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Day 1051

1/ Trump repeatedly used unsecured cellphones to communicate with Rudy Giuliani and others involved in his campaign to pressure Ukraine. Phone records released this week revealed Trump's extensive unencrypted communications that were vulnerable to monitoring by foreign spies, and his refusal to follow security guidance given to him by his aides. "It happened all the time," said one former senior aide. Trump is not identified by name in the phone records, but House Intelligence Committee investigators believe he is the person with a blocked number listed as "-1" in the files. (Washington Post / The Independent)


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/2019/12/06/day-1051/
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Being reported on Rachel Maddow tonight, at end of show that there has been some activity with the 2nd Whistleblower within the IRS who is now saying that they will not come in an appear for transcribing for the complaint statement, sworn statement.

There was a hearing to dismiss the Whistleblower complaint by the IRS in November, but the Judge did not allow this. What the IRS is balking at, aside from T’s argument for his seeing that his tax returns do not relate to anything legislative, is that tax returns are never to be divulged and discussing a party’s tax returns would not be legal. The WB would be stymied from presenting a statement because in some way somebody’s tax information would get out, so the WB is standing down for now.

With this reluctance on the Whistleblower’s part, there is some still some recourse where WB could be subpoenaed either by Sen Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee or by Rep Neal on the House Ways and Means committee. It would be unlikely the Grassley would do that considering his party preferences.

Read on…still TBD

CNN)An IRS employee who is raising concerns about potential political interference in the presidential audit program is declining to voluntarily appear for a transcribed interview with the Senate Finance Committee, according to a source familiar with discussions.

After raising concerns over the summer, the whistleblower met in November with Republican and Democratic staffers on the committee but has declined an invitation to appear for a follow-up, according to the person familiar.

This same person said the whistleblower declined the transcribed interview after an official informed the whistleblower that it could be considered a violation of IRS code to provide the committee with any information related to an individual taxpayer. Under IRS code 6103, IRS employees can be fired, fined or even jailed for disclosing taxpayer information.

It is unclear what next step the committee will take. One option would be to issue a subpoena, but it is not clear that is the route the committee would take.

The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, invited the whistleblower to appear for a follow-up and transcribed interview.

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, requested President Donald Trump’s tax returns earlier this year, saying the committee needed to know if the presidential audit program had been conducted without political bias. Details about the program, which is not enshrined in law, are scarce.

The presidential audit program allows for the automatic audit of a new president’s and vice president’s tax returns when they come into office. The Internal Revenue Manual states that only specified personnel may see the returns of the president and vice president in the auditing process.

Unless the agency finds evidence of a tax crime such as evasion and prosecutes the case, the only way the public may learn anything of what’s in Trump’s and Vice President Mike Pence’s returns is if they choose to release them, which has been a tradition for the past 40 years.

Neal has argued that he wants the records to make sure the presidential tax audit program is working properly and to make legislative fixes if necessary.

Trump and his defenders, however, have argued there is no legislative purpose for the committee to have access to Trump’s returns and that Neal is only interested in getting information that could be damaging to the President.

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Yes, one would think he SHOULD issue a friendly subpoena as you suggested.

Just googled some articles about him…and looks like Neal is a super cautious Representative. He’s already done the request for a backlog of T’s taxes via the courts with a subpoena, but as we’ve seen that’s gotten kicked down the road in the courts.

(Potentially the date Dec 13 might be a day when the SC will push those T appeals back, and make the appellate decision of already approving their release stick)

According to Boston Globe, Rep Neal is facing a primary challenge this year in his Western MA area. He’s been their Rep for 30 years.

The average Western Mass. voter doesn’t wince when someone is called a transactional politician,” he said. “You don’t win in Western Mass. if you’re just railing against the system. This is not a hotbed of insurgency.

There are signs that might be changing.

In his district, which encompasses most of the western third of the state, Neal faces his second consecutive Democratic primary challenger next year amid increasing frustration by progressives. They are upset with what they call his lack of urgency on key issues and limited opportunities for constituents to question him.

“I understand that he has worked very many years to achieve the position that he is in,” said Erin Freed, a local activist. “What I don’t understand is why he believes that he should keep that position without talking to his constituents.”

The groups are considering endorsing Neal’s 2020 primary challenger, Alex Morse, the mayor of Holyoke, who said people in the district are frustrated.

“They feel like they don’t have a member of Congress that’s accessible and listening to their concerns,” said Morse, who is backed by the national progressive organization that helped Representatives Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York upset incumbent Democrats in 2018.

Neal, 70, the longest-serving House member from New England,has fought back
against the criticism.

And a more recent article about Rep Neal’s comments regarding the WB (Oct 2019) show that it is Grassley who feels more urgency about getting to the WB and hashing it out, rather than Neal’s tepid response.

Neal told reporters in Springfield, Mass., Oct. 1, according to audio posted by WAMC radio.

Neal cited the whistleblower’s complaint in a court filing in August, as part of an ongoing lawsuit to enforce a subpoena to review Trump’s tax returns. The filing didn’t provide specifics about the whistleblower’s concerns.

Spokespeople for Neal didn’t respond immediately to requests for more information. On Sept. 27 Neal told reporters that he would consult with House lawyers, who represent him in the lawsuit for Trump’s tax returns, about making that whistleblower’s complaint public in a way similar to the publishing of an intelligence community whistleblower complaint.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a longtime whistleblower advocate, criticized Neal’s handling of the complaint.

Talking about the existence of a complaint before taking the time to speak with the whistleblower or follow up on the whistleblower’s complaint is irresponsible,” Grassley said in a statement. “Perhaps the most important practice when it comes to taking whistleblower complaints is making sure the whistleblower has agreed to have his or her complaint made public.”

Added Grassley: “Anyone who receives a whistleblower complaint should also make some effort to evaluate the facts as alleged before going public with such a complaint. This minimizes the risks to whistleblowers and maintains the sanctity of the whistleblower process.

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This was expected from RBG

The stay is ordered until 5 p.m. on Dec. 13, and the court ordered that a response must be filed on or before Dec. 11 by 11 a.m.

The emergency filing came after a federal appeals court in New York ruled on Tuesday that Deutsche Bank and Capital One should comply with subpoenas from the House Financial Services and House Intelligence committees seeking information about Trump’s finances.

The House subpoenas seek documents including tax returns, evidence of suspicious activity and, in the case of Deutsche Bank, any internal communications regarding Trump and his ties to foreign individuals.

@MissJava - Can I ask you to kindly ask uou to put under Impeachment plz.

These are tied to uncovering T’s financial links with any foreign entities he seems to be beholden to or perhaps the 'smoking gun."

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You are right…sorry I didn’t link any source…but I listen to MuellerSheWrote broadcasts (sometimes a bit too chatty, BUT smart), something called “Daily Beans” and they brought on their legal expert Blake Anderson again (Blake Anderson twitter) who knows the ins-and-outs of how all these things work within the higher courts.

It is hard to succinctly summarize what is going on here…because it is a maze of routes they can go. RBG was supposed to have followed this procedure because it would have been more customary within her powers (however, he did not rule out the possibility that she could do a wild card response and not allow for the stay.) She did not go that wild card response.

Go to approx 23 (23:10) mins in, and he discusses the courts, Certs, Stays, RBG etc
. (Note: I linked his info back a couple of days ago Previous MuellerSheWrote Courts recap)

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This is interesting. If we see Articles of Impeachment before Christmas, this may not be resolved until after the Senate Trial. Could be damning during an election year, even if he’s acquitted in the Senate. While no one has ever attempted it, the constitution does not prohibit multiple impeachments by the House against the President. :woman_shrugging:t2:

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I find what Blake Anderson writes to be pretty clear and here’s today’s take on the upcoming legal front for T, Scotus, the Dems, Impeachment.

Legal Updater for us from Blake Anderson, twitter - comments on MuellerSheWrote. Has a great ability to explain all the legal routes on the horizon.

@blakesmustache
Thread: Event Horizon

Trump’s fate is and always has been in the hands of the US Supreme Court. He knows it. His legal team knows it. And the House Dems and their legal team know it too. The only ones who don’t know it are the general public. But you’re going to know it soon.

  1. @blakesmustache
    The Ukraine scandal is fascinating. It’s clear impeachable conduct by Trump and should result in his removal from office. However, it won’t. That’s because the thing at the heart of the Ukraine scandal—an attempt to steal an election—is a thing that’s just A-OK with the GOP.

  2. Let’s face it. Stealing elections isn’t just something that’s OK with the GOP; it’s the only way they have to stay in power and they’ve been doing it for DECADES. Voter suppression, gerrymandering, illegal campaign contributions, outright lies/slander of opponents. You name it.

  3. Russian election interference and, now, trying to coerce Ukraine to interfere, are just natural extensions of what the GOP has been doing all along; it’s cheating, and the GOP are cheaters. They’re not going to convict Trump for that. They’re going to pat him on the back for it.

  4. But what about the fact that Trump is a mobbed up criminal, beholden to foreign powers? Is that A-OK too? No, it’s clearly not. It’s a big problem for the GOP and will put them in a box. That’s why this has always been about the financial crimes. Everything else is a sideshow.

  1. SCOTUS now has before it three cases that will seal Trump’s doom. The Manhattan DA is pursuing Trump’s financial records at SCOTUS for purposes of a huge criminal investigation. They’re going to get it and they’ll immediately indict Trump and his entire criminal enterprise.

  2. SCOTUS also has before it two cases involving House Dems pursuit of Trump’s tax/banking records. Those records will reveal Trump to be a tax/bank/mortgage/insurance fraud , a money launderer, and also that he’s intedebted to foreign nationals to the tune of hundreds of millions.

8/Trump is a crime boss and, worse yet, his crimes are with other foreign leaders who have him by the balls. He’s compromised. Everything he does is for the benefit of his foreign puppet masters in order to hide his crimes. And it’s all coming out.

  1. (error - repete)

  2. On Friday, SCOTUS most likely also will consider whether to grant Trump an appeal in the House Mazars case, and same thing there. It will either be resolved against Trump or put on an announced fast-track schedule that will resolve the case by March.

11, Friday also is D-Day in the House Deutsche Bank case. SCOTUS will either deny Trump’s stay request and hand his bank records to the House, or it will put the case on a fast-track that resolves the case by March.

  1. I’d say it’s roughly 50-50 whether Trump survives this coming Friday. And, even if he does, it’s merely a stay of execution. Ultimately, Trump will lose all three cases. His arguments are frivolous and meritless. SCOTUS will nail his ass. It’s a certainty. Trump is doomed.

  2. Everything else has been an attempt by the House Dems to buy time until they can get the smoking gun. I’m 100% sure they already know exactly what they’re gonna get. Pelosi has been pretty clear about that. They know. They just know.

  3. They’ve either gotten leaks or already have the actual documents themselves. Before Trump could block the DB subpoena, they already sent the House a bunch of documents. [email protected]
    has a lot of the documents as well and I’m guessing she and Pelosi have had some chats.

  4. It’s all over but the crying. House Dems have known what they’ve been after since January. They haven’t wanted to tell you, but they’ve known all along how this movie ends. Trump is a goner. You don’t have to believe me any more. You can just watch.

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Will be very disappointed if Neal does not issue a subpoena. I’m speculating here and reading between the lines, but it looks like the whistleblower is seeking legal cover against liability if he or she testifies. So this would be a “friendly subpoena” much like the ones issued by the House Intel Committee to the courageous witnesses who risked their careers and much more to come in and testify. Neal has been working for many months to secure Trump’s tax returns – failing to issue a friendly subpoena to the whistleblower at this point would be a gross dereliction of his duty.

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The article doesn’t really state, but why did you expect this?