The Worm Turns: Neither Devin Nunes Nor Ron DeSantis (Thus Far) Support Jim Jordan’s Impeachment Bid

As I laid out a few weeks ago, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post.

I was in DC when Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan rolled out articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein. As a number of people have noted, the articles themselves are batshit crazy, calling over-redaction subsequently corrected a high crime and misdemeanor.

And some of the articles would require a time machine to prove, such as holding Rosenstein responsible for a FISA application submitted when he was merely the US Attorney for MD with no role in the investigation.

But something else is even more interesting to me.

The original press release included the names of 6 congressmen, in addition to Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, who co-sponsored the articles HR 1028:

  1. Mark Meadows
  2. Jim Jordan
  3. Andy Biggs
  4. Scott Perry
  5. Paul “Dentists Read Body Language” Gosar
  6. Jody Hice
  7. Matt Gaetz
  8. Scott DesJarlais

And while the other three congressmen who joined as co-sponsors seemed a lot more sheepish about signing on, the following me also joined:

  1. John Duncan
  2. Louie Gohmert
  3. Bill Posey

By mid-morning yesterday, in the face of opposition from Paul Ryan and citing some deal with Bob Goodlatte, Meadows and Jordan admitted defeat. Shortly thereafter, Jordan announced a bid to be Speaker, with support from Meadows.

Apparently this morning, the following men signed on:

  1. Tom Massie
  2. Ted Yoho
  3. Ralph Norman
  4. Duncan Hunter

We’re two days into this effort, and thus far, two names are conspicuously absent: Devin Nunes (who has admittedly refrained from officially participating in some of the batshittery to — apparently — limit his legal exposure) and Ron DeSantis, who has spent the last seven months leading efforts to discredit Mueller’s investigation.

While I was in DC, a Republican admitted to me that this was just about ginning up votes and predicted that the House is done meeting until November — meaning Rosenstein should be safe from Congressional tampering until then.

If so, DeSantis’ non-participation in this stunt is telling. He’s running for governor with the vocal support of President Trump.

Indeed, DeSantis currently has a healthy lead against Adam Putnam in the GOP primary, with the primary date a month away, August 28, largely due to Trump’s support.

DeSantis is also one of the people who most obviously benefitted from Russian interference in 2016.

That Ron DeSantis has not (yet) signed onto this stunt suggests he’s not sure that, in a month (or perhaps in three, in the general), having done so will benefit his electoral chances to be governor.

So apparently Jim Jordan (facing sexual assault cover-up charges) and Duncan Hunter (facing even more serious legal troubles) think it’s a smart idea to go all-in on supporting Trump. But Ron DeSantis does not.

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90 replies
  1. Willis Warren says:

    The Republicans could be looking at a much worse November than anyone is counting on.  Their strategy seems to be 1) work up the 15% of the nation that never voted until tRUmp, and 2) be as nuts as possible.

    I don’t see that as a viable political platform.

    • Bill Michtom says:

      OTOH, most folks (including me) thought Trump didn’t have a chance. Chickens won’t hatch till November.

  2. Trip says:

    What happened to Trump’s newest bestie Rand Paul? He was the one claiming that investigations into Trump were only about irrational hatred.

  3. Bob Conyers says:

    I wonder if Nunes is worried about losing his spot on the Intelligence Committee if he displeases Ryan.

    It would be wildly out of character for Ryan to do anything about Nunes, but it’s out of character for Ryan to openly say he doesn’t support impeaching Rosenstein.

    I think it would be a mistake to read any of this as a sign of backbone from Ryan, but it’s possible he’s feeling heat from the donors not to let this go too far. And just maybe, we’re seeing the first inklings of self-interest peeking through in the GOP caucus.

    • Peterr says:

      My take is that Ryan is simply trying to run out the clock. He wants to leave with his head held high, not in a ball of flames. If he can contain the idiots in the House GOP caucus (an admittedly large group), that minimizes one problem with his retirement planning.

      The other problem for this scenario is what will happen in November. If the Dems win big, his departure will be very ignominious.

      • Frank Probst says:

        I think you’re both overthinking it.  Paul Ryan is a very easy man to understand.  Just ask, “What would Ayn Rand do?”  Ayn Rand would refuse to step down as Speaker, even though she’s retiring, because she gets the best pension deal if she’s stays in the position until the end of October, even though doing so hurts the rest of the GOP by having her there as a lame duck.  She would oppose impeaching anyone for anything, since that would involve doing more work before her term ends, and she wouldn’t waste time demoting an idiot like Nunes, because that would also involve doing more work.  If the GOP keeps the House, she can claim that she successfully handed over the reins to someone else, and if they lose it, she can claim she got in the last life boat at just the right time.  She wouldn’t care about what big donors are going to do, because she knows that she be able to pull in a shitload of money with a book and speaking fees next year, and she’ll never have to worry about running for office again.

        • Bob Conyers says:

          Of course Ayn Rand was able to sell lots of books. I think Ryan is going to find out that he’s spending a lot of time sitting alone at a card table in the Barnes and Nobles stores in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. Finally some dude will walk up and say he totally bought the book but forgot to bring it with him, but maybe Ryan could autograph a blank piece of paper for him. His first name? Heywood. Last name? Jablome.

          Then about 20 people will walk up and Ryan will perk up, only to have them start castigating him for every single cut to Obamacare under the sun.

          I suspect he’ll try to cash in on some goodwill from the Kochs, only to find that they don’t have any use for him any more. Rebekah Mercer will give him a hard time for not anointing Jim Jordan as his successor. Heritage will tell him they don’t exactly think his legislative strategy skills are up to snuff. He’ll end up scrapping for handouts from the greater Janesville Chamber of Commerce.

          And then an Uzbek will approach him with an easy lobbying job, really more of a goodwill mission involving a trip to St. Petersburg….

          • Trip says:

            Or someone could just handle him like that guy did to Spicer in the bookstore. “Your book is garbage!” “You’re a garbage person!”. Over and over. I couldn’t stop laughing.

  4. booond says:

    I don’t understand the strategy of running this out knowing it would fail. I could see from my back deck that this wasn’t worth attempting. Was it to put pressure on Ryan? To make them look tough to their constituents? Jim Jordan smells of desperate failure.

    • Avattoir says:

      Jordan seems to have been working awfully hard lately to float bigger and bigger balloons to distract from the news out of TOSU’s manly male men’s wrestling program.

        • Avattoir says:

          I don’t believe that I called Jordan either smart or historically woke.

          Moreover: I call upon the other criminal courts attorneys from every corner of this website to attest to whether, or not, criminals tend to be among the brightest of bulbs.

        • Frank Probst says:

          I agree.  I think this is going to stick to him.  He’s having to accuse more and more people of being liars.  He came close to a “Roy Moore” moment in an interview once already, but he managed to pull himself out of the nosedive just in time.  And he’s locked in his story now.  He could have trotted out some horse shit about wrestlers being at high risk for hernias, so he assumed that the people on the team were just complaining about uncomfortable but necessary medical exams.  That door is closed now.  (Although I’m not sure how he’d explain the men who were masturbating in various areas used by the wrestlers.  “I thought EVERYONE masturbated in the sauna!” just doesn’t work as a defense on that point.)

      • Flatulus says:

        Borrowing a line from Mike Myers posing as Tommy Maitland, “Every morning when I put on my shorts I’m thinking juggling.”

  5. bittersweet says:

    I haven’t heard of most of these guys. Did they all come in with tea bags around their heads? Are some of them the same ones who went to Russia recently? Are any of them Putin’s friends? Or have Putin’s friends gotten more careful?
    Or is crazy just a thing these days.

  6. Avattoir says:

    Nunes’ district (Cal 22nd) increasingly urban and Fresno’ish, as it continues its creep leftwards to the blue reaches of the SFBay coastline. See e.g. the trend in the last 4 preznit elections, where the Republican nominee won each time, but each time by less than the previous:

    2004 GWB 68%
    2008 McCain 60%
    2012 Mittens 57%
    2016 Trump 52%

    A similar trend, tho in a less reliable context, can be seen in the district’s favored gubernatorial choice over recent election years. In 2016 Harris became the first Dem to win the district in a U.S. Senate contest since 2000 Feinstein, but the state’s current run-off rules alone render that meaningless for how the district might go this fall.

    The Dem candidate is a newby to election politics a deputy D.A. in charge of the violent crimes unit out of Fresno, but also with family and other longterm ties to Visalia, the most central city in the district.

    Nunes was rated up 8 pts as of late June, so “safe R” by several poll-estimators; but given the trends of the district’s creep towards more urban and west, and with all that might come out of Mueller’s office over the next 2 months, there’s no way a paranoid nutcasel like Nunes could FEEL safe now.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      Even if he wins, there’s a decent chance the House flips to the Dems and the GOP loses seats on the Committee. There’s no guarantee Nunes keeps his spot. If they were smart, they’d cut him loose – he’s not very good at making trouble that sticks, and without the chair and with less staff, he’d do even worse.

    • JoeV says:

      The increasingly urban and Fresno-ish nature of the district is not exactly accurate in my opinion as someone from Fresno. CA22 covers only part of Fresno – specifically the north and east edges of the town, and includes Clovis (to the east), and Sanger (to the southeast).  The district is sparsely populated rural agricultural areas outside of the cities as it heads south to Visalia.  The Fresno portions are where the wealth is here – the district bypasses the poorer, populous, and minority majority parts of town, and the non-Fresno areas that are included have traditionally been more conservative than Fresno, at least for as long as I’ve lived here (since early 1970s).

       

      Unless something drastic happens, there’s no reason to think Nunes will not be re-elected, but I do hope I’m wrong.

      • emptywheel says:

        Thanks for that, I’ve been wondering.

        Any sense how many people of color in the district (which is a ton, I think) are citizens/registered voters? Has that number increased of late? (That has been something happening in agricultural communities near me and wonder whether it’s happening on a larger scale in Big Ag land).

  7. bittersweet says:

    To answer my own question, no. None of those who went to Russia recently are signers. I wonder where they are on this.
    “In addition to Shelby, the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, the delegation included his fellow committee members John Kennedy of Louisiana, North Dakota’s John Hoeven, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Montana’s Steve Daines. Also in attendance: Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rep. Kay Granger of Texas.”
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/03/ahead-of-trump-putin-summit-republicans-meet-with-russian-officials-i.html

  8. Drew says:

    I think it was all a show. (As Marcy said, “to gin up votes.”) It gave certain relatively conservative Republicans to make statements that got lauded as “country over party” without actually taking on Trump or the leadership. It allowed the right wing crazies to demonstrate their bonafides, thus charging up their base supporters. (“base” that’s a good word for them, right?). It allowed Ryan to pretend to be a vertebrate, when he was simply conforming to the consensus of his caucus. ALSO, in refusing to countenance impeachment, it gives the Republicans a plausible (in their own minds-or whatever it is they are using to organize cognitive & speech functions nowadays) a plausible reason to oppose impeachment of Trump. i.e. That impeachment is an over the top partisan move that shouldn’t be used-they opposed it when members of their own party advanced it against Rosenstein and they oppose it when the Democratic majority uses it against Trump.

    In other words, nothing but a mendacious piece of wiggle.

    • Peterr says:

      I think this gives far too much credit to Ryan et al. In particular, Ryan won’t be around next January, so he won’t be saying anything about possible impeachment of Trump.

      I think they simply are more inclined to agree with the Senate Intelligence committee rather than Jordan and Nunes when it comes to Russian interference, and have concluded that this impeachment move is dangerous crap. Of course, they can’t say that out loud . . .

      • Avattoir says:

        I doubt Ryan’s is read into any of the relevant memos & reports to any effective depth, and, as Pierce & Krugman proved repeatedly, he lacks any of the intellectual heft the noise machine has tried to shove into his space over the years.

        But the very fact that he’s leaving for greener pastures whilst leaving the keys to McConnell suggests that Ryan fully recognizes the only job he has left is to avoid steering the boat over the tow line.

          • Avattoir says:

            I worded that badly. Of course you’re correct that his being in the Gang of 8 would mean he’s “read in” on the underlying materials and status reports. But to understand such things, he’d at least have to be interested – which IMO he’s never been.

            It brings to mind years in the pre-internet days of low tech “letters”, where no day would go be complete without someone hopping around the office showing off some signature absurdity – from the common “dictated but not read” to the unicornish “read but not understood“.

          • emptywheel says:

            Sort of. We know Nunes has read virtually none of them. Not clear Ryan has either. It never ceases to amaze me how much more informed I am than people who’ve been read into virtually everything.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      Meadows shouldn’t have to gin up votes in his district, because the NC legislature gerrymandered it specifically for him not to give a fuck about his constituents and spend all his time grandstanding and acting like an fool. That’s one irony of gerrymanders: your caucus can end up with a bunch of zealots who have too much spare time on their hands.

  9. Avattoir says:

    Reviewing the “I play at criminal law on cable TV” crowd:

    David French: This was bad from the start, it keeps getting worse, and it’s bound to end in a bad place.

    Judge Napolitano: Look, there’s a chance he may have committed a little light treason.

    Geraldo: People forget I did a spell working under Frank Hogan; I know what evidence of conspiracy EDIT! EDIT! “collusion” looks like.

    Andy McCarthy: Okay, it’s LOOKS bad – but is conspiracy REALLY such a “bad thing” when it’s in a righteous cause?

     

  10. Jasot Turbot says:

    These GOP nuts ought to, essentially, stop smoking while pumping gas.  As Jennifer Rubin points out well today, a serious reckoning may be coming.

  11. pseudonymous in nc says:

    It’s the combination of the troll farm indictments, GRU indictments and Roger Stone noticing the silhouette of a barrel every time he glimpses his reflection.

    Re-reading the GRUccifer 2.0 indictment, I can’t help but see a narrative with a queasy cliffhanger. The previous counts tell us about research and spearphishing against Podesta, the DCCC and the DNC, and discuss the consequences; count 11 talks about research and spearphishing attempts against election systems, specifically “numerous Florida counties” in the final paragraph, then stops.

  12. Dedalus says:

    Put me down as shocked.   Shocked that there are limits to Devin Nunes’ stupidity and mendacity.

    • Avattoir says:

      Fair enough, but his handlers would remind him that from some point between now and November, his constituents will expect him to debate his Dem party opponent – someone who actually works every day in the world of grand juries, indictments, motions, evidence, and criminal jury trials. I doubt Nunes’ agribusiness degrees will prove of assistance in that context.

  13. Trip says:

    So Putin won’t come to the US, but invited Trump to Moscow, instead. Isn’t that everything Trump ever dreamed of, going back years? Maybe he can seek asylum there, as more comes out about him. He’ll leave Don Jr. holding the bag, but most people, if not all, are expendable to Trump. Imagine if that actually happened? I put nothing out of the realm of possibilities with Trump, except for doing the right thing.

    • arbusto says:

      I can see Melania returning solo on Air Force 1 (wouldn’t be the designation without Il Dupe on board), trying mightily and unsuccessfully to restrain an ear to ear grin. Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.

       

       

      • Valley girl says:

        Uh… neither.  Or did you leave off the snark tag?  Or are you thinking how much times have changed?  b/c I’d guess that Burgess and Maclean were smart enough to get into Cambridge in the first place.  btw, the classics dept was known as good recruiting ground.  But I don’t know what departments they were in/from.  Intellectually, Trump is just plain dumb.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Uh, the creature is impossible to describe and likely to remain so.

          Given that Burgess was a member of the Apostles and Maclean gained a first, I would say both were in a different league intellectually.  Always recruit from the best (which makes ignoring the math and physics departments in favor of classics hard to explain, but…tradition). But both were running home to mother to escape the consequences of their loyalties.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump fleeing to Moscow is Trump protecting himself.  A man of his experience knows what it means to be cuckolded by events: his first meeting with Vlad in Helsinki, deeply criticized by the world; his immediately inviting Putin for a second meeting, back in the USA; Trump’s backing down from that in response to rare criticism from his own party; Putin doubling down by issuing his, “Look into my eyes. Come to Moscow!” offer, the one the Don could not refuse.

      That’s a deeply embarrassing series of events.  It is emasculating.  Whatever the Don is protecting, it vital to his survival.  That reinforces the idea that Vlad’s ability to topple the Don remains complete.

      • Peterr says:

        Trump fleeing to Moscow is a fool’s errand. There is no survival waiting for him in Moscow – only an island from prosecution in the US, and a very worrisome island at that. Once Trump is no longer president, he is of no value to Moscow.

        I doubt that Trump realizes that yet. Once he does, it is (as you state) emasculating and embarrassing.

        The only question mark is Mike Pence. Was he one of the folks who were aware of the Trump Tower meeting before it happened? If he is compromised by participation in the Russian interference, he would take Trump’s place as the puppet of Moscow.

        Until, that is, his awareness of the Russian efforts becomes known more widely.

  14. getouttahere says:

    I think that’s a good surmise. Back in the USSR — I mean in Czarist Russia.. Gov’t supplied hookers. All the pee he can drink. Maybe have him report to Snowden. It would be nice however to see him share a cell with Paulie. They could take turns being each other’s bitches.

  15. Rapier says:

    You can assume the White House told Nunes not to sign on, and lot’s of other  people too. This lead balloon was launched two weeks ago I think and it gave the base warm tingle down below for a couple of weeks, Mission accomplished.

  16. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Still smell Ellis delaying past next Tuesday (2018-07-31)

    Mueller now given until then for additional review.

    And Manafort team (whomever is paying for that), now wants 12 subpoenas.

    Delay, delay, delay (by Manafort side). They do not want this trial to get underway. They still want to go to DC.

    • greengiant says:

      Had not thought of the trick of the defense team asking to subpoena journalists. Has that been done in the big leagues before?

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      Given how Ellis has run the court so far, I think he wants not to be dicked around.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Delays may help prosecution side.

          Never imterrupt the enemy when they are making a mistake.

          • bmaz says:

            Honestly, you really do not know your ass from a hole in the ground on either criminal law, nor criminal procedure, especially trial procedure, like at issue here. You repeatedly demonstrate that.

            Please, quit blowing ignorance up our commenter general direction. It is getting tired.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        Any sense how jury selection will go? I haven’t read a lot, except that Ellis refused to allow quizzing jurors on who they voted for, which I assume was pretty unlikely to be allowed.

        I would guess it’s hard to predict, since Northern VA is a very diverse area, and despite the liberal lean, there’s a big mix of conservatives, yuppies, old style suburbanites, defense contractors, immigrants, vets, academics, plumbers, you name it.

        • bmaz says:

          It will go fine. Last I heard there was a pool of 70. My guess is for what is believed to be a three week trial, they will go with a panel of 16; i.e. 12 plus 4 potential alternates. I don’t think there will be any problem getting there.

          I do anticipate a lot of histrionics from the Manafort defense table though, as an attempt to start opening arguments during voir dire.

    • Rusharuse says:

      I been all around this great big world
      And I seen all kinds of girls
      Yeah, but I couldn’t wait to get back in the States
      Back to the cutest girls in the world

      I wish they all could be  . . . . . .

      • bmaz says:

        Think it was a fair question by Avattoir.

        I once had a Roomba. It was garbage, which is exactly where I threw it.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Especially after the devices were phoning home with precise room and layout dimensions, inferences about background activity, and conversations that homeowners were unaware were being recorded.  Are we safe, yet?

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bmaz has been having a twitter conversation about this latest wet kiss from the NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Katie Rogers.  Access journalism at its finest. The photos of Jared and Ivanka are positively monarchical.

    Still Standing, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Step Back into the Spotlight, makes room for daddy by characterizing Javanka as the ultimate smart, savvy survivors and heirs apparent to everything Trump as well as Kushner.

    A more objective assessment might observe that Javanka stepped out of the limelight to avoid the shit thrown Donald’s way.  They are stepping back into it because there’s been a lull in the storm, as people prepare for the next Trump outrage.

    Habs and Rogers, however, seem to regard it as magical that Javanka have survived while lesser mortals have been tossed to the lions.  That they endure might better be explained by Trump’s addiction to nepotism.  In part, he trusts no one else; in part, he can disinherit anyone who displeases him.  One “persistent obstacle” remains to discomfit them and to bar their full restoration.  His name is John F. Kelly.

    That Jared and Ivanka have survived is not heroic.  It reflects a willingness to disregard reality, to kowtow, to rub snake oil on a furrowed brow, and to entertain loyal court stenographers off the record.  Jared and Ivanka endure because they have, “adjusted to the market,” as Haberman and Rogers surely have.

  18. Rusharuse says:

    According to your means . .
    If you have any spare cash in your offshore accounts and you would like to help.
    Note- Ex DOJ prosecutors don’t work cheap!

    https://manafortdefense.org

    “If any funds remain in the trust after all legal fees are satisfied, the balance will be paid as a charitable contribution to the ACLU or The Brain Trauma Foundation.”

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