WTF Community

Congressional Oversight 2020 - election edition

oversight
curated-threads

#1

This is a free curated thread of any oversight actions against the Trump in the 2020 election cycle.


#2

I’d like to check a few of Pompeo’s facts which led T to fire the IG.

Try #BecauseIsaidTo

https://twitter.com/kasie/status/1269822720260349954?s=19


Factchecks
#3

This administration ignores every norm and every rule possible. The stone-walling of Congress, even even for simple budget meeting is ridiculous and petty. So beneath his Office. He’s worst than Tillerson, in every way.


#4

Press Release: Norton Offers A Firsthand Account of Trump’s Walk to St. John’s Church from Inside the National Guard

Jun 7, 2020

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) was briefed by a member of the D.C. National Guard who was on duty last Monday evening when federal police pushed aside peaceful demonstrators to allow President Trump and his staff to go to St. John’s Church for a photo op. What follows is an eyewitness account given to Norton by a National Guard member who was on duty.

Three warnings were given, but the peaceful crowd was too large for most to hear the warnings. The sudden use of smoke and pepper balls caused pandemonium. A horse cavalry pushed the crowd from H street to Connecticut Avenue. The D.C. National Guard member spoke to Attorney General Barr, who was in charge, and explained that the crowd was peaceful, but troops from federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons, remained.

At the time the horse cavalry cleared the way for the president and his entourage to go to the church, no additional assets had been found to be necessary and the D.C. National Guard has remained able to handle the peaceful crowds since.


🤮 Coronavirus (Community Thread)
#5

awesome wiki idea @Pet_Proletariat! and the economy one too, thank you!! :raised_hands:


#6

Weird story. Here we go… the Senate is now investigating the investigators, who have already testified that the investigation was not politically motivated. Even though the Senate intel committee released findings that already show the intel continuity had justifiable cause. The DNI report, the Muller report and the house intel committee under chairman Schiff all say the same thing. Russia stole emails from the DCCC, the DNC, the Clinton campaign and then hacked into our voting machines for safe measure all to help Trump win a race everyone said he couldn’t win.

These are show hearings. We know already know what happened. Lady G must be having trouble with her re-election campaign :nail_care:

Senate Republicans authorize subpoenas in probe targeting Trump enemies

Graham’s investigation is also expected to focus on alleged abuses of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act, which were documented in a scathing Justice Department inspector general report that examined the surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. That report also found that there was a proper foundation for the Russia investigation and that political bias did not play a role.

The list of subpoena targets also includes officials who were involved in the initial investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. The Justice Department recently moved to drop the criminal case against Flynn, though the judge overseeing the case is seeking further judicial guidance.

And then Di-fi points out,

“This is really unprecedented, at least in my 26 years,” said California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, arguing that the committee should vote on each subpoena rather than one broad authorization. “This ties the hands of the minority in any serious investigation.”

The broad authorization was one of the arguments used against Democrats by the minority Republicans during Trumps impeachment. Hypocrisy!


#7

Cross-posting :pray:


#8

This should have been part of the Congressional Oversight - but it was published (for monetary gain) by John Bolton, which will get people’s attention again, on T’s bad behavior.

From Axios

John Bolton taunts President Trump , his former boss, on the back cover of his forthcoming book: “Game on.”

  • In a memoir coming June 23 that the White House has tried to delay, former national security adviser Bolton will offer multiple revelations about Trump’s conduct in office, with direct quotes by the president and senior officials, according to a source familiar with the book.

Why it matters: Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush, is a lifelong conservative and longtime Fox News contributor who is well-known by the Trump base, the source pointed out.

  • In "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," Bolton will go beyond Ukraine, and argue there was “Trump misconduct with other countries,” the source said.
  • Axios agreed to grant anonymity to the source in order to give readers a window into the book ahead of publication.

Behind the scenes: People close to Trump have been worried about the book because Bolton was known as the most prolific note taker in high-level meetings, Jonathan Swan reports.

  • Bolton would sit there, filling yellow legal pad after yellow legal pad with notes.
  • In short: Bolton saw a lot, and he wrote it down in real time. And when he left, the White House never got those notes back.

#9

Bolton writes that he found every decision Trump made was centered on his reelection, Simon & Schuster said, and that Bolton thought House Democrats “committed impeachment malpractice” by focusing only on Ukraine – not additional foreign policy decisions where "Ukraine-like transgressions existed."

"I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations," Bolton writes, according to Simon & Schuster.


#10

Inspectors general warn that Trump administration is blocking scrutiny of coronavirus rescue programs

The Trump administration’s intensifying efforts to block oversight of its coronavirus-related rescue programs are raising new alarms with government watchdogs and lawmakers from both parties amid concerns about the anonymity of companies receiving unprecedented levels of taxpayer funds.

Government watchdogs warned members of Congress last week that previously unknown Trump administration legal decisions could substantially block their ability to oversee more than $1 trillion in spending related to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to four congressional committee chairs Thursday, two officials in charge of a new government watchdog entity revealed that the Trump administration had issued legal rulings curtailing independent oversight of Cares Act funding.

[…]

According to the previously undisclosed letter, Treasury Department attorneys concluded that the administration is not required to provide the watchdogs with information about the beneficiaries of programs created by the Cares Act’s “Division A.” That section includes some of the most controversial and expensive programs in the coronavirus response efforts, including the administration’s massive bailout for small businesses and nearly $500 billion in loans for corporations.

Mnuchin surprised many lawmakers last week when he announced he would not allow the names of Paycheck Protection Program recipients to become public after the Trump administration had said for months that the data would eventually be disclosed.


#11

Press Release: Chairman Nadler Statement on Testimony from Former DOJ Official and Subpoenas for Whistleblowers

https://judiciary.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=3027

Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued two subpoenas for testimony from two Department of Justice whistleblowers. These individuals—John W. Elias and Aaron S.J. Zelinsky—are prepared to describe the unprecedented politicization of the Department under President Trump and Attorney General William Barr. Mr. Elias and Mr. Zelinsky will be joined by former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer in a hearing before the Committee on June 24, 2020.

Chairman Nadler released the following statement:

“Again and again, Attorney General Barr has demonstrated that he will cater to President Trump’s private political interests, at the expense of the American people and the rule of law. He has abruptly reversed course on prosecutions against the President’s allies and friends. He has pursued pretextual investigations against the President’s perceived political enemies. He has failed to defend the Affordable Care Act, and he has helped to roll back important civil rights protections. Although he has since tried to escape responsibility for his actions, he ordered federal officers to use tear gas, stun grenades, and pepper spray on American citizens peaceably exercising their constitutional rights—all to clear a path for the President, who wanted a convenient photo op.

“The Attorney General—who cites his busy schedule as a basis for refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee but has made time for multiple television interviews—may have abdicated his responsibility to Congress, but the brave men and women of our civil service have not. The Committee welcomes the testimony of current and former Department officials who will speak to the lasting damage the President and the Attorney General have inflicted on the Department of Justice. Two of the witnesses scheduled to testify, Aaron Zelinsky and John Elias, are dedicated public servants currently employed by the Department. Mr. Zelinsky can speak to the Department’s handling of the sentencing of Roger Stone and Mr. Elias can speak to improperly motivated activity by the Antitrust Division. A third witness, former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer, who served under President George H.W. Bush, will describe what is at stake when there is a breakdown of the Department’s independence at the hands of its own leadership.”


#12

And they’ve agreed to testify :smirk:


#13

Cross-posting :pray:


#14

Mueller raised possibility Trump lied to him

Mueller documented how Trump responded to him in written questions that he hadn’t remembered discussing WikiLeaks with Stone. He also found that Trump had had conversations with Stone and others about WikiLeaks, the newly unsealed report says.

“(Michael) Cohen recalled a conversation in which Roger Stone told Trump that WikiLeaks planned to release information soon, and Manafort recalled that Trump had asked him to stay in touch with Stone about WikiLeaks,” the report says.

“It is possible that, by the time the President submitted his written answers two years after the relevant events had occurred, he no longer had clear recollections of his discussions with Stone or his knowledge of Stone’s asserted communications with WikiLeaks. But the President’s conduct could also be viewed as reflecting his awareness that Stone could provide evidence that would run counter to the President’s denials and would link the President to Stone’s efforts to reach out to WikiLeaks,” Mueller wrote, analyzing whether Trump had obstructed justice related to Stone.

  • Trump and Roger Stone may have discussed how Trump would answer Mueller

“That evening, Stone appeared on Fox News and indicated he had knowledge of the President’s answers to this Office’s written questions. When asked if he had spoken to the President about the allegation that he had lied to Congress, Stone said, ‘I have not’ and added, ‘When the President answered the written interrogatories, he correctly and honestly said, "Roger Stone and I never discussed this and we never did.’’”

  • Cohen says Trump discussed Wikileaks releases with Stone in summer of 2016

Trump discussed Wikileaks’ plans to release more information in the summer of 2016 with Stone, Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told the Office of the Special Counsel. Cohen said he remembered hearing Stone tell Trump that “Stone had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Wikileaks planned to release information soon,” according to the report.

And

Mueller had documented extensive evidence in his final report in March 2019 that Trump tried to obstruct the Russia investigation in multiple ways, and declined to make a charging decision. A Justice Department policy said that a sitting President could not be indicted.

READ: Less-redacted version of the Mueller report released by Justice Department :point_down:

image https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Y2WvRNTqGvo/VagMjf9jUtI/AAAAAAAAE90/oczyF_CQB3w/s640/Read%2BThe%2BBook.gif


More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
#15

Press Release: Oversight Committee Chairs Demand Trump Administration Investigate White Supremacist Activity at Protests

Washington, D.C. (June 15, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) demanding the agencies investigate the reports of white supremacists interfering in peaceful protests, following the Administration’s persistent efforts to blame “Antifa.”

“We are troubled that the Trump Administration has repeatedly levied baseless accusations against demonstrators protesting racial discrimination in the U.S. criminal justice system by labelling them ‘Antifa’ terrorists, while refusing to condemn or even acknowledge white supremacists and other far-right extremists who have sought to exploit the protests to advance their own racist ideological objectives and plans for a race war,” the Chairs wrote.

At demonstrations across the country, far-right extremists have appeared, sometimes with assault rifles, as part of a loosely organized network of white supremacist and anti-government organizations seeking to spark violence between activists and police forces.

Officials in multiple jurisdictions have discovered evidence of white supremacists sowing discord among peaceful demonstrations, and social media companies have deactivated nearly 200 accounts linked to white supremacists after they promoted violence and encouraged supporters to bring weapons to protests.

“The Trump Administration’s decision to ignore the involvement of white supremacist groups in these protests in favor of spreading wildly exaggerated rumors about Antifa has only served to encourage right-wing militias provoking violence, to delegitimize the grievances of peaceful protestors, and to add serious danger, intimidation, and fear to already emotionally charged situations,” the Chairs wrote.

**The Administration has failed to produce evidence supporting these allegations, and none of the 50 people charged by the Department of Justice in connection with the recent protests has been linked to Antifa. **

“People of all races are coming together across the nation to peacefully protest police brutality against African Americans and the structural racism that has brought America to this moment of reckoning,” the Chairs wrote. “The infiltration of peaceful protests by white supremacists seeking to incite violence is a serious danger to public safety and should be a major focus of the Department’s attention, not an inconvenient truth to be swept under the rug.”

Click here to read the letter to DHS.

Click here to read the letter to DOJ.


#16

Nigel Farage is a British Right winger - in favor of Brexit. He was prominently seen at the beginning of T’s time in office.

https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1275149130885718027?s=20


(David Bythewood) #17

There are a number of articles confirming this:




#18

Becaue Fiona Hill had come in and testified in front of Congress, am including this extensived article on her in New Yorker coming out today. The exerpt explains the trepidation mostly her friends outside the WH had for her to go into to work with T 'n co on Russian matters.

https://twitter.com/MrDanZak/status/1275095166534275072?s=20

In February, 2017, Hill attended a dinner hosted by Eliot Cohen, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University and an early leader of the conservative “Never Trump” movement. On January 29th, Cohen had published a piece in The Atlantic warning “friends still thinking of serving as political appointees in this administration” that, as he put it, “when you sell your soul to the Devil, he prefers to collect his purchase on the installment plan.” Working for a xenophobic and divisive government, he argued, gave that government legitimacy. At the dinner, he told Hill that she was putting her reputation in jeopardy by working for Trump. Hill had read Cohen’s article, and she told me that she considered it a “powerful warning.” Still, she said, “because of strange quirks of fate, I was the one they asked to step into the fray. What was I going to do? Walk away?”

There were early signs that it might have been wise to do so. On February 28th, Cattler called Hill to tell her that his job had been eliminated. Hill said he warned her, “ ‘Look, you could come in and do the job as you see fit, and succeed. You could come in and be miserable but still feel like you’re making a difference. But you could also come in and be fired. You could be fired capriciously.’ ”

Old acquaintances also pressured Hill to change her mind. On March 8th, before Hill was scheduled to meet with her staff for the first time, she had breakfast with Celeste Wallander, at the Blue Duck Tavern, near Georgetown. Wallander had worked as Obama’s White House adviser on Russia, and she and Hill had crossed paths for more than twenty years. There was clear evidence that Trump and members of his circle had coördinated with the Russians, Wallander said. Trump’s recent attack on NATO as being “obsolete” showed that he intended to do whatever Putin wanted. To work in the Trump Administration was to endorse its policies. “You can’t pick and choose,” Wallander said. “You can’t say, ‘Well, I didn’t support that.’ You own those policies, even if you, on the inside, disagreed with them.” Hill wasn’t persuaded, telling Wallander that the Administration still needed advisers with “no illusions” about Putin to defend against future Russian election meddling. “When your house is on fire, you’ve got to go in and save something,” she said.

Hill’s decision to join the Trump White House was, echoing Samuel Johnson’s assessment of second marriages, a “triumph of hope over experience.” Her detractors called it a triumph of ambition over wisdom. Even Hill’s closest colleagues told me that her stubbornness could work against her. She acknowledged that many of Cohen’s and Wallander’s warnings proved well founded. Little was done to address the threat of future election meddling, and Hill’s tenure was, in many ways, an extended exercise in futility. Ultimately, she will be remembered not for safeguarding the country but for the unvarnished testimony that she delivered in the impeachment proceedings against Trump, in October and November of 2019, which revealed how U.S. foreign policy was subverted for domestic political purposes. In her conversations with me, she offered a unique look at the dysfunction, the misogyny, and the corruption that have proliferated in Trump’s White House. She remained convinced that public service was a necessary and noble calling, but worried that partisan politics was hobbling the country and endangering its security. “We’re doing this to ourselves now,” she said. “The Russians don’t have to do a thing.”


#19

Upcoming hearings in DC and what will happen with the IG meeting on Wednesday. Not sure which one is being talked about…but the one listed below is for a new hire IG.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. : The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on oversight of the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic . The committee will hear testimony from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for health; Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; and Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Republican lead Senate Judiciary Committee - w/ Sen Lindsay Graham heading will be sure to try to skewer China and the 'Chinese virus."

Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. : The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, coronavirus and China’s culpability. The committee has not yet released a witness list.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. : The House Committee on the Judiciary will hold an event on the oversight of the Department of Justice, focusing on political interference and threats to prosecutorial independence . The committee has not yet released a witness list.
U.S. Senate: Hearings & Meetings

And this

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020
10:00 AM – SR-325 Intelligence
Hearings to examine the nomination of Peter Michael Thomson, of Louisiana, to be Inspector General, Central Intelligence Agency.


#20

Engel and Maloney Announce Joint Depositions of Key Witnesses in Probe of President Trump’s Firing of State IG

June 22, 2020

Today, Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced that they have scheduled depositions of key witnesses in the joint probe of President Trump’s firing of State Department Inspector General Steve A. Linick. The Committees are investigating whether the President removed Mr. Linick in order to stop his office’s work looking into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s conduct.

“The American people deserve to hear the truth about why the President fired one of the government’s independent watchdogs at Secretary Pompeo’s urging. Our investigation has identified individuals who were involved in Mr. Linick’s firing, who knew about his office’s ongoing work or both. It’s disappointing that the State Department refused to make these witnesses available for the voluntary transcribed interviews we originally requested, but we’re determined to get the transparency Americans deserve,” said Engel and Maloney.

The Committees announced the following depositions:

  • June 29, 2020 at 10:00 am: Ms. Lisa D. Kenna, Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of State

  • July 8, 2020 at 10:00 am: Mr. Mike Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Trade, Bureau of Political Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State

  • July 10, 2020 at 10:00 am: Ms. Toni A. Porter, Senior Adviser, U.S. Department of State

  • July 22, 2020 at 10:00 am: Mr. Marik String, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State

  • July 24, 2020 at 10:00 am: Mr. Charles Faulkner, Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of State

  • July 27, 2020 at 10:00 am: Mr. R. Clarke Cooper, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State

On June 3, Mr. Linick voluntarily appeared for a transcribed interview.

Engel and Maloney, along with Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, requested transcribed interviews with these witnessesand Under Secretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao, who has agreed to testify at a hearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs next week.