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Trump White House's fatal flaws revealed in startling detail

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) discusses call records between Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. A Nunes spokesman did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

Posted: Dec 4, 2019 1:00 AM
Updated: Dec 4, 2019 1:00 AM

The big takeaways in the House Intelligence Committee report on its impeachment inquiry point to the inescapable conclusion that President Trump abused his office as he asked Ukraine to dig for dirt on his rival Joe Biden.

The report is also filled with a blizzard of details about the President's trusted men. What it says about the culture they inhabit is just as troubling.

One by one, officials in Trump's administration, including cabinet members, seem to have set aside duty and morality in service to a President who considers himself the embodiment of the state. Trump came before country in breathtaking displays of subservience.

In its 300-page report, the committee reveals that the point man was the President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani who schemed for months to set up the Ukraine gambit. In that time, Giuliani, former mayor of New York, frequently called a number the report said was associated with the Office of Management and Budget, which is run by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

The OMB matters because it is the agency that held-up nearly $400 million in approved war-fighting aid Ukraine needed to withstand Russian-backed proxies waging a civil war in its eastern region. Mulvaney matters because he's the man who told the press, falsely, that the politicization of foreign policy engineered by Trump is common and everyone should just "get over it.

The report also notes that Vice President Mike Pence was among the officials who were "either knowledgeable of or an active participant in" the effort. He also joined in the obstruction of Congress alleged by the committee, refusing to supply a single document it requested.

Also in the mix was the ranking Republican on the committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, who it seems was in touch with Giuliani and his helper in this escapade, Lev Parnas, at key moments. No one has been more devoted in his support for Trump than Nunes. The fact that he participated in the committee's work without revealing he was in touch with the Ukraine plotters is at best a profound ethical breach. (The phone records cited in the committee's report don't reveal what Nunes, Giuliani and Parnas discussed.)

The report's rogues' gallery is rounded out by recently departed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Both men are noted for their obstruction. Perry is also cited as one of the "three amigos" who worked together to bring Ukraine in line.

As revealed in the report, Giuliani, Nunes, Pence, Perry, Pompeo and Mulvaney are glaring examples of the kind of behavior Americans fear is common at the upper reaches of power. They are depicted in the report as people of poor character who are devoted to winning by any means necessary. (All of them have denied wrongdoing and have contended their actions were proper.)

Your character is what you do when no one is looking. It is driven by virtues like honesty, respect for others, reverence for the law. All of these people appear to lack these virtues. They've gone around doing manipulative and deceptive things and striven to keep them secret.

That they made their way to power is no surprise given who Trump is. Like attracts like in this case. Besides, who else was Trump going to draw near? In rare cases where he has attracted top talent like James Mattis and Gary Cohn, he has been unable to keep them. The ones who stick are the ones who have been tested and shown themselves either to be weaklings or suck-ups who are OK with schemes, conspiracy theories and lies.

These events are tragic for the country, tragic for the individual plotters and their families and tragic for the GOP. Redemption for the country lies in the truth -- and impeachment.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1385749

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1538881574
Cuyahoga1358332341
Hamilton987081326
Montgomery679671161
Summit568451051
Lucas51531869
Butler48000663
Stark42232983
Lorain32046539
Warren30404338
Mahoning27463643
Clermont25990297
Lake24809422
Delaware22566147
Licking20767246
Fairfield20730223
Greene20611275
Trumbull20257516
Medina20074290
Clark18170332
Richland16680236
Portage16389231
Wood15926209
Allen14333261
Miami14018261
Muskingum12927155
Wayne12185244
Columbiana11980242
Tuscarawas11204271
Marion10908150
Pickaway10606129
Scioto10531127
Erie9864171
Ross9612177
Lawrence8934125
Hancock8603143
Ashtabula8474187
Geauga8251156
Belmont8236188
Jefferson7691175
Huron7537131
Union742651
Washington7380126
Athens709365
Sandusky6963135
Darke6875137
Knox6812122
Seneca6519137
Ashland6051115
Auglaize595388
Shelby5820104
Brown575372
Mercer565190
Defiance5564101
Crawford5563117
Madison551071
Highland549282
Fulton542583
Clinton533781
Logan518687
Preble5102111
Putnam4900107
Guernsey484364
Williams468982
Perry462254
Champaign454264
Ottawa442484
Jackson434563
Pike398345
Morrow396451
Coshocton391969
Fayette383753
Adams369275
Hardin366170
Gallia355458
Holmes3321111
Henry329869
Van Wert320771
Hocking310770
Wyandot285458
Carroll266352
Paulding246443
Meigs221742
Monroe192749
Noble174142
Morgan170029
Harrison160741
Vinton141319
Unassigned05
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