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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

Democrats are strengthening their court cases against Trump with this new measure. It is initially designed to bolster their subpoena power in one specific case (their attempt to obtain records from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, so they can determine if Trump lied in financial disclosures as Michael Cohen has alleged), but it will also strengthen House subpoenas in all other Trump-related investigations. :muscle:

House Democrats are preparing to pass a measure intended to strengthen their court case to access President Donald Trump’s personal financial information, a direct response to questions raised by a Trump-appointed judge during an Appeals Court hearing earlier this month.

The proposal, filed Tuesday afternoon by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), would formally declare that any committee subpoenas related to President Donald Trump, his family, current and former White House officials and the Trump Organization are presumed to have the blessing of the full House of Representatives. The Rules Committee is expected to advance the measure Tuesday night, and the House is expected to pass it on Wednesday.

“We want to make it doubly clear,” Raskin said in an interview. “Essentially, you know, it’s just making it perfectly clear that the committees are acting with the full authorities of Congress.

The measure, recommended by House counsel Doug Letter, responds to a line of questioning by Neomi Rao, a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, who is one of three judges weighing a Democratic subpoena to access records from Trump’s personal accounting firm. During oral arguments earlier this month, Rao repeatedly wondered why the full House hadn’t voted to authorize the probe of Trump’s finances, which is being led by the House Oversight Committee.

Letter responded that the House rules explicitly authorize the committees to lead this work and that judges have no role second-guessing how the House delegates its power. But it appears he’s urging a House vote anyway to preempt Rao’s concerns.

"Whereas the validity of some of these investigations has been incorrectly challenged in Federal court on the ground that the investigations and subpoenas were not authorized by the full House … Resolved, That the House of Representatives ratifies and affirms all current and future investigations, as well as all subpoenas previously issued or to be issued in the future," the resolution reads.

Raskin’s measure will be tucked into a rule expected to be taken up by the House late Tuesday that governs pending pension legislation. It doesn’t change any House rules but attempts to clarify the House’s position amid the pushback from Rao and Trump’s personal lawyers.

A three-judge panel in the D.C. Appeals Court is weighing a Trump lawsuit to block the Oversight Committee’s subpoena to Mazars, Trump’s longtime accounting firm, for years’ worth of his financial data. It’s part of a probe into whether Trump has misrepresented his assets and liabilities, based on testimony from his former fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen.


Aaron Zebley, Mueller’s former chief of staff so far will be participating only in the 2nd half of the day during the House Intelligence Committee’s testimony with Mueller. Zebley will also be sworn in…this has been an ongoing question all day and now resolved. Perhaps the Judicial Committee will be able to do the same, but so far it is just the House Intelligence Committee.

Per Rachel Maddow as well.


@matt I updated and expanded this thread. Please look it over and tell me what you think. Thanks :pray:


FBI Director Wray Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary regarding the committee’s oversight of the agency.

:star: Highlighted Clip:
Russia Still Intent on Interfering in Our Elections, FBI Director Warns

FBI Director Christopher Wray tells lawmakers at an oversight hearing on Capitol Hill that Russia is still intent on interfering in U.S. elections. Asked if he thought actions taken by the U.S. since 2016, including sanctions, have deterred the Russians from further interference, Director Wray says: “Until they stop, they haven’t been deterred enough.”


:eyes: Letter to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi from Deputy Attorney General Jeffery Rosen, dated July 24th, 2019. In the letter DOJ is declining to prosecute the charge of Contempt of Congress against Attorney General Bill Barr and the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, citing executive privilege.

Read the story :point_down:


Cross-posting :pray:

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House Democrats pushing for impeachment now face one of their most unusual enemies: August recess.

Beyond the usual month-long break at the end of summer, House leaders long ago set up a historically lengthy recess of almost 46 full days. Sometime Thursday, as the last votes are cast, lawmakers will bolt from the House and not return until Sept. 9, leaving behind a vacuum that makes it difficult to keep up the drumbeat for beginning impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Filling that void became more important after Wednesday’s testimony from Robert S. Mueller III landed without much drama. Democrats had spent weeks leading up to the much-hyped hearings promising that the former special counsel would provide electricity to his more than 400-page report on his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump tried to derail the inquiry.

“We want Bob Mueller to bring it to life,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation”.

Instead, the former FBI director played the part of a boring, at times halting, witness who did not want to be there.

Ouch, that’s biting!


The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted on Thursday to authorize subpoenas for senior White House officials’ communications via private email accounts and messaging applications, a significant escalation in a years-long, bipartisan effort to learn more about potential violations of federal record-keeping laws.

Thursday’s vote by the Democrat-led panel came after the White House refused to turn over the messages voluntarily earlier this month — including senior adviser Jared Kushner’s WhatsApp communications with foreign officials, senior adviser Ivanka Trump’s use of a private email account to conduct official business, and former chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s use of a personal mobile device for White House business.


Many Democrats long have considered Robert S. Mueller III a potential savior, as the agent of President Trump’s eventual undoing. Wednesday’s hearings on Capitol Hill probably shattered those illusions once and for all. If Democrats hope to end the Trump presidency, they will have to do so by defeating him at the ballot box in November 2020.

In reality, that has been the case for months. Still, scheduled testimony by the former special counsel before two House committees offered the possibility that he would say something that would suddenly change public perceptions and dramatically jump-start long-stalled prospects for an impeachment inquiry. That was certainly the Democrats’ goal. If anything, things could move in the opposite direction.

Regardless of the evidence of obstruction contained in Mueller’s report, impeachment is a fraught strategy for the Democrats, given public opinion and the dynamics in the Senate. After Wednesday, the prospects for impeachment appear more remote, which means it will be left to the eventual Democratic presidential nominee, with the help of the party, to develop a comprehensive case against the president, one that can win 270 electoral votes. To date, that hasn’t happened.


Even after Mueller, the votes in the House have not changed in favor of impeachment.


The Senate intelligence committee has released its report detailing Russia’s targeting of election systems in 2016 along with recommendations for protecting American elections from foreign interference.

The committee’s final report on election securityappeared Thursday as the 2020 presidential race gets underway in what promises to be a bitter and divisive election battle.

It also followed former Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller’s stark warning to lawmakers on Wednesday that Russia’s sprawling influence operation of 2016 was not a one-and-done.

“No, it wasn’t a single attempt,” Mueller said during some six hours of testimony about his Russia investigation, before two House committees. “They’re doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign.”


Election security divides Congress after Mueller’s testimony

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, halted a bipartisan effort to beef up state election systems ahead of the 2018 election and on Thursday blocked Democrats from pushing forward a House-passed bill to authorize funding for the states.

McConnell said President Donald Trump’s administration has already made great strides to enhance election security, and he called the House bill “not a serious effort” coming from the same side that he said spent the past two years “hyping” Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Obviously, it’s very important that we maintain the integrity and security of our elections,” McConnell said Thursday.

The Senate already unanimously approved one bipartisan measure, which makes interference in elections a violation of immigration law. But Democrats — and some Republicans — say Congress must do more.

A report issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee says the Russian government directed “extensive activity” against U.S. election systems ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The report, released Thursday, says states weren’t appropriately warned of the threat against their systems and warns many of them still have outdated voting machines.


:eyes: Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. :point_down:


Just the headline alone is completely alarming…

WASHINGTON — The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded Thursday that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016, an effort more far-reaching than previously acknowledged and one largely undetected by the states and federal officials at the time.

But while the bipartisan report’s warning that the United States remains vulnerable in the next election is clear, its findings were so heavily redacted at the insistence of American intelligence agencies that even some key recommendations for 2020 were blacked out.

The report — the first volume of several to be released from the committee’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference — came 24 hours after the former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III warned that Russia was moving again to interfere “as we sit here.”

While details of many of the hackings directed by Russian intelligence, particularly in Illinois and Arizona, are well known, the committee described “an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure” intended largely to search for vulnerabilities in the security of the election systems.

While the Senate Intelligence Committee’s findings were bipartisan, they came on a day when Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, moved again to block consideration of election security legislation put forward by Democrats.

Mr. McConnell has long opposed giving the federal government a greater hand in an institution of American democracy typically run by the states.

And despite the warnings about the Russia threat, he argues that Congress has already done enough — passing $380 billion worth of grants for states to update their election systems and supporting executive branch agencies as they make their own changes. Some administration officials have suggested that the issue is not getting enough high-level attention because President Trump equates any public discussion of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory.


We have an impeachment investigation!!!

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday asked a federal judge to unseal grand jury secrets related to Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, using the court filing to declare that lawmakers have already in effect launched an impeachment investigation of President Trump.

In a legal maneuver that carries significant political overtones, the committee told a judge that it needs access to the grand jury evidence collected by Mr. Mueller as special counsel — such as witness testimony — because it is “investigating whether to recommend articles of impeachment” against the president.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday that a decision on whether the House pursues the impeachment of President Donald Trump will be made in a “timely fashion” and denied the idea that she is trying to “run out the clock” on the issue.

Her comments came shortly before House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said at a separate press conference that his panel has already “in effect” been conducting an impeachment inquiry of the president — and said in a court filing that “articles of impeachment are under consideration as part of the Committee’s investigation, although no final determination has been made."


Lisa Desjardins:

Two reasons.

It helps them in court to say, we need to exercise a very prominent constitutional authority, because we believe the president may have done something impeachable. That has in the past made a difference in court hearings — in our rulings.

The other, Judy, is political. We have known Democrats for weeks have been in favor or not in favor of an impeachment inquiry. The semantics have been a problem for Democrats. Now they’re trying to wash that all away by saying, listen, we have been investigating, and now we are investigating and we are formally saying, this is an impeachment investigation.

They’re not going to take a separate vote on whether to open an investigation. They’re simply doing it.

I was wondering why there wasn’t a second vote before August recess.


Yes, good distinction.

Having Nancy Pelosi sign off on the Impeachment Inquiry was a big move and is just a means to an end. Dems want access to the Grand Jury testimony in Mueller’s report, need some leverage in getting McGahn’s subpoena to actually be enforced. Because of Article 1’s description, it allows Congress to get what they need if they are pursuing an Impeachment inquiry, and gives more gravitas to their getting the documents (Grand Jury, Taxes and McGahn) and helping them with their inquiry on nailing T and his illegal pursuits.

I am hearing that all along, Nancy is protecting the 30 or so centrist Dems who can not or will not vote for impeachment because it would lessen their chances of re-election for swing voters and/or Republicans who could vote for a Dem Congressional Rep and also vote for T. She is really protecting their majority it seems.

All the polling suggests that there is not the political will for impeachment, like less than 30%. Nancy is a vote counter…and with about 1/3 of her group 100 going for impeachment, the rest of Dem Congress is not for it, or simply won’t vote for it.

Pelosi met with AOC today to demonstrate that they get along like ‘family’ but do not necessarily agree with one another. They had a photo taken to falsify any notion that there is only infighting. Nancy wants the situation to be ‘play nice.’ It would be a better look than having T go after AOC as fringe, socialist etc…They are putting on a united front.

It would be great if Dems could get some more incriminating evidence of the blockbuster sort (Money laundering, Taxes showing who he owes his allegiances to…etc) So I think Pelosi feels she can only gain here by signing onto the Impeachment inquiry that Nadler wants to pursue…and keep her Dems in a position of power.

That and win 2020 on all fronts.:hushed:

A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, conducted immediately after former special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony, shows little impact on support for impeaching President Donald Trump, with a plurality of voters still opposed to beginning proceedings that could result in Trump’s removal from office.

Only 37 percent of voters say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, according to the poll, which was conducted Thursday. More voters, 46 percent, say Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings. Sixteen percent of voters are undecided.


NADLER: I’ll repeat what we said in our court filings. We have impeachment resolutions before the committee. We are conducting investigations to determine whether we should report those impeachment resolutions to the House or direct our own and report those to the House. We’re considering those resolutions. We’ll make a determination after we get more evidence as to the president’s crimes that we had from the Mueller report and also from other things. As to his violations of the emoluments clause, failure to defend the constitution against continuing Russian attacks."

STEPHANOPOULOS: "So that is an impeachment investigation? "

NADLER: “We’re investigating whether to report – whether to approve articles of impeachment before the committee.”

What happens if the investigation runs out the clock before the next election cycle? Does anyone when they would call it?