[NB: Check the byline, thanks!]
Happy Halloween to all our ghouls and goblins. We have plenty of tricks and not too many treats before us today.
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The House is currently debating H.Res. 660,
Directing certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, and for other purposes.
Note the word “continue,” as in this resolution acknowledges the House committees have already been working on an impeachment inquiry. The bill went through mark-up last night and is now the subject of banshee-like wailing from GOP House members like Jim Jordan.
Can you imagine being so stupid and unethical that you’d willingly allow yourself to be recorded in Congressional record as a whiner on behalf of a shakedown artist like Donald Trump? Nevertheless, the GOP persists in being ridiculous and on record.
The vote was initially expected at noon but GOP whining may push it later.
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We’ve also got two hearings today, the outcome of which may shape the House committees’ work on impeachment:
The judge handling former natsec adviser Charles Kupperman’s subpoena lawsuit has set a status conference for Thursday (10/31) at 3pm. Another judge in the same courthouse will be hearing arguments at 2pm in the Don McGahn subpoena fight. pic.twitter.com/3TaZN94AaS
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) October 29, 2019
We’re drifting ever closer to revisiting United States v. Nixon (1974).
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Tim Morrison, who replaced Fiona Hill at the end of August when she left her position as National Security Council Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs, has arrived at the House to give testimony today related to the Ukraine aid-for-Trump campaign scandal. Morrison’s background is in nuclear non-proliferation and pre-Trump GOP policy; he’s been characterized as a Bolton hawk.
Morrison resigned yesterday; his testimony today will be offered as a former federal employee.
Not certain what more Morrison will be able to add since he assumed Hill’s role more than a month after the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. He’d been in his latest job less than two months.
But it would be nice to know if he is still seeing push back about the aid budgeted and approved by Congress for Ukraine. I haven’t seen anything indicating the aid has been released yet and it’s already past the end of the federal fiscal year. Office of Management and Budget’s associate director of national security programs and political appointee Michael Duffey had been given authority to hold the aid earlier this month. Duffey needs to be asked by the House if he still has orders to hold the aid, subrogating Congress’s authority in the process.
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Watch out for trick-or-treaters as we approach evening. And look out for a tangerine troll tweeting madly as the day progresses.
This is an open thread. Bring your goodie bags here for inspection.