Friday, 13 July 2018 10:17

Trump week: NATO, England, Stormy Daniels, Kavanaugh Strozk and Putin

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trump week 5Donald Trump, fresh from threatening to blow up NATO for a couple of bucks in Brussels, landed in London and jumped straightaway into British politics when he endorsed the resigned, rouge, foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, for the position of P.M. Trump didn’t stop there, though, and told the Brits that if they don’t see things his way, hereafter, we won’t trade with them, anymore, as we have in the past. The blame for this, Trump said, should Britain fail to amend its course, will fall to the current P.M., Theresa May. It’ll be a harsh penalty for May’s neglecting to follow the undisclosed advice Trump says he gave her about BREXIT, the divorce of Britain from Europe that Russia, allegedly, nudged along.

Meanwhile, back at the campfire, the border kids still languish and the House put on a hearing that’ll be licensed for the next 100 years to illustrate for future generations what happens when congress goes off its meds. The ostensible reason for the wacky hearing was an examination of FBI investigative honcho Peter Strozk’s texts to his married girlfriend, Lisa Page, a lawyer at the bureau. Strozk claimed the opinions he sent Page, and she him, on government devices, during work hours, didn’t affect ongoing investigations. Since the two texted between 10,000 and 50,000 times, depending on the source, at very least, they displayed evidence of grave obsessive-compulsive disorders.

For comic relief, Trump’s putative playmate from the Beverly Hills Hotel, Stormy Daniels, got arrested in Ohio on suspicion of a touchy-feely strip-tease, but the charges got dropped faster than a frat boy can whip out a buck. Michael Avenatti, Daniel’s lawyer, claimed it was a frame job and it’s been reported she’ll peel, elsewhere, on Friday. Showing the porn star isn’t the only photogenic face in the news, the government released a new mug-shot of ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort who looked weary, but unbowed.

More substantive, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is being suspected of plotting his oft-rumored exit with the president, to allow successor nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to take his chair before the first Monday in October. Kavanaugh’s facile debt retirements have raised eyebrows but, probably, won’t derail him because the judge is a believer in expansive presidential immunity, is highly credentialed, and appears kindly. Besides which, he’s Catholic.

Of particular interest, regarding Kennedy, is that Kennedy’s son, Justin, was a head of real estate lending at Deutsche Bank, a prodigious Trump lender that’s infamous on account of its fraudulent sales of mortgage-backed securities, and manipulation of interest rate benchmarks. The Justice Department fined Deutsch $7.2 billion in 2017.

Mother Jones reported, on December 12, 2016, that Trump owed Deutsch more than $300M, including $170M for renovations to the old post office the government leases to the Trump Organization as a hotel. The president, and Deutsch which is accused of laundering $20B for persons with Kremlin connections between 2010 to 2014, have tangled in court over his debts.

Under conflict of interest rules, if a substantive case involving Trump and Russia were to land at the U.S. Supreme Court while Kennedy was still a justice, Kennedy, likely, would have to recuse himself forcing, at best, a 4-4 tie in any matter that affecting Trump’s presidency. 

Next on the agenda is a Trump tea at Buckingham Palace with the Queen before he confabs, in private, with Vladimir Putin. That’s  something to look forward to.

 

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