Questions for Robert Mueller (and His Prosecutors) that Go Beyond the Show

I generally loathe the questions that people are drafting for Robert Mueller’s July 17 testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, largely because those questions are designed for a circus and not to learn information that’s useful for understanding the Mueller investigation. Here are the questions I’d ask instead (I’ll update these before Mueller testifies).

  1. Can you describe how you chose which “links between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” to focus your investigation on?
  2. The warrants released in Michael Cohen’s case and other public materials show that your grand jury conducted investigations of people before Rod Rosenstein formally expanded the scope to include them in October 2017. Can you explain the relationship between investigative steps and the Rosenstein scope memos?
  3. Lisa Page has explained that in its initial phase, the investigation into Trump’s aides was separate from the larger investigation(s) into Russian interference. But ultimately, your office indicted Russians in both the trolling and the hack-and-leak conspiracies. How and when did those parts of DOJ’s investigation get integrated under SCO?
  4. An FD-302 memorializing a July 19, 2017 interview with Peter Strzok was released as part of Mike Flynn’s sentencing. Can you describe what the purpose of this interview was? How did the disclosure of Strzok’s texts with Lisa Page affect the recording (or perceived credibility) of this interview? Strzok was interviewed before that disclosure, but the 302 was not finalized until he had been removed from your team. Did his removal cause any delay in finalizing this 302?
  5. At the beginning of the investigation, your team investigated the criminal conduct of subjects unrelated to ties with Russia (for example, Paul Manafort’s ties with Ukraine, Mike Flynn’s ties to Turkey). Did the approach of the investigation change later in the process to immediately refer such issues to other offices (for example, Michael Cohen’s hush payments and graft)? If the approach changed, did your team or Rod Rosenstein drive this change? Is the Mystery Appellant related to a country other than Russia?
  6. Did your integration of other prosecutors (generally from DC USAO) into your prosecution teams stem from a resourcing issue or a desire to ensure continuity? What was the role of the three prosecutors who were just detailees to your team?
  7. Your report describes how FBI personnel shared foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information with the rest of FBI. For more than a year, FBI agents were embedded with your team for this purpose. Were these agents focused just on Russian activities, or did their focus include the actions of other countries and Americans? If their focus included Americans, did it include Trump associates? Did it include Trump himself?
  8. Can you describe the relationship between your GRU indictment and the WDPA one focused on the WADA hacks, and the relationship between your IRA indictment and the complaint against a Yevgeniy Prigozhin employee in EDVA? Can you describe the relationship between the Maria Butina prosecution and your investigation?
  9. Do you regret charging Concord Management in the IRA indictment? Do you have any insight on how indictments against Russian and other state targets should best be used?
  10. In discussions of Paul Manafort’s plea deal that took place as part of his breach hearing, Andrew Weissmann revealed that prosecutors didn’t vet his testimony as they would other cooperators. What led to this lack of vetting? Did the timing of the election and the potential impact Manafort’s DC trial might have play into the decision?
  11. What communication did you receive from whom in response to the BuzzFeed story on Trump’s role in Michael Cohen’s false testimony? How big an impact did that communication have on the decision to issue a correction?
  12. Did Matt Whitaker prevent you from describing Donald Trump specifically in Roger Stone’s indictment? Did you receive any feedback — from Whitaker or anyone else — for including a description of Trump in the Michael Cohen plea?
  13. Did Whitaker, Bill Barr, or Rosenstein weigh in on whether Trump should or could be subpoenaed? If so what did they say? Did any of the three impose time constraints that would have prevented you from subpoenaing the President?
  14. Multiple public reports describe Trump allies (possibly including Mike Flynn or his son) expressing certainty that Barr would shut down your investigation once he was confirmed. Did this happen? Can you describe what happened at the March 5, 2019 meeting where Barr was first briefed? Was that meeting really the first time you informed Rosenstein you would not make a determination on obstruction?
  15. You “ended” your investigation on March 22, at a time when at least two subpoena fights (Andrew Miller and Mystery Appellant) were ongoing. You finally resigned just minutes before Andrew Miller agreed to cooperate on May 29. Were these subpoenas for information critical to your investigation?
  16. If Don Jr told you he would invoke the Fifth if subpoenaed by the grand jury, would that fact be protected by grand jury secrecy? Are you aware of evidence you received involving the President’s son that would lead him to be less willing to testify to your prosecutors than to congressional committees? Can congressional committees obtain that information?
  17. Emin Agalarov canceled a concert tour to avoid subpoena in your investigation. Can you explain efforts to obtain testimony from this key player in the June 9 meeting? What other people did you try to obtain testimony from regarding the June 9 meeting?
  18. Did your investigation consider policy actions taken while Trump was President, such as Trump’s efforts to overturn Russian sanctions or his half-hearted efforts to comply with Congressional mandates to impose new ones?
  19. Can you describe how you treated actions authorized by Article II authority — such as the conduct of foreign policy, including sanctions, and the awarding of pardons — in your considerations of any criminal actions by the President?
  20. The President did not answer any questions about sanctions, even the one regarding discussions during the period of the election. Do you have unanswered questions about the role of sanctions relief and the Russian interference effort?
  21. Your report doesn’t include several of the most alarming interactions between Trump and Russia. It mentions how he told Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak he had fired Comey because of the Russian investigation, but did not mention that he shared classified Israeli intelligence at the meeting. Your report doesn’t mention the conversations Trump had with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 in Hamburg, including one pertaining to “adoptions,” while he was working on the June 9 meeting. The report doesn’t mention the Helsinki meeting. Did your investigation consider these interactions with Russia? If not, are you aware of another part of the government that did scrutinize these events?
  22. Why did you include Trump’s efforts to mislead the public about the June 9 meeting when it didn’t fit your team’s own terms for obstructive acts?
  23. You generally do not name the Trump lawyers who had discussions, including about pardons, with subjects of the investigation. How many different lawyers are described in your report to have had such discussions?
  24. You asked — but the President provided only a partial answer — whether he had considered issuing a pardon for Julian Assange prior to the inauguration. Did you investigate the public efforts — including by Roger Stone — to pardon Assange during Trump’s Administration?
  25. The cooperation addendum in Mike Flynn’s case reveals that he participated in discussions about reaching out to WikiLeaks in the wake of the October 7 Podesta releases. But that does not appear in the unredacted parts of your report. Is the entire scope of the campaign’s interactions with WikiLeaks covered in the Roger Stone indictment?
  26. Hope Hicks has claimed to be unaware of a strategy to coordinate the WikiLeaks releases, yet even the unredacted parts of the report make it clear there was a concerted effort to optimize the releases. Is this a difference in vocabulary? Does it reflect unreliability on the part of Hicks’ testimony? Or did discussions of WikiLeaks remain partially segregated from the communications staff of the campaign?
  27. How many witnesses confirmed knowing of conversations between Roger Stone and Donald Trump about WikiLeaks’ upcoming releases?
  28. The President’s answers regarding the Trump Tower Moscow match the false story for which Michael Cohen pled guilty, meaning the President, in his sworn answers, provided responses you have determined was a false story. After Cohen pled guilty, the President and his lawyer made public claims that are wholly inconsistent with his sworn written answer to you. You offered him an opportunity to clean up his sworn answer, but he did not. Do you consider the President’s current answer on this topic to be a lie?
  29. Did Trump Organization provide all the emails pertaining to the Trump Tower Moscow deal before you subpoenaed the organization in early 2018? Did they provide those emails in response to that subpoena?
  30. In his answers to your questions, President Trump claimed that you received “an email from a Sergei Prikhodko, who identified himself as Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation … inviting me to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.” But the footnotes to your discussion of that exchange describe no email. Did your team receive any email? Does the public record — showing that Trump never signed the declination letter to that investigation — show that Trump did not decline that invitation?

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

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63 replies
  1. ApacheTrout says:

    I’d first ask this, then follow it with #15.

    Why did you end your investigation on March 22? Were you directed or ordered to end it?

  2. Naomi says:

    “26… Do you have unanswered questions…”
    Maybe should be question #1
    Thanks for your clear thinking and sharing.

  3. Democritus says:

    This place is a treasure, and the snark on the twitter feeds of the writers here is like the frosting on top of a surprisingly good for you cupcake.

    From Marcy’s twitter after calling out a Daily Caller writer whose name isn’t worthy of storage in my memory banks :

    “Congratulations to Chuck Ross, who displays he either didn’t read or doesn’t understand the Mueller Report with each of his three favorite questions.

    Hell. Chuck hasn’t even read page 2 of the damned report.”

    (Snip)

    New tweets

    “Actually, take two steps back.

    1) Page 2 says Mueller didn’t consider collusion. Had he done so, Stone’s efforts to optimize may well have counted bc collusion is not a crime.

    emptywheel
    @emptywheel
    ·
    16h
    2) He assumes Mueller DID find there was no conspiracy. Not true. Mueller found there was not enough evidence to charge a conspiracy, but also noted (again, that elusive page 2) that there was evidence of it (and obstruction hiding it).”

    Lol, that elusive page two. 🥴😂🤣🤣🤣

  4. David B Pittard says:

    Question 4 ends with an incomplete sentence. But these show the depth of understanding that is difficult for representatives to have, given their other responsibilities. They also tend to overlook or ignore efforts by non-constituents to communicate with them. But these questions and those such as you who have this deep understanding should be a resource for preparation for questioning Mr. Mueller. Perhaps constituents of each among those who follow Emptywheel can make these suggestions, and if their staff’s contact information were known, others might contact them in this regard. Further, it might be worth providing Mr. Mueller in advance with the nature of these questions so that his answers will be as meaningful as possible, and not subject to the genuine lack of recall at the moment or even a mistake that advance notice and thought would preclude. A further thought: it may be that the reason some representatives seem interested in only showboating is because they do not have the resources to be prepared with more productive questions. With help from investigative reporters, they might become expert on particular issues, as opposed to trying to be expert on every issue, and by avoiding duplication of expertise, each committee could be more effective and less subject to ridicule. Mr. Mueller’s appearance is a golden opportunity but one-shot only. It should not be squandered with questions that he, at least, would find repetitive, shallow, serving only political objectives, or that would simply retread what can be established or discovered easily with other witnesses. Of course the usefulness of his testimony to make well-known to the non-reading public (or those who simply fail to pay much attention) things that are in the report is also a consideration and somewhat conflicts with the need to learn about what is not in the report. In the long run, and perhaps beyond this appearance, Mr. Mueller and others who are convinced the committees are serious and sincerely investigating these matters for patriotic reasons more than partisan political ones, may be helpful in ways that cannot be anticipated. (I remember Deep Throat’s suggestion to “follow the money” as an example of assisting with a suggestion of an inquiry that was not a disclosure of a fact that might have been confidential.)

  5. Areader2019 says:

    Great questions! I hope someone on congressional staff will read these. Four that have been bugging me:

    A. Part one of the report reached the conclusion that there was insufficient admissible evidence to charge a broader conspiracy with Russia. Do you know of inadmissible evidence (for instance NSA wiretaps) that might be relevant to understanding Russian techniques and methods? What is that evidence?

    B. The President has stated that he will gladly accept assistance from foreign governments in the next election. Given what you have learned about Russian espionage techniques, how would you recommend we protect the democratic process from outside interference in the next election?

    C. The President has summarized your report as coming to the conclusion “No collusion, no obstruction”. Is the President wrong?

    D. The President has accused you personally of committing a crime in the handling of evidence. Is the President wrong?

    • emptywheel says:

      Question A and B are great. I considered adding (and will in the follow-up) whether Mueller has specific knowledge of what communications either deleted (by Bannon, Prince, and Papadopoulos, among others) or encrypted (by Manafort) might show, and whether he expects FBI will be able to decrypt some of what has been collected.

      • Areader2019 says:

        Thanks.

        Maybe A and B are the types of questions they need to ask behind closed doors, because the answer is classified. But they need to be asked.

        C and D are probably exactly the type of question Mueller wants to avoid. But I would sure like to get a sound bite out of him saying ‘The President is wrong.’

        In the battle of persuasion, we hear from Trump “lock her up” and we hear from Mueller “If we had had confidence that the President had clearly not committed a crime, we would have said so.”

  6. orionATL says:

    we can appreciate what robert mueller and his team did for the nation under very difficult, dicey (could have been shut down at any moment) circumstances, but that does not mean we should not carefully, critically examine how the team went about their job and what decisions they made to include or exclude subjects and persons. it is simply the case that any investigation of a power like the american presidency will defer to that power in small or large ways, for example, Q’s 11-16, 18-21, 28.

    raising these questions about the mueller team’s investigative decisions will be useful in the very necessary effort to get a fuller understanding of the trump campaign’s and presidency’s flagrant lawlessness; its flagrant ignoring of customs, rules, and laws controlling a candidate’s and a president’s behavior; not to mention president trump’s flagrant ignoring of good political and interpersonal judgement: in short, what the mueller investigation failed to cover.

    in the end an understanding of this flagrant lawlessness is critical to reigning in the power of the president which has been expanding in ways dangerous to our society since at least the 1930’s. understand that president trump is not an aberration; a president quietly issuing executive orders can be as dangerous as a loudmouthed oaf who rose on the strength of his lying, bullying, and illegality. understand that trump is the inevitable apotheosis of the uncontrollable, no-accountancy, presidency our Congress has slowly ceeded over the last century.

    • Emjayay says:

      Excellent paragraphing. Now work on finding the shift keys (one on each side of the keyboard).

      e e cummings was a poet. This is prose, and you aren’t him.

      • orionATL says:

        you know, lala,

        you are probably the 20th or 30th person over a decade or so who has displayed their deep erudition in this way. as it happens, i’m just an exceptionally poor typist.

        so in the words of the poet, “there is some shit i will not eat.” kiss off.

  7. chicago_bunny says:

    These are excellent. The problem with the public, pundits, and too many lawmakers, is that they believe that can get Mueller to state conclusions in his testimony that he has not offered in the report. For example, I see many people saying he should be asked “would you have indicted Trump if he were not President.” I find it quite clear Mueller will refuse to answer that question for the “fairness” reasons provided in the report. Mueller is not the type to put extra mustard on what he has already submitted with the report.

    The key, in my view, is to ask process questions like you’ve laid out above. These are not answered by the report but provide valuable context to the information that is already before the public. It is then up to Congress and commentators to thread together the narrative for the general public.

    (I do think that question 28 above veers into the territory that Mueller will not answer. That said, Mueller would almost certainly confirm that Trump’s answer matches Cohen’s initial answer to Congress, Cohen later admitted that his answer to Congress was a lie, and Cohen is in prison on account of that lie.)

    • Mooser says:

      “Mueller is not the type to put extra mustard on what he has already submitted with the report.”

      I’d like to see if Mueller can testify on TV without becoming an obsessive focus for Trump’s hatred, threats of legal action and maybe even proxy physical threats.

  8. Jenny says:

    Thank you Marcy. Outstanding! My request for questions you would ask Mueller was manifested. These questions need to go directly to the committee so they can ask these specific questions.

    • Anvil Leucippus says:

      I would happily eat my hat if even one of MW’s questions was asked. They are all far too useful.

  9. flounder2 says:

    What I want to know is how in-depth the investigation was on the transition period. Trump Inc claims that communications during this period fall under Executive Privilege, while most other people think this is B.S. I wonder if Mueller was ordered by his superiors to treat investigations of what happened during this period according to Trump’s claims or the more common interpretations? I also wonder, given that Jeffery Beauregard Sessions III was a Trump campaign associate who met with Kislyak a number of times (and lied about it to Congress), whether there was ever any thought about bringing him in for an interview?

  10. BobCon says:

    There is another piece of what the Democrats are going to need to do. They will need to anticipate the questions that the GOP will be asking, and think about followups that will expose how hollow they are.

    For example, the GOP will be asking questions which they know Mueller won’t answer directly, and then try to spin them as Mueller saying there is no evidence. They’ll be asking him nonsequitors and crazy hypotheticals also on the assumption that he will offer the narrowest possible answer, which they can then spin in the post hearing fracas.

    Mining the stuff people like John Solomon and Chuck Ross are throwing out is probably a good clue to what the GOP will ask (since those articles are probably in part trial balloons floated by GOP reps themselves). Democrats should think how Mueller might respond. Some of those questions Mueller may well swat down with detailed answers, but others he may not want to touch for legitimate reasons. Democrats will need to think through how to get Mueller to go beyond simple references to ongoing investigations, and also provide translations of legalistic statements he might make.

    • orionATL says:

      what people who scream for impeachment hearings NOW seem not to consider is that all congressional hearings are an opportunity to deflect attention and obfuscate, which obfuscation is guaranteed to lead to muddled media communications to voters. building a case misconduct by misconduct and then putting the entirety of misconduct together in an impeachment charge so labeled might be a smarter road to travel, and that may be just what nadler and company are doing now.

      • bmaz says:

        The ability to “build a case misconduct by misconduct” is being denied and obstructed by the Trump Administration. The best and fastest way to overcome that is via opening an inquiry. Nadler knows this, but he is being bullied and denied by Pelosi. This “smarter road” you describe is just people doing nothing useful and sitting with their thumbs up their asses.

        • orionATL says:

          bmaz –

          but what about all the interviews being conducted and scheduled ?

          what about subpoenas being issued?

          what about legal fights the house judiciary comm is conducting involving subpoenas?

          what nadler and committee are doing now sounds to me like a serious effort to to do just what i mentioned – lay a solid factual groundwork in the congressional proceedings (not relying just on mueller’s report) which can be used to support an impeachment charge with the meat of the inquiry already having already been conducted. it is important that the house inquiry not depend too much on the mueller’s team’s work.

          i am not impressed by arguments that pelosi is foolish, timid, conservative (centrist), and other diminishing pejoratives. i think these charges are made by folks who never once in their lives have had the responsibility she has and who don’t have a clue how difficult it is keep a bunch of idiot Democrats moving in the same direction for any length of time. just last week, for example, the house judiciary committee held hearings on slavery reparations – just a little diversion in between impeachable conduct hearings.

          as it happens, the nice thing about our president is that he is the gift that keeps on giving as far as impeachment is concerned:

          additional or future impeachment charge #1: obstructing congressional inquiry into presidential conduct.

          additional or future impeachment charge #2: negligence for failing to take adequate steps to protect the 2020 federal elections from russian interference.

          added note after submitting: i am tired of being harassed by moderators at the emptywheel website who dump my comments in “moderation”. this needs to stop now.

          • bmaz says:

            1) The interviews? You mean of McGahn and Barr? What interviews are you talking about Orion? All the ones engendering oversight for Congress? Seriously, you are arguing this? Come on.

            2) Oh, the Subpoenas! How are you going to enforce them? So, your argument is the House Dems ought to blithely throw away their strongest and best argument for enforcement of any subpoenas? That is your plan? Brilliant.

            3) What arguments “impress” you is not my concern. Protecting and defending the Constitution is my concern. Facilitating competent oversight by the House is my concern.

            4) You got placed in auto-mod because you took it upon yourself to be an ass to the people (multiple people) that run this blog. That is not “harassment”, it is what you earned. And, for the record, I am the one that has been freeing up your comments recently, including the one I am now responding to. You are welcome.

            • orionATL says:

              bmaz-

              thank you, bmaz. if other emptywheel mucktymucks are refusing to release my comments at all, that tells me all i need to know. thanks for the tip.

              criticizing others who comment at a blog, whatever their status, is not necessarily”being an ass” in my book. my criticism in this case was not only legitimate, but intentionally to the benefit of the blog. if that was not understood it speaks volumes.

    • orionATL says:

      i posted a comment related to bobcon’s some hours ago. it has not reappeared.

      edit: ok. now magically it has reappeared.

    • orionATL says:

      i entered two comments today one an addition to bobcon’s and one an addition to my comment made at 10:18.

      they have both re-appeared and then disappeared again.

      i am getting tired of being harassed like this.

  11. Ruthie says:

    Is it too much to hope for that the questioning will be conducted, in whole or in part, by a skillful lawyer as was done with Hope Hicks? After waiting so long for this testimony, my head will surely explode if I have to listen to grandstanding by Democrats who ought to know better. Of Republicans my expectations couldn’t be lower.

  12. Tom says:

    I realize this isn’t how Mueller operates, but it would be good if he could be prevailed upon to give an opening statement in which he could address the main points of his findings in ways that would provide effective sound-bites for the evening news. To be specific, if he forcefully and emphatically put a stake through the whole “No collusion! No obstruction!” counter-factual fallacy, that would be very much in the public interest and might stymie some of the GOP’s lines of attack. Also, there must be areas of his report that Mueller thinks would benefit from further discussion and investigation, and if he could somehow convey the message to the Committees that they might find it useful to ask him about x, y, and z, that, too, would help in educating the public, though again, that does not seem to be how Mueller views his role.

    • Tom says:

      Also, Mueller should emphasize that the Russian government remains committed to sabotaging the U.S. electoral system and that in America’s efforts to counter these Russian schemes, President Trump is part of the problem, not the solution.

    • JAFive says:

      Well, that’s where the “circus” questions come in, but I think good questioning will produce those sound bites.

      Question #1 should be, “President Trump has described your report as a “complete exoneration” of himself and his associates. Is this an accurate characterization of your findings.” That kind of question generates a nice, soundbiteable response.

      I’m not too optimistic given how hearings normally go, but I really hope that the Dems get together and strategize about this hearing instead of just each taking five minutes to ramble.

      • Tom says:

        Yes, having a questioning strategizing meeting seems like such an obvious thing for the Dems to do, it shouldn’t even need to be mentioned.

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Something tells me the Roberts Court will find new respect for precedent when it faces challenges to its gerrymandering decision.

  14. MattyG says:

    Great round of questions – sure looking forward to the day of his appearance. Apologies for having a one track mind about this particular topic but here goes:

    Q1-4: In assessing whether the campaign ever developed a tacit agreement with the Russian Government in matters connected with election interference, did you investigate campaign interaction with subjects not officially members of the Russian Government, but believed or suspected by your office to be working on Russia’s behalf? How was evidence derived from non-official Russian linked operatives handled with respect to your assessments? Did any evidence derived from any non-official Russian linked sources challenge your general assessment regarding conspiracy between the campaign and the Russian Government presented in Volume 1 of the report? Was any evidence indicative of conspiracy omitted on the grounds that it derived from non-official Russian Government sources or activities – if so please describe, and explain your reasoning for not including this category of evidence.

  15. JAFive says:

    1) I think it would be very useful for someone to get Mueller to define the terms he uses for various standards of proof. I think I understand what he means by them, but I’m honestly not sure, and there are a dozen different ways he refers to confidence levels. Obviously, the one to start with is “did not establish.” That seems like the kind of question he’d be directly receptive to, as it’s not really seeking anything outside the four corners of the report. And, getting people to realize what those statements actually mean could be very important.

    2) According to the Attorney General, your supervisors never formally denied any investigative steps you requested. Did they ever informally request that you take or not take an investigative step? Were there any requests for investigative action that you declined to make because you believed they would be denied?

    • Danno says:

      The latest Rational Security podcast spends a good 20 minutes on these questions concerning evidence. Ben Witter lists the four different versions the Report uses.

  16. Drew says:

    Sometimes I wish that these Congressional committees would reach out to Marcy and contract with her to do the questioning, or at least consult with those who would.

    • Geoff says:

      We might want to start with, here are the questions, dear Congressional Reps ….”do you even understand them and why they matter? Because if not PLEASE find someone well versed enough on the topic to partake in the Mueller hearing.”

      I really worry that this is the last good opportunity, and we are going to (on top of fending off the R-team BS) have a bunch of good-intentioned but incompetent questioners who fail to capitalize on the situation. The way they always fail to follow up on a thread that seems to be going somewhere (see Kavanaugh hearings) really makes me worry that this will end up as the final moment where the Dem leadership says, see, we already know what we need to know, and it’s not enough to start impeachment.

      I don’t think we can afford to blow this one.

  17. Tom says:

    There’s the question Justin Amash asked Michael Cohen back in February: “What is the truth President Trump is most afraid of people knowing?”, or some variation on that theme, but I doubt Mueller would want to engage in that type of speculation.

  18. Hops says:

    I’m reminded of the question Spock’s mother slipped into his test in Star Trek IV: how do you feel?

    If he wants Trump impeached, this will be his chance.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I’m looking for the strategery behind Ms. Pelosi’s “reluctant acceptance,” without amendment or negotiation, of Mitch McConnell’s Senate bill to fund a “border aid” package. Turtle McConnell won’t mistake submission for respectful behavior toward congressional norms of the sort McConnell has pissed on for two decades.

    If House (and Senate) Dems wanted to look like they’d been rolled in the park and had a 5-gallon water can tipped over them so that they didn’t return, it would be hard to improve on their current appearance.

    Seriously, the Dems need to toss out their establishmentarian political consultants, who litter the ground like beer cups after a ballgame, and replace them with family therapists.

    • P J Evans says:

      I saw the photo of her between Hoyer and Clyburn, and she’s the only one of the three I have any respect for. (Hoyer is an old-line centrist D, who should have been retired already.)

      • Eureka says:

        I took Clyburn’s tweet the other night (which I posted after the House passed their version) as part of the foreshadowing…

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Chuck Schumer, Senate New Democrats and Blue Dogs threw Pelosi and the House Dems under the bus over the border bill. I imagine the same contingent is arguing against an impeachment inquiry.

      I’m looking forward to my imagined primary challenge between AOC and Chuck.

    • Eureka says:

      So you saw Mets @ Phils too, huh.

      But more seriously as to your other comment re AOC primarying Schumer: she’ll be good if she can pre-advertise constituent services (disregarding, for the moment, that her policies would likely obviate the need for so much direct assistance for folks trying to get their pensions or other benefits from misc. corps., and so forth). That seems to be Schumer’s primary office maintenance method, besides familiarity/ comfort of an old blanket-type characteristics.

  20. Rugger9 says:

    OT but given how Kaiser Quisling ranted about delaying the Census, does anyone have an idea what would happen if Wilburrrrr went ahead and printed the Census forms with the citizenship question still included? I’m sure the Palace would call it an “error” or “oversight” or something similar, but wouldn’t that be forcing a delay KQ wants anyway? TPM had this article about KQ’s fight to get his question but given how the Palace likes to do things under the radar, I think an “oopsie” is more likely, which of course will take months to fix. Or like the gerrymandering cases before 2016, they will run out the clock with the question still in the Census.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/trump-administration-census-citizenship

    • P J Evans says:

      They were claiming they needed it decided by the 30th. (The Census Bureau itself says it needs to be locked in by mid-October – they’re trying for mostly-online this time.) Tr*mp is trying to claim it can be delayed – but he and his “advisers” are unfamiliar with both laws and the Constitution. (It’s been in the “0” years since 1790, a-holes. And that was when it took months to run, simply because of the roads and distances.)

      • Areader2019 says:

        So they go to the SC and say they need a decision by June 30th, and they want a citizenship census question to help administer voting rights.

        And the SC says, ‘no, you lied….it has nothing to do with voting rights’.

        So they come back in the fall and say, ‘we lied about June 30th too…. and here is another reason we need that question’.

        Right? So basically every word is a lie, even ‘and’ and ‘the’.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah. Unfortunately, it was the “good guys”, i.e. the parties challenging the bogus citizenship question, that introduced the October date. That may come to haunt them.

  21. K-spin says:

    Great questions Marcy!
    I would love to see the Dems co-ordinate, and get some of the key points across in the first 3-4 questions of the day, before getting into more intricate details.
    By ‘key points’ I mean:
    – The findings of your report have been summarised as ‘no collusion, no obstruction’. Is this correct?
    – how many contacts between the administration and Russian individuals did you detect?
    – did the WH ‘fully co-operate’ with your investigation?
    – did your investigation reveal evidence of crimes committed by DJT? Please detail this evidence.
    – AG Barr reported his communications with you as (XYZ). Is this correct?

    Get this done first, and the viewing public gets the picture.

  22. Eureka says:

    Evergreen re Chuck Todd:

    Gavin O’Hara: “Chucksplaining and chuckerrupting.… ”
    https://twitter.com/gavinohara/status/1144084624362135552

    Re

    FiveThirtyEight: “Cory Booker spoke the most words tonight. Beto O’Rourke was second. Elizabeth Warren was third. Chuck Todd, one of the debate’s moderators, spoke just 4 words less than Warren and more words than 7 of the candidates on stage. (chart; link)”
    https://twitter.com/FiveThirtyEight/status/1144083841931517953

    I’m waiting on the count from tonight…and of course quantity of annoying in no way captures the *quality* of his specific inanities.

    • Eureka says:

      eh, they’re not advertising any quasi-useless statistics with which to drag Chuck Todd tonight. They did tweet out a headline misinterpreting their own graph on something else IMO, so I’ve been karmically (sic) punished with prolonged annoyance anyway. Schadenfreude has its risks!

  23. Dexter says:

    No questioning is complete without attempting to determine how far the investigation went to determine what KK did with the polling data after receiving it. To my eyes I do not understand how this part of the investigation is not central to any conspiracy that would be charged.

    • MattyG says:

      Yes certainly. Question Mueller about the scope and nature (in detail) of the data passed along to KK (or others), what the investigation uncovered as to how it was used by the Russians, and where there other data of exchanges (with KK or others) that may have had significance significant but were omitted from the report, and if so, why.

      In fact a whole session of questions dedicated to questions related to what the campaign provided the Russians with via “non-official” Russian operators.

    • P J Evans says:

      It may be in the “harm to ongoing matter” redactions, and possibly also in “investigative techniques”. If it is, then Mueller won’t discuss it in public.

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