Eventually, names will be named, and the story has a lot more lawfare ahead of it, but last night’s hint at a revelation in #TrumpRussia raises interesting possibilities.
If what @Lawrence has is on target, there are multiple Russian oligarchs who guaranteed Trump’s loans. At a minimum, that creates a bonfire of ethical — If not legal — issues for the White House: pic.twitter.com/NcbjyIntre
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) August 28, 2019
One speculative scenario for how Congress might proceed is described by one lawyer below.
- First, House Dems know they can vote to impeach Trump right now on multiple bases, including obstruction of justice, violations of the Emoluments Clause, gross unfitness for office, and more. They also know the Senate will NOT convict for any of that.
- Rather than rushing to impeach and failing to get a conviction, House Dems are working hard to put together an “ironclad” (using Pelosi’s words) case against Trump. The centerpiece of the ironclad case is that Trump is compromised by money laundering for Russian oligarchs.
- House Dems are betting it all that Trump is compromised by Russian money laundering. They already know it’s true and they know where to get the evidence needed to prove it: from Trump’s bankers (Deutsche Bank) and his tax advisors (Mazars).
- Getting evidence from Deutsche Bank/Mazars has been the primary focus of House General Counsel (Douglas Letter) ever since he was hired by Pelosi in January. Subpoenas were issued to Deutsche Bank/Mazars back in April and the cases have been working their way through the courts.
- For more on how the House will get the DB/Mazars documents, read the thread below. For now, let’s just say the strategy is sound and the House should get the documents from DB/Mazars by November of this year, a full year before the election…
- Once House Dems get the DB/Mazars documents, they have a team in place to analyze them, namely Daniel Goldman (former SDNY deputy chief of organized-crime unit) and Daniel Noble (former SDNY co-chief of the complex frauds and cybercrime unit).
- Goldman and Noble will put together a killer case showing Trump to be a career money launderer for the Russians. This not only makes him a criminal, it also means he’s compromised and beholden to Russia. This is way beyond any of the other evidence against Trump; this is nuclear.
- Once the case is built, Pelosi will take the podium and announce formal impeachment hearings, complete with the smoking gun. Pelosi will detail the evidence House Dems have gathered and the electorate will suddenly awaken from a long, gaslit slumber.
- Don’t worry, all the other goodies will be in the Articles of Impeachment: the emoluments violations, the obstruction, the racism, the lying, the rapes, all of it. But the nuclear bomb is the money laundering. And it’s not just a little bit of money laundering, it’s massive.
- And we know all that just from what’s public. Imagine what we will find when we get the receipts. You can bet Goldman/Noble are licking their chops. And it’s not just Russia: Letter said during oral argument on 8/23 they are looking at money laundering for Russia AND the Saudis.
- Now that we know that the money laundering evidence is the centerpiece of the case and is on a November 2019 timeline, we can see that everything else is being timed to coincide with November. Can you hear the steady drumbeat of Dems supporting impeachment? That’s on purpose!
- And how about the obstruction case? Why isn’t that moving faster? Well, it seems to be on pace to reach a crescendo right around November. And keeping the powder dry until November has a side benefit: the bombs start exploding right as Trump’s re-election campaign takes flight.
- My guess is impeachment hearings run 3 months, with impeachment referred to the Senate around March ‘20. That’s not going to be fun for GOP Senators up for reelection in November ‘20. Are they really going to acquit in the face of all that evidence right before the election?
- My guess is that #MoscowMitch tries to become the hero at that point by trying to get Trump to step down and not run for re-election. If you think #MoscowMitch won’t throw Trump under the bus to save his own ass, you don’t know #MoscowMitch!
- Any way you slice it, the House Dem strategy is VERY bad for Trump. He definitely will be impeached for truly explosive crimes. He may very well be convicted in the Senate. And even if he’s not convicted, his re-election campaign will be besieged. Bottom Line: Trump is DOOMED.
The House is after Trump’s tax and financial records because it knows Trump is a tax cheat and a money launderer for Russian oligarchs. Trump would ignore attempts to get that evidence from him, so the House subpoenaed it from his accountants (Mazars) and bankers (Deutsche Bank).
- House subpoenas were issued by two committees: Financial Services and Intelligence. Financial Services said it wanted the records to help consider new laws that might stop Trump’s crimes in the future. Intelligence said it wants the records to see whether Trump is compromised.
- Trump hired personal lawyers to intervene and block the subpoenas that were issued to Mazars and Deutsche Bank. Trump’s lawyers are arguing that Congress lacks a valid “legislative purpose” for getting Trump’s financial records. Let’s look closely at those arguments.
- Financial Services wants the records as a “test case” to see if it needs new money laundering laws. Trump claims they really want the records for “law enforcement,” i.e., to see whether Trump committed crimes. Congress doesn’t have law enforcement power, so this would be invalid.
- So this argument comes down to whether the court believes Financial Services or thinks they are lying. In both the Marzars and Deutsche Bank cases, the lower courts ruled in favor of Congress. Two separate appellate courts are reviewing the lower court rulings.
- But, remember, the Intelligence Committee has a different rationale for its subpoena, namely to see whether Trump is compromised. Trump’s legal team really has no argument against this rationale because it’s clearly legit and within Intel’s purview.
- There’s a chance Trump convinces the appellate courts to look behind Financial Services’ rationale and find that it really is pursuing law enforcement. But there’s virtually no chance the courts will find against the Intelligence Committee. Now the linked article becomes key.
- The linked article indicates that the Judiciary Committee (which did not issue the subpoenas) has requested ALL evidence from ALL other committees. So if Financial Services can’t get the records, but Intelligence can, the records still find their way to the Judiciary Committee.
- What this means is that Trump needs to defeat BOTH Financial Services AND Intelligence in order to keep his tax and financial records from getting to Judiciary for use in connection with the impeachment inquiry. Which means Trump is DOOMED.
- The House already won both cases in district court. Mazars appeal was argued on 7/12 in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and the Deutsche Bank case was argued on 8/23 in 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Both courts should find for the House, leaving Trump with an appeal to #SCOTUS.
- Once the cases go to SCOTUS the question is whether SCOTUS will issue a Writ of Certiorari (i.e., hear the case). I can see SCOTUS taking the FinServ issue on appeal, but not the Intelligence issue. At that point, the House can drop the FinServ portion and moot the appeal.
- The upshot of all this is that the House Intelligence Committee will get Trump’s tax and financial records showing him to be a tax cheat and a money launderer. And Intelligence will promptly share those documents with the Judiciary Committee for use in the impeachment inquiry.
- Here’s the best part: Once the courts find the subpoenas valid, there’s nothing Trump or DOJ can do to stop them from being turned over. Mazars and Deutsche Bank are the ones holding the documents and they already have said they will comply with whatever the courts order.
- And the Intelligence Committee hired Daniel Goldman (former deputy chief of the organized crime section of Manhattan US Attorney’s office) and Daniel Noble (co-chief of the complex frauds and cybercrime unit of Manhattan US Attorney’s office) to analyze Trump’s financials.
- House General Counsel Douglas Letter said in open court this past Friday (8/23) that the Intelligence Committee needs Trump’s financial records because it has reason to believe he’s compromised by Russia AND Saudi Arabia.
15/ Dollars to donuts, Deutsche has Kushner’s taxes, too:https://t.co/8BGoOCz3Ak
— Greg Olear (@gregolear) August 28, 2019
Meanwhile, Trump heard about the Bret Stephens bedbug story and decided to pile on: