Kupperman lawsuit dismissed.
Not so bad a thing when you read on.
It seems the House wanted it dismissed also, as a loose end. Only Kupperman wanted it to continue, but the judge noted he’s not one of the 9 named people Trump stopped from testifying in the impeachment documents.
Also, it means the original ruling that rejected Trump’s claim of absolute immunity stands.
Senate has no clue about its January schedule thanks to Nancy Pelosi
The Democratic-controlled House will start its 2020 session on January 7, but the Republican-controlled Senate is clueless about when it will convene and what its January schedule will look like because they still don’t know when Pelosi will actually send them the Articles of Impeachment. I found this out because I was wondering what day in the new year Senate Republicans would start rigging the impeachment trial rules. Checking their official calendar, I found it doesn’t list any dates until mid-February. Further googling yielded this article.
The Senate has released its calendar for 2020, but the year will begin with a giant question mark because of a possible impeachment trial.
The month of January is missing from the schedule entirely.
A copy of the calendar, obtained by CQ Roll Call, also includes a notation that the weeklong Presidents Day recess is “subject to Senate floor activity.”
The schedule for days in session for January and early February is predictably in flux because, absent an agreement, the Senate could convene six days a week for the duration of an impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.
“Unfortunately due to uncertainty on the floor schedule for start of the year, the Senate is unable to establish a schedule for January at this time. When we have clarity on a date to convene and what January will look like we will get that information out as soon as possible,” a senior Senate aide said in a statement.
Call me petty, but this just makes me want to deliver a Nelson-style “Ha-ha” to Senate Republicans.
So Trump committed libel this morning and also showed he has no idea how nicknames work.
So maybe Sen Collins will vote towards getting the witnesses, but her technique here has always been, appease the liberals in Maine, yet go with the conservative answer…vote T ok to stay in office.
So she’s following Sen Murkowski who does speak with an independent mind, Sen Collins is too calculated to be considered from her gut.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she’s open to calling witnesses as part of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but she says it is “premature” to decide who should be called until senators see the evidence that is presented.
Collins also said it was inappropriate for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, to pledge “total coordination” between the White House and the Senate during the impeachment trial.
"It is inappropriate, in my judgment, for senators on either side of the aisle to prejudge the evidence before they have heard what is presented to us,’’ Collins told Maine Public Radio in an interview Monday.
A year-end address from Chief Justice John Roberts with some mentions of where judges can help bolster a more educated public warning us of the failings of some social media, ie fake news. Seems like Chief Justice Roberts wants to get out in front of how he views the role of the Supreme Court as a fair and deliberate body tasked with fairly reviewing the facts at hand.
He sends out a bit of a warning flare for conspiratorial, or fake news which may be driving some of the public opinion…but sees the court as fair and just to determine outcomes.
Onward 2020…let’s have Chief Justice Roberts decide what is fair with regard to T’s taxes and more importantly the impeachment trial of DJT.
In the winter of 1788, New York newspapers reported accounts that medical students were robbing graves so they could practice surgery on cadavers. In April, the chatter gelled into a rumor that students at New York Hospital were dissecting a schoolboy’s recently deceased mother. An angry mob stormed the hospital, and the mayor gave some of the medical staff refuge in the city jail. When the mob marched on the jail, John Jay, who lived nearby, grabbed his sword and joined Governor Clinton to quell the riot. In the ensuing commotion, a rioter struck Jay in the head with a rock, knocking him unconscious and leaving him, according to one ac-count, with “two large holes in his forehead.” Hamilton and Madison pressed the Federalist project forward while Jay recovered from his injuries.
It is sadly ironic that John Jay’s efforts to educate his fellow citizens about the Framers’ plan of government fell victim to a rock thrown by a rioter motivated by a rumor. Happily, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay ultimately succeeded in convincing the public of the virtues of the principles embodied in the Constitution. Those principles leave no place for mob violence. But in the ensuing years, we have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside. In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public’s need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital. The judiciary has an important role to play in civic education, and I am pleased to report that the judges and staff of our federal courts are taking up the challenge. By virtue of their judicial responsibilities, judges are necessarily engaged in civic education.
Chief Justice Robert’s speech 12.31.19
Roberts was not explicit about whether his call for increased civics education was intended as a rebuke of Trump, although some quickly read it that way. Trump has been widely criticized for repeating false information released online and for retweeting messages posted by conspiracy theorists and racists.
The view of Roberts’ message as a critique of the president was also reinforced by the fact that the two men have clashed publicly over a topic related to the chief justice’s year-end report: Trump’s tendency to label adverse court rulings he and his administration face as the work of judges doing the political bidding of previous, Democratic presidents.
A little over a year ago, Roberts issued a highly unusual public statement that lashed back at Trump’s claims that many federal judges are nakedly partisan and illegitimate.
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”
Exclusive: Unredacted Ukraine Documents Reveal Extent of Pentagon’s Legal Concerns
“Clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold.”
This is what Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), told Elaine McCusker, the acting Pentagon comptroller, in an Aug. 30 email, which has only been made available in redacted form until now. It is one of many documents the Trump administration is trying to keep from the public, despite congressional oversight efforts and court orders in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation.
Earlier in the day on Aug. 30, President Donald Trump met with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the president’s hold on $391 million in military assistance for Ukraine. Inside the Trump administration, panic was reaching fever pitch about the president’s funding hold, which had stretched on for two months. Days earlier, POLITICO had broken the story and questions were starting to pile up. U.S. defense contractors were worried about delayed contracts and officials in Kyiv and lawmakers on Capitol Hill wanted to know what on earth was going on. While Trump’s national security team thought withholding the money went against U.S. national security interests, Trump still wouldn’t budge.
Thanks to the testimony of several Trump administration officials, we now know what Trump was waiting on: a commitment from Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
The rest of the story goes into great detail, worth reading.
These newly released unredacted emails are a devastating blow to McConnell’s stonewalling on witnesses in the upcoming impeachment trial. The unredacted portions show that we must hear from Duffey, Pompeo, Bolton, and, yes, Pence. The story has legs and has now been picked up by major news outlets and by Schumer.
We knew this was coming but it’s still worth noting.
Mueller Memos Part 3: The Documents The Justice Department Didn’t Want Congress To See
BuzzFeed News has obtained some of the most important and highly sought-after documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation: summaries of FBI interviews with key White House officials.
The hundreds of pages of documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, were the subject of a protracted legal dispute between the Justice Department and the House Judiciary Committee, which sought them over the summer as part of its impeachment inquiry. The committee had requested access to an unredacted copy of the Mueller report, grand jury testimony from the investigation, and the FBI’s summaries of 33 interviews. The Justice Department resisted, claiming the impeachment inquiry does not entitle the panel to see those records. A federal judge disagreed, ruling in October that “DOJ is wrong” and that the White House and the Justice Department were “openly stonewalling” the committee.
Is Trump trying to start a war in order to distract from his impeachment proceedings?
U.S. Strike on Iranian General Divides Congress
The killing of the powerful commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, in a drone strike on Friday sharply divided congressional leaders along party lines and reignited a debate over whether Congress should curtail the president’s war powers.
The strike, which the Pentagon said President Trump ordered and was “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” was a significant escalation in the administration’s pressure campaign against Tehran.
“This particular scenario is one that I’ve thought about for many years and it is one that could very well lead to the type of violence and chaos that we’ve been so desperately trying to keep ourselves out of,” said Representative Andy Kim, Democrat of New Jersey and the former director for Iraq on President Barack Obama’s National Security Council “The coming hours and days will be very important.”
According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi the strike was carried out “without the consultation of Congress.”
“American leaders’ highest priority is to protect American lives and interests,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement. “But we cannot put the lives of American service members, diplomats and others further at risk by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions. Tonight’s airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence.”
Republican lawmakers praised the president for the strike, saying that Mr. Trump had brought justice to scores of American military families. United States officials considered General Suleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the Iraq war as well as for hostile Iranian activities throughout the Middle East.
I’m no fan of the conservative Washington Examiner which has been a pillar of support for Trump. However, in this new editorial, prompted by the recently unredacted DOD emails, they have condemned Trump for explicitly breaking the law in three ways: 1) Asking Ukraine to investigate a private U.S. citizen 2) Pressuring them to do so by withholding aid 3) Violating U.S. law by blocking disbursement of funds appropriated by Congress. This op-ed has hit the nail on the head in calling out Trump for his impeachable offenses. I hope every Republican Senator reads it.
Unredacted documents reported on Thursday by Just Security help show both why the Senate should hold a full presidential impeachment trial and why President Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine were so improper.
The documents show the repeated warnings from Defense Department officials to White House personnel that Trump’s delay in releasing legally mandated aid to Ukraine was unlawful.
Before examining that evidence, though, please consider that this is only one of three ways in which Trump’s actions were so inappropriate as to be impeachable. First, Trump’s request for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens was, on its own, wildly out of bounds. As former ambassador Bill Taylor testified, the president has no authority to ask a foreign government to investigate a U.S. citizen based on that nation’s laws rather than our own.
Second, to turn the request into what amounts (in the vernacular) to an extortionary demand, the now-famous issue of a quid pro quo, is to misuse presidential power while unlawfully seeking a “thing of value” from a foreign entity for use in an American campaign. And, yes, as even some of Trump’s most learned and eloquent defenders admit, the existence of a quid pro quo was obvious.
Third, as I have argued for months, it was illegal for Trump to withhold the military aid even if he had not asked the Ukrainians for anything of personal and political value in return. By delaying the assistance beyond the point at which it could actually be obligated before the budget year ran out, Trump violated the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 and, probably, the Constitution. That 1974 law provides that once an appropriation has been duly passed and signed into law, the president cannot withhold it for policy reasons without formally notifying Congress. Even then, the money must be spent unless Congress approves the president’s request.
While the Impoundment Control Act makes these requirements explicit on statutory grounds, Supreme Court precedent implies (but does not explicitly say) that presidential impoundment of duly appropriated funds is also unconstitutional.
The newly unredacted documents show that Pentagon officials repeatedly warned the White House that its funding delays were unlawful. By Aug. 26, acting Pentagon comptroller Elaine McCusker was telling the White House that “impoundment paperwork” was “now necessary” because the delays ordered by Trump made it impossible to “obligate” the funding “consistent with the Impoundment and Control Act.”
As it was, more than $35 million of the assistance never did go out the door by the legally required Sept. 30 deadline. That alone was a violation of the law by Trump.
Again and again over the past few months, Trump’s defenders have said, in essence, that the president is a free agent in determining American foreign and defense policy. That assertion is flat-out false. While presidential power is certainly at its most robust on such matters, the president still remains beneath, not above, the law. In this case, he violated the law. The violation should not go unpunished.
The Just Security documents were things the House tried to subpoena. Now we know why the GOP Senate wanted the trial over and done with already.
Democrats, DOJ open 2020 in court with doubleheader impeachment fights
The new year starts with one of the biggest court dates in recent memory: oral arguments in a pair of intertwining cases that will define Donald Trump’s presidency and the Democrats’ efforts to remove him from office.
Two partially overlapping, three-judge panels are scheduled to hold back-to-back hearings Friday morning on the litigation, focused on the House Judiciary Committee’s months-long quests to learn Robert Mueller’s secrets and secure testimony from Don McGahn, Trump’s former top White House lawyer.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has both of the impeachment-related cases on something of a fast track, stacking them up for oral arguments in the same courtroom — one right after the other — as its first public business for 2020. Each of the panels will be composed of two Republican presidential appointees and one judge named by a Democrat.
While court decisions are possible by the end of the month, it’s still unclear whether they’ll arrive before the GOP-led Senate has rendered its verdict on whether Trump should be the first U.S. president to be booted from the White House.
The Senate impeachment trial schedule remains a work in progress, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi still in a standoff over the terms of debate on the two House-passed articles against Trump from December tied to the president withholding military aide to Ukraine until it agreed to investigate his Democratic rivals.
So, the net is all up in arms about a report from Forensic News, but we know that this is a dubious site and I can’t find corroboration. I was ignoring it for now, but it’s trending so I thought I’d bring it up.
Note: when I click on the link in these posts, it does something funky and tries to download, so be wary.
They put the article up on Scribd too. Maybe a more shareable link? Worth a glance, if true this is a bombshell
Lawrence O’Donnell previously put this story out and then retracted it due to a lack of sources. So far ALL sources I can find lead back to Forensic News, and their site is down.
Lawrence O’Donnell Retracts Claim of Russians’ Role in Trump Loans