How Is King Trump More Dangerous To America Than Coronavirus Today?
There's rumors out there on the internet that Dear Leader Shitlord Donald Trump is making more moves to use the distraction provided by the coronavirus pandemic to consolidate his kingly power and place himself (more) above the law. Yes, after Trump fired the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, in obvious retaliation for Atkinson refusing to participate in his Ukraine crime cover-up; and after he fired the acting inspector general of the Pentagon, Glenn Fine, in order to hide from oversight of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill; the rumor is that he has a bigger massacre up his sleeve, and is preparing to knock out a total of SEVEN inspectors general. Trump hates inspectors general, because they are non-partisan actors whose job it is to watch out for crime and fraud and waste and grift and graft — in other words, all the things Trump loves even more than grabbing them by the pussy.
There hasn't been that much reporting to confirm this scoop from Real Clear Politics, but read this thread from RCP White House correspondent Susan Crabtree and afterward we'll see what we can suss out:
Breaking: Trump is firing 7 IGs in one fail swoop, sources confirm to @RealClearNews. Most likely will be the IGs t… https://t.co/UbZmGaQCro— Susan Crabtree (@Susan Crabtree)1586299788.0
It's unclear how much this is a Saturday Night Massacre brewing, or whether these positions are just finally getting an actual Trump nominee, or a mix of both. (You know how he likes to leave positions vacant or with an "acting.") It would appear, though, that Glenn Fine and Michael Atkinson are part of the seven.
Politico reporter Kyle Cheney pushed back on Crabtree's reporting, or at least interpreted it differently, pointing to his own reporting from Friday, when Trump announced he would appoint White House Counsel's Office idiot Brian Miller to be the new inspector general inside the Treasury Department overseeing Steven Mnuchin's coronavirus slush fund.
These nominations were all announced on Friday and they're permanent replacements for acting appointees (some of wh… https://t.co/JCN50ppdb4— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney)1586308691.0
Let's look at Cheney's original report and see if we can get to seven:
Trump used his late Friday announcement [of the Miller nomination] to fill out the ranks of the inspectors general in his administration, indicating his intent to appoint new watchdogs for the CIA, Department of Education, Tennessee Valley Authority and Pentagon, where Fine — a former longtime Justice Department inspector general — had been serving in an acting capacity.
Trump's pick for the CIA, Peter Thompson, is a white-collar criminal defense attorney who previously worked as a Justice Department prosecutor for more than two decades. His pick for the DOE, Andrew De Mello, is a trial attorney for the Justice Department's Tax Division and has been detailed to the Homeland Security Department's inspector general since last year.
The president's pick to succeed Fine at the Pentagon, Jason Abend, is a senior policy adviser to Customs and Border Protection. And Trump's pick for the TVA, Katherine Crytzer, is an acting deputy assistant attorney general in DOJ's Office of Legal Policy.
Miller for the new coronavirus IG position at Treasury, De Mello at Education, Crytzer at TVA, Thompson at CIA, Abend at Pentagon — that's five. Trump fired Atkinson as ICIG, after making gay rightwing internet troll Ric Grenell the (acting) director of national intelligence, and has nominated one of the stupidest members of Congress, John Ratcliffe, to be the permanent DNI. Dunno who will be his permanent nominee for the ICIG, bet it will be a fucking idiot, and that's six.
So who's the seventh? OH, WE KNOW MAYBE! Trump is obviously really pissed at the Principal Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, Christi Grimm, for authoring and circulating a report that says American hospitals are in dire need of PPE and coronavirus tests, which Trump views as a personal attack on his own shitty failed bloodstained response to coronavirus. He's been bellyaching about her for DAYS now.
So it makes sense that yesterday, Crabtree would be reporting a total of seven, and that during Trump's corona-lingus briefing yesterday, he said this in response to a question about his firing of Glenn Fine:
I believe we put seven very, very highly qualified people for the IG position. And that's a decision that I could have made three years ago and I could have made two years ago. But we're putting in not so much for him. We're putting in seven names. I think it was seven, and they're going in now. Yeah.
So it looks like Crabtree's scoop wasn't as BREAKING NEWS as it seemed, if anybody were listening to the shithead spitting all over the corona mic, but it doesn't mean this still isn't very bad for America. It means Trump, in his fourth year, after being impeached for trying to steal the 2020 election, is making yet more moves to declare himself an above-the-law king, and he's doing it while you're distracted because you're trying to keep your Nana from going to get coronavirus at her weekly swingers' bingo game. (Your Nana is such a Blanche.)
Is Trump allowed to nominate IGs? Of course. But the thing about Trump has always been that he's such a fucking idiot that he's left qualified people in to serve the American people often because he has no goddamned idea how the government works. When he realizes he can fire good public servants and nominate ass-licking toadies, he gets more dangerous.
And if his primary motivation in getting rid of these serving IGs and replacing them with sycophantic ass-lickers is to install servants who will let him commit autocratic crime sprees without oversight, and if he's doing it during a pandemic because he just hopes you're not paying attention, well ...
Inspectors General exist to hold the Executive Branch accountable by identifying fraud, waste, abuse, & illegality.… https://t.co/5JJ4SpLRRR— Steve Vladeck (@Steve Vladeck)1586304740.0
@susancrabtree @RealClearNews This is a giant step towards a corrupt autocracy. And not a word from his enabler’s i… https://t.co/JfCj0F1hfs— Norman Ornstein (@Norman Ornstein)1586306538.0
It's dangerous enough that Democratic senators are alarmed by Trump's actions with IGs this week, and with the news that there are a total of seven IGs on Trump's hit list:
You can thank Senate Republicans for pre-approving all of the coming corruption by voting not guilty. And spare all… https://t.co/oSqeu5bBbv— Brian Schatz (@Brian Schatz)1586300560.0
This is getting ridiculous. I’m drafting legislation to give all Inspectors General protected 7 year terms. Sound… https://t.co/4KA0jPm7E4— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy)1586310989.0
TL;DR. Whether or not Trump is planning a literal IG Massacre for this Saturday night, it's bad.
And we're sorry, but if you thought Trump wouldn't try to consolidate power while he's Making America Die Of Coronavirus Again, or that you could take a break from paying attention to shit like this for the time being, U DUMB.
Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!
Wonkette is fully funded by readers like YOU. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE FINANCIALLY.