The Definition of “Collusion” as Impeachment Proceeds: the Risk Trump Poses to All Americans

It’s a testament to how crazy things have been this week that this memo — Andrew McCabe’s memorialization of opening the investigation into Donald Trump on May 16, 2017 — only got covered by obsequious propagandists on the frothy right. Judicial Watch liberated it via FOIA and actually had to focus on something else — Rod Rosenstein’s offer to wear a wire — to drive interest.

I suspect that’s because the memo paints McCabe’s own actions in favorable light (and Rosenstein in a damning light, both as regards his own integrity and his purported loyalty to Trump). Consider this paragraph:

I began by telling [Rosenstein] that today I approved the opening of an investigation of President Donald Trump. I explained that the purpose of the investigation was to investigate allegations of possible collusion between the president and the Russian Government, possible obstruction of justice related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and possible conspiracy to obstruct justice. The DAG questioned what I meant by collusion and I explained that I was referring to the investigation of any potential links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. I explained that the counterintelligence investigations of this sort were meant to uncover any [sic] the existence of any threat to national security as well as whether or not criminal conduct had occurred. Regarding the obstruction issues, I made clear that our predication was based not only on the president’s comments last week to reporter Lester Holt (that he connected the firing of the director to the FBI’s Russia investigation), but also on the several concerning comments the president made to Director Comey over the last few months. These comments included the President’s requests for assurances of loyalty, statements about the Russia investigation and the investigation of General Michael Flynn. I also informed the DAG that Director Comey preserved his recollection of these interactions in a series of contemporaneously drafted memos. Finally, I informed the DAG that as a result of his role in the matter, I thought he would be a witness in the case. [my emphasis]

The substance of this paragraph has been told before, albeit by certain NYT reporters who have consistently misunderstood the substance of Trump’s ties to Russia. Those tellings have always left out that McCabe also predicated a conspiracy to obstruct justice investigation (meaning, among other things, that Rosenstein himself was on the line for his actions to create an excuse for firing Comey). The emphasis, here, is also not focused exclusively on Mike Flynn but on the Russian investigation generally; as I’ve been meaning to show, Trump faced at least as much direct exposure given the investigation into Roger Stone, and his actions after he learned Stone was a target in March 2017 reflect that more than commonly understood.

By far, the most important detail in this paragraph, however, is McCabe’s definition of “collusion,” as he explained it the day before Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller to investigate what he would later call collusion. Collusion, for McCabe, is just “potential links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government,” not necessarily any criminal ties. McCabe made this statement at a time when FBI knew about neither the June 9 meeting to get dirt on Hillary Clinton nor Trump’s sustained effort to pursue an improbably lucrative Trump Tower deal, to say nothing of the fact that Trump’s campaign manager was sharing campaign strategy while discussing how to carve up Ukraine to Russia’s liking. That is, according to the definition McCabe used, the investigation did find “collusion.” Period, end of sentence.

Importantly, the first thing McCabe raised when discussing such — at that point hypothetical — links was national security, not criminal campaign finance or bribery exposure. That is, McCabe opened the “collusion” investigation to find out whether Trump’s — at that point hypothetical — links to the Russian government were making the US less secure. The answer to that question was not included in the Mueller Report; indeed, the most glaring evidence that those links did make the US less secure were very pointedly not included in the report.

This is an important lesson as the Ukraine investigation — which cannot and should not be separated from the Russian investigation — proceeds, one that has thus far been deemphasized again. Trump’s continued efforts to pursue policies — foreign and domestic — that personally benefit him don’t just amount to breathtaking corruption. They provide foreign countries more and more leverage to use against Trump to limit his policy options. Every time Trump does something scandalous with a foreign leader — and he does it all … the … time — it means those foreign leaders can hold that over Trump going forward and in so doing, limit his negotiating position. So not only do Americans lose out on having a President who makes decisions based on how they benefit the country rather than himself personally, but they also get a far weaker President in the bargain, someone who — if he ever decided to prioritize American interests over his own — would have already traded away his bargaining chips to do so.

Through his actions thus far as President, Trump has guaranteed he cannot pursue policies that would benefit average Americans, and he has done so not just with Russia and Ukraine, and not just because of his executive incompetence.

There is an impact that Trump’s “collusion” and corruption have on everyday Americans, whether they wear pussy hats or MAGA caps, an impact that Democrats have permitted Republicans to obscure. Trump’s actions effectively rob Americans of the powerful executive on foreign policy issues that our Constitution very imperfectly sought to ensure, without stripping the weakened Trump of the tools he can wield to punish those who call him on his weakness.

Because he always self-deals, Trump has made himself an intolerably weak President, one who makes the US less secure at every step. Republicans defending him need to be held accountable for weakening the US.

What we know of Bill Barr’s treatment of the ICIG referral on the Ukrainian whistleblower suggests he only reviewed it, cursorily, for criminal campaign finance violations — possibly not even the obvious presidential bribery prohibited explicitly by our Constitution it exhibits. Bill Barr did not, with the Russian investigation and has not with the Ukrainian referral, consider how by protecting Trump’s actions, he robs every American of what the Constitution guarantees: a President, not a man shopping for revenge and phallic symbols in foreign capitals. That’s why Barr had to totally distort the conclusions of the Mueller report on collusion: to hide what it is really about and to hide how enabling such activity by Trump hurts Americans.

Yet from the start, from the moment when McCabe opened an investigation into Trump, that’s what it was supposed to be about.

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67 replies
  1. Geoff says:

    Thanks Marcy. This point cannot be hammered home too often, and sadly, pretty much no one has laid it out there so succinctly. They often say Trump is “putting our national security at risk” but without the how of how that happens, people tend to gloss over it. When you lay out the mechanism, it’s much more alarming.

    • Mooser says:

      Gee, in concert with Putin, Trump can put the squeeze on all kinds of countries. Good-Cop-Bad-Cop or tag-team. This will tend to make other countries distrust the US.

  2. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Or going back to posts past, the actual “kompromat” is not a pee tape or any specific act, but that he is compromised, that he compromises himself at every opportunity: that his choices, more acting out urges than making decisions, compromise everyone around him.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how his dealmaking is not real estate but secrets and lies: deals to suppress his own secrets and promote lies about himself, deals to expose others’ secrets and manufacture dirt. And he’s actually been good at it, perhaps because he has no moral core. He assumes — and has said! — that everyone has an angle, everybody would do whatever it takes, but also assumes that exposure will damage them and not him.

    • BobCon says:

      The way people like him operate is the secrets and lies always outnumber any real dealmaking twenty to one. They precede any deals by a long time, and linger long after.

      Which is why truncating investigations to any single incident like Ukraine will always be a mistake, both in terms of missed oportunities elsewhere and lost opportunities to prove the case you want to focus on.

      This article is a great example of how much overlap there is between one thing and another, and why letting other things slide misses the bigger risks involved.

    • orionATL says:

      “… I’ve been thinking a lot about how his dealmaking is not real estate but secrets and lies: deals to suppress his own secrets and promote lies about himself, deals to expose others’ secrets and manufacture dirt. And he’s actually been good at it, perhaps because he has no moral core…”

      very insightful.

      glad to read your comments here again.

      i haven’t forgotten that sometime back you had written that trump’s business model was something along the lines of high-level, revolving check kiting.

      thanks.

  3. Frank Probst says:

    I would argue that his pattern of corrupt actions with foreign leaders/nations–in order to benefit himself rather than the country–is followed by a similar pattern of obstruction of justice that he leaves in his wake, which implies consciousness of guilt. We have 10 clear-cut examples of his obstruction from the Mueller report. Those should have made it clear to him that obstruction of justice is illegal, even if he continues to have corrupt interactions with foreign leaders/nations that he insists are not even remotely problematic.

    • orionATL says:

      “… which implies consciousness of guilt…”

      interesting.

      or anxiety –

      about having another game of deception found out.

  4. Yogarhythms says:

    Ew,
    Tantalizingly clear. Risking turpitude for personal gain is all. Where is the ideal hidden in that paradigm.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    So not only do Americans lose out on having a President who makes decisions based on how they benefit the country rather than himself personally….but [b]ecause he always self-deals, Trump has made himself an intolerably weak President, one who makes the US less secure at every step.

    And that’s before we get to “executive incompetence.” Impeachment and removal would seem to be the least that Congress could do.

  6. coral says:

    Thank you for this “big picture” view. I have been having trouble seeing the forest for the trees. This lays it out very clearly.

  7. Vicks says:

    Trump is not a complicated man.
    His life plan is simple and about as obvious as it gets.
    IMHO Rudy’s promise of locating the golden server needs to be taken into account almost as much as his attempt to get dirt on Biden. It will be interesting to see if this Rudy reveal affects any others who were banking on the discovery of this often repeated legend describing magical (and physical) server containing the secrets of the deep state.
    Trump has simply been caught in the act of seeking revenge, and attempting to rewrite history to match his egos version of events.
    Just another day for DJT.

  8. orionATL says:

    because the trump ukraine caper is inevitably a bridge to the past and trump’s russian behavior, it is also inevitable that the deficiencies of the mueller report (though perhaps not of the osc investigation itself) will become manifest as it becomes clearer that our president uses the same modus operandi seriatim 😉:

    “…Importantly, the first thing McCabe raised when discussing such — at that point hypothetical — links was national security, not criminal campaign finance or bribery exposure. That is, McCabe opened the “collusion” investigation to find out whether Trump’s — at that point hypothetical — links to the Russian government were making the US less secure. The answer to that question was not included in the Mueller Report; indeed, the most glaring evidence that those links did make the US less secure were very pointedly not included in the report…”

    and nytimes’ david leonhart:

    “…Yes, Robert Mueller’s report contained extensive evidence of impeachable wrongdoing by Trump. Yet it didn’t contain as much evidence as many people expected. And Mueller was sufficiently feckless in his presentation of the report that Trump’s attorney general was able to misrepresent it.

    As a result, Mueller’s evidence ended up resembling a lot of dry kindling that lacked a spark. The phone call to Ukraine, along with Trump’s potential refusal to let Congress investigate it, could well provide the spark…”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/24/opinion/trump-whistle-blower-impeachment.html

    mueller was “feekless” in his presentation to the nation ! a fair criticism.

    i suppose it is inevitable that anytime long-time insiders like robert mueller are selected to do an investigation they are going to mute the consequences, e.g., the 9/11 report.

    • P J Evans says:

      Don’t forget that Mueller was limited by the OLC memo and his authorization, and couldn’t get critical information because people lied and destroyed evidence.

      • orionATL says:

        p.j. –

        this is fair.

        i think the criticism is with mueller’s presentation of what evidence he had available. it was clear from some of his one word responses to his congressional questioners that he felt strongly about some of the evidence, but he refused to elaborate.

        • P J Evans says:

          They’d had months to read the report, or at least the summaries in it. He clearly expected them to have done that much of their homework first. (That’s maybe ten pages. Surely they could have found an hour.)

  9. Peterr says:

    This is an important lesson as the Ukraine investigation — which cannot and should not be separated from the Russian investigation — proceeds, one that has thus far been deemphasized again.

    Good luck with that happening, Marcy. The Dems on the Hill seem inclined to do exactly that. The refrain I keep hearing is “Keep the investigation small and focused, and don’t try to get into the messy other stuff.” It’s beyond frustrating.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yep. Just the sausage m’am. I’d rather not see how you make it. That approach will produce very unsatisfying, indeed, inexplicable results.

      I’m with Upton Sinclair: if you don’t look at how sausage is made, you won’t be motivated enough to change what goes into it.

      The analogy is no longer literary. Trump is cutting the FDA’s budget, removing meat inspectors, and allowing meat processors to self-certify their plants and what goes into their “meat.” What a Jungle.

      Did the problems resulting from not inspecting Chinese apples, children’s toys, dog food, and toothpaste not adequately establish why that is such a remarkably bad idea?

      • Peterr says:

        He’s done worse with the State Dept, slashing positions willy-nilly and leaving other critical posts unfilled — like (since March 2019) the head of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, which has responsibility for our relationship with Ukraine.

    • Ruthie says:

      Yeah, I’m beyond angry with Nancy Pelosi.

      Despite her past legislative successes, she’s clearly not right for *this* moment. She’s got to be replaced.

  10. Mainmata says:

    Thanks for returning attention to Putin and Trump. The media have been distracted by the Biden connection to the Ukraine story and Trump’s attempt to get Biden essentially blackmailed by Ukraine is a very legitimate story but it is also a part of the larger narrative of Putin’s clear control over Trump. I believe the original decision of the Trump Administration to end military assistance to Ukraine (for ostensible corruption reasons) was Trump once again doing Putin’s bidding and that collusion (for that’s clearly what it is) needs to be in any discussion of US -m Ukraine relations, including this phone call story.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A lot of the questions Schiff was asking at the end were about Schiff’s job, or Pelosi’s, or McConnell’s, or Barr’s, or someone else’s, not Maguire’s.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      That’s the point: the ‘actings’ are by definition more vulnerable.

      Not only the WH, but Barr and Pompeo and Mnuchin can bully them. And at the same time, they find themselves in positions where if they resign, the next acting chief will be worse.

      (Thank fuck Ratcliffe didn’t get the job.)

      • Rayne says:

        You have to wonder what made Ratcliffe decide to pull his nomination. How bad does he have to be not to fit the role of Trump’s Intelligence Consigliere?

          • Peterr says:

            This. The mockery would have been tremendous. Remember Kennedy taking apart one of Trump’s judicial nominees who’d apparently never been inside a courtroom or even taken a deposition on his own? Ratcliffe got a taste of that from the open and public reaction to his name being floated, and likely got pulled aside by a senior republican and told “You do NOT want to do this. Trust me.”

            From Fox News:

            Reached today back home in Baton Rouge, Kennedy expressed total surprise that his Senate Judiciary Committee questioning had become an internet sensation.

            “He’s a really nice guy,” Kennedy said. “Everybody says he’s smart and very honest. This isn’t personal and I felt bad for Mr. Peterson. I’m just doing my job.”

            This week, that job included calmly and politely roasting Peterson, who expressed ignorance of basic trial court terms (a motion in limine is one made outside of the sight of the jury relating to the admissibility of testimony) that even an old court house reporter would know.

            The problem for Peterson is that he wants to be a trial judge but has never tried a case, as Kennedy demonstrated with a “Green Eggs and Ham” -style litany.

            “Jury trial?” “I have not.” “Civil?” “No.” “Criminal?” “No.” “Bench?” “No.” “State or federal court?” “I have not.”

        • Americana says:

          This is exactly why Trump wanted Ratcliffe in there for the duration of this term. Ratcliffe would have buried this by whatever means Trump suggested.

  11. dwfreeman says:

    That’s true, but not the point of that questioning. The point was getting the top intelligence community official on record about the actions of the DOJ, White House and president. That has more than inherent political value, it has great moral value as well.

    Unfortunately, Maguire only wanted to be viewed as a bureaucrat doing his job under a government statute even if he violated it by his own supposedly “prudent” judgment in going to the White House and Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel before turning the whistleblower complaint over to Congress.

    • Peterr says:

      The phrase that kept running through my head was “Befehl ist Befehl” – orders are orders. Maguire clearly did not want to challenge his superiors — or even peers, like Barr — over their illegal acts.

      This is not a phrase that ought to be embraced by anyone in DC.

  12. JamesJoyce says:

    Now we get to see how a modern day fascist really operates. Everybody else is the problem, but me, me and me. It is “Power Addiction.”

    Benito has the same addiction

    A great reference to the old days and spies? What a POFS. Albert E was a whistleblower Donald. You missed that history class. Trump’s “miestenguizen” does not belong in America.

    He should move to Russia and live with Putin.
    Then Trump will get aid and comfort from his controller, our enemy. This is called fascism. Some are in denial and few have the “testicles” to say it.

    Norske pulls no flames. 👍

  13. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    Thank you for reminding us who the real patriots are, Marcy! As the Gaslit Nation Gals have said, we’re living in the midst of a trans-national crime syndicate and it’s not headed up by Trump.

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        My pleasure, Orion!
        https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/andrea-chalupa/gaslit-nation
        The GNG are Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa, who also happens to be the sister of former FBI Agent Lisa Page, and Alexandra Chalupa, the DNC contractor who knew all about Paul Manafort.
        I would start with the May 30th “Mueller Speaks” and the June 5th “The Alexandra Chalupa Interview.”
        I accidentally fell onto the GNG when Sarah Kendzior was interviewed by Jeff Schechtman of “Who,What,Why” this spring. I’ve posted excerpts here at EW from the below interview:
        https://whowhatwhy.org/2019/04/19/the-mueller-report-further-proof-that-a-savior-isnt-coming/

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        “The Mueller Report: Further Proof A Savior Isn’t Coming” Excerpt from “Who, What, Why” April 19, 2019
        Jeff Schechtman: One of the arguments that was made for a long time is that those autocratic impulses were at least checked by the incompetence of the Trump administration. That seems to be less true today.
        Sarah Kendzior: Oh god, I mean that argument was incredibly naïve. I think I went on your show right after the election and warned everybody about that, that these are not in fact incompetent people. These are criminals. This is a transnational crime syndicate, and you don’t need to have particular geopolitical acumen, like in the case of Trump, to be a front for that kind of organization. They’re essentially kleptocratic. They’re about money. They’re about money laundering, fraud, racketeering. These are activities that they’re skilled at. They’ve been skilled at them and engaged in them for decades, and the same is true with their mastery of spin. They’re very good at manipulating the media. They’re very good at deceiving people, and they’re very experienced in it. This idea that they’re somehow incompetent, one it’s wrong, but also just doesn’t even understand what their agenda is, which is basically to destroy the government and to bring America as a powerful democracy to its knees.
        They are purposely destructive. They put in people to lead departments that they want to destroy. The Public Education Secretary doesn’t believe in public education. The Housing Secretary doesn’t believe in housing. That was intentional. That wasn’t some sort of accident, like gee we accidentally picked the worst person for the job. That was the goal. I think people finally do understand this now. I think we’re seeing a new development in it with all of the acting positions which of course makes it much easier for Trump and his inner circle, particularly Kushner and Ivanka, to consolidate power. This is so typical. These are all things I said would happen years ago and others said would happen years ago. We were constantly told, “Oh checks and balances, oh the Constitution,” and you know, laws are only as good as people who will uphold them. What we’ve found is that people aren’t particularly good or particularly courageous at all.

        • Gnome de Plume says:

          As much as I love Sarah, I hope she is wrong as to the degree of criminality. I think there is a lot more incompetence in this network than she talks about. There really are a lot of stupid people out there in the world. This syndicate doesn’t have a corner on only bright criminals.

  14. Tom says:

    The craziest and most bizarre aspect of this whole situation is that Trump on his own is a totally vacuous and inconsequential person. All the authority and influence he has now comes solely from his holding the office of President. Otherwise, there is nothing in his personality or character to hold the attention of any thinking person. For all his years on earth and all his life experiences, who would ever think that they could sit down with Trump for an hour’s conversation and come away richer for the expenditure in time? Unless you were looking for some advice on tax evasion, bank fraud, or shady real estate dealings, who would ever go to Trump thinking they could learn from him, that he could offer them some wisdom and insight on how to live one’s life, or how to be a contented person, or what comes after death, or any other of those larger questions you ask yourself when you wake up in bed at three o’clock in the morning? Trump’s just a mental and moral vacuum dressed in a suit and tie.

  15. 200Toros says:

    This should be Required Reading for every single member of congress! After that, every citizen of the United States.

  16. calvin amari says:

    Among the argle-bargle reporting in the popular press, has anyone yet seen an adroit reporter or, for that matter, member of Congress link the current affair with Federal Election Commission head Ellen Weintraub’s recent statement amplifying 52 U.S.C. Section 30121(a)(2): “Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation. Our Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about ‘foreign Interference, Intrigue, and Influence.’ This aint exactly a microparticle discoverable only with the Large Hadron Collider, and its this omission in this context is pretty much like omitting the strings from a Beethoven symphony.

    • Rayne says:

      Nice to see you in comments again, calvin. I remember seeing that – wasn’t it a tweet some time ago? Any chance you have a link to her statement? I want to check the timing against the Trump-Ukraine timeline. Pretty sure she said it after Trump was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos for ABC News; he’d said he’d be open to listening to offers of assistance from other countries (like Norway), if I recall. Thanks!

      • harpie says:

        https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1177610251291496451
        8:45 AM – 27 Sep 2019

        Read and circulate: Chair of Federal Election Commission >>> Reminding Americans: The law banning contributions (such as opposition research) by foreign nationals is clear.
        Upshot: Something very wrong likely happened in Justice Department decision not to investigate #Ukrainegate

        Links to [from today]:
        https://twitter.com/EllenLWeintraub/status/1177335224662921226
        2:32 PM – 26 Sep 2019

        On “things of value” @FEC:
        “Indeed, the Commission has recognized the ‘broad scope’ of the foreign national contribution prohibition and found that even where the value of a good or service ‘may be nominal or difficult to ascertain,’ such contributions are nevertheless banned.” [screenshots]

          • Rayne says:

            Wow. They are conscious of their own compromise. I am wondering what other foreign interference there has been besides Russian money laundered through the NRA as a front. Thanks for that, harpie.

          • harpie says:

            Rayne, Weintraub is not messing around! Bmaz retweeted:
            https://twitter.com/jbf1755/status/1177911553145933824
            4:42 AM – 28 Sep 2019

            Wow. Yesterday the FEC chair tried to publish their weekly journal & was blocked. She says that’s unprecedented It has a draft rule re: foreign election interference So she tweeted the ENTIRE journal. Just putting that here…

            That links to Weintraub’s 40+tweet thread:
            https://twitter.com/EllenLWeintraub/status/1177720217759297536
            4:02 PM – 27 Sep 2019

            […] 2/ This week, I published a “Draft Interpretive Rule Concerning Prohibited Activities Involving Foreign Nationals” on the [fec] web site: [link]

            3/ GOP FEC Commissioner Caroline Hunter took the altogether unprecedented step of objecting to its being added to the Digest and blocked publication of the whole Digest as a result.

            4/ I always thought these anti-regulatory people liked the First Amendment well enough. I guess they think it’s just for corporations. [LOL!]

            I’m not fond of anyone trying to suppress my speech. 5/ And I think the public should absolutely not miss out on this week’s Digest.

            So! Because Commissioner Hunter has blocked the Commission from publishing the FEC’s Weekly Digest, I have decided to publish the information myself here on Twitter.

            • Rayne says:

              YES. I read that thread. She is AWESOME! She is so totally done with the GOP’s fucking with her. Only thing missing is a request to hold her earrings while she goes at them.

            • harpie says:

              Look who comes up first:

              8/ COMPLAINANTS:
              National Republican Congressional Committee; and Republican National Committee
              RESPONDENTS:
              Roger A. Stone; and SW Technologies, LLC d/b/a Advocacy Data (SWT)
              SUBJECT: The complaints alleged that SWT, a political marketing firm, and Stone, 9/ …SWT’s founder, president and CEO, violated the sales and use provision of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), by compiling a commercial mailing list using the names and … 10/ addresses of contributors obtained from FEC disclosure reports, which was then used to make solicitations.
              DISPOSITION:
              The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for SWT to pay a civil penalty of $25,000 and dismissed the allegations as to Stone.

  17. Pragmatic Progressive says:

    Marcy- *THIS* is why the foreign emoluments clause was constructed the way it was.

    The People are effectively renting POTUS to serve as their exclusive representative.

    I mean come on-even his most ardent supporter wont claim he has a pilanthropic thread of hair left on his head. But look at what this POTUS has been doing with his constitutionally mandated salary- returning it to the government UNCLAIMED.

    https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/promise/1341/take-no-salary/

    Maybe, just maybe, it makes more personal financial sense for this POTUS to accept the emoluments INSTEAD of his salary. Problem is, that undermines the fabric of our democracy.

    FWIW, Maryland and DC losing tax revenue might not have been enough to show standing, but the 2nd circuit just remanded the case of Eric Goode seeking an injunction against POTUS/Trump Inc. so there is some hope on that front. That said, the “impacted class” is actually and rather unfortunately, the American public.

    Better days ahead hopefully.

    • Pragmatic Progressive says:

      Just to clarify, the Constitutionally mandated salary comes right before the oath of office.

      The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

      Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm)…”

      • Krisy Gosney says:

        Interesting comment and context. What is that called— ‘honor amongst thieves?’ He knew he’d take the emoluments so he declines his salary. The straightforwardness of this turns my stomach. Makes me feel even more thankful for the good people in this country and a bit scared about how much we all need each other.

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