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Congressional Committee Investigations into Trump

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#201

Schiff is expected to comment later on today.


#202

NBC is saying Michael Flynn’s testimony was subjected to input from the Administration…and perhaps he was coerced.

UPDATE


#203

The blanket refusal to comply with subpoenas continues…

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced on Thursday that the panel will consider an “enforcement action” against Attorney General William Barr for defying the chairman’s subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report and its supporting intelligence materials.

Schiff’s announcement came a day after the Justice Department put a counter-offer on the table as it negotiates with the panel for lawmakers’ access to the full report, according to a letter obtained by POLITICO.


#204

Democrats have all but committed to opening an official impeachment inquiry in the House.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, eager to find any new leverage to fight back against the White House, suggested on Thursday that House Democrats could always open an impeachment inquiry to obtain documents and testimony from stonewalling Trump administration officials — a sharp response to the White House’s blanket claim that House requests served no “legitimate” legislative purpose.

“The courts would respect it if you said we need this information to carry out our oversight responsibilities — and among them is impeachment,” Ms. Pelosi said during her weekly news conference at the Capitol.

“It doesn’t mean you’re going on an impeachment path, but it means if you had the information you might,” Ms. Pelosi said. “It’s about impeachment as a purpose.”

Her threat was the first time Ms. Pelosi publicly suggested using impeachment as an information-gathering tool.

But many of the speaker’s allies in the House favor using impeachment as a pry bar for compliance — in the belief that formally convening an impeachment inquiry would effectively turn the House into a grand jury. That would compel the administration to be more cooperative.


#205

This is a norm that should be a law. Everyone running for President should be able to pass a FBI background check and that should include submitting tax returns as well as other financial statements. Don’t the people deserve to know if their president is a crook?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday refused to comply with a congressional subpoena to hand over President Trump’s tax returns, a move that is likely to be the final step before the matter heads to the courts.

For more than a month, the Treasury Department and House Democrats have exchanged letters about the request, which was initiated in April by Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Mr. Mnuchin said that lawyers in the department concluded that the original request, made using an obscure provision of the tax code, was not legitimate. Mr. Neal changed course last week and issued a subpoena to try to gain access to six years of Mr. Trump’s personal and business tax returns.

On Friday, Mr. Mnuchin wrote a one-page letter to Mr. Neal, in which he reiterated his previous position that the request lacked “legitimate legislative purpose” and said he could not comply with the subpoena.


#206

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s appearance before a House panel has been stalled partly due to discussions on whether the White House’s assertion of executive privilege would limit his testimony, according to people familiar with the matter.

The House Judiciary Committee and Mr. Mueller’s team have been in negotiations for days about the contours of the special counsel’s eagerly-awaited testimony about his 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and episodes in which President Trump allegedly sought to influence the investigation.

[…]

Earlier this week Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), the panel’s chairman, said he would be willing to issue a subpoena for Mr. Mueller’s testimony.

“It’s Bob’s call whether he wants to testify,” Mr. Barr told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday night while en route to El Salvador on a trip aimed at solidifying international cooperation to combat the violent street gang MS-13.


#207

Just seeing this very same info posted by @Keaton_James

Read Rep Justin Amash’s principled conclusions.First Republican to say so…


#208

As a supplement to @dragonfly9’s post above, here is Amash’s full statement.

These are powerful words. They express how the entire nation should be reacting to the Mueller report.

Here are my principal conclusions:

1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

I offer these conclusions only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.

In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.

Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.

Under our Constitution, the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” While “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.

Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.

In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.

Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.

While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct. Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution. When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law—the foundation of liberty—crumbles.

We’ve witnessed members of Congress from both parties shift their views 180 degrees—on the importance of character, on the principles of obstruction of justice—depending on whether they’re discussing Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release.

America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it.


#209

I wonder how many Republicans would have to come forward on this before Speaker Pelosi calls the support bipartisan? It would handy to know where the line is on this, no one will act until she gives to go ahead. To be a fly on her office wall right now…


#210

Senator Mitt Romney (R Utah) took a weak position on whether there was room for impeachment now. And he would be the one who could take a stand…as the newest Republican Senator on the scene.

As Donald Trump opened fire on Justin Amash, the Michigan representative who became the first Republican in Congress to call for his impeachment, Mitt Romney declined to join the fight.

The former presidential nominee and Republican senator from Utah accused Donald Trump of lacking humility, honesty and integrity – but stopped short of calling for his impeachment and removal from power.

Romney was scathing about the picture of the president that emerges from the Mueller report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the redacted version of which he said he had spent two days reading in full. He said on Sunday its findings were “troubling, unfortunate and distressing”.

But he said he did not think it was time for Congress to call for impeachment.

I don’t think there is the full element which you need to prove the obstruction of justice case,” he told CNN’s State of the Union.


#211

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow…

President Trump is preparing to instruct his former White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, to defy a congressional subpoena and skip a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, denying Democrats testimony from one of the most important eyewitnesses to Mr. Trump’s attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation, a person briefed on the matter said on Monday.

The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Mr. McGahn to appear. The White House plans to provide Mr. McGahn, who left the post last year, with a legal opinion from the Justice Department to justify his defying the subpoena, the person said.

If Mr. McGahn does not appear before the committee on Tuesday, he risks a contempt of Congress citation. At the same time, if he defies the White House, Mr. McGahn could not only damage his own career in Republican politics but also put his law firm, Jones Day, at risk of having the president urge his allies to withhold their business. The firm’s Washington practice is closely affiliated with the party.


#212

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former longtime personal attorney, told a House panel during closed-door hearings earlier this year that he had been instructed by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow to falsely claim in a 2017 statement to Congress that negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow ended in January 2016, according to people familiar with his testimony.

In fact, Cohen later admitted that discussions on the Moscow tower continued into June of the presidential election year, after it was clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. Cohen is serving three years in prison for lying to Congress, financial crimes and campaign finance violations.

House Democrats are now scrutinizing whether Sekulow or other Trump attorneys played a role in shaping Cohen’s 2017 testimony to Congress. Cohen has said he made the false statement to help hide the fact that Trump had potentially hundreds of millions of dollars at stake in a possible Russian project while he was running for president.

Docs:


(David Bythewood) #213

Judge Amit Mehta upholds House panel subpoena for Trump financial records https://thehill.com/regulation/444638-judge-upholds-house-panel-subpoena-for-trump-financial-records

Background:

Why the president is doing everything he can to prevent an accounting firm from complying with a totally lawful subpoena. The Mazars USA subpoena is an existential threat to Trump’s presidency. via @slate


#214

:eyes:


#215

:newspaper: Header has been updated. Breaking news starts below. :point_down:


#216

House Democratic leaders sparred internally on Monday over whether to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her allies rejecting the call to move forward for now, according to multiple sources.

Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) — all members of the Democratic leadership — pushed to begin impeachment proceedings during a leadership meeting in Pelosi’s office, said the sources. Pelosi and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) — one of her key allies and a member of leadership herself — rejected their calls, saying Democrats’ message is being drowned out by the fight over possibly impeaching Trump.


#217

Documents:
House Judiciary Committee with Oversight & Government Reform— McCabe testimony from 12/21/17, redacted 05/20/19.


#218

05/20/19 Letter from Nadler to McGahn


#219

Senator Mark Warner is taking a stand with introducing this FIRE Act - requiring mandatory reporting on any foreign contacts within a month’s time during a campaign. What is the likelihood that McConnell will not let it pass?

Dem Senator introduces bill requiring campaigns to report foreign contacts

© Greg Nash

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Tuesday introduced a bill to require political campaigns to report foreign attempts to influence U.S. elections to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) following communications between the Trump campaign and foreign actors revealed in the Mueller report.

Warner, who is the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, introduced the Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections (FIRE) Act, which would give campaigns one week to report communication with foreign nationals who try to make campaign donations or work with the campaign “through the proffer of information or services,” according to a statement from Warner’s office.

Campaigns would also be required to implement a “compliance system” to track foreign contacts. They would also be required to report “applicable” foreign contacts to the FEC which would then alert the FBI.

“Most Americans already know that if a foreign adversary reaches out about interfering in our elections, you should report that contact," Warner said in the statement.

“After Special Counsel Robert Mueller identified at least 140 contacts between Trump associates and Russian nationals or WikiLeaks, it’s clear that some Americans haven’t taken that responsibility seriously – in fact, the Trump campaign welcomed the help, and sought to hide that from the American people,” he added. "This bill would protect the integrity of our democracy by requiring future campaigns to report attempts by foreign nationals to coordinate or collaborate during a political campaign, and by putting campaigns on notice about their obligations.”


#220

Doesn’t want to appear political… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has expressed reticence to him testifying publicly in front of the House Judiciary Committee, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The special counsel’s team has expressed the notion that Mueller does not want to appear political after staying behind the scenes for two years and not speaking as he conducted his investigation into President Donald Trump. One option is to have him testify behind closed doors, but sources caution numerous options are being considered in the negotiations between the committee and the special counsel’s team.

Justice officials are generally supportive of how the special counsel’s team is proceeding with negotiations. As Attorney General Bill Barr told The Wall Street Journal last week: "It’s Bob’s call whether he wants to testify."