Now that he knows for certain that he can get away with abusing his presidential powers so long as Republicans control the Senate and refuse to hold him accountable, Donald Trump is not only escalating his corruption, he’s doing it right out in the open.
Earlier today, Trump tweeted that he would be hosting Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) at the White House and that Cuomo, an outspoken political enemy of the president, should “understand that National Security far exceeds politics.”
It was a rich sentiment coming from the man who endangered our national security by freezing military aid to Ukraine in order to strongarm the allied nation into launching a smear investigation into Joe Biden and his son. Trump has made it abundantly clear that his own personal political interests will always come before those of the nation he swore to defend.
Trump’s tweet then immediately pivoted to him flaunting his love for abuses of power by implying that New York must end the investigations and lawsuits leveled against him lest he decide to bring the full powers of the Oval Office to bear against the state.
Cuomo has already accused the Trump administration of engaging in “political extortion” over its plan to ban New Yorkers from using the Global Entry program, which makes it easier for travelers to pass through airport security. Going after New York’s Global Entry status under the guise of “national security” is a blatant effort on the president’s part to gain leverage over the firmly Democratic state and closely mirrors his Ukraine scheme.
The president also threw in some boilerplate right-wing complaints about “cleaning” up the state and lowering taxes before taking a completely irrelevant and unprompted potshot at Governor Cuomo’s brother Chris Cuomo, a CNN anchor who has been nicknamed “Fredo” by the MAGA movement in reference to a character from The Godfather.
I’m seeing Governor Cuomo today at The White House. He must understand that National Security far exceeds politics. New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes. Build relationships, but don’t bring Fredo!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2020
It wasn’t long before New York’s Attorney General Letitia James saw the tweet and responded. James has proven to be one of the president’s greatest sources of annoyance by launching numerous investigations into his shady business practices. She hasn’t been shy about her feelings towards the man and even went as far as to call him an “illegitimate president.”
Under James’s guidance, a slew of much-needed subpoenas have been issued to unearth the myriad financial entanglements and crimes that form the bedrock of Trump’s global empire. Given her commitment to justice, it’s unsurprising then that when she saw Trump trying to force Cuomo to terminate her investigations she hit back hard on Twitter.
“When you stop violating the rights and liberties of New Yorkers, we will stand down,” wrote James. “Until then, we have a duty and responsibility to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.”
She ended her tweet with a jab at the president’s ignorance by explaining that it’s she and not Governor Cuomo who is ultimately responsible for filing the lawsuits against him. It’s clear that in Letitia James, Trump has found himself a formidable opponent.
When you stop violating the rights and liberties of all New Yorkers, we will stand down.
Until then, we have a duty and responsibility to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.
BTW, I file the lawsuits, not the Governor. https://t.co/tsOLeEgiQp
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 13, 2020
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.