Another day, another new reason for impeachment for President Trump.
As if the investigations into collusion with Russia, obstruction of justice, tax fraud, charity fraud, campaign finance fraud, and the myriad of other crimes that Trump has been credibly accused of weren’t sufficient to prod Congress to initiate the necessary proceedings to terminate the Trump presidency, a new report today in The New Yorker provides yet another reason to begin impeachment immediately.
In an article detailing the unusually close relationship between the president and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, The New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer drops several bombshells.
The first revelation was that a Fox News reporter Diana Falzone had uncovered evidence of the affair and the hush money payments between President Trump and adult film star Stormy Daniels as early as October of 2016 — a month before the election — but that a Fox News executive killed the story.
“Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go,” Ken LaCorte, then in charge of FoxNews.com, told Falzone in preventing the news from being made public.
While it’s no surprise that Fox News did everything in its power to help elect Trump, this is the first time that the network has been implicated in the type of “catch and kill” tactics that have entangled the National Enquirer in the machinations to cover up Trump’s adulterous affairs, liaisons that would have damaged his election chances had they seen the light of day before the election.
This new information is startling, but it doesn’t contribute anything additional to the existing litany of misdeeds that the president is accused of.
Mayer does, however, add to the list of potentially impeachable offenses with her revelation that — with Fox News in his pocket — Trump tried to retaliate against the owners of his and Fox‘s media nemesis CNN by ordering Gary Cohn, the former director of the National Economic Council, to tell the Justice Department to block AT&T’s deal to buy the news network’s owner Time Warner.
“I’ve been telling Cohn to get this lawsuit filed and nothing’s happened! I’ve mentioned it fifty times,” Trump reportedly said. “And nothing’s happened. I want to make sure it’s filed. I want that deal blocked!”
George Conway, the lawyer husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway and a frequent critic of his wife’s boss, saw the news and immediately recognized the importance of this latest revelation.
If proven, such an attempt to use presidential authority to seek retribution for the exercise of First Amendment rights would unquestionably be grounds for impeachment. https://t.co/F1UANzeD2q
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) March 4, 2019
Trump’s lack of respect for the media and the First Amendment to the Consitution that enables America’s free press is well documented. That he could sink so low as to illegally try to inflict spiteful retribution upon his perceived “fake news” enemies is sadly neither surprising nor unlikely at this stage of his presidency, given the numerous other opportunities he’s offered the American public to assess his character through his behavior.
His dangerous contempt for the rule of law and freedom of the press demonstrates how the president is destroying the norms under which our society operates. He must be stopped. The evidence for impeachment is in plain sight. Time for Congress to do their jobs before it’s too late.
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Original reporting by Jane Mayer at The New Yorker and by Michael Burke at The Hill.