When it comes to this Thursday, as Rachel Maddow would say, “Stick a pin in it.” There are going to be not just one, but two separate events that could make a ton of news, and that’s not counting the off the wall shit that Der Gropinfuror may instigate all by his little, tiny thumbs self.
The first will take place at the White House. Trump is trying to bring back the Trump Summit II, bringing Pelosi, Schumer, Ryan and McConnell to try to find a way to limp over the legislative finish line for the year. That is, if Trump can keep his fat little thumbs off Twitter until they at least get through the door. But clearly they didn’t learn anything from their last screw up. Trump drove Pelosi and Schumer the first time by tweeting that he didn’t see the possibility of “a deal.” Now, McConnell has flatly stated that “the government will not shut down over DACA protection for the DREAMer’s.” His reasoning was that it would be political suicide to make a stand on something that they could deal with any time in the next 3 months. Riiiiiight. If that’s the case, why wasn’t it dealt with in September when they passed the last CR? Please pardon Pelosi, Schumer and myself for somehow or other doubting that a guy who couldn’t bring a Supreme Court nominee up for a vote in a year and a half would bring DREAM Act legislation to the floor in 3 months.
But there’s more potential fireworks in store. Thursday Li’l Donnie Redux i scheduled to testify in congress in a closed session hearing. There is absolutely no sane reason for this to be a closed hearing, since Donnie Jr has no security clearance, there can’t be classified information discussed. But because there will be no classified testimony, the chances are much higher of leaks. You can bet that he will be grilled on the Trump Tower meeting with Natalia Veselnitskiya, as well as his interactions with Jared Kushner, as well as Michael Flynn. as well as sticky questions about his connections to Wikileaks. And Mini Mew Donnie is at much greater risk, since he will be under oath, and one can only hope that Robert Mueller will get a transcript of the testimony.
There are two small problems here. The first is that Trump Jr is appearing voluntarily. As such, if the heat gets too high, he can simply declare that he is finished testifying and leave, regardless of how much longer the testimony is scheduled to last. Jared Kushner recently did this, appearing for less than an hour before copping a walk. The other option to look for is to see if Trump Jr simply declines to appear before the committee, as us his right since he was coming in voluntarily.I actually find this a 50-50 proposition, since if it leaked that Trump Jr had invoked his fifth amendment rights to questioning, it would demolish his image. Maybe a jury cannot infer guilt by a defendant invoking his right, but the rest of us can, and sure as hell will.
Both committees in congress are fucking this whole thing up. You can’t “compel” testimony on subjects that are uncomfortable to the witness if they are testifying “voluntarily.” Look at recent history. Not only did Jared Kushner just walk out of a session, but Jeff Sessions has made a career of cherry picking his answers, flatly refusing to answer any question that deals with anything Trump said to him, even if it was just “You suck!” The only way to gain the information is to subpoena them to appear involuntarily. Hell, why not, they’re basically hostile witnesses anyway? You can bet that at some point, quite likely not in the distant future, that Robert Mueller is going to subpoena Trump Jr, Kushner and Sessions to testify to the grand jury, where they have no option but to either answer or inivoke their fifth amendment rights.
So, no matter what actually happens, you can bet that there will be fresh news on Thursday, and you can bet that I’ll be right here, gleefully reporting it to all of you fine people. Ain’t it nice to have something to look forward to in these turbulent times?