Yesterday’s staggering events struck like a dagger to the heart of Donald Trump, and have made clear that Democrats are now in control of Washington, D.C..
Roger Stone’s pre-dawn arrest caused panic in the White House as the president’s oldest friend was hauled away in handcuffs. Washington Democrats seized on Stone’s arrest, saying it is a further sign of criminal and treasonous behavior by the Trump campaign. In doing this, they took away Trump’s claims to a legitimate presidency.
Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) issued a statement saying:
“It is clear from this indictment that those contacts [between Stone and WikiLeaks] happened at least with the full knowledge of, and appear to have been encouraged by, the highest levels of the Trump campaign.”
Other Democrats pointed to Trump publicly calling on Russia to find Clinton’s deleted emails during the 2016 campaign. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also issued a statement, saying:
“At the very time that then-candidate Trump was publicly encouraging Russia’s help in acquiring Clinton-related emails, his campaign was privately receiving information about the planned release of stolen Clinton emails.”
Schiff also tweeted the language in Stone’s indictment which could implicate the president in crimes:
“Most significant in the Stone indictment is new info that a senior campaign official was “directed” in July 2016 to contact Mr. Stone about additional Wikileaks releases.”
Most significant in the Stone indictment is new info that a senior campaign official was “directed” in July 2016 to contact Mr. Stone about additional Wikileaks releases.
This was at same time candidate Trump was publicly calling for Russia’s help in obtaining Clinton’s emails. pic.twitter.com/wtDDmHwyWt
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 25, 2019
Schiff also suggested that Donald Trump and Jared Kushner could have been directing Steve Bannon to work with Stone, making them complicit in the commission of federal crimes.
Nancy Pelosi also chimed in, tweeting:
“Roger Stone’s indictment makes clear there was a deliberate, coordinated effort by top Trump campaign officials to subvert the will of the American people during the 2016 Election. #FollowTheFacts”
What does Putin have on @realDonaldTrump, politically, personally or financially?
Roger Stone’s indictment makes clear there was a deliberate, coordinated effort by top Trump campaign officials to subvert the will of the American people during the 2016 Election. #FollowTheFacts
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 26, 2019
These comments show that as the president is reeling from the news, Democrats are going to keep punching him until they get the knockout they want. They haven’t even begun their own congressional investigations yet either.
The charges that Stone lied to the House Intelligence panel greatly angered Democrats. Schiff has turned over transcripts of House testimony to Mueller, and it’s possible that this gave the special counsel the ammunition he needed to obtain an indictment for perjury.
And Mueller is probably not done. Schiff and others have mentioned that there were other Trump associates (and possibly family members) who lied to Congress while under oath.
Democrats have now sent the message that false testimony won’t be tolerated, and those guilty of perjury will be indicted and arrested.
Yesterday was the first time a witness in Mueller’s investigation was charged since Democrats took control of the House on Jan. 3, but there will be more in the future.
Despite Donald Trump’s claims to the contrary, he caved to Nancy Pelosi about the government shutdown. When he did this, he handed the reins of power to her. She and other senior Democrats — especially in the House — will be controlling the agenda from now on.
And Democrats in Washington are more unified than ever. This gives them incredible power.
As Roll Call’s Adam Green wrote:
“By shutting down the government, Donald Trump unintentionally gave Democrats the biggest gift possible: Unity. It could doom his presidency. Stunningly, it is a repeat of the exact mistake he made by choosing Obamacare repeal as his first legislative fight.”
There will be more indictments and arrests from Mueller in the near future, striking very close to the Oval Office. And despite his claims, Trump will not have the courage or the political will to shut down the government again let alone to get funding for his wall. And the Democratic Party is unified.
Yesterday may go down in history as the day that power in Washington shifted from the White House to the Democratic Party. A new day has dawned in the nation’s capital, and Democrats are now in charge.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.