The Border Patrol obviously has a fascist problem. As is usually the case, this rot spreads from the top, by cynical politicians who know how to mine the treasure trove of grievance, resentment, and scapegoating which is the source of the power of this malign movement. Americans who look upon the horrible mistreatment of the immigrants from Central America as nothing which should concern them, ought to realize that there are many other groups who would be targets of attack and persecution by a fascist government. Socialists, liberals, Democrats, “bleeding heart do-gooders,” ‘Never Trump’ Republicans, intellectuals, experts-in short, anyone or any group which runs afoul the new “truth,” or shows insufficient enthusiasm for the great leader, may find themselves a despised minority, defined by the leaders of the government as enemies of the people. I hope I’m wrong, but the signs are dire. And in any event, the mess Trump has made cannot be cleaned-up by the next congress or Democratic president. Trump has energized fascists who were already in government, and has brought a lot of new fascists into government.
Donald Trump is more friendly and warm with Kim than any other world leader at the G20. He doesn’t know what American freedom is. He doesn’t respect the history of the Korean war. He doesn’t respect our allies. It is time for our allies to recall their ambassadors and cut all diplomatic ties with the US. There need to be serious consequences for this betrayal. Today, Donald Trump betrayed every free person on earth. Fuck this. Fuck him. And fuck us.
Trump’s supporters love it when he breaks things, is contrarian, or causes retired generals and pundits to condemn his actions. If he bombed New York, they would praise him. They will love what he did today, but it was an attack on our freedom and an insult to every US citizen. Full stop. And frankly, fuck what they think or like.
The last two weeks have been incredible. We entered the third stage of a slow-motion constitutional crisis that began with Bush v. Gore. It’s a crisis in which one political party - always the GOP - smashes a crucial part of the constitution.
In 2000, Bush v. Gore broke the Constitution so that a legal recounting of votes could be stopped. In 2016, the GOP-controlled Senate broke the Constitution so that a nominee to the Supreme Court could be blocked. We were naive to think that the block would only happen once. Because there were no negative consequences for the GOP, they will block a nominee anytime the president is a Democrat and the Senate is run by Republicans. And then in April 2019, we had a third major breakage of our Constitution. The White House simply refused to cooperate with House inquiries and oversight in any way. By simply saying no over and over, the White House stumbled upon a way to neutralize the House, which had swung Democratic at the start of this year.
When the Democrats won dozens of House races in the fall of 2018, pundits and journalists rushed to write stories about how the House would rain subpoenas upon the White House, and force Trump’s financial secrets out. Virtually no one predicted that it wouldn’t happen. The House has the power of the purse and the power of subpoena. Or it used to. Now it has zero power. Who could have imagined it?
This is a shocking discovery. Could it mean that all it takes to kill the world’s greatest constitution is for the Executive branch to refuse to play with one or more other branches? That’s all it takes? The Constitution was held together by an ‘honor system’ among powerful white men? It was an honor system all along?
Everyone, from elected officials, to pundits, to journalists to history and constitutional law professors assumed that the system couldn’t be broken because everyone was playing within the bounds set by the Constitution. Then team Trump basically smashed it. They smashed it by clinging to theories that the Executive has inherent dominant powers. Those theories have been around since Nixon, and the executive has become particularly strong since Bush 43. But it seems that the Trump White House has accidentally found the mechanism to make the executive even more powerful. And that is a simple refusal to cooperate with equal branches of government.
They are now in courts arguing that Congress doesn’t really have the power to oversee the Executive. Who knew!
Make no mistake, this started with Bush v. Gore in 2000 and became entrenched by the time the GOP refused to consider Obama’s nomination of Garland in 2016. Looking at the history, Bush v. Gore had a feel of “we’ll only break the system this once, and we’ll pretend it didn’t happen.” But by 2010 the GOP had decided to break everything. Treat the Democrats as illegitimate even when they win office. Don’t respect the Power of Inquiry that is in Article 1. It’s fairly obvious that if a Democratic House were to impeach, a Republican-led Senate would not proceed with a trial.
We see where this is going. The next phase is to ignore the courts when they rule against the Executive. So in 2020 (or earlier if the Justices decide this is an emergency) the Supreme Court could affirm that House subpoenas are legal and must be respected. However, the White House will then continue to defy and ignore the subpoenas. Congress nor the Supreme Court can enforce the Court’s decision. Imagine a sporting event where the referees are ignored. I think we’re about to see that happen. The Justices are the referees, and they can’t force the White House and Congress return to regular order. The 2018 midterms and the Democratic gains in the House have been effectively nullified by Trump.
And worst of all is that we let it happen. All of us, sitting on our asses. We deserve to have our Republic burned down by these angry old men.
Last week’s story in the Washington Post was really something, even in this wild and depressing decade. Stephen Miller is trying to get DHS to enact a policy of ‘catch and release', in which asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants are transported to and released in large Democratic-leaning cities like Denver, San Francisco, Austin and New York. The story unfolded in the usual way - with whistleblowers inside the White House leaking the story to established journalists. But it has continued in the following news cycles because the president himself confirmed the accuracy of the story, and went further to state that the policy might still be implemented.
We should remind ourselves that we don't have to wait for Trump to commit a felony in plain sight in order to impeach him (although his recent use of the word "treason" is a technical violation of his oath). This policy, if implemented, would be very illegal and very dumb. I think Trump can be impeached for both his crimes and the policy suggestions he endorses. Just because his administration didn't go through with an idea doesn't mean they are clean.
Once again, someone in the White House has leaked a story to the press about a policy that was barely stopped. Can these people simply leave? They are not saving our nation by remaining there. Everyone who isn't evil needs to go. Everyone who stays needs to be in prison. They are all criminals.
The proposed policy idea also weakens the argument that our nation is “full.” They would love to stop all immigration, of course. But if given a choice where undocumented immigrants go, they are okay with them being “dumped” into the blue states and blue cities. Just keep them away from Rocky Mountain resort towns and elite Texas game ranches, right?
This is analogous to the abortion war. The right wing would love to criminalize abortion in all 55 states in territories. But that won’t happen. Some states, like New York, will have legal termination available for women who can travel there ad take time off from work. So their solution, in their minds, is to have ‘abortion free states.’ God won’t bring death and destruction to their red state if it can stop all family planning from being practiced.
Or put another way, the Right Wing sees “shitholes.”. New York. Chicago. San Francisco. Shitholes. They never believed in cities and don’t see cities as being part of the US.
What this amounts to, in my mind, is something far from One Nation. We are 55 states and territories, unified by a federal government that needs us to fund its forever wars. We’ve been sharply divided since Watergate. But stories like this really highlight how violent and permanent our divisions are. We will never fix anything ever again. We will never get back to the comparatively good old days of 1973, with a mild recession, no wars, and Republicans who were not only okay with abortion, but led the way in legalizing it. They celebrated Earth Day, too.
Lady Sterling has a serious question about Melania Trump. If she’s a millionaire married to a president who demonizes immigrants, why hasn’t she hired a dialogue coach to reduce her accent? Where is the effort to assimilate, dammit? I know it’s probably because she doesn’t care and never wanted to be first lady. But doesn’t she remind people of her Slovenian birth every time she speaks? Christ, even Madonna picked up a fake London accent during her years there.
Congress has no way to end the federal government shutdown, now in its second month. This shutdown is going to start to kill Americans.
Meanwhie, Trump has no agenda, no ideology, and no conscience. All he has is the reality television show that his farcical "administration" has become. From here, it will only get worse, as the country descends into farce
However, despite the doom and gloom, this presidency is over. It’s been over since Christmas Eve 2018. The criminals in this administration are simply not aware of that yet. besides, they are jut a little out of touch. And they don’t ever want to acknowledge their failures.
The only thing that can end this is a TSA strike. Please stop reporting to work, now. It’s time to strike.
Tidley? As in Tidley Winks? Was that something that Daddy Fred Trump used to say?
Anyway, President Fuckface Von Clownstick might not remember, but there was a day in April 2017 when he badly wanted NASA to land humans on Mars. He badly wanted it to happen in the fall of 2020, so it would cap an incredible first term and assure a triumphant re-election.
What's the problem? You build a ship, put some astronauts in it, and send it off to the Red Planet. Oh, and make sure it arrives there on time for the Orange One's triumphant November 2020 re-election. Get on that right away Tidley!
Come to think of it, a shit ton is being re-examined. This is like the start of the third act of a film noir or thriller, where the heroine or detective hero thinks back and realizes that he overlooked some key clues that can get this saga wrapped-up. A montage of images and voices fly by. Trump is crazier than we thought. Well, of course he was.
Mister Sterling believes that the White House counsel will have to become Trump’s primary legal team once the Muller report is released. Well, that report might not arrive until August 2019. So until then, Trump is relying on his personal, private lawyers.
Rudy Giuliani had been lying low for most of the fall of 2018. But by mid-December, he was back on television and speaking to the press. And in these last 33 days or so, he has been even more unhinged. He has unleashed more limited hangouts, and he even has a outrageous request from the DOJ and the Mueller team.
When Rudy was trotted out to defend Trump in early 2018, most journalists, anchors and pundits treated him as a joke or comic relief. But Marcy Wheeler wonders if Giuliani is intentionally being ineffective to assist with a future Trump conviction appeal. She was corrdect about something else as well. Mueller has taken another look at both Cohen and Manafort based on Rudy’s “haywire” news media appearances.
In one of his nutty hangouts since Thanksgiving, Rudy asserted that Trump’s crimes aren’t so bad because no one was killed. Remember the broken windows theory of crime suppression? If you nip bad behaviour in the bud, this perverse theory said, you'll stop criminal activities before they start. This quickly morphed into the assertion that if we stop and frisk young men, especially young men of color, we'll get guns off the streets, reduce the crime rate, and send a powerful message to the "bad guys", that the crack down on anti-social behaviour is real. Oh, it violated the rights of hundreds of thousands of innocent, mostly black men? It amounted to the humiliation of people whose only crime was being black in New York City? Well, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.
And then this disgusting man came round again in a historically bad week for Trump, with a new limited hangout. And what do you know? There was collusion? So there was a conspiracy involving a quid pro quo? And so Don Jr. lied to Congress, then?
At last, it happened. Trump stopped winning. The day was December 20 2018. On that day, Trump committed to a meaningless government shutdown. And since that day, his presidency has been collapsing. It has been dramatic. If we weren’t already numb to Trump’s madness, this would be a shocking, unforgettable Christmastime collapse of a presidency. But nothing shocks us anymore. However, we should step back and look at what has happened since December 23. Trump is sinking fast. I said that his presidency is not sustainable. It finally broke.
It was time to pass a stop-gap bill to keep the government running another two months. However, with a new Congress beginning January 3, it was Trump’s last chance to demand his biggest campaign promise - a tall wall along the southern border, from the Pacific to the Rio Grande. Ann Colter and Rush Limbaugh demanded that he do it, just like they did 11 months before. So he did it. And he wouldn’t sign a spending bill unless he got his wall. The Senate said no, and the government has been closed since Christmas.
Rather than acknowledge and try to correct his mistake, Trump sulked in the White House and descended further and further into madness. Even a surprise campaign trip to Iraq fell flat and was immediately forgotten.
On his way down, he blamed Democrats for the still-unknown number of children who died in CBP custody in 2018. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. He kidnapped children, separated them from their parents, and now, inevitably, immigrant children have died in American custody, while Trump desperately blames everyone but himself for his disgrace.
But Trump has only just begun his relentless blaming as he spirals down. For example, he made the claim that the most people being harmed by the Federal government shutdown are Democrats. Sure. And American Indians.
And then there were his own talking points over the reasons for the shutdown, which were always shifting. Why does the White House have communications office? They don’t write the talking points and tweets. Trump runs the White House his way, on his own. Only when he was left all alone this past Christmas, did he prove that he didn’t need anyone there. The press laments that he has no friends in the White House, and the “adults” are gone. That’s right. It’s just Trump now. Anyone paying attention since February 2017 knew it was leading to this.
When he finally got back to work on January 2, his madness was on full display. And just in case hosting an incoherent, 90-minute cabinet meeting in front of the press while displaying a dorm room poster of himself wasn’t a sign of his madness, he went on to deliver a completely incorrect history lesson on the Soviet invasion and war in Afghanistan.
My blog partner, Uncle Tim has been reading, studying, writing, thinking and teaching history since grammar school, which, in his case, began in 1945. Trump's comments on Russia in Afghanistan is the single stupidest thing he has ever heard a national leader say on any historical subject. It's only because he has lied so often, and been wrong so frequently on so many topics, that we simply shrug when we hear nonsense like this. You could be the most leftist, revolutionary scholar like me, and even you would agree that the president condoning the Soviet invasion by repeating Russian revisionist history talking points was completely wrong and completely mad.
While historians and national security experts picked apart the first ever approval of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by any US president, Trump went back to work 48 hours later, and he was much angrier. He had made his decision. He couldn’t reverse himself after he was provoked by the far right media to trigger a shutdown. Trump appeared ready to make this the longest Federal government shutdown ever. Or, as he called it, a strike.
He then stormed out to the Rose Garden and did this.
It is now day 15 of the shutdown. The madness continues. And the Trump presidency is finished. It has crumbled before our eyes. We know the Democrats don’t have the spine nor drive to impeach Trump (their deadline is this summer. Robert Mueller has uncovered so many crimes and cooperating witnesses, his report won’t be released until August (because that is the month that shit goes down). But Trump has decided to blow it all up now. His presidency will die on this hill. The wall never had a chance of being built at all, let alone in his first term. So he is sacrificing himself for the entertainment and rage of his racist, violent base.
Uncle Tim contributed to this post.
I have always believed that the criminal George Steinbrenner should not have been allowed to buy a ticket to a major league baseball game, let alone own the flagship team of the American Pastime. He was a man who was convicted twice of serious crimes, who consorted with mobsters to destroy a Hall of Fame baseball player, who made illegal, corporate contributions to the Nixon reelection campaign, and who brought the worst of greedy corporate culture to baseball. His life and legacy in sports has been toxic. He really was the Donald John Trump of baseball.
So it should be no surprise that Donald Trump and George Steinbrenner were close friends.
But what might be a surprise is that Steinbrenner’s name has come up in relation to the massive Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. He was vice chairman of he US Olympic Committee, and he led the Steinbrenner Commission in reducing the number of US Olympic committees from about 30 to 13. This had the effect of making it more difficult for athletes to have a say in the management of teams, or to launch formal complaints. Steinbrenner helped transform the USOC into a medal minting machine. However an unintended consequence was that he made it easier for a Nassar to get away with what he did for years.
Here’s a theme for this week. There are two high profile positions no one wants. They are hosing the 91st Oscars, and White House Chief of Staff. One requires two months of intensive preparation and execution. The other could last just six months and completely destroy a career. Why don’t you want these good jobs, America? These are really good, high paying jobs!
The House will almost surely swing back to the Democrats. But our criminal president Trump is still in charge, and winning at everything. And his last victory, the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, is his biggest yet. He has broken the judiciary branch, just as he has broken the executive branch. The House is currently broken, so at the moment, Trump controls all three branches of government through the end of 2018.
We have already forgotten about the GOP resistance to Trump. There is none. Instead, we have a GOP that has been completely remade in Trump’s image, while the GOP base serves as the "anti-anti Trump". His supporters don't really care about policies or issues so much, but they love driving those who despise Trump crazy. They see liberal sophisticates as their contemptuous enemies, and anything or anyone who upsets them must be good. That makes Trump their hero.
The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh served three purposes. It stacked the Supreme Court, 6-3 in favor of Corporate plaintiffs. It gives Trump a chance to avoid being subject to subpoena or indictment while in office. And it served as the ultimate insult to American women. The message is load and clear. If a woman tries to hold a powerful white man responsible for criminal behavior, she will be annihilated.
If there was any doubt that the Right Wing has any sense of shame or decency in them, that too is annihilated. Here were are, in 2018, and credible character witnesses that would have sunk an Associate Justice nomination 10 years ago are totally ignored now. Hell, 13 years ago Republicans called out an unqualified nominee from their own party. We’re in a new era now.
Don't you just love the arguments these right wingers make today? We love the life-time appointment of judges who will faithfully complete the task of handing what's left of our democracy to the corporations, and of course we applaud the destruction of the environment and the wrecking of employee's health in the name of untaxed profits. And isn't the bloated and grotesquely out of control military budget wonderful? The rich and powerful have gotten richer beyond the dreams of avarice, and the plutocrats who fund the Republican Party run the economy and the nation to suit themselves. To these anonymous right wingers, all of this is unalloyed good. Unfortunately, the president who has delivered all of these wonderful goodies is so boorish, so vulgar, so embarrassing! If only he would stop tweeting, and become more presidential. Then, life for the Republicans would be perfect!
Some sort of backlash is coming now. But I fear it won’t be powerful or angry enough. The loss of the judicial branch out to send thousands of people into the streets in protest. I fear the majority of Americans, while opposed to Trump, are demoralized and deflated. A new period of national malaise is settling in as our big problems -both economic and environmental- become much worse.
And now the New York Daily news is being killed by its parent corporation, following a $15 severance payment to its former chairman, accused of sexual harassment by two women.
Corporations over workers. Jobs cut in lieu of absorbing legal fees and damages. I don't think this is legal is progressive nationals like Iceland. But in the USA, and especially under the Roberts Court, this is the proper order of society.
American cable TV news is sustainable for now. Enough older views keep that going. But the damage to US journalism is done. There are some amazing people who do investigative journalism for almost no pay. But there's no longer a healthy number of students majoring in journalism. Ten years from now, there there be any investigative journalists to speak truth to power, or even write about the Mets?
There's a really good line in the underrated Brian De Palma movie, Casualties of War (1989). Following a big, emotional, confession scene for Michael J. Fox, the movie quickly shifts to an army court martial. De Palma and his trusty cameraman, Stephen H. Burum, know they have to present information quickly, as the movie is wrapping-up. But they avoid television courtroom lensing and framing. There's no panning to the bench or the counsel. They keep us staring at the witness chair, as each of the accused offer their versions of the atrocities that have taken place. The prosecutor grilling them is the versatile character actor, Gregg Henry. His character is based on a real Army prosecutor, but also reminds me of trial lawyer Richard Scruggs, who also served in the military and would be about the same age as the Army prosecutor. Henry delivers one of the best lines of David Rabe's script. He shouts the sequence of events in the case to prime defendant Sargent Meserve (the incredible Sean Penn), followed by, "DOES THAT ABOUT SUM IT UP!" I think that's a strong scene. Go see the movie if you can endure the intensity. De Palma's work is consistent. Almost all of his movies are good. Even Phantom of the Paradise (1974) is now being recognized as a good movie.
So to borrow that line, how is this sequence of events?
1973: Americans begin working longer hours while wages start to grow a little more slowly. Double income families become all but mandatory.
2000: Bush v. Gore reveals Supreme Court to be deeply partisan, and also protecting of GOP minority rule.
2001: The Enron accounting scandal ushers a swift recession and a new era of stagnant wages. Corporations realize they were foolish to throw raises at people in the 1990s. Salaries to remain flat for decades. The ‘gig’ economy slowly begins.
2010: Court rules in favor of Citizens United. Again, solidifying GOP minority rule.
2013: Shelby County decision guts the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Again, tightening the GOPs grip as a ruling minority. Several red states enact voter suppression laws and policies the day after the decision.
2015/16: GOP robs a sitting president of a Justice pick, setting off a quiet constitutional crisis.
2017/18: Constitutional crisis deepens as new president, assisted by at least five foreign governments, wins office despite losing popular vote. he then installs two justices to swing the court to the right for the next 20-40 years.
Does that about sum it up?
2018 has brought the chaos and instability that Trump couldn’t quite get started in 2017 (aside from the turmoil within his White House and the white nationalist invasion of Charlottesville VA). But now Trump is entrenched, strongly supported, and about to get away with the biggest political conspiracy in world history.
Think about it: Russia, Israel and the UAE (and probably also Saudi Arabia and Turkey) assisted in whatever way they could to get their preferred candidate into the White House. Aside from Russia, all of those nations didn’t stand to lose anything with Clinton. But with Trump, they stood to get more than Clinton was willing to give (such as an embassy in Jerusalem). They got greedy and preferred Trump because they correctly thought that Trump likes oppressive regimes, and hates the European Union.
Mueller will release a report that will detail how Trump is the head of a criminal enterprise, involved with money laundering, using his office to raise much-needed cash, selling access to the Oval Office, and partnering with foreign agents during the 2016 campaign without anyone reporting it. But he won’t be removed. He won’t be indicted (although his children might). No, Trump will survive. Considering that his approval rating with Republicans and Mormons is on the increase, there’s an excellent chance he will be re-elected in 2020. He will run a nasty campaign and motivate 60 Million people to vote fro him. The Democrats will have a tough time getting 60 Million votes, especially if they run a conservative candidate like Mark Warner or Eric Holder.
It finally dawned on smart journalists and scholars in June 2018. Trump is keeping the Republican minority rule alive. Led by Mitch McConnell, the Republicans have stolen two Supreme Court seats and a presidential election. 2016 should have been a definitive defeat for the GOP at the national level. Instead, they are going to remain in power for at least another generation (30 years). And locally, they have an iron grip on power thanks to dirty politics, voter suppression and gerrymandering. The Republicans are a ruling minority. And only a few of us noticed that this ruling minority began in 1994, with Newt Gingrich and the GOP's "Contract With America." The impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 was cynical, but it sent a message. The GOP was never going to play nice again. It was always going to remind the coastal Democrats that they, the corporations, the millionaires and the billionaires are in charge.
From what I can tell, hundreds of millions of US citizens don’t care about this destructive minority rule. They don't think about it, just as they didn't think about the temporary DHS policy to separate migrant children from their parents, creating up to hundreds of orphans. If they thought about it, they thought, “That won’t be me. I’m not a migrant.” That mural of Trump in one of the boys detention centers is somehow not surprising. Federal departments reflect the president at the time. And the sitting president is a fascist dictator, who looks to other dictators -friends and foes alike - as role models on how to appear strong. He likes them all. From Egypt and Saudi Arabia to China and Russia. In his first week in office, he lashed out at the Prime Minister of Australia. What did we think he was going to do in the 8 years to follow?
During Trump's time in office, Republicans have gone from distancing themselves from his conduct, to fully embracing him. Again, he is doing a fine job maintaining the GOP's minority rule. His Gallup approval rating among Republicans is now at an all-time high of 90%. Trump knows he’s going to get away with the illegal campaign assistance he received from Israel, Russia and the UAE in 2016. Trump is about to set up the Supreme Court to protect him and the party that put 5 Justices in their seats. Trump knows that his dirty tactics and white nationalist dog whistles will win him re-election in 2020. And I wonder if he thinks he can make himself a president for life. At the very least, he won’t move out of the White House on the day he’s supposed to move out. He’ll be in his bathrobe tweeting away while the next president is being inaugurated.
But now, we must acknowledge that Trump has already destroyed what's left of this republic for the lower 90%. No future administration can repair the damage that he has caused in just 18 months. And with a Supreme Court repeal of Roe v. Wade looming sometime in the 2020s, I'd say the USA is over. It's finished. And we liberals let it happen. We underestimated the anti-abortion movement to remain strong for over 40 years. We underestimated Newt Gingrich's platform. We let partisan politics infect the Supreme Court and steal an election for Bush 43. And we underestimated Trump and let him turn the presidency into a authoritarian platform. We didn't challenge him while he weakened our republic, or legal protections, the WTO, NAFTA, NATO, and our positive relationships with our allies. All we did was march on his first day on the job. And now it is all over.
When Rage Against The Machine debuted their first album in 1992, on the eve of Bill Clinton's election, I thought why all the anger and warnings about the government? Why all the calls for a revolution just as awareness of white privilege, the value of diversity, and the evils of sexual harassment were just being adopted by college-educated Americans? Now I know why. When citizens miss their chance to revolt, the next chance can be decades away, or never. I am leaning towards never in the case of the USA after Trump.
A silly legal question from an armchair law aficionado: At what point does the wall between the White House counsel and the president's private, outside legal team come crumbling down? When will this firewall fail or be breached? Is it when Robert Mueller produces his report? Or could it be sooner, such as when the White House becomes involved in a cover-up or tries to obstruct the Special Counel's investigation?
Surely, it has to be when the White House gets involved in the cover-up of the 2016 Trump campaign's foreign collusion conspiracy?
We have heard the White House communications office use the phrase "outside counsel" quite a lot. Reporters are referred to Trump's private legal team for any questions relating to the Special Counsel investigation. But what happens when the White House Press Secretary lies in an effort to cover-up a detail in the alleged conspiracy between the Trump campaign and multiple foreign governments? Far more serious was the sighting of a White House lawyer at a classified DOJ briefing on the progress of the Special Counsel's investigation.
The White House counsel hasn't gotten much attention throughout Trump's first term, since most of the action has been conducted by his private legal team. But no matter how invisible or ineffective the White House team is, I think trouble is coming to them. Surely at leaast one of the fires Trump has set has gotten into our house.
Sanders' lying at the podium, and Republican efforts to obstruct justice should bring the Mueller investigation into the White House. "Outside counsel" is going to have to become White House counsel. There can't be a wall between Mueller and the White House any longer.