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House of Representatives 2: Nancy is in Charge


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GreyhoundFan

Continued from here:

 

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He's a Democrat, in case you were wondering

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GreyhoundFan

About time: "House changes its rules during pandemic, allowing remote voting for the first time in its 231-year history"

Spoiler

The House on Friday approved the most radical change to its rules in generations, allowing its members to cast committee and floor votes from afar — the culmination of a months-long struggle to adapt the 231-year-old institution to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite bipartisan frustrations with the virus’s effect on the legislative process, the changes, which include temporarily authorizing remote committee work and proxy voting on the House floor, were adopted along party lines. The vote was 217 to 189.

Democratic leaders pushed forward with the changes this week after failing to come to terms in two weeks of negotiations with Republicans, who firmly opposed several key measures in the proposal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and top Democrats said the changes were temporary and tailored to the current crisis — which has made mass gatherings of lawmakers hazardous — but necessary to ensure that the House fulfills its constitutional obligations.

The House has sputtered for the past two months as other organs of the federal government — most notably the Supreme Court — and schools, localities and the private sector have embraced video technology to conduct business. The smaller, 100-member Senate returned May 4 and has relied on remote committee work for hearings, though senators still must be present for roll-call votes.

Defending the changes during the floor debate Friday, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said the moves were purely temporary and would “not fundamentally alter the nature of the House or how it operates.”

“There is no dangerous precedent, only a common-sense solution to an unprecedented crisis that demands our ingenuity and adaptability as an institution,” Hoyer said.

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) addressed the balancing act of responsibility and health risks as members returned to the Capitol on Friday to vote on the rules changes and a $3 trillion emergency relief package. Washington remains under a stay-at-home order through June 8.

“Any of us could have the virus and not even know it. We could be asymptomatic but carriers nonetheless,” McGovern said. “Convening Congress must not, must not turn into a super-spreader event. . . . What would be radical is if this House did nothing, if we made members decide between spreading a deadly virus or legislating for the American people. That’s a false choice. We can and we should do both.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) pointed to a public health reality: The Washington region was a virus hot spot, and several lawmakers are under treatment for chronic medical conditions.

“The best place you can find to get the coronavirus is indoors in an enclosed room with a lot of people and a lot of talk,” he said. “That’s the definition of Congress.”

Republicans argue that the current 430-member House could instead make more-modest adaptations to its operations. They have raised several objections, including that lawmakers should report to their workplaces like other essential workers, that the rules changes erode the rights of the minority and that they represent a major break with the customs of the House.

“We are changing the power of Congress itself,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Friday. “The Founders would be ashamed of today,” he added. “This is not what they envisioned, this is not what they believed in, and this is not the action the American public believe.”

Several Republicans said Congress did not change its rules and continued to meet even as the Civil War raged fewer than 100 miles from the Capitol. Others recalled the onerous conditions the nation’s founders faced in traveling to Washington.

“Our founders used to ride days on horseback, on wagons, through unkind conditions to get to D.C.,” said Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.). “Us, we only have to brave TSA lines and occasionally a delayed flight. You know, the Constitution here did not catch the virus. Why are we voting on a measure here to basically suspend it?”

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said the House could take “appropriate precautions and go back to work. That’s what the executive branch is doing. That’s what the United States Senate is doing. That’s what millions of Americans do each and every day. We should be no different. The House should do the same.”

Some of the rule changes, however, largely match procedures already in use in the Republican-controlled Senate — such as the use of videoconferencing technology at committee hearings.

The House Democrats’ proposal would go further, allowing fully virtual hearings as well as committee business meetings in which legislation can be considered, amended and advanced to the floor.

The proxy voting proposal allows any member attending a House vote to cast as many as 10 votes on behalf of colleagues who have authorized those votes by letter to the House clerk.

It remains unclear just how widely the proxy voting option will be used. Between 25 and 35 members have been absent for the House votes held amid the pandemic. But a half-dozen House Democrats polled Friday said they would continue to vote in person as long as they were able.

“This is for emergencies,” said Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.). “It’s not like, ‘I’m having a bad day and I don’t want to go to Washington.’ ”

But Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.) said she planned to be selective about which votes she physically attends going forward, lest she expose herself and others to needless risk in her trip to and from El Paso.

“It just depends situation to situation. I am cognizant of the fact that this is a hot spot,” she said. “I have to think about those things. It’s more complex than saying, ‘Oh, I’ll be here every vote.’ . . . Really, it’s putting other people at risk.”

Democrats said they incorporated several Republican suggestions, including limiting the number of proxy votes any one member could cast, restricting virtual hearings to approved software platforms and requiring sufficient notice of any remote proceedings.

All of the provisions are temporary under the resolution, applying only to “a public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus,” as declared by the House speaker.

The House session Friday is the third time that a large number of lawmakers have been called back to Washington since mid-February.

Significant social distancing measures have been undertaken on Capitol Hill, including limiting the number of lawmakers gathering on the floor by establishing a platoon system for voting and otherwise encouraging those members who are not speaking to remain in their offices.

The Rules Committee has met in the vast hearing room of the Ways and Means Committee rather than in its tiny space tucked above the House chamber, and a Thursday hearing of the House Energy Committee took place with members sitting apart.

Those adaptations, Republicans have argued, are sufficient.

“If the whole House can conduct business while adhering to health guidelines, then so too can our committees,” the top Republicans on House committees wrote in a letter Thursday, calling the Democratic proposal a “partisan assault on the rights of the House Minority and our ability to effectively represent the American people.”

The changes appear to be the most significant to the chamber’s operations in at least 25 years, perhaps longer.

In the years after the Watergate scandal, a bumper crop of Democratic freshmen pushed through changes that diluted the power of powerful committee chairmen and increased the transparency of the lawmaking process — culminating in 1979 with fully televised proceedings.

After Republicans took over the House in 1995, they instituted changes meant to address what they saw as Democratic abuses of power — including the use of proxy voting in committees.

And after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the House formulated procedures to ensure it could function in case of a mass-casualty event affecting Congress. But House leaders believed those procedures were ill suited to the circumstances of a pandemic and opted against invoking them, aides said.

 

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fraurosena

I bet the questioner didn't see that one coming...

 

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GreyhoundFan

I wasn't quite sure where to post this, but since AOC wrote a tweet, I figured this was as good as anywhere.

 

It's disgusting that Christie is going to pocket a fortune on the backs of the people of Puerto Rico.

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fraurosena

There will be some must watch testimony before the House Judiciary Committee from two whistleblowers on June 24.

Chairman Nadler Statement on Testimony from Former DOJ Official and Subpoenas for Whistleblowers

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Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued two subpoenas for testimony from two Department of Justice whistleblowers. These individuals—John W. Elias and Aaron S.J. Zelinsky—are prepared to describe the unprecedented politicization of the Department under President Trump and Attorney General William Barr. Mr. Elias and Mr. Zelinsky will be joined by former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer in a hearing before the Committee on June 24, 2020. 

Chairman Nadler released the following statement:

“Again and again, Attorney General Barr has demonstrated that he will cater to President Trump’s private political interests, at the expense of the American people and the rule of law. He has abruptly reversed course on prosecutions against the President’s allies and friends. He has pursued pretextual investigations against the President’s perceived political enemies. He has failed to defend the Affordable Care Act, and he has helped to roll back important civil rights protections. Although he has since tried to escape responsibility for his actions, he ordered federal officers to use tear gas, stun grenades, and pepper spray on American citizens peaceably exercising their constitutional rights—all to clear a path for the President, who wanted a convenient photo op.

“The Attorney General—who cites his busy schedule as a basis for refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee but has made time for multiple television interviews—may have abdicated his responsibility to Congress, but the brave men and women of our civil service have not. The Committee welcomes the testimony of current and former Department officials who will speak to the lasting damage the President and the Attorney General have inflicted on the Department of Justice. Two of the witnesses scheduled to testify, Aaron Zelinsky and John Elias, are dedicated public servants currently employed by the Department. Mr. Zelinsky can speak to the Department’s handling of the sentencing of Roger Stone and Mr. Elias can speak to improperly motivated activity by the Antitrust Division. A third witness, former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer, who served under President George H.W. Bush, will describe what is at stake when there is a breakdown of the Department’s independence at the hands of its own leadership.”

 

More info:

 

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GreyhoundFan

So now Matt Gaetz has a secret sort-of son? "Republican Matt Gaetz and son, Nestor, appear together on Fox News"

Spoiler

Rep. Matt Gaetz created a social media frenzy Thursday when he revealed he had a teenage son named Nestor and later introduced the young man during an appearance on Fox News.

Gaetz (R-Fla.) shared that he has a Cuban-born son to explain why he became so irate when Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), who is black, said the white lawmakers in the room couldn’t understand what it was like to father a black child.

Many raised doubts about Gaetz’s claim of a secret son. He never mentioned his son in his biographical data or elsewhere. An old photo surfaced online of Gaetz with Nestor in which the congressman refers to him as a “local student.”

Gaetz told People Magazine in an interview that he never formally adopted 19-year-old Nestor but that Nestor has lived with him since immigrating from Cuba at age 12.

“Nestor is the light of my life. . . . I’ve raised him for the last six years and he is just the most remarkable young man,” Gaetz told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

“I’ve raised Nestor to believe that in our family we treat everyone equally. It doesn’t matter what their background is, what their race is. We treat every American the same and with respect,” Gaetz added as photos of him and Nestor flashed on the screen.

When Nestor appeared in the final moments of the segment, Carlson asked him what he thought about Richmond’s remarks.

“I think it’s kind of unfair to tell someone that they don’t understand because of their racial color,” Nestor said.

The heated exchange between the two congressmen came during a House Judiciary Committee markup of a policing reform bill on Wednesday. Richmond lashed out at Republicans for offering amendments to the legislation, telling them he has worries in his life, like a black son, that they can’t know.

“You’ve never lived in my shoes, and you do not know what it’s like to be an African American male, and all I’m saying is if you are opposed to this legislation, let’s just have the vote, but please do not come in this committee room and make a mockery of the pain that exists in my community,” Richmond said.

Gaetz interjected, asking Richmond if he was “certain that none of us have nonwhite children? Because you referenced your black son, and you said none of us could understand.”

“Matt, Matt, stop,” Richmond said. “I’m not about to get sidetracked about the color of our children. . . . It is not about the color of your kids. It is about black males, black people in the streets that are getting killed, and if one of them happens to be your kid, I’m concerned about him, too, and clearly, I’m more concerned about him than you are.”

An incensed Gaetz then raised his voice and yelled, “You’re claiming you have more concern for my family than I do? Who in the hell do you think you are?”

The next morning, Gaetz tweeted a selfie of himself and a young man.

“For all those wondering, this is my son Nestor. We share no blood but he is my life. He came from Cuba (legally, of course) six years ago and lives with me in Florida. I am so proud of him and raising him has been the best, most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life,” Gaetz wrote.

“As you can imagine, I was triggered when (to make an absurd debate point) a fellow congressman diminished the contributions of Republicans because we don’t raise nonwhite kids. Well, I have.”

Many skeptics questioned Gaetz’s story, and throughout the day “Nestor” trended on Twitter. Former congresswoman Katie Hill (D-Calif.) defended Gaetz, who she said is a friend.

“He talks about Nestor more than anything, has done so much for his son & is truly a proud dad,” Hill tweeted.

Richmond did not weigh in on the news that Gaetz has a son when asked for his reaction but did question Gaetz’s ability to prepare a child of color for interactions with the police.

“From his display yesterday, I don’t think that son is going to get an adequate talk that goes with being a person of color in America because I think that the congressman doesn’t get it,” Richmond said in an interview. “We all know that the talk that you have to have, especially with young black males and males of color, about their interactions with police — I’m not sure he has the life experience to give that.”

 

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WiseGirl
1 hour ago, GreyhoundFan said:

So now Matt Gaetz has a secret sort-of son? "Republican Matt Gaetz and son, Nestor, appear together on Fox News"

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Rep. Matt Gaetz created a social media frenzy Thursday when he revealed he had a teenage son named Nestor and later introduced the young man during an appearance on Fox News.

Gaetz (R-Fla.) shared that he has a Cuban-born son to explain why he became so irate when Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), who is black, said the white lawmakers in the room couldn’t understand what it was like to father a black child.

Many raised doubts about Gaetz’s claim of a secret son. He never mentioned his son in his biographical data or elsewhere. An old photo surfaced online of Gaetz with Nestor in which the congressman refers to him as a “local student.”

Gaetz told People Magazine in an interview that he never formally adopted 19-year-old Nestor but that Nestor has lived with him since immigrating from Cuba at age 12.

“Nestor is the light of my life. . . . I’ve raised him for the last six years and he is just the most remarkable young man,” Gaetz told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

“I’ve raised Nestor to believe that in our family we treat everyone equally. It doesn’t matter what their background is, what their race is. We treat every American the same and with respect,” Gaetz added as photos of him and Nestor flashed on the screen.

When Nestor appeared in the final moments of the segment, Carlson asked him what he thought about Richmond’s remarks.

“I think it’s kind of unfair to tell someone that they don’t understand because of their racial color,” Nestor said.

The heated exchange between the two congressmen came during a House Judiciary Committee markup of a policing reform bill on Wednesday. Richmond lashed out at Republicans for offering amendments to the legislation, telling them he has worries in his life, like a black son, that they can’t know.

“You’ve never lived in my shoes, and you do not know what it’s like to be an African American male, and all I’m saying is if you are opposed to this legislation, let’s just have the vote, but please do not come in this committee room and make a mockery of the pain that exists in my community,” Richmond said.

Gaetz interjected, asking Richmond if he was “certain that none of us have nonwhite children? Because you referenced your black son, and you said none of us could understand.”

“Matt, Matt, stop,” Richmond said. “I’m not about to get sidetracked about the color of our children. . . . It is not about the color of your kids. It is about black males, black people in the streets that are getting killed, and if one of them happens to be your kid, I’m concerned about him, too, and clearly, I’m more concerned about him than you are.”

An incensed Gaetz then raised his voice and yelled, “You’re claiming you have more concern for my family than I do? Who in the hell do you think you are?”

The next morning, Gaetz tweeted a selfie of himself and a young man.

“For all those wondering, this is my son Nestor. We share no blood but he is my life. He came from Cuba (legally, of course) six years ago and lives with me in Florida. I am so proud of him and raising him has been the best, most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life,” Gaetz wrote.

“As you can imagine, I was triggered when (to make an absurd debate point) a fellow congressman diminished the contributions of Republicans because we don’t raise nonwhite kids. Well, I have.”

Many skeptics questioned Gaetz’s story, and throughout the day “Nestor” trended on Twitter. Former congresswoman Katie Hill (D-Calif.) defended Gaetz, who she said is a friend.

“He talks about Nestor more than anything, has done so much for his son & is truly a proud dad,” Hill tweeted.

Richmond did not weigh in on the news that Gaetz has a son when asked for his reaction but did question Gaetz’s ability to prepare a child of color for interactions with the police.

“From his display yesterday, I don’t think that son is going to get an adequate talk that goes with being a person of color in America because I think that the congressman doesn’t get it,” Richmond said in an interview. “We all know that the talk that you have to have, especially with young black males and males of color, about their interactions with police — I’m not sure he has the life experience to give that.”

 

I saw this last night. I don't know why but I find it rather unsettling. 

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GreyhoundFan

Aw, poor Devin was turned down by the court: "Devin Nunes cannot sue Twitter over fake cow parody account, judge rules"

Spoiler

A Virginia judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in 2019 over statements made by a Republican strategist and two parody accounts, one pretending to be a cow and the other his mother.

Judge John Marshall, in a letter to Nunes’s attorneys on Friday, cited a federal law that protects social media companies from being held responsible for what individuals post on their sites.

Marshall, of Virginia Circuit Court, wrote that Nunes “seeks to have the court treat Twitter as the publisher or speaker of the content provided by others based on its allowing or not allowing certain content to be on its Internet platform. The court refuses to do so.”

Nunes was seeking $250 million in damages, claiming the parody accounts that taunted him and attacks from GOP strategist Liz Mair almost cost him his reelection. The California congressman is the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a close ally of President Trump.

When Nunes sued “Devin Nunes’ Cow” in March 2019, the account had 1,000 followers. But the news that Nunes was suing made the account go viral. Today it has over 725,000 followers.

Nunes claimed in his lawsuit that derogatory comments made about him by the cow, “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and Mair had slandered his character. He also accused Twitter of negligence for not removing the misinformation such as calling him a “treasonous cowpoke” or that “Nunes was ‘voted ‘Most Likely to Commit Treason’ in high school.”

The creators of the two parody accounts are anonymous, and Twitter will not reveal who is behind them, though Nunes is attempting to sue them and Mair directly as well. Only the lawsuit against Twitter was dismissed.

“Without having read what the judge has reportedly issued, I will just say that from my standpoint this lawsuit and the other in which I am also being sued by Rep. Nunes .... remains an assault on the First Amendment and the core American principle of free speech,” Mair said. “Rep. Nunes took an oath to support and defend the Constitution — all of it and not just the bits he likes — and I hope he will take the opportunity to reflect on that fact again today and proceed accordingly.”

Nunes is litigious, having sued many news organizations, including The Washington Post, and others for making critical statements about him.

The fake cow reacted to the judge’s decision with a picture of milk spewed at Nunes’ face.

“The herd responded to Devin’s loss in court today. I had to hide the ice cream so they didn’t throw it as well,” the cow tweeted.

image.png.d049c455dcba6f5b5aa28a0f0aebec11.png

 

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Cartmann99
3 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Aw, poor Devin was turned down by the court: "Devin Nunes cannot sue Twitter over fake cow parody account, judge rules"

  Reveal hidden contents

A Virginia judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in 2019 over statements made by a Republican strategist and two parody accounts, one pretending to be a cow and the other his mother.

Judge John Marshall, in a letter to Nunes’s attorneys on Friday, cited a federal law that protects social media companies from being held responsible for what individuals post on their sites.

Marshall, of Virginia Circuit Court, wrote that Nunes “seeks to have the court treat Twitter as the publisher or speaker of the content provided by others based on its allowing or not allowing certain content to be on its Internet platform. The court refuses to do so.”

Nunes was seeking $250 million in damages, claiming the parody accounts that taunted him and attacks from GOP strategist Liz Mair almost cost him his reelection. The California congressman is the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a close ally of President Trump.

When Nunes sued “Devin Nunes’ Cow” in March 2019, the account had 1,000 followers. But the news that Nunes was suing made the account go viral. Today it has over 725,000 followers.

Nunes claimed in his lawsuit that derogatory comments made about him by the cow, “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and Mair had slandered his character. He also accused Twitter of negligence for not removing the misinformation such as calling him a “treasonous cowpoke” or that “Nunes was ‘voted ‘Most Likely to Commit Treason’ in high school.”

The creators of the two parody accounts are anonymous, and Twitter will not reveal who is behind them, though Nunes is attempting to sue them and Mair directly as well. Only the lawsuit against Twitter was dismissed.

“Without having read what the judge has reportedly issued, I will just say that from my standpoint this lawsuit and the other in which I am also being sued by Rep. Nunes .... remains an assault on the First Amendment and the core American principle of free speech,” Mair said. “Rep. Nunes took an oath to support and defend the Constitution — all of it and not just the bits he likes — and I hope he will take the opportunity to reflect on that fact again today and proceed accordingly.”

Nunes is litigious, having sued many news organizations, including The Washington Post, and others for making critical statements about him.

The fake cow reacted to the judge’s decision with a picture of milk spewed at Nunes’ face.

“The herd responded to Devin’s loss in court today. I had to hide the ice cream so they didn’t throw it as well,” the cow tweeted.

image.png.d049c455dcba6f5b5aa28a0f0aebec11.png

 

Is he going to take his toys and go over to Parler now? I keep seeing conservatives say they hate Twitter, but they always come back after the next shiny thing doesn't instantly surpass Twitter's popularity.

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GreyhoundFan
47 minutes ago, Cartmann99 said:

Is he going to take his toys and go over to Parler now? I keep seeing conservatives say they hate Twitter, but they always come back after the next shiny thing doesn't instantly surpass Twitter's popularity.

And the cow replied:

image.png.7f886617945eb626ffc665c73ef60131.png

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onekidanddone

Maybe no one is responding to his tweets because he is a whiny widdle wanker 

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fraurosena

Nope, she's not mincing her words at all.

 

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fraurosena

As Trump’s corruption gets worse, some Democrats want a tougher response

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The big revelations of the moment — the reports that Russia may have paid bounties for the killing of U.S. troops, and the news that a U.S. attorney was ousted after investigating Trump cronies — are a reminder that Trump has found a gaping hole in our system.

If a president refuses to cooperate with congressional oversight in just about every conceivable way — and if that president has the near-total backing of a party that controls one chamber of Congress — any such scrutiny can basically be ground to a halt, with no repercussions.

But a group of House Democrats is now calling on its chamber to get a lot tougher in this regard.

This group of Democrats — which is led by Rep. Ted Lieu of California and includes other high-profile lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee — is introducing a resolution Monday that, if successful, would dramatically increase the House’s ability to compel compliance with oversight.

This resolution would create a new, modernized mechanism by which the House could seek to levy stiff fines on officials who defy subpoenas for testimony or documents. It would in effect bring into the 21st century a power that Congress has used only rarely in the past — the power to enforce its own subpoenas.

“The administration can simply choose not to have witnesses appear and not produce documents, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Lieu told me, noting that “we’ve seen the Trump administration getting worse, not better, in terms of both obstruction and engaging in reckless conduct.”

The scandals are mounting

The latest scandals help focus the mind on the severity of the problem here. We just learned that U.S. intelligence has indicated that Russia may have offered bounties to militias linked to the Taliban for attacking coalition forces in Afghanistan — and that this may have resulted in the deaths of U.S. troops.

Trump claims intelligence services informed him this information is not credible and that they actually never briefed him on it.

Given that intelligence sources are telling news organizations otherwise, there’s no reason to accept Trump’s claims at face value. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for an accounting to Congress.

But Trump’s director of national intelligence has issued a remarkable statement supporting Trump’s claim that he wasn’t briefed without actually refuting what reports say about those intelligence findings. This suggests the DNI may be corrupting the process on Trump’s behalf.

Whatever the truth, all this raises the stakes for Congress to get the full story — even as it casts further doubt on the likelihood of the administration cooperating to make that possible.

Meanwhile, Trump’s ouster of the prosecutor in New York who was investigating his associates — and Attorney General William Barr’s shadowy role in it — is also screaming out for congressional scrutiny. So, too, are Barr’s other ongoing efforts to corrupt our democracy on Trump’s behalf.

Barr has agreed to testify at the end of July. But that’s a month away, and who knows if he’ll show up. Meanwhile, two top Trump defense officials have refused to testify to the House about the military’s response to protests. All this comes after Trump was impeached for obstructing Congress — which obviously didn’t chasten him.

Enter the new proposal.

The resolution

Lieu’s resolution — which is backed by Reps. Val Demings, Jamie Raskin, Joe Neguse, David Cicilline and Madeleine Dean, all of the Judiciary Committee — would change House rules to create a stiffer mechanism of accountability for flouting oversight.

Under it, any House committee that wanted to bring proceedings against an official for defying subpoenas could refer a resolution of contempt to the full House. If approved, the House can authorize its counsel to go to court to sue and ask it to freeze the offender’s assets.

This process would give the official 20 days to comply with the subpoena, after which the House counsel would ask the court to levy a fine of up to $25,000, to be increased as high as $100,000 over time.

The process would also provide for the House to negotiate with the administration over their reasons for noncompliance (the administration can also contest the fine in court), and to reach an accommodation if possible.

In effect, this attempts to modernize Congress’s power to employ civil enforcement of subpoenas, which it does have (see this Congressional Research Service report), and tries to create a rigorous process for it.

“This is a power Congress has repeatedly used in the past, and the courts have upheld,” Lieu told me.

Right now, courts can ultimately force compliance with subpoenas, but it takes forever. Note that we’re still waiting on congressional efforts to hear from former White House counsel Don McGahn. Fines are designed to force much faster compliance.

“The administration has made defying congressional subpoenas a fixture," Raskin told me. "The constitutional order cannot sustain this kind of lawlessness.”

It’s unclear if Pelosi will go for this. But given the weight of the Judiciary Committee members on the proposal, the committee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, may feel inclined toward supporting it.

At a minimum, this could force a debate over whether it’s time for Congress to come up with newly aggressive ways to compel cooperation — and what it means that the failure to do so is rendering oversight a dead letter. Whatever you think of this proposal, the demise of oversight isn’t an acceptable outcome.

Nor is it enough to argue that we should let the election settle these matters. Trump might win reelection. And even if Trump might lose, Congress needs to reassert its authority anyway. As Raskin put it: “We don’t have to wait for an election to vindicate an essential constitutional function of Congress."

 

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fraurosena

Clyburn says House coronavirus committee won't recognize members who don't wear masks

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The House's select committee on the coronavirus crisis will not recognize members who do not wear a mask while in session, Chair James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told his Republican colleagues in a letter sent Monday.

The big picture: The move comes after every Republican in the committee did not wear a mask at last Friday's hearing, despite being warned to do so prior to the meeting, according to Clyburn. 

Clyburn said that those members who prefer to not wear masks can participate remotely.

While members of Congress are required to wear masks at committee hearings, they have become something of a partisan marker — igniting a divide especially among Republicans, many of whom argue the requirements infringe on personal liberties.

What he's saying: "Masks save lives. As members of Congress, we have a responsibility to protect our colleagues, our staffs, our witnesses, the Capitol Police, and custodial and other frontline workers from potentially deadly exposure to the coronavirus," Clyburn wrote.

"My Republican colleagues' refusal to wear masks is perplexing because you have asked repeatedly to hold in-person hearings, and you assured me that this could be done safely. In response, I told you that I would work in good faith to hold in-person hearings if we could do so safely and consistent with the Attending Physician’s guidelines."

“Going forward, as long as the Attending Physician’s requirement to wear masks is in place, I will not recognize any member of this Subcommittee to participate in person in any Subcommittee meeting or hearing unless the member is wearing a mask and strictly adheres to the Attending Physician’s guidance."

Read the letter.

 

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GreyhoundFan

I didn't think it was possible for Gaetz to be more of a tool, but he came through...

 

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Audrey2
44 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

I didn't think it was possible for Gaetz to be more of a tool, but he came through...

 

Is it me or does that look like Deranged Donnie on the right with better hair? (or at least better than his, a very low bar)

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GreyhoundFan

 

I like Senator Duckworth. I've seen her on several potential VP lists and think she would be a good choice.

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GreyhoundFan

Poor Milk Dud, the court decided to follow the law...

 

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fraurosena

Fireworks on July 9.

 

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fraurosena

This was Berman's opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee today: 

Quote

I am appearing before this Committee at its request to testify regarding the events of June 19th and 20th, 2020 that resulted in my departure as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

In order to accommodate the Committee’s desire for information concerning my departure while also ensuring that my testimony does not impact in any way the work of the Southern District, I have, in consultation with the Department of Justice, established parameters for my testimony that have been shared with the Committee.

On June 18, 2020, I received an email from a member of the Attorney General’s staffstating that the Attorney General wanted to meet me the next day at the Pierre Hotel in New York. I was not told the purpose of the meeting.

The meeting took roughly 45 minutes and was held in the Attorney General’s hotel suite. It began at approximately 12:10 pm on June 19. The Attorney General’s Chief of Staff, Will Levy, was present with me and the Attorney General, but he did not speak. There were sandwiches on the table, but nobody ate.

The Attorney General began the meeting by saying that he wanted to make a change in the Southern District of New York. He said that there was an opening in DOJ’s Civil Division created by the recently announced departure of Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt. He asked me to resign my position and take that job, saying that it would create an opening for SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to be nominated for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

I responded that I loved my job and my colleagues at the Southern District and that I was thankful every day for the privilege of being part of that Office. I asked the Attorney General if he was in any way dissatisfied with my performance as U.S. Attorney. He said that he was not at all dissatisfied. He said the move was solely prompted by Jay Clayton’s desire to move back to New York and the Administration’s desire to keep him on the team. I told the Attorney General that I knew and liked Jay Clayton but he was an unqualified choice for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York because he was never an AUSA and had no criminal experience.

I told the Attorney General that I was not interested in overseeing DOJ’s Civil Division or in resigning. I said that I would leave whenever a nominee is confirmed by the Senate, as set forth in the statute under which I was appointed. I asked the Attorney General why I was being asked to resign prior to a nominee being confirmed. He said it was because the Administration wanted to get Jay Clayton into that position.

The Attorney General pressed me to take the Civil Division position, saying that the role would be a good resume builder. He said that I should want to create a book of business once I returned to the private sector, which that role would help achieve. He also stated that I would just have to sit there for five months and see who won the election before deciding what came next for me. As part of this exchange he asked if I had done civil work at my prior law firm. I confirmed that I had indeed done civil work but that I did not want to lead the Department’s Civil Division.

I told the Attorney General that there were important investigations in the Office that I wanted to see through to completion. I also said that I wanted to help lead the Office through the COVID crisis and get the Office back to normal functioning.

The Attorney General repeatedly urged me to take the Civil Division position. At one point I compared his request for my resignation to what happened with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia where the U.S. Attorney resigned and was replaced with someone from outside that office instead of the First Assistant. By referring to that resignation I intended to signal the Attorney General that I was not going to resign so that he could disregard normal procedure and appoint someone from outside the Southern District as acting head instead of our Deputy U.S. Attorney.

The Attorney General said that if I did not resign from my position I would be fired. He added that getting fired from my job would not be good for my resume or future job prospects. I told him that while I did not want to get fired, I would not resign.

The Attorney General said that he was trying to think of other jobs in the Administration that might be of interest to me. I said that there was no job offer that would entice me to resign from my position.

The Attorney General asked me to write down my cell phone number so that he could call me later that day to give me some time to mull over the offer. I gave him my personal cell phone number and told him that while I was always available to talk to him I did not want to create any inaccurate expectations on his part. I told him that my position would not change this afternoon or in the future.

Immediately after I left the meeting I called members of my Executive Staff. I also called attorneys to represent me in a private capacity in case I was fired. I wanted to be ready to challenge the firing in court on the ground that I was appointed by the Court of the Southern District of New York and therefore could not be fired by the Attorney General or the president.

At 4:44 pm, I missed a call from a number with a 202 area code that I did not recognize. The caller did not leave a voice message. At 7:21 pm I called that number back and had a conversation with the Attorney General lasting about three minutes. I told the Attorney General that my mind was the same and that I wanted until Monday to have a final conversation with him which would allow me to discuss the situation with my entire Executive Staff. The Attorney General then asked me whether I would be interested in becoming Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. I told him my position was unchanged and that I wanted to wait until Monday to have our final conversation. He asked why I needed to talk to my Executive Staff. He said this is about you. I said it is about the Office. He refused my request to call me on Monday and said that he would call me the next day, Saturday, June 20th. He did not give me a specific time for the call. That is the last time I spoke to the Attorney General or anyone on his staff.

Sometime after 9:14 pm on Friday I became aware that DOJ issued a press release that I would be “stepping down”. That statement was false. In addition, the press release said, among other things, that the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Craig Carpenito, had been appointed by the president as Acting U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York effective July 3rd pending Jay Clayton’s nomination and confirmation for that position.

The appointment of Craig Carpenito as Acting U.S. Attorney, or anyone from outside of the Office, would have been unprecedented, unnecessary and unexplained.

The Attorney General further stated: “With tenacity and savvy, Geoff has done an excellent job leading” the Southern District.

Later on Friday I issued a press release saying that I had not resigned and had no intention of resigning and that I intended to ensure that our Office’s important cases continue unimpeded.

On Saturday morning and afternoon I had several calls with members of my Executive Staff and with my private attorneys. At approximately 3:30 pm, the Attorney General publicly released a letter addressed to me saying that I had been fired by the President. The letter also contained a critical concession by the Attorney General. The Attorney General stated that Audrey Strauss, my hand-picked and trusted Deputy, and not Craig Carpenito, would be Acting U.S. Attorney and was expected to serve in that capacity until a permanent successor is in place. With that concession, and having full confidence that Audrey would continue the important work of the Office, I decided to step down and not litigate my removal.

Over the course of Friday and Saturday the interests of the Office were my sole concern as I endeavored to serve the immensely talented and dedicated AUSAs and staff of the Southern District in fulfilling their mission.

 

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GreyhoundFan

Jordan is kissing the massive orange ass with fervor:

 

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WiseGirl

There is a whole thread (but I don't know how to link the whole thing).

 

 

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fraurosena
12 hours ago, WiseGirl said:

There is a whole thread (but I don't know how to link the whole thing).

 

 

So, Ron Johnson and his Hunter Biden investigation is specifically named... not really surprising, but still remarkable that this portion of their classified questions was leaked.

Noteworthy is also that Johnson is only one of a number of people/investigations named in the classified addendum, and it makes you wonder who and/or what else is involved.

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