Today the Senate opened its impeachment trial of President Donald John Trump with the swearing-in of Chief Justice John Roberts amid growing reports of illegal actions by Trump and his administration. It resulted in Trump simply whining and complaining, as usual.
Trump went on TV with a news conference and reiterated that his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky in which he asked for a "favor, though," was "perfect" and that "our country is doing great. It has never been better." That favor, of course, was his desire for Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Trump took credit for the booming stock market and said that if Democrats had won the election instead of him, the Dow Jones Industrial Average would only be at half the 29,250 level that it closed today.
Then, Trump turned to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which conducted the House impeachment hearings, and claimed he was a liar and a crook.
"There is absolutely no reason I got impeached," he said. "It is a disgrace and it is a hoax."
Trump denied even knowing Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas who provided documents to House Democrats yesterday, and flatly said Trump lied when he previously claimed not to know him or ever having a conversation with him.
Yesterday, during a signing ceremony for his much ballyhooed partial trade deal with China, Trump noticed a representative from a law firm in the room and said:
"I could use some good legal advice. Do you have some good lawyers? I could use some good lawyers, right? Ah, the hell with it. I just have to suffer through it the way I have all my life."
Ah, yes. He's had it so rough all his life. Everybody's against him. Nobody gives him credit for anything. And he's such a 'stable genius" and such a great president.
Yea, Trump could use some good lawyers. Giuliani, who Trump told reporters today was "one of the great crime fighters" and a top attorney, has been shown to be at the heart of the Ukrainian scandal that resulted in the House impeaching Trump.
Earlier today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) broke the law last year when it withheld US security aid to Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress. President Trump requested that the aid be withheld, an issue at the heart of his impeachment.
The GAO said OMB violated the Impoundment Control Act, which limits the ability of the White House to withhold Congressionally appropriated funds.
OMB told GAO it "withheld the funds to ensure that they were not spent 'ln a manner that could conflict with the President's foreign policy," said GAO General Counsel Thomas Armstrong.
In its decision, GAO said, "Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act. The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA."
While the violation does not carry criminal penalties, the GAO's decision boosts Democratic charges that Trump's withholding of $400 million in security aid to Ukraine was illegal. Impeachment hearing testimony showed that Trump wanted those funds withheld to get Ukraine to investigate his potential rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter.
Despite Trump's claims that he did nothing wrong, that he did not try to use the US treasury as his own personal ATM machine in his effort to damage Biden, the evidence to the contrary keeps mounting.
"How in the heck are they going to not convict him?" wrote a Not Fake News reader on Facebook today. "Sickening!"
He is right.