Whip It Good: Time Has Come Today [UPDATE-3]

[NB: Update at the bottom, thanks! /~Rayne]

I’m working on a new whip list right now. I’ll update this post with a refreshed whip list at the bottom of the page once I’ve collected the freshest batch. Last I checked we were between 138-148 House Democrats in favor of an impeachment inquiry or impeachment. The magic number is 218.

If you haven’t called your representative and asked them to support impeachment inquiry, please do so. If your representative already supports a formal inquiry, thank them to maintain their perception of public support.

Stress the urgency to take action — we can all see the Trump administration is degrading before our eyes. The whistleblower complaint needs investigation and only a formal impeachment inquiry will have the legal clout to override any attempts to obstruct investigation.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or use Resistbot.

Please make the effort to look up your representative’s local office for the phone number. Some constituents have reported their rep’s voicemail is full; having the local number will provide a fallback to contact them.

Recruit like-minded constituents, even kids, to call their representatives. Yes, youngsters who are too young to vote are still constituents entitled to representation.

It’s time.

. . .

UPDATE — 2:50 P.M. EDT —

I can’t update my own list fast enough right now. Here’s where three news outlets stand on their whip counts:

NBC: ‘over 160’ House Dems as of their last update Sept. 24, 2019, 8:51 AM EDT

Huffington Post: ‘at least 166’ House Dems as of their last update 05/23/2019 02:33 pm ET

POLITICO: ‘173 Democrats support impeachment or impeachment inquiry’ as of 2:48 p.m. today.

Washington Post has also reported:

Announcement expected at 5:00 p.m. after the 4:00 p.m. House Democratic Caucus meeting.

If POLITICO’s headcount is accurate, we still need 45 more House Dems to get behind a bill authorizing a formal impeachment inquiry.

Keep calling and recruiting other callers.

Need a script? See @celeste_p’s:

UPDATE — 10:15 A.M. EDT 25-SEP-2019 —

Here’s the latest numbers at the three outlets posted yesterday before the snowball effect really kicked in:

NBC: 211 House Democrats favor some action on Trump impeachment: Full list as of last update Sept. 24, 2019, 4:29 PM EDT

HuffPo: 177 House Members Have Called For Congress To Start Trump Impeachment Proceedings as of 05/23/2019 02:33 pm ET

POLITICO: Who supports impeachment? 211 Democrats support impeachment or impeachment inquiry, 28 Democrats who don’t support impeachment or impeachment inquiry — yet as of last update 9/24/19

Looks like NBC and Politico caught up to each other. If this is accurate, we only need 8-9 Democrats yet to sign on to secure an authorizing resolution.

This is the current list I have of Dems who are not yet in support of an impeachment inquiry. Some are no surprise like Tulsi Gabbard, this general election’s Jill Stein. Or Henry Cuellar, who is far more conservative than his district — just asking for a primary to take him out.

Anthony Brindisi NY-22 R+6
Cheri Bustos IL-17 D+3
Henry Cuellar TX-28 D+9
Joe Cunningham SC-1 R+10
Sharice Davids KS-3 R+4
Rosa DeLauro CT-3 D+9
Tulsi Gabbard HI-2 D+19
Jared Golden ME-2 R+2
Vicente Gonzalez TX-15 D+7
Ron Kind WI-3 EVEN
Conor Lamb PA-17 (R+2.5 under 2016 map, may change)
Al Lawson Jr. FL-5 D+12
Dan Lipinski IL-3 D+6
Ben McAdams UT-4 R+13
Stephanie Murphy FL-7 EVEN
Tom O’Halleran AZ-1 R+2
Collin Peterson MN-7 (House Ag committee chair) R+12
Max Rose NY-11 R+3
Linda Sánchez CA-38 D+17
Kurt Schrader OR-5 EVEN
Terri Sewell AL-7 D+20
Donna Shalala FL-27 D+5
Xochitl Torres Small NM-2 R+6
Jeff Van Drew NJ-2 R+1
Susan Wild PA-7 (D+1.1 under 2016 map, may change)
Frederica Wilson FL-24 D+34

But Wilson, whose district is rated D+34? or Sánchez, who’s served for 16 years in a D+17 district?

Especially under a continuing blue wave, when the 2020 vote will be a referendum on Trump?

If one of these representatives are yours, call them and ask them to get behind a formal impeachment inquiry. Contact info above in this post.

UPDATE — 3:45 P.M. 25-SEP-2019 —

We are soooo close! Thank you to these Democrats who’ve finally stepped over to the right side of history:

Cheri Bustos IL-17 D+3
Henry Cuellar TX-28 D+9
Rosa DeLauro CT-3 D+9
Dan Lipinski IL-3 D+6
Stephanie Murphy FL-7 EVEN
Linda Sánchez CA-38 D+17
Terri Sewell AL-7 D+20
Donna Shalala FL-27 D+5

According to NBC’s list these eight representatives now bring the total number to 216 in support of a formal impeachment inquiry.

These folks are still Undecided or No votes:

Anthony Brindisi NY-22 R+6
Joe Cunningham SC-1 R+10
Sharice Davids KS-3 R+4
Tulsi Gabbard HI-2 D+19
Jared Golden ME-2 R+2
Vicente Gonzalez TX-15 D+7
Ron Kind WI-3 EVEN
Conor Lamb PA-17 (R+2.5 under 2016 map, may change)
Al Lawson Jr. FL-5 D+12
Ben McAdams UT-4 R+13
Tom O’Halleran AZ-1 R+2
Collin Peterson MN-7 (House Ag committee chair) R+12
Max Rose NY-11 R+3
Kurt Schrader OR-5 EVEN
Xochitl Torres Small NM-2 R+6
Jeff Van Drew NJ-2 R+1
Susan Wild PA-7 (D+1.1 under 2016 map, may change)
Frederica Wilson FL-24 D+34

What the heck is going on with the Ag Committee chair? As if Trump’s disastrous handling of trade hasn’t been enough reason to seek impeachment before this solicitation for foreign assistance to cheat his way into re-election.

And what’s going on with the lingering holdouts who are in D+ districts? This is a blue wave; the House was won in 2018 because the people wanted the White House restrained. They still want him restrained. Get on the right side of this.

If one of the holdouts is your representative, you know what to do.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121.


324 replies
  1. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    I wanna offer that Pelosi has dawdled, evaded and obfuscated not because she is a stealthy political wizard but because she is weak and can’t whip enough of the “conservative” Dems that she and Steny have carefully cultivated to keep control of the progressive majority in her caucus. At this time (right now, maybe not by this evening) there are not enough Democratic votes for a majority on impeachment. Whip it Rayne!!

    • Rayne says:

      One list has the current count at 155. I think the consensus is that a simple-to-understand impeachable offense needed to surface before the weakest-spined Democrats would rally behind a formal inquiry.

      That’s says something about the public, not just House Democrats. Phones are ringing like crazy NOW instead of after the Special Counsel’s report revealed multiple acts of obstruction? That’s on us.

      And lest it’s forgotten, Pelosi has a fundamental conflict of interest since she’s third in line of succession AND Pence is also implicated in the Ukraine scandal. This has always needed to be driven by others below her in rank. And I’m frankly fed up with Steny fucking Hoyer for his lack of leadership and his persistent, annoying centrism.

      • bmaz says:

        There is no cognizable conflict whatsoever by Pelosi. None. And if there had been, it would have been her duty to shut the fuck up and stay out of the discussion. Instead she cravenly whipped relentlessly against the House doing its Constitutional duty. And “the public” is, significantly, so ignorant because Pelosi and her fellow ostrich Dems have lied out of their asses and acted so nonchalant about rampant malfeasance.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          I understand your frustration, bmaz, but will offer a bit different perspective.
          Pelosi *must* prevail. The Dems can’t lose this one, and waiting longer to be certain of victory was strategically sound.

          My take: In March-April, Barr intentionally confused the public about the Mueller Report. Barr’s disinformation complicated things for Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, and possibly Waters, which drew out the timeline. (IMVHO, Barr’s play for time inadvertently allowed more time to reveal Trump’s declining cognitive and physical condition; the Trump Enablers probably thought meds could manage his condition, but those require constant adjustment, and have endless complications. The irony!)

          So in March, April, and May, Nancy Pelosi, a 79-year-old grandmother, had to ‘stand down’ while watching 72-year-old Trump’s health devolve. Relish the irony!
          (Lady Karma must have been laughing her ass off; Barr outsmarted himself: his delay helped revealed Trump’s ghastly decline, and allowed time for the whole Jeffrey Epstein mess to show us that Barr couldn’t even ensure protection of a high profile defendant in a high security jail. The poetic justice was grisly and macabre, and did not portray Barr as ‘competent’ in terms of American jurisprudence. The irony!)

          Recall that last spring Pelosi *specifically* mentioned that [Trump’s family, enablers] should hold an ‘intervention.’ She *specifically* mentioned THAT word: ‘intervention’. In my experience, ‘intervention’ is medically and legally significant. IMVHO, she was warning the Trump Enablers to get off the dime and urgently get help for The Donald. (I was close to a similar situation last spring, and am convinced that Pelosi is well aware of the protocols for getting memory care/dementia patients urgent diagnosis and assistance. It is no great surprise that the Trump Enablers were incompetent at getting assistance for The Donald, but Pelosi surely offered them a ‘window of opportunity’ in May, June, July, and even August — I have a hunch that Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, and staff were updating Pelosi on how much more time they needed to nail down key details, because they **must** prevail.)

          Pelosi, to her vast credit, **never once publicly stated**, “Listen up, Trump family — this is grim, serious business; your dad could well be wearing diapers within two years, and you need to face reality. I am doing my damndest to provide you coverage for a ‘graceful exit’: however, **I can only hold out until fall**, and if you miss this incredible ‘window of opportunity’ that I am offering, then the pressure will build beyond what you or I can manage. I will be out of options for stalling, and impeachment will be the next step.”

          However, the Trump Enablers failed to take advantage of their window of opportunity, and Pelosi can now accurately state that she offered them **every opportunity** to change the eventual outcome. That in itself, IMVHO, was a remarkable act of statecraft: the ball is now in her court. Deliciously, Barr is now severely self-sabotaged; whereas A 79-year-old grandmother is on offense.

          Recall that around the 4th of July, Pence hastened urgently — and unexpectedly — to the WH. Wanna bet that the cover story for that urgent trip to see The Donald was utter, absolute bullshit? Because within 48 hours or so, The Donald was talking about “airports in 1776”. And rather than US media asking morning, noon, and night what Trump’s treatment protocols were, what meds he is/was on, etc, etc, they were all like, “airports….? 1776….? well, he said it, we just report it…” Jesus Christ on a cracker, as the brilliant Jane Hamsher used to say.

          Pelosi may have been watching to see whether The Trump Enablers (whether GOP, McConnell, Kushner, Saudi’s, Israelis’, Russians) would act like sane adults and get Trump some medical help and ‘make a deal’ to get him the hell out of the WH. That didn’t happen, so then…

          In August, we were all treated to the spectacle of Trump being treated considerately by the other members of the G7, who treated him as if he were fragile porcelain. I feel grateful to every one of them for their decency and diplomacy.

          Watching Trump lumber along with his hands down at his sides — a bizarro kind of walk that I have seen in memory care and senior housing facilities — was a stark contrast to the wayyyy more fit and vibrant Macron and Trudeau. Meanwhile, Pelosi wisely stayed out of view — I am convinced that she, Schiff, Nadler, and Waters have been playing for time. McConnell and Barr can only play defense just so long… and Trump looks ghastly these days.

          It feels as if we are (finally) coming up to an epic moment.
          Nancy has to prevail; to prevail, but I wonder if one key reason that she needed more time is because there’s a whole cabal to roll up. Here’s hoping.

          And, now, back to whipping votes…!

          • bmaz says:

            It is their duty to do when necessary to protect the Constitution and their own Article I power. That moment was long ago. And saying that waiting longer insure victory, that is such unbelievable garbage it is hard to respond. Getting the evidence and testimony is what moves the needle on “victory”, whatever the hell the his. Pelosi has sat belligerently derelict and fucked off precious time to do that. It has been a complete abdication of duty.

            I know many folks think it was some brilliant ass plan, but it was not. It was sheer and ruthless threatening of members that their elections would be affected. And by that she means she would hang them out to dry and not fundraise for them. Her only “plan” until the last 36 hours was to bully house members in order to insure impeachment never happened. And, let’s be crystal clear the exact same base crime behind the Ukraine matter is a felony violation of campaign finance law. The rest of the hubbub is just sordid background. You minot remember campaign finance violations, that is exactly what he was charged as a co-conspirator for with Michael Cohen back in August of 2018. A charge for which Cohen sits in prison, and which the court in SDNY found factually accurate. So, no blithely and ignorantly waiting for more crimes to be committed is a piss poor plan.

            So, please, spare me the total bullshit about her brilliance on this issue. She has disgraced her office and the Constitution. I have not given her credit for squat on this issue, and I won’t now either. She is fucking derelict.

            • Katherine M Williams says:

              Pelosi said she’d wait for Trump to self impeach, and he has done so. She said she needed repug cooperation, and vola! McConnell cooperated. Meanwhile, horrible, deadly, destructive things have been done to the country and the world by this administration… just so Nancy could have an easier time, or perhaps “make a deal” with McConnell. I’m worried she’ll allow Pence, who was in on the Ukraine-threatening, to become president.

              • P J Evans says:

                I’d argue that Mitch is doing the absolute minimum of cooperation he can, and look like he’s not protecting the current president. (It’s for his own protection – he’s up for re-election next year.)

                • RWood says:

                  Moscow Mitch will continue to put up a front of cooperation. But he’ll also be keeping an eye out for an approaching bus to throw trump under.

                  • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                    Agree 100% that McConnell is waiting to throw Trump under the bus at what he decides is the first viable opportunity.

                    Bmaz, I absolutely see your point. Love your passion, and the work you do to keep this place humming.

                    Today’s news that Trump told the Ukrainian President to ‘call Barr’ absolutely highlights this is a network that needs to be rolled up.

          • joejim says:

            I think we all need to remember that this doesn’t have to quench anyone’s ravenous thirst for excitement. Its OK if the ending isn’t as exciting as the middle, in fact that’s how justice often plays out.

            The crucial thing is that we don’t have to find out how badly this could go, and we should be very glad of that and end this.

            What needs to happen alongside whatever motions are being made this week is for the Democrats to message with the clarity of a freaking dish detergent ad already. When the calculation is that the fight for justice is not intrinsically rewarding, it obscures justice and truth, just as it obscures those of us who crave it, and our will.

            It is way past time to rejoin us to this story, which isn’t just about royalty, their families and dodgy courtiers, and the way to do that is to be honest, and have a straightforward narrative. We don’t have to wait for the story to get more repulsive, scandalous, or dangerous.

            Nobody knows what the Democrats are doing on what timeframe and that needs to change and they need to announce it now and well. Pelosi is stunningly clear when she is telling reporters to shut up and not ask questions she doesn’t like, and I’d like to see her use that same hauteur and clarity, for the sake of clarity, please.

          • Vicks says:

            I agree keep it simple, and keep it current.
            The opposition is already branding this as an attempt to relitigate what has already been ruled as non-issues most Americans.
            In truth Americans really have shown how high their tolerance is for corruption and greed when it is at a distance and presented in over complicated terms. IMHO trying to drag it all back in in an attempt to show what a bad guy Trump REALLY is could come off as egotistical, people have already shown they don’t care…
            This one is different; it is current and obvious.
            It will take the simplest of terms to show how this single action and it’s coverup easily clears the “What’s it to me” hurdle.
            It will also be much harder to distract/confuse/obfuscate or attack the messenger, which takes out just about every tool in Trump’s arsenal.
            I’m not saying that a pattern can’t be pointed out as things move along, and one would hope as evidence gets turned over and witnesses are forced to testify it will create an avalanche but I think this thing needs to roll and it needs to roll now

            • bmaz says:

              No, absolutely not. There are at least ten areas that must be within the scope. There has been NO meaningful oversight accomplished this year because of total obstruction. The impeachment inquiry gets around that blockage. It is absolutely imperative that they have the Constitutionally protected and faster path to get evidence on a lot of areas. It will be a complete joke if it is restricted to the hardest subject, that involves classified information the public may never see, and of which we still do not know that much about. That would be beyond stupid.

              • RWood says:

                Her consideration of a select committee has me a bit apprehensive. If she sends them in with handcuffs on this could be over before it even starts.

                Like to see more of Burke after the way he handled Lewendowski. I can only hope the leadership sees the wisdom of having several of his type doing the questioning and keep the grandstanding in check.

                • bmaz says:

                  Oh, I would highly prefer a centralized select committee. Comprised of members with legal acumen and ability to actually question witnesses if called to do so, and not too many of them. Barry Berke, among others, would without question be assigned.

                  You leave it in HJC itself, the whole five minute shitshow and GOP screamers returns. With all 41 members preening for the cameras and acting like idiots.

                  • timbo says:

                    Bmaz, what do you think the chance is that that the Senate will form it’s on inquiry committee or assign this to Intelligence or Judiciary subcommitte of some sort?

                    My thinking is that Mitch might also want to try to get a Senate observer(s) in on the House committee hearings but pretty sure that won’t be allowed unless there’s some sort of formal agreement within the Senate itself on how that would work, etc. And even then, not sure the House would handle such a proposal…

                  • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                    Learning that Trump asked the Ukrainian President to: (1) go after Crowdstrike, (2) ‘call [USAG William] Barr’ means adding two new areas of expertise: intel/telecom, and treason.

                    And the questioning needs to be unrelenting, as Berke’s showed is possible.

                    • Rayne says:

                      Treason has a specific legal definition. It can’t be applied in this case because it requires a formally declared enemy during a state of declared war.

                      18 U.S. Code § 2381 Treason

                      We’re definitely having a problem with language and existing laws when it comes to defining certain criminal behavior. Some of this borders on sedition but like treason, sedition is defined by a relationship to use of force and kinetic warfare.

                      18 U.S. Code § 2384 Seditious conspiracy

                      We need new terms for betraying one’s country’s interest without a state of war and the deliberate effort to overthrow government without physical force or warfare.

              • Vicks says:

                Won’t that stuff come out in the inquiry?
                If this whistle blower situation is truly urgent, IMHO treating it as an emergency, crisis or threat to our national security is what will give it power, throwing it on the heap with the rest of the demands for information Trump has given the finger to seems to elevate the risk we will be here months from now waiting to hear what the courts think.
                Is there a reason that once an pubic and official inquiry starts, as things shake loose they can’t be added?
                Nixon resigned during his inquiry after all…
                Another thought is that by keeping it to this particular issue, those who looked the other way or defended the bad actors or actions in the past can pretend to be appalled and claim this is their line in the sand.
                All just thoughts of course, the only thing I am really solid on is that this needs the support of the majority of Americans. Support means outrage. To be outraged you need to be and stay engaged.
                This stuff isn’t interesting to most people, take a page from the Trump show, give the people something easy to understand and the words to defend it with.
                But what do I know?
                I really just want Trump and the rest of the trash he brought into our White House gone.

                • bmaz says:

                  No, it will absolutely not “all come out”. Focusing only on this is one of the most idiotic strategies I could possible imagine.

                  • Vicks says:

                    Again I’m just looking at it a different way because everything else has failed. I am also thinking it may be a way to get the win in the senate.
                    Trump is building power daily and clearly he is not a man afraid to use it.
                    I just now saw the senate voted on a resolution demanding the Trump admin turn over the w blower complaint to the intelligence committees.
                    From what I understand impeachment is a political not a legal process.
                    From a negotiating standpoint keeping it to the whistle blower issue gives republicans a way out. There is a lot of republican guilt and baggage that would go along voting on the old issues
                    Not that it’s right, not that it’s just, but I say get the monster out however you can, and work on locking him up when he can’t hide behind his power.
                    Go after the rest of the assholes too.

                    • bmaz says:

                      You are looking at it in a “different way” because of how incredibly lame Congress has been. The answer to that is NOT more incredible lameness.

                      Democrats are seriously pathetic. What do you think the GOP would be doing if a Dem President and administration did this? If Dems cannot play on the same field as the competition, they should admit they are limp and feckless and get off. The existence of the Constitution and rule of law hangs in the balance. Is continued cowardly fecklessness in order?

                    • Katherine M Williams says:

                      Give the republicans an out? Are you kidding? They’re traitors, criminals and fascists as much as Trump is. Worse, they don’t have the excuse of being crazy, as Trump is. They’re accessories-before-the-fact to his many murderous crimes. If we give them an “out” they’ll be back, and worse than ever. It’s hard to visualize worse than Trump, but the republicans always manage to go lower. There is no bottom to their barrel of evil.

                  • Vicks says:

                    Now that I hear all these people saying it out loud I will admit it may have sounded better in my head.
                    I’m curious to see what makes it out of the cable news bubble and into the local news tonight.

                • RWood says:

                  “This stuff isn’t interesting to most people”

                  Collusion with foreign powers, criminal enterprises, money laundering, nepotism, palace intrigue, tax evasion, election fraud, porn stars, corruption at the highest of levels, adultery, mob connections, crimes against his own citizens, support for Nazi’s, monetization of cabinet positions, pee tapes….do I have to go on?

                  Yeah, nobody will bother tuning in to see that exposed every day on live TV. I mean, who would want to watch that? Its not like he got a BJ from an intern or something!?!


                    • Rayne says:

                      I think for a lot of us watching the hearings in black-and-white, conducted by a sea of old white men in the absence of social media to make it a shared event, the Watergate hearings were like watching paint dry.

                      Except for Barbara Jordan and Chuck Rangel, IIRC.

                    • RWood says:


                      But if there’s one thing Americans love more than putting someone up on pedestal, its knocking them off it.

  2. General Sternwood says:

    Dear Congresswoman Pelosi, As one of your constituents, let me say that I believe that your initial stand on legislative oversight of the executive made a lot of sense. However, it is now apparent that the White House’s strategy to ignore and starve Congress of information makes real oversight impossible. The whistle-blower complaint is the right moment to pivot and to impeach the president based on his use of foreign policy for “dirty tricks” — it is transparently Nixonian. Either the Senate falls in line with a House vote on impeachment, or every one of the 23 Republican-held Senate seats being contested in 2020 becomes an uphill climb for the GOP, and the House becomes a cakewalk for your party. Senator McConnell may well work to keep Trump in office as long as possible, but forcing the GOP to support this lawlessness would sweep him aside in 2020. In other words, I hope you can conduct the kind of impeachment hearing that brings public opinion along — and having resisted the idea for so long, you have the moral authority to do so.

    • Vicks says:

      I had a feeling something was cooking.
      Ukraine did not hide their disdain for Trump, and Hannity, Limbaugh and the rest of the crew have been hammering on Hillary and Ukraine since the election.
      I wonder if this has anything to do with Barr’s redundant investigation, or Flynn’s lawyer claiming among she needs security clearance to fight the deep state.

      • 200Toros says:

        That’s good news! I seem to remember another congressman saying something to the effect of, given his status as an icon of civil rights, “no-one wants to be on the wrong side of John Lewis”. Also that if he comes out for impeachment, it would signal Speaker Pelosi’s willingness to move forward as well. Let’s hope so, she said there will be announcements later today…

      • NorskieFlamethrower says:

        SERIOUSLY??!!! How the flying fantasy f**k could that happen without Pelosi’s conscious effort when committee staffing was done at the first of the year??!! I’m serious, isn’t this the most visible example of Pelosi’s real political loyalties? She’s gunna go down with the ship of Trump impeachment or not.

    • Eureka says:

      Staffing and funding were the focus of my call (beyond leadership obstruction, escalating Trump admin corruption, etc.). Also the awkwardness of them being in court pretending to have an inquiry when they don’t and how that needs to change regardless.

      Very thankful to Rep for being on the ball; unfortunate that such reps had to work between a rock and a hard place for months now.

      Sigh of (partial) relief.

    • Ollie says:

      Oh Hey BobCon
      I just wanted to share w/you that the 2nd time I call Rep DeFazio? I got a real person and I told her about this funding you’ve mentioned. In fact I read your whole comment to her and she stated: That’s a good point. I was surprised because usually they just take statements or you leave a msg. Anyhow, thanks!

      • BobCon says:

        That’s great to hear.

        Hopefully people start digging out more detailed accounts of Watergate and the Clinton impeachment, start moving past superficialities, and think more about why 1974 was so different from 1998.

  3. bmaz says:

    BobCon cited this twitter thread from Heather Caygle last night I think. It is good and chock full of information. But this sticks out:

    “Some members have been wanting to back impeachment for a while and wanted cover.”

    Pelosi not only refused cover, she actively and relentlessly whipped against the effort.

  4. viget says:

    Who’s the bluest of the blue dogs? Those ought to be the people we’re going after.

    Mikie Sherrill NJ-11 just came on board with 6 other freshman dems (including Abigail Spanberger VA-07, who is also a Blue Dog) in that op-ed from last night.

    Since I know NJ pretty well, I looked into the Blue Dogs from there. We should focus our efforts on Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05).

    NJ-02 covers the southern 1/4th of the state and included a lot of rural communities in Southern NJ between Philadelphia and the shore. I have vacationed at many of them. They’re not hotbeds of conservatism. Atlantic City is in this district. So is Ocean City and all of LBI (Long Beach Island). It’s an historically leaning Dem district, but went for Bush in 2004 and Trump more recently, both by the slimmest of margins. Van Drew should be supporting impeachment.

    NJ-05 is its polar opposite in some ways. It is the extreme north of NJ, from the Del Water Gap to Port Jervis, and along the land border with NY. It includes some of the very affluent NYC suburbs in Bergen County, and has been reliably Republican, although it went for Trump by the slimmest of margins (even less than it went for Romney in 2012!). Gottheimer unseated a 7-term Republican in 2018, and he has strong ties to the Clintons and much of the Democratic party in general. NJ-05 is trending blue, Gottheimer should be on board.

    If anyone lives in these two districts, please hammer their phone lines. Both of them should be calling for impeachment, given that Mikie Sherrill, who hails from much more Republican district is now on board. I would even mention that to the staff.

    Also, not a Blue Dog, but another NJ’er who should definitely be on board is Frank Pallone NJ-06, who represents the Jersey Shore near Long Branch (my grandparents lived in this district, they are unfortunately deceased now). I cannot understand why he hasn’t backed this yet, as his district is solid blue. Anyone who lives near there should also be calling non-stop. I hope he changes his mind today.

    • KevinR70 says:

      Just a random thought – some blue dogs are from Team Republican districts, but some are from old-school conservative districts. In those places, “Hey, I’m standing up for the constitution, unlike the Republican you hired me to replace” should not only get traction, but also get actual respect and admiration. Just saying.

    • Sketch Mcnasty says:

      I just received some inside information that Congressman Gottheimer is supporting an impeachment inquiry as of today. That said, there is no reason to stop hammering his phone until he comes out publicly.

      • viget says:

        Keep hammering them both! Good to hear about Gottheimer, although the latest on Van Drew is that he’s still against impeachment because it’s too close to the election.

        In the same story, though, a huge surprise for me, Andy Kim (NJ-03) is now FOR impeachment. While not a Blue Dog, his district is very conservative and has been Republican for a very very long time. Also, the district flipped from barely favoring Obama in 2008 and 2012, to rather heavily (for NJ) favoring Trump in 2016, so the demographics are not as favorable as either Gottheimer’s or Van Drew’s districts.

        Van Drew and Pallone have GOT to support impeachment. They’re not really in that much danger from losing reelection, especially with the tide turning against Trump.

    • Ruthie says:

      I lived in NW NJ for a few years- sounds like NJ-05 although I don’t remember. Our rep was the awful Scott Garret, and the seat seemed pretty safe republican my entire time there. I left in 2008

  5. harpie says:

    Rep. Albio Sires D-NJ-08

    “[…] Up until now, I wanted to follow the ongoing congressional investigations to their conclusions and using the facts uncovered to make a decision about impeachment. However, these developments raise the urgency to a new level and I join many of my colleagues, and our constituents, in calling for an impeachment inquiry – we must uphold our oaths to protect the country, even if the President will not.”


  6. fikshun says:

    Thank you for these posts, Rayne. It’s one of the many things I love about this site.

    Also, if you’ve already called your representative, maybe consider calling your cable operator and asking that they remove Fox News from their channel lineup. They won’t do it, obviously, but Fox needs to feel a little more heat. They can’t allow guests to call Greta Thunberg “mentally ill” and then get off by just issuing an apology. Their apology needs to come with the appropriate amount of pain.

    • Rayne says:

      This is one reason why cable networks should be treated like broadcast networks — they should operate under the same restrictions about content when it comes to serving the general welfare. This hate talk about a minor doesn’t meet that standard from a network calling its content “news.”

  7. North Jersey John says:

    After calling to thank my Rep (Mikie Sherrill, NJ 11), I asked her staff to urge her colleagues to #CancelRecess. As of now, the House is scheduled to begin a two week recess after Thursday’s session. Arrggh – just perfect, another half-measure and feckless step by House Leadership? Sure, close the House, surrender the gavel and let Trump and his evil minions control the narrative for two weeks. It’s like House leadership can’t stop themselves from STOPPING THEMSELVES.

  8. 200Toros says:

    trump just tweeted that he has “authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine”

    Note that he did NOT include the words “original”, or”unmodified”. I can only assume that if they’re releasing it, it’s been heavily doctored.

    Please please please let there be Sharpie corrections on the transcript…..

  9. 200Toros says:

    And Adam Schiff just tweeted that “we have been informed by the whisteblower’s cousel that their client would like to speak to our committee … we’re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week.”

    THAT’S the way to counter the doctored transcript red-herring.

      • bmaz says:

        Keep your eye on the scope of the inquiry. The moderates and centrists are going to fight hard for a very limited scope. That is no good. It needs to be broad and able to go in several directions.

        • harpie says:

          For what it’s worth, WaPo’s Matt Viser reports:
          11:30 AM – 24 Sep 2019

          Nancy Pelosi on whether Trump’s decision to release the Ukrainian call transcript will cause Democrats to shift away from calls for impeachment:

          “No. This is about the constitution of the United States. We have many other candidates for impeachable offenses.”

        • Rayne says:

          We need whatever it was that happened with Nixon. The 93rd Congress looked not only at his obstruction of justice, his abuse of power, his contempt of Congress, but his subrogation of Congressional power and his tax fraud. Those were the five articles of impeachment drafted against Nixon though only three passed both the House Judiciary and the full House. Trump could easily have six or 7 articles of impeachment.

          • bmaz says:

            It is fairly smart in content, but seriously misapplied right now. You worry about actual articles of impeachment after gathering the evidence and laying it out to the public. This article is putting the cart WAY in front of the horse.

            The issue at this point is the scope of the inquiry, NOT what charges might come from it later.

            • BobCon says:

              This is my big concern. I am deeply worried that they will lock in all of Trump’s stonewalling and essentially go with whatever they have been able to extract so far — not much.

              I fear Pelosi’s gambit is to get a short series of hearings and a floor vote by the end of the year and seal in the result she has been claiming she feared — small media impact, death in the Senate (watch McConnell pull a Merrick Garland) and Trump crowing about exoneration. Followed by more impeachable activity by Trump and hand wringing by Pelosi.

              This bit has me worried that she is instructing investigatory committees to hand over whatever they have so far for Judiciary to pull together a small package and run to the floor. That would be a disaster. I sure hope there is more to this.


        • milestogo says:

          Susan Hennessey and the crew at lawfare are arguing for a kind of middle of the road limited approach. I’ll be watching closely what actually does come out of the house but I suspect it will track this approach somewhat closely. What’s important to me in addition to destroying this presidency is that they make the public case effectively and set precedent against future presidential abuse.


          • bmaz says:

            Milestogo – First off, welcome to Emptywheel, and please join in more often, it is always a good discussion. As to the substance, I said this earlier as to the Lawfare article:

            It is fairly smart in content, but seriously misapplied right now. You worry about actual articles of impeachment after gathering the evidence and laying it out to the public. This article is putting the cart WAY in front of the horse.

            The issue at this point is the scope of the inquiry, NOT what charges might come from it later.

            Unfortunately, I think people are being peddled a bill of goods again by the House Democrats. Pelosi has no plans for a formal resolution vote, much less a select designated committee. Just more of the same. It helps that she has acknowledged the need for an inquiry, but she is still fighting tooth and nail to insure there is no vote to support one. It is maddening.

  10. punaise says:

    Charles Pierce at Esquire.com:

    The Democratic caucus was scheduled to meet late Tuesday afternoon to discuss the way forward, which suddenly seems a lot clearer than it did three days ago. Years ago, while recounting the cascading events of the summer of 1974 that led to the excision of Richard Nixon from the body politic, political historian Walter Karp wrote of the impeachment vote in the House Judiciary Committee that “the hour of the Founders had come around at last.” Karp was unsparing in his criticism of how dilatory the system had proven itself to be in the face of Nixon’s crimes. He criticized the Republicans for enabling a criminal administration, and he criticized the Democrats for having had to be dragged into their constitutional duty by their ears

  11. 200Toros says:

    WTH??? Did… the Ukraine just troll trump?

    Zelensky just signed a bill into law allowing for presidential impeachment…

    “President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has signed the law on the special procedure for removing the president of Ukraine from office (impeachment).
    As Ukrinform reported, the Ukrainian parliament passed the law on September 10.

    The law envisages the special procedure for removing the president of Ukraine from office (impeachment) only in the case of treason or other crime. The impeachment procedure will be initiated by a constitutional majority of MPs.”

    (I hesitate to post the link, as it’s from a site I’m not familiar with – Ukrinform. I seem to remember Rayne not being too keen on that. But you can google it.)

    • Rayne says:

      If you have a link you are uncertain about, paste it but insert blank spaces in the URL so that it isn’t active. Thanks.

      Sadly, because I have been doing too much Googling of links — had +50 open — my browser crashed and ate half of them. ~sigh~

      • 200Toros says:

        https ://www. ukrinform .net/ rubric-polytics/ 2785590 -zelensky -signs-law- on-impeachment. html

        There’s the broken link.

        Heh, I know how that goes…

        • Rayne says:

          Thanks for that. I don’t know that it adds to the narrative; a politician truly running on a liberal democratic anti-corruption platform would take this step to ensure the people could remove a corrupt politician.

          It’s a bonus that this step looks like a slap in the face by Ukraine to Trump.

          • Frank Probst says:

            Zelensky’s side of the conversation(s) is going to be interesting, because I don’t think that someone who’s playing ball needs to be told EIGHT times that he needs to open a bogus investigation, or he won’t get his money. It looks like the whistleblower complaint is what forced the release of the money, so I wonder what steps, if any, Zelensky took after his conversation with Trump.

            • AndTheSlithyToves says:

              Apparently the eight times references the total number of times–that is, eight separate occasions not just one occasion–the Whistle Blower has said Trump approached Zelensky with this “suggestion.” That makes a whole lot more sense. I’m with ReaderOfTeaLeaves on Trump’s dementia–happens to the best of us as well as the worst.

  12. bmaz says:

    NBC count now at 173 Dems and Amash for a total of 174

    Last I checked, CNN only had it at 160. Not sure why.

    I think I trust NBC on this, but who knows? Oops, NBC count now at 177

    • P J Evans says:

      CNN currently has it at 172 plus Amash. They’re updating fairly often – but it may be getting ahead of them, too.

  13. viget says:

    Ok, just texted my friends in Hawaii to call Ed Case (HI-01). Best I can tell, he is still on the fence, hopefully more calls will help!

    • harpie says:

      Daniel Dale Retweeted https://twitter.com/StevenTDennis/status/1176594583804940288
      1:29 PM – 24 Sep 2019

      The Senate has *unanimously* agreed to Schumer’s resolution calling for the whistleblower complaint to be turned over the intelligence committees immediately.

      That’s every Senate Republican plus every Democrat now via unanimous consent agreeing to call on the Trump administration to cough up the whistleblower complaint, not just the phone call transcript. This is rare, folks.

      • punaise says:

        Pure (wishful) speculation, of course:
        Perhaps the long-awaited moment has arrived – the tipping point reached, the GOP has realized they must throw Trump under the bus to have a chance at salvaging anything in 2020…

        • General Sternwood says:

          I expected them to restrict their transparency to the phone call and stonewall on the whistleblower complaint. This means the complaint is either not as bad as we think, or so much worse that we’re already in “save the party” mode.

          • P J Evans says:

            I’ll take “save the party”. The stuff that’s come out this week is in “WTF” territory for presidents.

      • tjallen says:

        Why? To find out who it is, and what he/she might know. As I understand it, the whistleblower’s identity is still hidden. The President needs a real person to attack, and the President’s lawyers need to know who it is, to guess at what the person knows.

      • Drew says:

        I’m thinking that McConnell can envision the TV ads with his objection to this resolution in next years campaign coupled with later events (which he can envision though not speak aloud) where Trump is so disgraced & toxic, that the association with protecting him might take him down.

        Also he may have already known that the WH has decided to negotiate the release of the transcript and complaint, so the cost of having the resolution go through is basically nothing.

      • Yohei72 says:

        Why? I would guess because it’s a non-binding resolution anyway, so doesn’t actually do anything concrete, and the Senate GOP knows it’s a better look for them to say “Of course we wants the facts” than to say, “No, keep hiding the facts from us.”

  14. Matthew Harris says:

    A couple of things to remember, to keep perspective:

    For a lot of people in places like this, Nancy Pelosi is a centrist corporate democrat who is too accommodating. But there are large sections of the country where Nancy Pelosi is automatically and naturally thought of to be a far-left radical who is violently against Trump.

    There are lots of people who would look at any type of political action against Trump as just typical partisan posturing. “Politicians should stop playing these games and focus on the problems of REAL folks” countless dimestore philosophers will say, with the tacit understanding that “problems of REAL folks” is whatever is bothering him that day.

    I have always taken Pelosi’s behavior as that if she swings, she knows she has to hit. If she holds impeachment hearings, and it turns into months of procedural issues, then it is just going to look to a lot of the middle of the country as if she was bushwhacking for trouble.

    Has anyone here ever played Monopoly against an 8 year old? And you have to kind of humor them, and let them get away with a few things to avoid a tantrum, because you can’t be seen as bullying a child? But you, yourself, have to play the game fair and square? That is the position that Pelosi is in. It not fair, and it is not right, but it is the way things are, and Pelosi knows it. I think she was waiting for the evidence to come out that would be easy to communicate to the average voter. And I think she finally has it.

    • BobCon says:

      The problem with this line of thinking is that Pelosi was caught flat footed by this and unprepared.

      If she was concerned about getting tangled up in procedural issues, she would have staffed up from the beginning, and she would have accelerated legal challenges like the IRS filings fight instead of allowing Neal to slow walk them.

      Yielding time the way she did magnifies the risks of procedural fights, it doesn’t reduce them. Leaving the House so short of legal bandwidth doesn’t make her challenges any smaller, it only makes them worse.

      She somehow thought that Trump wouldn’t do anything to force the issue and force her to deal with the mess. That’s not strategy, that’s folly.

      • Matthew Harris says:

        “Delusional Nancy Pelosi has spent 40 million dollars hiring staff to investigate the discredited Russia witchhunt hoax, even after Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion. While Pelosi wastes taxpayer money on lawyers to harass Trump, our veterans go without health care…”

        Yes, I know that is a bunch of misdirection and propaganda. And I also believe that most people would be smart enough to see through it. But elections can be won at the margins, and Pelosi wants to hang on to her majority in 2020, both for her own sake and for the country’s sake.

        I am not saying that Pelosi made the right decision. I am just saying, her actions make sense to me. If I was in a position where I had to hold together a congressional majority, many seats of which were won by 1 or 2 points, against a propaganda machine that knows how to paint everything I do as wrong, would I be taking risks?

        I don’t agree with Pelosi, but I won’t armchair general her decisions.

  15. Eureka says:

    She said the magic words “all six committees”– so I hope that means we can take a breath on the ‘limited scope’ fears.

    Then listed chairs at end.


      • Eureka says:

        Oh no. I was focused on scope as to topics (i.e. six committees wouldn’t limit it to the Ukraine shiny object, but would include all the corruption).

        So are you guys thinking it will be limited in other ways, like slap-dash/ shallow as to the remaining abuses?

        • Eureka says:

          Nevermind. I see it now; I may have fallen for a repetition trick. I had taken the reference to “6 com’tees” like Pelosi code for broad investigations because she has said it so often. Doesn’t mean that now.

          However also informing my background opinion is HJC dems regularly reminding of ALL the abuses. I don’t think they’d give up emoluments violations, e.g., or limit them to the Ukraine topic, without a fight that we would help them win.

  16. MB says:

    Well…Nancy’s done making her little announcement, and short of the 218 needed in the bag. So with only 177 saying “yes” up until the moment of her announcement and with no bipartisan support visible, it looks like she has faced sufficient pressure as of today to cave on her previously-stated principles. Seeing the contents of the whistleblower report may be a long-ish sludge through the courts, hope the “official” status of things as of right now speeds that up!

  17. Ollie says:

    Just finished watching Pelosi. First I have to say: I called my Rep, twice. The first time to call for Impeachment and the second I got a live person and I read a tweet that two other Reps are putting out there: Nixon Impeachment they hired 100 extra to do the Inquiry. I mentioned ‘funding’ and to my delight she stated: Oh good question regarding the extra staff and money”. I was pleased.

    Now. I’m worried. I just watched the link Matthew Harris above listed on the bipartisan vote in Senate to release the WB complaint. All the comments are the same: Why is Mitch being agreeable. Well I smell a rat. I’ve been affected by Trump’s immoral character and now I find I ‘suspect’ everything/everyone. The guy who reported the WB complaint? He is Trump appointed. Mitch went to the air yesterday claiming that Trump is going to release everything and make fools of us *haters*. Trump’s ever changing rhetoric.

    What if this is a setup? Pelosi has been derelict in her duties as HS and should of called for impeachment months ago. So she finally caves…….does her duty……….Mitch and his boys are going along w/it……….we get it and there was nothing. OMG. I’ve got a stomach ache. So much at stake here. Thanks.

    • bmaz says:

      I dunno about a true set up, but I am extremely concerned that there may never be enough unclassified information presented to make “this” incident to be the one that is the sole focus. In fact the pace and thought process to date over the last 48 hours make me very nervous.

      • Ollie says:

        Gosh bmaz, that means a whole lot to me. Seriously I have the worst feeling we’re being set up. Course last night walking back from the mailbox I looked around and didn’t recognize anything…it was a twilight zone moment and well YOU saying you’re unsettled actually made me feel better. I wonder lately if this is how the people of Poland, Germany…all the countries that fell and engulfed by communism. If I’ve given wrong countries I’ apologize, lol. It’s the fog in my brain……

    • Marinela says:

      I had the same thoughts about this actually being a setup. Something is going to play in Trump’s favor, again. But… I want to be wrong.

      • bmaz says:

        I have no intrinsic idea or thoughts as to “eft up”, necessarily,, outdo see a LOT that looks awfully slippery.

        • Frank Probst says:

          I don’t think Trump or Giuliani could manage any sort of true “set up” if their lives depended on it. But I do think that a lot of people are overstating what Trump has said explicitly, in clear English, when a lot of it is just strongly implied, which is going to give Trump a chance to say, “See! I said ‘corruption’, not ‘Joe Biden’. I didn’t say ‘Joe Biden’ until two sentences later, when the conversation had changed to something else!” I also think that Bill Barr will be “editing” the transcript “for clarity” before it goes out. We have a recording of the call, right? Why aren’t people asking for that?

          • bmaz says:

            Frank, I don’t know. Old timers like you here remember “Fitzmas”. More recently so many put their eggs in the Mueller basket. With disdain when he did not produce the golden ticket. If you really read the full Mueller Report, it is awfully damning.

            But what are the House Dems really doing right now? I don’t know. It strikes me as far less than it seems. And if “the call” is all they move on, and it looks that way, this is a farce. Despite all the representatives supposedly favoring an impeachment inquiry, they are still not going to vote such a resolution.

          • pjb says:

            Not so sure there is an actual recording of President’s phone calls generally. Alexander Butterworth may have ended that practice.

            • harpie says:

              Here’s an informative thread about how things have been/are usually done:
              1:01 PM – 24 Sep 2019

              As senior director of the WH Situation Room, I managed POTUS head-of-state calls. So, what light can I shed on the Trump-promised phone transcript? /1
              First off: unless this administration has changed procedures in place for many years, there are no WH tapes of this phone call. As I used to say, the WH became averse to taping Presidential phone calls in about 1974. /2 […]

  18. Depressed Git says:

    As a somewhat despondent UK dweller, first I have the misfortune/dread of seeing Trump screwing with your democracy, showing no respect for the rule of law, and enabling far right views with his actions and words. Now (like other countries) the UK has a government as right wing as I’ve ever known, and a Prime Minister happy to emulate the Trumps blatant disregard for democracy and the rule of law (thank farq for our supreme court!).
    I would dearly love to see Trump get what he deserves, but my question is this: Is there a real chance that impeachment will be successful, considering it will be the senate that adjudicates on the evidence provided by congress (apologies if my understanding of your political structure is incorrect).
    This right wing fervour that appears to be spreading across more and more countries needs to be checked, and in my view Trump and his minions appear to be the main drivers in these worrying times.
    PS, I’m not having a go at the US, just what devastation Trump has wrought since being in the white House. 👍

    • bmaz says:

      If “success” is removal of Trump, no. If it produces enough damning information to get him defeated in next election, yes.

      • Depressed Git says:

        Thanks Bmaz, I’m aware that no president has been removed by impeachment, my concern (from what I’ve read) is that approval ratings for presidents apparently go up when impeached, due to peoples loyalty to the president. My fear, is that this may work in his favour for next years election.
        You good folks have my best wishes, I really hope this tactic works, for all our sakes. 🤞

        • Sandwichman says:

          “approval ratings for presidents apparently go up when impeached”

          Nonsense. There have been only two previous impeachment processes launched in the last century and a half. In one of them “approval ratings went up.” In that case the supposed high crime/misdemeanor was ALLEGEDLY “lying about a blowjob.”

      • BobCon says:

        Comprehensive impeachment hearings would also be a major force behind new agressive anti-corruption laws.

        Also, to be blunt, another key goal is to force GOP members of Congress, party officials, governors, and donors to choose between endorsing Trump and his crimes, or breaking away and facing the consequences from their base.

        If the Democrats can put a metric ton of evidence on the table, it becomes awfully hard for Susan Collins to win reelection. It is much tougher for corporate donors to justify giving to the GOP. Right now they can skate with weak murmurs of disapproval. If the Democrats make a solid, valid case, they can help offset years of dirty pool.

  19. Molly Pitcher says:

    I have just seen the most extraordinary exchange between Chuck Todd and Sen John Kennedy from Louisiana. Todd accused him of gaslighting America, whatabouting and did not back down. Someone will post this on youtube, so keep your eyes peeled.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          “It’s out there.”

          I disagreed with her take on the news. But she was professional. Todd is a toddler in a suit. He abuses the same technique as Ari Melber: when news or commentary gets too sharp – and informative – he makes a bad joke and cuts to commercial.

      • Rayne says:

        Only came after Todd acted like a douchebag, though, acting like it was really odd for Pelosi to treat her statement as an address to the nation. As if the first woman Speaker suddenly decided to have a no-questions press conference because it was a Tuesday afternoon instead of an historic event rarely ever conducted in U.S. history.

        Not to mention Todd’s team drew Kennedy whose term ends in 2023 instead of one of the 20 senators whose terms end in 2021.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          “Todd acted like a douchebag.”

          Seems redundant. Doing that with a smarmy swagger seems to be why he’s there. It looks as if it is intended to obscure his mishandling of the daily news.

  20. Bay State Librul says:

    While we are it, how can we defund/strip the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of their dastardly deeds?

  21. Ancient Mike says:

    I may have missed something here, but is there any danger that the sole focus now will be on this whistle-blower item, with all the other stuff (Mueller, etc.) just left on the shelf?

  22. Ollie says:

    lol. Okay. Here’s a link to the live GOP Debate 2020. https://www.businessinsider.com/
    It livestream’s it: 7-830 EST.

    “Former Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts and former Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois will debate at Business Insider’s New York City headquarters representing two distinct wings of the Republican Party as it existed before Trump’s election in 2016.”

    Could be interesting….
    I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Oh I’ve got to shake this horrible feeling….!

  23. Eureka says:

    Time-urgent question: what do we need to be calling our reps about *now, tonight,* before the ink (mental or otherwise) dries on whatever they’re drawing up with this inquiry:

    broad scope, not limited to Ukraine topic

    funding/staffing (I would have assumed that, but no longer)

    select committee

    This q is mostly as to pro-impeachment reps, need-to-support lists or scripts for others are already out there.

    • BobCon says:

      I think they are fencing off too much. Trump’s taxes and finances, for example, should be examined, and not even holding hearings on emoluments because it’s controversial seems shortsighted.

      Impeachment carries extra weight in demanding documents and testimony. It seems way, way too early to be throwing things overboard before we even know where they lead. And it’s worth pushing back against stonewalling as well.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I agree. Trump’s finances and tax returns are the bottleneck for his criminality. It is where benefits from his crimes will be documented and recorded. In all likelihood, his documents are so inconsistent it will take a team of forensic accountants to parse them.

        There’s nothing about any of this that is not controversial. Yes, one would focus on key potential crimes. Building a coherent and convincing story is important. But artificially limiting the scope of an inquiry, in the manner of the Mueller inquiry, is something you would do if you did not want to find a high crime or misdemeanor.

        • BobCon says:

          You said it. There is nothing about this that isn’t controversial.

          This is awful. It is going to be a hard, hard time for the country. But the Democrats need to be clear that Trump made the problem and the GOP now own it because they rolled over on their backs for him every single time.

        • Marinela says:

          “his documents are so inconsistent it will take a team of forensic accountants to parse them.”

          Give them to Katie Porter. She cannot wait to dissect them.
          Believe house should have this aspect covered.

    • Valley girl says:

      see bmaz above

      September 24, 2019 at 4:32 pm
      It is fairly smart in content, but seriously misapplied right now. You worry about actual articles of impeachment after gathering the evidence and laying it out to the public. This article is putting the cart WAY in front of the horse.

      The issue at this point is the scope of the inquiry, NOT what charges might come from it later.

  24. P J Evans says:

    lightening things a bit – found in the interwebz:

    Sitting at the breakfast table in the upstairs living quarters of the White House, Melania tells Donald that she had a dream about him last night. And in her dream, Trump had finally gotten his huge military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue for which he has so long yearned.

    She shares that it was spectacular: Military bands headed the procession that was celebrated by hundreds of thousands of cheering, flag-waving Americans lining both sides of the avenue and stretching as far as the eye could see. A crowd that was easily twice as large as Pres. Obama’s Inauguration.

    “I bet I had a huge smile!” Trump exclaimed.

    “I couldn’t tell,” Melania replied. “It was a closed casket.”

  25. Nehoa says:

    I know this seems to be getting too ahead of things, but it will be on the minds of the members of Congress. Line of succession is: 1) VP (Pence); 2) Speaker (Pelosi); and 3) Senate President pro Tempore (Grassley). Pence could be caught up in the Ukraine issue, and one way or another unable to assume the Presidency. That would mean Pelosi next in line. The GOP will then start crying “coup” and that will definitely be a divisive issue. If Pelosi declines, then it is Grassley. Are we willing to accept Pres. Grassley in exchange for Trump’s removal? Will that get the Senate GOP to pressure Trump to resign? Interesting times. :)

    • Nehoa says:

      I should mention that a large percentage of any Speaker’s deliberations focus on, “How do I get this through the Senate? Where will the votes come from?” I am sure that Pelosi has been gaming this out for some time now, and that the whistleblower event has upped the odds of success significantly.

  26. K-spin says:

    First of all, better late than never, Nancy!
    Second, a question for the lawyers about a point that is unclear to me (and I assume from above, many of us). I hear the concerns that the focus may be narrow, but don’t the committees investigate first, THEN draw up the articles of impeachment that the House votes on? If that’s the case, will Schiff et al be able to expedite their other proceedings, subpoenas, cases etc on the basis that ‘yes this is now a formal impeachment inquiry’?
    Or have I got the steps the wrong way round? Appreciate your expertise as always!

    • P J Evans says:

      My understanding is that the official articles come after the investigation – they get voted on by the committee in charge. Or that’s how it worked in 1973-1974.

  27. Molly Pitcher says:

    I wonder if this is where the whistleblower comes from ?

    WAPO says that : “President Trump’s attempt to pressure the leader of Ukraine followed a months-long fight inside the administration that sidelined national security officials and empowered political loyalists — including the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani — to exploit the U.S. relationship with Kiev, current and former U.S. officials said.

    The sequence, which began early this year, involved the abrupt removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, the circumvention of senior officials on the National Security Council, and the suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars of aid administered by the Defense and State departments — all as key officials from these agencies struggled to piece together Giuliani’s activities from news reports.”


    • harpie says:

      Rep. Matt Cartwright D-PA-08
      REP. CARTWRIGHT STATEMENT ON IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS https://cartwright.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-cartwright-statement-on-impeachment-proceedings
      Sep 24, 2019

      “At some point, it becomes necessary to announce certain conduct by an American president as unacceptable. There have been credible allegations this week that the President abused the power of his office, on the international stage, for his own political gain. We need to get to the bottom of these serious allegations through comprehensive impeachment proceedings and document production. Whether such hearings result in actual impeachment of the president and/or senior cabinet officials remains to be seen.”

      • bmaz says:

        What a load of waffling bunk by Cartwright. He is supporting the non-formal impeachment inquiry of hollow words. Same as it ever was. And wants to focus on ONLY the most recent thing.

        This is fool’s gold. People are, once again, biting off on bullshit.

        • harpie says:

          OK, bmaz, I do get your point.
          Every list has different numbers and I guess different criteria…
          I’ll stop posting any of these at all…gonna try to keep from drowning in my cynicism and just see how things go.

          • Rayne says:

            I read that as support for an inquiry by Cartwright, weaselly wording or no.

            No matter which of the news sites have generated these lists under different criteria, note that NO Democrat on these lists has come out and forcefully refuted their inclusion on these lists.

            The ones who don’t want to be included are very obvious about their position on impeachment — like Tulsi Gabbard.

            If you see a tweet from one of the remaining 28 House Dems establishing position, I’d still like to see it here. I’m trying to work on the whistleblower-Ukraine timeline so I can’t watch them. Thanks for keeping an eye out, harpie!

  28. Frank Probst says:

    Random thoughts:

    1. Recalling the ambassador to the Ukraine when her tenure was almost up seems like the kind of thing that would raise red flags with the IC. Some of the embassy staff are almost certainly CIA agents with official cover. All of them would be alerted that something fishy was either going to happen or was already happening.

    2. If Giuliani is as good a negotiator as he is a TV interviewee, it’s hard to see him getting very far without alerting the entire IC. What he was doing was no secret to US journalists, FFS. I have trouble imagining him bumbling around the Ukraine without being under surveillance by the intelligence agencies from about half a dozen countries, including the US’s and the Ukraine’s.

    • Eureka says:

      I’d assume that at least some of them (IC) also have awareness of unfolding right-wing media plots (including ones as to the Ambassador at least since March), and would have been taking this all in at once (public-side and hidden-side) or closer to real-time.

      Those likelihoods were on my mind when I’d commented about the Ambassador issue last week (wide IC-side, big-picture knowledge was assumed in a gut-sense I’d voiced), though I don’t quite get when exactly Rudy and (JDA) affiliates jumped the gap from focus on feeding Manafort – Ukraine polling data bullshit stories (January) to full go-mode on the Ukraine / Ambassador/ Biden stories (March, May).

      Some of it lines up with significant turning points in the Mueller investigation, Barr taking over, the later Barr “summary,” and so forth. Maybe they just shifted from Manafort-Ukraine fake-exculpatory (of RU and Manafort) stories to inculpatory stories about the former Ukraine ~prosecutor, US ambassador, and Biden when they felt safely out of danger from the Mueller investigation.

      I am pretty eager to see what Marcy has to say about this “frothy right (troll) bridge”, if she chooses to write about it when she has time. She did a lot of work on the evolving January+ Vogel (Haberman-add-on) NYT stories which obfuscated to whom (and somewhat _by_ whom), when, and why Manafort gave the polling data (and what it was, etc.). The Trump cabal has been trying to centralize and/or frame Ukraine– depending upon their situational goals– for awhile.

  29. Ckymonstaz says:

    Is anyone else scared shitless by the turtle rolling over and fast tracking the unanimous consent for releasing the WB’s complaint?

    I really want to believe this is it and the WB’s complaint is so damning the shoe finally dropped and McConnell is just trying to get out in front of the parade for impeachment before being plowed under the bus but I just can’t help but wonder if he doesn’t have some other dark scheme at play. Anyone else feeling this way?

    • P J Evans says:

      Yeah – there’s a lot of “what’s he hiding inside that shell?”
      But maybe the Senate Intelligence Committee told him that if he didn’t let the complaint through, they’d ask for him to be added to the obstruction of justice list.

      • Eureka says:

        I haven’t had time today (or much yesterday) to pay attention to the propaganda, all I caught was a glimpse of Lindsey Graham giving some ‘bring it on’ routine.

        I like your hypothetical explanation better.

        • Thebuzzardman says:

          No expert here, but I think the Republican senate play is the polite version of what Rudy G (yo, I’m crazy) was doing in front of the TV cameras. Get “in front” of the issue, muddy the waters (eventually).
          I’m hoping for some integrity, but we’ve seen very little from them. So I’m left to assume they’ll ask for the transcript of the phone call, which probably is incriminating, to a degree, but suppress in some way the whistleblower official complaint, or keep it to a secret committee, and then claim it’s all really nothing but the Democrats “playing politics” and “hurting the country”
          I really hope I’m wrong.

    • P J Evans says:

      The names added so far today, in order from CNN:
      Ruppersberg, Dutch; Sarbanes, John; Kaptur, Marcy; Soto, Darren; Craig, Angie;
      Dingell, Debbie; Cisneros, Gil; Houlahan, Chrissie; Luria, Elaine; Sherrill, Mikie;
      Slotkin, Elissa; Spanberger, Abigail; Delgado, Antonio; Sires, Albio; Fletcher, Lizzie;
      Veasey, Marc; Suozzi, Tom; Jeffries, Hakeem; McEachin, A Donald; Lewis, John L;
      Johnson, Hank; Hill, Katie; Morelle, Joe; Meeks, Gregory; Frankel, Lois;
      Crist, Charlie; Cooper, Jim; Bera, Ami; Pallone, Frank; Wasserman Schulz, Debbie;
      Cummings, Elijah; Sanchez, Linda; Correa, Lou; Hastings, Alcee; Pelosi, Nancy;
      Davis, Susan; Scott, David; Hoyer, Steny; Clyburn, James; Bass, Karen;
      Schiff, Adam; Castor, Kathy; Larson, John; Panetta, Jimmy; Cox, TJ;
      Courtney, Joe; Costa, Jim; Axne, Cindy; Cartwright, Matt; Eshoo, Anna;
      Scott, Bobby; Neal, Richard; Lofgren, Zoe; Ruiz, Raul; Loebsack, Dave;
      Finkenauer, Abby; Hayes, Jahana; Gottheimer, Josh; McNerney, Jerry; Stevens, Haley;
      Bishop, Sanford; Phillips, Dean

  30. orionATL says:

    well, the uss impeachment has sailed.

    bon voyage on a difficult journey. *

    * use of the precious nytimes term “fraught” is NOT permitted.

  31. Tullalove says:

    I’m wondering, and trying not to be paranoid, about Trump giving permission to Barr to declassify anything related to the Russia investigation. Under a wide theory of Executive power, this permission seems like a good place for Barr to meddle even in the Ukraine interactions.

    • Vicks says:

      What better time to be paranoid than late at night?
      I’m stuck on Rudy’s claim from a while back that he decided not to follow through on his trip to harass leaders of Ukraine because he had learned it was a set up.

      • Thebuzzardman says:

        I’d suspect that in both instances, both of those are to muddy the waters and confuse.

        Either Rudy was going over for a meeting and then didn’t get what he wanted, and either cleverly on his own, was advised to create that branch of information for future use, or it’s a made up story, again, for the purpose of muddying the waters, so he can claim there are elements of the Ukraine government “in cahoots” with Biden etc.

        Barr’s instance? That had to be Trump allowing him to sift through the documents to find any thin threads linking Ukraine corruption to Biden. Which could also now be used moving forward. Do I think Hunter Biden was acting in a corrupt way? No. Do I know the Ukraine is famously corrupt? Yes. Barr and Co will try to create a false narrative of some kind around these things. Barr will be firing on all cylinders to protect the power of the executive.

          • Thebuzzardman says:

            Thanks Bmaz; I read everything here; I try to keep the comments within my wheelhouse. Quality (maybe) over quantity. :-)

        • fpo says:

          Yep. Say ‘Hello!’ to Trump’s latest re-election strategy:

          Ukraine is corrupt, ergo Biden is corrupt. With news releases of the call transcript, the WB’s name/report, etc. will come charges of the House “leaking” sensitive/privileged material for political purposes. Pelosi’s ‘incorporation’ of all 6 Committees in this plays right in to the well-established “witch hunt” narrative – while at the same time virtually ensuring a protracted process, calls for an “expeditious” handling of the matter notwithstanding.

          Just as it has taken the Dems this long to get where they are today, the GOP will collectively take their turn to spin the “I’m not there yet” wheel, and all the while Barr toils behind the scenes. The Ukraine story won’t be “simple” for very long. And as we’ve already seen, there are no true enforcement mechanisms for all the “shall ____” directives set forth in the Constitution.

          Would love to be optimistic about recent events…just not there. And hoping like hell the energy and determination that fueled the 2018 elections hasn’t been eroded.

          It will be fun to watch Trump jettison Giuliani, who John Kennedy (R/LA) just referred to as “crazy as a March hare” and a “free range chicken.” (Kennedy was on one of the am cable news pgms, 9.25.19)

  32. PSWebster says:

    It is interesting that the delay in getting to the inquiry yesterday took so long after the release of the Mueller report. I have been apoplectic over this but it seems it is some kind of success of the gaslighting by the mostly Repub organs bellowing so loudly with their legerdemain so successfully displayed. For the love of the baby: the Mueller report was too dense and too difficult and Trump finally did what one Pol suggested way back before he was elected: Trump would hang himself. Everyone needed something clear and simple. And a clear illegality like Ukraine should do the trick. The Mueller Report has much, much more but it could not turn the corner which I find unbelievable when it is so clearly spelled out in B&W. (no one reads anymore?)

    OK OK. Not there yet but it feels a little better now. Vamos a ver.

    Great Bmaz explanatory legal commentary. Gracias.

    Best wishes to EW for her loss; hang in there and try some herb.

    Rayne: you have been on this so good. Gracias.

    Saludos a todos de EmptyWheel.

    • Tom says:

      Maybe because I’m old enough to remember the Cold War, the idea of a Presidential candidate and his team welcoming help from a former KGB officer and Russian president for help in getting elected will always seem way more serious than an extortion attempt on a Ukrainian president. I wonder if there’s a Biden-factor at work. Whatever his faults, Joe Biden is generally accepted as a decent guy, which is perhaps why the attempts to smear him and his son as corrupt seem so disturbing. The thinking among some Dems may be that if it can happen to Joe, it can happen to anybody, so now’s the time to fight back.

  33. Bobster33 says:

    Call me a cynic, but I think that the only reason Nancy got off her ass was because her favorite Democratic candidate was directly threatened. I mean she was fine with everything else. But threaten her chances of serving under President Biden, and she’s claiming to see the light.

  34. harpie says:

    New, from WaPo:
    7:01 AM – 25 Sep 2019

    *Trump transcript shows him offering up AG Barr’s services for a Biden investigation [harpie: !!!]
    *Justice considered whether to open campaign finance violation investigation, but didn’t link]

    added: link to WH transcript here: https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/1176861015209906176
    7:08 AM – 25 Sep 2019
    “This summary was released by the White House on Wednesday, Sept. 25.”

  35. OmAli says:

    Can’t wait to hear/see Rudy respond to Trump ‘never having spoken with him re Ukraine’ 🤣 He and Pompeo (oops, typed Pimpeo in error) can hold hands under the bus.

    Still looking forward to learning about the promise Trump made. I’m sure they will release the entire whistleblower report at any time now….

  36. 200Toros says:

    Re. “Transcript”
    OMG – how on earth did they think this helps his case?
    Zelensky promises to work with Giuliani and Barr per trump’s request, to investigate his political opponent!
    Z says last time I was in NYC, I stayed at Trump tower!
    OK I understand this is presumably written by staff, but if it’s an anywhere near accurate representation of Zelensky’s style at least, I think it shows a masterful understanding of the kind of sycophantic stroking you do if you want to manipulate trump.
    Here’s to the whistleblower, may they come forward this week and put this all out in the open (eventually).

    • Rayne says:

      Rather important to remember Zelensky, who starred in a comedic TV series he produced called Servant of the People, knew he was speaking to a narcissistic star of a reality TV series in which Trump played a successful business person.

      Can’t pick between laughing or rolling my eyes at this ridiculous situation.

      • 200Toros says:

        Good Lord, I had forgotten about that! So true, he’s got trump’s number.Sad to see how easily he gets played, by everyone.

  37. Dr.Coke says:

    Long time reader of your awesome site =) Was reading the stuff that the DoJ sent out and it seems really suspect that the DoJ decided on the whistleblower thing =( Keep up the good work from across the pond!

  38. 200Toros says:

    PERFECT comment by Julian Sanchez!

    [FYI, tweet content replaced with Twitter’s HTML embed code for clarity./~Rayne]

  39. harpie says:

    Trump wanted info on NOT ONLY BIDEN:
    Josh Marshall has a screenshot here:
    7:31 AM – 25 Sep 2019

    What the fucking fuck? He’s telling Zelensky he needs to find the missing (not actually ever missing) DNC server and that it’s hidden in Ukraine?


    The President: I would like you to do us a favor, though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike…I guess you have one of your wealthy people…The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

    • harpie says:

      I meant to say “emphasis added”, and I meant to emphasize one more they say, just before the word “Crowdstrike”.
      AND…if this is what they decided to provide…

      • harpie says:

        Continually saying “They say” is the mark of a BELIEVER in conspiracy theories.

        “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ― Voltaire

        • harpie says:

          Another tell: “I hear/d”

          8:48 AM – 25 Sep 2019

          Trump has long believed that a Ukrainian oligarch owns CrowdStrike, which isn’t true. It’s still unclear what exactly he was asking Zelensky to do, though.

          Geller links to an April 23, 2017 AP interview with Trump.

          [They’re discussing WikiLeaks/Assange]
          TRUMP: […] Why wouldn’t (former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John) Podesta and Hillary Clinton allow the FBI to see the server? They brought in another company that I hear is Ukrainian-based.
          AP: CrowdStrike?
          TRUMP: That’s what I heard. I heard it’s owned by a very rich Ukrainian, that’s what I heard. But they brought in another company to investigate the server. Why didn’t they allow the FBI in to investigate the server? I mean, there is so many things that nobody writes about. It’s incredible.

          As Laura Rozen notes:
          8:57 AM – 25 Sep 2019

          the crowdstrike/DNC server stuff…fevered conspiracy stuff that Trump has been totally steeped in & brainwashed by.

          • Vicks says:

            Who says Trump has to believe something to use it as defense?
            The guy just makes shit up as it suits him, and if the situation is serious he adds a couple of “HILLARY’S” knowing his soldiers will do the rest for the work for them.
            The upside is Trump has tapped the market for people that see a benefit their shameless support of him.
            You can see his half baked attempts (“we LOVE hispanics!”) to get the same adoration from other groups as he gets for talking dirty about these same people, or rolling back regulations that get in the way of the already filthy rich and their money and it’s just not the same.

    • Rita says:

      Trump is telling the Prime Minister exactly what the manufactured evidence is to look like.

      He is giving instructions for Made As Instructed evidence.

    • P J Evans says:

      Outside of assuming there really is an audio tape, he’s got points. But we really need the whistle-blower’s complaint to find out if it was just this call, or, as many think, multiple instances.

  40. 200Toros says:

    I ingested so much news yesterday that I can’t remember who said this, but as bad as the transcript is, it isn’t what the whistleblower was concerned about. This stuff relates to abuse of power, emoluments, quid pro quo, campaign finance violations, self-dealing, etc, but ISN’T an Intelligence issue. What is yet to come will be much, much worse.

    • MissyDC says:

      Trump has put this call out to distract from the NatSec issue. He doesn’t mind looking like a fool if what’s he’s getting out of the deal will enrich him. The call is a red herring.

  41. Frank Probst says:

    Wow. Just wow. If this is what the story looks like after Trump’s people have had the chance to whitewash it, I can’t imagine how bad the whistleblower report must be.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yep. This excerpt of a conversation, unconfirmed with the other party to it, damns Trump, Giuliani, and Barr. The full transcript must be worse. It might also reveal that the language and thinking of the president is viciously self-centered and dangerously erratic.

      The context is, however, the full WB complaint. It would tie together this conversation and other conversations, the people involved in them and their acts. Congress’s intel committees have an absolute statutory right to see the full, unredacted versions of it.

      Conversely, neither the DNI, the DNI’s GC, the OLC, nor the Attorney General have a legal right to override the IC IG’s conclusion that the complaint was both credible and urgent. Nor have they the right to interfere with his delivery of the complaint to Congress.

      That they have done is as much an abuse of power as Trump’s demands to Ukraine. But that abuse stems from the president’s. Fish and presidential administrations rot from the head.

  42. Vicks says:

    Is there any way this administrations Is brushing off a crime on a technicality?
    What I mean is, could they have been looking at what they clearly saw as a crime extortion, bribery, abuse of power etc, but figured out a way to pic the nits on what defines a campaign violation to shut it down under those specific terms

  43. viget says:

    Yeah… wow.

    To me, the first thing that needs to happen, get AG Barr recused immediately. Rename a special prosecutor to investigate Giuliani’s (and Barr’s) role in all this. This is definitely back channel diplomacy, and we have enough NSC sources to say this was all happening without their input or knowledge. If there’s anything at all in the whistleblower complaint that has hard evidence tying these conversations to interfering in the 2020 election, then, that’s a pretty clear criminal case right there. Don’t also forget that the FEC was put “out of commission” just a few weeks ago, and they normally would handle such investigations.

    This seems like 2019 Giuliani = 2015-16 Flynn, does it not?

    Also, would love to know what Putin’s take on this is. Basically Zelensky and Trump are conspiring on how to tighten Russian sanctions and possibly have more direct sales of US oil and gas to Ukraine. I can’t imagine he would be too pleased that his puppet is cutting deals with his enemies…

      • timbo says:

        Yes, kudos for all those trying to tune in these folks to the right frequency for sure! It’s a tough job and it’s good to see some results from all the hard and difficult work… of trying to inject some sense into the politicians we find ourselves saddled with at the moment. Hopefully the cream will rise from this.

        And now we get to see those who believe that they are cream jump on this bus… while the real cream… well, where are they tonight? Hopefully where they were 8 months ago but now more empowered…

    • timbo says:

      Oh heavens. The statement from her on twitter is pathetic. Suddenly this is urgent because why? It’s basically a bunch of mush as usual. I can’t wait to see her try to explain what she means in a press conference… suddenly she’s concerned? Hmm, guess all the evidence by the Mueller investigation was just not enough but now… it’s popular?

  44. harpie says:

    WH: “ooooops!”
    I haven’t read these, yet, but should be interesting:

    8:39 AM – 25 Sep 2019

    Hmmm… The White House just sent its talking points on Ukraine to House Democrats. Here are some screenshots, per source.
    […25 minutes later…:]
    9:04 AM – 25 Sep 2019
    Source says the White House just sent a follow-up to “recall” the email to House Democrats containing talking points…


  45. Savage Librarian says:

    “Watch: GOP’s Matt Gaetz clams up after revealing Trump gave GOP lawmakers a sneak peek at Ukraine call”

    “The White House invited a dozen Republican lawmakers to the White House to review the transcript before it was released to the public — and to discuss among themselves and ask questions of White house officials,” Parker reported. “At one point, Trump called in from New York.”


    • Rayne says:

      Was it this comment that didn’t show up in time? There’s a link in it; links slow down clearance to the page.

      Trump calling from NYC is quite interesting, right up there with the fact he’s meeting Zelensky today in NYC, too.

  46. harpie says:

    OLC Issues an Opinion About the “Urgent Concern” Determination on the Whistleblower Complaint by the DNI
    September 25, 2019, 11:41 AM

    The Office of Legal Counsel released an opinion detailing the legal rationale for their determination that “the complaint submitted to the ICIG does not involve an ‘urgent concern'” and that the DNI thus has no statutory obligation to give the complaint to the congressional intelligence committees. The memo can be found here.
    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6429158/OLC-Memo-on-Urgent-Concern.pdf /


    • P J Evans says:

      OLC, DOJ, and the WH aren’t supposed to even see it before it goes to Congress. Once the IC IG says it credible and serious, it’s supposed to go TO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEES, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

      • Rayne says:

        Upside is that Trump and his legal team will have a tough time making the case for executive privilege for related content if they were so indiscreet and sloppy with sharing this while not complying with the letter of the law.

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