Off the books

Oh did he now.

Business Insider:

“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace said Sunday morning that top US officials confirmed President Donald Trump was working with more than one personal lawyer “off the books” to pressure Ukranian officials for damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden.

Wallace reported that in addition to his known personal lawyer, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has publicly admitted to his involvement in the matter, Trump has been working with the controversial legal team and married couple Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, who run a firm in Washington, D.C., to communicate with Ukraine.

And not to communicate with Ukraine about the weather or football or the wheat crop, either.

Trump was going to hire them but decided not to because of a conflict of interest: Toensing had represented witnesses who had talked to Mueller’s team. Imagine that: Trump for once noticed a conflict of interest, no doubt because this one wouldn’t be useful to him.

DiGenova and Toensing have controversial reputations for pushing conspiracy theories about the Department of Justice and the FBI, including that officials within the FBI have tried to “frame” Trump for “nonexistent crimes.”

Translation: they’re right-wing wack jobs.

DiGenova also called for the firing of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, referred to Mueller’s team as “legal terrorists,” and called former FBI Director James Comey a “dirty cop.” In February, on conservative personality Laura Ingraham’s podcast, diGenova said the US is in a civil war, and suggested that people buy guns to prepare for potential combat between warring factions.

They sound nice.

Just three days ago, diGenova appeared on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s segment to deny that what the president said in the memo detailing his known call with Ukraine constituted a crime.

“Let me underscore emphatically that nothing that the President said on that call, or what we think he said on that call constitutes a crime,” diGenova said, without disclosing any involvement of his own. “And even if he had said, you’re not going to get the money, it would not be a crime.”

Nice, and also honest and forthright.

According to the US official who Wallace used as his anonymous source, only Trump knows the full details concerning diGenova and Toensing’s involvement in the Ukraine efforts, because the president worked with the two “off the books,” choosing not to involve people within his White House administration itself.

So using his office to put the arm on Ukraine, but using “off the books” lawyers to do it. That’s got to be illegal in both directions.

Calls for Trump’s impeachment note that he withheld $400 million in foreign aid from Ukraine in the process of asking for damaging information about his 2020 presidential contender. The president could potentially be breaking four laws: illegally soliciting campaign help from a foreign government, bribery, misappropriation, and conspiracy.

Dirtier every day.

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