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Congressional Oversight 2020 - election edition



Cross-posting :pray:


Unredacted Mueller Report - that is the goal and Supreme Court is going to take the case.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it would decide whether Congress may see parts of the report prepared by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.

As a practical matter, the move means that the full report will almost certainly not be made available before the 2020 election, if at all. In May, the court blocked release of the report while the appeal moved forward.

The court will probably hear arguments in the case in the late fall, after the election, and issue its decision next year.

The case arose from a request by the House Judiciary Committee for grand jury materials that the Justice Department had blacked out from the report provided to Congress.


Justices keep hold on secret Russia investigation material

Arguments themselves might not even take place before Americans decide whether to give President Donald Trump a second term.

The delay is a victory for Trump, who also is mounting a Supreme Court fight against congressional efforts to obtain his banking and other financial records. Those cases are expected to be decided in the coming days or weeks.

The court’s action also could mean the justices never have to reach a definitive ruling in a sensitive dispute between the executive and legislative branches of government, if either Trump loses reelection or Republicans regain control of the House next year. It’s hard to imagine an administration of Democrat Joe Biden would object to turning over the Mueller documents or House Republicans would continue to press for them.

A bit of a mixed bag here.


If Trump’s looking for a ‘hoax,’ the mirror is a good place to start, Pelosi suggests

The president tweeted that reports of Russia paying bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill U.S. troops is fake news.

He’ll say this is a hoax, and it’s a hoax that they are 24/7 trying to disrupt our election as they did in 2016. He says the coronavirus is a hoax. The fact is the president himself is a hoax," Pelosi said ahead of the briefing that she and other top congressional leaders, known as the Gang of Eight, were slated to receive Thursday morning.

Pelosi added, “Let’s hope that the Gang of Eight shows up, open to hear the truth, the facts, the intelligence, and that ‘Moscow Mitch’ doesn’t show up, but the leader of the Republicans in the Senate comes with an open mind.”


She is holding Esper’s feet to the fire.

Showing bigtime toughness here as VP nominee some say is pretty high on the list.

Duckworth threatens to block military nominees unless impeachment witness Vindman gets promotion

(David Bythewood) #46


I couldn’t be more proud to be represented by her.


Rep Katie Porter going after Small Business Assoc Jovita Carranza who is refusing to share data on where the $650 billion dollar Paycheck Protection Plan is going. Rep Porter is on the Financial committee and she is a brilliant and tough fighter, and will pursue what she sees as potential fraud. She brings up the GAO report which asks the SBA to act with ‘integrity.’ - Looks like SBA needs some high beams on them, which Katie will do.


Paycheck Protection Program. As of June 12, 2020, the SBA had rapidly processed over $512 billion in 4.6 million guaranteed loans through private lenders to small businesses and other organizations adversely affected by COVID-19. As of May 31, 2020, SBA had expended about $2 billion in lender fees. SBA moved quickly to establish a new nationwide program, but the pace contributed to confusion and questions about the program and raised program integrity concerns. First, borrowers and lenders raised a number of questions about the program and eligibility criteria. To address these concerns, SBA and the Treasury issued a number of interim final rules and several versions of responses to frequently asked questions (see figure). However, questions and confusion remained. The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, enacted in June 2020, modified key program components. Second, to help quickly disburse funds, SBA allowed lenders to rely on borrower certifications to determine borrowers’ eligibility, raising the potential for fraud. GAO recommends that SBA develop and implement plans to identify and respond to risks in PPP to ensure program integrity, achieve program effectiveness, and address potential fraud. SBA neither agreed nor disagreed, but GAO believes implementation of its recommendation is essential.

For example, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, as of April 30, 2020, almost 1.1 million payments totaling nearly $1.4 billion had gone to decedents. GAO recommends that IRS should consider cost-effective options for notifying ineligible recipients how to return payments. IRS agreed.


# Briefly Mentioned :

On Thursday, we expect the court to release the final opinions from the 2019-2020 term starting at 10 a.m.

Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP - SCOTUSblog


Last day that the Supreme Court will be in session today and the eagerly awaited decision on T’s taxes will be announced this morning…shortly. Let’s hope it is a :boom:

Supreme Court to Decide if Trump Can Block Release of Tax Records

Around 10 a.m. Thursday, the justices are set to issue highly anticipated decisions on whether the president’s accountants and bankers must disclose information about his financial affairs.

WASHINGTON — Around 10 a.m. Thursday, the Supreme Court is set to decide whether President Trump can block the release of his financial records. The ruling, concerning tax returns and other information the president has fought hard to protect, is likely to yield a major statement on the power of presidents to resist demands for information from Congress and prosecutors.

Here is a look at the two cases, one concerning subpoenas from House committees, the other a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat.

What are the issues in the cases?

Broadly speaking, they concern whether Mr. Trump can block subpoenas to his accountants and bankers from House committees and New York prosecutors.

What happens if Mr. Trump loses?

The accounting firm and the banks have indicated that they will comply with the subpoenas. Had the subpoenas sought evidence from the president himself, there was at least a possibility that he would try to defy a ruling against him, prompting a constitutional crisis.

What information do the House committees seek?

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is investigating hush-money payments to a pornographic film actress and whether Mr. Trump inflated and deflated descriptions of his assets on financial statements to obtain loans and to reduce his taxes. The House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees have sought an array of financial records related to the president, his companies and his family.

What have Mr. Trump’s lawyers said?

They contend that the committees have no legitimate need for the information.

What is the House’s response?

Lawyers for the House say the information is needed to allow it to conduct oversight and to draft legislation.

What information does Mr. Vance seek?

He wants eight years of business and personal tax records in connection with an investigation of the role that Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization played in hush-money payments made in the run-up to the 2016 election. Mr. Trump and his company reimbursed Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, for payments made to the actress, Stormy Daniels, who said that she had an affair with Mr. Trump.

What have Mr. Trump’s lawyers said?

They contend that he is absolutely immune from criminal investigations while he is in office. They add that allowing state and local officials to subpoena sitting presidents could subject them to politically motivated harassment.

What is Mr. Vance’s response?

Mr. Vance said the Supreme Court’s decision in 1974 in United States v. Nixon, which required President Richard M. Nixon to disclose tapes of Oval Office conversations, essentially decided the central issue in the case. “This court has long recognized,” Mr. Vance wrote, “that a sitting president may be subject to a subpoena in a criminal proceeding.”

What is the Justice Department’s position?

The Justice Department, arguing in support of Mr. Trump, who is represented by private lawyers, said none of the subpoenas satisfied the demanding standards that it said apply when information is sought about a sitting president’s private conduct.


SCOTUS decides with Vance! (Grand jury can view Trump’s tax returns)


The president is not immune…The tax records can go back to the Grand Jury, and the subpoena is valid. :boom:

Decision was 7 -2, with Thomas, Alito dissenting (More Conservatives - Roberts, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh went with the liberal part of the SCOTUS bench)

Article II and the Supremacy Clause do not categorically preclude, or require a heightened standard for, the issuance of a state criminal subpoena to a sitting President.

“Given these safeguards and the Court’s precedents, we cannot conclude that absolute immunity is necessary or appropriate under Article II or the Supremacy Clause. Our dissenting colleagues agree,” the chief writes.




This one is being sent back to the lower court :thinking:


Big Message - You are not above the law…

Mazars 7-2
Send it back to lower court. And Congress and people will not see his taxes before the election

The Court has vacated the decisions below in Mazars, and it holds that congressional subpoenas may be enforceable but that the courts below did not take account of all the possible separation of powers concerns. The case will this go on. So this issue is back in the hands of the DC and Second Circuits for now.

Roberts lays out a new four-factor test in Mazars, and that will have to be applied initially on a remand to the DC Circuit. The DC Circuit will determine how rigorous a test it is in the first instance.


The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a New York prosecutor is entitled to see President Trump’s private and business financial records, ending an intense legal battle waged by the president to keep them secret.

The court said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. had the authority to subpoena the records from Trump’s private accounting firm. Trump had claimed an immunity from criminal investigations while in office.


July 9, 2020

“This is a tremendous victory for our nation’s system of justice and its founding principle that no one – not even a president – is above the law. Our investigation, which was delayed for almost a year by this lawsuit, will resume, guided as always by the grand jury’s solemn obligation to follow the law and the facts, wherever they may lead.”


This investigation :point_down:, the one with hush money payments to the pornstar, Stormy Daniels?

(David Bythewood) #58

Kavanaugh and Gorsuch siding against Trump is making the entire internet giddy with laughter right now. Especially Kavanaugh.


Read: Opening Statement of Geoffrey S. Berman Before the House Judiciary Committee

Document here :point_down:

Story here :point_down:


WH Spox who is smoothing over SCOTUS decision…