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Trump Storms Out Of Meeting With Democrats, Then Rants In Rose Garden

Trump angrily stormed out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday after demanding that Congress stop investigating his administration’s crimes.

“Trump walked in to meeting with Dems on infrastructure, did not shake anyone’s hand or sit in his seat,” HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic tweeted Wednesday, citing a source familiar with what happened.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump will refuse to continue his promised negotiations with Democrats in Congress on infrastructure and drug prices until Congress finishes its investigations into him.

“[Trump] objected to the continued investigation of obstruction of justice, he said he cooperated and gave his side of the story, as we’ve heard before, said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who was present for the unprecedented meltdown.

Trump was upset at Pelosi for saying earlier in the day that said Trump was engaging in a “cover up.”

The private angry display was followed up by a bizarre public event in the Rose Garden of the White House.

“I walked into the room and I told Senator Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, I want to do infrastructure … but you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances, So get these phony investigations over with,” Trump said.

The White House press office, led by press secretary Sarah Sanders, handed out childish leaflets to the press with “statistics” that purported to show why the investigations should be dropped.

During the event, Trump also berated members of the press for accurately reporting on the Mueller Report’s findings that he obstructed justice, and on the ongoing congressional investigations into the findings.

“This whole thing was a takedown attempt at the president of the United States, and honestly you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for the way you’ve reported so dishonestly,” Trump told the assembled reporters, apparently referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Trump now refuses to do the job he swore an oath to do because Congress is doing its basic constitutional oversight duties to investigate his many alleged crimes and abuses of power.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

IMAGE: President Trump speaking in White House Rose Garden on Wednesday.

Biographer Foresees ‘Harrowing’ Experience For Trump As Probe Unfolds

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump biographer Tim O’Brien predicts that the next few months are going to be very unpleasant for the president, as House Democrats conduct a thorough probe of his personal finances.

Writing in Bloomberg, O’Brien draws on his own experience of getting sued by Trump last decade to discuss the president’s shady financial dealings that could get him into trouble for insurance fraud, among other crimes.

“Scrutiny of Trump’s insurance dealings is just the beginning of what is going to be a long, meandering and possibly harrowing experience for the president, his family, longtime employees, many of his business partners and the White House,” he writes. “Federal prosecutors in Manhattan, attorneys general in Virginia, New York and the District of Columbia, five committees within the House of Representatives and, now, banking and insurance regulators, are all putting the Trump Organization and the president’s financial and political dealings under a wide array of microscopes.”

O’Brien notes that we already know of one shady character in Trump’s orbit who is scheduled to testify before Congress: Felix Sater, the Russian-American former mobster who worked with former “fixer” Michael Cohen to negotiate with Russian officials to build a Trump Tower in Moscow even as he was running for president.

O’Brien describes Sater as a “career criminal” and says he could offer information about not just the Moscow project, but also the Trump Soho hotel project that has been scrutinized as a potential vehicle for international money laundering.

Looking at all these potential targets for investigations, O’Brien concludes that many of the president’s closest allies might turn on him to save themselves from legal jeopardy.

“If Cohen is any indication… many, if not everybody, at the Trump Organization and elsewhere may decide to protect themselves before they protect the president,” he writes. “Investigators have landed on the money trail.”

IMAGE: Donald Trump with Felix H. Sater (right) and Tevfik Arif at the official unveiling of Trump SoHo in September 2007, when it was still under construction. Credit Mark Von Holden/WireImage

White House Stonewalling Congress To Block Investigations

The Trump administration is refusing to cooperate with at least 30 separate investigations, according to a Politico report published Wednesday.

Democrats are conducting vigorous oversight related to Trump’s conversations with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Trump’s family separation policy which resulted in jailing babies, security clearances for Trump’s family over the objections of the intelligence community, and many more issues.

In response, the White House is refusing to turn over documents and engaging in delay tactics to stymie the ability of Congress to do their job. Democrats on 12 separate House committees say the Trump team is obstructing 30 different investigations, according to Politico.

The stonewalling comes even as Trump initially promised to cooperate with congressional investigations. After House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler sent 81 letters seeking documents and information, Trump seemed nonplussed, saying, “I cooperate all the time with everybody.”

But a few days later, Trump had one of his classic morning meltdowns, going on an unhinged rant that accused Nadler and Democrats of being “stone cold CRAZY.”

Trump’s position on transparency is not tied to any sort of political philosophy related to separation of powers. Instead, it’s tied to his own political agenda.

When Republicans controlled Congress, Trump ordered the intelligence community to declassify secret documents because Republicans in Congress wanted to see them. When it suits him, Trump will bend the rules to share information with Congress.

But now that Democrats are in charge, Trump and his cronies are determined to keep nefarious activities hidden.

The new majority is not without options, according to Politico. If Trump officials continue to refuse to cooperate, Congress has the power to issue subpoenas requiring officials to testify and turn over documents. If Trump officials defy the subpoena, the House can vote to hold them in contempt of Congress and then take them to court.

Voters swept Democrats into power in the 2018 midterms with a mandate to hold Trump and his crime-infested administration accountable. Congressional investigations are one way Democrats plan to do this, no matter how uncomfortable that may be for Trump.

Published with permission of The American Independent.