what rough beast

Demagogs frame impeachment drive as defense of “natsec”
Patrick Martin, WSWS, Sep 30 2019

The decision by the Demagog leadership of the House of Representatives to begin formal impeachment proceedings against Pres Trump has intensified the political crisis in Faschingstein. In a letter to House Demagogs on Sep 27, Pelosi emphasized that the impeachment probe “will be centered” in the House Intelligence Committee, which will hold hearings and collect testimony throughout the two-week congressional recess, during which the House leadership will conduct “a series of conference calls” to provide updates. Having the House Intelligence Committee take the lead on impeachment, rather than the Judiciary Committee, which has handled all previous impeachments, underscores the direct collaboration between the Demagog Party and the intelligence apparatus, which is spearheading the attack on Trump. Pelosi’s letter is just the latest indication that the Demagogs are seeking a “narrow” impeachment, focusing only on Trump’s conflict with the intelligence agencies and his manipulation of foreign policy to serve his own personal political interests, rather than his attacks on democratic rights, particularly directed against immigrants, Muslims and other minority populations, or his financial skullduggery. There is not the slightest democratic content to the impeachment inquiry. The Demagogs are not opposing the attacks of the Trump administration on the living standards and democratic rights of broad masses of working people. On the contrary, they seek to suppress such issues for fear of the emergence of social opposition from below that would threaten not only Trump, but the entire financial aristocracy that both Trump and the Democrats represent. Under conditions of a growing movement of the working class, expressed above all in the GM strike, workers must beware of being drawn in behind either side in the political war in Washington. Both the Demagogs, the representatives of the intelligence agencies, and Trump, who seeks to develop a fascist movement, are deadly enemies of the working class.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff suggested that obstruction of justice or “obstruction of Congress” might be a second charge against Trump if the administration continued its refusal to respond to subpoenas and document requests from House committees. This would be especially true in relation to requests directly linked to the impeachment inquiry, Schiff said. The Intelligence Committee is seeking the testimony of five State Dept boxtops with detailed knowledge of Pindo-Ukraine relations. These include special envoy Kurt Volker, who resigned Friday, as well as former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, fired by Trump in May, as well as DASS George Kent, State Dept counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, and Gordon Sondland, Pindo ambassador to the EU. Four of the five, all but Kent, are mentioned in the complaint sent by the CIA whistleblower whose actions triggered the impeachment probe. Kent is the ranking State Dept boxtop in charge of relations with the countries of Eastern Europe, including Ukraine. The committee will also hold a closed-door meeting with the Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, whose favorable review of the whistleblower complaint was a key step in bringing the matter before Congress. In the course of his appearances Sunday on several network television interview programs, Schiff sought to link his committee’s investigation to the Mueller enquiry. He said that he would be demanding records not only of Trump’s calls to Pres Zelensky but also of his calls to Putin, which Schiff said might raise additional “natsec” concerns. More detailed reporting on the origins of the whistleblower complaint demonstrates that it is not the action of a courageous individual, as declared by the media and officials such as DNI Maguire, but an operation mounted by the intelligence agencies, which have been opposed to Trump on foreign policy grounds from the time he took office. An account published in the WaPo on Saturday bears this out. This is the headline:

CIA officer painstakingly built report that would shift political landscape.

The article goes on to gush over the CIA agent, who was on assignment at the White House, writing:

The document he delivered reveals almost as much about the investigative mission he carried out in stealth as it does about the alleged abuses of power by the president. He has by some measures managed to exceed what former special counsel Robert S Mueller III accomplished in two years of Trump: producing a file so concerning and factually sound that it has almost singlehandedly set in motion the gears of impeachment.

It characterizes the agent’s description of events he did not personally witness as “eerily accurate” and concludes:

By naming some witnesses and identifying others by area of responsibility, the report lays out investigative leads for Congress or other authorities.

While a CIA agent started the ball rolling toward impeachment by filing the complaint with the inspector general, two former CIA agents, now sitting in Congress, played a critical role in pushing the Demagog leadership to shift its position from adamant opposition to impeachment to acquiescence. One of those CIA Demagogs, Elissa Slotkin, was interviewed on CNN SOTU Sunday, a role filled by Schiff on other networks. Against the Demagog Party-CIA attack, Trump is seeking to mobilize support from ultra-right and fascistic layers of the population, working through his right-wing media supporters on talk radio and at Fox News, as well as groups like the NRA. On Friday he held a White House meeting with NRA boss Wayne LaPierre, described by both the NYT and the WSJ as an effort to gain the gun lobby’s support against the impeachment probe. While the newspapers reported this meeting as purely a matter of mobilizing political support, it should be recalled that during the 2016 campaign, when his electoral victory was considered in doubt, candidate Trump suggested that his followers might find a “Second Amendment solution” to the policies of a future Hillary Clinton administration, a reference to the use of firearms against his Demagog Party opponents. The NRA claims five million armed members.

Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to denounce his Demagog opponents as “savages,” listing by name Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler, chair of the Judiciary Committee, and “AOC Plus 3,” a reference to four liberal Demagog congresswomen, all from minority backgrounds: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. It was widely noted in the media that Trump had chosen to target two Jews and four women of color as “savages,” a word with long-standing racist connotations that he has generally reserved for Central American gang leaders. His tweets will undoubtedly be followed by a new volley of threats of violence from Trump’s ultra-right supporters directed against the targeted Demagogs. There were indications of increasing desperation underlying Trump’s imprecations, as his support within the Thug Party seems less solid than previously indicated. Two Thug governors, albeit “moderates” elected in heavily Demagog states, Phil Scott and Charlie Baker, indicated their support for impeachment. While only Sen Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Thug presidential nominee, was viewed as openly sympathetic to impeachment, a half dozen Thug senators have indicated that they found Trump’s soliciting of support from the president of Ukraine against a potential Demagog 2020 rival to be questionable. Sen Susan Collins said that Trump’s comments about treating whistleblowers like “spies and traitors” was a “gross mischaracterization of whistleblowers.” The second-ranking Thug, Majority Whip John Thune, said:

I didn’t like seeing that … I know this president operates in different ways … but you know, obviously, like I said before, it’s not something I would bring up.

Former senator Jeff Flake, a frequent critic of Trump, told NPR that as many as 35 of the 53 Thug Senators would vote to remove Trump from office if the vote were a secret ballot, rather than a public one. He said:

Anybody who has sat through two years of Thug luncheons, as I have done, realizes that there’s not a lot of love for the president.

There were also reports of infighting in the White House over how to handle the impeachment probe, with particular criticism directed at Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. CNN published a report that Mulvaney was “on shaky ground” because he “did not have a strategy for defending and explaining the contents” of documents like the summary of the Trump-Zelensky phone call and the text of the whistleblower complaint. Compounding the crisis in the White House is the sheer volume of attacks on Trump’s personal finances. No less than six court cases are currently under way over efforts by House Demagogs or prosecutors in NYC and California to obtain financial records and tax returns. Trump must file a response Monday to a House Demagog lawsuit seeking his federal tax returns, answer lawsuits in NYC and California on the same issue, and respond to subpoenas in both Faschingstein and NYC for financial records, including tax returns in the possession of Deutsche Bank and Capital One, the main lenders to the Trump Organization, and Trump’s long-time accountants Mazars.

One Comment

  1. R
    Posted September 30, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Arrogance par excellence

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