Agolf Twittler’s days in power are numbered. I am not sure if it will happen because the Senate will vote him out after the house impeaches him (or makes a deal with him to step down) or if it will happen because he will head into 2020 in such a mess that we will have the intense pleasure of voting him out decisively (honestly, I am hoping for that one), but I am sure that MFer is going down.
The dam has broken. This is different than anything we have seen. We are at a pivotal, beautiful, and slightly terrifying moment in American history.
And I am so in for it!
So let’s get going with our list. Here are 10 signs that the dam has broken and that we will soon be rid of Agolf Twittler.
1. The Evidence Against Him is Damning
We, former members of the Watergate special prosecutor force, believe there exists compelling prima facie evidence that President Trump has committed impeachable offenses. This evidence can be accepted as sufficient for impeachment, unless disproved by any contrary evidence that the president may choose to offer.
Former White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at a Foundation for Defense of Democracies event on Thursday that it’s “absolutely not” appropriate for the president to solicit foreign election interference, but that it’s up to Congress to decide whether he did so with Ukraine.
The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine whose abrupt ouster in May has become a topic of interest for House impeachment investigators said Friday that her departure came as a direct result of pressure President Trump placed on the State Department to remove her, according to her prepared remarks before Congress obtained by The Washington Post.
House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Denny Heck to reporters after leaving the Yovanovitch deposition: "I just sat through eight hours that went like a New York second. It was that amazing that powerful that impactful. And I just feel very fortunate to have been there."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 11, 2019
Cracks are starting to emerge in the White House’s overarching strategy not to cooperate with any aspect of House Democrats’ impeachment investigation and other probes.
In the course of a few hours Friday, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch appeared on Capitol Hill to testify, defying the White House’s order that she skip the closed-door deposition. Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, indicated he will testify on Thursday, after the State Department blocked his appearance this week.
After watching their investigations get bogged down for nearly a year by Trump’s stonewalling tactics, Democrats’ aggressive oversight efforts are finally beginning to bear fruit.
What if the White House threw an obstruction party and no one came? Or perhaps more accurately, what if the White House threw an obstruction party and people came anyway?
Earlier this week, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a lengthy rant to House Democrats, announcing that the administration would refuse to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The letter rested largely on political, rather than legal, arguments, but Cipollone also invoked executive privilege to justify preventing executive-branch employees from testifying. It looked a lot like a declaration of constitutional crisis.
As the week closes, however, something strange has happened. The White House hasn’t changed its stance, but witnesses employed by the executive branch are coming to testify to House committees anyway. On Friday, Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled earlier this year, is giving a transcribed interview behind closed doors over State Department objections. Also on Friday, Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, signaled he would testify as well.
2. This is but the tip of the iceberg
New potential whistleblowers are coming forward to the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, two congressional sources tell The Daily Beast.
They seem to be emboldened by the actions of the whistleblower whose explosive account of President Donald Trump’s phone call to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky about investigating Trump’s domestic political rivals ignited the impeachment inquiry. Another whistleblower is known to have come forward.
Congressional investigators are currently vetting the new accounts they’ve received for credibility.
One knowledgeable source said that the daily accumulation of revelations about Trump’s willingness to use U.S. foreign relations for his personal political benefit has prompted more people to approach Congress.
Ambassador Yovanovitch’s testimony makes it both more difficult & more risky for others involved in or who observed misconduct to stay silent or to lie. Typically, once the first righteous witness or cooperator is on board, dominoes start to fall.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) October 11, 2019
3. This Arrest of Rudy’s Buddies is a BFD
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were carrying out President Trump’s scheme to pressure Ukraine to investigate his domestic rivals. This morning, the two men were arrested on campaign-finance charges as they attempted to leave the country.
The campaign-finance charges involve Parnas and Fruman allegedly violating federal law by funneling several million dollars to Pete Sessions, a former House Republican from Texas. Sessions was valuable to their operation because he publicly demanded the firing of Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador (who was subsequently fired.) Lachlan Markay detailed the connection between Parnas, Fruman, and Sessions earlier this week.
But ultimately, the campaign-finance violations are a small part of their overall plot. Parnas and Fruman were the rough equivalent of the Watergate burglars. A July profile of the two, by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, creates the distinct impression that both men are goons. Not violent goons, but people who specialize in highly unethical or illegal activity that may involve organized crime.
The arrest of Parnas and Fruman is more evidence that Trump’s Ukraine scandal left a wide swath of evidence. Trump had to sideline legitimate diplomats, including the unfortunate Yovanovitch, and empower a bunch of lowlifes in order to turn U.S. diplomacy in the country into a low-rent extortion plot. It certainly doesn’t help him that a couple of his rather seedy accomplices are now under arrest.
If the president’s fundamental defense against impeachment is that there’s nothing to see here and people should move along, Thursday morning was not a good day for the president.
As The Wall Street Journal first reported, two men who assisted in Rudy Giuliani’s investigations in Ukraine on behalf of Donald Trump were arrested Wednesday night. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both Soviet-born, naturalized American citizens, had been asked to testify to Congress today and Friday in connection with the impeachment inquiry into Trump; they were apprehended at Dulles Airport, outside of Washington, D.C., trying to leave the country on one-way tickets. Congress has now issued subpoenas to them as well.
In a letter to House Democrats last week, attorney John Dowd—last seen representing Trump in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation—wrote, “Please be advised that Messrs. Parnas and Fruman assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump.” This was apparently intended to shield Parnas and Fruman: Dowd argued that some of what Democrats sought from them was protected by attorney-client privilege. But with the arrests today, that argument adds to Trump’s problems. Attorney-client privilege does not cover the commission of crimes, and now the connection to the president has been established.
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s attorney, is being scrutinized by federal investigators for his financial dealings following the indictment of two of his associates for violating campaign finance laws, according to a law enforcement official.
The official, who asked to remain anonymous speaking about the sensitive matter, declined to discuss details about the scrutiny, but it’s a dramatic development for a man who made his reputation as a crusading mob prosecutor when he was the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.
The business relationship between President Donald Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the men charged Thursday in a campaign finance scheme is a subject of the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by federal authorities in New York, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani broke lobbying laws in his dealings in Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.
The investigators are examining Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to undermine the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, one of the people said. She was recalled in the spring as part of Mr. Trump’s broader campaign to pressure Ukraine into helping his political prospects.
The investigation into Mr. Giuliani is tied to the case against two of his associates who were arrested this week on campaign finance-related charges, the people familiar with the inquiry said. The associates were charged with funneling illegal contributions to a congressman whose help they sought in removing Ms. Yovanovitch.
Trump is seeking to distance himself from Parnas and fellow arrested associate Igor Fruman, and told reporters Thursday “I don’t know those gentlemen.”
4. He is Losing the Right Wing “Religious” zealots
I generally support @POTUS on foreign policy & don't want our troops fighting other nations' wars, but a HUGE mistake to abandon Kurds. They've never asked us to do THEIR fighting-just give them tools to defend themselves. They have been faithful allies. We CANNOT abandon them.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 7, 2019
An invasion by Turkey into NE Syria would pose a grave threat to the region’s Kurds and Christians, endangering the prospects of true religious freedom in the Middle East.https://t.co/zBuf2sCErX
— Tony Perkins (@tperkins) October 5, 2019
President Trump has committed an egregious act of betrayal in what he is doing to the Kurds. Shame on him.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) October 9, 2019
What is going ON here? Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. White conservative evangelicals might not particularly care about women or black people or Central American refugees or Muslims or gun violence or income inequality or people dying from lack of healthcare or anything else like that, but they give multiple fucks about Syrian Christians. And where do Syrian Christians live? In the line of Turkey’s fire that Donald Trump just opened up for them.
Conservative Christians tied their boat to the Orange Shitheel because he, knowing he needed to bribe people to love him, promised them many wonders like woman-hating judges and religious freedom to refuse to frost cakes for fags and all kinds of other shit, and unlike under most Republican presidents, extremist Christians have gotten a lot of what they wanted under Trump. Hell, Mike Pompeo thinks he’s the second coming of Queen Esther, a heathen hooligan lady God raised up to save the Jewish people from the king of Persia, if we are remembering our scripture correctly. (Yes, it says “heathen hooligan lady.” Probably. Maybe.)
A LOT of them think this. Haven’t you seen all the charlatans surrounding the pussgrabber and giving him pray-gasms?
But now they are MAD.
The danger for Trump here is not that his betrayal of the Kurds will persuade a critical mass of GOP senators to vote for his removal from office.
But the impeachment push doesn’t need to succeed to damage the president’s reelection hopes. And against all odds, Trump has managed to manufacture one of the few circumstances in which devout Republicans will loudly endorse the broad premise of Nancy Pelosi’s inquiry: that Trump is using presidential power in ways that shock the conscience of patriotic Americans, no matter their partisan allegiance.
Which seems ill advised given that public opinion was already moving in favor of impeachment before this week’s events got underway.
By itself, all this would be more than adequate proof that our president is a lucky idiot who is bad at politics. But Trump’s new Syria policy has an additional dimension of stupidity. It jeopardizes one of his few (putative) nonpartisan accomplishments as president.
Trump may or may not deserve credit for the decline of ISIS over the past three years, but the fact that he presided over that decline was sufficient for him to declare himself a great slayer of terrorists without mainstream fact-checkers complaining. In clearing the way for a war between Turkey and the Kurds, Trump may well have forfeited that right. Kurdish forces have been guarding 1,200 ISIS prisoners. The burgeoning conflict threatens to divert forces from that prison camp and provide the ISIS fighters with a prime opportunity for a jailbreak.
This is not the messaging strategy of a diabolically brilliant manipulator of mass media. It is a collection of irritable mental gestures from a 73-year-old rich kid with a personality disorder who is in way over his head.
5. We are getting those financial records
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal appeals court rules against President Donald Trump, orders financial records turned over to House .
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 11, 2019
Congress can seek eight years of President Trump’s business records from his accounting firm, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled Friday in one of several legal battles over access to the president’s financial data.
In a 2-to-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld Congress’s broad investigative powers and rejected the president’s bid to block lawmakers from subpoenaing the documents.
Rep. Cummings: "Today's ruling is a fundamental and resounding victory for Congressional oversight, our Constitutional system of checks and balances, and the rule of law. For far too long, the President has placed his personal interests over the interests of the American people."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 11, 2019
The case could theoretically head to the Supreme Court, but House Democrats have won decisively in both the district and appeals courts.
Mazars will now likely be forced to turn over Trump’s financial records to House Democrats.
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) October 11, 2019
The importance of the ruling goes well beyond the immediate issue at hand. The case arose before the House commenced its formal impeachment process. Now that it has, even the dissent (a poorly reasoned opinion — “The dissent identifies nothing in the text, structure, or original meaning of Article I or Article II of the Constitution to support such a sweeping rule of legislative paralysis” — by a highly controversial Trump nominee who had never before served on the bench) would acknowledge the House could get this sort of information as part of its impeachment inquiry. The dissent’s amateurish opinion, by the way, is a reminder that the poor quality of Trump nominees means they will have limited sway over veteran judges.
The decision should also serve as a warning to current and former officials who are abiding by Trump’s bogus “absolute immunity” claims and refusing to appear for testimony. The claim — advanced, for example, to prevent former White House counsel Donald McGahn from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee — fails the straight-face test and in all likelihood will be repudiated by the courts. Witnesses held in contempt for following ridiculous assertions of privilege might find themselves subject to civil contempt fines.
Taking another step back, the decision is a reminder that the “arguments” advanced by the White House counsel (e.g. the temper-tantrum letter refusing cooperation with impeachment proceedings) are not legitimate legal maneuvers.
This may not seem like it is related to the current impeachment inquiries but it is. Trump has business dealings in all these areas where he is making these awful decisions that are being examined. His financial records are sure to support an argument that he is not acting in the best interest of the American people.
6. Republicans are slowly starting to defect
Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan: "I think we do need an inquiry because we have to get to the bottom of it. I'm not ready to say I support impeachment and the removal of the president but I do think we have to have an impeachment inquiry." pic.twitter.com/GjaBhOUWA1
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 11, 2019
From right wing A$$hole Marc A. Thiessen → Trump’s cry that America is fighting ‘endless wars’ is a canard
President Trump has defended his shameful abandonment of our Kurdish allies in Syria, declaring that “I was elected on getting out of these ridiculous endless wars” that have left America “bogged down, watching over a quagmire.” Listening to the president, Americans might think that we still have large numbers of U.S. troops fighting on fronts across the Middle East. We do not.
Donald Trump made a defiant prediction last week that Senate Republicans will be the bulwark to keep Democrats from ending his presidency.
But behind the scenes, Republicans and Trump’s informal circle of advisers are tempering the president’s bravado, expressing concern over whether the president can truly count on a GOP-led Senate to keep him in office.
As the battle between Democrats and Republicans over impeachment continues on like a heatwave in August, President Trump makes moves to remove U.S. troops from Syria.
Just hours after the decision to leave Syrian Kurds to fend for themselves against Turkey, Illinois Congressman John Shimkus calls the President’s decision “terrible and despicable.”
“Pull my name off the ‘I support Donald Trump’ list.”
7. Rats are leaving the ship
A senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has resigned, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN on Thursday.The adviser, Michael McKinley, had been a diplomat for over three decades and served as ambassador to Peru, Colombia, Afghanistan and, most recently, Brazil until he was appointed to his advising role in May 2018, according to his department biography.The departure comes as Pompeo faces increasing pressure from House investigators over his recently revealed presence on a phone call in which President Donald Trump pressured Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden — Trump’s potential Democratic rival — and Biden’s son Hunter. There is no evidence of wrongdoing in Ukraine by Joe or Hunter Biden.The Washington Post first reported McKinley’s resignation, adding that it came in the midst of growing discontent at the State Department in response to Pompeo’s perceived lack of support for department officials caught up in investigations linked to Ukraine.
Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security since April and the fourth person to serve in that post since the Trump presidency began, submitted his resignation to the White House on Friday, President Donald Trump announced Friday.“Kevin McAleenan has done an outstanding job as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down. Kevin now, after many years in Government, wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector,” Trump said.
8. Democrats are all over this
House Democrats have requested a deposition from Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, as part of their impeachment inquiry, but his interview has not yet been formally scheduled, multiple sources familiar with the issue told CNN.The request, if met by expected White House and State Department opposition, is likely to present a quandary for the longtime diplomat, according to former State Department officials who know him.
In a letter to House Democrats, House Intelligence Chairman Schiff writes, "We expect to announce additional testimony from relevant witnesses in the coming days and remain prepared to compel testimony through duly authorized subpoenas as appropriate."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 11, 2019
9. Trump’s team is a bunch of clowns
The president’s decision to bulk up his legal team with former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy amid a widening impeachment inquiry is drawing criticism from one of his high-profile supporters.
On Wednesday morning, the day after news leaked that Gowdy was set to serve as outside counsel to the president, Victoria Toensing, a veteran Washington lawyer who has been working with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, expressed concern and disbelief that the onetime advocate for congressional oversight would be coming onboard.
“Trey Gowdy doesn’t know s***,” she said.
Toensing argued that Gowdy mishandled the select committee that investigated Democrat Hillary Clinton’s handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. She also took issue with comments Gowdy made last year in which he urged Trump to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the Trump campaign’s role in Russian attempts to intervene in the 2016 presidential race.
“He screwed up the Benghazi hearings, and he came out with the advice to Trump, ‘Well, if you’ve done nothing wrong, just talk to Bob Mueller.’”
The duo behind botched smears against Elizabeth Warren, Robert Mueller, and Pete Buttigieg have truly outdone themselves.
The pair’s bogus accuser—26-year-old Sean Newaldass—told The Daily Beast on Friday that he had no idea the event in which he alleged that he was in a romantic dalliance with the Senate was real. That’s because Newaldass had met Wohl and Burkman by replying to an ad posted on Craigslist seeking a “male actor” for “performance art.”
The White House accidentally sent Democrats a list of talking points related to ex-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s Friday House deposition, two sources with knowledge of the email told The Hill, the second time in a month the administration has sent its Ukraine talking points to Democrats.
The email marks the second time the White House has unintentionally sent talking points to Democrats in recent weeks, after an administration official inadvertently emailed them suggested rhetoric defending the July 25 phone call.
10. Our candidates are beating him in poll after poll after poll
Warren 50, Trump 40.
Biden 50, Trump 40. https://t.co/N2O9GBXMXB
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) October 10, 2019
A new poll from Emerson College shows potentially troubling signs for Republican President Donald Trump in Ohio.
Trump, who won the state by 8 percentage points in 2016, has a net negative job approval rating. Three of the top Democratic candidates narrowly beat him in a theoretical head-to-head matchup, although the results are within the margin of error. And a plurality of respondents to the poll said they supported impeaching the president.
It doesn’t fit with today’s theme, but yesterday was a great day for the legal system
The judiciary ruled against @realDonaldTrump 3 times today.
-Trump needs to provide tax returns
-Trump's public charge change is illegal
-Trump's diversion of funds to build wall is illegal
Federal Judges understand we are a Constitutional Republic, not an authoritarian regime. https://t.co/sQomUHCTpw
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) October 11, 2019
A federal judge in Texas ruled Friday that President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a border wall is unlawful and appears poised to block the use of those funds.Judge David Briones of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, asked challengers of the wall to propose the scope of a preliminary injunction.The lawsuit, brought by El Paso County, Texas, and Border Network for Human Rights, seeks an injunction to block Trump’s national emergency declaration. It argues that Trump overstepped his authority when he issued the declaration to gain access to additional funds for his border wall, despite receiving $1.375 billion from Congress.The complaint also alleges that the declaration doesn’t meet the National Emergencies Act’s definition of “emergency” and pushes back against Trump’s remarks that border barriers led to a drop in crime in El Paso.
A federal judge in New York on Friday temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule linking immigrants’ legal status to their use of public benefits.
Judge George Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a temporary nationwide injunction stopping the administration from enforcing the requirements, as well as a stay of the effective date.
and this asshole! → Alex Jones loses appeal to have Sandy Hook suit dismissed
For the second time in as many months, ring-wing activist Alex Jones has hit another setback in his legal battle linked to the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
This new action on Friday was a denial of an appeal by the Texas Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed against Jones and his Infowars site by Scarlett Lewis, a mother of Jesse Lewis, one of the 20 students killed during the mass shooting. In the suit, Lewis seeks damages for false accusations made on Infowars broadcasts for targeting her.
Finally, watch this video of our front runner Warren and image that SHE IS THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Really imagine it. Visualize yourself the evening when she wins the vote. Imagine waking up every morning to her being in charge. Picture what her cabinet will look like. Ready? Now listen:
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 11, 2019
Now take a deep breath and join me in making it happen. Whether it is Warren or Bernie or Biden or Kamala or…. Mickey Mouse. Whomever our candidate: we are taking the White House from those monsters!!!
So proud and lucky to be in this with you ❤️ ✊ ❤️