President Donald Trump’s problems continue to grow in what has been a week of revelations and bombshell news stories. Amid fresh allegations against Trump, the government remains partially shutdown. With no end in sight to the longest shutdown in history, the President may be penned in.
A major story broke Thursday night that will likely cause havoc in the Trump White House. BuzzFeed reported that Trump personally directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project. If true, this would constitute obstruction of justice – an impeachable offense.
The news comes on the same day as the Wall Street Journal reported that Michael Cohen hired a tech firm, RedFinch Solutions LLC, to rig two early online polls to favor Trump. The abortive attempt to rig these polls links the Trump campaign to Liberty University, where Cohen met John Gauger, head of RedFinch Solutions. Gauger is chief information officer at Liberty University, where Evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. is president. Falwell is a strong supporter of the President.
Cohen later claimed on Twitter that Trump directed him to rig the polls.
“As for the @WSJ article on poll rigging, what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of [Trump]. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it,” Cohen tweeted. Cohen has not yet responded to the accusations that Trump directed him to lie, but based on his recent acts of contrition, Cohen may soon weigh in.
One unexpected source of trouble for the President this week was his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The former mayor of New York claimed on CNN that he had never said that the Trump campaign hadn’t colluded with Russia. Giuliani said he represented the President only and that Trump did not collude. This is a departure from is previous public statements.
Amid all these revelations and allegations, the government remains shutdown and there is little prospect of a deal between Trump and House Democrats. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has essentially cancelled the State of the Union speech, while Trump has responded by refusing the use of military planes to take Pelosi on a trip to Afghanistan. This was particularly unwelcome as her visit to troops in Afghanistan was not publicly announced for security reasons.
Trump is now facing accusations of obstruction of justice, losing the shutdown fight, a cancelled State of the Union and a shoddy defense from his own lawyer. How he, and Democrats, behave in the next few days could be vital.