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Tue Feb 11, 2020, 07:19 PM

Trump Fires Defense Official for Refusing to Break the Law on His Behalf


the national interest 4:13 P.M.
Trump Fires Defense Official for Refusing to Break the Law on His Behalf
By Jonathan Chait


Two days after Senate Republicans acquitted President Trump on both counts of impeachment, the Trump administration fired a number of national-security officials: European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council staffer, for voluntarily testifying before the House, as well as the latter’s twin brother, Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman, for being related to Alexander. Now, the “Friday Night Massacre” is extending into this week. The New York Post reports that the administration is retaliating against Elaine McCusker, whose nomination for Pentagon comptroller and chief financial officer has been pulled.

What’s especially chilling about this move is the reason for the retaliation. McCusker is losing her job because she attempted to follow the law. There’s no cover story to rationalize it. That is the cover story. “This administration needs people who are committed to implementing the president’s agenda, specifically on foreign policy, and not trying to thwart it,” a White House official tells the paper.

McCusker’s crime is quite literally having attempted to follow the law. Over the summer, the Office of Management and Budget was trying to hold up aid for Ukraine that Congress had passed into law, because it was trying to extort Ukraine to investigate Trump’s rivals. Defense Department officials, who were supposed to allocate the funds, attempted to implement the policy. Just Security obtained the email chain through the Freedom of Information Act.

The emails show McCusker advising budget officials as to what the law said. She was not acting especially rigid about it. As Just Security’s summary notes, “The emails show officials bending over backwards to make every conceivable accommodation to keep the process moving without actually being able to obligate the funding.” One message shows McCusker writing to another official, “We need to continue to give the WH has [sic] much decision space as possible, but am concerned we have not officially documented the fact that we can not promise full execution at this point.” That is, she was trying to do everything in her power to give White House officials room to set the policy as they saw fit, without violating the law.

Importantly, the Government Accountability Office later examined the question, and found that McCusker was right. Holding up the aid was indeed illegal. (It’s not complicated: Congress passed a law providing the aid, so refusing to carry it out would obviously violate it.)

more...

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/02/trump-fires-defense-official-refusing-to-break-law-elaine-mccusker.html

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Reply Trump Fires Defense Official for Refusing to Break the Law on His Behalf (Original post)
babylonsister Tuesday OP
bucolic_frolic Tuesday #1
calimary Tuesday #13
Squidly Wednesday #14
iluvtennis Tuesday #2
0rganism Tuesday #10
NoMoreRepugs Tuesday #3
world wide wally Tuesday #4
sakabatou Tuesday #5
Flaleftist Tuesday #8
Takket Tuesday #6
Toorich Tuesday #7
Martin Eden Tuesday #9
lastlib Tuesday #11
SunSeeker Tuesday #12

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 08:42 PM

1. Going, going, going

the full Hitler

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 10:22 PM

13. Well, why not? We've already got the "New Century Good Germans."

You’ll know them by their red hats and their brown noses.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 12, 2020, 01:28 AM

14. Never go full Hitler....

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 08:43 PM

2. GOP senators vote on impeachment has given him free reign to do

whatever the hell he wants.

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Response to iluvtennis (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 10:09 PM

10. America's version of the enabling act

that's a vote the Gopers can regret all the way to the grave
whose grave remains to be seen

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 08:56 PM

3. I'm of the opinion that we've only seen an inkling

of what the Mango Menace is going to do. With the Senate, DOJ and SCOTUS in lockstep behind him its flat out SCARY what he can do to his perceived “enemies.”

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 09:09 PM

4. I think he's averaging one impeachable offense per day since his acquittal.

Good job, Republicans

He sure learned his lesson, huh, Susan?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 09:37 PM

5. This may only be the beginning

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Response to sakabatou (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 09:43 PM

8. Oh, he's not done yet, not by a long shot.

He only goes down hard.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 09:41 PM

6. gee..... maybe we should impeach him

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 09:43 PM

7. If a fire breaks out in Congress ....

..... and the Tangerine Turd blames it on the Democrats....

we will all need to get our armbands and learn to goose-step.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 09:53 PM

9. Trump is a crime boss.

Those who enable him are accessories to crime.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 10:18 PM

11. Waiting for Sen. Collins to say this is "inappropriate"............

.......< crickets >...............

(she's not "concerned" yet??!? )

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 10:20 PM

12. K & R for exposure.

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