A tweet sent by Donald Trump on Wednesday evening may well wind up earning a new article of impeachment against him.
Here’s the posting Trump made shortly after returning to the White House from his Mar-a-Lago golf resort:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2020
As usual, CNN is drawing Trump’s ire. But Jonathan Chait of New York magazine points out, the Trump tweet sounds a lot like a confession of an illegal act the president committed when he allegedly tried to stop the AT&T acquisition of CNN:
“Last year, Jane Mayer reported that Trump attempted to carry out this very threat. The president called Gary Cohn, director of his National Economic Council, and ordered him to block the merger. After the meeting, Cohn told then–Chief of Staff John Kelly he wouldn’t follow the order. However, later that year, the Justice Department did block the merger, though it lost in court.”
All of this led the House Judiciary Committee to initiate an investigation into the matter not long after Mayer’s article ran in the New Yorker:
“After Mayer’s report, the House Judiciary Committee told the White House to turn over documents relating to the merger. The White House flatly refused. So if there’s proof that Trump ordered the Justice Department to block the merger, that evidence is being withheld.”
Why would you refuse to turn over the documents if they didn’t prove guilt? An innocent person is only too happy to cooperate with an investigation so that he or she can clear themselves.
Chait notes that all of this is the standard modus operandi when it comes to Trump and his attempts to hide his many crimes, and it suggests something incredibly nefarious:
“Trump used antitrust enforcement against CNN’s corporate owners as retribution for its coverage. And Trump’s tweets suggest, even as the courts stymied him, that he is determined to keep up economic pressure on CNN.”
Such actions are a clear abuse of presidential power and also reek of extortion by Trump. He wants positive coverage from CNN, so he sics the Justice Department on them and their parent company. Also, if Trump did this to tank the stock of the two companies, that’s securities fraud. And that means more articles of impeachment, which have already been hinted at by House Democrats.
2020 is poised to be a catastrophic year for Donald Trump, with impeachment, state investigations of the Trump Organization, and falling poll numbers all converging while he tries to win a second term in office. We can expect more crimes as he spirals towards the maelstrom that threatens to consume him.