The House Oversight Committee is investigating and Air Force spokesman Brig. Gen. Edward Thomas says the Air Force is reviewing "all guidance pertaining to selection of airports and lodging accommodations during international travels."
The reviews follow a Politico reportabout a seven-member crew of a C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane staying at Turnberry earlier this year.
The crew was flying the C-17 from Alaska to Kuwait and stopped for refueling at Prestwick airport, a struggling commercial airport that is key to Turnberry’s business model. The airport entered into an official partnership with the Trump organization in 2014.
Before taking office, President Trump turned day-to-day operations of his companies over to his adult sons. But breaking with the practice of past presidents, he did not divest or otherwise distance himself from his businesses.
Three U.S. House of Representatives committees said on Monday they had begun “a wide-ranging investigation” into reports that President Donald Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and possibly others pressured Ukraine’s government to assist Trump’s re-election campaign.
The Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees wrote to the White House and State Department seeking records related to what they described as efforts to “manipulate the Ukrainian justice system.”
Trump and some of his fellow Republicans have questioned whether it represented a conflict of interest that Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, a presidential candidate, had served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company.
White House aides did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the announcement of the probe by the Democratic-led House committees.
Committee press release,
The House Intelligence Committee is accusing former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn of failing to comply with its subpoena as part of its Russia investigation.
The committee is now demanding that Flynn appear on September 25 and provide documents by September 18, according to a letter Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, sent to Flynn on Friday.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation back in 2017, but he is still awaiting sentencing. Flynn had long been a cooperating witness for the government since his guilty plea, but earlier this year Flynn obtained a new legal team and has accused federal prosecutors of withholding significant documents and audio recordings related to his criminal charge and the Mueller investigation.
The Trump administration told a federal court today that House can’t use the courts to enforce its subpoenas, in this case for President Trump’s tax returns. Instead, it says that if Congress wants to make the administration comply, it should ask DOJ to file contempt charges.
Here’s the filing ->
DOJ says only the executive branch can decide whether to go to court to enforce Congressional subpoenas served on the executive branch.
It’s heating up…pretty darn close to T…unethical…yes but is it impeachable? Pundits are saying no.
WASHINGTON — Back in 2014, soon after acquiring a golf resort in Scotland, Donald J. Trump entered a partnership with a struggling local airport there to increase air traffic and boost tourism in the region.
The next year, as Mr. Trump began running for president, the Pentagon decided to ramp up its use of that same airport to refuel Air Force flights and gave the local airport authority the job of helping to find accommodations for flight crews who had to remain overnight.
Those two separate arrangements have now intersected in ways that provide the latest evidence of how Mr. Trump’s continued ownership of his business produces regular ethical questions.
On Monday, President Trump sought to tamp down a growing controversy over a stay at the resort by United States military personnel who were traveling through the airport in Scotland in March. First on Twitter and later speaking to reporters at the White House, he said he was not involved in any decision to put an Air Force flight crew at the resort, known as Trump Turnberry.
Um, yeah this should have been bigger news…
Did you know that a whistleblower has come forward with evidence that Trump administration officials are interfering with the mandatory audits federal law requires for all Presidents and Vice Presidents? I didn’t either! Or at least I didn’t until I was talking to TPM’s Josh Kovensky and he mentioned it to me in passing. And yes, this is really true! (Josh wrote the story up here back on August 27th. Definitely read his analysis for a deeper look at the details.) On July 29th a federal employee came forward to the House Ways and Means Committee with “credible allegations” of possible misconduct tied to the mandatory audits of the President’s and Vice President’s taxes.
Why isn’t this a bigger deal?
C’mon Dems get a clear message together.
Anyone else frustrated after reading this article?
won’t pass the senate but at least Dems are together on gun control.
The House Judiciary Committee passed three bills late Tuesday evening that seek to address the gun violence epidemic, preparing them for consideration in the full House, as Democrats push Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up any gun control legislation.
The bills passed by the Judiciary Committee included legislation to regulate magazine purchases, restrict criminals convicted of hate crimes from purchasing firearms, and adopt national red flag laws which allow local authorities to remove firearms from individuals believed to be a danger with a court petition.
Yes! And disgusted.
Congress lead by Pelosi will only give up ground to impeachment inquiry. I think Rep Chris Himes put it best…about her needing to cover the “four quarters” of her field of Congressional reps -those most vocal for impeachment and those who can not afford to stick their necks out. Holding onto their power is the big win for her and moderates ie 2020.
Unclear how much leverage House Judiciary can or will have…yes, we all believe there are impeachable offenses…and seizing on all of the intolerable grifting, unstable temperament and horror show may be the best win they can expect.
But big picture - 2 yr terms, no greater impeachment win vis-a-vis getting Senate on board. Pelosi is a pragmatist …
I think Nadler can get on a roll with getting his impeacment process going…but it does need a united groundswell of support.
No one thinks this is normal except the 38% who approves of him.
It’s kinda zombie investigation so far, I feel like the risk is pretty low at this point. I feel like this is the bare minimum to meet oversight obligations. I know it’s because Dems have limit power and capabilities but it brings up a larger point, if we can’t impeach a president like Donald Trump, who is impeachment for and is this a problem for America?
Agree with you…Dems have not been able to get traction on getting their witnesses - McGahn on down, and they are getting slammed by T, Barr…Fox News feeds. It is a real showdown…and Dems are getting kicked to the curb.
But in our lifetime, we have NEVER seen our democracy so upended…the constitutional provisions and laws just thrown out the window. For every move the Dems have made the clown chorus of Reps Jordan, Gaetz and McConnell re-orient the argument and call Mueller out, fbi, and call the media Fake. It is diabolical.
So ideally…we would have an impeachment inquiry…we would have McGahn testify…BUT all these norms seem shunted to the sidelines.
For every Dem candidate who hopes we can do all these positive things - improve healthcare, keep abortion legal, save the envirment there is someone on the right calling it too radical…or giving away the store.
I hope all disgruntled farmers, women who see through T and know he is an ogre backed by creeps (s miller) - will tire of all this chaos.
Do not want to sound like a passive bystander…but the future lies within the 2020 race. All or nothing…double down on this charade.
I’m frustrated on more than one level:
There’s frustration with how this is being reported
There’s frustration with the Democrats
There’s frustration with people who are not appalled by this administration
There’s frustration with the courts
Mostly I’m frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be an end to the madness.
The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted to intensify its investigation of Republican President Donald Trump on Thursday, as lawmakers edged closer to deciding whether to recommend his impeachment.
The 41-member panel adopted a resolution allowing it to designate hearings as impeachment proceedings, subject witnesses to more aggressive questioning and quicken the pace of an investigation that is expanding into areas that could prove politically explosive for both Trump and Congress.
“With these new procedures, we will begin next week an aggressive series of hearings investigating allegations of corruption, obstruction and abuse of power against the president,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler told reporters after the 24-17 vote.
A more aggressive probe could also increase pressure on House Democratic leaders including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has resisted impeachment as a politically risky step for moderate Democratic freshmen from swing districts where ousting Trump is an unpopular idea.
Republicans rejected the notion that the panel was pursuing an impeachment inquiry and dismissed the resolution as a “fantasy” intended to distract from Democrats’ unwillingness to have the full House authorize a formal impeachment inquiry, as occurred during the Watergate era and the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.
Republicans said Democrats lacked the votes to obtain formal House authorization and denounced Thursday’s action as a show intended to pander to Democratic voters who want Trump removed from office.
Representative Doug Collins, the panel’s top Republican, said the resolution simply reiterates powers that the committee has had all along.
“These rules are not new,” he said. “This is to make you believe something is happening, more than what’s actually happening.”
CHAIRMAN NADLER STATEMENT FOR THE MARKUP OF THE RESOLUTION FOR INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURES
Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler delivered the following opening remarks during a markup of a resolution to implement procedures for future hearings related to the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Donald Trump:
"The resolution before us represents the necessary next step in our investigation of corruption, obstruction, and abuse of power.
“This Committee has already covered the central findings of the Special Counsel’s investigation. The President’s 2016 campaign asked for and received the assistance of the Russian government. Key figures from the campaign then lied to federal investigators about it. The Special Counsel found that, at least ten times, the President took steps to interfere with the investigation. In at least five of those incidents, the Special Counsel concluded that all of the elements necessary to charge obstruction of justice had been met.
“Our investigation is not only about obstruction. Our work must also extend beyond the four corners of the Mueller Report. We have a responsibility to consider allegations of federal election crimes, self-dealing, violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, and a failure to defend our nation from future attacks by foreign adversaries.
“And, of course, this Committee and others have gone to court to secure evidence that has been withheld from Congress on indefensible legal grounds. Former White House Counsel Donald McGahn is not ‘absolutely immune’ from appearing before this Committee. We require his testimony for our obstruction investigation. But the President has vowed to ‘fight all of the subpoenas,’ and this, too, is conduct that requires a congressional response.
“As Members of Congress—and, in particular, as members of the House Judiciary Committee—we have a responsibility to investigate each of these allegations and to determine the appropriate remedy. That responsibility includes making a judgment about whether to recommend articles of impeachment.
“That judgment cannot be based on our feelings about President Trump. It should not be a personal reaction to misguided policies or personal behavior. It must be a decision based on the evidence before us, and the evidence that keeps coming in.
“Now, there has been a good amount of confusion, in the press and elsewhere, about how we should talk about this work.
“Some have said that, absent some grand moment in which we pass dramatically from ‘concerned about the President’s conduct’ to ‘actively considering articles of impeachment,’ it is hard to know exactly what the Committee is doing here.
“Others have argued that we can do none of this work without first having an authorizing vote on the House floor. But a House vote is not required by the Rules of the House or by the Constitution, and the argument ignores ample precedents in which no such votes were taken.
“There should be no doubt about our purpose. We have been open about our plans in this Committee for many months. The record is recounted in the preamble of the resolution before us now.
“On March 4, 2019, we sought information from many sources related to ‘alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump,’
“On May 8, 2019, we recommended that the House hold Attorney General Barr in contempt. As part of that recommendation, the Committee was clear that our work ‘includes whether to approve articles of impeachment with respect to the President.’
“On June 11, 2019, the House approved H. Res. 430, authorizing this Committee to enforce its subpoenas in court. The Committee report stated explicitly that our work includes whether to approve articles of impeachment with respect to the President.
“Pursuant to that resolution, on July 26, 2019, we asked a federal court for access to grand jury information, and we told the court that it falls to this Committee to ‘exercise . . . a constitutional power of the utmost gravity—approval of articles of impeachment.’
“On August 7, 2019, we filed suit to enforce our subpoena for Mr. McGahn. There again, we told the court that we require his testimony in order to help decide whether to recommend articles of impeachment.
“In each of these documents, we have been explicit about our intentions. This Committee is engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Trump. Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature.
“But let me clear up any remaining doubt: The conduct under investigation poses a threat to our democracy. We have an obligation to respond to this threat. And we are doing so.
“Under the procedures outlined in this resolution, we will hold hearings that allow us to further consider the evidence against the President. At those hearings, in addition to Member questioning, we will allow staff counsel to participate for one hour, evenly divided between the Majority and the Minority. This will allow us to develop the record in ways that the five-minute rule does not always permit.
“We will also allow the President to respond to the evidence, in writing and on the record. No matter how we may disagree with him, President Trump is entitled to respond to the evidence in this way. And we will treat certain, sensitive evidence—such as grand jury information—as being received in executive session. Under these procedures, when we have finished these hearings and considered as much evidence we are able to gather, we will decide whether to refer articles of impeachment to the House floor.
“We have a constitutional, historical, and moral obligation to fully investigate these matters. Let us take the next step in that work without delay. I urge my colleagues to adopt this resolution, and I yield back.”
Read the Resolution for Investigative Procedures
House Democrats pursue Sessions for testimony in impeachment probe of Trump
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are negotiating for Jeff Sessions’s testimony in their impeachment investigation of President Trump, an appearance they hope could bolster their inquiry given the former attorney general’s rocky relationship with Trump.
Congressional aides on the panel reached out to Charles J. Cooper, an attorney for Sessions, during the summer, according to officials familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe private talks. Cooper told committee staff that Sessions — whom Trump never forgave for recusing himself from overseeing the special counsel probe — would need a subpoena to testify.
“I have made clear that Attorney General Sessions will not appear except under compulsion of a congressional subpoena,” Cooper said in a phone interview this week.
The panel in mid-July approved a series of compulsory measures for Trump associates and former officials, including Sessions, who appears as a critical witness in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. The former attorney general is a key player in episodes of potential obstruction of justice investigated by the special counsel.
A subpoena for Sessions has not yet been issued. The committee did not respond to a request for comment Friday.
Schiff accuses top intel official of illegally withholding ‘urgent’ whistleblower complaint
The nation’s top intelligence official is illegally withholding a whistleblower complaint, possibly to protect President Donald Trump or senior White House officials, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff alleged Friday.
Schiff issued a subpoena for the complaint, accusing acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire of taking extraordinary steps to withhold the complaint from Congress, even after the intel community’s inspector general characterized the complaint as credible and of “urgent concern.”
Schiff indicated that he learned the matter involved “potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community,” raising the specter that it is “being withheld to protect the President or other Administration officials.” In addition, Schiff slammed Maguire for consulting the Justice Department about the whistleblower complaint “even though the statute does not provide you discretion to review, appeal, reverse, or countermand in any way the [inspector general’s] independent determination, let alone to involve another entity within the Executive Branch.”
"The Committee can only conclude, based on this remarkable confluence of factors, that the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials," Schiff wrote in a letter to Maguire on Friday.
The initial whistleblower complaint was filed last month, and Schiff indicated that it was required by law to be shared with Congress nearly two weeks ago. His subpoena requires the information to be turned over by Sept. 17 or else he intends to compel Maguire to appear before Congress in a public hearing on Sept. 19.
Here’s Schiff taking action to get the new Acting Director of National Intelligence Maguire to release a Whistleblower’s (of what not sure) information to Congressional Intelligence Committee.
The nation’s top intelligence official is illegally withholding a whistleblower complaint, possibly to protect President Donald Trump or senior White House officials, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff alleged Friday.
Schiff issued a subpoena for the complaint, accusing acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire of taking extraordinary steps to withhold the complaint from Congress, even after the intel community’s inspector general characterized the complaint as credible and of "urgent concern."
“A Director of National Intelligence has never prevented a properly submitted whistleblower complaint that the [inspector general] determined to be credible and urgent from being provided to the congressional intelligence committees. Never," Schiff said in a statement. "This raises serious concerns about whether White House, Department of Justice or other executive branch officials are trying to prevent a legitimate whistleblower complaint from reaching its intended recipient, the Congress, in order to cover up serious misconduct."
It could be the Whistleblower possibly for the House Ways and Means who said that T’s tax returns were being prevented from being released and some manipulation had gone on inside to prevent this from happening…but not sure
I’m not sure either. There could be two different whistleblowers.
DOJ rules that no Congressional Committee shall see the Grand Jury testimonies collected by Mueller. Another barrier created by Justice to stymie further investigations into T’s actions.
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department told a judge Friday that the House Judiciary Committee shouldn’t get access to secret grand jury material amassed during the special counsel’s Russia investigation, even as it weighs whether to pursue impeachment.
The response comes nearly two months after the committee filed a petition in federal court arguing that lawmakers need to obtain the grand jury material in order to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment.
In court papers filed in federal court in Washington, the Justice Department argued the committee hadn’t provided a sufficient explanation about how the material would help in the panel’s investigations of President Donald Trump . The government also argued that any potential impeachment proceeding in Congress wouldn’t be considered a “judicial proceeding” under law, for which the information could be disclosed.
The Justice Department also argued there is a “continuing need for secrecy” about recent grand jury proceedings because there are several investigations still underway that grew out of Mueller’s probe, according to Friday’s filing.
Here’s what Marcy Wheeler, EmptyWheel is speculating about who and what this Whistleblower could be about…It is very mysterious and have seen Rep Schiff talk about it on Face The Nation this am. He is saying (paraphrasing) that the Intelligence Committee has every right to know what this is about, but that Maguire could have been stopped by only a couple of people - AG Barr, Pompeo? and T (I assume)
This is a crowdsource response to who it could be…and at the end, they are saying they did not include any links to Pompeo…
The topic: The whistleblower complaint believed to be withheld by acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to prevent investigation.
Point of origin: Schiff accuses top intel official of illegally withholding ‘urgent’ whistleblower complaint, by Kyle Cheney, POLITICO, published 13-SEP-2019, 8:12 p.m. EDT
Note carefully this piece ended up in the news dump zone — a Friday evening after 5:00 p.m.
What could the whistleblower complaint have been about, assuming there are other related matters in the public eye? A timeline might help us piece together the topic, or it may help us prepare for anticipated hearings.
I want to point out again that one of the five drafted Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon was about unauthorized activity disclosed by a whistleblower. We may be looking at yet another impeachable offense (as if there haven’t been enough already).
Here’s what I have so far — help me fill in some blanks you think may be relevant to a possible “urgent concern” in a whistleblower complaint, the Office of Director of National Intelligence, the Intelligence Community, and the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence over the last 33 months.
10-MAY-2017 — Trump met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. [UPDATE-3b]
15-MAY-2017 — Washington Post reported Trump revealed code word level classified information to Lavrov and Kislyak during Oval Office meeting. The information covered ISIL’s bomb-making capabilities and may have exposed allies’ intelligence gathering means and methods. [UPDATE-3b]
XX-MAY-2017 — Decision made to exfiltrate key Russian asset. Unclear exactly when decision made or when exfiltration occurred, only that it happened after the Oval Office meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak, and before the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. [UPDATE-3b]
7/8-JUL-2017 — Trump meets Putin at G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.[UPDATE-3b]
09-APR-2018 — John Bolton begins as National Security Adviser.
16-JUL-2018 — U.S.-Russia Summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland; Trump meets with Putin.
XX-JUL-2018 — Coats expressed opinion differing from Trump’s after Helsinki summit. Rumors began about Trump replacing Coats.
29-JAN-2019 — Coats testified before Senate Intelligence Committee; he said North Korea “is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities,” in contrast to Trump’s claims that Kim Jong-un has committed to denuclearization.
XX-FEB-2019 — Trump discussed replacements for DNI.
24-JUL-2019 – The same day that John Ratcliffe used his time to question Robert Mueller before the Judiciary Committee to accuse Mueller of breaking DOJ regulations — CNN reported that “Ratcliffe has been under consideration for a job within the Trump administration, sources told CNN, including an intelligence or national security role.” [UPDATE-2a]
28-JUL-2019 — Coats’ departure and John Ratcliffe nominated as replacement announced by Trump via Twitter.
Copy of former PDDNI’s resignation letter with handwritten cover: ODNI_LTR_08AUG2019
12-AUG-19 — ICIG received the whistleblower compaint, via Schiff’s 10-SEP letter [UPDATE-1]
15-AUG-2019 — Coats’ last day as DNI.
26-AUG-19 — IC IG transmitted the whistleblower complaint to the Acting DNI, via Schiff’s 10-SEP letter [UPDATE-1]
30-AUG-2019 — Trump tweeted a high-resolution satellite image of Iran’s failed Safir SLV launch while claiming the U.S. was not involved. The image may have been classified and ‘insta-declassified’ by Trump.
01/02-SEP-2o19 — US Special Rep. for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalizad met with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani in Kabul where the Taliban, Afghan government and the U.S. had “reached an agreement in principle” toward an eventual “total and permanent cease-fire.” [UPDATE-4a]
02-SEP-19 — Deadline for ADNI to forward the complaint to Intelligence committees of Congress passes without a referral, via Schiff’s 10-SEP letter [UPDATE-1]
03-SEP-2019 — Russian media outlet Tass reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said the U.S. and Taliban “insist that Russia must be present in one capacity or another at the possible signing of the agreements that the parties are working on now.” [UPDATE-4a]
09-SEP-2019 — Trump asked for Bolton’s resignation and tweeted about it the next morning.
09-SEP-2019 — Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) sent a letter to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, notifying it of a whistleblower complaint which it had determined to be credible and a matter of “urgent concern.”
10-SEP-2019 — Bolton tells Fox’s Brian Kilmeade by text that he quit.
10-SEP-2019 — HPSCI Rep. Adam Schiff requested the full, unredacted complaint, the IC IG’s determination about the complaint, and all documentation of ODNI’s action regarding this complaint, including correspondence with the White House.
11-SEP-2019 — Bloomberg reported Bolton pushed back Monday-Tuesday at Trump over Iran sanctions; Bolton wanted maximum pressure while Trump wanted to encourage a meeting with Iran’s Rouhani later in September. [UPDATE-4a]
12-SEP-19 — Schiff and ADNI “discussed at length” the need to protect the whistleblower from any retaliation, including if the whistleblower subsequently comes forward to the committee with his/her concerns, via Schiff’s 13-SEP letter [UPDATE-1]
13-SEP-2019 — ODNI declined the request, claiming the request as “it involves confidentially and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community.”
13-SEP-2019 — HPSCI subpoenaed acting DNI Joseph MacGuire for materials declined by ODNI.
17- SEP-2019 — Deadline, materials responsive to subpoena must be turned over by this date
19- SEP-2019 — Date when MacGuire will be compelled to appear before Congress in a public hearing
What a freaking mess. I have nothing here about Mike Pompeo or any other intelligence personnel or issues. The bit about Coats’ departure and Bolton’s termination stick out as well as that insta-declassified intelligence photo, but what might have been an “urgent concern”?