Some view the nature and frequency of Trump's falsehoods as having profound and corrosive consequences on democracy. James Pfiffner, professor of policy and government at George Mason University, wrote in 2019 that Trump lies differently from previous presidents, because he offers "egregious false statements that are demonstrably contrary to well-known facts"; these lies are the "most important" of all Trump lies. By calling facts into question, people will be unable to properly evaluate their government, with beliefs irrationally settled by "political power"; this erodes liberal democracy, wrote Pfiffner.
On March 22, 2019, Mueller concluded his investigation and gave his report to Attorney General William Barr. On March 24, Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress summarizing the "principal conclusions" in the report. He quoted Mueller as stating "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." Barr further wrote that he and Rosenstein did not see sufficient evidence to prove obstruction of justice. Trump interpreted Mueller's report as a "complete exoneration", a phrase he repeated multiple times in the ensuing weeks. Mueller privately complained to Barr on March 27 that his summary did not accurately reflect what the report said, and some legal analysts called the Barr letter misleading.More Info
In March 2019, the House Judiciary Committee launched a broad investigation of Trump for possible obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power. Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler sent letters demanding documents to 81 individuals and organizations associated with Trump's presidency, business, and private life, saying it is "very clear that the president obstructed justice". Three other committee chairmen wrote the White House and State Department requesting details of Trump's communications with Putin, including any efforts to conceal the content of those communications. The White House refused to comply, asserting that presidential communications with foreign leaders are protected and confidential.More Info
Despite the frequency of Trump's falsehoods, the media have rarely referred to them as "lies". The word suggests an attempt to deceive, hence if used could be construed as conveying an opinion as to the intent behind the statement. The word is fraught with political peril and has usually been avoided out of respect for the presidential office. Nevertheless, in August 2018 The Washington Post declared for the first time that some of Trump's misstatements (statements concerning hush money paid to Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal) were lies. Former Secretary of State for George W. Bush, Colin Powell, who had never used the word in reference to any previous president, said in June 2020 that Trump "lies all the time".More Info
American Media, Inc. (AMI) paid $150,000 to Playboy model Karen McDougal in August 2016, and Trump's attorney Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in October 2016. Both women were paid for non-disclosure agreements regarding their alleged affairs with Trump between 2006 and 2007. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to breaking campaign finance laws, saying he had arranged both payments at the direction of Trump in order to influence the presidential election. AMI admitted paying McDougal to prevent publication of stories that might damage Trump's electoral chances. Trump denied the affairs, and claimed he was not aware of Cohen's payment to Daniels, but reimbursed him in 2017. Federal prosecutors asserted that Trump had been involved in discussions regarding non-disclosure payments as early as 2014. Court documents showed that the FBI believed Trump was directly involved in the payment to Daniels, based on calls he had with Cohen in October 2016. In July 2019, a federal judge disclosed that prosecutors had stated in a court filing they had closed the investigation, but days later the Manhattan District Attorney subpoenaed the Trump Organization and AMI for records related to the hush payments and in August subpoenaed eight years of tax returns for Trump and the Trump Organization.More Info
After the whistleblower complaint became known in September 2019, House speaker Nancy Pelosi initiated a formal impeachment inquiry on September 24. The Trump administration subsequently released a memorandum of the July 25 phone call, confirming that after Zelensky mentioned purchasing American anti-tank missiles, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate and to discuss these matters with Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr. According to the testimony of multiple administration officials and former officials, the events were part of a broader effort to further Trump's personal interests by giving him an advantage in the upcoming presidential election.More Info
We don't show ads. Help us keep it that way.