The new Congress is sworn in. Democrats take power in the House of Representatives and immediately vote to end the government shutdown and open the government.
The Republican-controlled Senate refuses to vote on any bill to open the government that does not include Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to build his wall, even though the Senate unanimously passed exactly that bill just a few weeks ago, before Trump decided to shut down the government.
As the government shutdown continues, hundreds of TSA employees, who are being forced to work without pay, begin calling in sick, causing massive lines and delays at airports around the country.
We learn that Trump’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs hid his affiliations with several Confederate groups from the Senate during his confirmation process.
In the aftermath of massive wildfires, Trump orders FEMA to withhold emergency funds from California.
We learn that after Trump’s secret meeting with Russian President Putin in 2018, he ordered his translator not to tell anyone in the US government what was discussed, and confiscated the translator’s notes from the meeting.
Bill Barr, Trump's nominee to be Attorney General, refuses to state the obvious: that American counterintelligence officials should know about the President's foreign business relationships.
Once confirmed, Barr will be directly overseeing the Special Counsel's investigation into the Russian attack on US elections.
The Defense Department reports that two-thirds of essential military installations in the United States are at risk and vulnerable to climate change effects such as flooding, drought, wildfires, and mudslides.
Trump continues to insist that climate change is a hoax.
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, admits that despite repeated previous denials by everyone involved, the Trump organization was communicating with the Russian government about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow throughout the 2016 election campaign, and as late as the day of the 2016 election.
The five Republicans on the Supreme Court allow Trump to enforce his transgender military ban while the lawsuit against it proceeds.
Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, cancels his scheduled appearance as a witness before the House Oversight Committee due to “ongoing threats against his family from President Trump”, according to Cohen’s lawyer.
We learn that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, had his application for a security clearance rejected by career security specialists, and a Trump political appointee overruled them.
At least 30 other Trump officials were also granted a security clearance as a result of the same political appointee overruling career security experts.
In the three years beforeTrump took office, only one security clearance had been granted over the objections of career security experts.
The FAA stops all flights into New York’s LaGuardia Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country, because of a shortage of air-traffic controllers, many of whom have simply stopped coming to work after before forced to work without pay for 35 days because Trump shut down the government.
Hours later, Trump backs down and finally agrees to reopen the government without funding for his border wall, ending the longest government shutdown in American history.
The Congressional Budget Office reports that the shutdown cost the US economy more than $11 billion in lost productivity.
A federal grand jury indicts Roger Stone, a Trump advisor and longtime Republican political operative, on seven charges including witness-tampering, obstruction, and lying under oath about the fact that during the 2016 election he acted as a conduit for communication between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks.
The indictment makes clear that throughout 2016 Trump and his campaign knew that Russian intelligence had stolen the DNC emails and given them to Julian Assange, and that they also were kept informed about when Wikileaks would be publicly releasing them.
The leaders of numerous American intelligence agencies publicly tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that:
Trump puts a former Koch Industries employee in charge of an EPA unit that regulates what companies need to pay in cleanup costs when they contaminate drinking water supplies with toxic chemicals.
Trump nominates a former oil lobbyist to be Interior Secretary, after his previous Interior Secretary resigned while under multiple investigations for unethical and possibly criminal behavior.
Trump’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announces that it will eliminate protections in order to make it easier for predatory payday lenders to rip off poor people.
During a hearing on voting rights and campaign finance legislation, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) demonstrates exactly how corporations and billionaires control our government.
Average farm income is now at an almost 15-year low, and American farm bankruptcies are rising fast because of Trump’s idiotic trade war that he started for no reason.
We learn that US banks saved more than $20 billion in taxes in 2018 because of Trump’s massive corporate tax cut, while they cut thousands of jobs.
During a vote on several of Trump's judicial nominees, Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) describes exactly how the billionaires who own the Republican Party are using it to control the federal courts, and then using the courts to further control the government and the economy.
Trump refuses to comply with a law that requires him to submit an official report to Congress determining whether the Saudi Crown Prince was responsible for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump’s Homeland Security Department guts two federal task forces that are supposed to protect the 2020 elections from foreign interference.
We learn that Trump’s EPA has been refusing to release any public assessments of potential threats to human health from chemicals since June 2018.
Trump declares a national emergency in order to pay for his border wall.
The national emergency law allows a President to spend taxpayer money without Congressional authorization. But it requires that an emergency actually exists. There is none, as Trump himself made clear when he official declared it, literally saying, “I didn’t need to do this.”
By using a pretend emergency in order to justify bypassing Congress’s constitutional authority, Trump is fundamentally violating the Constitution and the rule of law.
16 States sue the Trump Administration in an attempt to block his fake Emergency Declaration from going into effect.
North Carolina’s State Elections Board orders a new election in the state’s Ninth Congressional District, after the Republican nominee in the 2018 election hired a “consultant” who committed absentee voter fraud on a massive scale.
Days later, the consultant is indicted on seven criminal charges including obstruction of justice.
A federal judge rules that Trump’s Labor Secretary, Alex Acosta, violated federal law when, as a federal prosecutor, he gave an extraordinarily lenient plea deal to Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire friend of Trump’s who was accused of sexually assaulting more than 30 children, and then concealing the deal from the victims.
Epstein served only 13 months in a county jail.
Robert Kraft, another of Trump’s billionaire friends, is charged with soliciting prostitution in connection with an underage sex slave ring run out of a massage parlor near Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort.
Another billionaire and major Republican Donor, John Childs, is also charged in connection with the same human trafficking sex slave ring.
As a result of the Republicans' trillion dollar tax cut for billionaires, average Americans’ tax refunds have shrunk 17% from the year before.
The newly appointed Chair of the Election Assistance Commission, an agency tasked with helping the States secure their elections, is a Republican who says she does not believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
During a Senate hearing with Trump’s Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Senator Warren (D-MA) shows exactly how the Federal Reserve helps big banks get bigger at the expense of the public.
The Democratic-controlled House passes a bill requiring universal background checks on all gun sales.
After his second meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, Trump says he doesn’t believe that Kim was aware of the torture of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was arrested by North Korea and tortured into a vegetative state, which led to his death in 2017.
We learn that Trump ordered John Kelly, his former chief of staff, to give his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a security clearance over the objections of intelligence officials and of the White House’s top lawyer.
Trump has previously denied having anything to do with Kushner’s security clearance.
We learn that Trump overruled career intelligence officials, his own Chief of Staff, and the White House Counsel, in order to grant his daughter Ivanka a security clearance.
At least eight Trump administration officials are refusing to appear before House committees, and the White House is refusing to provide documents to at least a dozen House committees.
We learn that the government has set up a secret database tracking immigration activists and journalists covering immigration, and has placed alerts on their passports.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, is sentenced to less than 4 years in prison.
Manafort was convicted of at least 8 felonies, including five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to declare a foreign bank account.
Federal sentencing guidelines recommended a sentence of 19-24 years. But the judge is a Republican, so Manafort was only sentenced to 47 months
Democrats in the House pass a major election reform bill that would hugely expand early voting and automatic voter registration, make Election Day a federal holiday, reform gerrymandered congressional districts, and reduce the influence of wealthy political donors.
Republicans in the House unanimously voted against the bill, and the Republican-controlled Senate will not even vote on it.
Trump’s proposed federal budget for the year includes another $1 trillion tax cut for the ultrawealthy, repealing Obamacare, cutting $845 billion from Medicare, $220 billion from food stamp programs, $207 billion from student loan programs, and completely eliminating Medicaid.
This won’t become law because Democrats control the House, but the massive amount of physical harm these Republican priorities would cause to millions of Americans is difficult to imagine.
We learn that the former owner of the Florida “massage parlor” sex-slave brothel that apparently caters to billionaire Republican donors has been selling access to Trump to Chinese business executives.
Trump’s Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau cancels an Obama-era rule in order to help predatory payday lending companies extort an additional $7.3 billion from poor people.
Trump orders the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to close all of its offices outside the United States, in order to slow down the processing of family visa applications, foreign adoptions, and citizenship petitions from US military service members stationed outside the US.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, is sentenced to another three and a half years in prison by a second federal judge.
Manafort had plead guilty to several charges, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to obstruct justice, money laundering, tax fraud, being an unregistered foreign agent, and witness tampering.
Immediately after the federal sentencing, New York state prosecutors charge Manafort with 16 additional crimes, including several charges of mortgage fraud and conspiracy. Unlike his federal convictions, Trump has no power to pardon Manafort if he is convicted on any of these charges.
After virtually every other country in the world grounds all Boeing 737 Max planes due to a series of malfunctions that caused numerous crashes and near-crashes, Trump finally allows the FAA to do the same.
Boeing donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee, and Boeing’s CEO had personally called Trump and asked him not to ground the planes.
The Defense Department sends Congress a list of $12.9 billion worth of military construction projects that it had previously told Congress were necessary but now plans to cancel in order to begin building Trump’s border wall under the authority of his fake emergency declaration.
The five Republicans on the Supreme Court decide that immigrants who have been released after committing minor crimes can years later be re-arrested and then detained indefinitely, and that this applies even to legal immigrants who have been living in the United States for decades.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps warns the Pentagon that Trump’s insistence on deploying troops to the southwest border during the 2018 midterm elections, and his fake national emergency orders to transfer military funding to pay for his border wall, constitute “unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency.”
Special Counsel Mueller delivers his report to Bill Barr, Trump's Attorney General.
Within 48 hours, without releasing the report, Barr releases a 4 page letter stating that he has determined that Trump did not obstruct justice, even though the report left that question unresolved and explicitly said that it "does not exonerate" Trump.
Barr, in June 2018, had publicly written that Trump could not have obstructed justice, which is precisely why Trump nominated him to be the Attorney General.
The House votes 420-0 to make the report public. Senate Republicans refusee to allow the Senate to vote on the question.
Within a few days, Trump begins accusing FBI officials involved in the investigation of committing treason.
Literally hours after the Treasury Department imposes new sanctions on North Korea, Trump reverses them.
The White House's official explanation is that Trump “likes Chairman Kim.”
Trump orders the Justice Department to ask a federal appeals court to declare all of Obamacare, including the protections for pre-existing conditions, unconstitutional.
This is done over the objections of Trump’s own Secretary of Health and Human Services, and of his own Attorney General.
Trump attempts to cut all federal funding for the Special Olympics.
The same amount of money would cover what the government spends for five of Trump’s regular trips to his Mar-A-Lago resort.
The NRA orders it’s Republican members of Congress to vote against the Violence Against Women Act, because it doesn’t like that it bans people convicted of beating up their girlfriends from possessing guns.
Border Patrol agents in El Paso are holding hundreds of migrant families in a large caged pen in a parking lot under a bridge.
A whistleblower in the White House Personnel Security Office tells Congress that as many as 25 senior Trump Administration officials have been given high-level security clearances despite their applications being denied by career security specialists.
Trump cuts all foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
This is apparently meant as a punishment for the migrants coming from those countries, but will have the effect of further destabilizing those societies and causing more people to attempt to immigrate from them.
Trump’s Homeland Security Department's Office of Intelligence and Analysis disbands its intelligence unit that focused on domestic terrorism, including white supremacist terrorism, which is growing.
Secret Service officials arrest a Chinese spy at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort.
She was caught with four cell phones, a thumb drive containing malware, and multiple Chinese passports. She also had a device to detect hidden cameras, dozens of other electronic devices, a signal detector, several debit cards, and thousands of dollars in cash in her hotel room.
A week later, Trump fires the Director of the Secret Service.
Several North Carolina Republican officials are indicted, including the state party chair, who is indicted for trying to bribe the state insurance commissioner and for lying to the FBI.
At least 14 donors to Trump’s inaugural fund have been nominated to be ambassadors.
Members of the Special Counsel's Office begin telling the media that Attorney General Barr’s letter, that supposedly summarizes the Special Counsel's report, is not an accurate representation of the evidence they found against Trump, which they describe as “alarming and significant.”
Senate Republicans block a vote on a resolution to release the Mueller report. This is the fifth time they have blocked this vote.
Trump stops the USDA from conducting any meat-safety inspections in the pork industry. From now on, the pork industry will be allowed to “inspect” itself.
It appears very likely that Trump and Jared Kushner have facilitated the transfer of US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia without Congress’s permission.
This would allow the Saudis to build a nuclear reactor without any safeguards preventing them from making nuclear weapons or any requirements that they submit to International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.
Trump withdraws his nominee for ICE Director.
The withdrawn nominee has been the Acting Director of ICE since June 2018, and before that was the Chief of the Border Patrol. He’s been intimately involved with implementing Trump’s atrocities against migrant children, but Trump withdrew his nomination because he says he wants someone “tougher”.
We learn that from June 2018 to December 2018, Trump’s Department of Education refused to approve or deny a single application under the borrower defense program, which allows Americans who were defrauded by predatory colleges to be relieved of some of their student loan debt.
This refusal to comply with the law continued even after a federal judge ordered the Education Department to enforce the program in October 2018.
There are now more than 150,000 Americans with pending claims, many of whom have had their tax refunds garnished by Trump’s Treasury Department to pay the fraudulent debt while his Education Department refuses to process the claims.
Trump fires his Secretary of Homeland Security, apparently because despite her willingness to commit illegal atrocities against migrant children in the past, she disagreed with Trump’s latest plan to conduct mass raid on suspected undocumented immigrant families in 10 American cities, targeting thousands of parents and children for arrest.
With this firing, the withdrawal of his nominee for ICE Director, and the announced departure of the Homeland Security Department General Counsel and the Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Trump is purging the Department of Homeland Security of its leaders, in order to replace them with people even worse then they are.
Trump also illegally appoints the head of Customs and Border Protection to be Acting Homeland Security Secretary, despite the law clearly specifying that a different official, the Under Secretary for Management, becomes the Acting Secretary in this circumstance.
Trump personally tells a group of border patrol agents to stop letting asylum seekers into the country even if they are ordered to do so by a judge.
Both US and International law allow asylum seekers to enter the country.
Trump also explicitly tells the Acting DHS Secretary that he should refuse to follow a court order requiring him to admit asylum seekers, and that if he were jailed as a result, Trump would pardon him.
Attorney General Barr begins an investigation into the FBI’s investigation of Trump’s campaign, in order to satisfy Republican conspiracy theories about an anti-Trump deep state.
Trump then gives Barr unprecedented authority to declassify any information held by any US intelligence agency, including the identities of American spies in Russia.
Treasury Security Steve Mnuchin illegally refuses to give Trump’s tax return to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Trump’s sister, who is a federal appellate judge, retires in order to stop a judicial investigation into the massive tax fraud that she and her siblings, including the President, engaged in to avoid paying taxes on the hundreds of millions of dollars their parents gave them.
Trump and Senate Republicans block a bill funding recovery from natural disasters all over the country because it includes funding for disaster recovery in Puerto Rico.
Trump announces that Homeland Security might begin rounding up undocumented immigrants, transporting them en masse to sanctuary cities, and dumping them on the street, in order to pressure Democratic politicians.
It's notable that in Trump's mind, undocumented immigrants are rapists and murderers. So what he's actually saying here is that he believes that Americans who disagree with him politically should be raped and murdered, and that he is seriously considering implementing a policy that he believes will make that more likely to occur.
Trump’s Justice Department officially takes the legal position that the President, and by extension all federal officials, can accept unlimited amounts of money from foreign governments without violating the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, as long as the bribes are routed through some sort of business entity owned by the federal official.
Attorney General Barr orders all immigration judges to deny bail and detain indefinitely all immigrants claiming asylum while they wait for their asylum claims to be processed.
Attorney General Barr releases a redacted version of Special Counsel Mueller’s report.
It documents multiple links between Trump’s Campaign and Russian agents, including explicit Russian offers of assistance to the Campaign, and the Campaign's frequent receptiveness to those offers.
It also explicitly states that if Mueller’s team had confidence that Trump did not obstruct justice, they would say so, and that they are unable to say so.
Before releasing the report, Barr holds a press conference at which he says that he has decided that Trump didn’t commit a crime because when he tried to obstruct justice he was frustrated and therefore didn’t have corrupt intent. That is not the law.
The day after the report is released, Trump accuses people involved in the Special Counsel’s investigation of treason.
Trump’s illegally appointed Acting Secretary of Homeland Security announces that the government will build two “tent city” camps to detain migrant families and children in Texas.
Trump announces that his administration will refuse to respond to all Congressional subpoenas.
We learn that Trump’s Chief of Staff ordered the former Secretary of Homeland Security not to mention the need to protect the 2020 election from Russian attacks in front of Trump, because it would make him angry and because he didn’t want to hear about it.
A federal court rules that Michigan Republicans have unconstitutionally gerrymandered the State's congressional districts.
Trump tells an NRA convention that the Special Counsel’s investigation was a “coup”, and then tells Fox News that “this was an attempted overthrow of the United States government.”
A white supremacist, motivated by Republican conspiracy theories about Jews orchestrating an “invasion” by non-white immigrants, murders one person and shoots six others in a synagogue near San Diego.
The day before the shooting, Trump had again publicly praised the white nationalists at the 2017 Nazi rally in Charlottesville.
Attorney General Barr refuses to attend a House Judiciary Committee hearing where he would have been questioned about his conduct by the Committee’s professional staff attorneys.
Florida Republicans pass an unconstitutional poll tax in order to try to prevent 500,000 Americans from voting in Florida.
Trump’s Interior Secretary, a former oil lobbyist, removes safety regulations on offshore drilling that were put in place after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 that killed 11 people and caused more than $60 billion worth of damage.
A federal court rules that North Carolina Republicans have unconstitutionally gerrymandered the State’s congressional districts.
Democrats in the House pass a bill requiring the US to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
Republicans in the Senate refuse to allow a vote on the bill.
John Kelly, Trump’s former Chief of Staff, joins the Board of Directors of the company operating the largest jail for immigrant children in the US.
Economists at the Agriculture Department publish reports demonstrating that the giant Republican tax cut for billionaires and Trump’s idiotic trade war are both causing significant financial harm to farmers.
Trump's Agriculture Secretary punishes the economists, leading many to resign.
Trump’s EPA ignores its own scientists’ advice and refuses to ban asbestos.
Virtually every other industrialized country in the world has banned asbestos because of the harm it causes to human health.
A gunman shoots and murders 1 child and injures another 8 children at a school in Colorado.
Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate do nothing. Trump doesn't even bother issuing a useless "thoughts and prayers" statement.
Multiple States with Republican-controlled governments pass laws criminalizing abortion, including some which include punishment of 99 years in prison.
These laws are unconstitutional, and are being passed in order to get the issue in front of the Supreme Court so that the five Republicans on the Court can overturn Roe v. Wade and erase abortion rights in the US.
China imposes yet another $60 billion in tariffs on American products, including frozen fruits and vegetables, baking condiments, chemicals, vodka, and animal products, in response to Trump’s idiotic trade war.
Democrats in the House pass a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It will not become law because Republicans control the Senate and the White House.
A day after Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development tells Congress that he has no plans to cancel an Obama rule prohibiting federal housing discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, his department proposes a new rule that would allow homeless shelters to use religious beliefs to deny entry to homeless people, and would require transgender women to use men’s sleeping quarters and restrooms.
Trump announces he will spend yet another $16 billion of taxpayer money on special welfare payments to farmers who are being decimated by his idiotic trade war that he started for no reason.
Most of this welfare money will actually go to multimillion-dollar farming operations, not to small family farms.
Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services cancels an Obama regulation that prohibited health care discrimination against transgender patients.
Trump declares another “emergency” in order to sell $8 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia despite Congress having blocked the arms sale last year after a Saudi Arabian hit squad murdered and dismembered a Washington Post journalist.
Democrats in the Texas State Senate force the Republican Texas Attorney General to resign after he conducted a voter purge that un-registered thousands of American citizens.
Trump’s Director of the US Geological Survey, which produces computer-generated climate models, orders the agency to stop using models that project the effects of climate change through the end of the century, and instead to use models that stop projections at 2040.
The most severe damage to our planet as a result of climate change will, of course, happen between 2040 and the end of the century.
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