LEAKING AND THE LAW

Trump’s Department of Justice

The tight-rope walk between protecting national security and the need for a free press has always been a challenge. It’s essential that government and justice operate without the fear of damaging leaks to the media, similar to your need of security on your social media platforms.

Our President, Donald Trump, spends an inordinate amount of time writing and sending posts to Twitter. Some people, even many of his followers, consider this an exorbitant use of a social media platform. Trump’s tweets often get him into trouble, but our president’s psychological vomiting gives the nation a revealing look into his soul.

There is a widely held belief in our government that if the President of the United States reveals something then it is no longer classified. Under this logic, once the leader of the free world speaks whatever he says is not a leak. Trump fails to realize, however, that some of the leaks he complains about are things that he shared with his buddies on the phone. Trump uses these people as sounding boards, but they also talk to others.

Good reporting is much like a jig-saw puzzle. A journalistic sleuth will interview and prod people in power and tap official sources. By carefully connecting the dots of loosely related pieces of a story, a talented journalist can then write a complete story, hopefully with the added value of a big scoop. Once the report is written, the correspondent usually calls people in authoritative positions to have them verify the premise or the facts. Many times, a “no comment” is interpreted as approval. While this is not always correct, it is an accepted technique. The old, “Well, they didn’t deny it,” can be a bit like walking on thin ice.

Because of the competitive nature of the press, and the aggressive, often unprofessional, work of web bloggers and media sites, reporters are not afraid of rummaging through someone’s trash to get a story. Some writers have a political purpose and will bend the story to fit their perspective, right or left. Washington, D.C. seems like a big city, but it’s really a bunch of little towns filled with gossip, rumors, and bottom-feeders. The government might be the Capitol’s biggest employer, but the notion of a swamp isn’t too far from the truth.

In their quest for truth, reporters will do just about anything to concoct a good story. Because the D.C. center of power is so small, personal relationships and late-night bed partners often play into the mix. Human nature doesn’t change, but the law about protecting the secrets of government are black and white.

In 2003, a journalist for The Washington Post, James Novak, received inside information from Richard Armitage, who worked at the Department of State. Novak then published a story that revealed the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Not only did this end Ms. Plame’s CIA career, it also generated a grand jury investigation.

The case was United States v. Libby and, yes, that is the same Scooter Libby who President Trump recently pardoned. Libby’s was VP Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff, and he was found guilty of making false statements to investigators about leaking information to reporters.  Many people believe that Libby took the fall for Cheney, who was probably also in the loop of the leak.

Now, here are some strange coincidences. The special prosecutor in the Scooter Libby case was Patrick Fitzgerald. He prosecuted and got a conviction of Rod Blagojevich, who was the Governor of Illinois at the time, for attempting to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat for money. Trump said he is considering pardoning Blagojevich. And to make the stew a little thicker, James Comey, then acting Attorney General, was the person who appointed Fitzgerald to investigate the leaking of Plame’s identity.

But it gets even stranger. Scooter Libby tried his hand at writing and published a fictional novel about a smallpox epidemic in Japan in 1903 called, The Apprentice. One can’t make this stuff up and it shows the interlocking circles of our government and Trump’s intentions.

The front-page story in the New York Times today (6-8-2018) reports that, “A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide was arrested on Thursday in an investigation of classified information leaks where prosecutors also secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s phone and email records.” The story alleges that the former aide, 57-year-old James A. Wolfe, was charged with lying repeatedly to FBI investigators about his contacts with three reporters. A shocking fact is this was the first known instance of the Trump Justice Department seizing a reporter’s records.

But wait, there’s more. Wolfe and reporter Ali Watkins were allegedly dating. The New York Times went on to add, “It appeared that the FBI was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser.” I guess the “failing” New York Times really did have a major scoop.

Wolfe has worked in a security role on the Hill for over 30 years. This puts the Great Orange Leader in a precarious position. While Trump disparages his own Justice Department, those same professionals are using the same legal methods to obtain information which could lead to a conviction, just as they did in New York with Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer. This underscores the notion of no one being above the law, and that Donald Trump may be in the thick of the same kind of thorough investigation in the Russian probe. As someone pointed out, “investigation” is part of their name: Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Trump has his unlimited power to pardon, as he did for Scooter Libby. Perhaps this was a message sent to anyone who might be thinking of testifying against him or flipping on him. Regardless, the media will continue their relentless fact finding. That is what they do.

There are people who consider themselves whistle-blowers and the Washington press corps craves their precious pieces of information. All the king’s horses and men will never stop the leaks, whether they are legal or not. Human nature dictates that, sooner or later, someone will leak. And we thank them for giving us the gift that Trump cannot, TRANSPARENCY.

The First 200 Days Of Trump – ONLY ONE MILLION LEFT

These daily diatribes from a delusional blogger give you a day by day overview of the 45th President’s first two-hundred days in office. Follow Donald Trump through the tough times on his way to impeachment. Kindle Version HERE, or Get the printed book now, CLICK HERE.

 

The Jonas Bronck Series

BOOK ONE (IF GOD COULD TALK) A Cable TV talk show host is approached by a friend who offers a guest for his show who has never been on TV before. The Diary of a TV Journalist is the story about the host of the show and his executive producer vetting the guest and attempting to determine what would happnen If God Could Talk…

BOOK TWO (IF GOD COULD CRY) One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on a quest for truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Books available on Amazon:


LEAKS & LIES & LOOSE LIPS

Trump Wants to Help Chinese Workers?

We have seen it all now. Our Great Orange Leader has no problem putting people down or saying horrible things about them and that modus operandi has dripped into others in the Swamp House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. What these immature Trump lackies don’t understand is that anything and everything said on the reality TV show known as the Trump administration will be revealed. Who is doing this?

High polarity in a workplace naturally brings high drama. Some people think they are being funny because they are under the illusion that Trump himself is pleased by sarcasm and humor. Full disclosure here; I have never laughed at anything Donald J. Trump has said. His humor is the worst kind of Dad humor, not funny and, at its best, teetering only on corny.

Yesterday (5-14-2018), the Donald tweeted out what appears to be a joke, “President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”

Now had this been a hack, I could understand it. But what our President is now saying our country is supposed to help a Chinese company, ZTE, because China has lost too many jobs. After telling us that China has raped us, has taken advantage of America and has even been a currency manipulator, Trump now wants to put China First on this issue. This is freaking outrageous.

It appears to be okay for a staff member of the White House to malign an American hero as he walks the last mile of his life. There was already a pattern established by Trump saying that John McCain’s P.O.W status did not make him a hero. Now we can just spit on a dying man and walk away with a clear conscience? Who are these people? They are more concerned about leaking co-workers than the pain they dish out.

The reason people leak conversations after meetings and confabs is because Trump himself leaks every night during his reassuring phone calls with rich people. The Donald doesn’t even realize that “leaking” is a sport in D.C. which the cunning use to step over people and speak truth to power. Unfortunately, with the Trump administration very little truth comes out, so speaking honestly is the duty of the free press, as it should be.

Through the “genius” of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, we learned over the weekend that Trump himself ordered the Justice Department to stop the Time Warner – AT&T merger. Then, quickly, we got a correction. Trump had nothing to do with DOJ suit against the merger. The flip-flops and self-inflicted wounds of this President result from the lack of discussion and thought that normally goes into presidential speech.

With so many lies blasting out of this White House, it’s hard to know if even the leaks are based on facts. The many loose lips in that swampland guarantee that the only consistent reality of this show will be employee turnover. People will constantly be fired and sent away because those government employees’ only power is to be wined and dined by the press. It’s like taking candy from a baby. They are either disgruntled, or simply amused, at seeing their words under the cloak of an unnamed source.

It will be interesting to hear the justification Team Trump will bring out of the oven on this save- a-Chinese-company decree from President Goofball. We have workers here in the U.S.A. who desperately need jobs, so would someone please tell me why are we going to savage a tech giant in China? Does the Chinese President Xi have a vested interest in this company? We will never know. There is little transparency in a “communist” country.

If Donald Trump really believes anyone is going to buy this radical move, he’s crazy. If the people in his base let him give jobs to China before getting our unemployment down to zero percent, he’s abandoning one of his basic campaign promises about why he would be a good president. Do his followers even understand what he is attempting to pull off? He’s reneging on a PROMISE.

Trump is susceptible to doing things which he thinks will please his friends, rather working for the benefit of all Americans. This could be the true test of whether Russia has a grip on Trump and whether he’s a little afraid. China could financially crush us by calling in all the loans. Maybe in his personal business circle our President is afraid of Russia demanding repayments of the loans to Eric, Don, Jr. and the Trump Enterprises?

If I was all powerful, the leakers, the liars and all the loose lips would be expelled from the White House. That would include the main leaker.

 

The First 200 Days Of Trump – ONLY ONE MILLION LEFT

These daily diatribes from a delusional blogger give you a day by day overview of the 45th President’s first two-hundred days in office. Follow Donald Trump through the tough times on his way to impeachment. Kindle Version HERE, or Get the printed book now, CLICK HERE.

 

New Book about Terrorism

One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on his quest to find truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Now available on Amazon.

 

 

 


HEROES & VILLIANS

The Undisclosed Trump

Robert Mueller has a lot of work to do. The press is drilling to find their “deep throat” and the drip, drip, drip of facts surrounding the presidency only lead to more questions. We know that there is, indeed, a connection between the campaign and Russia, but we still don’t have the complete story.

What Congress must do is pass a law that says anyone running for President and every President in office, must disclose all their financial entanglements. We have never had a leader with this much money and as high an international business profile as Donald Trump. One could ask, can anyone with that many on-going enterprises be outside of the window of conflict of interest? We might be able to know if the tradition of releasing tax returns should become codified by a law.

Lawyers can argue that the President is above the normal conflicts rules and laws because we wouldn’t want his every judgement to end up in the court. That would be extremely distracting, but we have to hold the man in the White House to ethical standards. If not, then we need to rewrite the laws to make him or her more transparent than private companies or sole proprietors. The president’s position is not a limited liability corporation, he’s the leader of the country and the people deserve to his debtors and cash flow.

Donald Trump has pulled another con by saying that his sons will run his businesses, without a firm trust or sell off. He brought his daughter, who still has her own company, into the White House along with his son-in-law.  Why? Was it so he could control them or protect them? Under this unique arrangement both Ivanka and Jared should release their complete income tax returns and financial entanglements as well.

If I really trusted Trump I wouldn’t be asking for this kind of information to be made public. The President of the United States has said some things on twitter, in public and in his proclamations and executive orders that beg the question, why did he say that? Why can’t our great Orange Leader simply release of all the material and prove that he was born in America, ah, I mean, that he has no connection to Russia.

Mr. President says that the “Russia thing with Trump is a hoax” and “This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history.” Really? Why would this be “FAKE NEWS” when his own son put it on the front page by releasing his emails? We have no idea how many emails Don Jr. and the Trump campaign have deleted, but I am sure someone has them.

The Donald cannot get out front of this story because he keeps throwing more wood on the fire. If he wants a story to go away he should stop talking about it. Maybe Trump has a blood clot in his brain.  That could explain his misuse of the bully pulpit. The simple truth is he’s not getting anything done

We should be able to see the President’s medical records for the safety of this country. For someone so important, we have a right to know if he is hiding any deep and dark medical secrets that could affect the way he governs. It’s only fair that the American understand as much as they can about the person holding their trust. And of course, if he has some creeping disorder or disease, like Ronald Reagan endured, then we the people should have a legal path to replace him. We know the amazing military record of a real American hero, John McCain; let this President release his medical records so we can see what kept him out of military service.

Donald Trump never talks about his mother. This bothers me greatly. I have never respected a person who seems to have no connection to the lady that brought him to the dance. I wonder what that means? He needs to disclose the things that gave him this distorted view of his wealth, fame and ego. He likes to keep too many things secret, which makes him “unpredictable.” Do we really want a fickle leader? If he made a capricious move with some of the bad guys in the world, he could get us into a war.

Donald Trump worships money. He has proven he will lie, cheat and steal to get more of it. He will sue his way out of any situation that damages his weak self-esteem. He will attack people, even if they are innocent, with all the fury of a madman. He is just what many say he is, unhinged. But most people agree on one point, he is not forthcoming.  He thinks that secrets have value, and maybe so, but there is a cost to pay for keeping them.

TRUTH; the American people deserve honesty, openness and truth from its President. The art of the lie might be making some people laugh, but for most citizens in the country his lack of candor is slowing eroding trust, even in his base. People are starting to admit that this President lies. Perhaps they feel okay with their guns and Bibles right now, but in the end, they will be screwed just like the sub-contractors of a Trump building. Those who voted for Trump will have to come to the realization soon, that Donald J. Trump is not Making America Great.