GOP Republicans Stage Brooks Brothers Riot 2.0 to Emasculate Their Own Power of the Purse

Twenty-some Republican Congressmen (and a few women) are staging a repeat Brooks Brother riot to stall the ongoing impeachment proceeding. I’ll post a picture if I find an open source one, but the riot is being led by Matt Gaetz and includes, among others:

  • Minority Whip Steve Scalise
  • Steve King
  • Louie Gohmert
  • Andy Biggs
  • Bradley Byrne
  • Mark Walker
  • Mo Brooks
  • Debbie Lesko
  • Alex Mooney
  • Michael Waltz

Some of the members stormed into the House SCIF with their cell phones, which is a violation of strict rules and may degrade the effectiveness of the SCIF. Reportedly, Republican Mike Conaway of Texas has started collecting the electronics of his colleagues.

The riot has delayed the testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper.

That’s significant–symbolic even. That’s because Cooper is expected to testify on DOD’s response to Trump’s illegal refusal to withhold funds duly appropriated by Congress.

House panels leading the impeachment inquiry are set to hear Wednesday from a Pentagon official responsible for policy toward Ukraine, who is expected to testify about the delay in nearly $400 million in security assistance to the country.

Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, will be the first Defense Department official to testify before investigators, who have largely heard from State Department officials so far in the investigation. Ms. Cooper arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday morning.

The hold on the aid to Ukraine is at the center of the House’s impeachment inquiry into whether President Trump conditioned the funding for Ukraine on his request to Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

The White House’s hold on military aid to Ukraine this summer set off alarms at the Pentagon, according to people familiar with the matter. Ms. Cooper’s exact role in the Defense Department’s effort to push back on the hold on the money, which was ultimately released in mid-September, isn’t known.

After the White House communicated the hold to the Defense and State Departments in July, the Pentagon conducted an internal review of the legality of the hold, according to three people familiar with the matter. Pentagon officials argued that the administration couldn’t block money approved by Congress, delivering their analysis to career White House budget office officials at a July meeting, according to two of the people and another person familiar with the matter.

In short, a bunch of Republican Congressmen (and a handful of women) are staging a faux riot in order to prevent DOD from telling Congress how the White House prevented them from following the law that prohibits the White House from withholding funds without a good reason that they share with Congress.

As I’ve said, even these people’s former colleague, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, has admitted this is a crime.

I know this entire inquiry has stirred up a lot of partisan bickering. But it is stunning that Republicans in Congress, including Minority Whip Steve Scalise, are so desperate to protect Trump that they are trying to prevent Congress from asserting its power of the purse.

There could be no more symbolic self-emasculation than this faux riot. And yet, these members of Congress apparently are willing to trade away their own power like this.

Update: According to a press release released yesterday, here’s who was part of the Brooks Brothers The Farce. Those marked with asterisks are on committees conducting the inquiry, so they’re basically complaining about a process they’re a part of. Those marked with checks were around in 2017 and voted for a rule holding that such protests on the House floor (to say nothing of inside HPSCI’s SCIF) were a violation of House Rules.

  1. Matt Gaetz√
  2. Steve Scalise√
  3. Brian Babin√
  4. Andy Biggs√
  5. Mo Brooks√
  6. Ken Buck√*
  7. Bradley Byrne
  8. Buddy Carter√
  9. Ben Cline
  10. Jeff Duncan√
  11. Drew Ferguson√
  12. Russ Fulcher
  13. Louie Gohmert√
  14. Paul Gosar√*
  15. Mark Green*
  16. Vicky Hartzler√
  17. Kevin Hern
  18. Jody Hice√*
  19. Duncan Hunter√
  20. Bill Johnson√
  21. Jim Jordan√*
  22. Fred Keller*
  23. Steve King√
  24. Debbie Lesko
  25. Carol Miller*
  26. Alex Mooney√
  27. Markwayne Mullin√
  28. Ralph Norman*
  29. Mark Walker√
  30. Mark Meadows√*
  31. Greg Murphy
  32. Peter Olson√
  33. Gary Palmer√
  34. Scott Perry√*
  35. David Rouzer√
  36. Ross Spano
  37. Michael Waltz
  38. Steve Watkins
  39. Randy Weber√
  40. Ron Wright*
  41. Lee Zeldin√*

Also note that the rules Adam Schiff is using for this inquiry are similar to the rules that Mark Meadows used for the investigation of the Russian investigation that he, Gaetz,  Jordan, and Gowdy did last year.

Update: Fixed the gender references as there are a few women who participated.

168 replies
    • Charles says:

      In Marcy’s Twitter feed, she suggests that House ethics procedures are the mechanism for dealing with egregious conduct. With Barr in charge of DoJ, it’s hard to believe anything would happen even if a criminal referral were made. The House does have the power of inherent contempt. The House certainly has the power to expel a member.

      I think expulsion of the ringleaders is the proper action, especially because this does look like witness intimidation. In any case, it represents a massive security violation and disruption of the orderly processes of the House.

      • Charles says:

        Adding: while expulsion requires a 2/3 vote, the House makes its own rules by a majority vote, and could probably design a workaround. For example, designate a member to be in absentia as a result of improper conduct…with the threat of using implicit contempt if the member decides to press the issue.

        • Rugger9 says:

          2/3 is Constitutional, but to your point the rules could be made that the “members present” be adopted as the reference point. After what happened in NC about the budget on 9/11 (of all days) the revenge would be deliciously cold.

    • Rugger9 says:

      It should be. Will Ms. Cooper come over and play tomorrow or did the Palace buy more time to work on her to stonewall? They are that desperate.

      I’ve noted it before, the trouble with slime is that it oozes out and usually at an inconvenient moment. We’re seeing it now.

  1. Tom S. says:

    “on DOD’s response to Trump’s illegal refusal to withhold funds duly appropriated by Congress.”
    Should read, Illegal withholding of funds?

  2. Susan says:

    Paul Gosar

    Virginia Foxx

    Thomas Massie

    Mark Meadows

    Jody Hice

    Glenn Grothman

    James Comer

    Michael Cloud

    Bob Gibbs

    Ralph Norman

    Clay Higgins

    Chip Roy

    Carol Miller

    Kelly Armstrong

    W. Steube

    Devin Nunes

    Mike Conaway

    Michael Turner

    Brad Wenstrup

    Chris Stewart

    Rick Crawford

    Elise Stefanik

    Will Hurd

    John Ratcliffe

    Michael McCaul

    Christopher Smith

    Steve Chabot

    Joe Wilson

    Scott Perry

    Ted Yoho

    Adam Kinzinger

    Lee Zeldin

    Jim Sensenbrenner

    Ann Wagner

    Brian Mast

    Francis Rooney

    Brian Fitzpatrick

    John Curtis

    Ken Buck

    Ron Wright

    Guy Reschenthaler

    Tim Burchett

    Greg Pence

    Steve Watkins

    Mike Guest

    • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

      Mark Meadows, always with this one. It is nigh on impossible to rouse a human being or leave a message in any of his offices and I think the last time he held a town hall was more than two years ago in Hendersonville, the land of retirees. I don’t know he’s ever held one in Asheville. Invertebrate. That’s all I got, folks: our rep sucks out loud. Sorry.

      • Todd Dickinson says:

        I called Meadows’ office to give him hell the other day and a young man answered and heard me. I will be repeating my call tomorrow concerning this outrage.

  3. harpie says:

    According to Owen Wilson:

    […] White supremacist @SteveKingIA is part of this stunt, along with figures like @RepLeeZeldin, @Jim_Jordan, @DebbieLesko and most of the key Trump defenders in the House.

    Marcy, I like your idea:

    This photo, annotated with names and how much these corrupt white men have gotten from certain donors. Placed in an evidence file.

    [I read that there were three women, as well]

    Heart 82 year old Rep. Bill Pascrell, [D-NJ-09]:
    8:28 AM – 23 Oct 2019

    Banana republicanism in action.
    My republican colleagues are resorting to mob rule stunts to shield their corrupt leader.

  4. Jim White says:

    Just called both the Gainesville and DC offices for my wingnut Congressman, Ted Yoho. Neither person answering the phone could say whether he joined the group storming the facilty. I told both that if he did, he should resign, today.

  5. P J Evans says:

    Gaetz was publicizing this on his twitter account beforehand, with a list of congresscritters we can start with:

    Rep. Matt Gaetz
    ‏4 hours ago
    @repralphnorman @repkenbuck @rep_watkins @reprussfulcher @repfredkeller @repgregmuphy @RepRossSpano

    Rep. Matt Gaetz
    4 hours ago
    @rep_hunter @repbyrne @repdavidrouzer @repmeuser @repdlesko @repscottperry @repdavid @repjimbaird @reprosspsano @repmarkgreen @repcarolmiller @rephartzler @repalexmooney @usrepgarypalmer @repcloudtx @repjoewilson @repmullin @txrandy14 @reppeteolson @repronwright @congbillposey

    Rep. Matt Gaetz
    4 hours ago
    @stevescalise @repandybiggsaz @jim_jordan @repmarkmeadows @repleezeldin @repgosar @reparrington @repkevinhern @repbuddycarter @stevekingia @repbilljohnson @repmarkwalker @repbrianbabin @repmobrooks @repmichaelwaltz @replouiegohmert @repjeffduncan @repdrewferguson @congressmanhice

  6. jonb says:

    this shows real desperation of House Republicans . Schiff has controlled the messaging coming from theses depositions. This was the tactic Barr tried to use to frame the Mueller report to his big difference is Schiff is releasing the truth.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      They look like a bunch of has-been whiners, in a movement that’s nearly out of gas. An act of desperation by the dumber tools in the Congressional shed.

      They may be primarily trying to produce video — a la Ukraine — that Fox and RT and FB can then run over, and over, and over. So basically, a propaganda event by a group of desperate folks whose pull date is Nov 2020. Sad.

  7. bloopie2 says:

    At least in the UK, the “Trump light” head of government reluctantly attends to the dictates of the law: “No 10 also said that Johnson [who sent an unsigned letter requesting a Brexit extension] spoke to Donald Tusk on Wednesday morning, telling the European council’s president, who has called for EU leaders to allow a further Brexit extension, that he does not personally want one.” Trump and his cohort don’t even pretend.

  8. hychka says:

    An attorney for President Trump told a federal appeals court Wednesday that Trump could not be prosecuted even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue in New York.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I posted the link to the livestream. IANAL, but it didn’t seem to me that the panel was buying it, but I only had audio.

        Is expulsion from the House a supermajority vote? I don’t think censure is (not that these guys can be shamed) but the next step is expulsion, and I’d cite the electronics in the SCIF as the proximate cause (it might be criminal as well, but remember that Congresscritters routinely exempt themselves from the rules the rest of us must follow).

    • dude says:

      News reports said the Capitol Police just stood by the SCIF door as the Republican intruders whisked in. I know they are not the same as the Sergeant-at-Arms necessarily, but what is the point of having guards at the door if they don’t guard? Did they not know they were supposed to keep unauthorized persons out?

  9. Peterr says:

    I like the framing that these guys are gutting their own congressional power of the purse. But they are also holding a knife to their own political throats.

    Breaking and entering a SCIF likely ensures that they will have a hard time getting a seat on any committee that deals with classified material. This hearing was for the Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees. If there is anyone in this bunch of rioters who sits on Armed Services, Homeland Security, or Judiciary, they might have set the stage to get themselves booted from those committees and sent to the Joint Committee on the Library or the Joint Committee on Printing. Someone should ask Kevin McCarthy about whether he is going to remove these people from their committees for violating security protocols.

    And I know that each party caucus handles committee assignments, but I don’t know if there is a mechanism by which the whole House (2/3rds or 3/4ths vote?) can override a decision of a party leader to protect someone. If McCarthy won’t take action, is there another vehicle for doing so?

      • Rugger9 says:

        IIRC it is a committee with even numbers from each party, and it doesn’t have a quorum (but I may be wrong). It came up with some other GOP scandal.

    • Peterr says:

      A question for Mac Thornberry, ranking member of the Armed Services committee: “Should Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks, Bradley Byrne lose their seats on Armed Services for the manner in which they violated security protocols?”

      A question for Mike Rogers, ranking member of the Homeland Security committee: “Should Mark Walker, Debbie Lesko, and yourself lose your seats on the Homeland Security committee for violating security protocols?”

      A followup to both Thornberry and Rogers, assuming their answer is “no”: “Then are you putting any potential witnesses and staffers on notice that there are no longer any punishments for those who violate security protocols, or is it only members of Congress who can break rules like these and get away with it?”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        At a minimum, these thirty-odd GOP infants should lose access to all classified information. They have proven beyond reasonable doubt that they cannot be trusted with it. Allowing them access to it would affirmatively endanger the national security of the United States.

        • P J Evans says:

          A hearing with Pelosi and the committee chairs asking all of the people that Gaetz sent advance notice to (1) what would have happened to Democrats who did the same thing in a House with an R majority, and (2) why they think that that penalty shouldn’t apply to them. On the record. With video. And make sure it gets sent to every media outlet in their districts.

  10. fikshun says:

    I have called my representative to ask that obstruction charges be brought against those who attempted to storm the hearing. This behavior is well beyond political theater. The House needs to fire a shot across the bow of the Trump loyalists to let them know that the time for partisan shenanigans has passed.

    • pjb says:

      I saw someone report that Trump had advanced knowledge of this stunt and I guess blessed it. Doesn’t this make him complicit in an obstructive act and shouldn’t this be further investigated as part of the impeachment inquiry? In this regard, is it possible to compel a sitting member to provide evidence of such communication with the President? It seems to me the House leaders should have a number of ways to force their hands beyond the usual civil contempt route, such as censure, loss of committee membership, loss of other privileges.

    • Charles says:

      The problem is who enforces that charge. The Capitol Police can arrest members–some Dems (Chu/Gutierrez/Jayapal)have been arrested for crowding/obstructing/incommoding ( But DoJ isn’t going to prosecute. The House can use inherent contempt.

      And, as PJB says, Dems could add it to an article of impeachment.

      • bmaz says:

        Inherent contempt is a joke for dreamy eyes. That is just not going to be attempted under Pelosi, and even if it was, likely goes nowhere. People should not put one iota of hope on “inherent contempt”.

      • pjb says:

        Not worth talking about inherent contempt – never going to happen. I’m also not suggesting civil contempt to compel evidence of Trump’s involvement in today’s obstructive stunt. I am suggesting that there are levers beyond contempt that can be used to compel compliance by Members. Maybe when Speaker Pelosi is back from her brother’s funeral, leadership can discuss that.

        • bmaz says:

          I actually think it is possible….Go to court and ask for the court to appoint a special prosecutor for contempt in light of the Bill Barr DOJ abdicating its duty. But that cannot happen under Pelosi’s bogus deadlines.

        • Pjb says:

          Seems unlikely i agree, but if so and Apologies if this is stupid but I’d like reassurance: there’s no speech and debate clause argument for why members can’t be prosecuted criminally for obstruction here? Seems inapplicable and far fetched yet I could see such argument advanced.

        • bmaz says:

          Sadly, it probably is Speech and Debate protected. Never heard of a test like this, obviously, but I think it is almost surely protected.

        • BobCon says:

          Before the press found out about his affair with Elizabeth Ray, Wayne Hays was one of the most powerful members of the House when he was chair of the House Administration Committee. Supposedly he would shut off the AC in offices of members who crossed him.

          In theory, at least, Pelosi could do similar stuff. Maybe a non-petty sounding move would be to threaten a strict security audit of the phones and computer networks of these members. Nobody ever looks good when their browsing history is exposed….

        • Charles says:

          There are certainly other levers. But, first, I’m not sure everyone understands how serious this breach was. See Wired Second, this kind of breakdown in the orderly function of the House represents an existential threat to this country. If the opposition party can freely intimidate witnesses and shut down depositions, then the power of impeachment is useless.

          Therefore, House leadership ought not to dismiss outright *any* lever it has. Since inherent contempt has been used, there is precedent. To refuse to consider it is to surrender without a fight. That’s a fight one will surely lose.

        • Pjb says:

          When the Sgt at Arms arrests them in an exercise of inherent contempt, does he lock them in the House basement broom closet? I’m not aware there is a jailhouse there. And, even supposing they make arrangements with, let’s say, DC govt to use their jail, what are the rules? They get 3 squares and a phone call? What about conjugal visits? Can we make Matt Gaetz wear an orange jumpsuit?

          No one is saying the House leadership shouldn’t use everything in its disposal to punish this nonsense but let’s please retire the notion of inherent contempt for a while. You can still dream about it at night. During waking hours, let’s focus on what is realistic.

        • Charles says:

          The Gish gallop does not an argument make.

          If it is legally permissible to detain people, then the rest is logistics.

        • P J Evans says:

          Have you checked to see when inherent contempt was used last? (Hint: not in my lifetime. And I’m over 65.)

        • r. helder says:

          according to former senate historian don richie, in 1934 henry f. sinclair, president of mammoth oil, was found in inherent contempt for his refusal to testify concerning his part in the teapot dome scandal of the harding administration. lacking a jail cell, he was kept in some luxury at the willard hotel!

        • bmaz says:

          Ha! Yes, exactly. This is why I continue to laugh at use of “inherent contempt” to solve anything. And, frankly, I don’t think a detainee would even make it to the Willard today.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The desperation inherent in this tactic suggests these politicians are as afraid as Donald Trump of losing office, losing power, and becoming average, everyday, Americans. Says a lot about their knowledge of their own misgovernance and its consequences.

    Corruption needs company to prosper. Trump may not be the only one staring down the barrel of a criminal prosecution after he leaves office.

    • Rugger9 says:

      There’s a reason for that, EoH, because many if not all are actual beneficiaries of Russian help in 2016 (Gaetz and DeSantis were both named IIRC). Not only are they trying to cling to power, but they’re trying to squelch future prosecutions.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Not only are they trying to cling to power, but they’re trying to squelch future prosecutions.

        This, right here… these feckless clowns have followed the Dear Leader so deeply into that box canyon there’s no way out…

        They admit it’s all true, they’re toast…

        They keep fighting back, they’re all toast…

        Today’s ploy has that terrific stench of abject fear and total desperation about it…

        Who was it, Lindsay Graham maybe, that said, if they all backed Trump, he’d end up destroying them in the end?

        Lindsay, you should have followed your intuition…

        • Knox Bronson says:

          His tweet was “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.”

          Prescient words.

          The spray-tan shroom took the Repube book and turned it up to 11 and the messenger boys couldn’t stop him.

      • Tom says:

        Yes, I may have missed some news coverage that made this point but I wish the MSM would step back to look at the bigger, long-range picture of the Ukraine scandal; i.e., Trump is willing to commit crimes in order to hang on to the Presidency to avoid criminal prosecution for his other crimes as outlined in the Mueller Report.

  12. Jenny says:

    Kevin Whitelaw on twitter: 10:45 AM – 23 Oct 2019

    NEW: Trump had advance knowledge and supported a protest by Republicans who told him they planned to barge into a secure hearing room on Capitol Hill where Democrats are holding impeachment testimonies, according to four people familiar with the matter.

    Trump Backed GOP Plan to Protest Inquiry: Impeachment Update

  13. Tom says:

    I wonder what Gaetz & Co. will do for an encore? How about staging Jack Cade’s revolt from Henry VI Part 2 with Matt playing Dick the Butcher crying, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

      • Tom says:

        I have to admit, I don’t know (though I suspect you weren’t expecting an answer). But I think today’s stunt will backfire. The polls suggest that the public is moving steadily towards the idea of impeachment, as well as impeachment and removal from office for Trump. The GOP’s actions today smacked of desperation and in the long run will just look feeble. To order in pizza while you’re squatting there in the SCIF branded Gaetz and his gang as people who are not to be taken seriously. I think the public will see this for the blatant obstructionism and juvenile grandstanding it is.

    • Rugger9 says:

      The only thing missing was “Project Veritas”. Also, as I think about it, Jesse Watters, Tucker, Jeannie Pirro, Laura Ingraham and Hannity…

      Tomorrow ought to be fun on “Three Dolts on a Divan” (h/t Charlie Pierce).

      • Vicks says:

        According to Matt (Not followed by anyone you’re following) Gaetz he was pretty pumped he was going to be on Judge J’s show today.

  14. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    So I went looking for a nice GIF of a manure pile self-combusting… the image that comes to mind when I think about the current state of the GOP…

    Didn’t find what I was looking for, but I did come across this:

    “A pile of manure that spontaneously combusted as temperatures soared to 44C is thought to have triggered a huge wildfire raging across north eastern Spain for a third day.”

    I believe it was actually a pile of chicken manure, which makes it an even more appropriate metaphor…

    I apologize in advance if any of the principles at this otherwise distinguished website are offended by my comment but I just don’t know what else to say about what I’m watching go on right now…

  15. Jane deVos says:

    Just a quick note on the list. Greg Murphy (NC-03) was not in Congress in 2017, but has a check by his name.

    Unfortunately, Murphy’s my rep and he just won a special election to fill the seat of Walter B. Jones (who died).

  16. Matthew Harris says:

    One thing I am curious about these people, and other Trump defenders, in the executive branch, the media, etc., is how long their planning goes out. Because it doesn’t take much foresight to realize that even if Trump does win reelection in 2020, and even if the 22nd Amendment is undone and he wins again…well, Trump isn’t exactly a young man. A lot of these people are younger, in their 30s, 40s and even 50s, and might have decades of public life ahead of them. How do they think defending Trump is going to age? Ten years from now, do they think people will just smile and nod at “When Trump’s sketchy lawyers were caught trying to flee the country ahead of an indictment, it didn’t change my mind at all”?

    My own guess is that they’re thinking has become distorted by the 24 hour news cycle, and they are so obsessed by getting to “win” that round of daily pundit shows, that they have lost all perspective on how weird everything seems.

    Not that that is an excuse. They have had more than enough warning. There are people who did have at least some excuse, the idea that they were “serving the office, not the man”, or whatever. People who thought that maybe the public persona was just a persona. And those people left. Rex Tillerson isn’t exactly a moral exemplar, but he at least left before too long.

    But these people? They know what they are signing up for.

    One of the important things is we don’t, in the coming years, and even the coming decades, let any of these people off with a “Ah shucks, I didn’t know…” excuse. And they will try to rehabilitate themselves in that way. “Just got caught up in the whirl and didn’t stop to think” “We didn’t really know what Trump was like at the time”. Which of course, it is obvious what Trump is like. Trump was a caricature in popular culture for 30 years before 2015, and they all knew that.

    And so are job after this is all over is to make sure that these people aren’t allowed to drag out mealy-mouthed excuses for how and why things got the way they did…

    • Tom says:

      The explanations from recovering Trumpers in the years to come will likely run along the lines of, “Well, you have to understand it was a different time then,” and “Well, actually, I never really supported him that much. I mean, I had my doubts about him all along, y’know, but if I hadn’t stayed on board things might have been a lot worse.”

    • P J Evans says:

      “didn’t stop to think” is a crappy excuse. They had time to think, they just couldn’t be bothered – or maybe the unaccustomed work gave them a headache.
      And it was obvious to many well before the election what Himself was like: there was his bad behavior in his own campaign events as well as at the debates.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A lot of these Brooks Bros. 2.0 rioters are lawyers. They know it is not the investigations that are public, but the prosecutions. Anything for Trumpism, I suppose.

  18. Teddy says:

    What is Steve King (R-Iowa) doing at ANY committee hearing, let alone one in a SCIF? He serves on NO committees. He should be censured for this alone.

    Do you think this Brooks Brothers Bad Boys *and Ladies* were aware that as they invaded the SCIF with their illegal devices, the Speaker was addressing worshipers at her brother funeral mass as she eulogized him in Baltimore? Do you think they knew Mama Bear was away, and they could play?

    I do.

    I suggest Steny Hoyer go to the House floor right now with a privileged motion to expel these GOP miscreants. All of them. And then the Speaker, still in mourning for her dead brother, can take to the well of the House tomorrow to give a “more in sorrow than in anger” speech recommending, instead, censure and removal from all committee assignments.

    You remember “Censure and Move On” don’t you? The compromise position?

    • OldTulsaDude says:

      King I bet didn’t care what was happening – he just couldn’t stop himself from marching with a bunch of white guys on a mission to violate the law.

  19. Rugger9 says:

    Expulsion from the houses of Congress require 2/3s votes, Article I Section 5. The rules apparently require running this through the Ethics Committee which includes John Ratcliffe who was one of the gang here. It was also changed a few years back (2017) that referrals to the Office of Congressional Ethics required Committee or law enforcement approvals, making the accountability will nigh impossible.

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The infamous Kash Patel has resurfaced as a third “source for Ukraine documents.”

    The sparsely talented Patel is infamous for trying to sandbag Chris Steele in London. Outside of protocol and without notice to State or the embassy, the then Nunes aide surprised Steele in hopes of getting an adversarial interview. He wanted a sound bite for Trump’s propaganda efforts. Steele, an experienced former MI6 officer, told him to fuck off.

    Patel has a record of ignorance and ineptitude to rival Trump’s. He has demonstrated his incompetence, “by practicing law on an expired license and being on the receiving end of an “order of ineptitude” from a judge over serious screw-ups in a counterterrorism case.”

    Naturally, Trump likes him so much he made him an NSC staffer. With no background in Eastern Europe, he has wormed his way into becoming an adviser on Ukraine. In effect, he volunteered to become a member of CREEP, the Committee to Re-elect the President.

  21. Molly Pitcher says:

    I thought I would be angry about this preposterous act by the Republicans, but I find that I am heartsick and infinitely sad at the state of our Democracy. I have a deep sense of foreboding, because I am sure that we are not yet at the bottom of this cesspool.

  22. Jenny says:

    Gaetz acts like a frat boy. Very immature and antagonistic. GOP are always looking for a fight. Ugh.

    So much being unearthed at one time.

    Kyle Cheney on Twitter: 10:47 AM – 23 Oct 2019
    WOW: House impeachment investigators are looking at whether a former top NUNES aide — now a Trump national security official — was sending Trump unverified Ukraine-related info.

    White House Aides Feared That Trump Had Another Ukraine Back Channel

    Nunes protégé fed Ukraine info to Trump

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Matt’s the talkative high school bully who thinks the world is his, along with all its babes and Jim Beam, because his dad is the local used car dealer and he can take a convertible off the lot for Homecoming.

      • P J Evans says:

        He’s also likely to roll the car and kill everyone else in it.
        (There was one locally several years ago, where four people in a convertible died when it hit a curb, flipped, and skidded two or three hundred feet before stopping, still upside down. Skidded across a railroad crossing, too.)

      • punaise says:

        spot on.

        he’s that uncle from Napoleon Dynamite who just can’t let go of his glory days as the high school quarterback, who coulda been a contender.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I’ve been waiting for punaise to go ballistic in this target rich environment. But since this involves Matt Gaetz, I’ll start the ball rolling.

    Matt’s Beer Hall Putz having failed, his next move will be to dictate his autobiography to Rudolph Reindeer, whom he will one day appoint as his deputy.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Per @will_bunch, who christens the entitled white male perps behind soloist Matt, objecting to Congress doing its job:

      The Moron Tabernacle Choir

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Yep. The thing he attempted was a form of putsch, really, disruption of an accountability process that might thwart the will of his Highness, the Great and Powerful Best Evuh.

  24. Bay State Librul says:


    Just heard about Kiki
    It’s tough
    We lost our cat and I cried my eyes out.
    Hope you are ok

    • P J Evans says:

      They leave pawprints all over our hearts.
      I expect to see them on the other side, and get the usual greetings of “Where the f were you?”

    • Rugger9 says:

      This thing is that the critters are so brave facing what comes and usually worried about us. There’s no way that doesn’t hurt.

      My condolences, bmaz.

    • OldTulsaDude says:

      Been over 1 1/2 years for me and I’m still not over it. Don’t try to bury the pain or you lose the good memories.

      • bmaz says:

        BSL, Earl, PJ, Rugger and Punaise….Thank you. It is okay here, if still sad. Her time had come, and it was all right. I appreciate the thoughts though, it really does mean a lot. Thank you.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          bmaz, after a lifetime of dogs, cats and horses, I say without shame that it hurts more than losing a person, because animals love us no matter what. They are under no moral obligation to fake it.

          You know what my real name is. Check out my website. I would be happy to do one for you for free. Get in touch with me when the time is right.

    • posaune says:

      My condolences, bmaz, on Kiki’s passing. She was a beautiful dog. I always loved the photos of her, especially her shining eyes that knew so much! RIP, Kiki.

    • Bri2k says:

      Condolences on your kitty passing, Mr Maz. Those adorable little guys become like members of the family. May you soon leave sadness behind and have only pleasant memories.

  25. Rugger9 says:

    OT: I see the NYT corrected their story on HRC dissing Tulsi’s delusions of third party run (she hasn’t really denied interest) as a tool of the Republicans not the Russians, and it was buried as usual like their Page 16 acknowledgement that HRC’s email story was nothing.

    Will Tulsi apologize to HRC? I doubt it, but she should and maybe Tulsi should realize that the GOP pols aren’t her friends. Or the Russians.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I can see how the NYT’s mistook Russian for Republican: from the White House, the two look interchangeable.

      Clinton-hate is harder to break than a nicotine addiction. Dean Baquet’s team needs a little intervention.

    • harpie says:

      Here’s Nick Merrill talking about that:
      11:34 AM – 22 Oct 2019

      On Friday, the NYT did a piece about a podcast Secretary Clinton did with David Plouffe. They incorrectly quoted her saying that the “Russians” were “grooming” a candidate running in the Democratic primary. They rightfully fixed it to reflect that she was taking about the GOP.
      In yesterday’s paper, @superwuster wrote an opinion piece accusing Secretary Clinton of trading in conspiracy theories, based off of comments that she didn’t make. […]
      Moreover, the great irony here is that this is a piece about not making unsubstantiated assertions that based of an unsubstantiated assertion because it misrepresents Secretary Clinton’s comments. […]
      But on the same day that the NYT buries the end of the email saga on A16 after years of breathless coverage, & 2 days after they correct their own story about Secretary Clinton’s comments, this warrants some pushback. […]

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    BTW, I assume the DoD, CIA will have to clean and re-certify the SCIF, owing to an obvious breach. To whom will the House send that invoice?

    • P J Evans says:

      Apparently once they got the idjits (and their phones) out, and had the room swept, they were able to finish the hearing.

      But I want them put on notice that their bad behavior will not be tolerated.

  27. OldTulsaDude says:

    I don’t believe fighting fire with fire. I believe in using overwhelming force. In some instances – like today’s GOP attack – Pelosi should display her inner turtle.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s like Karl Rove protege Tim Griffin claiming that doing oppo research on Democrats for BushCheney was like Maximus “unleashing hell” on the Teutonic hordes for Marcus Aurelius.

    • P J Evans says:

      He’s a tech-bro libertarian. He doesn’t get why laws apply to him.
      I am so glad I never signed up for FB. (It sounded like a scam from the start.)

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Zuck thinks anyone not as smart as he is deserves what he gets. “Fuck them,” I think was his motto from a more candid era.

        He elegantly captures the spirit of American capitalism. The sentiment would be familiar to California’s Big Four, Morgan, Ford, Lay & Skilling, Dimon, and Trump.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker, who built the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific railroad monopolies on the backs of Chinese labor and taxpayer subsidies.

          Contemporaries of Vanderbilt and Hearst Sr, they preceded Morgan. Their names are still everywhere in California, most visibly but superficially in Stanford’s university and Hopkins’s hotel.

          Through various iterations, the companies they founded continue to control great chunks of California’s land. Their business practices, bribery, and accounting shenanigans rival current ones.

  28. pdaly says:

    Cannot believe the Republicans can get away with this stunt.
    Hoping their phones are kept as evidence and are checked for spyware, and that they are fully removed from all committee positions.

    BTW, I think this phrase in the main post might need one fewer negatives: “illegal refusal to withhold funds.” Maybe “withhold” should be “release” instead?

  29. Tom says:

    I see in some reports that Gaetz and his Goon Squad are being described as “storming” the SCIF, which I think lends their actions too much dignity and serious of purpose, as well as feeding in to their men in loincloth fantasies. “Barging into” or “breaching the security protocols” of the SCIF seems to more accurately and better characterize their actions.

  30. e.a.f. says:

    the “idiot” leading the charge and doing the mike job, looks like something out of an old Hollywood B movie.

    This was a group of senior politicians of the United States of American’s government saying it was O.K. to break into a government committee meeting in a “secure” room to advance their political agenda. my take on it is, it was Trump and his gang giving the green light to do this at other levels of government. this is some what akin to a riot. It is an unlawful action, in my opinion, saying, yes, go ahead with unlawful acts to accomplish our goals. We have seen Trump and his gang do all sorts of things one would never have thought to see in the U.S.A. With each event things get worse and it still isn’t over. It started referring to Mexicans as murderers, rapists, onto his Muslim ban, separating families, caging children, loosing children, threatening foreign leaders to achieve internal political goals and now having his goons crash into meetings. It reminds me of Hitler’s brown shirts breaking up meetings and gatherings. What are we to see next? Brown shirts attacking people on the street because they think they may be Muslim’s, Mexicans, Democrats, etc………..

    There is very little separating the U.S.A. from being a democracy and a dictator ship.

    Trump’s lawyers are in an AMerican court arguing he is above the law. Gee I thought the U.S.A. started to become a country because, they weren’t all that keen on a monarchy/dictatorship.

    If people wonder how Germany went from being a “normal” country for its time, to a dictatorship run by Hitler, now you know. there isn’t much difference at the top, right down to the concentration camps. We may not hear much about them now because there is so much more to cover and the press isn’t keeping up.

    Trump keeps doing what he pleases. Has his gang do his bidding and there is nothing there to stop any of it. There is an impeachment process, but if the Senate doesn’t vote to remove him, what is going to stop him, a stacked Supreme Court?

    The petty criminals are still going to jail, but those at the top just keep doing what they want. Reminds you of Russia.

  31. Bri2k says:

    NPR’s “reporting” on this was singularly awful. Even though the news broke yesterday afternoon that tRump was in on this stunt, NPR declined to mention this little factoid as if it wasn’t relevant or something. NPR is gonna “both-siderism” this country to death.

  32. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump threatening to withhold aide to Ukraine could have been as destabilizing as actually withholding it. It’s all for Vlad. And it does not require a quid pro quo.

  33. Carolann says:

    I did not read all of the comments, so apologies if these four items are repeats.

    Was Doug LaMalfa (CA) there? Looks like he tweeted:

    Was Ken Buck (CO) there? (A spokesperson for Rep. Ken Buck, who is on the list and serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee, however, later clarified that he did not attend, though he tweeted in support.)

    Is Steve Watkins (KS) in the Foreign Affairs Committee?

    Mark Walker (NC) is out of order.


  34. Ed Walker says:

    Fun fact: all four Repub AZ congresscritters joined the stormtrooper assault. Bmaz must be so proud.

  35. Ohno says:

    Sorry about your loss bmaz. Their love lives on! Actually read a little theology (unfortunately just early Christian, since “heaven” is one of their big constructs) on pets in heaven. Thing is, they can join their owners there, but it’s not automatic. As people, we must will them to join us, or “pray” them along if you will, if they’re an important part of our afterlife. So, see you later buddies! (Ask, and you shall receive!)

Comments are closed.