Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Now *We* Have “the Bigger Half”

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

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Open Thread: Oh, Look, Another GOP (Alleged) Felon!

Can’t throw an ore-bearing rock around the Peepot Dome Gang without hitting one. From the NYTimes, “Investigation Intensifies Into Top Trump Fund-raiser”:

Federal prosecutors have intensified their wide-ranging federal investigation into Elliott Broidy, a top fund-raiser for President Trump, signaling the Justice Department’s continued interest in questions about foreign influence on the administration.

In recent months, federal authorities have searched Mr. Broidy’s Southern California office and subpoenaed records related to him from a onetime business partner and from Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee. They have reportedly asked the authorities in Romania for assistance investigating associates with whom Mr. Broidy worked to win military intelligence contracts potentially worth as much as $64 million.

They have also charged four people who worked with Mr. Broidy on plans to influence the administration, including on behalf of interests in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. While the charges against three of his associates were unrelated to their work with Mr. Broidy, most have been asked about their relationships with him, according to several people familiar with the investigation.

Taken together, the steps suggest mounting pressure on Mr. Broidy. And they underscore the legal questions raised by his efforts to parlay his access into business advantage in the frenetic weeks after Mr. Trump’s election, and then to influence the new administration’s policies toward the Middle East, where he was pursuing contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The scrutiny comes as the Justice Department has stepped up its enforcement of foreign lobbying laws and continues to investigate whether foreign money was illegally funneled into Mr. Trump’s super PAC or inaugural committee.

Mr. Broidy’s lawyers have contended that he did not do anything that would require him to lobby. One of the lawyers, Chris Clark, said in an email on Monday that he dismissed as “utterly false” the idea that his client used his connections to Mr. Trump to drum up business…

We never had to *ask*, Your Honor. Once we’d inserted our guy into office, we could count on him doing what was best for The (GOP) Family…

The AP story is more painstaking with the details:

Broidy, a 61-year-old Los Angeles businessman, made a fortune in investments before moving into defense contracting and has played prominent roles in GOP fundraising, including as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2006 to 2008 and vice chair of the Trump Victory Committee in 2016.
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Repub Venality Open Thread: Still Laboring to ‘Make America White Again’

The Washington Post, this morning:

There are two likely explanations for the Justice Department replacing its legal team in the census citizenship question case. Neither of them is good, and one could signal something much worse lying ahead.

The Justice Department announced the moves Sunday, as The Post’s Matt Zapotosky reported, and there is at least some indication that it was because the lawyers had qualms about the direction in which this was heading…

Another not-mutually-exclusive possibility is that the lawyers had seen their credibility shot by changing their minds about how to proceed. The old legal team told a judge last week that they were done, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross waved the white flag publicly too, before President Trump reversed the administration’s course in a tweet…

Or as Nancy Pelosi frames it, per Bloomberg:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump’s administration Monday of wanting to “make America white again” with its plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

“You know his hat? ‘Make America white again.’ They want to make sure that people, certain people, are counted,” Pelosi said at a press conference on election security. “It’s really disgraceful and it’s not what our founders had in mind.”

Pelosi said the goal of the Trump administration is “self-evident” to have “a chilling effect” so certain populations will not respond to the census…

She added that Democrats were fighting for an accurate census count and are seeking enough funding for outreach to ensure everyone is counted.

Democrats are also seeking to enforce subpoenas for information on the census. The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted last month to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for withholding documents.

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Repub Venality Open Thread: Impeach Bill “Very Low” Barr?

IMO, this is not a bad idea — Barr’s extremely skittery about having to explain his legal ‘reasoning’ beyond ‘If the President does it, it is not illegal, that’s for sure’. There’s plenty of skeletons we know about in Barr’s closet(s), going back to his participation in the Great Clenis Hunt if not earlier…

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: The Struggle Continues



A spokesperson for the network told Politico it potentially will air parts of the event during Thursday’s newscasts, which will continue normally with “The Beat with Ari Melber” airing live at 6 p.m. ET and “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7 p.m…

Fox News, meanwhile, will air the entirety of Trump’s special July Fourth celebration during a live two-hour “Special Report” with Mike Emanuel as guest host that is set to broadcast at 6 p.m. CNN, meanwhile, did not immediately respond to a request for comment but is currently set to air a documentary on white nationalism at 7 p.m., according to Politico…

And, speaking of Mr. Jefferson…

Per local media WTOP:

On Monday, the Charlottesville City Council voted to drop Jefferson’s birthday as a city holiday. In a separate vote, they created a new day of celebration called Liberation and Freedom Day.

Spencer said the new official holiday — which will be celebrated on March 3 — “Commemorates that day in 1865 when Gen. Philip Sheridan’s troops rolled through town and found a population that was majority African American — and although emancipation for most of them probably didn’t occur on that day, it was the opening salvo for a lot of Charlottesvillians’ freedom.”…