Yesterday was as close to Watergate as we have been since those days that gave us our first taste of politics. For all you young’uns – the Watergate climax came in August 1974 with the resignation of President Nixon.
Michael Cohen It began with Michael Cohen’s testimony in Washington. In case you live on Mars, Cohen was Trump’s personal lawyer. After all is said and done, Cohen’s testimony was predictable. He gave over ten years of his life to Trump and if he made a T-shirt it would say: I gave him my life and all I got was three lousy years in jail. To say he is vindictive would be the understatement of the year.
He didn’t hold anything back, calling his former client – the president no less – a ‘racist,’ a ‘con man,’ and a ‘cheat’ while testifying at public hearing in front of the House Oversight Committee.
The result of his testimony is likely that the Democrats, who control congress, will try to start impeachment hearings. As Cohen said publicly and what the Democrats are so desperately seeking, he knew of no Russian collusion, which means they will most likely not be successful.
In another rather bizarre twist to Cohen’s testimony, an heir to the Gambino crime family issued a stark warning to him, predicting that he may face retaliation behind bars over his Congressional testimony against Trump. Get this Blanche:
According to Gambino, “Inmates love Trump, and hate rats. If he wants to get out alive, he better keep his mouth shut about Trump.” We would not want to be in Cohen’s shoes right now.
Judy Wilson Raybould (JWB) By far the better testimony was in Ottawa as Trudeau had no choice but to finally allow Jody Wilson Raybould former Attorney General and former Veterans Affairs minister to speak. If you are looking for a good, juicy scandal, complete with times, dates, accurate details of conversations and the top people in government fingered, this was it.
Before we launch into what JWB said, we must remark on how completely out of his league Anthony Housefather looked as chair of the Justice committee. His idiot grin while explaining the rules of the game made him look like the joker in Batman and beyond uncomfortable in his role. We will give Anthony some free advice: remove the puppet strings from your shoulders, find your big boy pants, take some lessons from JWB who has very large kahoonas and leave the sinking ship. But we digress.
After listening to Jody Wilson Raybould speak, we wondered aloud how Trudeau is going to worm his way out of this one. He outright asked her to defer or give amnesty to SNC Lavalin as he is an MP the Quebec riding of Papineau and there was an election coming up. If SNC is not let off the hook Trudeau whimpered, they will leave Quebec and take their jobs with them. What, we thought, does that have to do with the price of eggs in Peru?
It was obvious at the time that whether jobs at SNC Lavalin were lost or not, Couillard was not going to win. People had had enough of Couillard and in elections people vote more against someone than for someone else. Trudeau’s statement to JWB that he was an MP in Papineau and he didn’t want SNC to leave was a non-starter. So there has to be more to the story.
Back to JWB For months, there was a ‘consistent and sustained effort’ for JWB to get rid of the criminal prosecution of Montreal’s SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. In legalese, Trudeau and his henchmen wanted a deferred prosecution agreement from JWB. As Attorney General of Canada, she steadfastly refused to do so. Did the liberals not get the message the first ten times Raybould said no? Obviously not. As written in the National Post: “…even the dummest of dunces would have been able to conclude that this was a woman who was resolute and unyielding once her mind was made up.”
In a phone call Raybould took at her home from Michael Wernick, the clerk of the privy council and Canada’s top public servant, Wernick told her Trudeau wants to be able to say he “tried everything he can within the legitimate toolbox.” Wernick said Trudeau doesn’t want to do anything “outside the box of what is legal and proper.”
JWB reiterated that the clerk was “treading on dangerous ground here” by trying to influence an independent decision of the Attorney General. “This all screams of that,” she said. “I said I was having thoughts of the Saturday Night Massacre.” That reference was a genius move by Raybould, not lost on anyone in that room.
(Part of the Watergate saga, the Saturday night Massacre took place on Saturday night, October 20, 1973 when President Nixon fired Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and accepted the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. All of this was caused because the Attorney General would not let go of the Watergate investigation. Nixon subsequently resigned in August of 1974. )
In the end, Raybould was demoted from Attorney General to Veterans Affairs minister, obviously because she refused to adhere to Trudeau’s requests which were illegal, even though he swears up and down that’s not the case. As per JWB’s concise, detailed notes, articulately read, Trudeau doesn’t really have a leg to stand on here.
Trudeau outright lied, he tried to manipulate the justice system, relentlessly harangued his Attorney General and had others do his bidding to sway a court case. Then he let his right hand man take part of the fall for him, which is another story in and of itself. Butt’s activity in this scandal is no worse than anyone else’s. Which means there something else behind his resignation which, with some digging by good reporters, will no doubt be exposed.
The Wrap-up Trudeau allowed JWB to speak now because he feels it is far enough away from the October election the people will forget this scandal. Here’s a headline that you heard here first:
If Trudeau and his sidekicks got caught in this scandal, you can be sure that there are more where this came from. In other words, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is a very shrewd politician, despite his warmth and honesty – imagine that. Scheer has surrounded himself with decent, honest and sharp advisors. There is no doubt that he’s holding his cards close to his chest and will slowly but surely, over the next few months, drown Trudeau with his own deeds and words.
Trudeau, despite his looks, hair and socks, is as sleazy as they come. Pass the soap and water. We need a shower.
In other news, Trump, to the chagrin of Michael Cohen and all his other detractors, looked like a statesman today when he walked away from Kim Jung Un.
Trump said that the U.S. is unwilling to meet Kim Jong Un’s demand of lifting all sanctions on North Korea without first securing its meaningful commitment to denuclearization. As there was nothing to talk about after that, Trump left the meeting.
Unlike what many thought would happen, he did not give away the store. Kudos to him.
In late breaking news, Israel’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted on three separate cases against him, including bribery.
This is the first time in Israel’s history that a sitting Prime Minister faces criminal charges. With the election six weeks away, political pundits are saying this could be a game-changer.
Netanyahu is a survivor. Our guess is that he will fight the charges and stay the course.
Good Shabbos We’ll talk…