Dems sweep special elections as Mueller goes straight for Trump
AP

Democrats flipped two GOP-held state legislative seats in special elections yesterday amidst reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is examining if President Trump himself was involved in the release of Democratic stolen emails.

News that Mueller is focusing directly on the President came only hours before the news that an apparent “blue wave” of Democratic special election victories continues to sweep the country.

Such a wave could spell disaster for the GOP in the coming midterm elections.

In New Hampshire this week voters elected a substance abuse counselor, Democrat Phillip Spagnulo, ousting Republican Les Cartier from the state legislature. Trump had carried the same district by 13 points in 2016.

In Connecticut, Democrat Philip Young defeated Republican Bill Cabral in a district that has been in GOP hands for decades.

The wins this week only build further upon an enormous Democratic advantage in special elections since Trump entered the White House. This year alone the Dems have racked up victories in GOP-held state legislative seats in Wisconsin, Florida, Kentucky and Missouri. More impressive still is the fact that many of those victories took place in districts gerrymandered for Republican wins.

The Democratic victories and any increased worries Trump has because of closer scrutiny from Robert Mueller were far from the only new problems the President had to deal with yesterday.

His long-time supporter, White House communications director, Hope Hicks, quit her job after telling the House Intelligence Committee that lying was part of her job description at the White House. At that same hearing she had refused to answer any questions about the period of the transition or her tenure at the White House. Speculation continues over whether she actually resigned or was pushed out because she admitted to lying for Trump. Hicks, it will be recalled, helped engineer Trump’s lies about the meeting his top campaign staff had held with Russians at Trump Tower.

Perhaps the worse mess to land on Trump’s head yesterday was the public airing of news that his son-in-law Jared Kushner got multi-million dollar loans from people he met with at the White House. Only a day earlier it had been revealed that Kushner was using his position in the White House to troll for loans from overseas concerns in places like China.

The revelations that burst onto the TV screens yesterday was that Apollo, a private equity firm and Citigroup made multi-million dollar loans to bail out failing Kushner real estate ventures after they had paid regular visits to the White House. No one in his or her right mind believes Trump himself was not involved in these outrageous capers.

Joshua Harris, a founder of Apollo, was apparently promised a job in the White House in exchange for a $184 million loan to Kushner’s real estate firm. Kushner got the loan but the job for Harris never materialized.

To make things even worse for Trump the Mueller team is now also looking into the whole matter of Kushner’s interactions with all the potential “investors” at home and abroad.

Trolling for money in exchange for White House positions seems to be a specialty of many of Trump’s closest associates. New reports this week have it that the CEO of a Chicago bank that lent a quarter of its assets to indicted Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was also promised a White House job that he too never got.


CONTRIBUTOR

John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is editor in chief at Peoplesworld.org. He started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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