McGahn Follows Orders

“How high, boss?” “This high” — former White House counsel Don McGahn obeys Trump, fails to show at hearing this morning:

Nadler in the clip above (from The Post):

“We will not allow the president to block congressional subpoenas, putting himself and his allies above the law,” Nadler said. “We will not allow the president to stop this investigation, and nothing in these unjustified and unjustifiable legal attacks will stop us from pressing forward with our work on behalf of the American people. We will hold this president accountable, one way or the other.”

According to The Post article linked above, five members of Speaker Pelosi’s leadership team are pressing to start an impeachment inquiry to get the documents and testimony the Trump administration is refusing to provide. Pelosi “declined to endorse the idea,” the report says, citing concerns that opening an impeachment inquiry would undercut other investigations and lack of broad support for the measure.

What happens next? I have no idea. Open thread.






277 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    PPCLI says:

    Dear Nadler and Pelosi:
    Afraid of losing voters? Look weak and ineffectual and you will lose them in bushels.

    You currently look weak and ineffectual. Find a strategy and a message that projects strength and stick to it. Get some message discipline.
    Please.

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    [gif of me on a dragon laying waste to the WH]

  4. 4
    Ajabu says:

    I don’t know either but I’m inclined to trust the impeccable judgment of Nancy Smash.

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    What is Trump’s legal authority to “order” a private citizen to refuse to comply with a valid subpoena?

  6. 6
    Hitlesswonder says:

    Sometimes the answers to questions are obvious, and the answer to why Pelosi and the House aren’t doing more is that they have no power to compel anyone to testify and no way of bringing criminal charges since the DOJ is controlled by the Executive. The President is untouchable with the Senate and a court behind him.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    I have no reason to think witnesses will be more forthcoming in an impeachment hearing than in a regular hearing. And courts will enforce both, as we saw yesterday. Did the House subpoena McGahn? They’ll need to do that before they do anything else.

  8. 8
    dr. bloor says:

    For me, it’s time to impeach. I think I understand what Pelosi is doing and have generally defended her to others up until recently, although Trump is effectively crippling most of the committee work she wants to see played out. Not the best move politically, but the constitution pretty much compels it at this point.

  9. 9
    tobie says:

    @PPCLI: According to the Post, Nadler is now also arguing that House Democrats should start impeachment proceedings:

    At least five members of Pelosi’s leadership team…pressed Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a closed-door leadership meeting to allow the panel to start an inquiry…Several hours later, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler met with Pelosi as well and made the case to start the inquiry, he later told his panel member on a call.

    If Nadler is indeed pressing for an inquiry, it will likely happen IMO. He’s senior in the caucus; he’s considered an institutionalist; his voice carries weight.

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PPCLI: Actually, according to the WaPo reporting that BettyC referenced, Nadler is one of the people who pushed Pelosi to let him start an impeachment inquiry.

  11. 11
    tobie says:

    @Baud: That’s a big question for me. Will impeachment give the House even more legal authority to request documents and witnesses that the executive branch is currently denying them or will the stonewalling continue unabated?

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: He has none. Especially as what Nadler really wants to ask about is the reporting from the past couple of weeks that the President’s lawyers recently, as in since he’s left the White House, have asked McGahn’s lawyers to have McGahn make false statements about what the President did or did not ask him to do and to clarify if the President’s statements since McGahn stepped down, which contradict McGahn’s sworn testimony to Mueller’s investigators, are accurate or if McGahn’s testimony was accurate.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: They did. They’re now moving to hold him in contempt to enforce the subpoena.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: From what I’ve read, it would be a lot harder for the administration to block subpoenas, testimony, etc., that flow from an impeachment inquiry because the constitutional case for Congress’s right to that material in that circumstance is air tight. What that means in practical terms, I do not know.

  15. 15
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @dr. bloor: But impeachment is pointless. No one will testify. There will be no new information obtained. The Dems will still look ineffectual and be painted as an out-of-control political cult that places party over what is good for country. I think Speaker Pelosi is right that impeachment proceedings would be a huge mistake.

  16. 16
    Hildebrand says:

    I understand that trying to appease the both-sides media crowd is a losing bet, but I wonder if the Democratic leadership was trying to show that they took every possible step before launching an impeachment inquiry. If they are going to launch an inquiry, best to demonstrate that they took the long road to get there. No knavish ‘rush to judgment’ type stories if you slow-walked the whole thing and made sure to show all your work. Of course, the Republicans will still run with this, but the media, now hearing from genuinely angry Democrats for the leadership to ‘do something’, won’t pivot to this foolishness immediately. (I hope.) Rep. Amash calling for an inquiry will also make the media less likely to peddle the ‘pure partisanship’ bit.

    I think that Leadership is going open an inquiry because they have no other options. Which is where I think they wanted to be.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think it’s easier at the margins. But ultimately they’ll have to get the courts to enforce it so the only real difference will involve truly sensitive information, like presidential records. For the stuff they’re mostly seeking now, an impeachment hearing shouldn’t make a difference to the courts.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @Hildebrand:

    I agree. My guess is that’ll happen in the fall.

  19. 19
    rp says:

    @dr. bloor: This is where I am. It’s time to impeach. Even if it goes nowhere because of the Senate, it sends a very powerful message and changes the coverage. It gives the Dems far more control over the conversation.

    I just sent Pelosi a (friendly) message to that effect and encourage everyone else to do the same: https://www.speaker.gov/contact/

  20. 20
    Leto says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    What that means in practical terms, I do not know.

    It means that Trumpov will continue to order the executive to not participate in anything, continuing the status quo. It means that we’ll continue to have to rely on the courts to try to get anything done, which eats up the clock. The closer we get to 2020, the more we’ll hear him whining about how Dems are trying to rig the election. Even though some of these early court rulings for documents will be quick, and wins, doesn’t mean that he/Republicans will do anything other than obstruct/delay for as long as possible. Also I’m not confident at all in the outcome of any case that comes before the current SCROTUS.

  21. 21
    dr. bloor says:

    @Hitlesswonder: I suspect refusing to testify for an impeachment proceeding will make a very different impression with the public (and presumably placate the progressive wing), and Trump’s legal team can’t make a case that calling witnesses and gathering evidence is beyond the scope of Congress’s authority.

    Of course he’s not going to be convicted, but if you don’t at least initiate legal proceedings against a man who has been impeachable since he walked into the Oval Office for his first day on the job, why is it in the constitution? That’s the ultimate in ineffectuality.

  22. 22
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Hildebrand:

    if the Democratic leadership was trying to show that they took every possible step before launching an impeachment inquiry

    Note too that Obama (IMHO at least) regularly took this tack as well: exhaust all opportunities for his opponents to do the right thing, or, if not “the right thing,” a thing at all, instead of just being dicks. And was frequently excoriated for it by left-ish media.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @Leto:

    Impeachment changes none of that.

    I’m worried “impeachment” is becoming another of our Holy Grails — the one thing that will solve everything.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @dr. bloor:

    presumably placate the progressive wing

    LOL.

  25. 25
    germy says:

    Am I correct that impeachment hearings would fast track further investigations? Or will the investigations continue at the same pace, regardless of impeachment?

  26. 26
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Baud: Impeachment, minting a trillion-dollar coin, six of one, etc.

  27. 27
    Gretchen says:

    I think that Pelosi is methodically building the case that she tried everything by the book, that Trumpsters obstructed at every turn, and she had no choice but to proceed to impeachment. I saw a twitter thread yesterday by a guy who worked in legal at Warner Bros. They’d send a cease and desist, get ignored, get ignored, send a third, get ignored, and file suit on day 91. At which point the court would side with them since they tried everything short of suing. Everybody saying that Pelosi is weak and frightened hasn’t looked at her history.

  28. 28
    dr. bloor says:

    @Baud: Take a deep breath and relax. The debate is essentially about pragmatic maneuvering, and how best to get information. We understand you don’t think an impeachment proceeding will make any practical difference, and that’s fine. But pro-impeachment folk aren’t emos looking for a holy grail.

  29. 29
    dr. bloor says:

    @Baud: NIce cherry pick from my comment. But I’d be interested in knowing when you think impeachment is compelled. When the Senate promises to convict? When the POTUS promises to be completely open and cooperative? When he promises to resign and not put Congress through the inconvenience?

    When, exactly?

  30. 30
    Mike in NC says:

    McGahn needs to be dragged in front of the committee kicking and screaming. Arrest his sorry ass.

  31. 31
    Gretchen says:

    @germy: I don’t think it will fast-track it. It will make it harder for them to refuse to cooperate, but I’m not convinced they won’t refuse anyway.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    I’ll say what I said the other day. If everyone agrees that the GOP Senate won’t convict, what do you think we gain by starting impeachment right his second as opposed to after trying all other options and building a case?

  33. 33
    Lapassionara says:

    I’m trying to keep my eye on Trump’s accounting firm. The judge refused to stay his order pending appeal, which means the time for the firm to comply with the subpoena should begin to run. Normally, the party seeking information through subpoena from a non-party will accommodate requests for more time to gather, copy, and produce responsive documents. In this case, I would rather see a prompt response.

    I don’t know who is involved in getting these materials, but if I were in charge, I would arrange for someone to go to the accountant’s offices and get copies of the documents as soon as possible. Please, FSM, make it so.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Maybe you are sober headed, but we’ve already had one commenter in this thread calling Pelosi weak and ineffectual. I’m sure Twitter is worse.

    @dr. bloor:

    Because it was funny.

  35. 35

    @Baud: Impeachment is like a nuclear weapon you try it after you exhaust all options. I agree. That’s what the D leadership seems to be doing.

  36. 36

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They’re now moving to hold him in contempt

    The usual suspects on my twitter feed were ranting about how their failure to do this immediately was a sign that we should abandon party leadership. Glad to hear it’s happening, not that it’ll change their minds.

  37. 37
    dr. bloor says:

    @Baud: They’re quite obviously going to stonewall anything and everything up to an impeachment proceeding, and then they’re going to stonewall anything and everything after the initiation of an impeachment proceeding. They’ve sufficiently demonstrated their willingess to obstruct justice and impede the proceedings of Congress to justify skipping the rest of the first step.

  38. 38
    Hildebrand says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yep. I still like the tactic (and strategy). Take your time, focus on showing your work, illustrate how ‘reasonable’ you are being, and slowly ratchet up the pressure. Yes, it takes time. In this case, though, we don’t want to actually take a vote in the House, we want the inquiry to drip-drip-drip every single day until election day. We want people asking questions, we want the media to chase down the stories, we want the constant ‘will they/won’t they’ sense of anticipation. That keeps the focus on Trump’s many and various scams and illegalities – and not on the fact that the Republicans voted to acquit. Don’t give them that shiny object, give them day after day of dragging one more stupid and banal piece of Trump corruption through the streets. Driving Trump crazy with the ‘corruption story of the day’ is better than a conviction that will never come. Spend the next year and half illustrating that his entire persona is a shitty facade.

  39. 39
    cmorenc says:

    The truly key objective should be to keep sufficient acid flowing to fatally corrode the ability of Trump to capture more voters than his unreachable hard-core supporters and GOP partisans. Essentially, albeit with Russian help, that’s exactly how Trump / Assange / GOP Benghazi – email investigations successfully eroded just enough voters away from Clinton in Mich, Wisc & Pa to narrowly win the electoral college. By what method the acid flow is facilitated by D moves isn’t so important as that it achieves that objective. Seems there’s a quite substantial portion of voters (beyond hard D partisans) who already seem inclined to vote Trump out of office rather than via impeachment proceedings.

    Although impeachment proceedings in the House are amply justified as matters of substantive principle, the key goal here is making sure Trump / Pence is out of office by Jan 2021, rather than dying with our principles on if we lose in 2020. For the moment, the right call is to trust Nancy P’s judgment IMHO.

  40. 40
    cmorenc says:

    THIS EXACTLY:

    @Hildebrand:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yep. I still like the tactic (and strategy). Take your time, focus on showing your work, illustrate how ‘reasonable’ you are being, and slowly ratchet up the pressure. Yes, it takes time. In this case, though, we don’t want to actually take a vote in the House, we want the inquiry to drip-drip-drip every single day until election day. We want people asking questions, we want the media to chase down the stories, we want the constant ‘will they/won’t they’ sense of anticipation. That keeps the focus on Trump’s many and various scams and illegalities – and not on the fact that the Republicans voted to acquit. Don’t give them that shiny object, give them day after day of dragging one more stupid and banal piece of Trump corruption through the streets. Driving Trump crazy with the ‘corruption story of the day’ is better than a conviction that will never come. Spend the next year and half illustrating that his entire persona is a shitty facade.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @dr. bloor:

    I don’t have a precise date on my calendar. I predicted the fall, after we have a couple of court decisions under our belt that enforce the House’s subpoenas. I also hope, by then, public opinion will have moved a bit more in our direction in favor of impeachment.

  42. 42
    scav says:

    @Gretchen: Well, that and also trusting Pelosi’s judgement as to when to pull the trigger at her level of action doesn’t at all mean being silent about the need for impeachment at our level (whatever that level is). We, in fact, need to louder and more direct than she has the luxury of doing. To some degree, we need to help build the wave she’ll ride.

  43. 43
    zhena gogolia says:

    When I talk to people outside the BJ bubble (and twitter), they have a very different perspective. I said to a very smart colleague, “The Democrats aren’t doing anything!” He said, “They’re doing things. We just aren’t seeing it, but they’re doing things. It takes a little time.” That calmed me down for about 5 minutes.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    They’re not confident of the politics of stonewalling though, or the President and his lawyer, Mr. Barr, wouldn’t be planting stories about how their real goal is to protect the office of the President.

    They moved off the “fuck you, you’re not the boss of me” position and are now insisting this isn’t about Trump. Something changed. They’re casting around for a political argument on why they’re protecting the President.

  45. 45
    Betty Cracker says:

    That there’s even a question of whether or not impeachment is warranted tells me political considerations have overtaken the constitutional duty to act against a lawless executive as the motivating principle. Maybe that’s been true for decades. I certainly understand the risks involved and the ultimate futility of the exercise in this particular case, so don’t @ me about that.

    But if we’re not going to impeach Trump, we’re admitting that impeachment is a bullshit political tactic. No one is saying that out loud. That’s what’s making it hard to move on. If impeachment were off the table, Trump’s ongoing epic corruption and abject failure to protect the US from foreign interference in our elections sure as shit should be the centerpiece of investigations moving forward. Maybe that’s what Pelosi is trying to get at, without saying the part about impeachment being a defunct relic out loud. Not sure that’s ever going to fly. We’ll see, I guess.

  46. 46
    dr. bloor says:

    @Baud: We’re probably talking past each other, then. Even if Nadler started today, they only have about thirty-four working days before the summer recess. Start preparing the articles now, continue the kabuki until August, and move after Labor Day.

  47. 47
    Luciamia says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “Zip” is what it’ll come down to. But we all know Trump is just playi for time. It’s his only tactic.

  48. 48
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Hildebrand: This, but keep this in mind – the Democrats need to state the case why Trump needs to be impeached to the American people. Saying fuck anyone not with me doesn’t work.

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @dr. bloor:

    The key date is when something is announced publicly. Behind the scenes, they are probably looking into the issue already.

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    Eliana Johnson
    ‏Verified account
    @elianayjohnson
    16h16 hours ago
    More
    Barr on Trump: “I felt the rules were being changed to hurt Trump, & I thought it was damaging for the presidency over the long haul.” Longtime champion of unitary executive theory, Barr bristles at charge he’s a Trump loyalist via ⁦@WSJ⁩

    That’s the president’s lawyer trying out the new excuse in the WSJ. The President was probably briefed, because he’s now clumsily parroting his lawyer.

    The Unity Executive Theory is the refuge of scoundrels. This is the only reason it exists- conservatives haul it out when they’re protecting crooked Presidents. Nixon, Reagan, Cheney and now Trump. “Longtime champion” indeed.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I think ideally what they want is for Trump or one of his people to be in contempt of court with stonewalling. That’s something the public can get their head around.

  52. 52
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Hitlesswonder: Maybe she wants to rub it in the voters face that just showing the Republicans unconditional love results in this shit and maybe next time don’t vote for the incumbent with a R after his name and hope this time will be different?

  53. 53
    Doug R says:

    @dr. bloor:

    For me, it’s time to impeach. I think I understand what Pelosi is doing and have generally defended her to others up until recently, although Trump is effectively crippling most of the committee work she wants to see played out. Not the best move politically, but the constitution pretty much compels it at this point.

    The thing is, it’s NOT punishing to the party that impeaches the president. The republicans with a bullshit impeachment of Clinton only lost a few seats in the midterm, not really any different than usual and in 2000 they were able to get enough votes to get the Supreme Court involved.
    I think Pelosi is watching the “don’t impeach” polling which is close to 50%. She’s afraid of scaring off the middle.
    HOWEVER, 35% are all in on trump and that 15% thinks they don’t want to see the constitutional showdown. BUT like the ACA, I’m thinking the reverse is true. In 2010, the ACA set off the Tea Party to decimate the Democrats who sensed the weak support for ACA and ran away from it. But in 2018, people seeing the ACA hacked at sent 8,000,000 more Democratic voters to the polls, the highest percentage voting in a midterm in FORTY YEARS.
    So I guess it’s all about timing and Pelosi has to show just the right amount of reluctance to bring out impeachment, since the polling for “start investigation” is closer to 50/50.
    The polling moved about 8 per cent in a week, so televised testimony should help.

  54. 54
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @scav:
    Trusting Madam Speaker Pelosi’s tactical and strategic judgment: yes. And a big yes to this:

    To some degree, we need to help build the wave she’ll ride.

    There are a number of people on this blog who are actively working to register voters, protect elections from various forms of dirty tricks, and get out the vote.

    Now is a great time for more of us to join in those actions. It isn’t, nor can it be, all on Speaker Pelosi’s shoulders.

    I’ll add my usual note that there are plenty of tasks for introverts, people with limited free time/energy, and people in “blue” locales.

  55. 55
    DCrefugee says:

    @Hildebrand:

    I think that Leadership is going open an inquiry because they have no other options. Which is where I think they wanted to be.

    This.

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think this is part of the actual issue. Pelosi is very, very, very aware that this is how Gingrich and his acolytes understood and still understand impeachment. And that includes fellow travelers like McConnell in the Senate. Gingrich made it very clear he was working from the premise that “the Democrats had impeached one of ours – Nixon – and so we’re going to get even no matter what we have to do!” And Pelosi is very aware of that reality and belief within the GOP congressional caucus and among movement conservatives. What she doesn’t want to do is green light an impeachment that can be even remotely bothsided into that framework. That impeachment is just how the opposing party deals with presidents they don’t like when they control the House of Representatives.

  57. 57
    germy says:

    Good way to persuade McGahn to stay silent. I wonder when the GOP is going to notice that EVERYTHING is taking a back seat to keeping Trump out of prison? https://t.co/xG4GB525SB— emptywheel (@emptywheel) May 21, 2019

  58. 58
    My Side of Town says:

    In the mean time, Dems could hold hearings on McGahn, Barr testimony and others detailed in the Mueller report and bring in experts to opine on what they they think about their testimony, and if it arises to impeachable abuses.

  59. 59
    MobiusKlein says:

    I think it’s vital to establish the precedent that Congress gets to issue supoenas and have them honored regardless of ongoing impeachment inquiries.

    The nigh inevitable impeachment will not result in a Senate conviction. So we need to preserve the power of the house

  60. 60
    germy says:

    Good lord, why is he telling the truth?

    Justin Amash on the Tea Party: “It turns out a lot of them were not in favor of limiting the size of government, they were just opposed to the president at the time.” https://t.co/ASwIsIaeOQ— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) May 20, 2019

  61. 61
    Cacti says:

    Not every method of inquiry has been exhausted yet. We had our first Court ruling yesterday that Trump’s accounting firm does have to cough up his financials. The NY legislature is also in the process of passing a law to make his NY State income tax returns available to Congress, and Cuomo has already said he would sign it.

    Pelosi is right to make sure all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s crossed before moving ahead with the most drastic measure available.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: The grey aliens. They scarfed him up and did a brain inversion. They even remembered to put his eye brows back on once they reattached the top of his skull!

  63. 63
    B says:

    @Leto: I’m stealing SCROTUS, that’s terrific/perfect!

  64. 64
    Cacti says:

    @germy:

    Terminal illness a la Lee Atwater?

  65. 65
    Miss Bianca says:

    @germy: No wonder my right-wing Trump-humping older brother (Michigan resident) is calling Amash a RINO!

    LOL! The enemy of my enemy is not my friend, here, exactly, but I hope whatever truth serum Amash is huffing proves to be addictive. it will be so dellcious to watch GOPers lose their shit about one of their own finally saying the OTHER quiet parts out loud!

  66. 66
    mad citizen says:

    Is an “impeachment inquiry” different than “impeachment ” ?

    I would like the Dems to hammer often on that old trope: What is Trump trying to hide?

    After all, we’re just trying to obtain information about X, Y and Z. If the info clears the trumps, then fine. If not, impeach with extreme prejudice.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I can’t weigh in on impeachment because I have no principles :)

    To me is was always a political process. When people say “Pelosi is playing politics with impeachment” I think “well, yeah”

    That’s what’s wrong with it, really. I mean, give me a break. You use the same process for when the president has an affair with a subordinate and when a president breaks into the opposing parties headquarters? However. It is NOT used for lying about illegal invasions. This is a very strange process! It’s endlessly flexible.

  68. 68
    Butch says:

    So I have a question. Given that Trump could never do anything that would invite oversight by the GOP, what happens under the following scenario?
    Trump wins in 2020.
    The GOP retains control of the Senate.
    The GOP regains control of the House.
    In light of the GOP’s efforts at voter suppression and gerrymandering I think that scenario is completely plausible. How’s it going to look then that Dear Leader Pelosi “declines” to endorse impeachment?

  69. 69
    Barry says:

    @Hitlesswonder: “But impeachment is pointless. No one will testify. There will be no new information obtained. The Dems will still look ineffectual and be painted as an out-of-control political cult that places party over what is good for country. I think Speaker Pelosi is right that impeachment proceedings would be a huge mistake.”

    The situation that they’re in now is that Trump is 100% stonewalling, and counting on the courts to take beyond the election to do anything about it.

  70. 70
    Hildebrand says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Yep. The case we are building is for the voting pubic, not the House or the Senate. The only court that matters in this case is the court of public opinion. That is why patience, persistence, and plenty of irrefutable evidence will be the key to this whole thing.

    Since we know that impeachment is a tool that no longer serves its intended purpose, we use the process of impeachment to prove Trump’s scummy corruption and incompetence. Airing the dirty laundry on a daily basis will be the ‘win’ in and of itself, because the actual goal is move enough voters to remove him from office with a very healthy margin of victory.

  71. 71
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    Too many Dems had unclean hands in the Iraq invasion debacle. On a straight party line vote in the Senate, the Iraq AUMF would have failed.

  72. 72
    Scott says:

    Part of the strategy is to make being a Trump supporter as painful as possible. What next? Contempt, then daily fines, enforcement of fines through liens, cut off appropriations to departments. Etc.

  73. 73
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Hildebrand: I may just have to copy that out and post it next time I see/hear any of my friends meeping about “why isn’t Pelosi calling for impeachment, she SUX.” Much more cogent and cool-headed an analysis than mine tend to be!

  74. 74
    joel hanes says:

    @Gretchen:

    I think that Pelosi is methodically building the case

    … and I think that she knows that her caucus is not 100% ready to vote for impeachment, and that she will not pull the trigger until she has the votes in hand to win.
    It’s not just the public she needs to convince: she must get Dan Lipinski and Steny Hoyer and Cheri Bustos and Annie Kuster to vote Aye.

  75. 75
    Butter emails!!! says:

    @Butch:
    Is there something magical about impeachment that would prevent that outcome?

  76. 76
    Martin says:

    @Ajabu: I generally am as well, but this is not a good look.

    @Hitlesswonder:

    But impeachment is pointless. No one will testify. There will be no new information obtained. The Dems will still look ineffectual and be painted as an out-of-control political cult that places party over what is good for country. I think Speaker Pelosi is right that impeachment proceedings would be a huge mistake.

    The point of an investigation is to discover. If we discover we have an emperor instead of a president, that is still important to know. And Democrats are not toothless here. The country does not get a budget without Nancy. The government does not operate without Nancy. This issue can be brought to a head, and it should be.

  77. 77
    My Side of Town says:

    @Hildebrand: Social media is also telling me, that this abortion issue is further energizing women of all stripes to rise up and vote against the GOP local, state and national. The level of vitriol is such that I would be surprised if Dems did not retain the House with even larger margins, the Senate and the White House over this issue alone.

  78. 78
    PPCLI says:

    @Baud: I assume you’re referring to my post up above. I didn’t say that Pelosi or Nadler are weak and ineffectual, I said that this how they currently appear. That appearance may be part of a strategic feint to support the message that they “tried everything short of impeachment to bring the American people the information need to know, but that this lawless Administration forced things to this point” [or message to that effect, sometimes varied to include “In America, no one is above the law”.]. If so, that will be evidence that they know what they are doing and I don’t. Which would not be that surprising.

  79. 79
    Martin says:

    @Kay: By this argument all prosecution is a political act. Why do CEOs get fines for stealing billions while the rest of us get prison for stealing pennies? Impeachment is political only because justice isn’t blind. When hundreds of federal prosecutors say that Trump would be indicted for obstruction, that them signaling that impeachment is not a political act – it’s an act of equal application of the law, which thanks to how the Constitution was written is an application that only Congress can undertake.

  80. 80
    Miss Bianca says:

    @My Side of Town:
    And we, as Democrats, need to be harnessing that energy. I get depressed sometimes when I see how anemic the Democratic Party has become in my county, with liberals deserting the place in droves because of how reactionary the region’s politics have become.

    I then get heartened by realizing that there is a strong energy of outrage out there, and again, because it only (or so the popular poiitical wisdom goes) affects women, the chattering pundit classes will underestimate and ignore the signs of an impending electoral whirlwind, only to cluck in faint astonishment when it happens and then immediately go back to ignoring its implications because they are too busy chasing down the White Working Class Male Breakfast Club down at the diner.

  81. 81
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If our democracy survives this Category 5 Shitstorm (“Ask again later,” says the Magic 8-Ball) and undertakes the hard work of making sure nothing like this ever happens again (almost certainly won’t happen, at least not in the absence of a Trump-generated catastrophe that brings calamity onto the heads of everyone equally, including white people), maybe we should revisit the mechanisms of presidential oversight. They don’t work, it seems.

  82. 82
    Mary G says:

    I think Nancy SMASH is playing good cop/bad cop with Nadler and company. There are 29 Congressional investigations, which are generating a lot of testimony demands, document production, and if they stonewall them all, a lot of subpoenas. If they impeach now without all their ducks in a row, the Village will immediately turn to criticism of their tactics and strategy. I think NP thinks what they are doing now is to get popular support up, then impeach in the fall.

    This cracked me up:

    Wow: @justinamash is NOT backing down. He is now talking to a school group on steps of the Capitol about why Trump impeachment proceedings should begin. “Really dangerous for our country” when ppl don’t tell the truth pic.twitter.com/JYhKMtjhuk— Bo Erickson (@BoKnowsNews) May 21, 2019

    I wonder if they came to see him, or he just intercepted them cold?

  83. 83
    My Side of Town says:

    @Martin: Yes. Let congress start bringing in these prosecutors to testify publicly. If nothing else it would buy time for the courts to decide if administration stonewalling was appropriate and in the runup to the elections add to the poison of the GOP with the voters.

  84. 84
    PPCLI says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    @Adam L Silverman:
    @tobie:

    If a strategy of the sort you’re describing is what is animating Pelosi/Nadler etc, then I am much relieved. And they are good at this, so it probably is.

  85. 85
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    Too many Dems had unclean hands in the Iraq invasion debacle

    Right. Agreed. So a practical and political decision as well as an impeachment decision.

    I think Pelosi is doing what she does, which is counting heads. She doesn’t have the numbers she wants on the D side yet. I now think she will get there, where I didn’t before.

  86. 86

    @Butch: I don’t see how this would be measurably different from a world where Pelosi does impeach and the same electoral outcome happens.

  87. 87
    condorcet runner-up says:

    tell me why he isn’t going to be disbarred or fired from his top tier firm for directly disobeying a subpoena?

    if you’re a 3L in law school studying for the MPRE (the ethics exam), you’ve got to be wondering why we even have these rules in the first place?

  88. 88

    AOC channeling DougJ

  89. 89

    @Mary G: Was it FDR who used to say “make me”? Meaning he wanted to do something but needed public pressure to make it happen politically. Maybe that’s where Pelosi is too.

  90. 90
    Martin says:

    Niki Lauda has died. Fair to say he is legendary in motor racing. He was in a horrifying crash at the old Nurburgring circuit (that crash is why it’s the old circuit) which left him severely burned on his head and face, burned his lungs, burned off one of his ears, etc. 6 weeks later he pulled a helmet over his still unhealed burns and came in 4th in the Italian grand prix. It must have been excruciating.

    Say what you will about him, he was a tough motherfucker.

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    She’s quite straightforward, Nancy Pelosi. If impeachment was off the table she would say it was.

  92. 92
    Martin says:

    @condorcet runner-up: You’d think the Kavanaugh confirmation would have put to rest any remaining faith in ethics rules.

  93. 93
    Kay says:

    @condorcet runner-up:

    I agree. I was not aware lawyers were allowed to comply only with the rules they like. I was also not aware prosecutors were allowed to rely on their own personal legal theories about the unitary executive in order to hide criminality.

    In addition to special rules for fancy people, we also seem to have special rules for their fancy lawyers.

  94. 94
    trollhattan says:

    Shorter Alabama: “That’s ‘Public’ teevee, not ‘Pubic’ Teevee!

    Alabama Public Television (APT) has refused to broadcast a cartoon which shows a same-sex wedding.

    The first episode of the 22nd series of children’s programme Arthur features the character Mr Ratburn marrying his aardvark partner, Patrick. But APT instead ran an old episode, and announced it had no plans to show the premiere.

    Programming director Mike McKenzie said broadcasting it would break parents’ trust in the network. In a statement, Mr McKenzie said “parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision”, and that children “younger than the ‘target’ audience” might watch without parental knowledge.

    Show creator WGBH and broadcaster PBS reportedly alerted local stations in April about the episode, and Mr McKenzie said this was when they decided not to air the show.

    Winning the Kulture wars, one ghey cartoon character at a time. And also babies.

  95. 95

    @Martin: The Ron Howard film “Rush” is about the Lauda/Hunt rivalry. It shows the crash. Lauda apparently had a lung transplant last year. The stuff he inhaled during that fire damaged his.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Process is important. The Republicans are essentially lawless at this point. Democrats should not head down the same path. Lawless with better goals isn’t something to aspire to. If the Democrats go step by step and are rebuffed at each step, they will have shown that they respect the rules and norms of our political system and that, as they “reluctantly” pursue impeachment, they were given no choice.

    It isn’t viscerally satisfying, but it leaves something to build on post-Trump and it is much more likely to bring the public along. Impeaching Trump, having the Senate acquit, and then having the public turn against Democrats for overreaching is something we need to avoid. I know some people are arguing that we need to do on principle even if it costs us. I think a grand and glorious last stand is premature at this point. We can still win; let’s try that route

  97. 97
    germy says:

    NEWS: Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has expressed reticence to him testifying publicly in front of the House Judiciary Committee, according to sources familiar with the matter. His team has expressed that he does not want to appear political. w/@LauraAJarrett @jeremyherb— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 21, 2019

  98. 98
    My Side of Town says:

    @Miss Bianca: It doesn’t only affect women, it affects men by the millions. We are not all neanderthals you know. We have wives, sisters, mothers and daughters who we love and want their happiness and believe that the status quo is the best for them. And we hate to see them being used be some political/cult religious attempt to control their lives and in particular their sexuality.

  99. 99
    zhena gogolia says:

    @germy:

    Oh, fuck him!!!!!

  100. 100
    Martin says:

    @germy:

    His team has expressed that he does not want to appear political.

    And firefighters don’t want to run into burning buildings. But they do it because it needs to be done, and that’s their job.

  101. 101
    Tata says:

    @H.E.Wolf: Postcards To Voters is currently writing for Vote By Mail in Miami-Dade County. The stats are really impressive for Dems when Dems vote by mail. It’s a great issue for people interested in election integrity. Join up folks!

  102. 102
    mad citizen says:

    @Martin: I’m an F1 fan, mostly from 2000 on, but been reading the Lauda stories today, saw the movie (Rush), and even as a midwest kid of 15 remember reading about Lauda’s accident in 1976. I can’t imagine what it took to get back in the car.

    On a lighter note, indystar visited Mario at home and published it last week. Asked him what would happen if he was forced to compete in the 500 in one of his son’s cars. Mario said he didn’t know but he he wouldn’t finish last. He’s about 80.

  103. 103
    Kay says:

    ave Weigel Retweeted

    Josh Kraushaar
    ‏Verified account
    @HotlineJosh
    12m12 minutes ago
    More
    Interesting: “There has been a lot of attention paid to the Democratic victories in suburban areas, but we find that Democratic gains were actually largest in rural areas. These gains weren’t enough to get over 50% and win seats in many rural districts…”

    So funny. Every “narrative” political pundits come up with is wrong, because they analyze the last election instead of the one in front of them. There should be a rule- by the time someone puts it in a book it’s already over :)

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Martin: RIP. Four time world champion iirc.

  105. 105
    Mary G says:

    @germy: He doesn’t get to choose, or shouldn’t anyway. Just tell the damn truth.

  106. 106
    germy says:

    @zhena gogolia: @Martin:

    One option is to have him testify behind closed doors, but sources caution numerous options are being considered in the negotiations between the committee and the special counsel’s team. Nadler has called for public testimony https://t.co/dQq24ZtF3O— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 21, 2019

  107. 107
    danielx says:

    Impeach the motherfucker already!

    I know it’s an impulsive answer, but I’m to the point where I find the thought of that loathsome creature in the Oval Office to be physically painful. I’n tired of eleven dimensional chess.

  108. 108
    Kay says:

    @Martin:

    I think Comey’s bungling was really profound. I think it’s made them gun shy. It was absolutely outrageous what Comey did. My husband is a former prosecutor and he was horrified. “What is this? Why is he doing this?” Like, panicking.

    They would rather take the hit on their work than defend their work because they see the danger after Comey.

  109. 109
    Martin says:

    @mad citizen: So, the same answer that Fernando Alonzo would give, though that’s because McLaren (uncharacteristically) couldn’t get their shit together.

  110. 110
    Martin says:

    @Kay: Comey is a good case of why approaching this through a political lens is such a disaster. Had he just done what was right, vs what would have minimized what he perceived the political risks were, then none of this would have happened.

  111. 111
    Doug R says:

    I’m not sure what Comey did swung the election. When McConnell refused to bring Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to the Senate floor, he KNEW the fix was in for 2016.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    Pelosi “declined to endorse the idea,” the report says, citing concerns that opening an impeachment inquiry would undercut other investigations and lack of broad support for the measure.

    This is horseshit.

    Republicans have never let one inquiry stop them from barreling ahead in a bazillion others when it comes to offense against Democrats.

    And broad support? HA! They never wait for that either, they go ahead and build it up on a platform of bullshit and innuendo. If our side can’t drive public opinion with a solid base of facts and suspicions, then we’re utterly fucked as a country.

    I sincerely hope this is bad reporting or Pelosi not speaking well.

  113. 113
    prostratedragon says:

    Today.

    With every day, he and his minions do more damage, some of which is not going to be cleaned up easily. For just one example, consider all the revised risk premia that our wouldbe allies or partners now have to build in to their dealings with us, no matter who is president at any one time.

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    @danielx:

    I’n tired of eleven dimensional chess.

    That’s the danger in playing against a three hundred fifty pound pigeon.

  115. 115
    Aleta says:

    @Martin:

    what was right vs … what he perceived

    Iow if he had defended democracy instead of his (political) self

  116. 116
    TenguPhule says:

    @Hitlesswonder: Then the only course for the House is impeachment and the installment of President Pelosi after the fighting is over.

  117. 117
    Ruckus says:

    I see both sides of the impeachment argument.
    But.
    I rapidly coming around to impeachment. Now.
    At this point what is really to be lost by going ahead?
    If you don’t impeach, what changes?
    Nothing.
    But what if Nancy is right?
    If you impeach what do you lose?

  118. 118
    eemom says:

    Haven’t read the thread, but I’ll put in my $.02.

    For The House not to start impeachment is irresponsible and political malpractice at the point we have now reached, which is that the thing in the WH is openly and unabashedly defying the rule of law and suborning others to do likewise. It is no different from, say, a California fire department ignoring an immediate screaming wildfire alarm because they’re hoping to win a new set of water dropping planes in the next election.

  119. 119
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    I have no reason to think witnesses will be more forthcoming in an impeachment hearing than in a regular hearing. And courts will enforce both, as we saw yesterday. Did the House subpoena McGahn? They’ll need to do that before they do anything else.

    If Pelosi doesn’t get on the impeachment train soon, Democrats are going to lose voters in 2020 as Trump and the GOP write off all of the warnings of a crisis as “just normal political posturing” and the public is gonna buy it because the House isn’t acting like its an emergency, its acting like its just another political agenda.

    Trying to work with criminals gives them a veneer of legitimacy that you don’t want them to have.

  120. 120
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Oh, is *that* what “Rush” is about! We have the poster up in the light booth at our theater, which features a gorgeous head shot of Chris Hemsworth staring bluely, ever so bluely, straight on into the camera/viewer’s eye, and I always wondered what the title referred to – I figured it was a drug reference!

  121. 121
    Leto says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: What’s the difference between an impeachment inquiry and an impeachment proceeding? Would an impeachment inquiry be of more substantial use in obtaining documents/compelling witness testimony, especially via the courts, than via regular hearings? Would the process happen faster via an inquiry versus simply investigating?

    Kay, Imman, or any other lawyers can chime in on this too.

  122. 122
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    What is Trump’s legal authority to “order” a private citizen to refuse to comply with a valid subpoena?

    IOKIYAR.

    As Five Republicans on the Supreme Court and Mitch McConnell have so declared.

  123. 123

    @Miss Bianca: LOL. Isn’t he wearing a driver’s suit?

  124. 124
    Miss Bianca says:

    @My Side of Town: I am not saying abortion doesn’t affect men. What I am saying is that the mainstream’s SPIN and PERCEPTION of abortion as a “women’s issue” means that Democrats, for example, won’t make abortion rights a litmus test for candidates. It means that way too many, mostly male, pundits/politicians get to get away with explaining why half a loaf, or a quarter loaf, or only crumbs, in terms of access to safe and affordable abortion is better than no loaf at all, so why won’t we just shut up about it?

    Of course I know that abortion affects men and #notallmen etc. etc. I’ve worked with abortion rights issues for many, many years. That wasn’t the point I was making.

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If the Democrats go step by step and are rebuffed at each step, they will have shown that they respect the rules and norms of our political system and that, as they “reluctantly” pursue impeachment, they were given no choice.

    It isn’t viscerally satisfying, but it leaves something to build on post-Trump and it is much more likely to bring the public along.

    He who dares, wins.

    Playing it safe is half the reason shit has gotten so bad. We are well past the point an impeachment proceeding would be justified and if you want to convince the public that there’s an emergency the last thing you do is act like everything is normal political process.

  126. 126
    Leto says:

    @Martin: They couldn’t get their shit together with Honda engines. They’re doing better with Renault, though Red Bull are doing just as well with Honda power. Don’t know what the issue was between Honda/McLaren but /shrug

    RIP Nikki. Amazing competitor, great ambassador.

  127. 127
    Cacti says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Hemsworth was actually a good choice to play the late James Hunt. Hunt was a handsome man with flowing blonde locks. The perfect contrast to Lauda, who was a little rat faced dude. Their rivalry was practically made for Hollywood, but went mostly unnoticed here, due to marginal American interest in F1 racing.

  128. 128
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I’ll have to look again!

  129. 129
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Was it FDR who used to say “make me”? Meaning he wanted to do something but needed public pressure to make it happen politically. Maybe that’s where Pelosi is too.

    Yes, the quote attributed to FDR is: “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.” One of my favorite political quotes.

  130. 130
    Ruckus says:

    @Martin:
    I knew a man broke his leg, compound fracture 2 places, 4 months later, still needed a cane to even stand, raced 2 races, won both. Not quite the same as Nicky, but damn impressive. Talking to him after his wins he was of course happy but walking far worse. Racing that soon took a lot out of both of them.

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Leto: I am not an impeachment scholar (such people do exist), so a whole salt lick may be needed. I would guess that an inquiry would leave open, at least technically, the question of whether we should impeach, and a proceeding would go forward with that question answered with a yes. To the best of my understanding, labeling an investigation as part of the impeachment process wouldn’t make anything go faster.

  132. 132
    NY Robbin says:

    @germy:

    “Political” Oh heaven forbid! Jesus, at this point I’m wondering if he’s actually an idiot!

  133. 133
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    what do you think we gain by starting impeachment right his second as opposed to after trying all other options and building a case?

    1.Democrats show that they’re putting their money where their mouth is. Its a Constitutional crisis. Act like its a emergency. Its harder for Republicans to sell this as political posturing when Democrats are using the remaining powers they still have to try and hold Trump accountable and make that case to the public.

    2. Conversely, *NOT* impeaching Trump and simply repeatedly calling him “unfit” and “crook” makes Pelosi and the other Democrats in the House seem like they’re just doing the normal “Some say white, others say black” horserace shit that is the common perception of DC insiders. This makes it LESS likely that Pelosi will initiate impeachment proceedings in the future because by then Republicans will have sold it as “trying to interfere with the 2020 election”.

  134. 134
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: Since you think it is all going end with blood in the streets anyway, what’s your hurry?

  135. 135
    The Moar You Know says:

    Nancy can count. I’ll assume she has a better idea of how her caucus will vote than anyone here. She absolutely cannot launch an impeachment inquiry until she has a backing of the full majority of the House. Can you imagine if she held that vote and lost?

    Impeachment is a long shot. There will be no conviction, so that’s a problem. Trump will simply tweet “declared innocent by Dumb Democrats because they had no choice, I am” and his energized base will believe every word and come out fighting. That is a guaranteed result if we undertake that course of action.

    We could win the PR battle, but the mountain of shit that we all think exists – that body of evidence that proves him guilty of something to the public had all better be there and accessible to the investigators or we will get pasted in the court of public opinion.

    Do I think it’s worth doing? Yes. But I’m perfectly fine leaving both that decision and the timing thereof to the professionals – if Nancy can’t get the full caucus on board then there really is no point.

  136. 136
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Ordering a (former) subordinate to ignore a subpoena is obstruction of justice. Trump is committing an impeachable offense right before our eyes, laughing at us, and daring us to do something about it.

    So far it looks like the Dems are going to do fuck-all.

  137. 137
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Since you think it is all going end with blood in the streets anyway, what’s your hurry?

    I’d like our side to win. Giving Republicans more time to suborn the military and law enforcement is not a good idea.

  138. 138
    dww44 says:

    @PPCLI: I plan on contacting the both of them with your same message. Thanks for putting it better than I could. The time for threats is over;the time for action is now;the time for equivocating is also over;and the time for decisiveness was a couple or three weeks ago. Your lack of action is hurting your own supporters. Impeaching Trump and his no-shows is the only thing to do. Damn the political consequences.

  139. 139
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Nancy can count. I’ll assume she has a better idea of how her caucus will vote than anyone here. She absolutely cannot launch an impeachment inquiry until she has a backing of the full majority of the House. Can you imagine if she held that vote and lost?

    Then names should be leaked so that pressure can be brought to bear.

    The Democratic base are not mushrooms.

  140. 140
    dww44 says:

    @Ajabu: I’m not. She’s harming us by being so indecisive. What the heck is she waiting on?

  141. 141
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I agree wholeheartedly.

  142. 142
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Martin:

    The country does not get a budget without Nancy. The government does not operate without Nancy. This issue can be brought to a head, and it should be.

    I think it might be time to start churning up intelligentsia talk about using these levers they way the Republicans did during the B.Obama administration. Because really, if the Republicans are going seriously Fascist, might as well fight back with all the levers. Perhaps start gently by laughing off legislative proposals made by the Executive Branch. (Or at least drawing the comparison.) Refusing to vote on anything originated in the Senate. etc. “New Rules.”
    One fun bit if it actually came to a head would be to watch the R debt ceiling people switching their tune because Reasons.

    Seriously, though, we have politically talented leadership in the House; enjoying watching them.

  143. 143
    Leto says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    To the best of my understanding, labeling an investigation as part of the impeachment process wouldn’t make anything go faster.

    Granted they’re talking heads now, but most of the federal prosecutors speaking on this disagree with that position. They’re stating that if they start an impeachment inquiry, it further bolsters their position in the courts.

    The House brings impeachment charges against federal officials as part of its oversight and investigatory responsibilities. Individual Members of the House can introduce impeachment resolutions like ordinary bills, or the House could initiate proceedings by passing a resolution authorizing an inquiry.

    If the House passes a resolution to initiate an inquiry (NOT proceedings), would the courts be more inclined to rule on these matters more quickly/favorably? The courts moved pretty quickly in Nixon’s case, would the same hold true here?

    Edit: so that instead of Congress saying, “This is part of our oversight power”, instead it’s, “This is part of a Congressional Impeachment Inquiry.” Do you think that holds more weight? Would it be more effective in the face of continual/constant stonewalling?

  144. 144
    oldgold says:

    NEWS: Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has expressed reticence to him testifying publicly in front of the House Judiciary Committee, according to sources familiar with the matter. His team has expressed that he does not want to appear political. w/@LauraAJarrett @jeremyherb— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 21, 2019

    I never worshiped at the shrine of Robert Mueller. For the past year, i have expressed, perhaps ad nauseam, my concerns about his general approach to this investigation.

    If this report is true, it steeply adds to my concerns about Mueller. Surely, he must understand that not testifying has political ramifications as deep or deeper than testifying. This is particularly so, when Mueller knows and has acknowledged in writing, that the Attorney General has materially misrepresented his Report.

  145. 145
    burnspbesq says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    There is a pretty good argument that any privilege Trump may have had with respect to potential testimony by McGahn was waived when he spoke to the Special Counsel’s office and/or testified before a grand jury.

    That’s why the recent piece of shit from DOJ doesn’t talk about privilege, but rather some unprecedented crapola (technical legal term) about separation of powers.

  146. 146
    TenguPhule says:

    HUD Secretary Ben Carson defends plan to evict undocumented immigrants: ‘It’s not that we’re cruel, mean-hearted. It’s that we are logical.’

    HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Tuesday defended the Trump administration’s proposal to purge undocumented immigrants — and their U.S.-born children — from government-subsidized housing, citing the years-long waiting list comprised of millions of “legal citizens.”

    “It seems only logical that tax-paying American citizens should be taken care of first,” Carson said. “It’s not that we’re cruel, mean-hearted. It’s that we are logical. This is common sense. You take care of your own first.”

    Democratic lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee expressed concern about the plan, citing an internal agency analysis that found it could put up to 55,000 children who are legal U.S. residents or citizens at risk of eviction and homelessness.

    Meanwhile, in other disasters…..

  147. 147
    Kay says:

    @Martin:

    This is a little different than that. The idea is you just put the work out there and it has to stand on its own. So if you’re accused of partisan aims you just have to take that hit, because the alternative is to do what Comey did, which just made it much, much worse. Comey wasn’t willing to take the hit so he went out and did that norm-defying, rule-breaking opiniating and explaining. I bet they see not appearing as self sacrificing. They can’t defend. Cannot.

    Think of it like the federal judge(s) Trump goes after. They cannot respond. They would like to! They would like to defend and explain their work, but they just have to issue the opinion and let bigmouth yammer ignorantly about it, because responding would be such a violation of norms it would be much more damaging than Trump’s lying.

  148. 148
    Martin says:

    @Leto: Well, the F1 situation is pretty complicated. But forgetting to get a steering wheel a week before Indy qualifying and then failing to put gearing in the car that would have made a qualifying time even possible are a whole other category of not-complicated fuck-ups.

  149. 149
    burnspbesq says:

    @Lapassionara:

    Mazars apparently issued a statement this morning saying that it plans to comply with the subpoena. Its ass is now covered.

  150. 150
    randy khan says:

    What’s the rush here? It was a year from the Senate Watergate hearings until the House Judiciary Committee vote, and about nine months from the Senate hearings to the time the House Judiciary Committee started to gear up on impeachment.

    It is better to wait a while for public sentiment to catch up than to get ahead of it. A little patience is okay.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Leto: I may have mentioned above that I am not an impeachment scholar. If I didn’t, let me do so now. I am not an impeachment scholar

  152. 152
    TenguPhule says:

    @randy khan:

    What’s the rush here?

    Waiting a year pushes this into 2020, an election year.

  153. 153
    TenguPhule says:

    Oh wow, Teresa May somehow managed to make the Brexit debacle even worse.

    That’s….incredible.

  154. 154
    burnspbesq says:

    @germy:

    Re Amash: remember, Republican is a flag of convenience for him. He’s a libertarian. Not sure whether a principled libertarian is more or less scary than a principled conservative, but he can keep doing what he’s doing AFAIC.

  155. 155
    trollhattan says:

    @TenguPhule:

    “It’s not that we’re cruel, mean-hearted. It’s that we are logical. This is common sense. You take care of your own first.”

    It’s certainly logical to conclude Ben Carson is developmentally disabled. Doesn’t say anything for two years now comes up with this?

  156. 156
    trollhattan says:

    @TenguPhule:
    What happened to May’s promise to quit? She screw that one up, too?

  157. 157
    Leto says:

    @Martin: Oh Lordy… don’t even want to get into Indy snafus!

    @Omnes Omnibus: You’re not, I acknowledge that, but if what you’ve stated is correct:

    Process is important.

    Then an impeachment inquiry should be the next step. It’s the official fact finding process of the House Judiciary Committee to see if an impeachment proceeding should even begin.

    Also we’re all just providing our best hot-takes here. Trying to see why this course of action would/wouldn’t be advisable from a legal standpoint. Pontificating!

  158. 158
    James E Powell says:

    @Baud:

    I’m worried “impeachment” is becoming another of our Holy Grails — the one thing that will solve everything.

    I get what you’re saying, but consider that what comes out of the impeachment investigations will be the core of the argument to vote Democratic across the board in 2020. Republicans will be required to stand with Trump and, we hope, go down with him. I do not see the potential for backlash from impeachment investigations. I do see and hear dissatisfaction with Democrats for their failure to stand up to Trump. That may be an unfair charge, but so far it is a widespread belief. Telling people their beliefs are unjustified isn’t going to do the job.

  159. 159
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Kay:

    we also seem to have special rules for their fancy lawyers

    Not sure how I feel about this. I’m practicing law today in blue jeans; the Teamsters across the table don’t seem to mind. Does that mean I’m not a fancy lawyer and thus have to play by the regular rules? Not cool.

  160. 160
    Mandalay says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Nancy can count.

    Well she was very wrong last December when she told Trump that he didn’t have enough votes in the House to pass his bill to fund the government that included nearly $6 billion for the border wall, and goaded him on national TV to do it.

    He did, and it passed 217-185. Hopefully she is better at counting Democrats than Republicans.

  161. 161
    TenguPhule says:

    @trollhattan: She somehow managed to piss off everyone on every side of the Brexit debate. To the point she may not even command a majority in Parliament as of today. Apparently she tried to sell her four time rejected deal as brand new with promises of second ref voting for MP unicorns literally within 48 hours of the Scottish Tory leader promising Scotland that a vote for Tories would mean an end to any ref voting.

  162. 162
    TenguPhule says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I’m practicing law today in blue jeans; the Teamsters across the table don’t seem to mind. Does that mean I’m not a fancy lawyer and thus have to play by the regular rules?

    Look on the bright side. At least, you will be spared.

  163. 163
    Belafon says:

    Democrats go to the next step. People should keep yelling about the need for impeachment, but realize there’s a process, which includes people yelling for impeachment.

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Leto: Actually, I don’t think that an impeachment inquiry is the next step. McGahn has refused to obey a subpoena. The next step is contempt proceedings.

  165. 165
    TenguPhule says:

    Oh and this happened on the same day Nadler and the others were arguing with Pelosi about impeachment.

    Trump was shouting to a rally crowd in Pennsylvania that the FBI and Democrats are guilty of “treason,” vowing that Attorney General William P. Barr would investigate — that is, investigate his political opponents for invented crimes.

  166. 166
    Martin says:

    @Kay: I think we’re on the same page here. I’m the guy at work who says the thing in the meeting that nobody wants to say, but everyone is thinking. That puts me in all manner of political cross-hairs, but everything grinds to a halt if nobody will acknowledge what’s really going on. It should be the expectation of anyone in a position of power to run that gauntlet – to say ‘well, I’m probably fucked, but this needs to be done properly’. That should have been Comey, and it wasn’t. What’s worse, he seems to still believe he did it the only way he could. He would be a much more sympathetic figure to history had he been forced out from screaming about Trumps ties to Russia than due to how he was actually forced out. I don’t see how those 4 months were worth it.

  167. 167
    Martin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Agreed, but isn’t Trump ordering a private citizen to defy a Congressional subpoena yet another clear example of obstruction of justice?

  168. 168
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The next step is contempt proceedings.

    AG Barr blows a kiss.

  169. 169
    sdhays says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Indeed. And I think the Senate isn’t as simple as everyone makes it out to be. Trump is deeply, transparently guilty and they all know it. I think it’s highly unlikely that there are enough Republicans willing to lift a finger to protect our republic to actually remove him, but I don’t think it’s totally implausible that impeachment with lots of public support could get a majority, and that would be pretty devastating for Republicans’ and Lord Dainty Digits’ reelection.

    We shouldn’t allow the goal posts to be set to maximum before we even start. That happened with the Mueller Report. Trump Jr. released proof of collusion and the media and Democrats all fell back to saying that since it wasn’t overwhelming evidence and we don’t know what exactly was said blah blah blah that it wasn’t evidence of anything. Jared Kushner wanted to discuss “things” with the Kremlin in the Russian Embassy because he was so concerned about American officials knowing what he was talking to the Kremlin about, and that’s just something weird. Spankee himself CONFESSED on national television to obstruction of justice, but Democrats didn’t want to seem political, so it was left up to Mueller to make that determination. And now we have people like Judy Woodruff stating blanket falsehoods about the Mueller Report (“found no evidence of collusion”, which it expressly DID NOT SAY).

  170. 170
    jl says:

    I don’t follow the minute details of GOP court packing and voter suppression schemes closely enough to have known McGahn’s history. But as the drama of his stay at WH increased, I read a profile. As I typed yesterday, McGahn didn’t refuse to do crazy shit Trump ordered him to do because it was crazy shit, or deeply wrong, but only because it might get him in big trouble.

    And he’s smart enough to know Trump would sacrifice him in a second if he got caught. Not a good guy. Maybe we could say, “McGahn is no Amash’.

  171. 171
    Leto says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: True, but at what point do you acknowledge that the executive is obstructing on all fronts? Looking at the totality of the executive actions (McGahn’s failure to obey a subpoena being example #n), would the next step be warranted?

    Also I’m with you, and others, on how they’re moving forward so far. Being that, overall, the courts want to see that all attempts have been made to work with the executive on these matters. I’s and t’s. Personally I think we’re coming to the end of that, rather than just starting.

    @trollhattan: I honestly don’t know how she still has a job, other than literally nobody else will step up and do the right thing. Oh well.

  172. 172
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Belafon: Agreed. I also have no issue with people like AOC pushing for it. I think that he has committed impeachable acts and a shit load of good old fashioned felonies.

    I think that since the votes won’t be there on the Senate, Congressional Democrats need to make sure that it is clear to everyone that they pursued impeachment after the other channels were closed down and then they need to tar every Republican with the “what are they hiding” brush.

  173. 173
    Mandalay says:

    @sdhays:

    And now we have people like Judy Woodruff stating blanket falsehoods about the Mueller Report (“found no evidence of collusion”, which it expressly DID NOT SAY).

    Link?

  174. 174
    rikyrah says:

    Bodak Red 🌺🌼🌺 (@AFarray) Tweeted:
    “People who came from a higher social class were more likely to have an inflated sense of their skills — even when tests proved that they were average. This unmerited overconfidence was interpreted by strangers as competence.“ 😏

    https://t.co/NHRqWNv4hD https://twitter.com/AFarray/status/1130885097870241794?s=17

  175. 175
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Mandalay: She did not say “in the house.” It matters.

  176. 176
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Martin: Of course it is. It is also pretty clear that the majority of people on this blog are ready for impeachment right now. The American public isn’t – yet.

  177. 177
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:

    One option is to have him testify behind closed doors, but sources caution numerous options are being considered in the negotiations between the committee and the special counsel’s team. Nadler has called for public testimony https://t.co/dQq24ZtF3O— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 21, 2019

    nothing but public testimony should be allowed.

    Subpoena his azz and put him before cameras. Period.

  178. 178
    Leto says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’ll go on record that I’m ready for the next step which is an official Impeachment Inquiry. Make it oversight on steroids. Make it last as long as needed. It can be the slow drip, drip with which we enter 2020, and as you say:

    tar every Republican with the “what are they hiding” brush.

  179. 179
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Trump was shouting to a rally crowd in Pennsylvania that the FBI and Democrats are guilty of “treason,” vowing that Attorney General William P. Barr would investigate — that is, investigate his political opponents for invented crimes.

    Once again, Trump confesses his own crimes by projecting them onto others.

  180. 180
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am … an impeachment scholar

    Duly noted.

  181. 181
    jl says:

    A few weeks ago I read a report that polling consensus was that 49 percent of voting population said they would definitely not vote for Trump. I as wondering how those numbers would hold up, and if Trump’s recent stunts would move that in a good directions. And looks like one of his recent stunts is to try to bring on impeachment to solidify his base and get some sympathy vote from people who dislike the disruption and ugliness of impeachment and trial.

    So, new Quinnipiac Poll. says:
    ” 54% of voters say they would “definitely not vote” for President Trump. 31% say they’d “definitely vote” for him. ”

    Trump can’t plan his work or work his plan, he has nothing that can be called plans. Maybe complete obstruction of Congress can be called a plan, since all it takes is telling his flunky Barr to say ‘no’. But good sign more of public is getting wise the civic rottenness that is Trump and the Trumpsters. I don’t think the corporate news media will help, they will be on camera babbling horse race tout drivel about how the most recent Trumpster lurch into fascism will play with the ignorant Trump dead ender ultra base, while Trumpster thugs shut down the studio. But I think vast majority of voters will figure it out from the headlines, which will become increasingly outrageous.

    Numbers from New Q Poll
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/numbers-from-new-q-poll

  182. 182
    Martin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That doesn’t preclude Democrats from informing the public that it’s a criminal act and ground for impeachment. Nor does it prevent them from taking actions to investigate this act without calling it an impeachment inquiry.

    I think a lot of people are putting the cart before the horse. You can investigate everything that might lead to an impeachment without calling it an impeachment investigation. Articles of Impeachment weren’t voted on for Nixon until a week before he resigned.

  183. 183
    Martin says:

    @rikyrah: I don’t agree with the ‘nothing but’ part, but there should definitely be a public testimony part. I think Intelligence should have a closed door talk with him regarding the counter intelligence investigation, who is conducting that, and if he did any work in that space.

  184. 184
    Martin says:

    @jl: Unfortunately, 42% of the voting population doesn’t vote, which potentially only leaves 7% of the voting population voting, but not for him.

    Democrats need to get that 42% to vote.

  185. 185
    plato says:

    Fuck bob fucking mueller, the inept.

  186. 186
    Lapassionara says:

    @burnspbesq: Good. Thanks.

  187. 187
    Cacti says:

    @rikyrah:

    The Dunning-Kruger effect. Incompetent people chronically overestimate their abilities, while talented people tend to be riddled with self-doubt.

    By gender, about 30% of men overestimate their abilities vs. about 15% of women. Not sure if it has ever been broken down by race.

  188. 188
    jl says:

    This is interesting too, I’ll read in detail later to see how solid it is.

    @RonBrownstein
    More evidence Trump’s support isn’t impregnable. Despite the strong economy, this detailed Catalist analysis by @yghitza concludes D 2018 gains were driven much more by Trump 2016 voters switching to vote D than by increased turnout of core Dem groups.
    https://twitter.com/RonBrownstein/status/1130891104763621377

    Even if 3/4 (rather that HRC’s ‘half’) of 2016 Trumpster voters are ‘deplorables’ who will gladly die for Trumpster racism, winning over the 1/4 that is salvageable will mean a huge win in 2020. Of course, I think the way to salvage them is to aggressively talk about good policy and aggressively communicate how awful Trump has been. Rather than throwing patronizing ‘white working class disillusionment’ pity parties, which is what the corporate media has done 90 percent of the time so far. In other words, I think Warren is doing it right.

    tweet found via joshtpm twitter feed.

  189. 189

    @rikyrah: Public testimony is probably necessary since the public needs to be educated and isn’t going to read the report. They need to hear it straight from Mueller’s mouth.

  190. 190
    Baud says:

    @TenguPhule:
    @James E Powell:

    What I’m hearing is that people don’t care if the Dems impeach Trump later, because they want it now. Whatever. I hope Pelosi doesn’t take advice from the Internet.

  191. 191
    Mandalay says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    She did not say “in the house.” It matters.

    You’re completely wrong. Pelosi and Schumer explicitly (and incorrectly) told Trump that he didn’t have enough votes in the House. From the transcript:

    HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: — you begin, you make your point, you state your case. That’s what the House Republicans could do, if they had the votes. But there are no votes in the House, a majority of votes, for a wall — no matter where you start.

    SENATE MINORITY LEADER SCHUMER: That is exactly right. You don’t have the votes in the House.

    THE PRESIDENT: If I needed the votes for the wall in the House, I would have them — in one session, it would be done.
    ….
    HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: Mr. President, let me — let me just say one thing. The fact is you do not have the votes in the House.

  192. 192
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Martin: I have not said that Democrats should not investigate or call out illegal acts.

  193. 193
    Baud says:

    OT Josh Marshall

    Some very interesting numbers in a just released Quinnipiac Poll.

    Here are numbers that jump out to me.

    President Trump’s numbers are 38% approve, 57% disapprove. On May 2nd those numbers were 41%-55%. 54% of voters say they would “definitely not vote” for President Trump. 31% say they’d “definitely vote” for him.

    There’s also this. Joe Biden is the only presidential candidate in either party with a clear net approval.

  194. 194
    Baud says:

    @jl:

    Despite the strong economy, this detailed Catalist analysis by @yghitza concludes D 2018 gains were driven much more by Trump 2016 voters switching to vote D than by increased turnout of core Dem groups.

    Maybe Biden is the way to go then.

  195. 195
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Kirk Spencer: not to Mandalay

  196. 196
    germy says:

    In other news…

    Only the best people.

    I asked @SecretaryCarson about REOs – a basic term related to foreclosure – at a hearing today. He thought I was referring to a chocolate sandwich cookie. No, really. pic.twitter.com/cYekJAkRag— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) May 21, 2019

  197. 197
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Baud: it’s way, way too early to say that

    But what do I know–I’m wearing jeans

  198. 198
    janesays says:

    I’ve been reluctant to hop on the impeachment bandwagon, and I’m still hesitant at this point, but I have a question for anyone who has a solid grasp of the mechanics of all of this: would an impeachment inquiry actually make it easier for Congress to compel testimony from stonewalling witnesses? Is there specific power that would be afforded to them through impeachment that they don’t currently have that could be used to bring daylight to the things the Trump crime syndicate is trying to keep hidden?

    If so, I think it’s probably time to go forward with impeachment. But only if it can be used to do the things they haven’t been able to do with the current approach they’ve been taking.

    What’s clear is this – as long as Trump continues to stonewall successfully, he’s winning the battle politically. The American public will not be swayed to the position that he needs to go until Congress is able to fully expose all of his shady dealings. Congress may not be able to do that until they have the power afforded them through a formal impeachment inquiry.

    Impeachment is a massive gamble. The reality is that there is no imaginable scenario in which an impeachment proceeding will conclude with Donald Trump being convicted in the senate and removed from office. So if the Democrats go down this road, they have to be extremely confident that the findings from an inquiry will be so incredibly damning that the American public will want to see Trump resign or be forced from office by the time the house hands off the impeachment to the senate. We’re not there today. We’re not even close to being there. If they held an impeachment right now and the only things brought up in the inquiry are the things we already know, not only does this process die in the senate with a majority voting against conviction, it takes a sledgehammer to Democrats hopes to win back the White House or the senate next year.

    I don’t imagine anybody who posts here needs to be sold on Trump’s unfitness for office or the position that he has committed high crimes and misdemeanors which warrant his removal from office. But we’re the minority today. By a lot. America may not care much for the tangerine tyrant, but a solid majority doesn’t believe he deserves to be forced out of office based on what we know right now. Impeachment is still pretty unpopular. And regardless of how popular it becomes, it is almost certainly destined to fail to remove him in the senate.

    Barring his death, Trump is almost certainly going to still be the president on November 3, 2020. If the goal is to remove him from office as quickly as possible, any action taken must be done with a clear understanding of how that action might impact next year’s election, because that is the only avenue by which we are going to rid ourselves of this nightmare. He’s not going to be removed from office by Congress. The only way this all ends is by defeating him at the ballot box. The Democrats have to be confident that the case they can bring against Trump is so strong that they will be able to convince 10-15% of the electorate who is currently on the fence about Trump’s removal that he needs to go. Because if they fail to do that – if they fail to really sell this whole thing to the American public – then it will all be for naught, and we’ll be stuck living in the nightmare in which Donald Trump is still president in 2021, no longer constrained by re-election concerns or fear of investigations, hell bent on exacting vengeance on his political foes and the downtrodden of America.

    As Omar would say… You come at the king, you best not miss.

  199. 199
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @TenguPhule: A quick bit of advice to any Trump Administration official being called to Congress and discovering that Katie Porter will be questioning you either a) do your damn homework and know your subject back to front and upside down and backwards, do not go in front of her unprepared. b) call in sick and get yourself a doctors note that being evicerated on live TV will not be good for your health.

  200. 200
    Cacti says:

    @Baud:

    I’d say the standing of Joe Biden in the polls at present vs. the general opinion of him among the internet left couldn’t show more plainly what a chasm there is between the internet and mainstream Dem voters.

    Whether he goes on to win remains to be seen, but there it is.

  201. 201
    Kay says:

    Ashley Nicole Black
    ‏Verified account
    @ashleyn1cole
    2h2 hours ago
    More
    Guess who’s crying and shaking and just talked to Elizabeth Warren on the phone?!?!? We have a plan to get my mom grandkids, it’s very comprehensive, and it does involve raising taxes on billionaires.

    This whole thing has been such a nice break from the usual grim nastiness of TrumpWorld.

  202. 202
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Mandalay: The one thing that Nancy Smash does, and does very well is not only herd cats but know how those cats are going to vote once herded. She will not make a move until she knows she has the votes to back her. Do not doubt the Nona she knows what she is doing.

  203. 203
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Martin: I was talking about him with a friend earlier today – we agreed that he may have been the toughest guy ever

  204. 204
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Mandalay: The one thing that Nancy Smash knows how to do is Herd Cats and once the cats are herded know which way they will vote. She will not move forward until she knows she has the votes to back her. Do not doubt Nona, she is very good at what she does.

  205. 205
    rikyrah says:

    The New Secession
    Residents of the majority-white southeast corner of Baton Rouge want to make their own city, complete with its own schools, breaking away from the majority-black parts of town.

    ADAM HARRIS
    MAY 20, 2019

    The fight began with little subtlety. White, wealthy parents in the southeastern corner of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, an area known as St. George, wanted their own school district. They argued that the schools in East Baton Rouge were routinely named as among the lowest performing in the state, and were unlikely to improve any time soon. So, in 2012, some of those parents went to the state legislature with a proposal: Create what would be called the Southeast Community School District.

    The legislature shot it down. The parents needed a two-thirds majority for the creation of a school district, and they couldn’t marshal the votes. A similar push in 2013 was rebuffed as well.

    The organizers were discouraged, but undeterred. They needed a new strategy—and they didn’t have to look far. In 2005, a nearby community, Central, was unable to gather support for a school district from the legislature, so it incorporated as a new city. That helped it gain legislative approval to create its own school district, Central Community Schools, which opened its doors in 2007. The St. George supporters launched a petition drive and, in August 2013, registered a new website: StGeorgeLouisiana.com. They would try to create their own city.

    A pattern has emerged over the past two decades: White, wealthy communities have been separating from their city’s school districts to form their own. According to a recent report from EdBuild, a nonprofit focused on public-school funding, 73 communities have split to form their own school districts since 2000, and the rate of places doing so has rapidly accelerated in the past two years. St. George, which activists seek to incorporate as a city, is a textbook example.

    Oftentimes, in these instances, predominantly white parents are trying to break away from a majority-minority school district, which in turn isolates their property-tax dollars in a new district. (Many public schools rely heavily on property taxes.) The argument, then, is that the parents can better dictate how their money is being spent.

    St. George is no different. The proposed area is more than 70 percent white and fewer than 15 percent black, while East Baton Rouge Parish is roughly 46.5 percent black. St. George supporters decry the violence and poor conditions of the public schools in Baton Rouge. Their tax dollars, they have argued, aren’t being put to good use. (Representatives for the St. George campaign’s organizers did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this article, including several emails, phone calls, and Facebook and LinkedIn messages.)

  206. 206
    Kay says:

    @Martin:

    I’m not expressing this very well, but I don’t think Comey had to be a hero. Comey had to have some humility. He had to say “I am going to follow the process, and if conservatives scream that I let Clinton off easy I am going to take that hit and let the work stand for itself”

    He couldn’t do that because he has a giant ego and he had to defend himself, so he didn’t consult the DOJ or do anything according to the rules and he went off on some fucking Mission that he had no business embarking on and then fucked the mission up.

    Indict or don’t indict. Don’t opine. Trump is different because he can’t be indicted in office, so that’s why we’re turning to a different process- impeachment. The rules are different there.

    Comey didn’t have to do anything but follow the rules. He had to issue a statement that he wasn’t charging her and then shut up. The Right would have attacked him! Tough shit. That’s his job, to take that attack and not defend.

  207. 207
    cain says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    @Mary G: Was it FDR who used to say “make me”? Meaning he wanted to do something but needed public pressure to make it happen politically. Maybe that’s where Pelosi is too.

    Obama said the same thing.

  208. 208
    Aleta says:

    Slate

    The polls were wrong. The pundits were wrong. The party insiders were wrong. The bookies were wrong.

    Australia’s dysfunctional, unpopular, conservative government (the Liberal and National parties, currently in coalition, sit on the right in Australian politics) held onto power for a third term in Saturday’s national election. This happened despite the fact that most analysts expected it to lose a large number of seats; despite being (seemingly) out of step with the nation’s emerging consensus on climate change, marriage equality, religion, and race; despite a chaotic tenure in office that has seen three leaders since 2016; despite a threadbare policy agenda; despite many of its high-profile figures recently retiring in frustration or anticipation of defeat; despite betting agencies paying out Labor backers early; despite losing more than 50 consecutive opinion polls. After all of it, the conservatives won the only poll that mattered, in what reelected Prime Minister Scott Morrison, an evangelical Christian, called “a miracle.”

  209. 209
    TenguPhule says:

    @Aleta: Smells like election fraud.

  210. 210
    janesays says:

    @Baud: We’re running out of “all other options” at lightning speed. What new information have the Democrats been able to reveal since the release of the redacted Mueller Report? What daylight is being brought to anything? Trump is going to keep telling his people to refuse to cooperate, and they are going to do as they’re told. Why? Because it’s working.

    If we go three or four more months like this, Americans are going to reach a point where they say, “Quit wasting our time. Either tell us something we don’t already know, or walk away from this nonsense” while Trump keeps telling the country, “Look at the Democrats wasting everyone’s time on this witch hunt.” And as long as the Democrats aren’t able to point to specific tangible new information that they’ve uncovered in their investigations which points to Trump’s wrongdoings, they’re going to have an impossible time convincing the fence-sitters that any of this is worth it.

  211. 211
    cynthia ackerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    This.

    The problem with impeachment is how to deal with the Senate. That’s the long game. McConnell and his tribe are the ones making this about politics. I’d bet a dollar Nancy is setting up how to hit hardest to the soft parts at the right time. Pants POTUS and the Senate majority in one swell foop.

  212. 212
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Baud: Baud!/Biden 2020?

  213. 213
    Baud says:

    @janesays:

    If you’re going to talk about public sentiment, then you’ll have to face the fact that most of the public doesn’t support impeachment right now and by a large margin. If the public can’t tolerate process, they aren’t going to tolerate impeachment, which will draw all the air out of the room.

  214. 214
    rikyrah says:

    From the trailer, it looks like Indecent Proposal, made into a short Netflix series, with the sexes reversed. Has Renee had more work done to return her to her original face?

    Is Renee Zellweger’s Netflix thriller the best trash TV show of 2019?
    In the absurd yet absurdly compulsive drama What/If, the Oscar winner makes an unlikely comeback as a devious, scenery-chewing billionaire

    It’s tricky to explain Renee Zellweger’s new Netflix show What/If to somebody who hasn’t seen it, because it’s an exercise in diametrically opposed contradictions. It’s a sexy thriller, even though it’s about as sexy as slow-transit constipation. Its unique selling point is that it follows the consequences of actions, even though that also describes every single story ever told by anyone in the entire history of humankind. It’s a television series, even though its title is punctuated like a sub-tier early noughties boyband.

    And most importantly, I can’t stop watching it, even though I hate it.

  215. 215
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    What I’m hearing is that people don’t care if the Dems impeach Trump later, because they want it now. Whatever.

    its going to get harder to impeach him the longer Republicans have to sell their narrative that this is just politics as usual.

    The general public really is that stupid.

  216. 216
    rp says:

    @TenguPhule: I was about to say the same thing. Ditto for Israel. Can we trust any of these results given what we know about Russia and various efforts by the right to suppress votes?

  217. 217
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    This, a 1000 times this.

  218. 218
    Baud says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Huh? There’s no basis for that belief. And Dems don’t escape politics as usual by impeaching now. If they held the vote tomorrow, Mitch McConnell would hold the Senate vote on Friday, Trump will be aquitted, and then where are we?

    Probably we’ll be here blaming Pelosi for moving too quickly.

  219. 219
    janesays says:

    @Doug R: The opposition party losing ANY House seats in a midterm is always highly unusual. Since 1934, there have only been two midterm elections in which the president’s party gained House seats in a midterm election – 1998 and 2002.

  220. 220
    Martin says:

    @Cacti: As a guy, imma gonna question that 30% as being way too low.

  221. 221
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    If the public can’t tolerate process, they aren’t going to tolerate impeachment,

    That’s not how it works.

    “process” in this case is being sold as “Normal partisan politics”. Republicans are gaining credibility on this with the public because Democrats are behaving
    like this is normal hard ball politics so far. Lots of talking, no follow up.

    “Impeachment” moves things from talking to action. It puts Democrats on offense and forces Republicans to defend. So what if a majority doesn’t want it? A majority of people don’t want a lot of things but good salesmanship gets them to buy it anyway.

  222. 222
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Mandalay: 2d try.

    I sit corrected and will have to update my notes. Thank you.

  223. 223
    patrick II says:

    That there’s even a question of whether or not impeachment is warranted tells me political considerations have overtaken the constitutional duty to act against a lawless executive as the motivating principle.

    But if we’re not going to impeach Trump, we’re admitting that impeachment is a bullshit political tactic.

    Trivializing impeachment was one of the goals of Gingrich and the Republicans, trivializing congressional hearings and investigations and constitutional law generally is also a broad scope goal. Everything is partisan, there is no truth, no facts in law. It was driven home to me (again) during the Kavanaugh hearing when he ranted that the Democrats were acting on partisan motives — from the guy who spent two years investigating the First Lady of the United States for murdering her good friend.

    The proponents of the executive presidency, immune to laws and restriction, constitutional or otherwise, a castrated congress, and a long term Supreme Court subverting the constitution, have made alternative facts real and real facts partisan.
    They all want to live in the 1850’s where everyone knew their place and the livin’ was easy.

  224. 224
    joel hanes says:

    @Kay:

    Pelosi is doing what she does, which is counting heads.

    I keep thinking of the second half of Speilberg’s “Lincoln”, where the Senate whip-count for the 13th Amendment is the center of the story, and the personal dramas as Mr. Bilbo and Mr. Lincoln work the holdouts.

    I wish I knew who the Dem holdouts on impeachment are.
    I’m moderately skilled at strongly worded letters.

    Anyone have any guesses, or actual information ?

    I’m guessing Hoyer, Lipinski, Kuster …

  225. 225
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    Huh? There’s no basis for that belief. And Dems don’t escape politics as usual by impeaching now. If they held the vote tomorrow, Mitch McConnell would hold the Senate vote on Friday, Trump will be aquitted, and then where are we?

    Probably we’ll be here blaming Pelosi for moving too quickly.

    The Republican narrative is that Democratic accusations of crimes by Trump are just “partisan” because its been all talk, no impeachment. The longer this goes on, the more it gets normalized and our grip on the higher moral ground gets shakier.

    Starting impeachment proceedings now gives us MONTHS to attack Trump and his GOP enablers during the proceedings. We’re not saying have a quick vote on it. Drag it out, SELL THE CONCEPT that Trump is an emergency that needs to go. Behave like we’re in a Constitutional Crisis we all know we’re in.

  226. 226
    Baud says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I see now basis for anything you say. I don’t see any reason impeachment hearings that start now will move the public needle any more than the hearings and court actions were currently taking.

  227. 227
    Martin says:

    I would like to draw attention to the other half of my CA dynamic duo, Rep Katie Porter (to go from never having a Dem rep to having a GREAT Dem rep is almost too much to absorb)

    In an uncomfortable episode during a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) asked Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson a series of specific mortgage-related policy questions that he was utterly unable to answer.

    We have got some outstanding elected officials from CA. Please let us share them by voting for them for national office.

  228. 228
    zhena gogolia says:

    @rikyrah:

    Wow, looks great.

    Unlike the Downton Abbey movie, which looks like the biggest shark-jumping enterprise ever. But I’ll be there for it.

  229. 229
    Baud says:

    @TenguPhule:

    What starting impeachment will do, first and foremost, is allow the internet left to move on to criticizing how Dems are conducting the impeachment proceedings.

  230. 230

    @Baud: This. Pelosi has to step very carefully. Once it dawns on the general public and esp. the FOXbots that she is second in line to the “throne”, you’ll hear the screaming from here to Pompey’s Theater.

  231. 231
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Trump will be aquitted, and then where are we?

    I have to disagree with this. I bet 50% or better of them or better would say “he was impeached”. The Public will be like “something… bad is going on re: Donald Trump…” Trump knows this better than anyone. He uses it all the time.

    They’re trying it on Biden right now.

  232. 232
    zhena gogolia says:

    Kyle Griffin:

    Breaking on @MSNBC: Nicolle Wallace just reported that members of the House Judiciary Committee have subpoenaed Don McGahn’s former chief of staff, Annie Donaldson, whose notes were central to Mueller’s obstruction report, as well as Hope Hicks, for testimony and more docs.

    Rose Marie Woods?

  233. 233
    joel hanes says:

    @TenguPhule:

    He who dares, wins.

    And that’s why you’re Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Nancy Pelosi is a commenter on a not-quite-top-10000 left-center political blog.

    Oh, wait …

  234. 234
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    That’s a question of whether he’s impeached, not when.

  235. 235
    Kay says:

    @Martin:

    I love her too Martin. Stumping them with definitions is smart and this is not the first time she’s done it.

    You wonder why more people don’t do it. They don’t know the answers!

  236. 236
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @PPCLI:

    They’re trying to do this in a way that reasserts the norms, but that genie has smoked itself out of the bottle and dissipated in a dust cloud.

    I’m not sure but that a spasm of violence is coming – there may be nuclear releases into facilities at Bandar Abbas and Iranian military bases, some anti-sedition laws to stifle protest and criticism, and you will see some commentary and serious legal arguments deeming that constitutional term limits are conditions for the voters to decide.

    Ragnarok is here; this timeline got laid in on November 8, 2016.

    After everything goes down, I look forward to collecting Ameros or occupation Yuan scrip (whichever vision wins out) from anybody who wants to bet against this….

  237. 237
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t know the political outcome, which makes me reluctant to do it, because I think we can beat him, which achieves my short term, shallow goals :)

    I think Pelosi is considering it or she would have taken it off the table like she did last time.

  238. 238
    joel hanes says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    So far it looks like the Dems are going to do fuck-all.

    The Democrats are going to impeach.
    But not today.

    If they can goad Trump into ever-worse mistakes, they even have a chance of conviction in the Senate. That’s impossible until it isn’t, and Trump has no restraint and no understanding of process: as he feels more cornered, he’ll impulsively step on himself more and more often.

    When enough Republican politicians begin to perceive protecting Trump as a grave political liability, the wall can crumble in an amazingly short time, just as it did with Nixon.

  239. 239
    rp says:

    @Baud: I don’t see any basis for anything you’re saying either. We’re all just guessing.

  240. 240
    Kay says:

    @joel hanes:

    I confess I think this too- that they are now and will continue to commit crimes, because they are career criminals. That really is a safe bet. We only covered the election year and the first coupla months. There has been further crime-committing.

    Trump didn’t suddenly decide to stop obstructing justice.

  241. 241
    Sebastian says:

    @joel hanes:

    Agreed. I find the Dem strategy extremely effective, to be honest. At first, I wanted heads rolling and FEMA camps and all the other good stuff but the longer this goes on the more it makes sense. Trump is not letting ANYONE speak to Congress and that’s bullshit. The more incidents, the more he denies former employees to testify, the more he blocks fin records despite obvious shenanigans, the more he looks like a crook to the wider population which is barely paying attention to anything.

    I just read Hope Hicks has been subpoenaed and to me, this seems like someone is running a strategy and a series of lays. Trump is very likely to block Hope’s testimony, mostly because he has a soft spot for Hope. The fact that they are going after a perfect target like Hope, someone close enough to know things, entangled enough to force Trump to make a move, but at the same time low-tier and shoulder-shrug enough to make the general public and the pundits wonder why her testimony is being blocked.

    Nadler’s letter to McGahn yesterday was a work of beauty too. Check it out if you haven’t yet.

  242. 242
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud:
    I’m aligned with you on this.

  243. 243
    TenguPhule says:

    @joel hanes:

    And that’s why you’re Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Nancy Pelosi is a commenter on a not-quite-top-10000 left-center political blog.

    You should thank whatever power you hold dear that I’m not second in line for the presidency.

  244. 244
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @cynthia ackerman:

    Pants POTUS and the Senate majority in one swell foop.

    I’m all for that, but NOT, DEFINITELY NOT on live TV. And let the written descriptions of pantsed Dump and Turtlefaced Fascist be mercifully vague.

  245. 245
  246. 246
    Joel Hanes says:

    @TenguPhule:

    One of my favorite quotes, which I often use about myself
    (can’t find the cite just now, wording is approximate)

    “Countless lives were saved when I decided not to become a doctor”

    I’m a programmer and computer engineer, but I would never work on man-rated systems.
    I remember when I was learning to drive: mistakes were made.

  247. 247
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @joel hanes: Also, if we want to go with British military imagery, there is always the British 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem. All sorts of heroic stories and all that, but they didn’t hold the bridge in the end. You don’t want get too far ahead of your support.

  248. 248
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Martin:

    In an uncomfortable episode

    Haha. More like “In showing Ben Carson to be the incompetent, unqualified, grifter bastard that he is”

    Congresswoman Porter is great. I’d be proud to have her as my rep.

  249. 249
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Baud: “Wahhh! The impeachment proceedings aren’t pure enough!” “Bernie would’ve impeached better!”

  250. 250
    jl says:

    @Baud: ” Maybe Biden is the way to go then. ”

    I think too early to know for sure. We’ll see how poll numbers develop as each candidate gives their pitch. I think so far name recognition is driving top two Democratic candidates.

    And we have time to see how the Baud 2020! pitch that Trump is a somewhat worse mess goes over with the voters.

  251. 251
    Immanentize says:

    @jl:
    I think/expect that there is going to be some health issue — it doesn’t need to be Biden or Sanders or Trump. But someone in politics at a high level who is old — and (around Christmas?) The discussion will suddenly turn to age in office. In a big way. Experts on TV for weeks big way.

    Then again, maybe not. But it is such an obvious challenger strategy….

  252. 252
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl: Baud can’t be worse than Tulsi, right?

    Right?

  253. 253
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ye of little faith.

  254. 254
    joel hanes says:

    Nadler has now subpoena’ed Hope Hicks, which I think is designed to goad Trump into fury, and McGahn’s admin assistant, Annie Donaldson, who took notes while the bodies were being buried and the cover stories planned.

    This is getting very interesting very quickly.

  255. 255
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @PlayDough: Fucking PlayDough, the cretin. Delete your life.

  256. 256
    J R in WV says:

    @Hitlesswonder:

    Sometimes the answers to questions are obvious,

    And some comments are wrong in every word used for the comment. HItless – no wonder!!

  257. 257
    J R in WV says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    …the constitutional case for Congress’s right to that material in that circumstance is air tight.

    The legal and constitutional right of the Congress to Trump’s tax records is black letter law, as clear cut as any law against murder could be. Still attempting to stonewall. No limits to Trump’s illegal behavior.

    Still think timing will be everything, Pelosi has a plan and I’m willing to let her do what she was elected to do, manage the House! This is so hard to watch, makes Watergate look like a parking ticket!!

  258. 258
    eemom says:

    @TenguPhule:

    fwiw, miniscule as that may be, I am SO with you on this thread.

    What a bunch of p*ssy ass, ivory tower Neville Chamberlains some of these fine folks are.

  259. 259
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Tata:

    Postcards To Voters is currently writing for Vote By Mail in Miami-Dade County. The stats are really impressive for Dems when Dems vote by mail. It’s a great issue for people interested in election integrity. Join up folks!

    Thank you for highlighting PotcardsToVoters.org! Great suggestion. There are some Jackals here who were/are very active with that organization.

    It would be nifty to have a Postcards From Jackals meetup sometime… virtual or actual.

  260. 260
    J R in WV says:

    @Hitlesswonder:

    No one will testify. There will be no new information obtained.

    Still Hitless, still contradicting every thing happening, another Mister Backwards, everything he says is bound to be wrong. Bound for the Pie Chest soon, no need to read wrong counterfacts!

  261. 261
    janesays says:

    @Major Major Major Major: AOC is dead wrong when she says that the Clinton impeachment didn’t damage our institutions.

    It absolutely did. It made the mechanism of impeachment appear to be nothing but a political tool to be used by the party out of executive power to harangue a president they don’t like. The whole reason a lot of Americans today don’t take the prospect of impeachment as seriously as they did in the mid-1970s is because Republicans turned the process into a joke with the Clinton debacle.

  262. 262
    J R in WV says:

    @Gretchen:

    I think that Pelosi is methodically building the case that she tried everything by the book, that Trumpsters obstructed at every turn, and she had no choice but to proceed to impeachment.

    THIS. Well said Gretchen! Plus Pelosi has a timing gift, she doesn’t want things to come to a boil this summer and be all over by New Year’s Day… We need it to come to a boil next summer, and never go to the Senate until Trump’s every misdemeanor and felony is spelled out in black and white!

    Over and Over in all the investigating committees!!

  263. 263
    janesays says:

    @danielx: OK… but impeaching him won’t actually remove him from office.

    If the reason you want to impeach him is because you want him to be removed from office, you should prepare yourself for grave disappointment. Unless he dies, we’re stuck with this guy as president until (at least) January 20, 2021, regardless of whether or not the House pursues impeachment.

  264. 264
    janesays says:

    @TenguPhule: That is never, ever, ever going to happen. You’d have better luck wagering your entire life savings on Powerball tickets than holding out hope for that outcome.

  265. 265
    J R in WV says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Start preparing the articles now, continue the kabuki until August, and move after Labor Day.

    Way too soon. Hearings into misbehavior of Trump and all his minions all through the year into winter of 2020.

    Start hearings into Impeachment next spring or summer, work right through the traditional summer recess, most outrageous testimony after labor day 2020. Don’t pass it to the Senate until the just before the election, when their cowardly behavior will drive the stake into Trump’s back for Halloween~!!~

    Maybe Madame Speaker has a different schedule, but I’m sure she has a well planned and strategic schedule, which I’m willing to wait for, tho HURRY UP is my natural reaction to every story.

  266. 266
    J R in WV says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Without:

    a Trump-generated catastrophe that brings calamity onto the heads of everyone equally, including white people

    Ford is closing 5 or 6 factories, and laying off 7,500+ workers just for now, more to come. Dressbarn is closed for business, 650 stores GONE today. This kind of thing hits everywhere, and appears to be a Trump-generated economic catastrophe.

    Remember how “Trade Wars are easy to win” you just impose tarriffs on your enemies and presto, you win? Appears to be a case of “Not So Much, Mr Trump!”

  267. 267
    J R in WV says:

    @trollhattan:

    Alabama Public Television (APT) has refused to broadcast a cartoon which shows a same-sex wedding.

    This won’t help their bigoted cause, because every network show has commercials with multi-racial families, two dads, two moms, you name it.

    That part of the culture war is over now, if the ad people have abandoned it in favor of going with the new reality. We won!

  268. 268
    J R in WV says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Oh, is *that* what “Rush” is about! …. I always wondered what the title referred to – I figured it was a drug reference!

    It is a drug reference – SPEED ~!!~ as in fast cars, barely controlled.

  269. 269
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J R in WV: Sorry, it is a reference to an adrenalin rush.

  270. 270
    janesays says:

    @joel hanes: I think it’s difficult to make a parallel to 1973. For one thing, Democrats had a huge majority in the senate during the Watergate investigations, and had impeachment moved forward, they would have only needed to get 10 Republicans on board in the senate to get a conviction. But on top of that, the Republican caucus in the senate in 1973 included considerably more moderate members than is the case in 2019. Republican senators like Weicker, Roth, Fong, Percy, Mathias, Brooke, Case, Javits, Hatfield, Schweiker, Aiken, and Stafford were all much more amenable to working across the aisle than the most “liberal” member of the current Republican senate caucus. Not one of those men could survive a GOP primary in today’s climate, because they would all be branded RINOs.

    I do agree that if public opinion turns strongly enough against Trump that more GOP rats might start to abandon ship, but they don’t care about public opinion as a whole, only the opinion of Trump’s base. It won’t matter if 55% of the country thinks Trump is a criminal and has to go if the 35% of the country who loves Trump is still sticking with him. Trump’s approval is going to have to crater into the 20s before you’ll see any real movement of GOP senators on the issue of impeachment. And the only way for that to happen is for a shitload of MAGAts to renounce their king.

  271. 271
    janesays says:

    @J R in WV: Public television doesn’t air commercials.

  272. 272
    Kathleen says:

    @Baud: @Immanentize: I’m with you guys. (I represent Z List Social Media Not Mavens Local 444. Motto: Insignificant But Heartfelt)

  273. 273
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @janesays: That wasn’t the point.

  274. 274
    TenguPhule says:

    @J R in WV:

    work right through the traditional summer recess

    I’m sorry, but even in my wildest fantasies I can’t see Congress in either chamber skipping a recess.

  275. 275
    Aleta says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Cut it out.

  276. 276
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Aleta: Excuse me?

  277. 277
    Butch says:

    @Butter emails!!!: For some reason every time I tried to log on yesterday I couldn’t get past my own entry, so you’ll probably never see this. My point is that if something isn’t done now nothing ever may be done; the scenario I’m painting without action now is the end of our democracy.

Comments are closed.