Russiagate Open Thread: Don McGahn, Smarter Than the Average Trump Hire

Which, admittedly, not a high bar!

NBC, this afternoon:

The House Judiciary Committee has set May 21 as the date for former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify, although McGahn has not yet confirmed his attendance.

The committee wants McGahn to address the report by special counsel Robert Mueller, in particular, the part of the report that says that President Trump asked McGahn to fire Mueller, a request McGahn refused to carry out. Mr. Trump has indicated that he will not allow McGahn to testify before Congress because he already spent about 30 hours speaking to Mueller’s investigators…

House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler also threatened Tuesday to hold McGahn in contempt if he didn’t respond to a congressional subpoena for Mueller’s documents.

CBS News also confirmed last week that the White House asked McGahn to publicly state after the release of the Mueller report that Mr. Trump had not obstructed justice. A source familiar with the matter told CBS News that White House lawyer Emmet Flood made the request, which McGahn did not comply with.

“We did not perceive it as any kind of threat or something sinister,” said McGahn’s attorney, William Burck. “It was a request, professionally and cordially made.”…

McGahn and Trump go way ‘back — here’s an early 2016 profile from the Washington Post reporter who broke the Aaron Schock story:

McGahn is one of the top election lawyers in the country, a job so highly specialized that its practitioners are almost unavoidably “Washington insiders” by definition. He is credited as one of the people most responsible for loosening regulations on campaign spending, an enabler of the corporate electioneering against which Trump has defined his candidacy. His wife, Shannon McGahn, is staff director for the House Financial Services Committee, a role that makes her a magnet for the very lobbyists that Trump regularly pillories…

Terris goes on to report that McGahn’s uncle was Trump’s long-time fixer in Atlantic City; that McGahn had worked for Nixon’s old law firm, and spent ten years as counsel for National Republican Convention Committee; that he’s “reported to be a bit of an iconoclast.” And then, also…
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C.R.E.A.M. Open Thread: Speaking of ‘Great Farm Product’…

This is one massive load of bullshit from the Oval Office Occupant.

The escalated tariffs don’t hit agricultural products directly, since most were already facing a 25% tariff imposed by China last year. But the news still sent commodity prices plummeting.
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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: “But My SHOWS!… “

(Jeff Danziger via

I can remember when the devotees of television soap opera were outraged that “their” programs were being pre-empted on all channels by the Watergate hearings.

Even Fox News would probably feel compelled to air Mueller’s testimony, if only for “rebuttal” (attack) purposes. It would be a nice fillip to imagine the Oval Office Occupant, remote in hand, furiously clicking away in search of his essential daily doses of ego-stroking from ‘Judge’ Jeaninne and the Blond with Two Boobs on A Couch…

Russiagate Open Thread: Is Donny Jr Going Under the Bus?

I trust Richard Burr not at all, but unlike the Squatter-in-Chief, he’s a party professional. Preliminary reports this week suggest he may have decided somebody will need to be sacrificed to protect the GOP oligarchy, and it might as well be the guy whose own father doesn’t like or care about him…

Digby (Heather Digby Parton) at Salon:

It’s clear that Trump is… probably unaware that Burr also acted as a back channel during the investigation, speaking to former White House counsel Don McGahn about whom the committee had interviewed. But Trump mentioned that Burr had said publicly that his committee had found no evidence of collusion and seemed confused since he had obviously considered Burr to be among his loyal henchmen.

Burr is a strange figure in all this. He has gone out of his way to avoid appearing publicly with Trump, supposedly to avoid the appearance of a conflict even as he shared info with the White House and intervened with the press on Trump’s behalf. He has managed to work congenially with Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the panel’s ranking Democrat, and by all accounts the committee investigation itself has not been compromised…

Burr’s back-channel activities with the White House are reminiscent of Sen. Howard Baker of Watergate fame, the Tennessee Republican known for his repeated question, “What did the president know and when did he know it?” It was later learned that Baker had secretly provided the Nixon White House with information about the Watergate committee’s investigation; his question was designed to protect Richard Nixon, under the assumption that Nixon hadn’t known anything about the criminal cover-up. When it could no longer be denied that Nixon knew everything, Baker changed sides and sealed his reputation as a man of integrity, even though the truth was much murkier than that.
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Open Thread: “A Clown Living on Credit”

Stories like this are why I subscribe, however grudgingly, to the NYTimes. Because *I* know Trump’s a deadbeat dependent on money laundering, and you know Trump’s a deadbeat, and even Melania knows better than to run up the family credit card — but until the bovine masses of Media Village Idiots and political horserace touts sense a shift in the conventional wisdom strong enough to rearrange their beloved formulas, it’s not enough.

Also, I’m meanly gleeful that this must be causing the Squatter-in-Chief pain…

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