NO QUID PRO QUO!
Golly, that Pam Karlan impeachment witness lady sure was correct, wasn't she! In case you forgot impeachment, because it was so many decades ago, constitutional expert Karlan compared Trump's "I would like you to do us a favor though" extortion of Ukraine with a hypothetical wherein the president would try to withhold hurricane disaster aid from a state, unless they "brand my [political opponent] a criminal." Karlan's example was hurricanes, but pandemic works too.
This week Trump threatened to withhold coronavirus aid from states with cities that have sanctuary city policies, because of how Trump hates Mexicans a whole lot, because of how he is a wild-eyed mouthy bigot.
Michael Atkinson has a few more things he'd like to say!
Friday night, in a late news dump, we learned that Donald Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, because we guess he was having a little shithole authoritarian temper tantrum and that was the only thing that would make him feel better. Yes, Trump did this in the middle of a pandemic that he is so serious about that he's obsessively trying to make Americans ingest an unproven drug that may or may not be effective.
Atkinson's sin, obviously, is that he protected the whistleblower who made America aware that Trump was trying to steal another election by actively extorting Ukraine to announce fake investigations into Joe Biden in exchange for military aid that Congress had already appropriated and was desperately needed by Ukraine in its hot war with Russia. Atkinson also made Congress aware of the whistleblower complaint, which is what he was supposed to do according to the law. And yes, that includes Adam Schiff, because he is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
In other words, Trump fired Atkinson for doing his job, exactly as we'd expect an un-American barely elected president with authoritarian tendencies to do.
Atkinson has responded to being fired, and it's quite a statement, albeit an extremely professional one:
It is hard not to think that the President's loss of confidence in me derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial Inspector General, and from my commitment to continue to do so.
Yep, that's what happened! Here is the full statement:
It's just the way things are now.
Late Friday night, among a slew of other announcements, Donald Trump announced that he would be firing intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson, whose decision to tell lawmakers about a whistleblower's assertions about Trump's dealings with Ukraine resulted in Trump getting impeached. Of course, as an independent watchdog, this was literally an example of Atkinson doing his actual job, but the Trump administration has always been much bigger on loyalty than on people doing their actual jobs.
In a letter, Trump (or someone writing for him, as is more likely the case) explained that he needs to have the "fullest confidence" in his inspectors general, and that as long as he has the power to fire those he does not have "confidence" in, he will do so.
Via New York Times:
"As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as president, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general," Mr. Trump wrote. "That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general."
The president has long discussed his desire to fire several inspectors general, and he has been talking to aides about his desire to oust Mr. Atkinson since last fall, tarring the inspector general as disloyal because he sought to share information with Congress about the president's efforts to pressure Ukraine into delivering him personal political benefits.
Mr. Atkinson's fate was sealed after the trial on impeachment charges ended, said one Trump administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a delicate matter.
Maybe we should investigate the Bidens in Ukraine after all, says Romney!
Oh, we were so nice to Mitt Romney for a minute there, when he decided to be the only Senate Republican with half a brain and a quarter of a conscience, and voted to convict Donald Trump on the abuse of power article of impeachment. Romney recognized that the House managers had proven their case up one side and down the other, that Trump had extorted a foreign country to announce fake investigations into the Bidens in order to help him steal the 2020 election, and that Trump had gone so far as to withhold aid from that country until he got that announcement.
He appeared to understand that all the shit about "Biden" and "Burisma" coming out of corrupt motherfuckers in Ukraine was false, and also Russian propaganda. Good job, Mittens! Strap the dog to the roof and take a road trip, YOU'VE EARNED IT!
This week, Mittens reacted to World's Stupidest Senate Republican Ron Johnson wanting to send stupid Russian propaganda-infused subpoenas in his Homeland Security Committee investigation into fake Biden Ukraine scandals, by saying that yes, it does seem that something like that might be viewed as li'l bit nakedly political and problematic, considering what Trump just did. He even said, "There's no question that the appearance of looking into Burisima and Hunter Biden appears political. I think people are tired of these kind of political investigations."
usual sometimes, Mitt Romney!
Anyway he's going to vote in favor of the subpoenas Ron Johnson wants, because coward.