WTF Community

The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

conflicts-of-interest
russia
house-committees
trump
tax-returns

#2459

Cross-posting :pray:


(David Bythewood) #2460

Christopher Steele Whacks Mueller Report and ‘Bad Faith’ Team Trump

The former head of MI6’s Russia desk was speaking publicly for the first time since his dossier on Trump’s relationship with Russia was published in 2017.


(David Bythewood) #2461

For nearly 3 years Trump and his propaganda machine have pushed #Spygate, the lie that Trump was spied upon by the U.S. government.

It turns out he was once again projecting his own crimes, as Erik Prince recruited ex-spies to help infiltrate liberal groups.




🗳 2020 Primary Election
#2462

This is where the rubber meets the road…will T lose his cases.

On March 31, the court will hear oral arguments in the cases of Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Deutsche Bank . The decision will be rendered sometime between then and the court’s summer break.

Although Trump is suing his accountants and his bankers as a private citizen, his case has been joined by the Department of Justice. Solicitor General Noel Francisco has signed an amicus brief on behalf of the United States. It is an astonishing document. It invites the Supreme Court to junk two centuries of precedent—and to substitute an entirely new system of judicial review of congressional subpoenas that involve a president.

A legislative subpoena must therefore satisfy heightened requirements when it seeks information from the President. At the threshold, the full chamber should unequivocally authorize a subpoena against the President. Moreover, the legislative purpose should be set forth with specificity. Courts should not presume that the purpose is legitimate, but instead should scrutinize it with care. And as with information protected by executive privilege, information sought from the President should be demonstrably critical to the legislative purpose. A congressional committee cannot evade these heightened requirements merely by directing the subpoena to third-party custodians, for such agents generally assume the rights and privileges of their principal, as this Court has recognized in analogous cases.

All the requirements in that above paragraph were devised for purposes of this litigation. None of them has ever been enforced—none of them has ever been imagined —in the previous 230 years of skirmishing between Congresses and presidents. Every must and should and cannot was invented in this very brief, for the immediate legal purposes of this president in this dilemma. The solicitor general might as well have said that subpoenas must be delivered by a sled pulled by flying reindeer, for all the connection between these demands and the previous constitutional history of the United States.


(David Bythewood) #2463

The GOP in the Senate had to know things like this would happen and the truth would slip out drip by drip when they acquitted Trump. They just don’t care.

Another judge orders review of Russia-probe related document

Court wants to see memo on March 2017 conversation in which Trump complained to NSA about Russia probe


#2464

We’re seeing so many developments in MARCH regarding the various cases up against T which the Supreme Court will be reviwing. His financial records are carefully being sought out in 2 separate cases - The Mazars case - where T’s taxes could be released as well as his Deutsche bank records, as well as the Vance case = coming from the Manhattan DA asking for more financial records relating to campaign finance (Stormy) and more.

Found this through the legal wiz Uncle Blazer (Blake Anderson) @blakesmustache and something he’s been tracking very closely…and read this blog about what to expect from Scotus.

Brianne Gorod and Ashwin Phatak

Posted Tue, March 10th, 2020 10:01 am

Symposium: Mazars and Vance may be political blockbusters, but they aren’t legal ones

Brianne Gorod is chief counsel and Ashwin Phatak is appellate counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, which filed an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Trump v. Mazars , as well as an amicus brief on behalf of former Department of Justice officials in support of the respondents in Trump v. Vance.

In three weeks, the Supreme Court will hear two oral arguments in cases involving subpoenas for the president’s financial records. These cases may be political blockbusters, but they shouldn’t be legal ones. Although these cases are different in important ways, at bottom, both are about the simple question of whether investigating bodies—congressional committees in one and state grand juries in another—can access the information they need to make critical decisions about, respectively, the wisdom of proposed legislation and whether and against whom to issue indictments. The answers to the questions presented in both cases are clear: The investigating bodies have a right to the information they seek.

The consolidated cases Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Deutsche Bank concern a set of congressional subpoenas for various financial records concerning President Donald Trump, his family and his businesses. There’s nothing novel about Congress’ engaging in an investigation or issuing subpoenas. Indeed, legislative oversight predates the nation’s birth, and Congress has been exercising its oversight authority since the earliest days of the Republic.

Consistent with that history, the Supreme Court has long held that the scope of Congress’ investigatory power is coextensive with the scope of its power to legislate. As the court has explained, Congress’ power to investigate encompasses “inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws, as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes,” and it includes “surveys of defects in our social, economic or political system for the purpose of enabling the Congress to remedy them.”

Congress’ power to investigate is broad because it needs a wide array of information before it chooses whether and how to exercise one of its most significant powers: the power to legislate. As the court has observed, “[a] legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change.” And, explaining how investigative bodies do their work, the court has noted that “[t]he very nature of the investigative function—like any research—is that it takes the searchers up some ‘blind alleys’ and into nonproductive enterprises. To be a valid legislative inquiry there need be no predictable end result.” In short, Congress is empowered to search far and wide for all relevant information as it considers whether to legislate in a particular area.

Here, the House committees that issued the relevant subpoenas have plainly shown a valid legislative purpose. First, after hearing substantial evidence that Trump may not have complied with certain financial disclosure requirements, and that he may have conflicts of interest that could affect his ability to make impartial decisions as president, the Oversight Committee subpoenaed Mazars, Trump’s accounting firm, for financial records and other documents relating to Trump and his businesses. This information would help Congress decide whether to pass legislation related to a president’s conflicts of interest or financial disclosures, including whether the president is complying with disclosure requirements in the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, and whether that law or other laws should be strengthened. Similarly, the Financial Services Committee subpoenaed financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One, two of Trump’s creditors, following reports of questionable financing provided to Trump and his businesses as part of the committee’s investigation into whether and how to strengthen federal banking laws, particularly with respect to lending practices and the prevention of money laundering and loan fraud. Finally, the Intelligence Committee subpoenaed financial records from Deutsche Bank to further the committee’s investigation of Trump’s entanglements with foreign entities following reports of decades of intersection between Trump’s business interests and Russia-linked entities, and whether and how to legislate to prevent future foreign interference.

Trump has argued to the court that the real purpose of these investigations is to conduct what he sees as law enforcement—that is, determining whether Trump or others have broken the law. But the Supreme Court’s precedents foreclose that argument. As the court has said, “surely a congressional committee which is engaged in a legitimate legislative investigation need not grind to a halt … when crime or wrongdoing is disclosed.” Holding otherwise would mean that Congress couldn’t even investigate illegal conduct before it passes criminal laws—a notion that defies all common sense. In short, a congressional committee is entitled to all relevant information before choosing to legislate, even if the information it uncovers may also reveal illegal conduct.

In the same breath that Trump is arguing that these congressional subpoenas are invalid because they might reveal illegal conduct, he is arguing in a different case that a state grand jury cannot obtain his financial records as part of a legitimate criminal investigation. In Trump v. Vance , the president maintains that he enjoys an absolute immunity from all criminal process—an immunity so sweeping that it not only prevents him from being indicted or criminally prosecuted while in office, but also prevents a third party like Mazars from complying with a pre-indictment grand-jury subpoena simply because the matters under investigation pertain to the president.

The Supreme Court’s precedents do not support so broad a theory of presidential immunity. Rather, the court has explained that any claim of presidential immunity must be subject to a balancing test that weighs the importance of the judicial process at issue against any effect on the president’s ability to fulfill his constitutional functions. Thus, for instance, in United States v. Nixon , the Court understood “the importance of … confidentiality of Presidential communications in performance of the President’s responsibilities” when it considered the disclosure of the Watergate tapes. But in the end, the court believed that the judicial “need to develop all relevant facts in the adversary system” outweighed that consideration, and it ordered President Richard Nixon to deliver the tapes to a federal district court. Similarly, in Clinton v. Jones , the court understood that there would be some distraction if a president could be civilly sued for unofficial conduct while in office, but decided that the importance of courts’ “exercis[ing] their core Article III jurisdiction to decide cases and controversies” outweighed that interest, and permitted a civil trial to go forward against President Bill Clinton.

In Vance , Trump has failed to show that Mazars’ compliance with the state grand-jury subpoena would impair his ability to fulfill his constitutional duties. After all, it is Mazars that must comply, not the president, and the president is not required to do anything. Moreover, Mazars’ compliance with the subpoena will not require the same energy and attention—if it requires any attention of the president at all—as would defending oneself in a civil trial. Further, the stigma associated with complying with a grand-jury subpoena is far less than the stigma of criminal indictment, and less even than being named as an unindicted coconspirator—something that happened to Nixon in the Watergate tapes case.

On the other side of the equation, there are strong reasons to ensure that grand juries can fulfill their investigative function by gathering all the evidence they need before determining weighty issues like whether and whom to indict. As the Supreme Court has explained, because the grand jury’s “task is to inquire into the existence of possible criminal conduct and to return only well founded indictments, its investigative powers are necessarily broad.” Said another way, the grand jury “is a grand inquest, a body with powers of investigation and inquisition, the scope of whose inquiries is not to be limited narrowly by questions of propriety or forecasts of the probable result of the investigation, or by doubts whether any particular individual will be found properly subject to an accusation of crime.” Constraining the ability of the grand jury to subpoena all relevant documents would thus hamper its important constitutional role.

The president argues that the Department of Justice’s past memoranda and briefs support his position, but DOJ has at most taken the position that the president is immune from indictment and prosecution, not pre-indictment grand-jury subpoenas, especially when those subpoenas target a third-party accounting firm. In fact, DOJ has acknowledged the importance of allowing a grand jury to continue to fulfill its investigative function while a president is in office. As the Office of Legal Counsel noted in a 2000 memorandum, although a president may be immune from indictment, “[a] grand jury could continue to gather evidence throughout the period of immunity,” and so postponing indictment would not lead to “a prejudicial loss of evidence in the criminal context.” Thus, even DOJ has acknowledged the important goals served by ensuring that a grand jury can continue to exercise broad investigative powers.

In short, the court’s precedents make clear that the powers of Congress and grand juries to investigate are broad, and the court should uphold the subpoenas in these cases. And that would be a good thing—the court’s answer in each of these cases not only will determine whether these congressional committees and this grand jury can access these financial documents, but also could affect the ability of all future congressional committees and grand juries to properly carry out their important investigative functions.

Posted in Trump v. Vance , Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP , Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG , Symposium before oral argument in Trump v. Vance and Trump v. Mazars, Featured

Recommended Citation: Ashwin Phatak and Brianne Gorod, Symposium: Mazars and Vance may be political blockbusters, but they aren’t legal ones , SCOTUSblog (Mar. 10, 2020, 10:01 AM), Symposium: Mazars and Vance may be political blockbusters, but they aren’t legal ones - SCOTUSblog


closed #2465

This topic was automatically closed 10 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.


#2466

Read: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence United States Senate on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.s. Election Volume 4: Review of the Intelligence Community Assessment With Additional Views



(David Bythewood) #2467

Reactions to this:





Mentionable News
#2468

@Windthin thanks I didn’t want to reopen this thread but this new senate report is very important. :+1:


#2469

Cross-posting :raised_hands:


#2470

What a drop‼️

Russia Investigation Transcripts and Documents

https://intelligence.house.gov/russiainvestigation/

Materials from the Committee’s Investigation into Russian Active Measures

In 2017 and 2018, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) undertook an investigation into Russia’s interference campaign targeting the 2016 U.S. election. The Committee’s investigation came on the heels of an Intelligence Community assessment, which found:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

Democrats on the Committee affirmed that judgement, as did Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee. Throughout its investigation, the Committee uncovered significant evidence of Trump campaign efforts to seek, make use of, and cover up Russian help in the 2016 presidential election. To date, two witnesses have been convicted and sentenced to prison terms for lying and attempting to obstruct the Committee’s investigation.

Ultimately, this pattern of misconduct and deceit continued when President Trump once again sought to coerce a foreign government into providing him illicit assistance with his reelection campaign, this time from Ukraine. For his efforts, President Trump was impeached in the House and became the first ever U.S. President to to receive bipartisan votes to convict in the Senate.

As part of its commitment to transparency, today the Committee is releasing fifty-seven transcripts of witness interviews during the course of the Russia inquiry, as well as additional relevant material, so that every American can see the facts and decide for themselves:

Is this conduct ok?

After releasing the transcripts, Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated:

“From 2017 to 2018, the House Intelligence Committee conducted an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Despite the many barriers put in our way by the then-Republican Majority, and attempts by some key witnesses to lie to us and obstruct our investigation, the transcripts that we are releasing today show precisely what Special Counsel Robert Mueller also revealed: That the Trump campaign, and Donald Trump himself, invited illicit Russian help, made full use of that help, and then lied and obstructed the investigations in order to cover up this misconduct.

Unfortunately, the President’s misconduct did not end with his election in 2016 or his attempts to cover up that effort. Rather, in the course of his presidency, he continued to seek illicit foreign help in his campaign by coercing another nation, Ukraine, to smear his opponent. After making use of Russia’s help with his first presidential campaign, President Trump pressed the Ukrainian president to help him in 2020 by withholding critical military aid to that country and a coveted head of state meeting.

These acts ultimately led to the President’s impeachment in the House of Representatives and the first bipartisan vote in the Senate in our history in support of a conviction of a President of the United States. The President’s efforts to make use of the help of a foreign power to win an election, and then to extort yet another foreign power to try to win again, represent a grave threat to the health of our democracy now and in the future.

The transcripts released today richly detail evidence of the Trump campaign’s efforts to invite, make use of, and cover up Russia’s help in the 2016 presidential election. Special Counsel Robert Mueller identified in his report similar, and even more extensive, evidence of improper links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government. A bipartisan Senate investigation also found that Russia sought to help the candidacy of Donald Trump in 2016.

While Special Counsel Mueller found insufficient evidence to prove the crime of criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt, he refused to draw any conclusion on the issue of collusion — contrary to false representations made by Attorney General Bill Barr and others. There is ample evidence of the corrupt interactions between the Trump campaign and Russia, both direct and circumstantial, in the record:

  • In June of 2016, a Russian delegation offered dirt on Donald Trump’s rival—presidential candidate Hillary Clinton—to the highest levels of the Trump campaign, and did so in writing. Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., accepted that offer, and then set up a secret meeting between the Russian delegation, himself, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to discuss that illicit help. When news of the meeting was about to break, Trump and his son drafted a false statement for the press together in order to cover up the true purpose of the meeting. This written offer of illegal help by the Russians and its acceptance by the President’s campaign, and the secret meeting that followed, provide some of the most damning and direct evidence of the President’s to make use of Russia’s assistance in the election.

  • Throughout the summer of 2016, the Trump campaign and candidate Trump himself repeatedly sought damaging information on Clinton from Russia. In July of 2016, Trump publicly called on Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, and – as the Special Counsel found – that night, Russian military intelligence officers did precisely that. Our transcripts show that numerous individuals affiliated with or working for the Trump campaign were in communication with individuals offering help to set up private backchannels with the Russian government.

  • Multiple witnesses sought to hide and cover up illicit activity related to Russia during the presidential campaign. One-time campaign advisor and close confidant to Trump, Roger Stone, has been sentenced to prison for lying to the Committee about his advanced knowledge of impending WikiLeaks releases of Clinton campaign information. Former personal attorney to Trump, Michael Cohen, was imprisoned in part on charges that he lied to the Committee about Trump’s role in arranging a lucrative business deal in Russia during the course of his campaign and early presidency. The President’s pursuit of Trump Tower Moscow — potentially the most lucrative deal of his life — while lying to the American people about his business interests in Russia, provided the most serious counterintelligence risk to the United States.

  • Another associate of Trump, Erik Prince, misled our Committee about his efforts to take part in a secret backchannel with a senior Russian government official while he was unofficially supporting the Trump campaign.

  • And the transcripts also show that during the transition period in late 2016, the incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn undertook efforts to undermine U.S. sanctions on Russia imposed by the previous administration over Russia’s interference in the election on Trump’s behalf. Flynn would later lie to the FBI about these efforts, and the President would try to pressure then-FBI Director Comey to shut down any investigation into Flynn. It would take the firing of then Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the later appointment of an unscrupulous Attorney General, Bill Barr, for the President to achieve his aim of seeking dismissal of the case against Flynn, and only after Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI.

Despite taking part in this investigation and hearing these facts first-hand, the transcripts reveal how House Republicans used witness interviews not to gain the facts, but to press President Trump’s false narrative of ‘no collusion, no obstruction.’ It would be a pattern they would follow throughout the Russia investigation and into the President’s subsequent Ukraine misconduct. To that end, House Republicans sought to use the Committee’s Russia investigation to undermine the Intelligence Community’s assessment that Russia sought to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. That assessment has been affirmed by this Committee’s Democrats, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, and Special Counsel Mueller.

These transcripts should have been released long before now, but the White House held up their release to the public by refusing to allow the Intelligence Community to make redactions on the basis of classified information, rather than White House political interests. Only now, and during a deadly pandemic, has the President released his hold on this damning information and evidence.

Like the Ukraine investigation that would follow it, the investigation into the Trump campaign’s effort to seek and utilize Russian help in 2016 and to obstruct justice, reveal a President who believes that he is above the law. But we are a country where the truth still matters and where right still matters. Our investigation into the Trump campaign, and the evidence we uncovered despite formidable obstruction, affirms that.”

Read the full statement here.

Correspondence

Interview Transcripts

Report


More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
#2471

Some Reactions


More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
#2472

Cross-posting :pray:


#2473

Friday Document Dump

Justice Department releases more FBI memos from Mueller investigation

More FIOA requests filed by CNN and Buzzfeed

The Justice Department released Friday another 218 pages of notes from major witness interviews conducted during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, adding to the record what’s known about the interviews with Trump campaign and administration officials.

The documents, obtained by CNN and BuzzFeed News in a lawsuit, include long-sought-after FBI memos, called 302s, from interviews with several witnesses, including former White House counsel Don McGahn.


More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
#2474

Follow up from NYT


More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
#2475

And from buzzfeed


#2476

Rosenstein defends Mueller’s appointment and faces off with Senate Republicans

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended his appointment of former special counsel Robert Mueller Wednesday at Senate Republicans’ first hearing taking aim at the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation.

Rosenstein is expected to face pointed questions from Republicans about problems with the foreign surveillance warrant obtained on a former Trump adviser, his decision to appoint Mueller to investigate President Donald Trump and a recently declassified 2017 memo he wrote setting the scope of Mueller’s probe.


More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
#2477

Exclusive: John Bolton says Trump’s White House was ‘like living inside a pinball machine’

If he had been a senator during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial earlier this year, John Bolton says he probably would have voted for a conviction.

Why didn’t he testify when asked? He could’ve been the new John Dean by serving his country but no ,this piece of shit wanted to sell books instead.


#2478

Cross-posting :pray: