Donald Trump is an expert on “harassment”.
Just ask any of the women who have accused him of harassing them or really, just ask Trump himself, who will be more than happy to explain that if you bring him around women, he’ll need to “use some Tic Tacs just in case” he decides to “just start kissing them.”
Sure, that’s prima facie assault, but he can’t help it because “it’s like a magnet” – “just kiss.”
And look, he doesn’t “even wait.” Because he’s “a star”. Which means that generally speaking, he “can do anything”. Even “grab ’em by the pussy”.
So, again, when it comes to people who know “harassment” when they see it, Trump is your guy.
That’s why you can take him seriously when he says Adam Schiff is “harassing” him. Here’s what Trump said on Wednesday (and do note how creepy Steve Mnuchin’s smile is over Trump’s right shoulder):
In case it isn’t clear, Trump isn’t at all enamored with the prospect of House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (or “little Adam Schitt“, as he’s known on the presidential Twitter feed) launching an investigation into whether Trump and/or his businesses are unduly influenced by foreign governments or foreigners in general.
Schiff, as you’re probably aware, is all set to reinvigorate the panel’s Russia investigation 11 months after it was effectively squashed by Republicans. Specifically, a statement released by Schiff on Wednesday reads as follows:
“Consistent with its jurisdiction, investigative responsibilities, and building on substantial work undertaken during the last Congress, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (“Committee”) will conduct a rigorous investigation into efforts by Russia and other foreign entities to influence the U.S. political process during and since the 2016 U.S. election. In addition, the Committee will investigate the counterintelligence threat arising from any links or coordination between U.S. persons and the Russian government and/or other foreign entities, including any financial or other leverage such foreign actors may possess.
“In the more than two years since the Intelligence Community released its assessment of Russia’s malign influence operation targeting the 2016 U.S. elections, much has been learned about the scope and scale of Russia’s attack on our democracy, including how covert and overt Russian activities intersected with individuals associated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, transition, administration, and business interests, including the Trump Organization. It is now known that, from late 2015 through early 2017, individuals close to Donald Trump engaged in a significant number of contacts with an array of individuals connected to, or working on behalf of, the Russian government, and that several of these contacts involved efforts to acquire and disseminate damaging information about Hillary Clinton and her campaign, or related to Russia’s desired relief from U.S. sanctions.
“While Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues his investigation into whether there were “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the [Trump] campaign,” and whether any crimes were committed in connection with, or arising from, that investigation, the Committee must fulfill its responsibility to provide the American people with a comprehensive accounting of what happened, and what the United States must do to protect itself from future interference and malign influence operations.
Now, in the 116th Congress, the Committee’s investigation will focus principally on five interconnected lines of inquiry, beginning with these incomplete or unexamined investigative threads:
(1) The scope and scale of the Russian government’s operations to influence the U.S. political process, and the U.S. government’s response, during and since the 2016 election;
(2) The extent of any links and/or coordination between the Russian government, or related foreign actors, and individuals associated with Donald Trump’s campaign, transition, administration, or business interests, in furtherance of the Russian government’s interests;
(3) Whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates;
(4) Whether President Trump, his family, or his associates are or were at any time at heightened risk of, or vulnerable to, foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion, or have sought to influence U.S. government policy in service of foreign interests; and
(5) Whether any actors – foreign or domestic – sought or are seeking to impede, obstruct, and/or mislead authorized investigations into these matters, including those in the Congress.
“The Committee may pursue additional lines of inquiry regarding matters that arise from the investigation, and it intends to cooperate with other congressional committees, as needed, on matters of overlapping interest. The Committee also plans to develop legislation and policy reforms to ensure the U.S. government is better positioned to counter future efforts to undermine our political process and national security.
“As its first act, the Committee has voted to release to the Department of Justice and its components, including the Special Counsel’s Office, transcripts of testimony taken before the Committee during the 115th Congress, with no restrictions on their use.
That is the opposite of what Donald Trump wants to hear right now, and it crosses every single “red line” the President has ever figuratively drawn with regard to what would and wouldn’t be “acceptable” to him when it comes to probing his business interests and his family’s finances.
This also comes as Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters is hell-bent on putting Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank under a microscope, presumably in hopes of discovering evidence of money laundering tied to Russia.
During his State of the Union, Trump suggested that somehow, the US economy will suffer if Congress moves forward with investigations. Here’s the clip, for anyone who missed it:
As you can see from the eye-roll, Nancy Pelosi was not amused and neither is Schiff, who told reporters the following on Wednesday:
Last year, Schiff was variously stymied in his efforts to get to the bottom of what exactly went on between the Trump campaign and Moscow by the diligent (if bungling) efforts of Devin Nunes.
Suffice to say the tables have now turned and it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if Nunes finds himself under scrutiny for his sometimes over-the-top efforts to protect Trump. And if you don’t believe us on that, just ask – wait for it – Devin Nunes, who you might recall said this at a July 30 fundraiser:
Asked on Wednesday whether he voted to release the transcripts mentioned in Schiff’s statement excerpted above, Nunes told CNN the following:
We tried to ask Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican, whether he voted to release the transcripts. “You guys are an embarrassment to yourselves,” he snorted as he walked onto an elevator. https://t.co/8HQhst4UsR
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 6, 2019
Somebody sounds nervous, and it’s not Manu Raju. No “memo” can’t save you now, Devin.
“The Democrats have made it clear their overriding purpose in this committee is to investigate every aspect imaginable of Trump’s life, whether it’s in our jurisdiction or not, in hopes of finding something to serve as a basis for impeachment,” Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes said Wednesday, adding that “it seems unnecessary since they claimed two years ago to already have more than circumstantial evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.”
Well, Jack, “elections have consequences”, as they say. And as the President would put it, you’re just going to have to “deal with it.”