At the root of his pattern of secrecy, Trump is carrying out a plan to deconstruct American democracy. His loyalists focus on their enjoyment of his circus performance style and the stock market ( a good one he inherited from Barack Obama) instead of acknowledging his patterned attack on the foundational components of our democracy. He disparages the Judiciary, the Congress, the free press, and our values. By doing this in full view of our allies and enemies, he is damaging the national security of this country. His Russian strategy of spreading fake news is a warning sign that he is following Putin ‘s view of government and limitless view of a president’s power.
Trump could order first-hand witnesses Guiliani, Mulvaney, and Bolton to testify in the impeachment inquiry yet he orders them to defy subpoenas. He also refuses to release crucial records such as notes, texts, and phone records that relate to the investigation. When he chooses to be transparent, the information he releases is either irrelevant, dishonest, self-serving or redacted. He refused to release crucial information that was requested by special counsel Robert Mueller. He refuses to disclose financial information that he says would prove he has not violated the emoluments clause. He refuses to release his taxes. He uses a private, unsecured cell phone to make calls related to the US government and its policies. These secret conversations are not accessible by the FBI, CIA, or any US agency that helps protect national security. It is a national security risk as these unsecured calls are accessible to our adversaries.
Ambassador William Taylor and Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testified this week at the impeachment inquiry led by Congressman Adam Schiff. Both witnesses are highly experienced US diplomats with a combined tenure of service of over 50 years. Trump’s pattern of zero transparency resulted in him ordering State Department officials to defy subpoenas by the House. However, these men defied this order in commitment to protecting US foreign policy and national security. They also showed a level of courage and morality that the Trump- fearing Republicans in Congress have not shown.
Both officials corroborated narratives about Trump’s withholding of crucial military aid to Ukraine until President Zelensky agreed to make a public announcement about starting an investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden and the 2016 presidential election. These diplomats have joined with other State Department officials in corroborating that Trump was plotting to usurp the US foreign policy agenda in Ukraine to promote his personal political interests. They corroborated they were instructed to follow Rudy Guiliani’s foreign policy agenda, not the official policies approved by the State Department.
Trump’s compulsive lying is an insult to Americans. His blocking of witness testimony protects his lies. He says that he doesn’t recall information when he does. He lies even when the truth of his statements are well documented on Twitter and in television appearances. He is brazen in his abuse of the power of the office. He is redefining the presidency in the image of his idol, Vladimir Putin.
To protect our democracy, members of both parties must insist that Trump:
RELEASE HIS TAXES
ALLOW RUDY GUILIANI, MICK MULVANEY, AND JOHN BOLTON TO TESTIFY IN THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY
RELEASE THE INFORMATION HIDDEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE SECRET SERVER
USE A SECURED PHONE THAT INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS CAN ACCESS
RELEASE PAST RECORDS OF HIS PHONE CALLS WITH PUTIN
The most concerning part of Trump’s assault on our country is that Republicans, evangelicals and many rural Americans are complicit. If he succeeds in transforming America into an autocracy, all that this country has stood for will be lost and Russia will not only be pulling Trump’s strings but America’s as well. What good is your 401k if you are living in a dictatorship?