They had no idea that punching Nazis is a pretty deep-seated American value.

What would you tell people who are terrified or afraid of Trump and what he is doing to America? What advice would you give them?

I get those types of questions every day. The first thing I tell people is: “Stand fast. We will win this.” You have to understand that we are not up against one man. We are up against 40 percent of the American public who don’t understand what’s going on because they only believe Donald Trump. What we must do now is commit ourselves to the American democratic experiment and the best spirit of the founding.

If we turn out this year like it was a presidential election year, then we will win in a phenomenal landslide. You must vote like your life depends on it, because it could, if you’re a woman that might need an abortion. It could, if you’re a Latino. It could, if you’re a young black man where shootings can now essentially be written off with a rubber stamp.

When this nation was built out of my city, Philadelphia, the odds were simple. They win or they hang. And now it’s simple again. We win or we lose American democracy. We lose it forever, and I don’t think we’ll come back from autocracy.

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/09/malcolm-nance-on-trump-were-on-the-cusp-of-losing-the-american-constitutional-republic-forever/

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