Thread: House Judiciary Committee Hearing with John Dean

Here’s a post dedicated to the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing today at 2:00 p.m. EDT. I will add content as we go along.

Former White House counsel John Dean will testify today. You’ll recall he served under Richard M. Nixon’s administration. The right-wing media sphere has already been making noise about the HJC taking testimony from a convicted felon.

Except he’s *their* convict, a Republican who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for his role in covering up Nixon’s Watergate scandal. I’m sure he’ll have plenty to say about criminality in the White House and subsequent cover-ups.

More here later — bring related chatter here.

UPDATE — 2:30 p.m. —

Via CNN: Justice Department strikes deal with House Democrats over Mueller report evidence, Nadler says

Yeesh. This is like Watergate all over again. Back then Nixon had agreed to accommodate the HJC with access to some of the Oval Office tapes, but the person who would screen them was Senator Stennis who had a hearing disability. We won’t know if Barr truly fulfills the spirit of this agreement with Nadler or pulls a Nixonian Stennis compromise. The HJC took Nixon to court.

Minority Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) attacked Dean as expected and attacked the hearing saying the committee’s priorities are upside down. If the country had been attacked as Nadler said then committee should be focused on that.

Which we all know is bullshit since the House has already passed legislation  — the very first bill of the 116th Congress, H.R. 1 For The People Act 2019 — intended to secure elections from attack by foreign influence which paid legislators to skew districts via gerrymandering, manipulated races by way of dark money donations to legislators, and hid additional financial influence through undisclosed financial statements including tax returns.  That bill is sitting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk, buried under ~150 other bills he’s bottlenecked. If Collins has a problem with priorities he should have a chat with McConnell and ask why McConnell is uninterested in protecting this country’s elections.

UPDATE — 2:35 p.m. —

Following John Dean’s opening statement, former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance is up. Nice to see a familiar face which will be helpful in news coverage. She’s definitely read the Special Counsel report, and she’s able to explain what she’s seen in it as a former prosecutor which would spur her to indict.

UPDATE — 2:40 p.m. —

Heritage Foundation’s John G. Malcolm, vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government. “Less enthusiastic” about Mueller because he didn’t make a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” for Barr, blah-blah. Followed by apologia for Trump who must surely be innocent because he was so cooperative providing “over a million pages of documents, allowed key members of his staff to be interviewed, and submitted written answers to questions.” Sure, sure, right.

You know this is what Collins will tee off, the beat down on Mueller’s job performance while disregarding SCO report Volume II, pages 1-2 in which Mueller explains why he can’t make a “traditional prosecutorial judgment.”

UPDATE — 2:45 p.m. —

Another familiar face, former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, has also read the SCO report. She’s explaining the obstruction of justice charges she read in the report.

I’m sure the GOP will come out swinging but it’s really tough to get around this wham-wham-wham beat down ticking off the obstruction.


I’ll add the panelists’ statements here after the hearing. ~Rayne

183 replies
    • P J Evans says:

      The very brief story at SFGate on the helicopter crash says it’s about 51st and 7th Avenue. For those who know Manhattan. (I have a friend who spent a couple of years on 87th street, well uptown from there.)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Reports indicate rooftop helicopter landings in Manhattan have been forbidden since 1977.

      This would have been an emergency landing. Kudos to the pilot’s skills for avoiding what could have been a much worse outcome. We’ll have to wait to hear more about what would have caused the emergency.

      • Geoff says:

        Sadly, yes, it appears so. Despite this, from other indications, it appears this was an accident/emergency landing, so it is best we put this unfortunate event aside and not lose the focus of this important thread. I have an especially low tolerance for distractions at the moment, seeing how Trump managed to create a crisis/solution that utterly misdirected the press from their duty to keep the Mueller report in focus last week. Just my 2c. Thx.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      This helicopter was apparently flying at about 800′. That’s lower than over thirty buildings in Manhattan. Moreover, the cloud cover was lower than that.

      The normal minimum safe altitude for civilian aircraft flying over an urban area is 1000′ above the highest obstacle within 2000′ of the aircraft’s position. (FAA Regs 91.119.) There is an exception for helicopters flying “prescribed” routes, but it’s not clear that applies to this flight.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for the update. Let’s make this the last one on the helicopter. I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it as it has clearly derailed attention from the hearing.

  1. P J Evans says:

    They also have scheduled two former USAs, Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance, and John McQuade, who’s an institutional guy: “Vice President, Institute for Constitutional Government, Director of the Meese Center for Legal & Judicial Studies and Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation”.

    (Links to their testimony and some bios here: )

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The characterization of John McQuade as an “institutional guy” is generous. Having a top legal gig espousing the Heritage Foundation’s vision of the Constitution would make him very conservative.

      • P J Evans says:

        The comment at Kos (linked earlier) was that he’s apparently the choice of the ranking member. The other three are pointing out all the ways Tr*mp was obstructing justice.
        (Dean pointed out that Ehrlichman knew dangling pardons was illegal.)

    • MB says:

      John Malcolm – that’s the Heritage/Federalist Society witness’ name. I don’t think Barbara McQuade has a famous brother that I know of…

  2. Rayne says:

    Oh. my. gods. Steve Chabot, we don’t fucking need a walk down Memory Lane about your honeymoon back in the 1970s…


  3. harpie says:

    Thanks for this post, Rayne!
    12:03 PM – 10 Jun 2019

    McQuade says collusion is an “interesting term,” that’s why Mueller doesn’t use it, he says, “I didn’t establish crime of conspiracy” but he did document numerous contacts between Russia and Trump campaign.
    Collins uses up the time without giving McQuade add’l room to testify.
    She says as he closes up his time, “Read page one of the report.”


  4. Rayne says:

    Louis fucking Gohmert, are you seriously going to retry the Watergate scandal again?

    Why do people vote for these stupid mouthbreathers?

    Gohmert is now making up shit. I’d love to know who wrote this conspiracy theory crap about Clinton’s campaign buying Russian influence.

    • Geoff says:

      I suspect Corsi is still generating reams of this BS for the right wing nutjob’s general consumption. It’s what they do. Guy’s got a PhD in BS.

      • timbo says:

        Re: “Guy’s got a PhD in BS.”

        That’s got a certain ring to it… now if we could only get it out of the tub and down the drain… where it more properly belongs.

  5. Rayne says:

    Jesus Christ on a pogo stick. Jim Jordan is an asshole. Does he yell all the time like this? Does he act like this when cornered about his weak memory about hiding abuses at Ohio State?

    Did Michael Cohen’s attorney enter an agreement with John Dean for Dean to provide legal services? Then he wasn’t offering advice. Such bullshit.

    Dude seriously needs to get a goddamn sports jacket. Have some respect for the people’s House.


    • Rugger9 says:

      Jordan ditches the jacket (another GOPer does too, I forget which one) to pretend he’s so “hardworking” blue-collar to the core. I think every interview should have the OSU scandal dredged up every time, just after reminding him that Nadler did cut the mic today for mouthing off about Dean. Jerrold doesn’t put up with stuff like that.

      I also would just like to see the Armed Services Committee ask Shanahan and the JCS about why the service members killed in Niger (and Kaiser Quisling forgot some names and lied about calling the soldier’s wife) where we aren’t supposed to be were worth less than the Benghazi 4. Make them explain why the Pentagon lied about the support they went in with (none), about the circumstances (natch, like they did for Tillman) on camera. KQ and the Palace got a free pass on Niger, while HRC was dragged in for hearings over and over on Benghazi which occurred principally because the GOP outsourced security in Libya and then cut HRC’s budget to pay for it. At least Mueller made a profit for the USA thanks to Manafort’s forfeitures.

      OT but telling: It appears the PLAN (the PRC’s navy) is outsourcing the annoyance duties to the Soviet / Russian Navy. All one has to do is look at the wakes and it’s clear that the Udaloy created the incident (and since the USS Chancellorsville was landing a helo she had right of way). It’s important given how Putin and Xi played footsie over the last few months and IIRC they have an agreement now. Putin needs cash, China needs more capable-enough ships (although the Udaloy isn’t my first choice, but I’m sure they are cheap and expendable) to push back against the show-the-flag freedom of navigation patrols. I see that the Palace hasn’t said very much about this, but an (ahem) “understanding” between the Soviets and the PRC is not a good thing in the waters near South Korea (ally, joint defense agreement), Japan (ditto, ditto) and Taiwan (ditto, ditto).

      • Americana says:

        Thanks for noticing the four Special Forces soldiers killed in Niger haven’t had the circumstances of their deaths identified as being similar, if not identical, to the deaths in Benghazi. I’ve been punching at the facts of those two events on other sites as well.

        Natch, Jordan continues to disgrace himself. He deserves to have his questions and statements shredded each and every time he speaks. The only good thing about folks like Jordan being there and making such ludicrous statements and propounding outlandish theories on the record is that their statements in hindsight will look ignorant and deceptive and will be preserved forever as a testament to duplicity and willful ignorance.

    • di says:

      Jordon is truly annoying and snl needs to use him as a character.
      Question. Why is the testimony of John Dean so important and relevant to the present? Is that historical past that wise, impactful and significant to the objective of the committee? Is that the sharpest efficient tool/tactic to use? What am I missing?

      • Rugger9 says:

        The short answer is that Dean provided the background that McGahn was supposed to provide but under a specious claim of double-secret pinky-swear privilege by Kaiser Quisling McGahn decided to blow off the hearing.

        McGahn will regret doing that eventually.

    • bmaz says:

      What a load of fucking crap. Did nobody see this coming?

      This hearing set up was one of the most pathetic, useless and patently ridiculous things ever.

      If you thought this steaming horse manure would ever go in any different direction, please rethink things.

      • Geoff says:

        This is why I keep saying if we don’t go down the impeachment road, all the investigating and hearings and such will just be an opportunity for political theater, and a chance for the GOP to spread more of their idiotic conspiracy theory stuff to a wider audience. This actually hurts more than it helps in some ways, as normally, this kind of BS might be limited to showing up on FOX and other garbage sites.

          • timbo says:

            He’ll be there eventually…unless this tiresome grandstanding by the fascists in the Congress continues to go on and on because of lack of political will/savvy on the part of the DP leadership.

      • Rayne says:

        We’ll agree to disagree once again. It was intended to inform the public. I didn’t expect much except to remind the public that this country has survived an impeachment for something more than lying about a blowjob, that a Republican White House counsel could actually tell the truth instead of caving into a corrupt malignant narcissist, and remind voters what kind of total asshats GOP reps are.

        I didn’t expect Dean to remind the public Nixon had a health care plan. Bonus dig at Republicans.

        The biggest boo-boo of this hearing was that each Democratic rep did not state at the outset of their questions that the panel was sitting in for McGahn because Trump was obstructing the hearing. Should have been repeated and repeated.

        • Geoff says:

          I really want to be wrong on this, but each day that goes by, and each one of these failures just keeps adding up. I don’t think too many people that need to be swayed are paying attention to this. I dearly hope that somehow, dragging this out, is part of the strategy to delay an impeachment proceeding, so that a Senate’s trial falls after the election. But I doubt that this will be something they can time so precisely. Each day I wait, trying to remain patient and hopeful. I guess I can still wait to see what other indictments drop. What worries me is that each one of these hearings is a Democratic fail in some way, and they cant seem to get their act together. Not giving up hope yet, but, as GOB would say…. “Come on!”

          • Rayne says:

            The problem I see is trying to make shit happen but it airs out Dems’ dirty laundry — it’s far too easy for the disinformation machine supporting Trump to pick up any bad news about internecine friction inside the Dem Party and use it against them before they can resolve the problem and arrive where the base wants and needs them to be.

            Imagine two or three countries with sophisticated info warfare networks sinking their teeth in to the points I shared. Suddenly we end up with Biden because Dems will revert to safety and then the leaners at the polls in 2020 will vote None (as they did in Michigan in 2016) or they will stay home or they will throw behind Trump because why pick weak sauce GOP Lite when you can just stick with the devil you know?

        • Ollie says:

          I could understand why bmaz thinks it’s a shit show….bmaz being a lawyer and who I respect so much for his knowledge but here I agree w/you Rayne. I think it’s a must to get the people informed as much as possible. I wish they’d do the impeachment inquiry but I really believe we’ll get there.

          I’m watching the full hearing again for the 2nd time. I’ve learned more, had some laughs, gotten pissed off but overall? I think it’s helping. I wish Speaker Pelosi didn’t need more public support before she does the IInquiry but as long as we get there.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        It was seriously depressing. I am totally disgusted that my tax dollars are being wasted this way. It really is getting difficult to forgive the leadership for this mess. I just want them to do their jobs and get to the impeachment inquiry.

      • elevator48 says:

        I agree Bmaz. I don’t see the point. How many people around the country were even paying attention…maybe a good thing. Get McGhan and Mueller in front of national tv. IMO, that is the only thing that can make a significant difference in public opinion.

  6. Rayne says:

    Matthew Gaetz brings the petty bitchery again. Dean’s got socks older than this boy who is going to lecture him about Nixon and Dean’s income post-Nixon.

    This is his entire career, this five minutes: he is a rabid apologist for the corrupt fascists in the White House and the GOP.

    As the climate emergency deepens, I hope karma deals with his assery for the first bill he ever submitted to end the Environmental Protection Agency.

    EDIT: Did the GOP send their worst to work on the House Judiciary Committee?

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      Jordan, Gohmert, and Gaetz?

      Why, yes… they did send their worst for this…

      Kind of like Tinker to Evers to Chance, only a lot stupider…

      Is Mark Meadows there too?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I asssume the GOP intended to make Nadler’s hearing a laughingstock. It’s what they do – anything – to defend el Presidente. It’s one reason Nadler needs to rethink his position and start an impeachment inquiry.

      Nancy Pelosi needs to rethink her opposition to that, because the GOP are going to make a laughingstock of her whole party by 2020 if it doesn’t start doing things differently.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I don’t think an impeachment inquiry would go any differently. I would like to hear from the resident beagles about the changes that would occur if Nadler goes from fact finding where he is now to formal impeachment. Whose committee(s) would get walled off (i.e. Schiff’s Intelligence committee) and why?

        As long as this plays out on camera, the GOP looks as treacherously stupid as they are.

      • Watson says:

        I wonder if the Dem leadership’s aversion to impeachment reflects the position of deep-pocket Dem donors.

        • timbo says:

          Doubtful. It’s more direct connections with Pelosi and here circle that is holding this up. There are likely skeletons there IMO.

            • timbo says:

              Nope. I don’t. But not sure how big donors have one thing to say here or another. Why would impeachment hurt big donors to the DP? Are all big donors against impeachment of Trump? You question me here but where’s the evidence that big donors are holding up impeachment? And if they are, why are they? Campaign finance violations maybe?

              • Americana says:

                Obviously, Dem donors don’t want to waste money. However, look at Tom Steyer who was the first major Dem donor to begin attempting to move the impeachment needle. Don’t make me laugh by hinting at campaign finance violations by Dems and pretending Dems have got got skeletons in closets that are stirring. If the Republicans had such evidence, they would have long since dragged the skeletons out and beaten the bones to get public statements out of ’em.

                The principal thing stopping impeachment is the Dems haven’t yet seen a breakthrough or a breakdown among Senate Republicans in their support of Trump. Shamefully, after Michigan’s Justin Amash castigated Trump for impeachable crimes, Romney undercut the effects of Amash’s statement and pretended he didn’t think Mueller had established Trump’s guilt. Romney’s statement may go down as one of the most heinous actions in support of Trump during this period.

          • Rayne says:

            Yeah, some sourcing for that would be nice. “likely” isn’t going to cut it in this neighborhood.

            There are three obvious problems right now which may be causing Pelosi difficulty getting consensus on impeachment:
            1) Big money donors having tantrums; like it or not campaigns don’t run on mana from heaven and the older members of the caucus aren’t quite as adept at newer fundraising approaches. Dems also don’t need these donors running toward Trump out of fear.
            2) Ways and Means chair Richard Neal (D-MA) is dragging his feet about Trump’s tax returns; he won’t pursue going through New York to obtain Trump’s state taxes, says he’s waiting for fed lawsuit instead. I have seen a rumor he is using this as a bargaining chit to gain GOP support on a piece of legislation; I don’t have solid sourcing on this yet but it’s not a good situation. Massachusetts constituents need to lean on him.
            3) Ensuring the massive orange wanker can still be prosecuted after he leaves office whether by impeachment or loss at the polls. She is absolutely right; he should be in prison. We should make it clear to him, his foreign sponsors, his kind, and Americans of the future that no one is above the law in this democracy. How to deal with the first two challenges and leave enough room to finesse the third so that he can’t have another term in the future?

      • Americana says:

        None of the three could possibly have been more disingenuous in their attempts at diversion from the matter at hand. Cripes, Jordan citing economic facts as a defense of Trump against the statements by the law professors about Trump’s obstruction of justice was outlandish. Jordan pretending Michael Cohen lied to Congress without having consulted w/Trump’s lawyers is idiotic. They’re so busy shooting off their mouths they don’t seem to recognize when they get a circular firing squad going.

    • Jenny says:

      Yes, sent their worst, Jordan, Gohmert, and Gaetz. These three smooched Trump’s butt today, so as a reward, I would not be surprised if they are invited to the WH for fine dining cuisine. On the menu cheeseburger, fries and a diet coke.

  7. Rayne says:

    Andy Biggs (R-AZ) offers the proforma attack on Dean for being indicted/prosecuted convict. Adds Gaetz’ attack on his income. Adds the new fillip that Dean has a problem with GOP governance. Oh my goodness, Dean’s a biased witness!

    BUT…Dean is only here because this GOP administration is obstructing justice by refusing to allow former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify.

    Mr. Biggs is happily glossing over the fact obstruction by a GOP president is happening right under our noses. That’s the problem, Mr. Biggs.

    No, Mr. Biggs, the president doesn’t determine whether the law is faithfully executed. The legislative branch can by way of censure and impeachment.

    • P J Evans says:

      He’s there to provide historical background. He’s not there as an expert witness on Tr*mp’s activities.

    • Americana says:

      I like the age range and professional experiences of this group of witnesses although I find the Heritage Foundation lawyer fella is disingenuous. Their remarks are devastating aside from his. I don’t find Dean is “too old and tired” to contribute his wisdom about such events as these. He’s kicked some ass when the Republicans thought they’d kicked him to the floor.

      • Geoff says:

        I was working while watching only bits and pieces, but a few of the parts I did catch, it seemed that Dean had sort of zoned out, and wasn’t ready when one of the congressmen asked a question. It was a leading question, and he still manage to answer it wrong, then had to correct himself after being asked again in a different way. I did see quite a few more lucid parts, so I’m not condemning all of it, but those clips of his screwups wil surely be taken out of context and used against him.

        • Americana says:

          You’ll have to give me a specific time flag for me to watch Dean’s “screwups.” I just didn’t see them as screwups. I thought it wise to have John Dean’s breadth of historical grasp of Nixon’s impeachment brought into these present circumstances. Dean’s testimony was devastating in conjunction w/that of the two law professors.

  8. MattyG says:

    OT, but is Nadler restricting his committee to just a Volume II obstruction charge in cutting a deal with Barr for access to Mueller’s underlying evidence, or is this simply one of many maneovers to follow?

    • Eureka says:

      Bearing in mind that some of the 302s/other docs can overlap with Vol. I (but I didn’t cross-check with Marcy’s lists or MR footnotes, etc.), I speculate that they are going for purported Vol. II stuff for a few reasons, one being that further Vol. I-related indictments may be coming– as per investigations outlined or denoted in (recent) EW posts, for example. Since obstruction articles are a sure bet, I can envision a bunch of hedges as to why that deal was made (beyond, though not eliminating, poor deal-making). HJC dems have certainly spoken like they ‘get’ certain Vol. I significances…

  9. Rayne says:

    Hey newbie troll — First, this is my post and my thread not Marcy’s since you can’t read the byline. It wasn’t an open thread for you to drop in and dump your emotional baggage on any old topic.

    Second, it’s not Marcy who’s going to block you but me because I am NOT going to put up with drive-by attacks on hosts/ contributors/ editors/ moderators/ community members just because you feel slighted and excessively entitled to anyone’s time or attention.

    And because this fits your problem so well, a re-up of this classic. Trop c’est trop, troll.

  10. fpo says:

    As painful as watching this hearing may be for some, take comfort knowing that there’s a world of ‘undecideds’ out there who are just now getting their first look at Jordan, Meadows, Gaetz, Gohmert, et al. And that’s not a good look for the GOP – they’ve got no argument for not doing their Constitutional duty, let alone obstructing others from doing theirs. The snide comments, personal jabs and posturing are childish. But it’s all they’ve got. (And for the record, Gaetz was, is, and will always be, an asshole. Plain and simple. Who the hell votes for vegetables like this?)

    Average folks haven’t – and won’t – read the MR. I’ve heard several stories of folks who are just now finding out that DT wasn’t really exonerated. Go figure, right? A neighbor called me out of the blue today to ask ‘are you watching this’ – and what did I know about what else was in the report? So long as the public increasingly supports further investigation, if not impeachment per se – and DT and Barr continue to obstruct at every turn – I think Pelosi is content to use these hearings to keep this in the news and in Trump’s face.

    Unfortunately, time (as in the pace of subpoenas wending their way through the courts) is definitely not on the Dems side here. They need to open a formal inquiry. They need to go primetime.

    Thanks for the post, Rayne.

    • fpo says:

      And there’s this not insignificant issue to deal with:

      “Moderate Democrats Growing Demoralized by the Party’s Impeachment Lurch”

      “The centrist wing of the caucus is beginning to press their colleagues on the risks of impeachment, fearful that their party is about to embark on a fool’s errand.”

      [ ]

      At-risk Dems in red states, tough districts, etc. Re-election concerns vie with moral and ethical considerations…could go either way, couldn’t it?

      • P J Evans says:

        Part of the education necessary is that this isn’t TV or a film, where everything is wrapped up neatly in one or two hours.

      • Rayne says:

        When will the risk ever be less to Democrats than it is right now under this fascist? If centrist Dems are at risk they are fuck-ups; they managed to keep their seats under a blue wave in 2018 and that wave is far from done. Ride the surf hard or get out of the way, I say. One of them I hope gets tossed is Dan Lipinski because no Democrat should ever hold office while believing some humans aren’t entitled to bodily autonomy and agency.

        • r helder says:

          i couldn’t agree with you more, there is no excuse for reactionary lipinsky representing this solid-blue illinois district, he votes with republicans more than democrats. progressive marie newman is challenging him in the primary, notwithstanding threats from bustos at the dccc. i just sent her part of my social security check, she deserves our support

          • holdingsteady says:

            The latest episode of pod save America hosted Marie Newman and it was a great show, taped live in Chicago.
            Thanks for reminding me of her, I will make a donation also.

        • fpo says:

          Seriously. While there may not be a reliable, quantifiable way to measure the ‘blue wave’ effect and its potential to really crest in 2020, I don’t think Pelosi/Dem leadership wants to even acknowledge it, let alone appear to be banking on it…which in my mind is not giving Dem constituents their due AND suggesting it might have been a fluke. If anything, there is more and growing energy for that wave – the abortion BS underway, fails on healthcare, immigration, infrastructure, Middle East peace, gun control. To say nothing of what the GOP has devolved into, some sheepish, amoeboid, blathering bunch of (young and) old white men that DO NOTHING for the people of this country. Unless you count putting more white men just like them in lifetime positions in the judiciary.

          ‘If not now, when?’ isn’t even a relevant question. There may never be another opportunity to do what needs to be done right now.

          • Rayne says:

            If I had to guess I think the older caucus members have seen enough waves before that they don’t trust them to last a full presidential cycle. 2006 was fairly strong, 2008 wasn’t strong enough as just one example.

    • Americana says:

      I agree there’s tremendous ignorance displayed by lots of Americans about Trump’s activities and that ignorance is not restricted just to Trump voters. Thankfully, there is a shorter version of the Mueller report out there. I point folks to the letter signed by over 1,000 former DOJ prosecutors in support of the Mueller report’s conclusions. It’s a very concise letter that sums up the MR evidence against Trump. It’s a fascinating letter that might trigger folks to dedicate the time necessary to read the Mueller report in its entirety.

  11. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. The exchange with Collins and Dean was interesting to me. Collins was questioning the hearing explaining this is a political consideration not criminal.

    John Dean’s reply, “This committee does have a role, and it is adding something that the special counsel could not, and that’s public education. This report has not been widely read in the United States. It’s not even been widely read in the Congress, in some of my conversations. But I think it is a very important function that the committee is serving by bringing these matters to public attention.”

    Public education is vital. The more exposure the better. Good for Dean pointing out the Mueller Report hasn’t “been widely read” especially, by Congress. It is the House of Representatives duty and responsibility to hold the president accountable. An impeachment inquiry starts the process to investigate and explore the many violations by this president and administration.

    Woodall (R-GA) admitted he did not read the report and doesn’t need to. That is a dereliction of duty by a clueless congressman. I called his office to tell him just that. This is a perfect example of party over people.

    • P J Evans says:

      Woodall wasn’t making much sense there. He was talking, in the story I saw, about when they were looking at impeachment in 1988. That’s one that should have gotten him more questions, like “who, why, where?”

    • Geoff says:

      This is the big unknown….is the public getting educated? It is undoubtedly vital, but how can we know? Opinion polling? Have we moved the needle so far? I don’t recall seeing anything of late reporting that public opinion is trending one way or another. I will poke around and see, then report back to base. The base is clearly not going to change its opinion no matter what happens. They are hopeless. But uninformed independents really need to WTFU.

      Update : some supporting evidence, but no idea whether it is statistically significant.

        • Geoff says:

          Well, the coverage on this from WP isn’t encouraging. It points out how some anon Dems are disapproving of bringing Dean in in the first place, and also that opinion polls on impeachment are still tilted against and may not be improving much. It doesnt say it directly, but the reality is, you only have so many people you can bring before these commiittees that might have an impact, when you cant get McGahn or Mueller, so, if you are bringing out your big guns, and they aren’t making a difference, who do you call next? I think at some point, you realize, you need the real deal, and the only way you are getting that is subpoena. And they keep talking up subpoena, but never get to it. The problem with that is, time is a wasting. Once they DO try to use the law to force testimony, their will be less time for the inevitable resistance via the courts. So, once again, similar to the argument I made that Mueller should have gone straight away to forcing testimony, not arguing too late that it would waste time, the hoping people will eventually comply if you ask enough times or the right way, just isnt going to work.

          • bmaz says:

            I am one of those disapprovers. Who would I call? Certainly not John Dean. I’d rather pull in randos off the street and have them just read Mueller’s report. That was such a pathetic stunt, it was embarrassing. The House Dems have a few good members, but overall are simply lame.

            • Geoff says:

              In the same way that we run out of people to call, these hearings and the few non-hapless Dems run out of people to call as witnesses or whatever they are…basically commenters. They really dont have any skin in the game, so they aren’t compelling. I just feel like these investigations are too hamstrung from the start to amount to anything without the power of compulsion behind them. I have this sick feeling of the air being let out of a fetid balloon and everyone is running from it. We need something explosive to get people’s attention.

              • RWood says:

                I spent most of my day yesterday at 35k feet, so I’m just now watching a few clips and getting caught up. But your balloon analogy is spot on. Reading the comments on a few stories backs that up. Hamstrung is right. Pelosi is being viewed as a star quarterback who refuses to get in the game.

                One thing I’m noticing, and IANAL and have only viewed an hour or so of the hearing, but I don’t see a collective approach to the Dems questioning. I expected to see a team effort where one question built on the next and so on before being passed off to the next person, interrupted only by GOP theater and grandstanding. Instead the questions seem to be coming from several different directions, and some of the people being questioned are having a hard time pivoting when they need to. Who’s in charge of calling the plays?

                I’m, once again, disappointed.

              • Peacerme says:

                I don’t understand why Dems don’t poke the bear. Get him on the defensive. Yes he will retaliate but his retaliatory power is waning. Why don’t Dems at least present to the American people that it’s possible he cheated to win the election and he’s upstructing justice to prevent it from coming out. He’s accusing Dems of doing this very thing. Why not state it. I think there is a huge disconnect with the average voter between action and word.

                If Trump attempted to cheat the American people of the election of Hillary Clinton, shouldn’t the primary focus be to uncover whether or not he cheated?? No we can’t prove it, but we have plenty of reason to doubt the outcome of the 2016 election for numerous reason. Yes, Trump creates drama and it gives him the headlines.

                Dems need to generate news. Not lies. I don’t understand why we are ignoring the potential reality that he’s illegitimately in office. And how can we know when he’s obstructing the inquiry!! That would get headlines. Dems need to stop tip toeing around him. I get national security concerns but he’s most likely to slip up under stress. Everybody is being too careful. Use truth like a hammer.

                There is no way that the election results can be completely validated under the current circumstances. There should be no elections till we know the truth. The Russians tried to steal the election and quite frankly we don’t know for certain what the full impact was or wasn’t.

                It gives a mixed message to go on. Act like he’s president and all is well. Same happened with Gore. That’s when Dems look weak. Truth to power means addressing and stating clearly the hardest stuff. We don’t have to know with certainty to question. We need to question NOW before he steals the next one. Aren’t we all scared shiftless that this will be the outcome. Do we or don’t we have a valid fear about this?? Dems are telling Americans with their actions that there is no real issue, no big problem while they use words like constitutional crises. If they stole the election it is a constitutional crises!!

                Look I was married to an addict. There were many times I thought he was beyond safe to ride with. But I never knew as a fact. I was always afraid to cause a rage about protecting my life when I couldn’t prove if he was drunk before getting in the car. I had to grow up and face my fear and stand up for my life. My behavior needed to match my words. I spent years bitching and saying how dangerous it was to get in the car with him. Then I’d get in the damn car!! I was not powerless. I needed to face the truth and his wrath. To be safe. It’s liked the Dems are a bunch of codas!!! We can’t state with certainty that he was elected fairly because trumps own behaviors cast doubt on the elections. Not the Dems. Trump caused that!! Ugh. Therapist rant over. Can’t we just speak directly to the seriousness of this? Am I wrong?

                • bmaz says:

                  You are not wrong. Dems need to quit being afraid of their shadow and do their jobs. If the roles were reversed you think the GOP wouldn’t be on fire? Of course they would. This is just getting demoralizing to a large part of the Democratic base.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for calling Woodall. He’s avoiding reading the Special Counsel’s report to remain plausibly in the dark. Because he’s an attorney he’d recognize easily Trump’s criminality if read the report and then he can’t legitimately say without lying that Trump is exonerated.

  12. nknotz says:

    Lawrence Tribe offers the most succinct and cogent argument for impeachment:

    Trump invited help in the election from Russia.
    Trump accepted help in the election from Russia.
    Trump has done nothing to stop Russia from attacking the electoral process of the United States.
    Trump has actively obstructed every investigation into Russia attacking the electoral process of the United States.

    Distilled down to these essentials, especially since they are all things that have happened repeatedly in plain sight, it is hard to argue against impeachment unless it is political.

    (Longtime lurker, first post – I know this is somewhat off topic but hearing Prof. Tribe speak to this hit like a ton of bricks and I felt the imperative to share here. Thanks for the opportunity!)

  13. Rayne says:

    Hey, a question for community members: I’m looking for someone who is Latinx and willing to translate posts into Spanish for Latinx American. I could put posts through Google Translate but we know this isn’t a perfect technique.

    Is anybody out there up for volunteering? I think we might need to do this going into 2020 because there isn’t adequate outreach into Latinx American communities.


    • orionATL says:

      rayne –

      you’ve got your volunteer, thankfully.

      i would never use google translate. in my view it does not do ambiguous words or idioms well at all. god knows what it would do to political exposition.

      • bmaz says:

        I occasionally use Google translate. But it is bad. You can glean a few words out of what is otherwise Sanskrit or something, maybe. But as to detailed accuracy, it is really horrible.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks much! The idiomatic speech is why I’m asking for help. Google Translate can handle the kind of simple translations students manage in formal language classes but popular colloquial speech is a problem.

        It’s best we have several volunteers, too, since idioms vary between sub-groups. Latinx folks are quite diverse, at the risk of preaching to the choir on this issue.

  14. Americana says:

    The exchange between Rep. McClintock and John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation was ridiculous because it refused to acknowledge the grounds for the president’s urgency behind attempting to achieve the firing of Special Counsel Mueller. Just because Trump didn’t get someone to fire Mueller doesn’t negate Trump’s multiple attempts to get individuals to fire Mueller. Malcolm also failed to honestly address McClintock’s claims about there being no repercussions for people failing to obey Trump’s direct orders. Of course there were repercussions! Look at Trump’s punitive and vicious gutting of AG Sessions’ reputation! As for Malcolm’s attempt to defend Trump’s actions by saying Trump didn’t take the most direct action of calling up and firing Mueller himself, clearly Trump was floundering about getting the firing done with the least political and legal blowback against himself. The fact Trump didn’t fire McGahn for having failed to fire Mueller is because Trump was caught in a Catch-22. If Trump fired McGahn for having failed to fire Mueller, Trump would have put himself at risk.

    Mr. Ciccilline brought up Trump’s attempt to get Lewandowski to make AG Sessions give a flattering, exculpatory speech about the Trump campaign and the Russians, a speech whose contents were dictated by Trump. This was remarkable for revealing the compartmentalization of the Russian interactions within the Trump campaign. Lewandowski was not a member of the Trump Organization business and wouldn’t have any knowledge of the preexisting business relationships w/Russian oligarchs and the status of the TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW development. Yet Trump was pressuring Lewandowski to get AG Sessions to bear false witness. After all, Sessions recused himself because he knew something about Trump’s pursuit of direct interactions w/specific Russians in Putin’s inner circle.

    Despite Republican attempts to destroy these witnesses by citing their tweets and challenging their remarks, I think these Republicans did more damage to their cause than they are aware.

    • Jenny says:

      John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation was an interesting character. He kept saying Trump was “venting” therefore no obstruction. Rather odd.

      I agree with you about the “Republicans did more damage to their cause.” Haughty attitudes.

      • Americana says:

        Please don’t misunderstand me. What these Republicans did in this hearing fails w/folks who’ve got a grasp of the facts but they succeed w/those Americans who are ignorant of the facts and believe the government is out of control. I spend a percentage of my time on certain conservative sites trying to get facts into the mix. It’s sad, terrifying and very distressing we’ve come to this point w/the disinformation from both American sources like the Heritage Foundation and David Horowitz and foreign sources like Russia.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The “the President was venting so it’s OK” defense to criminal liability appears to be a focus-grouped meme that the GOP has adopted. I can imagine Al Capone using it after he’s used the baseball bat.

        Its purpose is to get dear leader off the hook he’s hoisted himself upon. That’s not leadership, it’s being an accomplice after the fact. It’s putting party and power above people, the law, governance. The makes the GOP a cult.

        Joe Biden still thinks being nice to Mitch McConnell and Gym Jordan will lead to good governance. His thinking is stuck in 1973: he was wrong then, he’s wrong now. His is the logic of Stockholm Syndrome.

    • P J Evans says:

      McClintock is pretty useless. He was in the CA state legislature for years, helped push that @#$%^&*!!! recall that stuck us with Ahnold (and tried to get into that race, with his biggest selling point being that he hadn’t voted *for* a state budget in mumble years), and when his SoCal district showed signs of being tired of him (not easy – it’s Ventura county), he decided to run in CA’s CD4 – and won, because the voters there apparently don’t care how dim their rep is.

      Also, Tr*mp can’t fire people face-to-face: he has to do it remotely, or second-hand. He’s a coward.

    • Geoff says:

      I didn’t watch it because I approved. It just seems like this is the path we are on, so I am just going to be an observer of this slow motion train wreck, and at least can say I was there and had a sliver of hope that somehow things would turn out OK. I’m not optimistic at this point. Fortunately, I can at least do other things to try to push the process forward, sharing the audible Mueller report with people, trying to sway opinions, get people informed, fired up, recommending people to contact their reps. There is only so much we can do at this point, but we have to keep trying. I can’t let discouragement overwhelm me, or the next two years are going to feel like a century, and the next six might feel unendurable.

      • bmaz says:

        The local Dems here are really encouraging. When i talk and interact with them, it seriously feels different. And many of them have read at least the key parts (read Mueller’s executive summaries) of the report. It is still going to come down to turnout in 2020. The locals have made me feel a little better about that.

      • PSWebster says:

        I watched a lot of it and thought it was shite as well…Dean did not come across forcefully like the Big Oil Kochsuker from the Heritage Foundation, Malcolm, who because he does not need to work for a living because he can lie for one about the Climate Crisis and his expert testimony of the hearing. I didn’t want to admire him but it is stupid to put up this slick liar like Malcolm against attorneys who are very smart explaining legalistic shite but not good at live presentations.
        BTW: Today 22831 views ain’t gonna cut it and the press is barely covering it. Not sure what we are doing. Reuters is reporting Tbone has his head in the sand on his polls so why not IMPEACH.

    • Jenny says:

      Watching the hearing raises awareness. People are becoming aware of the written Mueller Report. People are becoming aware by what they are hearing in the report. People are becoming aware as they watch representatives discuss the report and aware of the obstruction by the occupant in the WH. Raising the collective consciousness creates change for the people.

      • bmaz says:

        You have to be fucking kidding me. Nobody that was not already on the correct side of the equation watched that embarrassing shit show.

        If you know Representatives that can coherently piece together more than a sentence or two, send them out to do what Justin Amash did. But if you think dumb ass hearings with a truly tired retread like John Dean, and a few paid MSNBC shills, is going to convince anybody of anything, send me what you are smoking.

        The only thing redeeming about yesterday’s shit show is that the House Dems somehow restrained themselves from putting on that blithering idiot Malcolm Nance.

  15. pjb says:

    To me, the most frustrating part of these kind of hearings (apart from the 5 minute switchbacks that kill any possible narrative flow) is to hear the incessant false memes from the most ignorant Republicans repeated and repeated. I am always trying to figure out whether they are really impenetrably stupid or relentlessly on message (probably a fool’s errand). I keep wanting a witness, anticipating these dumb talking points, to begin by addressing the falsity of the following nonsense and daring anyone to keep repeating:

    1. the investigation was started by the “dodgy dossier” and thus a political hit job
    2. there was no crime underlying potential obstruction
    3. Mueller found no “collusion”
    4. Mueller was derelict in not making a prosecutorial determination
    5. Mueller punted to Barr to make the tough call on obstruction.

      • pjb says:

        I admit I watched too much of it and set myself up for predictable disappointment.

        In retrospect, there was one part of the Mueller Report that I have never heard discussed and was not (to my knowledge) discussed yesterday. There’s a section where Mueller describes Trump trying to induce Sessions to “unrecuse” and investigate Hillary. This is not garden variety obstruction. Trying to use the Justice Department to commit an injustice by investigating a political opponent conjures up all sorts of dystopian thoughts: Nixon’s enemies list, McCarthy’s list of Communists in Hollywood and the armed forces. It is the stuff of Stalin. I am certain no one knows dick about that part of the Report but surely the House could build impeachment around such behavior.

  16. Americana says:

    They’re “relentlessly on message” which is why you could recite their talking points probably without having to look at any references! This meme mind meld is the method by which Republicans have harnessed the intelligence of some American voters. This rote recitation of infractions requires no intellectual effort whatsoever. It’s been the underlying motif of conservative web sites for four decades or more. The Koch brothers are so terrified of what they’ve unleashed via this BS that they’ve tried to approach Democrats.

    The facts are entirely opposite to what Republicans wish to cop but if Republicans can keep up the charade, they think they’ve got a chance to beat this. Trump’s expectation was for enormous riches to redound to the Trump Organization once the Trump Organization penetrated the Russian real estate market and a couple of other real estate markets (topic for me for another post once more facts are known). It’s why Trump made such outrageous tweets as “Will Putin come to Miss Universe Pageant? Will he be my new BF?” Protecting Trump’s future Russian riches is the rationale for Trump’s paranoia over Russian collusion.

    Mueller was not at all derelict in his duties. Mueller rightfully deferred to Congress for its political judgment of Trump’s actions, the only legal avenue available to Mueller to take action against a dangerous POTUS. Mueller DID NOT “punt to Barr”, something which is clear in the Mueller report and is why Mueller sent a letter rebuking Barr and later came out for a press conference stating the facts of his report and his resignation. It’s why over 1,000 former DOJ prosecutors have signed a letter of support for the Mueller report. How the Republicans think they can continue to pretend the facts aren’t clearly against them indicates mass psychosis. The one thing that might crush some of the Republican BS is the Inspector General’s report on the genesis of the Russia investigation and the behavior of the American intelligence and law enforcement if it establishes the correct legal pursuit of the Russians as they attempted to influence the American electorate.

    • pjb says:

      I am sure you are right. I just wish someone important on live tv would directly address and discredit these falsities, rather than ignore them as obviously stupid. They’re only obviously stupid to the people who have bothered to educate themselves.

      What I saw often yesterday was a verbal “trick” I have seen Trump do countless times. They imbed these falsities, like “Mueller found no collusion found” or “Mueller punted to Barr” within a different question or point so that when the witness (or interviewer of Trump) responds to the main point without challenging the imbedded falsehood, it gives the impression of veracity. There has to be a chess move around that!

      • Americana says:

        Yeah, noted! It is sickening those rhetorical twists are such a part of the Republican game plan. I’m hoping the Inspector General’s report’s findings will crush such stupidity.

        The Trump administration’s last chess move — that the Trump-Russia investigation was a political witch hunt based on paid falsehoods in the Trump dossier and that the Inspector General will absolve Trump’s actions as Trump merely fighting back — is a matter on which AG Barr has suddenly dropped periscope and gone silent.

    • RWood says:

      The more I watch the more I feel they are missing two key people.

      One, a prosecutor type who knows how to direct the questioning so it has teeth. Two, a marketing person who understands TV and the value of the sound-bite.

      The impeachment hearings, should they ever arrive, can’t be like what I’m seeing today. By that I mean held during the day and, for most viewers, long and dull. The two people I mentioned above will have to provide questions that produce actionable testimony as well as sound-bites for when the days content is reduced by the MSM to ten minutes of airtime (or less!) and with enough flair that the days catchy meme/sound-bite sticks in the viewers heads.

      Repeat daily for the next 511 days.

      Like a Howard Stern show, the viewer will tune in not so much to hear the topic of the day, but rather to hear what outrageous criminal charge the host will levy/say next. Right now Trumps twitter stream is doing this. They need to take that away from him.

      The hearing I’m watching right now has not accomplished much IMO.

  17. Savage Librarian says:

    Worth the Effort

    When I have to do something,
    I prefer to do it right,
    Like when I chase a big brass ring,
    I try with all my might.

    Or when I build a bridge of hope,
    Consequences fill my mind,
    It’s like being on a slick tightrope,
    That any moment might unwind.

    Even when I’ve done the prep,
    Have I truly done enough?
    What about that next step,
    To surmount a risky bluff?

    Is it worth the effort,
    If the going gets too tough,
    Should I wait until it’s dead set,
    And full of some good luck?

    Is it time to reassess,
    If the wind is at my back,
    Will I create a big mess,
    Or gain useful strength I lacked?

    When I have to do something,
    I prefer to do it right,
    Even when it’s humming
    Past a graveyard walk at night.

    But, on the other hand,
    If it’s merely the right thing,
    Should I really take a stand,
    Or couch it ‘neath my wing?

    Is it worth the effort,
    To go out on a limb,
    Should I really shepherd,
    A truth that might not win?

    Is it worth the effort,
    To do the right thing?
    If I do things right,
    I might avoid a nasty sting.

    If I do things right,
    When I look into the mirror,
    Can I avoid a bitter fight,
    With the image staring there?

    Is it worth the effort,
    To avoid that ancient force,
    The one that makes me better,
    And comes knocking on the doors?

    When all is said and done,
    And “worth the effort” comes to pass,
    When we’re dead and gone,
    Will the right thing have our backs?

  18. Americana says:

    Should I really shepherd,
    A truth that might not win?

    Every time the Republicans lie during this period, a tattoo artist is wielding his needle in response and is redrawing the Janus portrait of Nixon-Trump Stone is sporting.

      • Americana says:

        Yeah, I think it’s worth shepherding the truth about Trump through to its conclusion.

        Roger Stone will have served two different presidents, both of whom will end up facing impeachment for cause. Stone may not be bearing a portrait of Trump on his body, that’s a metaphorical Janus portrait I see. But that’s a metaphorical tattoo that is going down in history as being related to one of the great criminal conspiracies of American history.

  19. Hops says:

    My “Impeach 45” T-shirt is Amazon “out for delivery” today. I’m excited.

    If you haven’t seen them, they look like a sport shirt for someone named Impeach and is player 45.

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Nancy Pelosi keeps putting the cart before the horse, claiming that she needs the public behind her, then House Dems, before she will advocate for an impeachment inquiry. Her top people are either against it or are muzzled, preventing their arguing why a formal inquiry is essential. That sounds like leadersheep to me.

    • Observiter says:

      Perhaps there is a purpose behind Pelosi’s “vagueness.” Right now we’re not sure what she is doing and where she is going. I have a feeling she has a plan, but out-loud is throwing back at Trump some of what he dishes out.

      • bmaz says:

        Her “plan” is to shit on her oath of office, sell out the Constitution for “vagueness” and craven political expediency?

        What the fuck kind of “plan” is that? I’ll be waiting on that answer. Think it through before responding, I guarantee you I have.

        • Rugger9 says:

          I had asked the question before about what changes when Nadler goes into impeachment mode, since I had read articles on the various sites (IIRC LGM) that noted potential restrictions on other committees like Schiff’s Intel and Cummings’ Oversight continuing their parallel inquiries. Waters’ Finance as well.

          If they would be restricted, holding back makes sense to get maximum exposure for the various swamp creatures under oath. However, if these other committees won’t be restricted there is no reason for Nadler to hold off. Judiciary gets more tools in impeachment mode versus investigation mode as I understand it.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I suspect Rep. Nadler will be sorely disappointed after the WH gets through scrubbing the subpoenaed material its supine DoJ thinks he should have. What will he do then?

            • Geoff says:

              He will ask again for the rest of it, slightly less nicely, and maybe even add a patented GOB “Come on!!”

            • OmAli says:

              Was there even a timetable imposed? How long will Nadler allow Barr to jerk him around before the documents are even produced? This is getting to be ridiculous….

          • bmaz says:

            This is absolute garbage. Who at LGM said that?? It does NOT, ever, remove normal legislative oversight function from any committee.

            Anybody who says that is just an idiot. What it DOES do is provide a centralized and consolidated facility to funnel anything and everything otherwise denied to normal oversight functions, and do so via the most powerful legal basis, and most impervious to even Trump appointed right wing judges. And do so on a bullet proof basis that will almost surely be accelerated faster than normal oversight questions.

            If someone at LGM said that, please tell me who. I want to have a chat.

        • Marinela says:

          I don’t understand why the House doesn’t start the impeachment. Makes zero sense to me.
          Pelosi is probably reading too much in the polls. These are the polls that ‘informed’ the dems in 2016 that they were going to win.

          One question, that I have, let’s say Trump gets impeached and survives in the Senate.
          If he doesn’t win the re-election in 2020, could the fact that he was acquitted in the Senate, save him from criminal indictments, something like the double jeopardy.
          In case there is overlap between the impeachment articles and the criminal indictments.
          Could the impeachment exoneration somehow diminish his future criminal exposure after he is no longer President?

    • P J Evans says:

      Yeah, you do the investigation so everyone can see what the crimes are, and public opinion – assuming you have the media doing real reporting, not just “ooh, both sides” cr*p – will follow. Hell, it’s close to 50% support now: that should be more than enough to get it going, especially since it’s never going to get over about 70%.

      • P J Evans says:

        And I emailed her suggesting that they get good staff attorneys who can either ask the questions themselves, or teach the Dems how to do it, try to shut down the Rs when they start speechifying or getting into irrelevant stuff, and FFS get media coverage (I suggested McClatchy as being better than NYT or WaPo, both of those being more interested in maintaining access than actual reporting).
        I don’t expect changes, but pressure may help.

  21. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What if the narrow Overton window, half-closed to protect the leadership of both parties, were an open-air stadium? Asking for a friend.

  22. Savage Librarian says:

    (paraphrased from Wikipedia)

    In his speech, “West India Emancipation” (1857), abolitionist hero, Frederick Douglass, explains how relying on public opinion constrains the ethical standards of those in positions to act in the interests of the better good.

    “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

  23. Jockobadger says:

    The new Quinnipiac Poll is out and seems encouraging. Granted it’s 17 months out, but if the Dems can get out of their own way, get the damned Impeachment investigation(s) launched, and keep the pressure on, tr*mp may not even make it to 2020. Ha! He may well crack up beforehand. I’d prefer that not happen because I want him in jail. Preferably after a nice perp-walk down the escalator.

    Thanks all.

    • RWood says:

      Those numbers are pretty bad for trump. But, as Rayne mentioned a few days back, I bet it’s their internal polling that speaks even louder.

      My guess is that Trumps internal polling numbers have been bad for some time, and all of his supporters in the House and Senate see the same numbers that he see’s. Trump can tell his campaign people to deny them and declare them fake news publicly all day if he wants to, but those GOP congressman won’t.

      Now, combine this internal polling with the exposure of trumps crimes (which they all know is coming) and their support for him gets closer and closer to the point that it’s a liability more than it is an asset.

      Since they all value their positions of power much more than they ever will Trump or the nation as a whole, they will quickly label him a liability to their future existence and under the political bus he will be thrown.

      Now if only there was a way to show the public trumps crimes and influence that polling a bit more…..

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The MSM insists that it can cover only one Democratic presidential hopeful at a time. Joe Biden is “it.” He’s the frontrunner, polls show he would beat Trump, he’s the only candidate who attacks Trump for what he is.

    Biden’s flip flops define him. Today, he attacks Trump. Yesterday, he was saying Goopers are his friends, they will come to their senses and act on their innate good will will after Trump passes from the scene. Before that he was backing down from his decades long support for the Hyde Amendment. And before that, he was wearing shades that made him look like he was on his own protection detail.

    Biden’s current “lead” doesn’t mean much this far out. His electoral performance outside Delaware has been dismal. He’s free-riding on his name recognition. He feels good, but has no policies, and a poor record on women’s issues, a black mark given where the energy lies in today’s electorate. His claimed support for the common man rings hollow, given his decades of support for banksters. And various polls show that at least six Democrats would beat Trump.

    There is plenty of time for Democratic hopefuls to sort themselves out. Most of them need a good Plan B. O’Rourke, for example, should scope out how he would take a Senate seat in Texas. They need to prepare themselves to back the winning Dem to the hilt. There are no prizes for second place, just a more dismal America for the 99%.

  25. Jockobadger says:

    EW stands for EmptyWheel and it also stands for Elizabeth Warren – who has a plan for everything. I like her a lot.

    Biden always wears those aviator shades – “his own protection detail.” Lol! They take decades off his appearance you know. I like Joe too, but I just don’t think he is the answer. That’s just my worthless $.02.

  26. Geoff says:

    On the one hand, yay!, they are going to enforce a subpoena. Or they arent, because Barr says he will comply, but we know he won’t. So then can we decide he has not complied, and then decide to actually enforce? It really seems to me like Nadler is getting played here.

    On the other hand, Barr is up to more shenanigans. It realllllly pisses me off that people (cough cough, old grey lady) are still trying to decide whether our attorney general is an upright citizen or a toad. JHFC, this guy just cannot stop aiding the corruption. The 2020 Census question quite clearly was adjudicated with false information, and in a sane world, would be revisited by the courts. And he is going to tell Trump to exert executive privilege to provide more cover for this BS? I mean, we just figured out that Ross’s initial explanation was patently false, and the whole thing was conjured by vote riggers, specifically designed to disenfranchise, and clearly proving that the whole story concocted to defend this question was a lie. I mean there is outright hard evidence on this. Like, smocking gun, people! ;-)

    The other thing that burns me up on this, is that yesterday’s hearing gave that shithead Malcolm guy the chance to look all highfalutin and pronounce his legal theory on why a president should be able to confer secretly with his counsel, and not have to worry about it, which struck me as cover, and PR, for exactly the type of thing Barr is trying to do now by preventing any disclosure from trump on the Census question.

  27. OmAli says:

    William Rivers Pitt, at Truthout:

    “The hearing held on Monday by the House Judiciary Committee was titled, “Lessons From the Mueller Report.” It should have been titled, “Yet Another Example of Democrats Making Fools of Themselves While Wasting Valuable Time.” It was a comprehensive disaster. Some of us saw this televised fail coming a mile away, and Donald Trump’s defenders had themselves a field day.”

    • Geoff says:

      Yeah, I feel like we are heading back to waiting for Mueller to be our savior, this time by testifying, despite his saying that he really has no plans to do so. And since Nadler can’t seem to work up the nerve to even subpoena McGahn to testify, I doubt he will force Mueller to go there. WASS

  28. Savage Librarian says:

    US Voter 1 – “I’m confused.”

    US Voter 2 – “About what?’

    US Voter 1 – “Who is the SotH?”

    US Voter 2 – “The Speaker of the

    US Voter 1 – “Yeah, but who is it?”

    US Voter 2 – “Non-see Poop-or-get-

    US Voter 1 – “Thanks, that’s what I

    US Voter 2 – “Don’t thank me until
    we see how it comes out…”

  29. OldTulsaDude says:

    White House for sale or rent, courtesy current resident
    no blacks, no immigrants, runnin’ low on sycophants
    Ah, but, two hours of twitter lies
    Buys a great big Putin smile
    He’s a man from Queens, won’t come clean
    King with no clothes

    Third trip, Air Force One, destination Vietnam
    Old worn out cons and lies, Vlad’s orphans his alibi
    He gives secrets to a Saudi Prince
    Promises Iran will repent
    He’s a man from Queens, won’t come clean
    King with no clothes

    He knows every autocrat and likes ’em real well
    all their wives, stay at his hotel
    policies decided with a wink and a nudge
    and every crook that ain’t booked will end up a judge

    I say, White House for sale or rent, courtesy current resident
    no blacks, no immigrants, runnin’ low on sycophants
    Ah, but, two hours of twitter lies
    Buys a great big Putin smile
    He’s a man from Queens, won’t come clean
    King with no clothes

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Fantastic! And the music is nice and snappy. Don’t mind having this in my head for awhile.

    • Jockobadger says:

      Brilliant. Just god damn brilliant. I recall listening to that song when I was with my Grandpa, buying groceries at the Calder General Store in Calder, ID. It was Christmas time and we were staying there on the Shadowy St. Joe River. Would’ve been ‘68 or ‘69. Damn that brought back some good stuff. Thank you. Nicely done.

  30. MattyG says:

    Ok I gotta take a stab at this – so with appologies to Dion…

    Oh well, I’m the kind of guy who will never sheckle down
    Where the Russian rubles flow for my condos they abound
    I build ’em and I flip ’em cause to me it anin’t colludin’
    If they got the dough and it’s me they are a choosin’
    They call me the launder
    (Yeah, but I’m also the fondler)
    I launder, fondle, launder, fondle

    Oh well, there’s Kilimnik on my left and then Deripaska on my right
    And Javanka is the “girl” well that I’ll launder with tonight
    And when “she” asks me, which one I launder best?
    I tear open my shirt and I show “Putin” on my chest
    Cause I’m the launder
    (Yeah, but I’m also the fondler)
    I launder, fondle, launder, fondle….

    Oh well, I roam from tower to tower

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Thanks, Matty! And you know I love that saxophone, too! Oh, The Goldie Oldies. What memories. Fine job, Matty! I tried to link a youtube but I couldn’t get it to work. (The Wanderer by Dion. Just in case anyone wants to listen to the music.)

  31. Rugger9 says:

    This appears kind of murky like the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors, but as bmaz noted earlier, there is no legal restriction on other committees when the impeachment inquiry starts unless the House votes such a restriction into its rules. So, according to this if I read it correctly, Nadler doesn’t necessarily need Pelosi’s blessing to start the ball rolling and I find it rather telling that the ones who’ve read the report are also most likely to push for impeachment.

    It’s a win-win and the case is stronger here than for Watergate.

    Aside to bmaz, it appears I somehow channeled Politico (“Tiger Beat on the Potomac” according to Charlie Pierce) when I asked about it earlier. Tsk, tsk and I’ll do better next time.

    • bmaz says:

      Hahahaha, was it Charlie who started that? Haven’t heard the Tiger Beat thing in forever. Was always hilarious.

      For what it is worth, I’ve tried to drill into whether HJC can do it without a full floor vote. Honestly, I am not sure. It looks to me like they could, but history is that it has moved to the full floor. In some ways, it may not matter, because, while he may chafe, Nadler will almost certainly not cross Pelosi.

  32. Kick the darkness says:

    I was reading about John Dean a bit. I didn’t realize one of his fellow co-conspirators in the whole Watergate affair ultimately invented a counter conspiracy in which Dean reached a deal with prosecutors as a way to cover up running a prostitution ring. I guess prostitution rings are just kind of a go to thing. Dean ultimately served a purpose with his adoption/popularization of Bob Altemeyer’s research on authoritarianism and conservative politics. It’s just my opinion, obviously, but I think if you read Adam Serwer’s “The cruelty is the point” together with the section of Altemeyer’s free book ( dealing with the heady brew cooked up between authoritarian followers and social dominators and you’d know everything you need to know to understand where we are at this moment. So while the Democrats seem lost in some complex political calculation, I think Dean could have gone beyond just drawing parallels between Trump and Nixon and discussed the current situation with the Republican party more generally. If education and political theater were the goals, that would have scored on both points.

    • harpie says:

      Dean ultimately served a purpose with his adoption/popularization of Bob Altemeyer’s research on authoritarianism and conservative politics.

      That’s the first thing I thought of when I read about Dean testifying at the hearing…so I went back to some of the articles I’d collected along the way.
      His first series after writing his book “Conservatives Without Conscience” [All three can be accessed at the link for the third]:
      1] Understanding the Contemporary Republican Party: Authoritarians Have Taken Control; Sep. 05, 2007
      2] Why Authoritarians Now Control the Republican Party: The Rise of Authoritarian Conservatism; Friday, Sep. 21, 2007
      3] The Impact of Authoritarian Conservatism On American Government; Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2007
      Donald Trump Is Entertaining But When Will It End?; 24 JUL 2015

      […] In fact, Donald Trump has emerged as America’s leading authoritarian political figure, representative of a type of leadership for which many Americans yearn. […] Without question, Trump is the most prototypical authoritarian leader to ever so prominently seek the American presidency […]

      • harpie says:

        1] ‘He Is Going to Test Our Democracy as It Has Never Been Tested’; Why Nixon’s former lawyer John Dean worries Trump could be one of the most corrupt presidents ever—and get away with it
        MCKAY COPPINS JAN 17, 2017

        […] With Trump preparing to take the oath of office this week, some of his more imaginative critics foresee a Nixonian demise on the horizon—the corrupt commander-in-chief felled by his own hubris, forced out of office. But if prophesies of impeachment seem a tad dramatic, Dean’s own forecast for the next four years is arguably much grimmer. He is not only convinced that Trump will be worse than Nixon in virtually every way—he thinks he’ll probably get away with it. […]
        “I used to have one-on-one conversations with [Nixon] where I’d see him checking his more authoritarian tendencies,” Dean recalled. “He’d say, ‘This is something I can’t say out loud…’ or, ‘That is something the president can’t do.’”
        To Dean, these moments suggested a functioning sense of shame in Nixon, something he was forced to wrestle with in his quest for power. Trump, by contrast, appears to Dean unmolested by any such struggle. […]

        2] Altemeyer on Trump’s Supporters 7 JUL 2017 JOHN DEAN

        [Altemeyer:] […] One can expect some of Trump’s followers to waver if the months ahead are thick with damaging revelations like those that brought down the Nixon White House. But a repeat of “Watergate-type scandals” may not damage Trump as much as they did Nixon.
        Nixon had little means of communicating directly with his supporters. Trump’s followers eagerly await his tweets to tell them the truth they will believe and repeat to one another. And so far, they have apparently believed everything he’s said.

        • harpie says:

          At the hearing, yesterday:

          11:33 AM – 10 Jun 2019

          […] Dean recanted convos with Nixon concerning granting pardons. Nixon knew it was wrong. Nixon told him “in a very peculiar manner” in a “stage whisper.” Said “I made a mistake talking to Colson about clemency for Hunt, didn’t I?”
          And Dean replied, yes that was obstruction 14/ […]

      • harpie says:

        6:15 PM – 27 May 2018

        This important study confirms what we’ve known (see e.g., Conservatives Without Conscience, 2006), and it is past time to recognize that it is not Trump’s “nationalism” that threatens our well being, rather his authoritarianism, with his fearful followers.

        Why Do Trump’s Supporters Stand by Him, No Matter What?; Bob Altemeyer August 23, 2018

        […] The very sizeable number of authoritarian followers in the United States have, in my view, joined together three times in recent history to endanger our democracy.
        They supported the war in Vietnam as it tore the country apart long after it was clearly lost.
        They supported Richard Nixon to the very end of Watergate and beyond.
        They will support Donald Trump long after it becomes indisputable that he is a felon and should be removed from office. […]
        Whether American democracy endures could well depend on what happens at the polls in 2018 and 2020. Authoritarian leaders and authoritarian followers have no great love of freedom and equality. Those who do had better organize and get out the vote, or they will make Donald Trump look like the super-genius he believes he is.

        • harpie says:

          #1] above links to:
          The Trump effect: New study connects white American intolerance and support for authoritarianism
          The research suggests that when intolerant white people fear democracy may benefit marginalized people, they abandon their commitment to democracy; May.27.2018

          Noah Berlatsky
          [quote] The World Values Survey data used is from the period 1995 to 2011 — well before Donald Trump’s 2016 run for president. It suggests, though, that Trump’s bigotry and his authoritarianism are not separate problems, but are intertwined. […]
          The Founders supported democracy as long as it was restricted to white male property holders. Today, our understanding of democracy is more expansive — at least in theory.
          In practice, the GOP has increasingly been embracing a politics of white resentment tied to disenfranchisement. […] [end quote]

      • Kick the darkness says:

        Great set of links. It seems Dean and Altemeyer are still playing off each other a bit. Altemeyer only has two figures I think in his book. But Figure 5.1 is really interesting, RWA scores for state congress critters from each state (circa early-mid 2000s-ish). A continuous distribution of scores, but self-sorted into two largely non-overlapping groups (although the democrat from MS looks pretty scary). In 2016 candidate Trump spoke to one of those groups and said “I am your voice”. Russia said “we can help”. And here we are. I suppose it’s all pretty bleak stuff. Meanwhile the world keeps throwing out amazing things. These must have flown over my house last night and I would have never known.

    • harpie says:

      Also, from the July 2015 piece:
      Donald Trump Is Entertaining But When Will It End?; 24 JUL 2015

      […] I keep recalling Bob Altemeyer’s troubling observation in The Authoritarian Specter:
      “If you think [Americans] could never elect an Adolf Hitler to power, note that David Duke would have become governor of Louisiana if it had just been up to the white voters in that state.” […]

      That seems to be exactly what the Trump Administration/GOP are trying to facilitate with the citizenship question on the census and other voter suppression/ disenfranchisement initiatives.

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