“Trump’s Last Year in Office: Two Impeachments and 400,000 Funerals ” © Tom Ersin 2022. This is the current installment from the serialized publication of this distinctive historical book.

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES (skip to article)

  • “Iranian Military Likely Accidentally Shot Down Ukrainian Airliner, w/ 176 People Aboard, Leaving Iran Airspace Jan 7 in Hrs. After Iran Retaliated Against U.S. Troops in Iraq for Assassination of Iranian Leader; Feared Incoming U.S. Strikes; Iran Inexplicably Didn’t Close Its Airspace on Day of Its Attack” (1/9/2020)
  • “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Continues to Hold Impeachment Articles From Senate” (1/9/2020)
  • “House Passes War Powers Act 224-194, Reigning in Trump’s Ability to Freely Attack Iran” (1/9/2020)
  • “WH Continues Issuing Multiple, Conflicting, Unsubstantiated Reasons for Soleimani Attack” (1/9/2020)
  • “DOJ Report: Hillary Cleared of all Charges in Email, Uranium One, Foundation Probes” (1/9/2020)
  • “GOP Continues Framing Democratic Skepticism for Timing of, Reasons for Soleimani Assassination — Over Policy Concerns of Nat’l. Sec., War Powers Act — as ‘mourning’ Death of Soleimani” (1/10/2020)
  • “NATO, Dems: Trump Must Shoulder Some Blame for Ukrainian Airliner Deaths, Prompted by His Warrantless Attack, Assassination of Iranian Gen. Soleimani, Prompting Iran’s Response” (1/10/2020)
  • “After Initial Denials, Iran Admits Accidentally Shooting Down Ukrainian Airliner” (1/10/2020)
  • “Trump Brings New Reason for Soleimani Attack: 4 U.S. Embassy Attacks Were in Planning; but DOD Secy. Admits He Saw No Intelligence Supporting This; Embassies Were Never Warned” (1/11/2020)
  • “Senate Leader McConnell Continues to Falsely Use Clinton Impeachment as Precedent” (1/11/2020)
  • “NYT: Evidence Emerges Russia Hacked Burisma in Attempt to Help Get Dirt on Biden” (1/13/2020)
  • “BLOCKBUSTER DAMNING DOCUMENTS RELEASED FROM INDICTED RUDY GIULIANI ASSOCIATE LEV PARNAS: Letter From Giuliani to Ukraine Pres. Requesting Mtg. on Trump’s Behalf; Notes on Parnas’ Instructions to Get Dirt on Biden; U.S. Businessman Surveilled Amb. Yovanovitch” (1/14/2020)
  • “Putin Signals Govt. Shakeup and Future Consolidation of Power in Speech to Lawmakers” (1/15/2020)
  • “House Votes, Sends Impeachment Articles to Senate; Pelosi Names 7 Impeachment Mgrs.” (1/15/2020)
  • “GOP Attempts to Claim Pelosi’s Delay Was Failure; Dems, Independents Point out: 1) Attempt to Have Senate Vote for Immediate Dismissal Was Blocked; 2) Several GOP Senators Are Now Ready to Vote for Witnesses; 3) Much More Damning Evidence Against Trump Has Emerged During Delay” (1/15/2020)
  • “Trump Threatened 25% Auto Tariffs Against Allies if They Didn’t Warn Iran of Nuke Deal Violations; Marks 1st Known Time Threat of Tariffs Against Allies Was Used to Extort Foreign Policy” (1/15/2020)
  • “Gravity of Impeachment Articles Transfer Ceremonies Engulfs Senate, Country” (1/15/2020)
  • “INDICTED RUDY GIULIANI ASSOCIATE LEV PARNAS TELLS ALL: 1) Trump Knew Everything; 2) As Ukraine Resisted Push for Biden Investigation, It Lost Aid, POTUS, VPOTUS Mtgs.; 3) Every Mtg. Started w/ Giuliani on Phone Confirming Parnas Spoke for Trump; 4) Pence, Barr, Bolton all ‘in the loop’; Nunes Involved; 5) Parnas Personally Witnessed Trump Ordering Firing of Amb. Yovanovitch” (1/15/2020)
  • “Ukraine Opens Probe of Possible U.S. Surveillance of Amb. to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch” (1/16/2020)
  • “Nonpartisan Congressional Watchdog GAO Finds Trump Broke Law In Holding Ukraine Aid” (1/16/2020)


You might have missed the real news of this week.

No, it wasn’t Trump’s reckless unwarranted assassination of an Iranian top leader and the aftermath: Iran’s accidental killing of 176 civilians aboard a Ukrainian airliner, which never would have happened except for the aforementioned reckless unwarranted assassination of an Iranian top leader. No, it wasn’t House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) game of impeachment chess with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). (Pelosi won.) No, it wasn’t Donald’s most recent lie justifying the Gen. Soleimani assassination: that Soleimani was planning attacks on four U.S. embassies — never mind that Trump’s own defense secretary said he had seen no intelligence to this effect and the embassies never were warned.

No, it wasn’t the new evidence that Russia hacked the Ukrainian company Burisma Holdings in an attempt to help the Trump campaign get dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden. No, it wasn’t the release of a trove of new evidence (if you really needed more) connecting Donald directly to the Trump-Ukraine extortion plot: Rudy Giuliani’s indicted associate Lev Parnas’ phone and document contents apparently contain “damning” evidence further implicating Mr. Big (aka “No. 1,” aka “The Donald”) by elucidating his (small-) hands-on direction of the illegal scheme.

No, it wasn’t the House vote to end its holdup and send impeachment articles over to the Senate after having achieved the following through delay: 1) blocked GOP Senate Leader McConnell’s attempt to have the lame-duck Senate vote for an immediate dismissal of articles; 2) provided time for several GOP senators to become ready to vote for witnesses; 3) allowed John Bolton time to agree to testify; and 4) allowed time for the emergence of more damning evidence against Trump with the likelihood of more down the road.

Finally, no, it wasn’t even the blockbuster Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) interview with the aforementioned indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. Lev shook the Trumpian universe last night attesting to these allegations: 1) he worked directly for Giuliani who worked directly for Trump, and Trump knew everything every step of the way about Parnas’ efforts to get Ukraine to announce a Biden investigation or it would get no aid, no visits, and no U.S. relationship or support; 2) as Ukraine resisted Donald’s strong-arming, its aid was held up, it lost a planned Trump meeting in Poland, and it lost VP Pence’s attendance at the new Ukrainian president’s inauguration; 3) all the many meetings Parnas had with Ukrainian officials started out with Giuliani on speakerphone confirming that Parnas spoke directly for Trump; 4) VP Mike Pence, AG Bill Barr, and NSA John Bolton all knew the illegal extortion plot was going on; 5) Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was involved in the scheme; 6) Parnas personally witnessed Trump ordering the firing of ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

Yes, that is all news. But not the news.

Real News of the Week

No, the biggest news of the week, which you likely missed in the avalanche of other political headlines, was that Hillary Clinton was cleared of all legal charges and (transparently false) accusations from Trump World related to her infamous emails, so-called Uranium One scandal, Clinton Foundation hanky-panky, and anything else ever thrown at her.

“Who cleared her, the ACLU?” you might be thinking with snotty, holier-than-thou indignation and MAGA disbelief. Look no further than the Trump administration Department of Justice under Attorney General Bill Barr:

“A Justice Department inquiry launched more than two years ago to mollify conservatives clamoring for more investigations of Hillary Clinton has effectively ended with no tangible results, and current and former law enforcement officials said they never expected the effort to produce much of anything. …

“[Attorney General Jeff Sessions initiated the investigation in March 2018 with this directive to his prosecutors:] ‘Your recommendations should include whether any [Hillary Clinton] matters not currently under investigation warrants the opening of an investigation, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources or further investigation, and whether any matters would merit the appointment of a special counsel.’”

(Barrett, Devlin & Zapotosky, Matt; “Justice Dept. Winds Down Clinton-Related Inquiry Once Championed by Trump. It Found Nothing of Consequence.”; The Washington Post; 1/9/2020.)

Lest you think the deep state is so strong, so insidious that it can manipulate the career professionals at Justice and the FBI, note that this open-ended, catch-all investigation was prompted by Trump and his allies and initiated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). At that time Sessions was under fire from Trump for recusing himself from the Russia investigation. Trump’s AG would’ve bent over backward, sideways, or forward to get back in the boss’ good graces.

Then the investigation came under the auspices of an interim attorney general and hand-picked Trump puppet, the galactically unqualified Matt Whitaker, who pushed the Hillary investigators to be more aggressive under his three-month watch.

Finally, oversight of the Clinton investigation fell to new Attorney General William Barr who is believed widely to be the (deceased shady former Trump-protecting lawyer) “Roy Cohn” Donald always has pined for in an AG. Barr has come under intense scrutiny for lack of independence from, and total deference to, the Trump White House. Barr long has thought Clinton was culpable in the made-up Uranium One scandal. Ultimately even AG Barr would not, could not stop the exculpatory report by his investigators that declared Hillary Clinton innocent of everything. Everything.

(By the way, Trump’s own State Department already had cleared Hillary in October 2019 of any wrongdoing or intended wrongdoing surrounding her email brou-ha-ha while she was secretary of state.)


Hillary Clinton has been cleared of all charges and accusations — ever made by Trump World — by Donald’s own Justice Department.

It infuriates me that this is not big news. It infuriates me that it will not change the false beliefs of MAGA cultists or independent low-information voters who bought it hook, line, and comb-over. They’ve heard the lies so often and for so long, “There must be something to it.”

For all you low-information voters who never looked beyond the Trumpian disinformation — the incessant, voluminous high-volume disinformation — How would your 2016 presidential vote have changed knowing (and accepting) Donald had lied?

For all you independents who believed “both sides are just as bad so let’s shake things up and vote for an outsider” — How would your 2016 presidential vote have changed knowing he had lied?

For all you apathetics who chose to stay home “out of principle” or voted third party because neither candidate “excited” you — How would your 2016 presidential voting behavior have changed knowing he had lied?

For all you deplorables that simply liked the guy who spits in the eye of competence, intelligence, experience, and morality — well you’re still a lost cause.

How Did He Do It?

It takes a colossal ethical deficit to lie brazenly and unceasingly. Many people can’t accept that someone could be that morally bereft, so they believe the lies or at least attribute equal weight to them. Donald Trump and his Republican Party are that morally bereft. Now that you know, What are you going to do about it?

The simple fact is that Democrats, as a group, don’t have the ethical paucity to pull off the obvious, unceasing mendacity it takes to support a confidence artist as their party leader. And that kind of mendacity is near-impossible to combat, especially in the digital media age. It’s not that Trump and the current GOP are brilliant manipulators of message. No, any idiot with a media platform can do it. It only requires a hole in your soul where character is supposed to live.■



[RECAP]: 1/6/2020 — Former National Security Adviser John Bolton announces he will agree to testify in impeachment trial if subpoenaed by Senate; GOP leaders belittle the idea, White House is thrown off-balance

[RECAP]: 1/6/2020 — Emails released through FOIA further implicate Vice President Mike Pence in Trump attempt to extort Joe Biden investigations from Ukraine in exchange for congressionally appropriated military aid

 [IMPEACHMENT: DAY 101 — 1/9/20]

1/14/2020 — BLOCKBUSTER DAMNING EVIDENCE IN UKRAINE SCANDAL IS RELEASED, more directly implicating Trump, Rudy Giuliani as his spokesman, in Trump-Ukraine extortion plot; evidence comes from indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas’ phone, documents; Parnas’ has been advocating to testify in impeachment trial

1/15/2020 — House votes to send impeachment articles to Senate; Pelosi names impeachment managers; GOP claims Pelosi’s delay was failure; though she didn’t win commitment from Leader McConnell for witnesses before trial starts, Dems, Independent pundits point out: 1) McConnell’s attempt to have Senate vote for immediate dismissal was blocked; 2) several GOP senators have become ready to vote for witnesses; 3) John Bolton has agreed to testify; 4) much more damning evidence against Trump has emerged during delay

1/15/2020 — “INDICTED RUDY GIULIANI ASSOCIATE LEV PARNAS TELLS ALL ABOUT TRUMP-UKRAINE EXTORTION SCANDAL IN RACHEL MADDOW INTERVIEW: 1) Parnas worked directly for Giuliani who worked directly for Trump; Trump knew everything every step of the way about Parnas’ efforts to get Ukraine to announce Biden investigation, lest it would get no aid, no visits, no U.S. relationship or support; 2) as Ukraine resisted, its aid was held up, it lost a planned Trump meeting in Poland, it lost VP Pence’s attendance at its inauguration; 3) all meetings Parnas had with Ukrainian officials started out with Giuliani on speakerphone confirming Parnas spoke directly for Trump; 4) VP Pence, AG Barr, NSA Bolton all were “in the loop”; Rep. Nunes (D-Calif.) was involved; 5) Parnas personally witnessed Trump ordering the firing of Amb. Yovanovitch.

1/16/2020 — General Accounting Office, nonpartisan congressional watchdog, finds Trump broke federal law in holding up Ukrainian military aid; eliminates already weak argument that impeachment accusations involved no crimes

[Tom Ersin has been a full-time professional writer and editor since 2010 and holds degrees in communications and counseling. He’s a long-time political observer and has written a half-dozen nonfiction books on 21st century U.S. politics.] Click here to purchase book. Please leave a rating.