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Trump's appeal in Ukraine reveals a president convinced of his own invincibility

As history in Ukraine flares up on Friday, President Trump is preparing to host a state dinner. (Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post)

When Special Attorney Robert's Congressional Certificate on July 24 Mueller III denied hopes of impeaching the Democrats, President Trump called "without collusion" and demanded justification for accusing him of colluding with Russia in the 2016 elections.

Then, the very next day, Trump allegedly that he sought to speak with another party in the forthcoming elections – Prov ska Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski to unearth what he believes will harm the information about one of his leading democratic osporvachi, former Vice President Joe Biden, according to people familiar with the conversation.

by Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolf W. Giuliani, to influence the newly elected Ukrainian leader reveals a president convinced of his own invincibility – apparently eager and even eager to seize the vast powers of the United States to woo politicians that no one can hold him.

"We haven't seen anything like this in our lives," says William A. Galston, a senior management associate at the Brookings Institution who graduated from college shortly before Watergate. "He seems to be holding the rest of the political system to a halt – and if he doesn't, he will go further."

The effort – came after the Trump administration refused financial and military support from Ukraine to help small democracy defend itself against Russian aggression – illustrating Trump's expanding view of the executive and what appears to be a cavalier attitude about the legal restrictions on his behavior.

While Mueller's investigation did not place Trump directly in the Russian conspiracy to interfere during the 2016 presidential election and intensified Trump's candidacy, the president was an active participant in the Ukrainian episode, which was brought to light by a complaint by intelligence officials of intelligence officers.

Trump has stated that he did nothing wrong in his discussions with Zelensky or any other foreign leader, and on Saturday he mocked Democrats and the media for what he called "the hunt" of witches in Ukraine. " [1 9659011] But control over the phone call has brought new danger to Trump's presidency and may intensify efforts by some Democrats in the House to initiate impeachment proceedings.

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump congratulate Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny Morrison, on a state visit to the White House on Friday. (The Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post)

The Democrats' impotence from their inability to check Trump and hold him accountable for his behavior after the nine-month majority begins to boil. Lawmakers say for the first time that their MP appears to be indifferent, with some worrying that their negligent surveillance and reliance on the courts for possible bailouts prove fruitless.

"We're giving up everything," said the rap. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee). "We were very weak."

House Democrats are already investigating whether Trump and Julian refuse US assistance to the Ukrainian government until it agrees to investigate corruption involving Biden and his son, Hunter. But when asked if he or Trump were worried about congressional investigations, Julianne laughed.

"They are a bunch of bounty hunters and have lost all credibility," the president's lawyer said.

Giuliani stated new control over Trump's communications with Zelensky. is welcome because it draws attention to the involvement of Biden and his family in Ukraine.

"The reality is, the more Democrats insist on investigating what I have done in Ukraine, I urge it," said Giuliani. "I just do my job as a poor, simple, little defense lawyer who defends his client."

Former spokesman for New Gingrich, an ally of Trump, said the president had estimated that there was a political crisis that would drew attention to Ukraine and a story that, in his opinion, "would crush Biden if people came to believe that this was true."

"If you were to be Andrew Jackson, there would be consequences, but he would be called the" great destroyer. " "," Gingrich said, drawing parallels between the seventh president and the 45th. "He gets up every morning and thinks, 'What can I interrupt?' "He will not back down."

Trump's Feeling of Being Above the Law is reinforced throughout his service. As detailed in Mueller's report, he received assistance from a foreign adversary in 2016 with no legal consequence. He tried to thwart Russia's investigation and possibly obstruct justice without consequences. Through the government, he makes profits for his business without repercussions. It has blocked Congress' ability to oversee without consequence.

It is now claimed that he used taxpayers' dollars and the US military could force a foreign government to oppose a political opponent's opposition, and it is unclear what consequences, if any, he could face.

"We're progressively desensitized," says Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney in the Obama administration. "We learn about mistakes gradually and one part is absorbed before the next part is revealed, so for some reason the public is not excited about it. It's mystical. "

One explanation is that Republicans in Congress have fallen almost evenly in line behind Trump, responding with instinctive dissent and blocking efforts to investigate or hold him accountable.

" What we find is, that the constitution is not a mechanism in itself, "Galston said. "After all, we are a government of the people, not a law. The law has no power without people who are ready to apply it. The ball is already directly in the court of the Republican Party, and in particular of the Senate Republicans. Will they ever be ready to say enough? "

Legal experts said it was extraordinary that Trump claimed he sought political assistance from a foreign government after a tormented, almost three-year national conversation about the illegality of it. Asked what the president had learned from Mueller's investigation, former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman replied, "Nothing. Zero. "

" I think he thinks it's perfectly fine, "Ackerman said." This man has no qualms. I don't think he would stop for a second. "

Trump said in June that you would accept assistance with his 2020 re-election campaign from another state that would be against the law.

"There's nothing wrong with listening," told ABC News presenter George Stephanopoulos. "If someone calls from a party, Norway – 'We have information about your opponent' – oh, I think I'd like to hear it."

This past week, in a federal lawsuit in New York, to block a subpoena a subpoena issued by prosecutors in Manhattan for his tax returns, Trump's lawyers argued with a broad legal theory that the Constitution does not allow criminal investigations of the president while in office. Although the Justice Department concluded that the president could not be charged during his post, he never suggested that simply investigating a person would be out of bounds.

Trump's moves in Ukraine are not of tertiary interest. For years, it has been a priority for the United States to increase the effective force of the Ukrainian military to form violence against Russia.

Nicholas Burns, former US ambassador to NATO and senior national security officer and diplomatic past Republican and Democratic administration said Ukraine was "a major interest of the United States – and if the stories are true, the president is cavalierly pushing national interests "In favor of his own political interests."

"This is clearly a wrong and a manifest abuse of power," added Burns, who informally advises Biden on foreign policy.

Trump mocked the media for covering his complaint Right-wing media personalities rose to Trump amid an attack, ignoring an anonymous whistleblower as part of a "deep state" conspiracy to remove the president from office.

'the coup actually continues; it didn't stop, "Rush Limbo insisted to his listeners on his radio program last week, saying there was a" speech police "in the intelligence community.

Matthew G. Whitaker, Trump's former acting lawyer, told the Fox News Channel, "This is a clear example of someone who is part of the deep state in the intelligence community, taking advantage of this reporting process and then trying to create this militant storm. "

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), A member of the Foreign Relations Committee who recently met with Zelensky in Ukraine, said he and other Democrats are disappointed with the inclusive culture of inaction among congressional Republicans.

"If it is true that the president wanted the president of Ukraine to interfere in the US election, we are in really dangerous, brand new territory," Murphy said. "This is absolutely, totally unacceptable in a democracy."

Cabinet Chairman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Often declares that "no one is above the law" and promised that her party would hold Trump "responsible." [19659043] But she has so far refused to initiate green light impeachment proceedings – creating tension with Judiciary Committee Chairman Gerald Nadler (DN.Y.), among others who support impeachment – and instead sought the courts to counteracting the White House's move to

"When will we take our calls seriously?" Asked a disappointed reporter, Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), Who insists on leadership fining non-Trump employees tailored to their investigations. "We need to get some teeth in it."

Some Democrats have come to suggest that the Democrats' reluctance to impeach Trump only encouraged the president's lawlessness.

"Following Mueller's report, Congress had an obligation to begin impeachment," Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the top Democratic presidential candidate, wrote on Twitter on Friday night. "Unsuccessfully Acting Congress is complicit in Trump's latest attempt to seek foreign intervention to assist him in the US election. Perform your constitutional duty and the president's impeachment. "

Democrats' vocalization of helplessness was particularly sharp at the end of an embarrassing week, highlighting how the Trump administration has managed to run circles around its investigations.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski turned a challenging pose before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, avoiding questions, talking to members and even promoting his own potential Senate bid and book sale. the administration refuses to pass on the complaint to reporters that Trump is compromising national security with some "promise" to a foreign official. Although the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community considered the issue of credible and "urgent" concern, the administration blocked the complaint from being shared with Congress.

"As president, it just overwhelms us," the rap complained. Eric Swallowwell (D-Calif.), Former Presidential Candidate for 2020 "I mean, you have kids in cages – we're trying to deal with that. We have continuous mass shootings and it will not help us in this. And then you have the urgency of it [oversight]. So, I mean, it's really just kind of, where do you prioritize your resources and your time? "

Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.

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