Donald Trump v. The United States Book Summary By Michael S. Schmidt

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Donald Trump v.

The United States (2020) is a comprehensive, detailed look at the 2016 US presidential election and its aftermath.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael S.

Schmidt, it's an up-close look at how the Special Counsel investigation was funded, pursued and ultimately hindered by President Trump and his Justice Department.

It offers insight into how the White House Counsel provided invaluable assistance in this process – while also sharing the consequences of their involvement.

A must-read for any political aficionado that wants to understand what happened before and after the pivotal election that brought Donald Trump to office.

Donald Trump v. The United States Book

Book Name: Donald Trump v. The United States (Inside the Struggle to Stop a President)

Author(s): Michael S. Schmidt

Rating: 4/5

Reading Time: 29 Minutes

Categories: Politics

Author Bio

Michael S.

Schmidt is an author with a wealth of experience in reporting and writing.

For the past 15 years, he's been with the New York Times, starting at the foreign desk before eventually becoming a Washington correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner.

He has worked mainly on coverage of politics and sports, garnering recognition for his work on performance-enhancing drugs.

His latest work is "Donald Trump v.

The United States" which delves into Donald Trump's time as President and the aftermath of his presidential term.

The Curious Tale Of James Comey And Don Mcgahn: Experiencing The Turbulence Of The Trump Presidency

Don Mcgahn

The explosive new book “Donald Trump v.

The United States” takes readers deep into the tumultuous 2016 US Presidential campaign and the first couple of years of the chaotic Trump administration—all from an upclose look at two key figures: FBI Director James Comey and White House Counsel Don McGahn.

You’ll get a revealing look into many of the controversies that both men were involved in during this challenging period—and you may be surprised at how uncomfortable McGahn found a personal dinner invitation from President Trump!

You’ll also learn what motivated McGahn to cooperate so extensively with Robert Mueller’s investigation, as well as why the Justice Department chose to limit the scope of Mueller’s review.

It’s a wild story which Donald Trump v.

The United States paints in vivid detail.

Readers will feel like they are right there in the room witnessing all these events first-hand!

The Fbi’S Involvement In The 2016 Us Presidential Election Was Influenced By Political Events That Took Place Years Prior

The FBI’s involvement in the 2016 US Presidential Election was rooted in events that had been years in the making.

From Mitt Romney’s attempt to capitalize on the 2012 American Embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya to the right-wing Tea Party members who called for an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, it was clear that Donald Trump would not be facing a normal election season.

Romney capitalized on the attack to criticize Obama’s administration and many senior-ranking senators including John McCain expressed disapproval of Romney breaking traditions by politicizing a tragedy.

This marked a turning point and encouraged others to question Obama’s patriotism more openly – creating a momentum that eventually led to an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Here it was seen that her private email address had been used, but it would not be until 2016 when this led to repercussions for her presidential campaign and ultimately aided Donald Trump in winning office.

The Motivation Behind James Comey’s Unprecedented Action On Hillary Clinton’S Emails: Setting Precedents And Preserving Apoliticism

FBI Director James Comey had been determined to stay as neutral and apolitical as possible – so when the Hillary Clinton email case was referred to the FBI in July of 2015, he was not happy.

He knew that no matter what decision was made, it would have political consequences.

Rather than just quietly close the investigation without any explanation, he decided to take control of the situation and speak up.

On July 6th, he held a 15 minute press conference detailing all of their findings – ultimately concluding that although there had been “carelessness”, no charges were appropriate.

This drew criticism from both sides of the aisle – Democrats outraged that he had featured in a politically-charged decision, while Republicans argued about why sheer negligence wasn’t charged more stringently.

Despite this, after July it seemed as though the issue had been put to rest – but only due to Director Comey’s heroic effort to explain his finding before Congress could step in and demand an explanation themselves.

James Comey’s Attempt At Being Apolitical Boomerangs And Leads To Unexpected Results In The 2016 Us Election

James Comey's

When former Congressman Anthony Weiner was found to have been exchanging emails with a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina, this uncovered new emails from Hillary Clinton on Weiner’s laptop.

Director of the FBI James Comey then found himself in an impossible situation as he sought to stay apolitical and transparent about the investigation but his decisions still had repercussions for all.

Though Comey had tried to be unbiased, he called upon his wife Patrice for her advice when making decisions, understanding the difficult spot he was in.

She sympathized with him despite not fully agreeing with his choices and aptly pointed out “This is going to be bad for you”.

Despite releasing a statement that nothing would change after reviewing the new emails days before election day, many viewed Comey’s actions as detrimental and worked against Clinton during her bid for office.

This resulted in key lost votes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania which led Trump to victory, claiming victory across the Electoral College despite losing in overall popular vote numbers.

The comely controversy did not end there however as he now had to work under Donald Trump’s administration following a past investigation into possible ties between Trump and Russian agents months prior.

It was clear that whatever actions were taken from this point on would need to be even more carefully considered by everyone involved if further disasters were to be avoided.

The Fbi’S Investigation Into Trump Revealed Deep Ties To Russia And Potentially Devastating Evidence

When investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 US Presidential election, the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered many concerning ties.

The FBI found out that campaign chairman Paul Manafort had worked with Russian oligarchs such as Oleg Deripaska in the past, leading to speculation that there were financial ties between them.

Furthermore, Manafort was also associated with a Ukranian who had close ties with Russian intelligence.

The FBI also discovered evidence of direct interference by Russia in the election when their servers were hacked by Russians.

This led President Obama to issue economic sanctions against Russia, yet to everyone’s surprise there was no retaliation from them.

In addition, through intercepted phone conversations between Michael Flynn (Trump’s national security advisor) and the Russian ambassador, it seemed that Flynn had promised not to respond aggressively against any actions taken by Trump’s administration towards Russia after his inauguration – something highly suspicious for someone who worked in a position of power in the US government.

This treasonous behaviour extended further into George Papadopoulos’ dealings on behalf of Trump; he held meetings with people in London who offered help connecting the campaign to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and revealed to an Australian ambassador about dirt on Hillary Clinton supplied by Russia.

All in all, while Donald Trump himself may have not have been implicated directly into these dealings – given his dependence on Russian investors for many of his business operations – this finding casts a shadow over him as well as several key players within his team.

Trump’S Quest For Loyalty Leads To Comey’s Dismissal

Donald Trump made it very clear from the start that he wanted loyalty from FBI Director James Comey.

When the two first had their one-on-one dinner at the White House, Trump made his expectations known by stating, “I need loyalty.” A second time during the conversation, when Comey responded “You will always get honesty from me,” Trump replied with a revised expectation of “honest loyalty.”

This situation unfortunately didn’t improve and deteriorated as time went on.

Whenever Comey mentioned or investigated any subject related to Michael Flynn or the potential Russian interference in the 2016 election, Donald Trump expressed an ever-increasing desire for Comey to do things his way and drop investigations without just cause.

Even though Comey refused to comply with what were some obviously unethical requests, this only left Donald Trump feeling frustrated and betrayed – thus leading him to make his eventual decision to fire Comey as FBI Director in May of 2017.

Don Mcgahn Learned The Hard Way That Deflecting Trump’S Unreasonable Requests Was The Best Course Of Action

Don Mcgahn

When Don McGahn took on the role of White House Counsel, he quickly discovered that President Donald Trump was an unpredictable and combative leader.

From the earliest days of his administration, demands were made of McGahn that were often unreasonable – such as a request to get Attorney General Jeff Sessions to unrecuse himself from anything related to the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

McGahn refused to comply with these requests and attempted to deflect them whenever possible.

But when Trump moved ahead with firing James Comey, McGahn could do little more than watch as his worst fears were realized – that it would lead to even more chaos and controversy for the fledgling administration.

Ultimately, McGahn’s experience in dealing with a combative president came at a great cost – he was left out of important legal decisions and had to take increasingly desperate measures just to try and keep things from spiraling further out of control.

The Appointment Of Robert Mueller Signaled A New Chapter In The Trump-Russia Investigation

When Donald Trump fired Comey, he thought it would put an end to the investigation that had been plaguing the administration.

Unfortunately, this only led to more complications.

Now it looked like Trump was actively trying to derail the investigation, leaving Acting Director Andrew McCabe with no other option but to bring in an outside special counsel.

That’s when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stepped in and appointed Robert Mueller as the special counsel of the investigation.

But before bringing him on board, Rosenstein laid down a few ground rules including taking counterintelligence out of the equation and restricting Mueller’s scope to whether any laws had been broken or not.

Trump was outraged by this move, screaming at Jeff Sessions to unrecuse himself and fix things.

In response, two new lawyers were hired – John Dowd and Ty Cobb – who offered different strategies regarding cooperation with the Mueller investigation.

All in all, the appointment of a special counsel resulted in a complete overhaul of those who were working with Trump on his legal problems.

The Key To The Mueller Investigation: How William A. Burck Turned Don Mcgahn Into An Inside Source

Donald Trump’s former White House counsel, Don McGahn, was a prime witness for Robert Mueller’s investigation into the President and his administration.

With guidance from his own lawyer, William A.

Burck, McGahn became a key witness in the investigation.

Burck was one of the top lawyers in Washington DC at the time and he was consulted over advice regarding the Mueller investigation and how to go about responding to Trump’s demands – including orders to fire Mueller.

The plan, developed by White House counsel Ty Cobb was to provide unfettered access to White House staff, which worried both Burck and McGahn as they feared it’d leave them vulnerable.

It seemed like they were being set up as the only ones who could back up Trump’s account of events in any possible obstruction of justice charges brought against him.

In this situation, Burck gave good advice; He suggested to McGahn that he should just cooperate with Mueller’s team honestly and answer every question truthfully – something which saved him later on during these proceedings.

McGahn followed this advice and ended up testifying in detail about how Trump had ordered him to fire Mueller, as well as get Sessions to unrecuse himself so he could regain control of the Russia investigation; This information ultimately proved vital to Mueller’s case and solidified McGahn’s role as a prime witness throughout the investigation.

Trump Ignores Mcgahn’s Advice By Testing The Limits Of Presidential Powers Through Unprecedented Pardons


As the Mueller investigation progressed, it became increasingly apparent that President Donald Trump was testing the limits of his power.

Despite being advised against it by White House lawyers, such as former White House counsel Don McGahn, he wanted to prosecute both Hillary Clinton and James Comey.

McGahn understood that this would be an abuse of presidential power, so he took action to try and educate Trump on how the government worked.

He wrote a 10,000-word memo laying out the Constitution and a bit of presidential history – though whether or not Trump actually read it is still unknown.

At this time in April 2018, Trump was tweeting that he expected Comey to go to jail yet McGahn continued his cooperation with Mueller’s team and provided contemporaneous information on the goings-on within the White House throughout.

On top of this, McGahn also heard rumors that Trump had put restrictions on using pardons for Paul Manafort, who had been indicted as part of Muller’s investigation for fraud charges.

Ultimately, all these Presidential actions taken during investigative proceedings only served to widen his own legal exposure.

Don Mcgahn: A Man Of Principle Who Transcended The Controversy Surrounding The Mueller Report

By the summer of 2018, McGahn’s relationship with President Trump had reached an all-time low, amidst disinformation campaigns from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump aimed at further alienating him from the administration.

However, McGahn persevered and was essential in carrying out the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice, even though he had made plans to resign once the nomination process was complete.

Just before McGahn’s departure, the Mueller investigation ended amidst a flurry of controversy.

Despite 13 pages of executive summaries intended to be public statements, William Barr (Trump’s newest pick for Attorney General) wrote his own summary which framed the whole inquiry differently.

Eventually, some Trump associates and members of his campaign were charged with certain crimes and given presidential pardons while others got away unscathed due to more lenient regulations set by Barr’s Justice Department.

McGahn’s cooperation with Mueller spanned over 1,000 pages of handwritten notes and provided valuable insight into what really happened during Trump’s tenure in office.

It is clear that without this key information being acquired by Mueller throughout his investigation, we would never have known just how close we came to disaster – or just how lucky we have been.

Wrap Up

The book, “Donald Trump v.

The United States” provides a comprehensive and fascinating look into the role of the 2016 US presidential election and all of its events prior to and following Donald Trump’s inauguration.

It includes a detailed account of Russian efforts to sway the vote in favor of Donald Trump, James Comey’s controversial decisions involving Hillary Clinton’s investigation, Robert Mueller Special Counsel’s probe into Trump’s campaign involvement with the Russians, and White House Counsel Don McGahn’s cooperation in helping stop obstruction of justice by the President.

In conclusion, this book presents powerful evidence that suggests Donald Trump benefited greatly from interference by foreign powers and challenged the American rule of law.

It is both an important warning for future elections as well as a reminder about standing up for our democratic freedoms.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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