Thread: House Intelligence Committee Hearing on Special Counsel’s Report

This post is dedicated to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing already underway; it began at 9:00 a.m. EDT. I will add content here going forward.

Topic of today’s hearing: Lessons from the Mueller Report: Counterintelligence Implications of Volume 1 (Open)


Stephanie Douglas — 23-year FBI veteran, former Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch
Robert Anderson — 21-year FBI veteran, former executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch
Andrew McCarthy — former Assistant United States Attorney

Not certain why this hearing isn’t airing on C-SPAN since it’s in the schedule.

You can follow the hearing via live tweet stream from Courthouse News’ Brandi Buchman (click on the link at the date to open the thread):

I’ll add more content about this hearing soon — check the bottom of the post for new content.

~ ~ ~

Other important hearings today:

09:52 a.m.: House Oversight Votes on AG Barr & Commerce Sec. Ross In Contempt of Congress (CSPAN link)
10:00 a.m.: House Armed Services Committee on National Defense Authorization Act
10:00 a.m.: House Foreign Affairs Committee on “Emergency” Arms Sales

TBD: Senate Intelligence Committee closed door session with Donald Trump Jr. (his second appearance)

~ ~ ~

EDIT — 10:25 a.m. —

Because there’s no feed on the HPSCI meeting I’ve got the House Oversight hearing on right now. I am bloody sick of assholes like Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan talking (in Jordan’s case, yelling) over the chair Elijah Cummings in their desperation to stop this hearing.

It’s not just bullying in an effort to protect their orange liege in the White House but outright racism.

They’re voting right now and I’m so pissed off I don’t even no what they’re voting on.

EDIT —  10:45 a.m. — 

The Moscow Project also  has a live tweet thread covering the HPSCI hearing; the site has been inserting relevant supporting content along the way.

Over at the House Oversight Committee hearing, Jim Jordan is YELLING yet again about not being able to add a racist and unconstitutional question to the U.S. Census. “Why are we here?”

BECAUSE RACISM, that’s why; the GOP can’t win elections without relying on denying marginalized citizens their vote. Read the Constitution, knuckledragger. Take a breath once in a while during your racist filibustering. And get a sports jacket.

I suppose this is where I’d better make sure anyone reading this doesn’t mistake it for Marcy’s work. Check the byline as always.

EDIT —  10:56 a.m. — 

Ugh. House Oversight Committee hearing probably deserved a thread of its own but then I’d be giving real estate to these whiny white men like Rep. Jody Hice droning on and on that all efforts have not been exhausted (after a year of multiple requests in multiple forms, mind you) and that the majority is rushing this process.

FINALLY. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brings the heat. She’s noting the constitutionally-mandated nature of the Census and asking why the question about citizenship was added. This is the video capture you’re going to want to view later.

EDIT —  11:28 a.m. — 

Rep. Rankin’s turn to YELL on behalf of the House Dems. I feel his pain; I’m yelling at the television about these GOP jackasses doing their utmost to prevent accountability on this Census question. They really, REALLY don’t want to go into this issue at all, aiding and abetting a cover-up going all the way to the White House.

Another cover-up, mind you.

225 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The MSM is doing its normalization routine again. “Neither side is backing down,” over congressional oversight, on a day where several House committees are holding hearings. Another false equivalence: it pleases producers and patrons, it doesn’t do much to inform the public.

    Congress is attempting to perform its constitutionally mandated role in overseeing the executive branch. Donald Trump is attempting to obstruct that oversight. That is not about protecting the office of the president. It’s about hiding Trump’s poor and frequently illegal conduct.

    • Anvil Leucippus says:

      Speaking of normalization, I have seen the news talk about how the DOJ handed over tens of thousands of pages of THINGS to the oversight into the Census question — and then glaze over the fact those materials were not what was subpoenaed, and in a lot of cases, even f*cking relevant! Maybe before the both-sidesism does the whole “oh the mean old Dems” act, the news could at least pretend to do its job and offer context for what it presents.

      • Rayne says:

        LOL Just watched one of the Dems on House Oversight Committee show a completely blacked-out page offered in response to request related to the Census citizenship question investigation. Thousands of pages of shit offered as responsive, in actuality snowing under the committee.

        The tack the GOP has adopted now that YELLING hasn’t bullied the committee: insisting the committee hold off on contempt and let the Supreme Court rule on the citizenship question. Tells me they feel confident the fix is in at the SCOTUS. All the more reason why the majority must continue to press on with their investigation and charge Ross and Barr with contempt.

        • alfredlordbleep says:

          “Tells me they feel confident the fix is in at the SCOTUS.”
          John Roberts, supposedly so protective of the Court’s image, will stand for a few months of tarnish when it’s worth years of tilting the scales for rightwing pols.

          Love to be wrong. Not bloody likely.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That’s a variation on what used to be called 52-card pickup. A long time ago, when producing documents to the other side, rules required that the hard copies be labeled and in the order of the questions asked.

        In big cases, firms would sometimes rearrange the docs in any old way – with some subtlety added to make denial of it plausible. It generated delay and cost money to reorganize the documents into a useful order. Petty gamesmanship, intended to distract and intimidate.

        Good litigators learned to build such things into their timelines and budgets. Congressional staff will have learned the same lesson in dealing with recalcitrant administrations.

        • P J Evans says:

          They might even have people who are known to not be able to sort stuff in any kind of order, just for this kind of work.

  2. Suzanne Needles says:

    I am dismayed at all broadcast media: msnbc had KellyAnne interview while Chair Cummings was speaking, cnn some coverage but mostly talking heads, and even cspan lacking? NYT prohibiting reporters from Maddow? We are witnessing the demise of the balance of power and our democracy—but actual Congress actions will not be televised? Are they self-censoring or corporate censoring?

    • Rayne says:

      I’m disturbed at how MSNBC broke away to cover a one-person accident in a helicopter instead of covering the HJC hearing.

      Now bmaz won’t have a problem with less dispersion of that hearing, but the ease with which a major cable network was derailed is distressing.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Who is this “bmaz” of which you speak? Is he the guy who thinks Rachel Maddow would communicate better if she used less inflection, half the words, and half the repetition?

        • Hug h says:

          LOL! I have a really hard time watching Maddow and your critique hit the nail on the head! … That and maybe talking down to the audience.

          • bmaz says:

            Heh, it may have been a common refrain around here in the past. She is smart, and does some good work. But, dang, she is almost unwatchable.

        • Vinnie Gambone says:

          I call her Rehash Maddow. Friggin irritating. Don’t her people know ? Pete and repeat. WTF?

          • e.a.f. says:

            William Goldman a rather good Hollywood script writer and script doctor used to say, you need to repeat things three times for the audience to understand things. Its why sales people do it, its why trump does it. Maddox’s knows who she is talking to. Its why movies and t.v. shows use music, the same music. People usually aren’t paying full attention, repetition if it doesn’t get them the first time, may on the third time. its why some ads run then a different ad and back to the first ad. repeat and wash, etc.

      • rattlemullet says:

        The tragedy as entertainment model of business became the working model of the 24 hour news cycle. Sadly, now it is fed twenty four seven to every device out there.

        • e.a.f. says:

          news is s produced in this manner because its cheap and easy. just put on a talking head, bring in 4 others, let them yell at each other and that is the news. The major news companies certainly don’t do much work or spend much money to “produce the news” and much of it isn’t news. Once again stations like CNN are running some dumb show over and over and over. its not news, its repeat and wash of the 70s, 60s, 80s, Nothing on the condition of the country to day. I do wonder how things turned out in all those flooded areas last month, who is getting all those contracts in the American concentration camps. investigative journalism is almost dead. Blogs do provide good information, better than a lot of the MSM.
          Some times I wonder why the MSM in the U.S.A. doesn’t produce news any more, it can’t all be about money. Of course if citizens really knew what was going on in their country, there might be changes.

  3. dude says:

    Anvil– yes, last night I heard reporters and committee reps saying they were now allowed to go look at documents, read them–not take them away, copy, distribute them. Where did you hear about the documents being unrelated or irrelevant to the inquiries? I must of have missed that—

    • Anvil Leucippus says:

      Here’s a sampling just from The Hill:
      “Boyd argued the documents subpoenaed are protected by attorney-client privilege, adding the agency has worked to accommodate the panel’s requests by providing relevant documents”
      “And the agencies pointed to past documents and interviews that department staff had provided and sat for as showing that they were willing to cooperate in the Oversight and Reform Committee’s investigation.”
      “Both the DOJ and the Commerce Department have pushed back against Cummings’s claims, pointing to other materials the agencies have given to the committee and testimony that officials have provided.”
      “While he wrote that the DOJ had made “no commitments” to hand over certain documents and “no counter-offer with respect to these documents,” Cummings said he would be willing to delay the contempt vote if he received certain key documents by Wednesday.”

      See how it consistently presents the subpoena as an attempt to ask for documents ON TOP OF the already-given, super-awesome documents? I call bullshit! It fails to point out that the already-given documents are (intentionally) useless. That’s just inexcusable garbage context.

      • dude says:

        I see. So by the end of yesterday, Barr and Ross are subjected to contempt by Cummings’ Committee because they were weaseling out of a purported “deal” with these hollow counter-offers on documents. Like I said, I did not see any reporting on it.

        • Rayne says:

          Media has done a particularly wretched job reporting on the hearings. They’re just plain confused by what looks like minutiae.

          • bmaz says:

            Let’s also keep in mind that inherent contempt is a joke that is NEVER happening.

            So the House will have to take the contempt citation to court for enforcement. The DOJ will not only not assist in that effort, will almost certainly fight it. The Executive Branch does not assist in actions against itself. So the House Dems are either on their own, or in need of the court creating a special prosecutor for the matters, as was done in the Don Stevens case. Good luck with that.

            Anybody starting to understand why I keep saying it is critical to access the power of an impeachment inquiry immediately? It is,by a light year, the strongest and fastest way to facilitate everything the House Dems claim to want to do, but are moribund in quicksand on.

            • harpie says:

              Eric Swalwell, HJC member, calling for inquiry today:
              7:15 AM – 13 Jun 2019

              Congress has no choice: we must begin an impeachment inquiry against @realDonaldTrump. He has invited the Russians to again sabotage our elections. And he has obstructed (& obstructs) justice. Time to be held accountable. Our democracy is worth saving.

            • Rayne says:

              The HJC will probably move to civil contempt since it offers their best chance at getting through the court versus criminal contempt. It will still force the executive to defend its privilege.

              And while I have indeed read and heard your arguments for an impeachment inquiry, this particular case for civil contempt isn’t any weaker than than it is during an impeachment inquiry. The real crisis lies ahead in whether the current SCOTUS revisits United States v. Nixon and comes to a different conclusion than the unanimous decision the court arrived at in 1974. The court then said the executive’s privilege isn’t absolute and an investigation subpoenaing materials which may reveal criminal acts aren’t entitled to absolute immunity based on the executive’s claim of generalized interest in confidentiality.

              Even that dirtbag Deadeye Cheney had a better argument than Trump would, given the Energy Task Force materials Cheney sought to protect under executive privilege may have relied upon or affected military or diplomatic secrets. Hicks’ testimony is only covering the orange shitgibbon’s ass and it’s no military or diplomatic secret that he’s a crook when he’s blown his load on broadcast television with Stephanopolous.

              • bmaz says:

                To say that ANYTHING the House is doing is not buoyed by opening an impeachment inquiry is simply ludicrous. Every argument is strengthened immeasurably by having a straight Constitutional basis as opposed to common legislative oversight. Come on, don’t be silly.

                Of course they will move for normal contempt, that is all they have a basis for. The court would have to find further for criminal.

                • RWood says:

                  I’m getting the distinct impression that I could take a nap from now until September and wake up to find zero progress on anything.

                  Nothing is going to happen until after the August recess. And then only if Pelosi and her followers get a serious ear-full from the public while they are home.

                  What a colossal waste of valuable time.

                  My two cents anyway, worth every penny…

                  • Rayne says:

                    Have YOU done your own civic duty by making calls to your rep and senators? Have you recruited others to make calls to their members of Congress? The “serious ear-full” should be ongoing right the fuck now, not emotional baggage dumping in comments where House Dems can’t hear or measure it.

                    Goes for anybody else reading this. It’s pitchforks and torches time, starting with lighting up the phones. And the march on Saturday, or haven’t you made plans to participate?

                    • RWood says:

                      Heh. Yes and No.

                      My congresscritter is Vern Buchanan. My Senators are Slick Rick Scott and Little Marco “the weather vane” Rubio. My Governor is none-other than Trump-appointed Rick DeSantis. So you’ll have to excuse me for not writing or calling them. I have better ways to waste my time.

                      Have I sent a letter and phone call Pelosi’s way?

                      Did I ever.

                      (Pitchforks are $31.98 at Amazon right now, Prime)

                    • Rayne says:

                      CALL THEM ANYHOW. Jesus Christ. They’re still your representatives. Calls are counted and by opinion and issue. Why do you think Rubio will act the way he does when there isn’t a shit storm of constituents in his face about his failure to represent them? He’s up for re-election in 2022 and every day between now and that election day he should be hearing from constituents about his failures.

                      Rally others to call them regularly — I mean, how much of the problem we have with GOP members of Congress resides in this defeatist attitude?

                      And then get to work on recruiting replacements. Charlie Crist and Patrick Murphy have made creditable runs for senate and should be encouraged for 2022. What is your local Democratic Party doing to this end? And are they making regular efforts to protest conspicuously with clear messaging in a manner that makes it difficult for local news to avoid? Like making posters of pitchforks and torches to carry in front of Rubio’s local office after sending news channels a press release announcing the protest. Make sure a soundbite hammers Rubio for sucking up to corrupt Mitch McConnell.

                      Your time is wasted when you give up. You haven’t even tried. And now you’re wasting my time.

                    • P J Evans says:

                      I’m in California. My congresscritter is Brad Sherman, my senators – well, one is running for president, and the other should have retired at least six years ago, but they’re all officially Democrats. (I have Pelosi’s email page as speaker bookmarked. Sherman’s is all but impossible to find, as his site apparently got broken last time it was updated. Reported, but whether it will get fixed is another question. His office is barely in the district, and hard to reach.)

                    • Rayne says:

                      Same thing: Call. Them. All.

                      Sherman’s site is lame — — his use of a survey for input is a means to winnow out the nutbags and his use of a contact form — — is intended to eliminate bots+trolls, but it also reduces opportunities to provide feedback on issues not listed in his survey. Last email address I can find for him is brad.sherman[@]

                      That said, knowing I will once again get crap for not promoting Resistbot, send a fax if you can’t get through any other way. It won’t take as long as snail mail which must go through terrorist screening, and the numbers are still active and unlikely to get the same traffic as the email addresses.

                      Just keep pounding on these guys, including Feinstein. She came through when we didn’t expected it with “leaking” Fusion GPS documents; she might yet have an opportunity to help in the days ahead as long as she thinks she’s got the support.

                    • RWood says:

                      I think you misunderstood me Rayne, I do all that and more. But right now, I’m spending my time trying to get the Democratic leadership off the bench and into the game. Without that the rest is for naught. I’ve been on the front lines for some time. (If you pick the right footage you can see me shouting Rick Scott out of a local restaurant in my town.) I do my part.

                      While we’re on the subject, let me add some insight.

                      Rayne is right. It is time to speak up. Letters and phone calls do matter.

                      I have a family friend who once worked for a Governor and when the public was hot about something the letters and phone calls would start coming in. Staff were limited for dealing with this, so tracking it became a task of keeping a tally of the phone calls for and against, or skimming the letters long enough to determine a viewpoint and then placing them in the appropriate pile. I imagine emails are counted and sorted the same way today. Little to no effort was made to see if the people were actually constituents, or if they had called/mailed/emailed before.

                      So: Volume matters. The daily count was all the rep usually got or even asked for.

                      Three short letters are better than one long one. Same for phone calls and emails.

                      Have things changed since then? I don’t know. It’s been a few years since that conversation. I’m sure emails and phone calls can be more easily parsed and sorted now. Letters might be more difficult and time consuming, but it can be done. Will they take the time to do it though?

                      I try to do so regularly. I have reminders on my calendar. I try to include a carrot and stick in every message I send. Votes, donations, support for their preferred candidates. Those are things that get their attention. Party affiliation is another. If you’re a Dem, threatening to become an independent speaks loudly. I don’t rant, but I get my point across.

                      My point here is that steady pressure on the reps will win this thing. The safely gerrymandered may not care as much, but you can bet good money they still ask for the daily numbers from those manning the phones.

                      Keep um ringing. Fill that inbox. Use up that roll of stamps. And if the opportunity presents, let them know in person. I took great pleasure in watching Rick Scott flee into his limo and leave my town. Well worth the time.

                    • Democritus says:

                      You rock Rayne. I have metric fuck-tons of respect for you and the work you, and others(to be fair) here, do for our country.

                      And I did call this week.

                      All of us citizens need to become more active, as I’m sure has been said

                      if not us, who?
                      if not now, when?

                    • e.a.f. says:

                      Rayne has a point there about pitch fork time, etc. Have a look at Hong Kong and the number of people out protesting, while in the U.S.A. not many are doing much or the news isn’t reporting it. You’d think with the statements trump made people would be marching in the streets. like what sort of citizens asks a foreign country to interfere in this democracy????? Once upon a time I can remember demonstrations taking place in the U.S.A., large ones at that. If politicians saw a million people in the streets they might take a hint and think its time to get serious.

                    • bmaz says:

                      And, yes, I talked to my Congressman’s office long ago. And one of my Senators. I have better shit to do than sitting on hold for the other idiot. My one Dem Senator is bad enough without fucking with McSally. I don’t have time for that crap.

                      If Nancy Pelosi cannot do her job, why should I bother my local critters. I am going to start supporting a primary opponent of Pelosi’s though. He is actually a man who has spent his career working with people defending the Constitution. Shahid Buttar. I have known him for a decade or so. I never in my life thought I would say that Nancy Pelosi is too cowardly and pathetic to lead, but she is. Her job is done, her time has come.

                    • e.a.f. says:

                      its what I miss about telegrams, you could phone the company and they’d deliver the telegram to your politicians of choice. Yes, I know I’m very old to have done that, but it worked, sometimes. Now its just emails and phone calls or texts but to see actual paper coming through the door……back in the day Canadian politicians figured for every hand written letter they received, they could count on another thousand being of the same opinion. People need a new way to register dissent or perhaps an old way, send them a hand written letter and mail it. In Canada we can mail our Members of Parliament free.

                    • bmaz says:

                      e.a.f. – The local office for my Congressman, Stanton, is not far from here. I should go over more often. Where I live was formerly a hard red district. Stanton is great, have known him since he was a Phoenix city councilman. And his extremely accomplished wife just was named GC for a big cannabis company.

                      It is good, as Rayne constantly reminds, to make hard contact. Whether in person or phone or whatever. Not always easy, but good.

                      Also, too, if this district can go from red to blue, most others (not all) can too. Votes and contact mean something.

  4. OmAli says:

    At what point do the committees decide enough disrespect and humiliation is enough and start charging criminal contempt?

    This is cringe-worthy behavior.

    • bmaz says:

      That answer is easy. Never. Because it is silly talk. Anybody that mentions “criminal contempt” needs to be ready to explain how you enforce it. You think the Sergeant at Arms is just going to arrest sitting cabinet members that have Secret Service protection details? Seriously? How? I have asked that question of everybody who mentions this nonsense. No one has an answer, because there is no answer to it. Secondly, even if the Sergeant could arrest them, where would he put them?? There is no proper detention facility available, and anybody that says there is a jail in the Capitol is a nut, there is not. Lastly, why would a court not issue a writ of habeas corpus in a heartbeat? Hell, even I would were I a judge.

      “Criminal contempt” is laughable, and will never, ever, happen. The only enforceable contempt is through court process, and that too will never be enforced without an impeachment inquiry serving as the foundation for the request.

      • OmAli says:

        Thank you for your response and explanation, bmaz.

        I wish House committee members would stop throwing it around as one of the mighty weapons in their arsenal. None of them has been able to coherently explain it when questioned a bit closer by news folk. This tells me why.

        • bmaz says:

          Yep, agree completely that they should stop throwing it around. And is exactly why they never have good answers, there aren’t any!

      • Democritus says:

        I’m faaaar from an expertand a wee bit medicated right now, and the closest I came to law school was the LSATs- which were kinda fun truth be told, but in theory could Congress contract with a private prison now that, I think and correct if I’m wrong I might be but I do try to keep up some with CJ reform, Trump removed the restrictions on federal use of private prisons that Obama had instituted by executive order (I think)

        God sorry for that run on sentence, my right arm is killing me or I’d retype-format.

        Is that in anyway possible? Nothing makes me want to look for solutions more than being to.d something’s impossible.

        Of course, lots of things are in fact impossible in the end so…😉😊

        • bmaz says:

          Heh. Interesting. I have no idea. Great question. I mean, doubt it will ever go there, but if it did? I am not sure. Doubt any relief we here would want.

          • Democritus says:

            Thanks for the reply. If the idea has a chance of working please take it and RUN with it, or suggest it around and maybe it will inspire a better more workable idea?

            As much I loathe the concept of private for-profit prisons using Trumps own reintroduction of them federally against him would be such sweet icing. Which likely means it won’t occur.

            Note, really for profit prisons are anathema IMO. For me at least not everything should be done for profit, and the distortion that profit motivation could have on matters of justice is not good for any society.

            Thanks for the answer bmaz😊 Also for keeping threads clean of intentional distortions etc. This is one of the last place I comment even some because I am so sick of disinfo/trolls etc.

            I just want there to be no more concentration camps on the border.

            Did people here see this? Gutted me. She said they have been in touch with Nadler @ Justice and Cable News so hopefully something will be done.


            Starts with

            “I have just gotten off the phone with a friend who is a legal volunteer in Border Patrol facilities.

            Don’t look away.”

          • Savage Librarian says:

            Contracting with a private prison is a creative idea. But if that were to ever be considered, I would definitely want to check all the background info and fine print. It would be a “lost-in-the-funhouse” experience if the prison was owned and/or managed by Erik Prince or any other criminal, including a foreign adversary.

            In my fifth year working for DOD, I had to help write a contract to do myself out of a job. The library was eventually contracted out to an airplane refueling company. Not because they actually were more cost effective, efficient or able. But because of politics and greed.

  5. MB says:

    The HPSCI hearing is streaming live through the PBS Youtube channel. So no need to rely on C-SPAN for anything. PBS has had a long-standing practice of streaming live congressional hearings both major and minor for a while now. I watched several minutes of it earlier this morning and found it to be a bit dry – none of the guest witnesses had the star-power of Monday’s Judiciary hearing. Aside from that, the conservative congresspeople on this panel were much more “button-down” than the yellers on the Judiciary committee, though relentlessly covering the usual talking points about the Steele Dossier, the FISA warrants and “spying”…

    • bmaz says:

      Well, hopefully they were actually competent witnesses as opposed to the idiotic clown show the HJC put on. If there was no tired old retread John Dean, that is at least a start.

      • MB says:

        The probably I had with John Dean @ the Judiciary Committee hearing was not Dean himself, but rather his fame and history opened the door to the committee yellers spending their 5 minutes loudly defaming him, which diverted from the actual subject matter.

        Regarding the HPSCI witnesses, I didn’t watch long enough to form an opinion as to their competency, they just struck me as being mostly neutral and technocratic. If the purpose of this hearing was to educate the public regarding Volume I of the Mueller report, I hope it succeeded, but the slice I saw had me yawning.

        • PSWebster says:

          It is better than yesterday with Dean. The old guy the Minority has up is not giving them ALL the answers they want to hear and the FBI guy and gal are laying it on thick. Maybe the Minority are running out of running dog lackeys…cannot find many who have read/understood the Mueller Report who will say what they want and trying to label the Report the Dossier is lame.
          THanks for allowing my posts.

          • MB says:

            I’m watching a replay of the hearing now that it’s over to get a better sense of this hearing as a whole. Notable to me so far is that the opening statements of the 2 FBI witnesses was concise and to the point. The opening of the minority witness (Andrew McCarthy, who is associated with some group related to National Review) was bloviating talking points to the max and he had to be cut off by Schiff at the 5-minute mark because he was going overtime. One of the subjects he covered in his opening remarks was that “everybody does oppo research – it’s hardly unique that the Trump campaign engaged in it”, which was sharply rebuked by Rep. Himes who pointed out that sharing polling data with reps of foreign governments is not even a remotely normal definition of “oppo research”. He then proceeded to ask questions of both the FBI witnesses and ignored this guy for the rest of his time…

            • Americana says:

              It’s absurd for Republicans to claim the Trump campaign sharing polling data w/the Russians was normal or acceptable behavior by a campaign.

              It was a given that when the Russians received Trump’s polling data, they would analyze that data to assign Russki trolls to barrage those questionable states via social media.

            • Americana says:

              Trump gave an interview to ABC George Stephanopoulos where he said he’d “take a call to get opposition research from a foreign country”. Then Trump said the name of the country that was the hypothetical source of his hypothetical opposition research — NORWAY! Once again, Trump is trying to minimize the nature and complications of his Russian relationships.


              “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump continued. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

      • Americana says:

        The witnesses they had for the HJC hearing were competent, dead on accurate in citing the law and thus I found them compelling. Not sure what you want for testimony but it’s not going to go the TV route each and every time… It’s about time we recognize when situations call for Clarence Darrow speeches and when other tactics are suitable.

        • bmaz says:

          It was one of the most pathetic and asinine things in the entire sad history of Democrats dumbassery. It accomplished nothing whatsoever but proving that Pelosi and Nadler are feckless idiots.

          • Americana says:

            And your alternative for this hearing would be what??? I’d love to hear what your proposal is for a strategic buildup to impeachment.

            • Geoff says:

              If I may be so bold as to speak for bmaz, I’d say he doesn’t believe this is building up, it’s not strategic, and we in fact don’t need a strategy or a build up, just an impeachment inquiry right from the get go. ;-)

              • bmaz says:

                Exactly! Doing so legally bulletproofs the legal arguments, and would almost certainly accelerate them through the court process. Use your best tool and get going.

                • pjb says:

                  I’m starting to worry that even the commencement of Impeachment hearings won’t be enough to rouse Americans from their apathy if Nadler is going to conduct them like a sleep apnea seminar. The hearings need to be on national tv, not streamable on cspan6, maybe in primetime. They need fact witnesses to tell their stories and they need to pace the show properly for the limited attention span of the politically incurious. Get a serious trial lawyer as lead House counsel to talk the witness through his/her narrative, and don’t have 5 minute switchbacks.

                  Lets get the show on the road, but lets make it a damn good tv show.

                  • earlofhuntingdon says:

                    As with many policies Main Street Americans would like to see implemented, it’s not their apathy and conservatism that’s in play here – it’s the Democratic leadership’s. McConnell, on the other hand, is boldly going where no man has gone before.

                  • Americana says:

                    I wish I could identify “apathy” as being the reason for Americans not pushing for impeachment. To me, it’s obvious just how entrenched and enraged conservatives are over anyone questioning a white male of Trump’s impeccable character* who’s doing their bidding in every regard.

                    (So we’re clear > *IMPUGNED)

                    Pushing impeachment in this climate is tough. We need climate change and I see it coming in just a few weeks via another couple of legal catastrophes for Trump.

                  • e.a.f. says:

                    the five minute questioning is really not the best way to question a witness. Most politicians I’ve watched, first do a speech, some times not relating to the topic at hand, but more like a promo for their favorite bike and then ask some stupid question.

                • Americana says:

                  There are at least two remaining trials/legal moves I see as needing to take place (or at least begin) before impeachment has its best footing. As trial lawyer(s), I’ll leave it to you to figure out what I think are the final two components Pelosi is waiting on.

                  I’m not sure where you’re going w/the whole “bulletproofing the legal arguments” for impeachment. Sure, once the impeachment process is started, the advantage goes to the discovery demands but Trump can fight such. Please explain your POV. I’m willing to be persuaded. If you’ve got a truly persuasive argument, write out your perspective and get it to the right Democrats. I agree there is some floundering going on but that will shift dramatically if the last two legal factors I see being needed come into play. Obviously, I’ve got a slightly different take on the strength of the buildup. Partly, this is because there were so many Democrats who prematurely and weakly pressed the impeachment button so often and so futilely. When we hit that button, it’s got to be electroshock therapy to the right/alt right ‘nads.

                  • bmaz says:

                    I have explained this repeatedly. And there is not dick shit that needs to be done before opening an inquiry, that is a ridiculous statement. And, no, I don’t need to figure out what lame BS you have in mind. Don’t worry, I have already talked to key players, and they understand perfectly, including HJC, but are being stymied by Pelosi. And, frankly, fuck that “when we hit that button” bullshit. We are long past that moment. You have seen the arguments here repeatedly, you appear to simply be patently obtuse. Go do your own damn research, I don’t owe you squat.

                    • Americana says:

                      Tough guy BS.

                      True, you don’t owe me squat. I’ve never doubted the House Speaker could order an impeachment vote at any time so cut that repeated stupidity from you to me. The question isn’t the fact House Dems could open impeachment at any time, the question is whether it would be successful when moved to the Senate.

                    • bmaz says:

                      You can piss right off “Americana”. Worrying about sending articles to the Senate is idiotic before you can even put on a fucking hearing. Don’t waste my time with ridiculous junk.

                    • bmaz says:

                      My “pissiness” is directed at you because you are a constant malignant disinformation specialist. And I understand you perfectly, it is just that you are full of shit. And if you don’t like it, too bad, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

                      And you are lying now. When you talked about a specific criminal offense and framed it in terms of “counts”, you absolutely were suggesting crimes. If you didn’t understand that, you shouldn’t be commenting about such things.

                  • pjb says:

                    Perhaps “apathy” was not the precise word, but the point is to arouse the citizenry to intensify support for holding Trump constitutionally accountable. I was only speculating about how to make it spectator friendly.

                    I can only speculate you are thinking about Flynn’s sentencing and Stone’s trial. Perhaps you have something else in mind? in any case, I don’t see why the initiation of impeachment hearings should await these events. When they occur, they will hopefully provide a further evidentiary boost to an already robust process. As will getting the trump org. financials. The HJC has the roadmap. The key witnesses are known. Time is of the essence. Hire a trial team and have at it.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Right. And the team of trial lawyers are to some extent already there as majority staff counsel, though they might need to be supplemented. Announce that hearings will be conducted by the professional attorneys, not every little member in five minute segments. If the Republicans don’t like it, tough, they don’t have the gavel.

                      And, frankly that is all they need to do. don’t care if they ever vote out actual articles of impeachment. In fact, I think it would be smart if they did not. Hold the professional hearings, lay out the evidence, inform the public, then let the people decide in the election. Trump is NEVER going too be removed by the Senate; quit worrying about that!

                    • elevator48 says:

                      I don’t see a conviction senate vote as completely out of the question. If Mueller and McGhan testify on national tv in a Watergate style hearing it could make for a major shift in public opinion and put the fear of god is some of them to vote with dems. Even if not likely, I believe putting them on public record suborning obstruction of justice could cost them a couple of seats in 2020. Worth the effort imo.

                    • Americana says:

                      Not sure why you wouldn’t answer my question about your strategy and yet you’d politely answer pjb.

                      I like the idea of having House attorneys handling the questioning and scrapping the 5-minute Q&A per member. Not sure how you’d prevent minority party attorneys not continuing to gum up the works though.

                    • Americana says:

                      Elevator, I agree it’s essential to get the Republicans on suborning obstruction of justice and as many other counts related to these events as apply.

                      I think the fallout and effects from a Watergate style hearing are what’s needed for the cure. We need more than just Rep. Justin Amash to come to the support of this struggle given what the GOP has done to exploit the Executive branch powers.

                    • bmaz says:

                      And this is just more ridiculous bunk from “Americana”. There will be no “Watergate style hearings” because the Senate is never er going to do that, and without using impeachment inquiry powers, the House will never have witnesses and evidence to pull it off. Americana is just trolling this blog with either intentional bullshit, or complete ignorance. Their commentary is malignant.

                      Secondly the call to:

                      “”it’s essential to get the Republicans on suborning obstruction of justice and as many other counts related to these events as apply.”

                      Is just more ridiculous bunk. There will not be any counts against Republican legislators as they have c complete protection by the Speech and Debate clause. Just more ludicrous nonsense.

                    • Americana says:

                      It’s really curious why you’d direct your pissiness at me considering the other poster who first voiced those very same points.

                      You sure don’t always understand my drift. My remarks about getting the Republicans on suborning obstruction of justice doesn’t mean necessarily getting them on legal grounds but getting them as having demonstrated they were willing to play dirty tricks via their legislative duties (Nunes comes to mind), ignore facts, fail to investigate suspect behavior, etc.

                      As for trolling, hardly. Just because you don’t grasp what I’m getting at doesn’t mean others don’t.

          • BobCon says:

            It’s been reported that Nadler has been making the argument that issuing subpoenas outside of the impeachment process is a dry hole, but Pelosi won’t budge.

            I have a bunch of thoughts about what is behind her reasoning, but ultimately I think she is vastly overthinking this and overestimating her flexibility.

  6. Geoff says:

    I’m of the mind that calling executive privilege on the Census question, given what we already know and have documented evidence of regarding that matter, and how important this issue is, is grounds for impeachment in and of itself, even if we completely disregard all the other good reasons that warrant this corrupt little man’s removal from office. Let’s just get it started.

    • Jockobadger says:

      Hear, hear, Geoff! This whole “question” question is all about scaring brown people and screwing with the f-ing election. Again. And, declaring executive privilege over this is an impeachable offense all by itself god damnit. Sigh.

      JHFC – Let’s get this impeachment show on the road!

  7. MattyG says:

    Hopefully all this pussy-footing around is just that and that the House will launch a full-throated investigation pronto that goes by the name impeachment investigation. How much more BS do we need to take before constitutional guardians take real action?

  8. jaango says:

    The only way to have an “impeachment inquiry” will only occur after the ‘aggressive’ Democrats foist their “discharge petition” onto the House floor.

    As such, everything else is political comedy!

  9. harpie says:

    Rep. Raskin [D-Md] at House Oversight, wrt: contempt votes today:

    […] every rule and provision of the Administrative Services Act was violated along the way to putting that [Citizenship question] in. But what we couldn’t figure out was what exactly was behind the citizenship question that was implanted totally outside of regular governmental administrative process.
    Well, one of the documents came back heavily redacted, but there’s enough truth in it, Mr. Chairman, that we can actually figure out what is really going on. It’s one of the clues, and I’d ask the staff to put it up on the screen, if they would.
    This is an email sent by Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce on May 2, 2017. Now you see most of that redacted part, but a very critical sentence appears sandwiched in between the redactions, Mr. Chairman. Quote

    [Ross]: [quote] Worst of all they emphasize that they have settled with Congress on the questions to be asked. I am mystified why nothing have been done in response to my months-old request that we include the citizenship question. Why not? [end quote]

    Now notice the date of that email, Mr. Chairman. That’s May 2, 2017. But Secretary Ross said that he added the citizenship question as you quoted
    solely in response to a request from the Department of Justice in December of 2017
    seven months later. And, yet here he is in May of 2017, seven months before, saying that he had been pressing for the citizenship question months before that. So, we at least have a seven months lie, maybe an eight, or nine or ten or eleven or twelve month lie. […]

    • Geoff says:

      Are they not up to date on how bad the evidence is on this issue? That which you described above we’ve known about for a long time. It was only perhaps weeks ago that we learned of the even worse detail described in emails about where the idea of the Census question change originated, and how it was specifically tied to voter disenfranchisement. I want to see that the WH KNEW about that whole exchange. That is surely what they are hiding, behind the cover of executive privilege.

      ““Without a question on citizenship being included on the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire,” Mr. Hofeller wrote, “the use of citizen voting age population is functionally unworkable.””

      They KNEW they needed this question to carry out their scheme, and they went for it.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Are they not up to date on how bad the evidence is on this issue?

        It would be my opinion that they know and don’t care… they’ve gotten away w/ so many obvious, blatant, outrageous lies for so long now that they just might think they can get away with anything…

  10. Savage Librarian says:

    Coming to Our Census

    Let’s save a little overhead,
    Reduce costs and pay down debt,
    Maybe we can make some bread,
    Without causing much regret.

    Coming to our census,
    Let’s count some proscribed cuts,
    Let’s not forget to mention,
    We should reduce some excess buts.

    But for being president,
    But for DOJ,
    But for being so hell bent,
    On executing his own way.

    But for being Barred
    Against prisms unitarily portrayed,
    But for being Starred,
    Despite seeming a bit frayed.

    But beyond a reasonable doubt,
    But for obstruction and its ilk,
    We can give an impeachable shout
    Out to his favorite AG, “Bilk.”

    For other places we can scrimp,
    Cut some bitcoin blockchain grift,
    Associated with his darling pimp,
    And what Javanka still can lift.

    As far as citizens and taxes,
    Can we cut a Don a break?
    We’re our own new evil axis,
    Who he loves to give a shake.

    For matters electoral,
    Representing how we vote,
    It isn’t just conjectural
    If suppression becomes rote.

    I really want my country back,
    Is that too much to ask?
    And about that inquiry flak,
    Cleaning House is one fair task.

    Let’s save a little overhead,
    Reduce costs and pay down debt,
    By excising all the rot that’s spread,
    While curbing our worst threat.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Michael Flynn’s hiring a new lawyer – “conservative firebrand” and frequent Faux Noise commentator, Sidney Powell – suggests that Flynn plans to return to a strategy that landed him nowhere: that he was set up by “duplicitous FBI agents who had an agenda against the president.” (The Faux Noise connection also seems to be a play for Trump’s favor.)


    You needn’t go back as far as J. Edgar Hoover to appreciate that the FBI has often screwed up. It’s persistent mishandling of its IT systems is a stellar example. Systemic process failures at its once-famed Quantico labs is another. But its agents have rarely been accused of being anti-authoritarian or of going too far to protect the Left.

    If you do want to go back to the days of Hoover, the New York field office once vied with the powerful but reputationally vulnerable Cardinal Francis Spellman over who could give more help to Roy Cohn. Today, it still seems to harbor robust anti-Clinton sentiments.

    With that background, and given the tread gently approach of Mr. Mueller’s team, might I suggest that what motivated the FBI to investigate Mike Flynn was having probable cause to suspect him of serious crimes.

    • bmaz says:

      And, curiously, Powell has already said they plan to keep cooperating, obviously as to Kian I guess, maybe others, it is unclear. But the judge is going to still be the testy Emmet Sullivan. Restarting the frothy right conspiracy theories, that Sullivan has already eviscerated, would be insane. So what are they gonna do?? No decent lawyers I know thinks this move is anything but absurd. It is a head scratcher.

      • pjb says:

        Agreed, it makes no obvious sense to normal people. But, is it possible Flynn figures he’s going to jail anyway so maybe at least look pretty enough to pardon? Also, maybe Powell agreed to a rock bottom rate for the opportunity to get off the Fox bench and into the game?

        • Troutwaxer says:

          Maybe his other lawyer wanted out, but rather than embarrass Flynn said, “Why don’t you hire someone else and I’ll go away quietly.”

        • bmaz says:

          I have no idea. Maybe playing for pardon, who knows. Flynn and his family are a tad on the crackpot end of things, so who knows what the theory is? Kelner did not ask out, Flynn pulled the trigger.

          • Geoff says:

            The more ineffectual the Dem investigations look, the longer they hold off on impeachment, the longer Trump essentially “gets away with it” the more it probably looks to Flynn like he’d get away issuing pardons too. In his position, I think I’d be doing all I can to make it clear I’m still on team and await my service reward. As John Candy said in Splash, “if something works, I stick with it!” ;-)

        • Americana says:

          Sidney Powell may be the first lawyer who’s willing to test the “fruit of the poisoned tree” theory w/Flynn as the guinea pig. Powell may be willing to take Flynn’s case since AG Barr has been intimating he’s investigating the investigators out of a belief the predicate for the investigation may be questionable. Should Powell manage the unimaginable, who knows? Flynn may well be able to somehow suppress the judge saying, “Is this not treason?”

          Flynn has undoubtedly kept an ear open and knows where things stand w/Trump thanks to Barr’s obvious prejudice in favor of Trump given his pre-employment legal opinion (employment) application. So either Flynn is thinking this may be his last remaining chance to exploit the legal situation to his benefit (highly unlikely to succeed even w/Powell trying her damnedest) or there are any number of other explanations as to why Flynn may have been asked or persuaded to take this risk. But it’s obvious to me, Flynn is a guinea pig whether it was Flynn’s idea or not. And however he got to be a guinea pig, he’s taking one helluva risk given his previous actions w/Turkey and his lies about his Russian contacts on behalf of Trump. The overlap of Flynn’s grifting w/the geopolitical dirt of Trump’s campaign won’t make for a sympathetic picture.

          • bmaz says:

            Dear readers – This is simply more gibberish by Americana. It borders on the insane to be talking about “fruit of the poisonous tree” as to Flynn. This person does not know their ass from a hole in the ground about law. Never take anything they say even touching on law as being worth paying attention to.

            And Americana, I simply do not have time to keep dealing with your constant barrage of bullshit. I will just start bouncing your comments if you keep this up.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That suggests Powell’s Faux Noise connection is important in keeping Trump’s attention. The “duplicitous” FBI agents argument would be consistent with that. Keeping open the possibility of a pardon might be of more interest than limiting his custodial sentence.

        Flynn, like Manafort, might also still have cans of informational beans stashed he away, which he could spill or keep hidden, depending on his requirements.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Assuming Flynn has access to funds to pay his lawyers, Kelner would have been better placed to represent Flynn through this process than Powell. That is, if traditional lawyering were the standard.

        If Flynn’s prospects have been reduced to begging Trump for relief, Powell is the better bet. Not only is she a frequent Faux Noise commentator, she just published a diatribe, “Licensed to Lie,” supposedly about the “deep” corruption inside the DoJ. With that background, she could write half of Trump’s tweets.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, but as you know, in a criminal case, once you are attorney of record, you stay attorney of record until the court grants a motion to withdraw. Fees or no fees, Kelner wasn’t going to get released with sentencing pending absent a desired stipulation for substitution requested by the defendant with an avowal that such a substitution would not cause delay in any regard. So I guess they have a plan. Not sure it is a smart one though!

        • P J Evans says:

          I was annoyed by the news headline on this that called her a “DOJ critic”. Missing the forest there, and somehow not seeing the trees either.

          • Thebuzzardman says:

            I don’t post often but read all the time. Perhaps a simple minded take, but Flynn’s lawyer hire seems similar to Trump’s hire of Rudy. It’s a PR move. So, the angle would seem to be towards a pardon and/or also towards a book, the speaking tour courtesy of the right wing media ecosphere.

            Obviously, in regard to the law, facts matter. This smacks of a politics/PR style move. Misguided? Probably. It’s the only thing that makes “sense” to me, in terms of trying to understand the motivation.

    • harpie says:

      More than one new lawyer for Flynn:
      11:36 AM – 13 Jun 2019

      JUST IN: Michael Flynn’s new legal team is more than Sidney Powell. Several more attorneys — Jesse Binnall, Philip John Harvey & W. William Hodes — have entered notices of appearance in the EDVA case against Flynn’s former business partner where Flynn is expected to testify. [screenshot]

  12. Tom says:

    According to a story in the May 31st New York Times, President Trump will officially kick off his 2020 campaign in Orlando next Tuesday June 18th. I’m hoping that a year-and-a-half from now, journalists will be able to record that it was tempting the Fates and bad karma on Trump’s part to begin his second run for the Presidency on the 204th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

    • harpie says:

      According to Zoe Tillman, Amash was the only R to vote yes.
      1:47 PM – 12 Jun 2019

      NOW: The House Oversight Committee voted 24-15 to approve a resolution that AG Barr and Sec. Ross should be held in contempt for refusing to turn over materials re: the census citizenship question. One Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, joined Democrats

      • Eureka says:

        Thanks harpie, I was having trouble finding a list of voters (it’s so hard to find that info on committees right after a vote); I think this was when they were voting on something else after the contempt vote.

          • Eureka says:

            it gets hypnotic after a few rounds…

            I did hear Amash’s YES amidst the ‘yea’ dems but then later after a gap that one from Meadows and I’m like wait, wtf are they voting on now (vs then).

    • bmaz says:

      Dunno about that, think the only Republican that joined the Dems was Amash.

      Also, Hope Hicks has just agreed to closed door testimony to HJC. Transcript to be made public after conclusion. Her attorney is Bob Trout, and he is very good. She will be well prepared. I also expect she will invoke Executive Privilege as to anything that occurred in the White House, so the HJC will still need the power of an impeachment inquiry to overcome that, even as to a willing witness.

      • Eureka says:

        …and my internet keeps cutting out.

        Didn’t think so, made me do a double take.

        Good (well mixed for reasons you cite) news on Hicks. HJC knows they need the formal inquiry. I don’t know how long this dance with leadership is going to go on…

        ETA: and ample evidence that leadership doesn’t care what constituents want, as per documented efforts to squelch talk and obfuscate as to what impeachment inquiry vs. “impeachment” a la articles mean.

        • OmAli says:

          I’m beginning to think the confusion about inquiry/hearing/trial not to mention contempt is intentional. I am losing confidence in the Dems ability to rise to this challenge… I want to be wrong (and often am!)

      • OmAli says:

        So if she invokes Privilege, HJC will need to bring her back in to testify when/if an impeachment inquiry begins. What a poor use of time, and it makes the committees look weak in the process.

        Pelosi is making them fight with one hand tied behind their backs.

        • Rayne says:

          I’m going to disagree with bmaz on the invocation of privilege.

          Executive privilege belongs to the executive, not to the minions who work for the executive. If anyone can invoke it it’s Trump and likely through his current White House counsel.

          Any other invocation should be rejected and treated as contempt. If HJC doesn’t move to contempt should Hicks invoke, this is when the committee will really look useless.

          • bmaz says:

            Um, that is EXACTLY what I said. It is stipulated that either Pat Cippalone or his designate from the WH Counsel’s Office will be attending along with Hicks’ attorney Bob Trout. The WH has already announced that they will be invoking there, and they can certainly invoke as to any WH minions and key Executive branch personnel.

            Hicks will not cross that line if instructed not to, and she already has been so instructed. This is just more feckless bullshit that is stringing it out. The House committees already look useless, and have for quite a while.

  13. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. House Intelligence Committee Hearing, exchange with Chairman Schiff and McCarthy about the FISA application was fascinating to me. If anyone is interested here is the link: ( for the entire hearing.

    The exchange about FISA starts at 2:22:26. The Q and A at 2:25:30:
    S: Do you think the Justice Dept officials who signed off on the application were acting in bad faith?
    M: No. I think they made a mistake.
    S: Do you think Mr. Rosenstein who signed off on application was acting in bad faith?
    M: I think he made a mistake.
    S: Do you think the judges who signed off, I believe 3 or 4 judges signed off on application, were they acting in bad faith?
    M: I don’t think anyone was acting in bad faith on the FISA court.
    S: So all of them just made mistakes.
    M: Yes, that’s right. It happens.

  14. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    S: So all of them just made mistakes.
    M: Yes, that’s right. It happens.

    Yes… it was all just an endless series of mistakes… over and over and over again…

    And of course Donald Trump is as pure as driven snow…

    I’m running out of words strong enough to accurately express the anger, the frustration, and the disgust I feel towards the GOP at this point in time…

    • P J Evans says:

      They might want to read the Constitution and the laws, instead of getting their information from Fox (with or without it going through Tr*mp, Miller, and Mulvaney).

      • RWood says:

        Doesn’t matter how ridiculous their argument is.

        Their goal is to delay, and knowing that Nancy will help them do so just encourages them to continue doing this. Not hard to win if your opponent refuses to fight.

    • Americana says:

      Pretty ludicrous Trump’s lawyers are arguing that! Did Trump’s lawyers also hand over a new translation of the Constitution in the Trumpistan language?

  15. elevator48 says:

    I don’t see a conviction senate vote as completely out of the question. If Mueller and McGhan testify on national tv in a Watergate style hearing it could make for a major shift in public opinion and put the fear of god is some of them to vote with dems. Even if not likely, I believe putting them on public record suborning obstruction of justice could cost them a couple of seats in 2020. Worth the effort imo.

    • Jockobadger says:

      I think it’s a possibility too, Elevator. God how I hope! Oh, the truly compromised (i.e. f-cked) like McConnell, Lindsey, etc., will go down howling with the ship, but I suspect there’re going to be a few more Amash’s peeling off as 2020 draws near and they see their undoing approaching. These folks are pols first, last, and always and it’s all about getting re-elected. They’ve had that taste of delicious power and no way will they take a swan dive under the bus just on principle alone. I wonder if we’ll hear many heartfelt mea culpas? I bet there’ll be a few before it’s over.

      • P J Evans says:

        I suspect McTurtle thinks that they’ll be saved by Russian help next year – he’s certainly doing nothing to prevent them from messing with the elections again. That means that a lot more people need to come out and vote against the GOP-T, to make sure the margin is too big to mess with.

        • BobCon says:

          I think McConnell is expecting baked-in advantages in the states leave him with a small majority in the Senate, so whether or not Trump wins he is sitting pretty. He’ll also have the courts to backstop him.

          I also think he is counting on a strong chance of a repeat of the 2010 elections in 2022, even if 2020 turns out to be like 2008. I suspect he is counting on the wave of money to grow in favor of the GOP over the next years regardless of who wins, and again he’ll be sitting pretty.

    • Pjb says:

      Sure it is possible. In fact, one would hope that if the populace were properly educated through the competent management of impeachment hearings, the ground in the Senate chamber might shift. But, that to me would be gravy. If it doesn’t materialize, so be it. Don’t vote out articles and don’t give McConnell the opportunity to martyr Trump. The main point – which Rayne, Bmaz and various others have been long arguing (so, hat tip) – is that the initiation of impeachment hearings does not depend upon the likelihood of Senate action. Impeachment hearings is both a moral imperative and an opportunity to enhance the House’s discovery powers. If we do not hold impeachment hearings under the circumstances already known and in the public domain, we may as well redline the constitution. We as a nation would be normalizing his actions solely for perceived electoral advantage, which is at best speculative. Today, Trump told us again in no uncertain terms, his administration is open for business to foreign infiltration. The time has come.

  16. Peacerme says:

    If he cheated with the help of the Russians he is NOT the legitimate president. He’s obstructing justice so the American people cannot find out if this is true. If he’s not the president he can be indicted. We are in a constitutional crises. Yes? The only choice we have if the Dems are not going to live in reality and only pretend to be saving us, is to protest. Vote. Make news.

    • bmaz says:

      Once Congress certified the Electoral College results on January 6, 2017 he certainly did become the legitimate President. A horrible terrible President, but he is legitimately in office.

      • Jockobadger says:

        Yep. Now we need to legitimately kick his fat a– out of office – one way or the other – and then indict and convict the lying, cheating, benedict Arnold boob and put him away for good. Along with jr., Ivanka, kush, et al. Hopefully by this time four years from now, the recovery will be on it’s way and we can be working on poverty, disease and climate change – all stuff we should be doing now instead of this national nightmare. Thanks all for my sanity (so far anyway.)

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        While Trump may have been certified by the Electoral College, even he knows his presidency is not legitimate. Eventually, it will be discovered that Trump’s “victory” was just as ersatz as the fake votes for him that came from computer network intrusion in swing states.

        • Geoff says:

          He is both legitimate and illegitimate. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But the reaper awaits…

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If Trump committed crimes or other wrongful conduct before becoming president, or indeed after, the correct process is for Congress to impeach and remove him from office. If there were crimes and they remain within the statute of limitations, it is for the DoJ to take it from there.

      That might be a freebie for Mike Pence, but that’s the process we have. I would note that Trump has chosen the, “So what?” defense to taking help from Russians. He would do it again.

      What more does Ms. Pelosi need to start an inquiry? If her committees do their jobs, it would succeed regardless of whether the process moves to an impeachment vote and trial in the Senate.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The FBI director says that it would be wrong for a president to accept help for his re-election from a foreign government, say, the Russians, with whom the US has been in serious conflict since 1917. If a president were offered help, he should report it.

        President Trump says vehemently that the FBI director is wrong. Nobody he knows would do that. It would be stupid. Mr. Trump acts as if the FBI were his enemy, not a subordinate federal agency whose boss and his boss he appoints.

        Mr. Trump must remember too many meetings with goombahs. For them, spilling to the Feds would be the same as fitting yourself with cement overshoes. The bottom of the East River is reportedly full of them. But that’s not what the ordinary citizen would do; it’s not what a politician with any visibility would do. It’s not what Americans expect of their president.

        Ms. Pelosi, are you listening?

          • Mooser says:

            “Conflict since 1917”? Well, at least we never ran afoul of the Romanovs, and always had good relations with Czarist Russia.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        This is not Trump’s “genius.” It’s a crime. Being Trump, he’s convinced that the more openly and notoriously he commits his crimes, the more likely he’ll get away with them. But they’re still crimes.

        • P J Evans says:

          it’s worked for him until now, with a little help from well-placed donations to DAs (or other politicians).

    • Jinxd says:

      Wow, good luck, this kind of crapola will not trigger anyone on this site (except me, I’m just a reader). Had you read any comments, or posts, or bio(s), you would recognize this fact.

  17. harpie says:

    Justice Dept. Seeks to Question C.I.A. Officers in Russia Inquiry Review
    June 12, 2019

    Justice Department officials intend to interview senior C.I.A. officers as they review the Russia investigation, according to people briefed on the matter, indicating they are focused partly on the intelligence agencies’ most explosive conclusion about the 2016 election: that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia intervened to benefit Donald J. Trump. […]

    • BobCon says:

      I wonder where that is headed — having that conclusion reaffirmed is not something Trump would want. And as that article notes, it’s hard for DOJ to summon the expertise to knock down a CIA assessment, especially one with so much evidence.

      This seems like a much harder nut to crack than Cheney leaning on analysts in 2002 to give more credence to stories about aluminum tubes. I’m curious if it’s mostly an excuse to ferret out dirt on CIA officers to use for political purposes.

  18. Jan says:

    It would seem that the very public ‘grooming’ of Americans continues. From Guiliani’s a ‘crime is not a crime’ to the latest Trumpspeak that foreign interference is not a crime, not really eh? – and should be welcomed and ‘listened to’, despite the fact the counterintelligence investigation began from a tip from Legitimate intelligence partners, while Republicans continue and vehemently insist on the ongoing campaign to hold Chris Steele, a contracted ‘private eye’ as some bogeyman player that started it all. Like no one hacked the DNC. How fucked up does it need to get? Is this just another test of the Emergency Doublethink System? At the tone…..

  19. MattyG says:

    This issue is DT agreed – even if just tacitly – to repay a certain foreign government for interfering with the election on his behalf with policy favors and other promises. And his agreement compromised him and his administration. The idea that he’s selling now about simply being “open” to what a foreign governement might have on an opponet is more garbage DT deflection and ‘re-shaping” the argument.

    Time to flesh this out in the open – no more mamby pamby talk while DT ditzes around like a pin ball with his smart alec game. Clear the floor and lay out the heart of the case.

    • Jan says:

      Yes and oui. Forgive me if I’m losing my shyte at this point – when will it stop? More importantly – who is going to stop the wholesale gaslighting? I’m not seeing Dems do anything other than calculate their win/lose odds in 2020. Apparently they are going to do “their best to inform the electorate” before 2020. Guess what? They are losing to Fox and all the other RWNJ rat fuckers out there, when will they get a clue? What will draw attention is actually impeaching King Rat. Nothing they are doing in the meantime is helping. Quite the contrary, they looked confused. Someone tell me I’m wrong, someone please tell me that what I envision won’t come true. Pardon my rant EW, it’s not like me, but I’m scared.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        This is exactly right. House leadership needs to up their game BIG time. Optics are crucial. And right now theirs suck. It is incredibly painful to watch. It’s like they haven’t learned a thing about why and how Fox and Breitbart are successful.

        It’s ironic, too, that Hollywood is usually thought of as mostly liberal. Why can’t the Dems get some half-way respectable marketing tools to up their game? It feels like they are stuck way back in the early 20th century.

        Not to mention their lack of ethical standards and dedication to democracy. Not a good look at all. So sad and so discouraging.

        JUST START THE INQUIRY. It is the right thing to do! And, beyond that, it is the SMART thing to do. That’s why Pelosi is coming across as looking stupid and confused. Get a grip, Nancy!

        • Troutwaxer says:

          “House leadership needs to up their game BIG time.”

          Exactly. It’s like they’re robots or something… Stepford Democrats.

  20. Eureka says:

    OT, re other Trump admin offenses ongoing: I have to talk about internment camps.

    Baseball season and various WWII-related anniversaries, as with veteran-related holidays, cause me to recall my grandfather and re-read about his service in WWII as part of one of the many liberating units of such camps. (Here, I am excluding POW camps– Stalags/Oflags– though as I think about it there may be good reason to include these in a larger discussion.)

    If you read, for example, WWII After Action Reports for various divisions, you’ll appreciate that there were at least hundreds of camps, subcamps, and tasked-slave labor camps all over (here I recall examples in Bavaria). Allies would stumble upon them, incidentally find them as they moved farther into Germany in spring 1945. Camps with no wikis; camps not even listed separately by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (; see for topical entries).

    USHMM notes 30 “large” subcamps of Dachau with 30,000 additional prisoners beyond the main camp. Sources cited at wiki note that nearly a hundred Dachau subcamps were found. “Smaller” subcamps with a few hundred people are still camps. And this does not even count the “small” camps of hundreds of people found in the woods here and there that I have read about, as the Allies advanced.

    Recently, Andrea Pitzer, an expert on interment camps, noted in a thread (that all Americans should read):

    “2) Big camp systems don’t close themselves. Legislatures have never closed them against the will of an executive. This Supreme Court seems inclined to give the executive power it’s historically had access to, even if that power might appear to be abused in current circumstances…”

    See also Adam Rifkin:

    “Yes. Another 3000-child internment camp opened in Texas today, with new camps planned in Georgia, Montana and Oklahoma: #TrumpConcentrationCamps (link/thread)”

    Back in WWII, Eisenhower was known for gathering local Germans and forcing them to bear witness to the atrocities in their respective back yards. There was also a postcard campaign to raise awareness (USHMM has some of these photos).

    Did you see this recently, from Aura Bogado:

    “The inspector general’s office has a new report on four detention centers. They observed leaking raw chicken blood, moldy bread, slimy lunch meat, unlabeled food, and expired food. This is, again, what detainees have described for years. (photos, link)”
    “Here are photos from some of the detention center bathrooms: mold and mildew all over the walls, ceilings, vents, and mirrors. Unusable toilets. The inspector general’s office noted that these conditions present serious health risks to detainees. (more photos)”

    See also the USHMM entry on Nuremberg Race Laws; they take great pains to explain the removal and chipping of citizenship(-based) rights:

    There are parallels ongoing in the US today as regards naturalized citizens who’ve formerly committed crimes, and those applying for citizenship and e.g. government benefits, among other things perhaps too numerous to list.

    • Eureka says:

      Links re last (two) para(s). First from Masha Gessen, a chilling read:

      In America, Naturalized Citizens No Longer Have an Assumption of Permanence

      My application was granted without my having to fight for it in court. I hadn’t thought about my naturalization for years, but I find myself thinking about it now, thankful for the near-accident of not having lied on my application. Over the years, the applications for both citizenship and permanent residence have grown ever longer, filling with questions that seem to be designed to be used against the applicant. Question 26 on the green-card application, for example, reads, “Have you EVER committed a crime of any kind (even if you were not arrested, cited, charged with, or tried for that crime)?” (Emphasis in the original.) The question does not specify whether it refers to a crime under current U.S. law or the laws of the country in which the crime might have been committed. In the Soviet Union of my youth, it was illegal to possess foreign currency or to spend the night anywhere where you were not registered to live. In more than seventy countries, same-sex sexual activity is still illegal. On closer inspection, just about every naturalized citizen might look like an outlaw, or a liar.
      (internal link removed)

      Miami grandma targeted as U.S. takes aim at naturalized immigrants with prior offenses

      As to citizenship status, immigrants, and benefits, I was unable to re-locate a particular piece where, upon hearing Trump admin plans, a mother was going to forgo benefits like food stamps for her citizen child, out of fear that it would adversely impact the citizenship application process for another child.

      Similar stories relayed here (March 2017):
      Deportation Fears Prompt Immigrants To Cancel Food Stamps

      See also September, 2018:
      New Trump rule would deny green cards to immigrants who took food stamps, Medicaid

    • Eureka says:

      Related to some of the concerns I raised in this comment re the growing camp system, I added this update to another thread:

      #WhereAreAllTheCamps? #CampsInOurBackyards (I made up these hashtags here; not sure if anyone else has done so elsewhere):

      Also, Andrea Pitzer was on Chris Hayes last week (June 6th)– if you missed it, as I did:

      “Here’s my segment with Chris Hayes on MSNBC tonight. (link)”

      New Esquire article on the topic:

      Jack Holmes: ““We have what I would call a concentration camp system,” Andrea Pitzer told me. “What’s required is a little bit of demystification of it,” Waitman Wade Beorn agreed. “Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz.” (link)”

  21. Peacerme says:

    Bmaz, I never knew that about the presidency. Wow! It hardly gives a country time to deal with election result issues. I do see the very real challenges of Democracy. Election would be great to get him out if only he weren’t cheating openly.

  22. x174 says:

    i disagree with bmaz.

    i found the hearing highly informative and a service to the nation in explaining the intricacies of prosecutorial thinking that informs the mueller report.

    also, i think that the congressional committees are carefully, deliberately and mindfully increasing the pressure on the trump dimwits in accordance with the relevant constitutional basis and legal cases. For instance, the written suggestions of how best to proceed as described in McGrain v Daugherty (1927) and Watkins v US (1957).

    the fact that these congressional committees have chosen to strengthen their case–in an attempt to fortify the legislative authority with the judicial authority–en route to impeachment strikes me as the wise way to do things.

    i like their deliberativeness, especially when it is contrasted with the impulsive, mindless dumbassery continually exuding out of the white arse.

    • bmaz says:

      Nobody who did not already know of and already believe the Mueller Report watched that hearing. The committees are not accomplishing squat, they are being stymied at every single turn. And they are refusing to use their most powerful weapon to win the court cases and speed up consideration of them. It is the the very definition of being pathetic. They look like idiots.

      • Jan says:

        Yes, they look like idiots. Pelosi looks like she’s not really convinced, despite her “off record” comments. Dem surrogates on tv look like they’re selling xray glasses – they might work, but who knows eh? wink wink nudge nudge They are, for all appearances, like a bunch of ambulance chasers – sure, someone was in an accident, but who knows what will come of it all. ???? Glad I’m not the only one that noticed.

        • bmaz says:

          And most of them have the same lines, like they were pre-printed on flash cards for them. When Clyburn got even a little off script, he was dressed down immediately and made to walk it back. It might all be funny if it wasn’t literally the vibrance of the Constitution and existence at all of the check and balance of Separation of Powers hanging in the lurch.

    • bmaz says:

      Note that even Trump’s laughable brief acknowledges that the House power is absolutely maximized by an impeachment inquiry underpinning. Why anybody challenges this obvious truth is beyond me. It needs to start immediately.

  23. Molly Pitcher says:

    Geoff, That first link goes to a story by not only Katyal, but George Conway lll. Can anyone please explain for me how he and Kelly Anne can be married, and/or how she is still in the White House in the face of her husbands tweeting and public writings? Is Trump afraid to fire her because she knows too much ?

    I find it beyond bizarre.

    • RWood says:

      If you view her as an actress playing a part she was hired for, it’s a little easier. She’s fulfilling the terms of her contract.

        • harpie says:

          Here’s the entire WH response:

          The Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) unprecedented actions against Kellyanne Conway are deeply flawed and violate her constitutional rights to free speech and due process. Others, of all political views, have objected to the OSC’s unclear and unevenly applied rules which have a chilling effect on free speech for all federal employees. Its decisions seem to be influenced by media pressure and liberal organizations – and perhaps OSC should be mindful of its own mandate to act in a fair, impartial, non-political manner, and not misinterpret or weaponize the Hatch Act.”
          – Steven Gross, Deputy Press Secretary

          • P J Evans says:

            I wish there was some way to get the idjits in the WH to understand that laws apply to *them*, and some laws are specifically intended to prevent some of the sh*t they’re trying to pull.

      • harpie says:

        Steve Vladeck comments on the White House response:

        This statement is just wrong.
        1) #SCOTUS has repeatedly held that government employees have very limited First Amendment rights _as_ employees.
        2) No one has deprived @KellyannePolls of anything; this is a recommendation to terminate her (wholly discretionary) gov’t employment.
        Unlike government employees with some kind of tenure or civil-service protection, @KellyannePolls can be fired at any time and for any reason (including speech that would be constitutionally protected if made by a private citizen), without offending the Due Process Clause.

      • harpie says:

        From the OSC report:

        […] OSC’s career Hatch Act staff have long conducted thorough and impartial investigations of alleged Hatch Act violations, including by senior officials in administrations of both parties. Never has OSC had to issue multiple reports to the President concerning Hatch Act violations by the same individual. […]

        added: Link to pdf from Susan Simpson:

    • P J Evans says:

      I’ve seen those two described as all an act in public, like Matalin and her husband: they basically agree on most things.

  24. Tom says:

    Just playing amateur psychologist here, but the President’s morale level must be pretty low. His poll numbers are down, he doesn’t want to hear bad news, and he’s forced to stage transparent stunts such as the business with the tariffs on Mexico to appear as if he’s accomplishing something. He hasn’t built his border wall, he didn’t repeal and replace Obamacare, and his shot locker is empty as far as having any new policy ideas for his second term. What’s he going to campaign on: a promise to carry out all the things he failed to do in his first term? According to a June 10th story in the New York Times, the President’s aides can’t even get him to focus on the general plans for his re-election campaign, which I would suggest is probably because (if you want to frame Trump’s situation in terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) he’s preoccupied with his personal safety and security; i.e., I think he was rattled by Pelosi’s statement that she wants to see him in jail. So now would be a good time to start impeachment hearings while the President is likely feeling increasingly vulnerable.

    Also, the risk of a war with Iran has slipped off the front pages and I think the President is sincere when he states he doesn’t want to begin another war in the Middle East. But if the worst should happen and if a conflict does break out with Iran, the Democrats don’t want to be portrayed as attacking a ‘wartime President’ by having delayed impeachment proceedings until after the shooting has started.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      So much for the Swedes. The statute of limitation will have run on the potential charges before the US process is partially completed. I wonder what happened behind the scenes.

      • bmaz says:

        The Swedish court declined to issue another EAW, and only granted an EIO (European Investigatory Order), thus foreclosing the Swedish authority from obtaining arrest for extradition. That meant the US was in the drivers’ seat. The court did find probable cause for the case, but that not worth much if they can’t get their hands on Assange before the last statute runs.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          As I recall, the Swedish court decided that arrest for extradition was moot, given that Assange was already serving a custodial sentence in the UK, and would be for the better part of a year.

          • bmaz says:

            Yes. But that is weird logic if you really wanted him back, which the prosecution authority did. But not the court.

              • bmaz says:

                An Assange attorney was present, but the US allegations are completely irrelevant to the Swedish consideration. Why would they let that noise in?

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            As I understand it, the Swedish investigatory order would have permitted the prosecutor to pursue its investigation in the UK. But I am surprised that Sweden did not pursue extradition itself. It was in an obvious conflict with the US. That’s why I wondered/assumed that the US had been pursuing this outcome behind the scenes.

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump’s admissions last night to George Stephanopoulos were not so much promises of future conduct – they were – but admissions about prior conduct. He must be worried more will come out about that. He’s trying to insulate himself and his brood against when it does.

    Normally, I would say good luck with that, owing to the obviousness of the crimes. But the DoJ is doing a Tom Hagen for the Don and this Democratic leadersheep has decided an impeachment inquiry is not on its agenda. The ghost of Rahm Emanuel lives.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Juan Cole reminds us that for a sitting president to accept the fruits of espionage – what Donald Trump calls “oppo research” – from a foreign government to help his re-election prospects would violate the Emoluments clause as well as campaign finance laws. It would also create another incurable conflict of interest.


    • Americana says:

      I think Trump was trying to reinforce what he’d likely discussed w/Don Jr. was the route to take in Jr’s Senate closed hearing to explain away the Trump Tower NYC meeting and his desire to get his hands on opposition research. This interview might have been granted to Stephanopoulos as a way to game his son’s testimony.

      Trump may well be prepping for more disclosures about actions they took to secure that opposition research. Whatever his reasons, Trump folds at certain bizarre points and makes admissions he’d previously lied about as in the interview w/Lester Holt that he’d fired Comey over the Russia thing.

    • Rayne says:

      Or it was a solicitation. Like maybe polling has been so bad he’s asking for help by opening the door to it.

      He can’t exactly condemn past behavior either as illegal or it’s an admission.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Agree that it was also another not so subtle invitation. His and McConnell’s refusal to make federal and state electoral systems more robust – or to acknowledge the need to do so – is an open invitation to further foreign interference. So, too, is the lack of a legal and political consequences for his having done so in 2016.

        That Trump feels the need to so openly invite further interference suggests he’s not feeling too confident. As EW said on twtr, he’s admitting he can’t win without cheating.

        • BobCon says:

          He’s got to know the price will be a lot higher this time.

          That’s not good news for the rest of us.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Might be a good idea to check the activity in petroleum futures contracts in the last 48 hours.

      • Jockobadger says:

        Hi Rayne, Do you have to use carets or something else in order to paste a graph here? I had been watching the 7 day WTI Crude futures and thought I might post the chart. There may be something a bit odd about vol over the last 48. Maybe not. Anyway, just curious. I learned how to do em and blockquote from you and PJ so why not ask. Thanks!

        • Rayne says:

          Check the W3C School’s HTML tutorial on images:

          You’ll have to use a static image, though, with its own hosting. I just use my Twitter account as an image host by tweeting a screenshot and then copying the image’s address to use with the HTML.

          That said, don’t be surprised if you run into problems as the site’s security may ratchet down on some content.

          In re: oil prices — you can see bigger moves in volume in the chart I shared but I’m surprised both price and volume weren’t more dramatic given the steady drumbeat of threats in middle east.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Delighted that you see no out of the ordinary trading. That would suggest the attack on the two ships was not leaked to or anticipated by financial actors.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Undoubtedly, there’s more to this attack than whether an in-group was allowed to make illegal gains from insider trading. The insider trading would be a nit, however many millions were made. While rumors abound that rebels might have been involved, the weaponry is more available to state actors.

  27. Badger Robert says:

    The internal polling was bad, but his denials concealed that is not Biden they are worried about. He wants to mention Biden, but Kellyann has clamped down on Trump elevating O’Rourke. They are slipping in Texas.

  28. Badger Robert says:

    O’Rourke can probably swing most of the west towards impeachment. With Romney having an independent LDS base, Trump is wavering on the edge of survival, is my guess.

  29. Savage Librarian says:

    Some apropos quotes borrowed from today:

    “In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.” Hunter Thompson

    “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can’t get us out.” Will Rogers

    “Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
    P. J. O’Rourke

    “A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” Bertrand Russell

    “Remember, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It is only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid.” Ricky Gervais

  30. Eureka says:

    Re: Gates and Flynn subpoenaed to testify to HPSCI: I’d love to eventually learn what Gates has to say about the strategy in the Aug 2 polling data meeting, because I do not believe the chat was limited to the four states quoted in MR. Figured maybe they were parking some info for ongoing investigations (as to why not more from Gates on that in MR).

    Pompeo now live…

    ETA (spoiler alert): “Iran is responsible”

  31. P J Evans says:

    Rayne, you can get to Sherman’s email, but it requires using the search function on his site – it didn’t used to be that way, and I’ve emailed him before, including within the last month. I know he’s pro-impeachment (he introduced a resolution on it last session), but he’s really a back-bencher at this point.

    • Rayne says:

      All of the members of Congress need calls no matter their position. If they’ve declared support for impeachment, calls validate their effort. If they haven’t, calls are pressure. This is still a representative democracy and they still need to know what they’re supposed to represent.

      • Jockobadger says:

        Yep Rayne, I call and/or email Rep. Adam Smith, my Congressperson, once per week whether he needs it or not. One of his staffers knows me pretty well by now and never fails to contact me back. She recently reassured me in writing that Rep. Smith is pushing for opening of an impeachment inquiry and eventual removal from office. Pressure is good – keeps them moving in the right direction. Thanks for this post.

    • bmaz says:

      Duncan Hunter deserves it, and his wife deserves to unload on him. But, let’s not get too far ahead on that. I don’t know if they are separated or not, but they sure do not seem to be divorced. And I am not sure that matters. They were, for better or worse, married at the only times in question.

      This means a couple of issues: (1) the adverse testimony privilege; and (2) marital communications privilege. Don’t get too excited about Mrs. Hunter testifying in open court against Mr. Hunter.

      • P J Evans says:

        Apparently they’re showing up separately and avoiding each other’s company in the courtroom, not even making eye contact.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, and have been from the start. Not sure that matters under Rule 501 et. seq, but it gets really interesting.

  32. harpie says:

    More Flint related news:
    10:53 AM – 13 Jun 2019

    Wow. BREAKING: Michigan attorney general says Flint Water Prosecution Team Expands Investigation Based on New Evidence But Dismisses Cases Brought by Former Special Counsel #FlintWaterCrisis
    “The Department of Attorney General (AG) through the Flint Water Crisis prosecution team has dismissed without prejudice all pending criminal cases brought by the former Office of Special Counsel (OSC) in order to conduct a full and complete investigation.” / “There will be no response to any media inquiries until after Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy have had an opportunity to speak directly to the people of Flint. A community conversation in Flint has been scheduled for Friday, June 28.” […]

  33. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mike Flynn doesn’t seem to think he needs much help from his new lawyers. He only has four of them: Sidney Powell, Jesse Binnall, Philip John Harvey, and W. William Hodes. [h/t nyc southpaw]

  34. harpie says:

    bmaz just tweeted:
    2:15 PM – 13 Jun 2019

    Well, if forever war mongers, and Iran liars, like Wolf Blitzer, Barbara Starr, and Mike Popeo are flapping their lips, it must be true.! >>> [CNN Chyron: Pompeo Blames Iran for Attacks on Tankers]

    Ryan Goodman linked to this VIDEO of Rep. Elissa Slotkin [D-MI 8] talking about Iran/Pompeo:
    1:41 PM – 13 Jun 2019

    Pompeo thinks can bypass Congress to strike Iran
    [Rep. Elissa Slotkin D, MI-8:]
    “In alignment with what Rep. Gaetz said, we were absolutely presented with a full formal presentation on how the 2001 AUMF might authorize war on Iran…Pompeo said it with his own words…a relationship between Iran and al Qaeda.”
    Also understand the enormous gravitas of @RepSlotkin. She was Assistant Secretary of Defense, other senior positions in Department of Defense, State Department, CIA.

    • P J Evans says:

      I don’t think Pompeo has a clue about the large religious and philosophical differences that make an Iran/Al Qaeda alliance improbable. He just wants a war for reasons he can’t or won’t explain to the rest of us.

    • Ken Muldrew says:

      Pompeo Magnus doesn’t need a Lex Gabinia to sort out those Cilician Iranian pirates. Law is a crutch for lesser men.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        The owner of one of the tankers that was struck, Yutaka Katada, has completely contradicted the story from Pompeo. Katada said the ship was struck by a flying object on the starboard side, above the water line.

        The video released by the U.S. shows an Iranian patrol boat removing mines from the port side of a ship….which, no doubt, was full of yellow cake and aluminum tubes.

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