UPDATE: In an extremely rare move, the Special Counsel's office has disputed one of the details from the Buzzfeed story:
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate"
In other words, it's possible Trump still suborned perjury. But the evidence Buzzfeed cited is being disputed by the Special Counsel's office, among other reasons to possibly guard its own ass from charges that it's leaking to Buzzfeed. One thought on this right away: Trump screams fake news at objectively true facts. Getting an article even one percent wrong is a gigantic gift to Trump and his league of dickheads.
Back to the article...
As I write this, Donald Trump just tweeted his plans to make a "major announcement" from the White House on Saturday afternoon, January 19. Presumably, he'll declare a national emergency, thereby seizing and then exploiting new executive powers allowing him to get away with all kinds of criminal fuckery.
It's impossible to know for certain, but he's obviously taking this action -- in the very concept of a surprise announcement without an emergency declaration -- in order to change the news cycle away from the bombshell report indicating that he committed felony obstruction of justice by ordering Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
Of course an emergency declaration now kind of subverts the concept of an emergency. An emergency suggests a sense of desperate immediacy rather than a lingering maybe-maybe-not option. Put another way, an emergency is binary, either there's an emergency requiring immediate action or there's not. There's no such thing as almost giving birth, or almost bleeding from the chest, or almost an invasion.
Indeed, if Trump declares an emergency now after dragging his tiny feet for nearly a month, it should only ever be viewed as an abuse of power -- a cynical means of seizing the news cycle -- an attention-whore gambit that needs to be punished accordingly. Accountability for declaring sham emergency ought to be yet another in a growing stack of impeachment articles.
Naturally, those articles have to include events from today, Friday.
First, if in fact there are documents showing Trump suborned perjury by ordering Cohen to lie to Congress about Trump Tower Moscow -- a lie that Cohen will spend three years in prison for telling -- Trump should face an article of impeachment for obstruction of justice. In fact, Trump's own nominee for Attorney General, William Barr, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that, yes, if the president ordered someone to lie to Congress, it's criminal obstruction. Full stop.
Bill Clinton was impeached chiefly because he perjured himself over whether he had sex with an intern. Trump, on the other hand, very clearly suborned perjury over his criminal conspiracy with Russia and a quid pro quo, trading reduced sanctions in exchange for the tallest building in Russia. I'd say the latter is about a gazillion times more serious.
Second, Trump obviously leaked to the press the commercial flight plans made by the Speaker of the House as she intended to fly to a war zone to meet with generals and soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan. He and his Red Hats might not know this, but leaking the details of a trip like this is a major breach of national security.
Pelosi's office noted this:
State Dept's Diplomatic Security Service provided an updated threat assessment detailing that the President announcing this sensitive travel had significantly increased danger to the delegation & to troops, security, & other officials supporting trip.
Indeed, the trip was classified. Trump's petty childish trolling, along with his warped impulse-control problem could have led to an enemy attack on members of Congress. Yet even though the trip was summarily canceled, it's still a colossal trespass against national security and, in fact, one third of the United States government.
Think about this. Trump leaked Pelosi's classified trip before seizing emergency powers. He's lied and obstructed justice and worked in support of Russia before seizing new powers. Now imagine the hell he'll unleash once he actually possesses those powers.
The time for debating whether Trump committed these and countless other high crimes is over. The time for accountability is here. This means impeachment has to be on the table. This means criminal indictments have to be on the table. The nation can't flourish while Trump continues to stagger and screech his way through this utterly catastrophic presidency. As I've been correctly predicting, his behavior will only continue to disintegrate and the potential for the nightmare scenario will only grow larger as time goes on.
Trump is the national emergency. The sooner the news media and Congress recognize this, the sooner we can sidestep the full and terrible ramifications of a traitorous, criminal president who's entirely unfit to hold the office.