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Impeachment Inquiry into Trump 2019

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#702

:woman_shrugging:t2:

President Trump on Monday questioned whether the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason for his description of a phone call Mr. Trump had with the president of Ukraine during a recent congressional hearing.

A day earlier, Mr. Trump called for Mr. Schiff — the California Democrat who is the de facto head of an impeachment inquiry into the call — to be “questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason.”

Mr. Trump has accused Mr. Schiff, of lying to Congress when Mr. Schiff summarized a portion of what Mr. Trump said to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine during a July 25 phone call. Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats — a request Democrats say is an abuse of power for personal gain. They have started an impeachment inquiry.


(David Bythewood) #703

Column: Civil War, treason and #FakeWhistleblower: Trump is handling impeachment perfectly


(David Bythewood) #704

Oh holy hell, how far down does this spiral?

Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry’s Origins

The discussion was another instance of the president using American diplomacy for potential personal gain.

Pompeo Took Part in Trump-Zelensky Phone Call, Official Says

Oh look, more obstruction and witness intimidation

Trump demands to meet whistleblower, warns of ‘Big Consequences’



(David Bythewood) #705

FFS. Italy, not you too!



#706

Cross-posting


#707

You gotta love another BOOM :boom:

and WTF-ery.

Why? Because Barr/T can discredit our intelligence gathering, and give Russia an out to do more of its meddling.

Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.

Barr’s personal involvement is likely to stoke further criticism from Democrats pursuing impeachment that he is helping the Trump administration use executive branch powers to augment investigations aimed primarily at the president’s adversaries.

But the high-level Justice Department focus on intelligence operatives’ conduct will likely cheer Trump and other conservatives for whom “investigate the investigators” has become a rallying cry. Barr has voiced his own concerns, telling lawmakers in April that he believed “spying did occur” when it came to the U.S. investigation of the Trump campaign.


#708

We’ve known about this other whistleblower - Thanks @Keaton_James

But just another reminder of all the lengths with underhanded and obfuscating methods this Administration has gone to hide its obvious misdoings.

Wait, you thought I meant the whistleblower from the intelligence community ?

Nope. I’m talking about a completely different whistleblower, whose claims have gotten significantly less attention but could prove no less consequential. This whistleblower alleges a whole different category of impropriety: that someone has been secretly meddling with the Internal Revenue Service’s audit of the president.

In defiance of a half-century norm, Trump has kept his tax returns secret.

We don’t know exactly what he might be hiding. His bizarre behavior, though, suggests it’s really bad.

Maybe these documents would reveal something embarrassing but not criminal (e.g., the relatively puny size of his fortune). Maybe they’d reveal that some of his financial dealings are legally dubious or even fraudulent, which would be consistent with past Trump-family tax behavior.


#709

The House Judiciary Committee are bearing down on getting those Grand Jury notes which their lawyers petitioned again for today in hopes of nailing down whether T did lie about his knowledge of the Wikileaks dumps. With the Impeachment Inquiry rolling now, their lawyers requests may get some better traction with finding those notes and seeing if they do indeed reveal that T did know more about Wikileaks.

I bet they may be right…and looking for more smoking guns within all the obfuscation.

Lawyers for the House of Representatives revealed on Monday that they have reason to believe that the grand-jury redactions in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report show that President Donald Trump lied about his knowledge of his campaign’s contacts with WikiLeaks.

The attorneys made the stunning suggestion in a court filing as part of the House Judiciary Committee’s bid for Mueller’s grand-jury materials, which have remained secret by law.

Not only could those materials demonstrate the president’s motives for obstructing the special counsel’s investigation, they also could reveal that Trump was aware of his campaign’s contacts with WikiLeaks,” the lawyers wrote in the filing, which was in response to the Justice Department’s opposition to the disclosure of the grand-jury information.

To back up their claim, the House’s legal team — led by House General Counsel Douglas Letter — cited a passage in Mueller’s report about former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s testimony that he “recalled” Trump asking to be kept “updated” about WikiLeaks’ disclosures of Democratic National Committee emails. There is a grand-jury redaction in that passage, the lawyers note.

“The text redacted … and any underlying evidence to which it may point are critical to the committee’s investigation,” they wrote.

Those materials therefore have direct bearing on whether the president was untruthful, and further obstructed the special counsel’s investigation, when in providing written responses to the special counsel’s questions he denied being aware of any communications between his campaign and WikiLeaks,” they added.

In a text message to POLITICO, Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney, said the suggestion that Trump lied to Mueller’s investigators is “absurd.”

Monday’s filing also referenced the most recent scandal engulfing the Trump White House — the president’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden — which caused Speaker Nancy Pelosi to formalize an impeachment inquiry. Letter, the House general counsel, and his deputies argued that Mueller’s grand-jury evidence could also be useful for the House’s ongoing Ukraine probe.

Those events may also be relevant to the House’s investigation of the president’s solicitation of Ukrainian interference in the 2020 election,” the lawyers wrote, referencing Trump’s efforts to curtail the Mueller probe.


(David Bythewood) #710

BREAKING: Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey’s May 2019 letter to US Attorney General offering to assist with investigation:



#711

Cross-posting


#712

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused House Democrats of attempting to “intimidate, bully and treat improperly” five State Department officials whom key committees have asked to interview as part of an impeachment inquiry centering on the Ukraine scandal.

“I am concerned with aspects of your request … that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State, including several career Foreign Service Officers, whom the committee is now targeting,” Pompeo wrote in a letter to House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.

Pompeo claimed he had had been “made aware that Committee staff” had been “sending intimidating communications” to career State Department officials.

“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” Pompeo wrote.

Pompeo’s letter was in response to a request by Engel and other key chairmen to depose five State Department officials about the Ukraine scandal engulfing the Trump administration, which House Democrats have seized upon to launch a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Pompeo appeared to dare Engel to issue subpoenas for the appearance of the five officials, writing that “the committee has not issued any subpoenas for depositions and we are not aware of any other authority by which the committee could compel appearance at a deposition.”


(David Bythewood) #713

House Dems made it clear that saying “no” would be considered obstruction. Time to hold him to that.


#714

Kurt Volker and Marie Yovanovitch, Figures in Trump-Ukraine Whistleblower Complaint, to Appear Before Congress - Despite Pompeo’s attempts at obstruction

Volker will appear as scheduled Thursday, Oct. 3. Yovanovitch’s testimony has been delayed from this week until next Friday, Oct 11.

Two diplomatic figures named in the whistleblower complaint that is at the heart of an impeachment inquiry against President Trump over his interactions with the Ukrainian president are slated to appear before Congress, The Daily Beast has learned. According to a senior Democratic aide, the State Department’s former special envoy for Ukraine—Kurt Volker—will appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday. Former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was previously scheduled to appear before the committee on Wednesday but will now appear on Oct. 11.

The whistleblower reportedly alleged that Volker was one of the officials attempting to “contain the damage” of the scandal by advising Ukrainians on how to handle the requests of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani—who has publicly admitted to pushing for corruption investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. The whistleblower also reportedly claimed Yovanovitch was recalled back to Washington earlier than expected because of “pressure” from then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, who had spoken to Giuliani about the investigations and “collusion.”


#715

:flame: :thinking:

The State Department’s inspector general is expected to brief staffers from several House and Senate committees on Wednesday afternoon about documents obtained from the department’s Office of the Legal Adviser concerning documents related to the State Department and Ukraine, sources familiar with the planned briefing told ABC News.

Details of the briefing, expected to be conducted by Steve Linick, the inspector general at State, remain unknown. Linick is expected to meet with congressional staff in a secure location on Capitol Hill.

The unusual nature and timing of the briefing – during a congressional recess – suggest it may be connected to a recent intelligence community whistleblower allegation which describes, in part, the State Department’s role in coordinating interactions between Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, and Ukrainian officials.

The State Department has faced criticism in recent weeks for connecting Giuliani to multiple Ukrainian officials about re-opening an investigation into for Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

The State Dept inspector general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment nor did the committees expected to be part of the briefing.


(David Bythewood) #716

Mike Pompeo says 5 State Department employees called to give depositions to the House won’t show up, but they seem to be telling a different story:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/pompeo-says-state-dept-officials-wont-show-up-for-scheduled-impeachment-depositions-this-week/2019/10/01/b350f8a2-e459-11e9-a331-2df12d56a80b_story.html?fbclid=IwAR3oKMw1TExMD8sEZ6-CvqNw7auTQsmP0pkuCHBbISe0oAx0UJL_IdS49jM


#717

Here’s more on this urgent “mystery briefing” from a live stream by the WaPo - scroll to 5pm:

5 p.m. - State Department inspector general to meet with Hill committees Wednesday

Key committees on Capitol Hill were notified Tuesday that the State Department’s inspector general has requested to speak with them Wednesday “to discuss and provide staff with copies of documents related to the State Department and Ukraine,” according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post.

The offer by the office of Steve Linick, which operates mostly independently from the State Department and is responsible for investigating abuse and mismanagement, comes amid a standoff between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and House Democrats demanding documents and testimony on Ukraine-related matters for their impeachment inquiry.

Linick’s office “obtained the documents from the acting legal adviser of the Department of State,” the letter said. The inspector general doesn’t have to seek Pompeo’s approval to approach the Hill with information, especially if it is not classified.

It is unclear exactly what Linick will provide the committees, which include the panels in charge of foreign relations, intelligence, appropriations and oversight in the House and Senate. But the demand for any credible information related to Ukraine and the State Department is at a fever pitch as Democrats seek to build the case for Trump’s ouster out of his dealings with Ukraine’s leadership.

So the documents were forwarded to the State Department’s Inspector General, Steve Linick, from the State Department’s acting legal adviser. According to Wikipedia, this is Marik String. I can’t find out much about him, but it is interesting that he at one time worked for the same law firm as Robert Mueller: Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. Not sure if they both worked there at the same time.


(David Bythewood) #718

This is not how that works!

Kremlin Says Release of Trump-Putin Calls Needs Mutual Consent

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-30/release-of-trump-putin-calls-needs-mutual-consent-russia-says?fbclid=IwAR2orxedNqSQK1SQ-VzzXw62i3d7lf5gDmHUlvdMtxgy4CnIa6wMrKN8hCY


(David Bythewood) #719

#720

Breaking -

Subpoenas for Ukraine documents to the WH if not complied by Friday - sent by House Oversight Committees - Elijah Cummings.

This could relate to the State Dept meeting this morning, which may be urging the House Committees to preserve ALL State (and WH?) records) that may or may not be preserved. (in courts being debated - See @Keaton_James Day 985 )

House Democrats to subpoena White House for documents in its impeachment inquiry focused on Ukraine

House Democrats announced Wednesday that they would subpoena the White House for documents related to Trump’s July phone call with the leader of Ukraine — a call that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier acknowledged that he was on as well.

Pompeo confirmed during a news conference in Rome that he listened to the call on which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son.


#721

A Trump hotel mystery: Giant reservations followed by empty rooms

https://www.politico.com/amp/news/2019/10/02/trump-hotel-empty-rooms-016763

House investigators are looking into an allegation that groups — including at least one foreign government — tried to ingratiate themselves to President Donald Trump by booking rooms at his hotels but never staying in them.

It’s a previously unreported part of a broad examination by the House Oversight Committee, included in Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, into whether Trump broke the law by accepting money from U.S. or foreign governments at his properties.

“Now we’re looking at near raw bribery,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a House Oversight Committee member who chairs the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Trump’s hotel in Washington. “That was the risk from Day One: foreign governments and others trying to seek favor because we know Trump pays attention to this. … It’s an obvious attempt to curry favor with him.”

[…]

Rep. Ro Khanna, (D-Calif.), a member of the House Oversight Committee, said if Trump or his staff solicited the hotel reservations, they could have broken the law. But even if they didn’t, it’s still a problem.

“If true, at minimum, this suggests there is a culture of corruption that the administration has created,” Khanna said. “There’s a sense that to curry favor you have to engage in pay to play. That’s exactly what the American people hate about Washington.”

Connolly confirmed that committee staff is investigating but said he didn’t have the details of the allegations. The committee, the White House and the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment.