State of the Union, Pelosi, Cohen: 3 Stories You Should Read 1/18/2019
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In the category of: It’s hard to overstate what a big deal this is.
“President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.
“Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. ‘Make it happen,’ the sources said Trump told Cohen.”
The BuzzFeed story also claims that Cohen confirmed this information to special counsel Robert Mueller after “the special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”
In the category of: Intentional or idiotic?
The back and forth between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., over the partial government shutdown escalated Friday, as Pelosi said the White House leaked plans for a congressional delegation to fly commercially to Afghanistan.
On Thursday, Trump said he was revoking a military flight for the CODEL, suggesting Pelosi fly commercial instead.
Pelosi was apparently prepared to do just that. But she told reporters Friday that in the midst of the planning word came that the White House had leaked that the delegation was preparing to travel commercially.
“The fact that they would leak that we were flying commercial is a danger not only to us but to other people,” she said, adding it was “very irresponsible on the part of the President.” But she dodged a question about how she knew the administration was behind the leak.
In the category of: Sounds like a plan.
The president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient,” the Constitution says. But must he do it with such pomp and circumstance; with the bloviating exposition of so little substance; with the pageant reaction shots of Congress, all sycophantic to one audience or another; with the multiplying response speeches, each as empty as their vacuous prompt; with prop guests and press hyper-analysis and the near-religious routine of obligatory applause?
In a word, no.
None of this need happen at all — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Wednesday move to postpone 2019’s State of the Union address until President Trump agrees to end the partial government shutdown offers a rare opening for reform.
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