I’ve been asked multiple times to write an article comparing the current corrupt administration to Watergate. I abandoned the idea as it was just too complicated but let me make two quick points before we dive into this insane news day.
1. As far as process goes, we are currently in the middle of our era’s Watergate hearings. Two people just this week have testified for more than ten hours. We have multiple John Deans now – we just haven’t seen their testimony publicly.
2. The crimes and corruption we now know of from Donald Trump are lightyears beyond Watergate. Nixon hired some people to steal some files from an office. Trump is using the government of the US to get foreign states to manufacture dirt on his opponents. We don’t have context for how severe this is. We have not seem corruption on this scale from a US president at any point in history.
So let’s dive in:
- The CIA concluded that Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination was ordered by Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Trump has consistently downplayed or denied Saudi involvement, instead focusing on arms sales to Saudi Arabia. We are in the process of moving 2,000 troops there due to escalation with Iran.
- Militias backed by Turkey are taking over ISIS detention facilities in Syria and intentionally releasing the prisoners there.
- The National Enquirer shredded documents containing negative stories about Trump shortly before the election.
- Michael McKinley, a senior adviser to Mike Pompeo who resigned last week, has agreed to testify before the House.
- Fiona Hill, who left her position on the National Security Council in August, testified for nearly 10.5 hours today. Hill specialized in Russian affairs. She testified that John Bolton told her to inform White House lawyers about the actions Rudy Giuliani was taking in Ukraine. For the first time, acting White House Chief of Staff Mulvaney was implicated in these activities.
- Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the EU, is set to testify that the Ukrainian ambassador Trump fired was doing an excellent job. Trump has claimed she was fired for terrible performance rather than her refusal to cooperate with Giulani’s attempts to manufacture a Joe Biden scandal.
- Giuliani was paid $500,000 by two of the Ukrainian-American men recently arrested on campaign finance charges. Giulani has refused to disclose who was paying him for his Ukraine actions as he does not take a salary from Trump. Parnas and Fruman, the two men who paid Giuliani, are in turn funded by Dmitry Firtash who is involved in the Russian mafia. Giulani is now the subject of a federal investigation over his actions in Ukraine on behalf of the president.