Bear in mind that when Hillary Clinton was subpoenaed she made no attempts at a deal. And she was examined for eleven hours, about a lot of specious nothingness. Here, the central issue involves foreign interference with the election process of our country — and Donald Trump Jr. and his associates feel that they have to make a deal. NEWS – A deal was struck between the senate committee subpoeaning @DonaldJTrumpJr for limited appearance, between 2-4 hours, in mid-June, after an intense campaign by his allies against Burr and McConnell. story via @npfandos and me coming soon. — Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 14, 2019 Now Lindsey Graham, who swear to God, reminds me of somebody in a science fiction movie after the space aliens have done a mind conversion process, told reporters Monday, “You just show up and plead the Fifth and it’s over with. You’d have to be an idiot as a lawyer to put your client back into this circus, a complete idiot.” However, if Junior does that, would he be looking at being cited for contempt of Congress? What would that look like? Politico: Contempt is one way forward. But the Senate also has a special option “as an alternative to both the inherent contempt power of each House and the criminal contempt statutes,” according to the Congressional Research Service. The Intelligence Committee and then the full Senate can take civil action to enforce a subpoena in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or to simply ask for a declaration of the validity of the subpoena, according to CRS. Still, Republicans aren’t eager to test the waters when it comes to Trump Jr.; a floor vote would probably be the worst case scenario for Republicans eager to avoid confrontation with the president during a tough election cycle. There’s essentially nothing more toxic than voting on enforcing a subpoena issued to the president’s son. “Hopefully, the Senate doesn’t have to vote on a subpoena, because that would be a difficult vote for a lot of Republicans between letting a chairman run their committee the way they want to, and in this particular instance, it’s usually a bipartisan decision that a person makes,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Monday. “I don’t want that to happen, but I don’t want to discuss why it might happen. And hopefully, it won’t happen.” The New York Times points out that this maneuver by Junior was “straight out of his father’s playbook: set the terms of the debate at the most extreme end of the discussion by saying he would not appear, prompt a controversy, then cut a deal on his own terms.” Senator Burr didn’t want to be put in the position of initiating contempt proceedings, nor did he want for Trump Jr. to defy him. Neither position had particularly terrific optics, not in the run up to a presidential election. So, he chose a compromise, a limited number of topics and a limited amount of time. It puts me in mind of the prepping of Sarah Palin for the vice presidential debate, by a campaign staff desperate to do an end run around her total lack of knowledge not only of the issues, but of basic U.S. history. Palin finally was given a list of topics […]
I love the smell of a constitutional crisis in the morning. It smells like perfidy. We’ve had quite a week here, folks. Take a look at the highlights, from The Point, which is CNN’s Chris Cillizza’s newsletter: Consider: The House Judiciary Committee voted this week to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for his refusal to turn over the full, unredacted Mueller report. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) on Friday issued subpoenas in order to get President Donald Trump’s past tax returns. The White House barred former counsel Don McGahn from complying with a subpoena to testify on Capitol Hill. Trump invoked executive privilege over the entire Mueller report The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. As I predicted pre-midterms, when the Democrats regain the House, subpoenas are going to be flying at the White House like bats, and indeed that is the case. The most recent subpoena of interest was to Trump’s namesake spawn. True to form and to his name, rather than manning up and just complying with the thing (as the yous and mes would do, automatically, because we have no choice) Junior is exploring which path is the best one to run away down. USA Today: One option is to ignore it entirely and let the GOP-led panel decide if they want to vote to hold him in contempt of Congress, a move the source expected would be unlikely to make it through the Republican majority in the full Senate, even if it did pass the Intelligence Committee. Trump Jr. is also considering invoking in writing his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions that lead to self-incrimination. Finally, he would be open to a possible compromise that could include written responses to questions, the source said. Now here’s the part that’s going to blow your mind. Even other Republicans, who are so groomed to toady to the whims of the Trump White House, are backing up Senator Burr and his subpoena. Not all Republicans were critical of Burr. After the GOP lunch Thursday – where the subpoena came up – a stream of senators, including South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, came out and announced they had “great confidence” in Burr with whatever decision he made. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican member of the Intelligence Committee, reiterated that Burr has said there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government and the chairman was “just trying to be sure that everybody’s asked all the questions” needed before proceeding. “Mueller’s was a criminal justice investigation. Ours is an intelligence investigation about the Russia threat and about the way our agencies performed,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. And it goes without saying, Trump Senior views all this as ongoing “presidential harassment,” and has busily retweeted all the comments that the Trump lap dogs in Congress have provided. Here’s a sample. Byrne says, “there are real issues in our country” to be dealt with — oh, and election interference isn’t one of them? With another presidential election on the horizon? No, I guess not, when the interfering party from the last election is gaining more traction in the Oval Office all the time. Cillizza said this about the past week’s developments in Washington: Here’s a way to think about the current state of affairs in political Washington: Two cars are speeding toward each other. They started a mile from each other at the start […]
You know, I may be old, but even I’m not old enough to have forgotten this stuff already. Ah, it seems like only yesterday, but was in reality only about two years ago when House Intel Chair Devin Nunes, who looks mostly like something you see laying at the bottom of a tequila bottle, made what he foolishly thouht of as a “:surreptitious: midnight run to the White House, to pick up some shit they already had, so that the next day he could very publicly go running, kicking and screaming, back to the White House to show them the shocking intel he had uncovered, including a self pandering presser in front of microphones in front o the portico. And who;s that over there? Well, bless me if it isn’t Richard Burr, the quiet, measured Senate Intel Committee chair, whose main shtick seemed to be peddling an air of comity, respect, and bi-partisanship on the Intel committee. Who then took confidential, classified material that he obtained through a classified “Gang of Eight”briefing on the Trump campaigns tire to Russian intelligence, and secretly brought it over to the White House to tip them to what was going on. He did it better than Nunes, maybe he put a pebble in his shoe to make him limp, I dunno. What a difference a couple of years makes, huh? Here they are now, the two Judas ewes of the House and Senate respectively, leading the lambs to slaughter. Now Devin Nunes is loudly proclaiming his fealty to world order, supporting current Intel chair Adam schiff’s subpoenas regarding the unredacted Mueller report, and all underlying documents requested, by subpoena of course. And now, Richard Burr suddenly sees the error in his youthful ways, and is demanding by subpoena that Donald Trump Jr appear before the Senate Intel committee, again by subpoena, to explain the reason for his flagrant lying to the committee in his first appearance regarding the Trump Tower Moscow deal. I want you to close your eyes for a moment, and slowly, gently run your fingers along the surface, so that you can appreciate the rich, full, pebble grain texture of the bullshit. This is world class stuff, it puts Corinthian leather to shame. After two years of each one of them stonewalling the investigations in separate ways, now they want us all shouting, with our arms held high over our heads, “Praise Jay-zus! They can be saved!” It’s all nothing but a cheap con, but they’re no Trump. His Lowness has already made it publicly clear that his sole goal is to run out the clock, and the way he’s going to do that is by tying up every Democratic request for information and testimony requested by subpoena in court until the cows come home. And what better way for Nunes to be able to go on FOX, and claim moral superiority, by saying that the House voted 425-0 to demand the release of the whole Mueller report, and that he fully supports chairman Schiff in his quest to educate the American people. And for Richard Burr to once again wrap a tattered feather boa of self respect around his slumping shoulders, after being revealed in the Mueller report as just another compliant Trump stooge, by demanding that Diaper Donnie Redux appear in front of his committee, […]
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