Late Night Schadenfreude Open Thread: Lock HIM Up!

Politico, “Democrats weigh a ‘Benghazi Trump’ strategy”:

Democrats may not be able to saddle President Donald Trump with impeachment proceedings or pry documents from his administration, but they have another means of bludgeoning him: hearings, hearings and more hearings.

It’s a counterstrategy to the president’s all-out resistance to congressional investigations, lawmakers told POLITICO. Democrats say the optics are on their side. Witnesses like Attorney General William Barr, former White House counsel Don McGahn and special counsel Robert Mueller are all but guaranteed to draw blanket media attention. And even if the boldfaced names don’t show up, party leaders recognize that the spectacle of empty chairs and drawn-out legal fights could dog Trump and create negative narratives during the 2020 presidential race…

Democrats say a spate of hearings will also highlight Trump’s efforts to stonewall their myriad probes. The president has resisted at least half a dozen subpoenas from House committees and launched an unprecedented series of federal lawsuits to invalidate some of the information requests.

The approach is almost as much political as it is tactical. It gives Democrats a chance to navigate around the thorny impeachment question while still showcasing their majority and flexing their investigative chops. And they might even uncover some wrongdoing along the way just as the 2020 presidential race heats up…

And one attention-grabbing hearing could be rescheduled in the coming weeks. Felix Sater, the chief negotiator for Trump’s failed election-year attempts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, had previously agreed to testify, but his appearance was pushed off until after the Mueller report came out.

“We need to put some color around the Mueller report and really come to a conclusion in concert with the American people over what the proper response is,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the Intelligence Committee.

“And until people are more familiar with the details of what occurred, it’s hard to come to a unified notion,” Himes added. “Certainly, in my district and around the country, there’s ambivalence about the right mechanism of accountability for the president. Just as in the 1970s, we need to do more work and better understand what occurred.”…

77 replies
  1. 1
    Jeffro says:

    Dang Howard Fineman, just speak out like that. Whew.

    One by one, the Both Sides Media learns…oh, who am I kidding? But it was still refreshing.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Haven’t seen this much tap dancing since 42nd Street.

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Well we have an answer to Senator Harris’s question:

    But the renewed scrutiny of Hunter Biden’s experience in Ukraine has also been fanned by allies of Mr. Trump. They have been eager to publicize and even encourage the investigation, as well as other Ukrainian inquiries that serve Mr. Trump’s political ends, underscoring the Trump campaign’s concern about the electoral threat from the former vice president’s presidential campaign.

    The Trump team’s efforts to draw attention to the Bidens’ work in Ukraine, which is already yielding coverage in conservative media, has been led partly by Rudolph W. Giuliani, who served as a lawyer for Mr. Trump in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Giuliani’s involvement raises questions about whether Mr. Trump is endorsing an effort to push a foreign government to proceed with a case that could hurt a political opponent at home.

    Mr. Giuliani has discussed the Burisma investigation, and its intersection with the Bidens, with the ousted Ukrainian prosecutor general and the current prosecutor. He met with the current prosecutor multiple times in New York this year. The current prosecutor general later told associates that, during one of the meetings, Mr. Giuliani called Mr. Trump excitedly to brief him on his findings, according to people familiar with the conversations.

    Mr. Giuliani declined to comment on any such phone call with Mr. Trump, but acknowledged that he has discussed the matter with the president on multiple occasions. Mr. Trump, in turn, recently suggested he would like Attorney General William P. Barr to look into the material gathered by the Ukrainian prosecutors — echoing repeated calls from Mr. Giuliani for the Justice Department to investigate the Bidens’ Ukrainian work and other connections between Ukraine and the United States.

    Mr. Giuliani said he got involved because he was seeking to counter the Mueller investigation with evidence that Democrats conspired with sympathetic Ukrainians to help initiate what became the special counsel’s inquiry.

  4. 4
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    An existence proof. There could have been many other requests to launch “investigations” of political enemies.

  5. 5
    Millard Filmore says:

    “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not still illegal.”

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    @Bill Arnold

    Any number of on the record public exhortations by Dolt 45 for such investigations, both by tweet and by mouth.

  7. 7
    westyny says:

    I’m not feeling very schadenfreudey right now.

  8. 8
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I didn’t expect anything good from the Republicans on the Senate Jusiciary Committee, bit to hear them disgrace themselves with debunked conspiracies was beyond infuriating. I don’t have a word for the combination of anguish, disgust, sadness and rage that I feel when I see them betray the truth and our country.

  9. 9
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Imagine if the Attorney General in the Obama, Clinton, Carter, etc. administrations had said what Bart said about the president stopping an investigation because he feels he did nothing wrong. Barr needs to be impeached and disBarred just for that alone.

  10. 10
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Maybe a good follow-up question from Senator Harris to Giuliani would be, “Why is the president* so terrified of a Joe Biden candidacy?”

    Failing that, I’ll settle for, “Which is a closer parallel to this Ukranian nonsense, Mr. Giuliani: Uranium One or Benghazi?”

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: Right, but the question was specifically has Barr been asked to. Not Sessions, Whitaker, and/or Rosenstein.

  12. 12
    Pangloss says:

    When people claim the GOP didn’t become a Dysfunctional Psycho Death Cult until Trump came along, I like to remind them about Monica Goodling vetting US Attorneys based on their fealty to the Republican Party in 2004-05, Oliver North becoming the hero of Iran-Contra in 1987, the way they cowed the media into beliving Weapons of Mass Distruction were in Iraq in 2002-03, the Brooks Brothers Riot in 2000, Sarah Palin as VP nominee in 2008, etc.

    Anyone who claims they never saw this coming is willfully ignorant or absolutely disingenuous. And anyone who says it will self-correct without massive reform legislation and long prison terms is crazy or actively complicit in something that’s going to be worse.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: About 2:30 or so I decided I couldn’t take anymore, even though I had the hearing on in the background, and decided to watch something uplifting: a documentary on the Korean War.

  14. 14

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Do we have to have the cultural appropriation talk again?

  16. 16
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    40% (plus) odds Barr has been given (orally at least) a multi-person DJT enemies list. (My instincts say higher probability, FWIW.)

  17. 17
    Suzanne says:

    Moments like this are why I am on Team Kamala, at least for the moment. Great communication, zero bullshit, no letting herself be pushed around.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: I have little doubt.

  19. 19

    @Adam L Silverman: didn’t realize sharing a neat word was cultural appropriation.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It is what it is.//

  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    @Adam L Silverman: There are many excellent documentaries on the Korean War out there, and some fine movies as well. I recently found “Men in War” on Amazon Prime, with Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray. Had never even heard of it before.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: I watched the one on PBS that I recorded last night: Korea: The Never Ending War.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Well, now you know better, you putz.

  24. 24
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I hear you.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: Because millions dead and ending the war with the same dividing line and unresolved issues as before the war was far less depressing than watching Ted Cruz and Bill Barr.

  26. 26
    Spanky says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Stop, you’ll make him all verklempt.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    She’s back! Who said her name three times into a mirror?

  29. 29

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s not exactly the same dividing line.

  30. 30
    JCJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Putz? Nah, he’s a schmuck

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Gee, Ms Sarandon, what would we ever do if we didn’t have you to point the obvious out to us?

  32. 32
    Mike G says:

    Nadler stops short of calling on Barr to resign but says: “I think there are great difficulties for the attorney general at this point. Besides the fact that he clearly misled the American people, he seems to have testified non truthfully to the Senate and the House”

    FFS, when will they drop the weasel words? Call it LIES and call for Barr’s impeachment or resignation. So tired of this lawyerly obfuscating BS.

  33. 33

    @JCJ: jeez guys, I’m right here

  34. 34
    Suzanne says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Susan Sarandon commits the same intellectual sin that many others do, which is assuming that everyone makes decisions in the same fashion she does. She is, however, much louder and more obnoxious about it.

    HINT TO SUSAN: Some Democrats aren’t progressive. These people seem to like Joey B. YOU STILL NEED THEM ON YOUR TEAM.

  35. 35
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike G:
    Better yet, call it perjury. And prosecute it as such.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That’s why we are being nice, jij bent een hoer.

  37. 37

    @Amir Khalid: Kind of hard to prosecute the prosecutor.

  38. 38
    Kattails says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I would really like to cat-slap that woman. Claws out. (See ref. TaMara a couple of threads down.)
    Thanks to all for the various links. So far tonight I’ve watched Maisie Hirono and Kamala Harris rake Barr over the coals, and Hillary review the sh*t show from a perspective I can only imagine.
    It’s raining again. Off to bed.

  39. 39
    eemom says:

    I have had a day packed with crazy people. “Susan Sarandon” is REALLY fucking triggering for me at this point.

    Get back in that car Susie, and drive it off that cliff for real this time, k? Thx.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: You know what I meant.

  41. 41
    plato says:

    @Mike G: Damn you, I was about to say just that.

  42. 42
    Amir Khalid says:

    True, but a prosecutor is, in principle at least, not immune from prosecution. Although I suspect Barr may have a novel legal theory about that too.

  43. 43
    plato says:

    Schumer: I would plead with my colleague, Lindsey Graham, to reconsider. I would plead with my colleague, Lindsey Graham, to say Mueller is coming; no ands, ifs or buts, so that we can question him, including our side of the aisle. That's what congressional oversight is about."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 1, 2019

    Plead? Sheesh.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike G:

    So tired of this lawyerly obfuscating BS.

    That’s actually kind of funny because I read it as really harsh. Hirono and Harris were like the legal equivalents of Drill Sergeants back when they could really swear (but without the swearing).

  45. 45
    mrmoshpotato says:

    “inspire voters”

    OH FOR THE SAKE OF FUCKS! Some of us are actually fucking adults about voting and politics (even if we may be young enough to be your kid) and we vote for people who we feel will help those who need it and manage our country and international relationships well.

    This “inspiration” has a place in the arts, not politics.

    Fucking hell, don’t fuck us over again.

  46. 46
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @plato: I would tell the Republicans that I have the displeasure of calling my colleagues to stop using the US Constitution as toilet paper. You bastards took an oath to uphold our country’s Constitution too. DO IT!

  47. 47
    Jay says:


    President Obama was inspiring, Kennedy was too.

  48. 48
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Jay: And they had the policy chops which is what actually matters.

    Wilmer’s Medicare for All and free college sounds good, but McConnell would eat him alive like some tasty lettuce.

    And, quite frankly, I don’t need to be inspired to do my duty as a citizen of this country.

  49. 49
    SFAW says:

    To morons like Sarandon, TBogg said it best: Grow The Fuck Up.

    Her purity-pony horseshit is a stark refutation of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Although I may be making a bad assumption in that she may not actually be an enemy of the Traitor-in-Chief nor of Rethuglicans in general.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    And, quite frankly, I don’t need to be inspired to do my duty as a citizen of this country.

    Everyone isn’t like you. Or me. To paraphrase Adlai Stevenson, we need a majority.

  51. 51
    Jay says:


    Sadly, many do,

    44.3% of the electorate didn’t vote in 2016.

  52. 52
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mrmoshpotato: The thing I particularly dislike is the notion that Bernie Sanders is either (a) “inspiring” or (b) all about a bold policy agenda. The whole Sanders phenomenon is based on his being willing to look rumpled and angry at some nonspecific group of bad billionaires. He’s not a detail guy and he’s not uplifting. The prescription and the doctor are a complete mismatch.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: We need even more than a majority, as we saw.

    I have my preferences, which I am happy to assert in the primary. But I will vote for whomever wins our nomination. Even if it’s one of the damn Kardashians. That is the easiest decision I will make.

  55. 55
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I know, but after the past 2 years, you’d hope Steiniacs, etc would go “Oh shit. This isn’t anywhere close to the glorious revolution utopia we want.”

  56. 56
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Adam L Silverman: HA!

    They’re already hitting the panic button. Wilmer was on CNN yesterday already attacking Biden. Not a mark of confidence.

  57. 57
    Anotherlurker says:

    @Spanky: Conservatives: Momzers and Goniffs.

  58. 58
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Jay: Yeah. And for anyone not facing hurdles like voter ID or systematic suppression, I can’t understand just not voting. Maybe I have it too good in that my polling place is 3 blocks away, and I can vote by mail if I want.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mrmoshpotato: As Adam keeps saying, hope is not a strategy.

  60. 60
    smike says:


    …He’s not a detail guy and he’s not uplifting…

    Exactly this.

  61. 61


    Even if it’s one of the damn Kardashians.

    Kim was talking about running for mayor of my fair city.

    (We don’t elect a mayor, it’s rotated among council members, and Kim doesn’t actually live here.)

  62. 62
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @FlipYrWhig: He’s not a details guy at all. His whole deal seems to be “Elect me, and we’ll have a glorious revolution!”

    Ummmm….what? How are you planning on actually accomplishing anything? He can’t just go pass tax laws or budgets by himself. As a matter of fact, he can’t do any law passing from the Executive branch.

    And then there’s his seemingly sole focus on white people (and I say this as a white guy). What about everyone else? Do they just not matter? That attitude was probably a big reason he lost the primary by 4 million votes. Gotta have something for enough people.

  63. 63
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sorry if I suggested that as strategy. I was just blowing off steam.

  64. 64
    mrmoshpotato says:


    Kim was talking about running for mayor of my fair city.

    Da fuq?

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    I can describe the entirety of Wilmer’s agenda in three words: MAKE ME PRESIDENT.

  66. 66
    Jay says:


    Up here, I face no voting hurdles, but 50 years of voting, other than on some environmental and social justice issues, has not improved my life.

    All it has done is slow the rate of life getting shittier and shittier.

    In 1975 you could support a family of 5 on Welfare, and there were no food banks. That’s housing, protect what wealth you have, food, clothing, school, transportation, most people stayed on welfare for 6 months.

    Now, other than a $600 one time emergency payment, you don’t qualify tor welfare, until you have sold everything and have less than $1500 left. Then, in YVR, you get 1/3rd of the money required to keep a family of 5 alive, so food banks, soup kitchens, and living in a tent.

    Many people have been ground down to the point they no longer participate.

  67. 67
    sukabi says:

    @smike: …He’s not a detail guy and he’s not uplifting…

    Really? He’s pointy, shouty and marched with MLK! What else do you need?

  68. 68
    sukabi says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: isn’t she busy interning to be a lawyer?

  69. 69

    @sukabi: Her dreams of being our mayor were a few years ago.

  70. 70

    @mrmoshpotato: We have a significant Armenian population so she thought that would be helpful.

  71. 71
    cynthia ackerman says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    For all his supposed influence on progressive candidates, isn’t it refreshing how part of their appeal is that they aren’t Bernie?

  72. 72
    J R in WV says:


    I don’t have a word for the combination of anguish, disgust, sadness and rage that I feel when I see them betray the truth and our country.

    How about “despicable” for the word you’re looking for?

  73. 73

    @SFAW: She helped to “elect” Dump, in fact. Anyone that endorses third-party candidates in a first-past-the-post system is not our ally. Fuckem

  74. 74
    Arclite says:

    Even as I love Warren’s proposals, Kamala Harris is my preferred candidate ATM. She’s tough and smart when she has to be, and warm and empathetic when she wants to be. She’d make a great president.

    I also like the fact that when you look at her, she looks ethnically like a mix of nearly every single race that currently lives in the USA.

  75. 75
    Kathleen says:

    @Amir KhalidI thought it was “send me money”.

  76. 76
    john fremont says:

    @Pangloss: Don’t forget Newt Gingrich’s promise that if elected President to send US Marshals to arrest federal judges who did not read the law as written and “legislated from the bench.”

  77. 77
    vlad says:

    the amount of information redacted in the dossier is at the a.g.’s discretion so democratsarent in a position to demand anything,they can go down and read the unredacted version if they wish to,but instead are trying to drag the a.g. before a committee of pinheads for questioning,in a circus sideshow of sorts,which just isnt necessary.but of course the democrats will file lawsuits in retaliation and threaten imprisonment if their outrageous demands arent met,with the intent of causing chaos and convincing uneducated people a crime was committed.barr is smarter than all of them and wont be intimidated.

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