Russia Using Top GOP Senators For 2020 Election Meddling

Senator Ron Johnson(R-WI) and Senator Chuck Grassley(R-IA)

A bombshell segment on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explored the fact that Russia (read Putin), is planning to meddle in the upcoming November 2020 elections in much the same way as it did in 2016–via a misinformation campaign. The only difference in the Russian misinformation campaign in 2020 however is that this time, instead of relying heavily on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Putin is using two top GOP Senators namely Ron Johnson (WI) and Chuck Grassley (IA), to facilitate the misinformation campaign.

You’ll remember reports by right wing media outlets which suggested that former vice president Joe Biden’s son used his father’s influence to profit from corrupt deals in Ukraine. President Trump seriously played up this supposed Biden-Ukraine scandal in the hopes of knee-capping Biden’s 2020 presidential run, a scheme that didn’t work. As it became evident that Biden was poised to become the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, Senator Ron Johnson, who heads the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley who heads the Senate Finance Committee, launched investigations into the Biden-Ukraine affair, investigations which many suspected were merely extensions of President Trump’s efforts to undermine Biden’s presidential campaign.

This week U.S. intelligence agencies, in addition to warning us of Russia’s attempt to meddle in our 2020 elections, specifically singled out Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian, as the point man in the misinformation campaign. The shocking part, according to Maddow, is that the same Andriy Derkach, is the one feeding Senators Johnson and Grassley with misinformation about the Bidens for their supposed Senate investigations. In essence, Putin is running his misinformation campaign through two top GOP Senators.

Maddow specifically said, “He [Andriy Derkach] is spreading these claims by providing those claims to…the Republican U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, who heads the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The same pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian named in today’s intelligence report also indicates to us that he is spreading these claims by providing them to..the Republican senior U.S. Senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, who runs the Finance Committee in the U.S. Senate. This is remarkable, the guy who is named by U.S. intelligence in the specific public warning today about what Russia is doing to interfere in the 2020 elections to try to reelect Trump, the way he’s been doing his work for the Russian government to mess with our election, is by feeding material to a purported investigation of Joe Biden by Senator Ron Johnson on the Homeland Security Committee and Senator Chuck Grassley on the Finance Committee in the Senate.”

Also crucially important per Maddow, is the fact that these two GOP Senators are scheduled to release the findings of their “investigations” into the Bidens, sometime in mid-September, right before the November elections. This leaves absolutely no doubt that Senators Johnson and Grassley are knowingly using their powerful U.S. Senate positions to facilitate a Russian misinformation campaign aimed at affecting the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. This is conduct quite unbecoming of U.S. Senators, and should result in their immediate resignation.

Bottom line folks, America is still coming to terms with the effects of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. Congress has expended a lot of time and energy trying to figure out a way of preventing any future foreign meddling in our elections. Where, as here, top U.S. Senators are the ones responsible for facilitating such foreign meddling in our elections, the only solution is for them to resign from the U.S. Senate. Simply put, Americans have a right to free and fair elections, and any U.S. Senator working to deny them of such a right, does not belong in the U.S. Senate.

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Handy List Of Iowa GOP State Senators Mad About Record Voter Participation Due To Mail-In Voting

Iowa witnessed record voter participation in its June 3rd primary elections as a result of a provision that allowed the secretary of state to mail absentee ballots to all registered voters due to the covid-19 pandemic. The noble goal of this provision was to save Iowa voters from going into crowded polling centers which would have increased their chances of contracting the virus. Given the ease and convenience of voting by mail, Iowans voted in record numbers, much to the delight of democracy lovers. Well, it turns out republicans were not happy with the record voter participation. They quickly moved in the Iowa state legislature to prevent universal voting by mail in the November elections–a clear cut effort at voter suppression.

On 6/10/2020 a bill that prohibits Iowa’s secretary of state from mailing absentee ballots to all registered voters for the November general elections passed the Iowa state senate by a vote of 30-19. Needless to say, all the 30 state senators who voted for this voter suppression bill were republicans. Because this is one of the most brazen acts of official voter suppression to date, we have no choice but to name and shame these 30 GOP state senators using our famous “handy list”.

Here’s a handy list of the 30 shameful Iowa GOP state senators who are mad that mail-in voting allowed record voter participation in the June primary elections, and are on a mission to prevent that from happening again this November.

Bottom line folks, there’s no longer any doubt that the unpopular policies of the republican party are increasingly turning it into a marginal/regional party. Republican party leaders have long realized that their only chance of clinging to power is to make sure as few people as possible vote, especially minorities who traditionally vote against them. Where, as here, we witness such a brazen attempt at voter suppression by elected officials, we have no otherwise but to loudly call them out.

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Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick Wants To Limit Mail Voting To Voters Over 65 Because Covid-19 Mostly Kills Them

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick(R)

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick appeared on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom show and parroted the falsehood currently being spread by President Trump that mail-in ballots are prone to massive voter fraud. Lt. Gov Patrick argued that because CDC data has established that it is people over 65 who are mostly losing their lives due to covid-19 , only Texas voters over 65 should be allowed to vote by mail. As shocking as this sounds, Lt Gov Patrick is literally telling Texas voters under 65 not to worry about contracting covid-19 at the polling places because even if they do, it will not kill them–it only kills people over 65. This is sadly, the kind of reasoning you get from a guy who’s second-in-command to the Texas Governorship.

Lt. Gov Patrick said when asked about voters’ valid fears of covid-19, “I want to go back to what the CDC said. 80% of people who have died from the virus [covid-19] are over 65. Anyone over 65 in America can vote safely from home. That’s already the law virtually everywhere–some states have all mail-in ballots on the west coast. So anyone 65 who is really vulnerable can vote from home. This idea that we want to give you a disability claim because ‘I’m afraid to go vote’ if you are under 65 is laughable. You have more chance of being in a serious auto accident if you are under 65 on the way to vote, than you do from catching the virus and dying from it by voting.”

One of the biggest flaws in Lt Gov Patrick’s reasoning (it’s actually totally flawed), is this idea that covid-19 affects one’s life only if it kills you. A leading pulmonologist Dr Andrew Martin, told Heathline, a medical journal that, “Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), seen often in severe COVID-19 illness, sometimes develop permanent lung damage or fibrosis as well.” So voters of color who are especially vulnerable to covid-19, have a valid reason to fear contracting covid-19 because even if it does not kill them, there’s a good chance it will leave them with long-term medical problems. It is not unreasonable, or “laughable” as Lt Gov Patrick put it, for them to opt for mail-in voting.

Lt Gov Patrick also pointed out in the same Fox News segment that some states in the west coast already conduct all their elections by mail. Notably, he didn’t point to any reports of widespread voter fraud in elections conducted by the said west coast states.

Another eye-catching moment in Lt Gov Patrick’s interview was his unprompted revelation that he knew of ways someone can easily steal votes to swing a close election. This was an eye-catching revelation because Texas voters to this day, have a lot of questions as to how Senator Ted Cruz narrowly defeated his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in the 2018 elections.

Lt. Gov Patrick told host Ed Henry, “We [Texas] have so many elections that are so close…….you can swing the balance easily Ed. I can give you ten scenarios but I won’t because I don’t want to give anyone ideas how you can easily steal thousands of votes…” Actually Lt Gov Patrick, Texans would like to find out what you know about easily stealing thousands of votes.

Bottom line folks as we’ve seen numerous times before, Republicans in Texas and elsewhere, will do everything in their power to get as few people as possible to vote. Republicans nationwide have come to terms with the fact they are increasingly becoming a regional party, totally out of step with mainstream American political thought. Lt Gov Patrick’s desperate attempts to stop voting by mail has nothing to do with voter fraud and everything to do with voter suppression–ensuring as few Texans as possible vote in November. It is truly a sad way to “win” an election, but that’s exactly where we are with Trump’s GOP.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Why Are You Still Running?Bernie Asked

In case you missed it Sen Bernie Sanders appeared on ABC’s popular daytime show The View where one of the co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg confronted him about the rationale for his still active presidential campaign.

Whoopi Goldberg was simply echoing the sentiment by many Democrats that as the race currently stands, Sen Sanders has an extremely narrow path to victory and his campaign at this juncture is only hurting the eventual Dem nominee (presumably Biden) in much the same way it hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Whoopi Goldberg dove right into it :“I have to ask you this question now because I’ve been watching to see what you’re going to do and I’m told that you intend to stay in this race for president because you believe there’s a path to victory. I want to know what that path is because this feels a little bit like it did when you didn’t come out when Hillary Clinton was clearly the person folks were going for.”

Sen Sanders pushed back on Whoopi’s characterization, pointing out that he worked for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 to which Whoopi interjected, “Bernie just so we’re clear, you worked for Hillary but it took you a very very long time to hop in and your people also, it took a very long time for them to hop in.”

Sen Sanders then addressed the question as to why he’s still in the presidential race saying, “Last I heard, people in a democracy have a right to vote and they have a right to vote for the agenda that they think can work for America especially in this very very difficult moment [coronavirus]. We are assessing our campaign as a matter of fact, whether we want to go forward. But people in a democracy do have a right to vote.”

Sen Sanders then appeared to suggest that questions brought about by the current coronavirus pandemic justified his presidential campaign–that voters needed to decide which candidate provided the best solutions to the current crisis. Whoopi Goldberg correctly shot down this argument saying Sen Sanders can still work on coronavirus solutions in the senate even if he ended his presidential campaign.

It cannot also be left unsaid that Sen Sanders campaign is unnecessarily burdening beloved Democrats Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Sen Elizabeth Warren, who have clearly seen the writing on the wall but are reluctant to urge Bernie to step aside. Sen Sanders should do both AOC and Sen Warren a favor by ending his campaign thereby freeing them to throw their weight behind Biden without being villified by progressives.

Bottom line Democrats, we have to be careful not to repeat in 2020 our “sin” in 2016 and that is, engaging in an unnecessarily protracted presidential primary that ultimately helps only one person–Trump. The results of the recent presidential primary elections show very clearly that Dems have settled on Biden and that Bernie has an extremely narrow path to victory. There is absolutely no valid reason why Bernie should still be prolonging the Democratic presidential primary, especially now that the coronavirus pandemic is complicating efforts by the states to conduct primaries.

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Biden Says Bernie Didn’t Think Hillary Was Entitled To Nomination Despite Delegate Lead

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, riding off his big primary win in South Carolina, was on the Sunday show circuit doing a much-deserved victory lap. On one of his circuit stops–ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos–Biden made a notable dig against his chief opponent Bernie Sanders when he was asked whether Democrats should hand Sanders the nomination if he is leading in delegate count when the convention comes around.

Host Stephanopoulos :“Senator Sanders is likely to have a large delegate lead and it could open the possibility that he has the most pledged delegates going into the convention but not a majority. Why shouldn’t the candidate with the most pledged delegates going into the convention be the nominee?”

Biden:“For the same reason he[Sanders] didn’t think when Hillary[Clinton] had the most pledged delegates that she should be the nominee. The process is laid out….He wanted to make sure that the one with the most delegates didn’t become the automatic nominee when he was running against Hillary and all of a sudden he’s had an epiphany……”

The inconsistency Biden is pointing out is a very important one but you rarely hear it from the mainstream political punditry class. This is an especially important issue this year because there is a very good chance Democrats are headed for a contested convention. This idea usually put out there by Sanders’ surrogates in the media, that he must get the nomination if he is leading in delegates by the time the convention comes around or else there would be a “revolt”, needs some serious push back and Yours Truly was very happy to hear Joe Biden do exactly that.

Asked what argument he would use to convince super delegates to pick him over Sanders, Biden made yet another powerful argument that you rarely hear from the paid political punditry class and that is, Democrats also need to win down-ballot, and he’s the candidate best suited for delivering that outcome. Specifically, Biden said, “I can win the United States Senate as the candidate on top of the ticket. I can win the House and increase the number in the House. I can go into every state in the nation, I can go into purple states and we can win. I can win in places that I don’t think Bernie can win in a general election. In 2018…I went into 24 states, purple states for over 65 candidates they wanted me in and we won. They were asking me to come in. I don’t know if they asked Bernie, they may have, I doubt it, because they know I can be value added to their campaigns. I can pick up independents, I can pick up liberals, as well as moderate Democrats.”

Bottom line folks, this may sound rude/mean and will probably be interpreted as such by Bernie Sanders’ fans, but it is a fact that during the 2018 midterms, a lot of Democrats in purple states came to Biden and not Sanders for help with their campaigns, as Biden correctly pointed out. Democrats won big as a result. The question the paid political punditry class should be posing to Bernie Sanders’ surrogates is why Dem candidates, needing to win in purple states in 2018, never asked him for campaign help like they did Biden? The bigger question however should be why Bernie Sanders should be handed the nomination simply because he is leading in delegates by convention time, when he was totally opposed to that idea in 2016 when he was trailing Hillary Clinton? These are serious questions that Democrats need to address as the nomination contest heats up.

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Republican Legislators In Oregon Subverting Democracy

A must read piece on Vox shines the light on a very troubling but growing pattern among state GOP lawmakers of crippling state legistature business whenever voters put Democrats in charge. Turns out in Oregon, where voters have recently given Democrats super majorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature, Republican legislators have resorted to sabotage–literally refusing to show up for work thereby crippling the legislature due to lack of quorum. As the Vox piece correctly points out, these tantrums by Republican legislators beg for mainstream media attention not only because they are patently undemocratic, but also because they are a good reflection of Trump’s GOP tactics.

Republican legislators in Oregon are apparently sabotaging the legislature’s business by not showing up for work because they are opposed to climate change bllls currently being pushed by the majority Democrats. According to the Vox piece, this is the fifth time in the last 10 months that Oregon state Republicans have resorted to this undemocratic sabotage tactic, having employed the same tactic when Democrats, exercising their electoral mandate, were pushing bills related to guns, forestry, the state budget and healthcare.

As the article correctly points out, this is not just a state GOP phenomenon, but rather an accurate depiction of the current state of mind of Trump’s GOP, especially when one looks at it in light of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conduct.

We have witnessed time and time again where McConnell and other Republicans in Washington ram through partisan bills using the argument “elections matter”. They are currently ramming through partisan/unqualified federal judges using the same rationale. It is interesting how elections matter only when voters put Republicans in charge and are seemingly meaningless when Democrats take over.

Democrats nationwide are looking forward to the elections in November hoping that a Democratic House, Senate and White House will automatically lead to enactment of Democratic Party policies. However, going by this Vox piece, Democrats prevailing in the upcoming November polls may not be enough. Democrats should expect sabotage by Republican minorities in both state legislatures and Washington, and should start seriously calling out these undemocratic sabotage tactics.

Bottomline folks,as the Vox piece correctly points out, this troubling GOP trend begs for more maindtream media attention especially now that we are in an election year. Republicans both at the state level and in Washington, must not be allowed to make elections matter only when they have majorities while rendering them totally meaningless when voters give Democrats the majority. Simply put, this troubling, patently undemocratic sabotage tactic currently employed by the GOP must either end or get seriously called out by the mainstream media.

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UPDATE-What is McConnell Hiding In His Military Records?

You’ll remember back in 3/31/2019, Yours Truly wrote a blog piece titled “What is McConnell hiding in his military records” that has elicited and continues to elicit a lot of reaction on Twitter and other social media platforms. There is no question that grassroots Democrats really want to know the real reason behind Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s military discharge in 1967.

In the blog piece, Yours Truly promised to dig into the real reason behind McConnell’s military discharge, an important election issue that mysteriously remains a mainstream media no-go-zone. Well, after months of pushing and prodding the Army for McConnell’s info via freedom of Information requests(FOIA), and being subjected to countless baits-and-switches by them, we have finally got some information.

FOIA On Mitch McConnell&#39… by Emolclause on Scribd

According to the FOIA response Yours Truly got from the Army on Jan 8 2020, Mitch McConnell served from March 21, 1967 to August 15, 1967(page 2). Virtually all of the personal information fields are populated by “N/A”, which I suspect is due to the Army’s privacy policy of requiring a signature before releasing such information. Specifically, the FOIA letter stipulates in part, “This record contains sensitive personal information which, if disclosed, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy to the veteran……..If additional information is needed, the Privacy Act of 1974 requires the written consent (signature) of the individual to whom the record pertains.”(see page 1 of attached document). In essence, one would need McConnell’s written consent before getting details about his salary, source of commission, military education etc, which is pretty understandable especially given the fact that Yours Truly is big on privacy.

The sticky point however is in regards to the “Transcript of Court-Martial Trial” field. As you can see from the FOIA response(page 2), it is not populated by “N/A” like the other fields. The field is instead populated by “Not on File”. This raises a whole host of questions because it does not address the dispositive question Yours Truly set out to address with the FOIA request–whether McConnell’s discharge was due to a Court Martial? Remember, allegations/rumors have been flying around for decades that McConnell’s discharge from the military had something to do with a sexual incident between him and another officer and that this incident was the subject of a court martial. To prove or disprove this rumor one has to ascertain whether McConnell was indeed the subject of a Court Martial. The FOIA response offers no answer whatsoever to this crucial question.

Yours Truly took up this burning question with the FOIA Public Liaison officer listed on page 3 of the document, one Kevin Pratt. Specifically, Yours Truly inquired as to whether the “Not on File” listed on the FOIA response meant a court martial was held but the information has been redacted, or whether there was none with respect to Mitch McConnell?

According to Army’s Kevin Pratt, a FOIA request cannot answer the question as to whether one was court-martialed or not. He instead directed me to file a request in writing to another Army office for such information. I then asked him whether the FOIA Ombudsman’s office listed on the FOIA response (page 3) would have information related to court martials to which he replied that they don’t. It’s not clear whether these complications are McConnell-specific or are the norm when it comes to FOIA requests regarding the military. Reasonable people will agree that it should not be this complicated for the military to either deny or confirm whether Mitch McConnell, one of the most powerful politicians in the country and who’s up for reelection, was ever the subject of a court martial. There can be reasonable disagreements however as to whether the details of such court martial proceedings should be kept private or be made available to the general public.

It cannot be left unsaid that the secrecy surrounding McConnell’s military record is patently unfair to his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, also a veteran . McGrath’s military record unlike McConnell’s, is an open book which allows McConnell’s campaign to dig for campaign dirt while robbing her campaign of a similar opportunity. This glaring political bias should be enough cause for the Army to forego all the procedural technicalities surrounding information requests for veterans and release McConnell’s full military record in the interest of Kentucky voters.

Bottom line folks, no politician should ever be allowed to serve consecutive terms in the U.S. Congress while hiding crucial information from the public. The circumstances surrounding Mitch McConnell’s military discharge have been a valid campaign ever since he first ran for the U.S. Senate. There is absolutely no excuse why the mainstream media, which readily digs into the backgrounds of Democrats, continues to allow McConnell’s military discharge to be a non-story, even as he runs for his 7th consecutive term in the U.S. Senate.

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Sen Joni Ernst Busted Again Talking About Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid, SS

Sen Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

An audio recording of Sen Joni Ernst(R-Iowa) telling a group of GOP donors that there needs to be “changes”(read cuts) to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security has surfaced. You’ll remember that Sen Ernst made similar remarks at a town hall in September 2019 where she said Congress needs to meet behind closed doors to address these programs–essentially gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in secret.

In the latest audio, a person at the GOP event can be heard saying, “Even without the additional spending we’re already going bankrupt…the biggest driver of that being entitlements. It is interesting hearing your classmate [Sen]David Perdue. He’s been pretty frank about the changes that need to happen with Medicare and Medicaid. Are you on the same page with him on that?

Sen Ernst responded, “I think we [Republican Senators]all are because we all understand our non discretionary spending is growing like this. Everybody focuses on the discretionary spending because that’s what we have control over in Congress. The rest is on auto pilot and it’s out of control. So we have to figure out ways to honor the commitments that have been made and make changes for the future.”

For the record Sen David Perdue(R-GA) has been very vocal about his desire to reign in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending in an effort to address the ballooning federal deficit. Sen Joni Ernst has also flirted with this idea previously but unlike Sen Perdue, is afraid to say so in public. Why won’t Sen Joni Earnst, who is up for reelection in 2020, look Iowans in their eyes and tell them that she wants cuts to their Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits?

Bottom line folks, Americans elect politicians and send them to Washington with the understanding that the said politicians will in turn look out for their interests. All national polls indicate that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security remain very popular programs among Americans, including Iowans. Where, as here, Sen Joni Earnst appears hell bent on gutting such programs, she owes Iowans an explanation–publicly. Simply put, Sen Ernst should tell Iowans in public, what she says all the time at private GOP gatherings and that is, she wants cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs. Iowans deserve a Senator who will level with them.

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Texas Dem U.S. Senate Primary Is A 4-Way Street

Whereas political contributions are not always the best indicators of election outcomes, politicos largely agree that they are very good indicators of voter enthusiasm. Yours Truly recently scoured through the Federal Elections Commission’s (FEC) data on the Democratic contenders for the Texas U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican John Cornyn and came up with some interesting findings.

According to FEC data, M.J. Hegar is leading the Dem hopefuls in the amount of political contributions raised ($2,058,080.28), followed by Amanda Edwards($557,430.43), Royce West($551,266.18) and Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez($459,442.70) respectively. (see image below–candidates per Ballotpedia). Any reasonable person looking at this FEC data would therefore surmise that as it currently stands, Texas voters are most enthusiastic about Mary Jennings going up against incumbent GOP Senator John Cornyn in 2020.

There are however some interesting observations which must be taken into account. M.J. Hegar’s figures cover the period from 1/1/2019 to 9/30/2019 presumably because she declared her candidacy earlier. Both Amanda Edwards’ and Royce West’s figures cover the period 7/1/2019 to 9/30/2019(3 months). Cristina Ramirez’s numbers are from 7/29/2019 to 9/30/2019(2 months). M.J. Hegar’s numbers therefore reflect a good 7-month advantage over Edwards, West and Ramirez. Is that why M.J. is widely leading the pack in money?

It is also worth pointing out that M.J. Hegar, Amanda Edwards, and Royce West have all previously vied for Texas elective office. It is therefore not clear whether the amounts they currently have are rollovers from previous campaigns or whether they are monies raised specifically for their 2020 U.S. senate runs. M.J. Hegar you will remember unsuccessfully contested TX-31 congressional seat in 2018. Amanda Edwards currently holds a seat at Houston City Council, a position she has held since January 2016. Royce West is a Texas State Senator representing the 23rd district(Dallas).

Cristina Ramirez has never held any elective office in Texas or elsewhere, but is a very well known(and very popular) community organizer mostly recognized as a co-founder of the Workers Defense Project. Given the fact that Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez has never run for elective office before, the impressive $459,442.70 she raised in a 2-month period, should catch the attention of Texas politicos–certainly has caught Yours Truly’s.

For some of the candidates, there is no available FEC data so it is hard to gauge where they stand with voters. Pastor Michael Cooper’s campaign is in the red $680.10 and Adrian Ocegueda has only managed $1048.73 in political contributions. No right thinking person could ever ascribe viability to either Pastor Cooper’s or Ocegueda’s political campaigns given that the primary is only three months away.

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly stated earlier, money is not always the best indicator of election outcomes. It is however a very good barometer for voter enthusiasm and as it currently stands, it appears Texas Democrats are enthusiastic about the prospects of Mary Jennings, the self-described “ass-kicking, motorcycle-riding Texas Democrat” going up against GOP’s incumbent Senator John Cornyn in November 2020. The Texas Democratic Party primary is scheduled for March 3, 2020. As President Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Indicted Giuliani Associates Gave $325K To Trump Super PAC

President Trump, Rudy Giuliani with Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas

With today’s bombshell news report that two associates of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, have been arrested on a multitude of charges including campaign finance violations, President Trump is yet again thrust right into the middle of the burgeoning Ukrainegate scandal. While there is nothing in the indictments so far that directly mentions President Trump, they serve as a clear reminder that Ukrainegate is definitely not the “hoax” President Trump has worked very hard hard to convince the public that it is. Reasonable people will agree that because the suspects in the scheme to dig up dirt on Joe Biden donated $325,000 to Trump’s Super PAC America First Action, Trump is necessarily implicated. Furthermore, one of the indicted men, Ukrainian-American Lev Parnas, is reportedly the guy who introduced Giuliani to Ukrainian officials to help him dig up dirt on Biden. Parnas has also spent thousands of dollars on Trump’s properties and donated to the main super PAC supporting his reelection. Simply put folks, Trump is implicated.

Trump’s super PAC was quick to respond to today’s indictments through its spokeswoman Kelly Sadler who issued a statement saying, “America First Action placed that contribution in a segregated bank account, it has not been for any purpose and the funds will remain in this segregated account until these matters are resolved…….We take our legal obligations seriously and scrupulously comply with the law and any suggestion otherwise is false.” Kelly Sadler you’ll remember is the former Trump White House staffer who joked about Senator John McCain’s death.

The growing problem for Senate Republicans whose decision it will be on whether to remove Trump from office is that with every new revelation, Ukrainegate just seems to be getting worse and their defenses nonsensical. We went from Ukrainegate is a “hoax”, to there was “no quid pro quo”, to “it was bad but not impeachable” to now where the 53 GOP Senators may have to be put in a position where they defend out and out criminal conduct by Giuliani (implicating Trump) and his associates. Even worse the suspects at the center of Ukrainegate can now be directly linked to Trump’s campaign given the $325K donation bombshell. There are probably more ties between these two suspects and Trump’s campaign that will be revealed during the course of the impeachment inquiry. Such revelations, if any, will only deepen fears among many Americans that the Trump campaign is enlisting foreign assistance in U.S. elections—TrumpRussia 2.0.

As Yours Truly has repeatedly stated even before these criminal indictments were announced, a vote by these 53 GOP Senators to keep Trump in office given the national security implications of Ukrainegate would be a vote to destroy America. These latest indictments only work to buttress that argument.

There is also an interesting tidbit from the indictments that says these two suspects enlisted former U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions in an effort to remove former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich. According to CNN, the two promised to raise $20,000 for Sessions’ 2018 campaign in return for Texas Congressman helping them in their effort to oust Ambassador Yovanovich. Rep Sessions for his part, penned a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2018 calling for the removal of Ambassador Yovanovich, arguing that Yovanovich was “disloyal” to Trump.

It has been widely reported that Ambassador Yovanovich was opposed to efforts by Giuliani and his associates to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden. It is not clear, even though it’s totally plausible that it’s Yovanovich’s opposition to this anti-Biden scheme that earned her the “disloyal” label. The indictments show clearly that former Congressman Sessions was part of the scheme to take out Ambassador Yovanovich thereby making way for Giuliani’s criminal scheme– conduct that should definitely lead to criminal charges against the former Texas Congressman. This also raises questions as to whether these two suspects, or indeed other foreigners, were involved in the campaigns of other Republicans during the 2018 election.

Bottom line folks, ever since 2016, Americans have been yearning for a time when we did not have to worry about foreigners meddling in our elections, and certainly not with the abetting of the U.S. government. It has now been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that as long as Trump is President we will not only have to worry constantly about whether our elections are free and fair, but that the President himself has no problems with that as long as he is the beneficiary of the foreign meddling. The 53 GOP Senators whose decision it will be whether or not to remove this President from office will be forced to decide whether we should continue having free and fair elections (voting to removing Trump) or having our future elections decided by foreign meddlers like Russia (keeping Trump in office). One only hopes the 53 GOP Senators will sober up and make the right decision–but don’t bet the house on it!!

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com