The shutdown hasn’t stopped Trump from secretly dismantling our government

EXCERPT:

The Trump administration has expanded the definition of “essential” to just about any government service that would cause the public great discomfort (and therefore affect Trump’s poll numbers)—like tax refunds or air passenger transport. 

Exceptions are also made when the administration’s favorite industries face hardship as a result of the shutdown. For example, federal employees who work to support the onshore and offshore oil and gas drilling industry, forest management (timber sales) and the mortgage industry have also been deemed “essential” after their lobbyists complained about how the shutdown was harming their business.

Trump administration quietly changes definition of ‘domestic violence’ and ‘sexual assault’

Natalie Nanasi, director of the Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, pointed out that the moves were quietly made in back in April but could have significant repercussions for millions of domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

Pence must also be impeached: Constitutional law expert

Two of the impeachable offenses of which President Donald Trump has been accused — colluding with Russian political interference and working with Michael Cohen to violate campaign finance laws — would directly imply that he was elected as a result of fraud. And according to law professor Michael Glennon of Tufts University, this means that if Trump does get impeached for these alleged high crimes, Vice President Mike Pence must go down as well.

Manafort is protecting something bigger’: National security analyst

National security analyst Juliette Kayyem made a mysterious prediction during a discussion about the pages special counsel Robert Mueller released about Paul Manafort and his lies.

She began by saying that the timing of all of these things happening on the Donald Trump campaign in 2016 are finally beginning to unfold, and they’ve exposed two main things.

NYT’s Report Of FBI Concerns About President Trump Suggests Further Intel

Joy Reid, for Rachel Maddow

Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence department, talks with Joy Reid about the part of the Trump-Russia “iceberg” the public can’t see that likely formed the basis of the FBI’s concerns about whether Donald Trump was working for Russia.

May, 2017: ‘It’s pretty much inevitable’ that Trump will try to stage a coup and overthrow democracy: Yale historian Tim Snyder

EXCERPT:

In your book you discuss the idea that Donald Trump will have his own version of Hitler’s Reichstag fire to expand his power and take full control of the government by declaring a state of emergency. How do you think that would play out?

Let me make just two points. The first is that I think it’s pretty much inevitable that they will try. The reason I think that is that the conventional ways of being popular are not working out for them.

My meeting with Trump: A damaged, pathetic personality — whose obvious impairment has only gotten worse

EXCERPT:

On the drive home, we all burst out laughing, then grew quiet. What the hell just happened? My first theory, that Trump was high on cocaine, didn’t feel quite right, but he was clearly emotionally impaired: in constant need of approbation; lacking impulse control, self-awareness or awareness of others. We’d heard tales of his monumental vanity, but were still shocked by the sad spectacle of him.

That visit colored all my later impressions of Trump. Over time, his mental health seemed to decline.