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Congressional Committee Investigations into Trump 2019

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#402

The transcript for Tillerson’s interview with the House Committee on Foreign Affairs has been released revealing new details about his time as Secretary of State.

Read the transcript here :point_down:

Don’t have time to read? From Politico,

The former secretary of State, whom Trump fired in March 2018 after just 14 months on the job, painted a portrait of a presidential administration lacking in internal coordination and cohesion. The discussion touched on everything from Tillerson’s struggle to convince the White House to let him hire people, to his “realist” view of human rights. Tillerson frequently answered questions by saying he couldn’t recall, but overall it was his most extensive personal account to date of his time spent as America’s chief diplomat.

The conversation — which lasted more than six hours, including breaks — occurred with committee staffers. Tillerson also met for about 90 minutes with House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel and ranking member Rep. Mike McCaul. That conversation was not included in the transcript.

Some snippets of the conversation already have been reported, such as Tillerson’s comments that Russian leader Vladimir Putin had out-prepared Trump for meetings, and whether the Russians had manipulated Trump and Tillerson in such sessions. Those earlier reports infuriated Trump, who lashed out on Twitter, calling Tillerson “dumb as a rock.”


#403

:hushed:

Saudi and Emirati leaders told Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon, close advisers to President Trump, over a 2017 dinner in Riyadh about secret plans to impose a blockade on Qatar, a critical American ally in the Middle East, and bypassed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was taken by surprise when the blockade was announced, according to a transcript of an interview with Mr. Tillerson last month by a congressional committee.

Mr. Tillerson said he had no knowledge that the Saudis had told Mr. Kushner and Mr. Bannon about the blockade in May 2017 until a committee member asked him about it in the interview. “It makes me angry,” Mr. Tillerson said.

“I didn’t have a say,” he added. “The State Department’s views were never expressed.”

The account highlights the extent to which Mr. Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, and Mr. Bannon were running foreign policy during the administration’s first year in the world’s most sensitive regions without telling Mr. Trump’s top foreign policy officials and their agencies. The interview especially sheds light on the power wielded behind the scenes by Mr. Kushner.


(David Bythewood) #404

Rex Tillerson vents about Jared Kushner’s secret dealings with foreign leaders


#405

Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Matt Gaetz

https://ethics.house.gov/press-release/statement-chairman-and-ranking-member-committee-ethics-regarding-representative-matt

Pursuant to Committee Rule 7(g), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics (Committee) determined to release the following statement:

On March 13, 2019, the Committee received a Member complaint against Representative Matt Gaetz. The Committee then began a review, pursuant to Committee Rules 16© and 18(a), into allegations that Representative Gaetz sought to threaten, intimidate, harass, or otherwise improperly influence the President’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, in connection with Mr. Cohen’s testimony before a congressional committee.

As part of that review, on May 13, 2019, the Committee requested Representative Gaetz’s appearance for an in-person interview. Representative Gaetz declined the Committee’s interview request.

On May 16, 2019, the Committee informed Representative Gaetz that its ability to resolve the complaint would be hindered without his testimony and explained that if the Committee was unable to dispose of the complaint by June 24, 2019, House and Committee Rules would require the Committee to establish an Investigative Subcommittee to review the allegations against him.

Because Representative Gaetz did not provide the Committee with testimony, the Committee was unable to dispose of the complaint by the rule-based deadline. Accordingly, pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(2), and Committee Rule 16(d), an Investigative Subcommittee has been established and the complaint against Representative Gaetz forwarded to it for consideration.

The Committee notes that the mere fact of establishing an Investigative Subcommittee does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred.

The Honorable Anthony G. Brown will serve as the Chairman of the Investigative Subcommittee, and the Honorable Michael Guest will serve as the Ranking Member. The other two members of the Investigative Subcommittee are the Honorable Raja Krishnamoorthi and the Honorable John W. Rose. No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.


#406

This piece was written by a conservative…so I thought I’d better put it here too.
You wonder as well, what position Mueller will take towards AG Barr when he is interviewed on 7.17.19.


#407

House Democrats are asking the White House for copies of all work communications sent via personal email, personal cellphone and other forms of nonofficial transmission in an expansion of their investigation into whether Trump administration officials violated federal record-keeping laws.

The House Oversight Committee on Monday said the step was necessary “after six months of White House stonewalling” on the matter. This year, Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) asked the administration about reports that some top White House officials — including President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner — used personal email and encrypted applications to communicate.

Such communications are against record-keeping laws unless they are forwarded to and stored on official channels. The White House, however, has refused to tell the committee about the results of its own internal investigation of the matter, Democrats say.


#408

Ways and Means Committee becomes the first Congressional Committee to file a lawsuit to serve their subpoenas—seeking President Trump’s tax returns.

House Democrats are filing a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Trump administration seeking access to President Trump’s tax returns, according to a source familiar with the lawsuit.

A public court filing showed that the House Ways and Means Committee had filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning against the Internal Revenue Service.

Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, filed the lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department after months of feuding with the Trump administration over the returns.

Filing Documents:


#409

Just came across this too…

The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday sued the Treasury Department to get President Donald Trump’s tax returns, a spokesman for a committee member told CNBC on Tuesday.

The legal action shows the Democrat-led panel following through on its threat from months earlier, when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS chief Charles Rettig defied subpoenas to hand over six years of Trump’s personal and business returns. Mnuchin had argued that the committee had no “legitimate legislative purpose” to request the president’s federal tax returns.

The legal complaint in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., says that Mnuchin, Rettig and their departments “have now — for what the Committee believes is the first time ever — denied a Section 6103(f) request in order to shield President Trump’s tax return information from Congressional scrutiny.”


#410

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee demanded Tuesday that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney deliver information related to the Trump administration’s handling of the 2017 hurricanes in Puerto Rico.

The Democrats made the demand in a new letter sent to Mulvaney as a follow-up to one signed by every Democratic member of the committee in early May. The initial letter asked the White House to produce all communications about Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria hit, killing thousands of people and devastating the island’s infrastructure.

“The President’s public defiance of all congressional oversight not only obstructs us from fulfilling our responsibility under the Constitution to conduct credible oversight, but it also insults the memory of the Americans who lost their lives as a result of this disaster,” wrote Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the Oversight Committee, and Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.), chairman of the subcommittee on environment.


#411

Cummings Announces Hearing Next Week With Acting DHS and CBP Heads on Separation and Treatment of Immigrant Children

https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/cummings-announces-hearing-next-week-with-acting-dhs-and-cbp-heads-on-separation

Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced that the Committee has invited Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan from U.S. Customs and Border protection (CBP) to testify on July 12, 2019, regarding troubling new revelations about the Trump Administration’s family separation policy and harsh conditions at detention centers on the border.

“The Trump Administration’s actions at the southern border are grotesque and dehumanizing,” Cummings said. “There seems to be open contempt for the rule of law and for basic human decency. The Committee needs to hear directly from the heads of these agencies as soon as possible in light of the almost daily reports of abuse and defiance. I encourage Acting Secretary McAleenan and Acting Commissioner Morgan to appear voluntarily in order to answer these critical questions.”

The hearing will cover:

  • Reports of unaccompanied children—many of them separated from their families—in overcrowded and filthy conditions at Clint, Texas, and other facilities;

  • Racist, sexist, and xenophobic Facebook posts reportedly by current and former Border Patrol agents; and

  • A report issued this morning by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General on “dangerous overcrowding” and “prolonged detention of children.”

Cummings first invited McAleenan and Morgan to testify last week, but neither has confirmed his attendance.

Today, Cummings also sent a letter to Facebook requesting information about reports that Border Patrol agents created a secret group to post racist, sexist, and xenophobic content relating to immigrants and Members of Congress. Cummings expressed concern that the disturbing posts may violate CBP’s Standards of Conduct as well as Facebook’s Community Standards.

Click here to read the Committee’s latest letter to the Acting DHS Secretary.

Click here to read the letter to Facebook.

Click here to read the new report from the DHS Inspector General.


#412

I’m one of the impatient Democrats pushing to accelerate the time tables of the many investigations into Trump. However, I’m also open to reassurance from astute legal commentators like Joyce Vance who make a good argument for moving with deliberation to create as strong a case as possible. Here’s her take on this latest filing:


(David Bythewood) #413

FIRST JUDICIAL SUBPOENAS SERVED IN FOREIGN EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE LAWSUIT

LAWSUIT BROUGHT BY BLUMENTHAL, NADLER & 213 OTHER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS


#414

Donaldson’s written answers to the House Judiciary Committee. Read here :point_down:

Update: read the story here :point_down:

And here


#415

Cross-posting this awesome story!


#416

Will he show up this time? Guess we’ll find out tomorrow. :woman_shrugging:t2:

Felix Sater, a former business associate of President Donald Trump who was the chief negotiator for the defunct Trump Tower Moscow project, will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday morning, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The closed-door interview will cap a protracted back-and-forth between Sater and the panel, which has rescheduled his appearance several times since he was first slated to appear in March.


#417

Contempt! Contempt! Contempt!

I urge everyone to pop open the pdf of Donaldson’s “answers” and just take a minute to scroll through it. You can confirm yourself that she answers not one single question of substance. Not one! She answers questions related to her work history (public knowledge). She will also say that she was or was not at certain meetings held between McGahn and others, but when asked follow up questions, she refuses to answer. Here is the phrase she uses over 200 times:

“The White House has directed that I not respond to this question because of the constitutionally-based Executive Branch confidentiality interests that are implicated.”

The phrase does NOT invoke executive privilege – it’s just a double-speak way of saying, “I refuse to answer.”

I will be extremely disappointed – wait, let me correct that – mad as hell if the House Judiciary Committee does not hold Donaldson in contempt within a week. Come on Democrats, the clock ticking. Our Democracy is being dismantled brick by brick. We need to act swiftly, with conviction, and with the force of law behind us. No more, “stern letters,” etc. Let’s drive these investigations forward and uncover the truth – we can’t do that while Trump and his minions are openly obstructing justice. :angry:


#418

The House Judiciary Committee moved Tuesday to authorize subpoenas for two separate issues: an array of documents and testimony related to the administration’s immigration policies and to former and current Trump administration officials, including the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, as part of its probe into potential obstruction of justice.

The committee is planning a Thursday vote to authorize the subpoenas, which would ratchet up the Democrat-led panel’s investigation into possible obstruction of justice and examination of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. The vote would allow Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, to issue the subpoenas at his discretion.

I will update this post after the vote.


#419

Lawmakers admit to not reading the Mueller Report.

You know this report right here. :point_down:


#420

Cross posting, sorry guys, I have a new puppy who needs a walk everyday exactly during the prime time congressional news breaks during the day. Thanks @matt for catching all the stories. :raised_hands:


#421

More to come, I’m sure. :smirk:

So far only The Hill has the story.

Ah, Natasha Bertrand has it, yes!