Extent of Abuses of Power in the Trump Presidency

The fact is that Donald Trump’s tenure as President is over, but the reverberation that will be felt for years to come will be something that cannot be ignored. Trump is about to experience an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, but this time the outcome may be allot different than the first trial, which actually was not a trial at all. The Republican led Senate under the direction of Mitch McConnell refused to hold hold the trial with witnesses during Trump’s first impeachment hearing and Trump was acquitted.

But what has Donald Trump done to be impeached yet a second time by the House of Representatives,  was with the most bipartisan vote in U.S. history. To preface my statements, I must say that Trump seemed to be his own worst enemy, and it didn’t seem that he cared if he was following the law or not. Trump would never accept the fact that the “fake media” as he called it, along with everyone including FOX NEWS, NEWSMAX and other outlets blamed the media for reporting lies, when in actuality, Mr. Trump attempted to do so and violated his own claim of fraud in the election. I’m not here writing this article to try to list fraud in the election, as Trump tried more than just a few dozen times in court to prove it, but lost approximately 50 lawsuits of voter fraud in U.S. Courts by bipartisan members of the Supreme court. I would have to write a book to explain all of the missteps of this president. At the end when he ran out of options, he tasked Vice President Pence to not certify the election on January 6th, in which the Vice-President had no authority to do, and when Trump realized that even that was about to fail, he decided to get his supporters involved who attacked the U.S. State Capital while it was in joint-session to certify the election. They stormed the building, took control of it, ransacking the Senate and House Chambers while putting the Vice-President and The U.S. House of Representatives leader, Nancy Pelosi in danger along with AOC and others; it was proven that Donald Trump’s supporters came extremely close from harming them and others in both chambers in the U.S. State Capital building.

I have been criticized as others who want to write the truth, projecting that Donald Trump actually abused his office, his power. He failed the American people, not because he lost the election fairly and failed to admit it EVER, but during his tenure in the first and only term he served as president, he manifested several abuses of power in which most any other person, Democratic or Republican would most likely be booted out of office if they committed the same infractions as Donald Trump.

In an article on CNN Politics, the analysis of Marshall Cohen, the author of the article, highlighted Trump’s 10 worst abuses of power during his presidency updated on January 24th. The accusations in EVERY case can be proven, even though Trump supporters continue to wear their blinders and not accept the facts.

This blog’s purpose is not to criminalize Donald Trump, as he is doing that himself, in the open, in front of the whole world to see. Now that he is gone, people now see what Trump was all about.  Now that his tools of not being able to speak freely on Twitter, and other social media outlets have been eliminated or diminished, so is some of his Republican base, affecting his ability to further promote his baseless ideas about the election. I wished that I had a good story to report about Donald Trump and his presidency. If he would have acted like one president that was for all of the people instead of none of the people, except for himself, then I would have reported those good things about him. After a short period of time I realized that I would not be able to write anything here on this blog that would support the president, as the blogs purpose is to publish Trump’s decision points, and it was evident to me that there were so many bad decision to be made by this president. So, I asked my nephew, who supported Trump if he would write articles supporting the president on this blog, and he did write a few articles. The difference in opinion grew into a large bet, which I finally put an end to because as were the followers of Donald Trump, my nephew also had blinders on and only wanted me and the readers of this blog to understand why Trump was going to win the election. If I would have kept with the bet, I would have won a substantial sum of money, but instead I elected to not even attempt to put the burden on my nephew. I’m sure he is very glad that I did step down from the bet after seeing the results. Although I admit that an unusual number of people did support Trump in the election, but several million more people voted for Biden, so the results were clear. The results could have been different, if Trump would have done a better job on the Pandemic. The voting people would have responded in like when Mr George W. Bush won his second term after the 911 bombings in NYC, at the beginning of his first term. Mr. Bush brought the country together, doing the opposite of what Donald Trump did when he was faced with the pandemic.

The following are the 10 worst abuses of power as reported by CNN Politics.

There was nothing normal of his presidency and how he tried to govern as a lawmaker in the legislative branch instead of the Executive branch as President. Every day, there was something coming out about Trump or what he did to incite divisivment in the political arena. As long as Donald J. Trump, president, could steal the headlines, he became successful because of the enablers by outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, Fox News and Newsmax which allowed him to continuously spread lies. Again, this is my opinion, and not the opinion of many other people that support the actions of media and social outlets, that support Donald Trump.

Here is the list of abuses of power, as stated in the CNN article totally committed by Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States.

First, he subverted the election. But it wasn’t what he did during and after the outcome when he was pronounced the looser, “false disinformation about the voting process”. He even floated the idea of unconstitutionally delaying the election, “leading to a bipartisan rebuke.”, as written by Marshall Cohen of CNN. For this abusive act, Trump has now been impeached a second time, the first ever in American history, as no other president in history every was impeached twice. It was for his subversion of the election, that lead to the riot at the U.S. Capital in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021. Leading up to that “he falsely claimed victory and pressured election officials in battleground states to fraudulently throw out millions of votes for President Joe Biden,” again stated by the CNN article. Trump tried to bribe the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in Trump’s hour-long call, again reported by CNN. You don’t have to take my word for it or CNN’s word for it, but you can actually hear Donald Trump’s actual audio call by Trump to the Secretary of State, which openly proves his guilt of trying to subvert the election. The full recording was also published by YouTube, who provided the entire conversation between Donald Trump and the Georgia Secretary of State.  But this wasn’t the main reason why he was impeached a second time.

That information will be outlined now, as the second abuse of power, the reason for his second impeachment is that he incited the insurrection  at the U .S. Capitol. This incitement is the basis of the sole article stated in the impeachment lawsuit. On January 6, 2021, in his attempt to cling to power since nothing else seemed to work, he ran out of time. The joint session of Congress was about to certify the election which is the absolute final act before an inauguration. He incited his followers in a rally not far from the U.S. Capital just before the certification vote, and encouraged them to go down to the U.S. Capital and stop the proceedings and bring justice because he couldn’t do it himself, because even his own Vice-President wasn’t going to do it. Donald Trump has never admitted fault, nor has he admitted encouraging his followers from doing what they did at the U.S. Capital, but instead take opportunities to express his innocence and to condemn his own followers. His own followers expected to get a presidential pardon from Trump for their actions at the U.S. Capitol and some actually came out and asked for one, but instead, Trump abandoned them and did not provide any pardons for them. Again, Donald Trump was looking out for himself, as he didn’t want to incriminate himself in any way for promoting such an evil act. He condemned his own followers in a speech in an attempt to save himself.

Third, he took for granted his powers as President. He abused the bully pulpit. Even that he continued throughout his presidency, it was never proven to be criminal and not impeachable, at least not with a Republican majority sitting in the U.S. Senate who would not convict during the first impeachment. In the CNN article, and known by everyone who followed news about Trump, they were getting a daily dose of his continued and repeated lies about everything. He made racist claims and drove people away from each other instead of trying to bring together people who disagreed with each other. He continuously fanned the flames until he could do no more. He did it because he had the power to do it, and no one was putting him on the blog when he did so. Why, because the own Republican Senate refused to keep him in check, and gave him absolute authority to do whatever he wanted when they failed to convict him during the first impeachment.

A normal president would have condemned white supremacists during the 2017 Charlottesville rally, and also praised QAnon in 2020. But Trump would not. A normal president would have never associated himself to the dictators of Kim Jon Un and Vladimir Putin. But Trump did. He sided with them, and there wasn’t a thing anyone could make him account to, again because the Republican Senate was afraid of him an what he could do to them if they disagreed with him. To this day, even after they were attacked under the leadership of Donald Trump at the U.S. State Capital, many Senators in the House and Senate still support Trump.

At the end of his tenure as president, Trump pardoned killers convicted in court, pardoned people within his Cabinet that were convicted, and pardoned many of his friends that never turned against him. Of course, he would not pardon the likes of Michael Cohen, who for years and years supported every move by Trump even before Trump became president because Cohen revolted against him and wrote that very incriminating book against Trump, only to find himself being convicted in some of the same crimes that Donald Trump my be proven guilty of in the near future. Donald Trump’s future looks grim, as he has lost tons of money, tons of support and facing lawsuit after lawsuit now as a citizen of the United States. Soon he may soon be convicted in the U.S. Senate, and if so, will loose any chance to run for president of the United States in the future, something that he has mentioned he would like to do. At the end, it’s all driven by money, and Trump will see that he will have more to lose than win if he runs again.

Fourth, Trump continued to violate norms when he Politicized the Justice Department. He would not stay away from federal law enforcement. “It is extremely important for the integrity of American democracy that the president cannot manipulate law enforcement for partisan, political, self-interested preferences,” said Rick Pildes, a former CNN legal analyst.  Trump tried to have the Justice Department “investigate more than two dozen of his perceived appointments.” According the CNN report, Trump wanted the DOJ to also look into Biden’s son Hunter Biden and Google. Also, instead of staying out of official business of the DOJ, he decided to fire then FBI Director James Comey in 2017. In hindsight, Trump most likely would have not fired Comey if he knew that he was about to be investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election.” Trump undermined the department by constantly getting in the way. No other president in history has attempted to do so in such a blatant fashion, in public view, for the whole world to see.

This brings me to the fifth abuse of power as Trump obstructed the Mueller investigation.  Trump was plagued for three years in his first term with investigation going on by Robert Mueller. Trump claimed that the investigation was illegitimate. He tried to obstruct the criminal probe. Mueller investigated 10 episodes and found persuasive evidence that Trump’s actions fit the legal criteria to warrant criminal charges, but he never charged him. Instead he just handed over the report that took 3 years to create and let the Republican controlled Senate decide on what to do with it during the 1st impeachment trial, because Mueller believed that he had no right to convict a U.S. sitting president. At the same time, Mueller would not clear his name. He would never say that Trump was innocent of “obstruction of justice and political corruption”, stated by Paulsen, the conservative legal scholar.

It is my opinion that Trump broke the law while being president, but with the office that he held, no one including Mueller would ever even attempt to convict him or charge him directly with crimes.

The 6th abuse as stated in the CNN article is for abusing the pardon power. Because there are no limits on what the president can do regarding crimes, Trump took his office to heart and pardoned several people as most do, but the difference was that some of whom pardoned by Trump were not deserving of a pardon. That’s my opinion, but you would think that anyone that has been convicted of murder would never receive a pardon from the U.S. president, as it is up to the courts to convict because of facts. But the facts do not matter with Donald Trump. The only thing that matters is that he benefits on everything he does. Public opinion was split between the Democrats and Republicans, and Donald Trump never benefited from any popularity poll over 50%. On the last day of his presidency, his polls reached an all-time low of just a 38.6 % approval rating. I might add that it dropped several points since the riots occurred on January 6th. Most modern presidents hardly survive making it over 50% at the end of their first term. Ironically, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon had exceptional poll numbers at the beginning of their second terms and both left office with high numbers. Actually, the last 9 presidents besides Trump had numbers better than Trumps, other that Gerald Ford who never broke a 50% likeability with the American people.

The 7th abuse would be the Ukraine affair and cover-up. Donald Trump pressured the Ukrainian government “to help his reelection campaign by announcing a baseless investigation into the Biden’s “according to the CNN article which states these facts in detail. It was political corruption out in the open, at its finest, but still wasn’t enough for the Republican Senate to do the right thing and even have an impeachment trial. The democratic base pleaded with the Republicans, but the Senate leader – Mitch McConnell just dismissed it and refused to start a trial. Ultimately, the Senate voted to acquit and Donald Trump then gained the ammunition to continue to work in corruption for the rest of his term. Trump impeded the investigation as he told government officials that they were “not to cooperate with the Democrats-run House impeachment inquiry.  The facts came to bear that President Trump would hold money destined for Ukraine unless he spoke out in his support against the Biden’s. He constantly held information and prevented witnesses from appearing at the trials. It was a clear sense of power for political gain, as Trump knew back then that he needed to be re-elected in order to survive upcoming lawsuits when he steps down and becomes a citizen.  Reality has set in, as Donald Trump is no longer president, and he will be facing one lawsuit action with another, and will witness the destruction of his financial wealth.

The 8th thing mentioned in CNN’s article were the Loyalty oaths and personalizing government. Trump demanded personal loyalty from his lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. If you crossed him, you were most likely be defeated in the next election, because Trump almost totally controlled the party. Cabinet members had to do things for Trump or risk loosing their jobs.

The 9th thing mentioned were Firing whistleblowers and truth-tellers. If you didn’t give Trump your absolute royalty, you wouldn’t have had a difficult discussion with the president, but instead you would receive tweets and used the power of his office to fire people he disagreed with by tweet. Trump fired his long-time personal friend and personal attorney Michael Cohen. He did the same thing with FBI director James Comey. He fired his Inspector General Michael Atkinson who worked in the Department of Justice for approximately 15 years. Mr. Atkinson succeeded Thomas Monheim who never advanced any further than Acting Inspector General. A complete list of people Trump either fired or resigned under pressure and those who just resigned on their own is listed below.

Robin Townley – a previous Marine who held the position of Senior Director for Africa, NSC, resigned Feb 10, 2017 under pressure.

Michael Flynn – his prior job with the Trump campaign, held the position of National Security Advisor, resigned 2-13-2017 under pressure.

Katie Walsh – with a prior job at the RNC, held a position of Deputy Chief of Staff, resigned under pressure on March 30, 2017.

KT McFarland – prior TV analyst, held the position of Deputy National Security Adviser, resigned under pressure on April 19, 2017.

Michael Dubke – prior position with the Black Rock Group, held a position of AP and Communications Director, retired under pressure 5/30/2017.

Sean Spicer – prior position with the RNC, held a position of Press Secretary, retired under pressure on July 21, 2017.

Josh Pitcock – prior position on Capital Hill, held the position of AP and Chief of Staff to the VP – resigned on July 28, 2017.

Reince Priebus – prior position as head of RNC, held the position of Chief of Staff, retired unde pressure on July 31, 2017.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick – prior position with the U.S. Government (DIA), held the position of Senior Intelligence Director, NSC, retired under pressure on August 2, 2017.

Steve Bannon – prior position with Republican Media, held the position of AP and Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President, retired under pressure on August 18, 2017 to work with Breitbart News.

George Sifakis – prior work in Government relations, held the AP and Director of Public Liason, retired unde pressure on August 18, 2017 to work with Ideagen.

George Gigicos – previously in consulting, held the position of AP and Director of Presidential Advance, retired under pressure on August 22, 2017.

Keith Schiller – previously worked in the Trump organization – held the position of Director of Oval Office Operations, retired under pressure on September, 20, 2017.

Greg Katsas – previously worked in a law firm – held the office of Deputy AP and Deputy White House Counsel, resigned on 11/28/2017 to become a Federal judge in the DC Circuit court.

Omarosa Manigault – previously worked on Reality Television – held the office of AP and Director of Communications, Office of Public Liaison, retired under pressure on December 15, 2017 and then worked for the Heritage Foundation.

Rick Dearborn – previously worked as a staff member in the U.S. Senate, resigned on December 23, 2017 and departed on March 13, 2018.

Rob Porter – previously worked as a Senate Senate Staff member, retired under pressure on February 7, 2018.

Reed Cordish – previously worked in Real Estate, held the position of AP for Intergovernmental and Technology Initiatives, resigned on February 16, 2018 to become a parter at Cordish Companies.

Gary Cohn – previously worked at Goldman Sachs,  held the position of AP and Director of the National Economic Council, resigned on March 6, 2018.

Mike Pompeo – previously a member of the House of Representatives, became the CIA director, then promoted on March 13, 2018.

Thomas Bossert – previously worked for the Atlantic Council, was retired under pressure on April 10, 2018.

Everett Eissenstat – Worked for Senator Orrin hatch of Utah, became the Deputy Director, National Economic Council and International Economic Affairs. He resigned on July 20, 2018 to go to work at General Motors.

Marc Short – Previously worked on the Trump campaign, held the position of AP and White House Director of Legislative Affairs, resigned on July 20, 2018 to work for Guidepost Strategies and UVA.

Jen Pavlik – worked in the office of Governor Mike Pence and became the DAP and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President. Resigned in August 2018 to work for Keystone.

Donald McGahn – previously worked in the Trump campaign, was counsel to the President, resigned on Septembe 17, 2018 to work at Jones Day.

Marcia Lee Kelly – previously worked for the RNC, became the DAP and Director of White House Management, Office of Administration. Resigned in November of 2018 to work on the Trump reelection campaign.

Bill Stepien – previously worked in the Trump campaign, resigned on December 7, 2018 to work on the Trump Reelection campaign.

Neomi Rao – left the George Mason Law School to become OIRA Administrator, resigned on March 13, 2019 to become a D.C. Circuit Federal judge.

Richard Burkhouser – was previously a professor, held the position of White House Council of Economic Advisors membership., resigned in May 2019, to work at Cornell University.

Kevin Hasset – previously worked for the American Enterprise Institute, held the a chair position with the White House Council of Economic Advisers, resigned on June 2, 2019.

William McGInley – previously worked for Jones Day, held the position of DAP and Cabinet Secretary, resigned on June 28, 2019 with a July departure, now working for the Vogel Group.

Fiona Hill – previously worked at the Brookings Institution, resigned on June 17, 2019 with an August departure.

Dan Coats – previously a U.S. Senator, worked as the Director of National Intelligence, retired under pressure on September 5, 2019, went to work for King and Spalding.

Jason Greenblatt – previously worked for the Trump organization, held the position of AP and Special Representative for International Negotions, resigned on September 5, 2019.

Jessica Ditto – previously worked in the Office of Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, and also worked in the Trump campaign. She became the Deputy AP and Deputy Communications Director and Research Director. She resigned on March 20, 2020.

Lidsay Reynolds – previously worked for the LBR Group/event planning. Held a position of AP and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. He resigned on April 6, 2020

Kellanne Conway – previously worked in the Trump campaign, became counselor to the President, resigned on August 24, 2020.

Lisa Curtis – Previously worked for the Heritage Foundation, held the position of DAP and Senior Director for South and Central Asia. Lisa resigned on January 8th 2021, now working for the Center for New American Security.

As reported by Brookings.edu research, 45% of President Trump’s “A Team” departures have undergone serial turnover as of January 24, 2021.

The following positions were held my a multiple of people.

Chief of Staff – Reince Prebus, then John Kelly, Mick Mulvaney and then Mark Meadows.

Deputy Chief of Staff – Katie Walsh, then Kirstjen Nielsen, Zachary Fuentes, Emma Doyle and finally John Fleming.

Chief of Staff to the VP – Josh Pitcock, thn Nick Ayers, and finally Marc Short

Chief of Staff to the First Lady – Lindsay Reynolds, then Stephanie Grisham and then someone else that I do not have a name for.

Communications Director – Michael Dubke, then Anthony Scaramucci, Hope Hicks, Bill Shine, Stephanie Grisham, Alyssa Farah, and then to someone else that I do not have a name for.

Press Secretary – Sean Spicer, then Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephanie Grisham then Kayleigh McEnany.

Director of Strategic Operations – Keith Schiller, then Jordan Karem, Madeleine Westerhout and Nicholas F. Luna.

Director of Presidential Personnel – John DeStefano, then Sean Doocey and John McEntee.

Staff Secretary – Rob Porter, then Derek Lyons and then to someone else that I do not have a name for.

Director of Presidential Advance – George Gigicos, then Robert L. Peede, then Max Miller.

Deputy White House Counsel – Greg Katsas, then Uttam Dhillon, then Patrick Philbin.

National Security Adviser – Michael Flynn, HR McMaster, John Bolton and then Robert C. O’Brien.

Deputy National Security Adviser – KT McFarland, Then Dina Powell/Ricky Waddell, Nadia Schadlow, Mira Ricardel, Charles Kupperman, and finally Mathew Pottinger/Victoria Coates***

AP for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism – Thomas Bossert then Doug Fears, then Peter Brown, then Julia Nesheiwat.

Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary, NSC – Keith Kellogg, then Fredrick Fleitz, then Joan Virginia O’Hara, and finally Matthias Mitman

Senior Director of Intelligence, NSC – Ezra Cohen Watnick, then Michael Barry and AMichael Ellis

Senior Director for Europe and Russia, NSC – Fiona Hill, then Tim Morrison, Andrew Peek, Tom Wiliams, and Ryan Tully

Senior Director for Africa, NSC – Derek Harvey, then Cyril Sartor and Elizabeth Erin Walsh.

Director of Domestic Policy Council – Andrew Bremberg, Then Joe Grogan and Brooke Rollins as acting director.

Deputy Director, of National Economic Council and International Economic Affairs – Everett Eissenstat, then Cletus Willems, Kelly Ann Shaw, Thomas Storch and finally Francis Brooke.

The 10th thing Trump has done is enrich himself by profiting from the office of the presidency.  He was the first billionaire to ever become president. Then “he wouldn’t divest from his international business empire.” The appearance of conflict of interest was of big concern, but Donald Trump didn’t care what is conveyed which gave you an idea into Trump’s morals.  With his money and the office that he holds, in his mind gave him the rights to do anything he wanted to do. While president, he was active at several of his golf clubs, and made money from the Federal government on the way, while billing the Federal government millions of dollars for Secret Service agents to stay at his properties while protecting him. With his high-end hotel located in Washington, D.C. many of the GOP insiders and lobbyists, and some foreign officials stayed at his hotel, while Trump claimed to have donated all profits from foreign government to the United States Treasury. The president claimed that he would never take the presidential salary of $400,000 per year, but he made millions off of his office in so many other ways.

Now with Donald Trump about to be impeached a second time, he stands to lose his $400,000 per year salary for life, and his ability to run again for president in 2024 if he is convicted in the Senate. He stands to lose all National Security clearances. Note, that being convicted in the Senate does not warrant any jail time, but it is a sign of things to come that would be very detrimental to Donald J. Trump.