Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

During Trump’s impeachment trial, a rumor began circulating that the president of the United States had threatened GOP senators that their heads would be on a “pike” if they didn’t support Trump. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) noted that the president was mob-bossing from the White House, but South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and nem came out and said it was all nonsense.

Welp, since being acquitted, Trump has already begun meting out punishment for those that dared to testify against him.

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From CNN:

Trump sent a strong signal of Washington’s new power realities Friday by ignoring pleas from the Republican senators who acquitted him and who had hoped to protect those who testified against him.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a national security council Ukraine specialist and his brother Yevgeny, a national security lawyer who was not involved in the Ukraine controversy, were sent back to the Pentagon. US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who effectively implicated Trump in a quid pro quo in colorful House testimony, was also sent packing. The two had been quietly planning exits of their own, three sources told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, but according to a person familiar with Trump’s thinking, although he had been advised to simply let them leave to avoid the criticism of firing impeachment witnesses, he didn’t want them to go quietly.

Republican senators have correctly pointed out that the President has the power to fire anyone in the executive branch and has the right to a team in which he has confidence.

“He’s a political appointee. He serves at the pleasure of the President,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, referring to Vindman.

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Much like dog shit on a sidewalk, Graham is there and therefore has to be addressed. He’s not wrong; both Vindman and Sondland serve at the pleasure of the president but because Graham is keeping his eyes purposefully tucked under the president’s sack, he can’t see that the optics and timing of their firing is clearly retribution for testifying against the president. The residual implications of Trump’s actions are that many spineless congressional members—or any public servant working for this White House, for that matter—will be less likely to publicly or privately go against the president for fear of retaliation.

“The result is that there are very few political constraints on his behavior left,” CNN reports.

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And the news station notes that President Donald J. Gotti Trump isn’t done. There are rumors that Trump is looking to gut the National Security Council,  “a rare remaining source of non-Trumpian thought in the government.”

And for some reason—maybe because people inside Trump’s White House are forced to take Trump’s personal lawyer seriously—Rudy Giuliani has dug up something on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, and the Justice Department is actually looking into it.

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“The Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from Rudy (Giuliani),” the president’s favorite anal beads, Lindsey Graham, said on CBS, citing a conversation with Attorney General William Barr.

“He told me that they have created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified,” said Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. So the Department of Justice, which is supposed to function as America’s top law enforcement agency, is basically the president’s henchman? Got it.

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CNN notes that all of this seems to be playing nicely with Republicans who love watching the president of the United States turn the highest office in the land into a damn cesspool of conspiracy theories and strong-arm bullshit.

“Trump last week had the highest approval rating of his presidency—49 percent in a Gallup tracking poll—and is building a formidable election machine in swing states while Democrats struggle to identify their best potential candidate to take him on. His State of the Union address last week underlined how Trump will use the strength of the economy—on which his ratings outpace his presidential job approval numbers, to make a case for a second term,” CNN reports.

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Which basically means we are going to be stuck with Trump and his insufferable band of groupies for another four years.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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