Thursday, January 30, 2020

After two and half centuries of our nation's history, it's come to this: The President's lawyers argue on the Senate floor that he can withhold aid, coerce an ally, and try to cheat in an election, And there's nothing we can do about it. Our Founders would be aghast

Question from @SenSherrodBrown, @SenBobCasey, Senator Klobuchar, Senator Warren, and @RonWyden: If acquitted in the Senate, what would prevent the president from continuing to side with Putin and other adversaries, instead of our intelligence community and career diplomats?

Question from @SenBlumenthal: One day after the media reported that former VP Biden would formally enter the 2020 U.S. Presidential race—the State Department executed President Trump’s order to recall Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Why did President Trump want to “take her out”?

I just ran into @VP Mike Pence at the Drake Diner in Des Moines. I confronted him about his damaging health care cuts because for me it's not about politics, it's about saving lives.

I just joined @maddow to talk about the Q&A portion of the impeachment trial, what we can expect next, and why the entire Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, should trust Chief Justice Roberts to decide on witnesses, evidence, and claims of executive privilege.

Paul Manafort and Rudy's Indicted Associate Igor Fruman Go Way, Way Back

Romney on Trump impeachment verdict: "He won and I didn’t. On the other hand, he won and I didn’t but I would not have done what he’s done in order to win.”

A controversial Trump legal opinion weakened a law to protect birds. Now officials want to make it permanent. Interior officials said they'll propose rules clarifying that oil, gas and wind companies will not be penalized if they accidentally kill birds.

A staunch Republican lawyer friend, very able and experienced, just emailed me that Dershowitz testimony was “the most shocking thing I have seen a 'serious' lawyer say in my entire legal career.”

Question from @SenBrianSchatz, @SenWhitehouse, and @MartinHeinrich: Can the White House really not admit that @SenAngusKing’s hypothetical would be wrong?

Trump in Iowa: “We got rid of the individual mandate which essentially killed Obamacare.”

Trump’s comments about the coronavirus in Iowa are tragicomically unreassuring

In Iowa, Trump threatens his fans that their farms will “go to hell” if he isn’t re-elected.

Sen. Murkowski issues question to President Trump's defense team: "Why should this body not call Ambassador Bolton?"

Sen. Murkowski suggests the dispute over Bolton's book "weighs in favor of having witnesses." She asks, "Why should this body not call Ambassador Bolton?" Philbin says Senate shouldn't finish the House's job, but then adds Bolton hasn't verified reports about his manuscript?

Tomorrow, the U.S. Senate will confirm if we are a Republic governed “by the people, for the people” or a nation ruled by a tyrant beholden to a foreign enemy, who will grow more emboldened as he operates above the law and against U.S. interests. Everything is at stake.

A conclusion that the president did nothing wrong would inflict grave damage on our political system, writes the Editorial Board

Trump went back to one of his oldest lies at his rally in Iowa tonight, saying CNN turned off its camera when he mentioned the network. Not true. But everybody in the crowd turned around to see

Parnas Lawyer: Giuliani Delivered Graham Letter Calling for Sanctions on Ukrainian Officials

Dems Fed Up With GOP’s Refusal to Budge on Impeachment: ‘It’s More Than Frustrating—It's Pathetic’

“A republic — if you can keep it.” With charlatans like @AlanDersh at the gates, I fear we would soon lose it. Happily, no real student of our Constitution would take seriously the made-for-TV views @AlanDersh is bellowing to defend

If trump/rnc Ukraine crimes had succeeded do you think they were gonna kill Lev and Igor? U think Lev and Igor finally figured that out?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that President Donald Trump will not be truly acquitted if senators does not allow witnesses and documentation in his #impeachment trial

Question from @SenSchumer: What can you say to reassure our colleagues that having witnesses and documents can be done in a short time, minimally impeding the business of the Senate?

1/ Every Republican senator needs to know some key, invariable facts: The moment they vote to deny witnesses, they seal their own political fate. The blow won’t just come from the Democrats or from outside groups. It will come from Trump himself.

Trump rally in Iowa is a total logistical shitshow. Dozens of pre-credentialed members of the press were forced to wait outside for over an hour (it’s 30 degrees) while staffers intermittently came out and yelled at us. Then, with no explanation, they permanently shut the doors.

Sekulow says they will “not accept” Chief Justice making a decision on witnesses.@RepAdamSchiff makes the incontrovertible point that it’s not up to Sekulow, it’s up the the Constitution and the Constitution says the SENATE can empower the Chief.

Read Bill Weld on how to reclaim Republican foreign policy

“..Israeli security chiefs have expressed a growing concern that if the right-wing government of Netanyahu fulfills its Trump-supported promise to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements, the West Bank and Gaza Strip could explode.”

Dershowitz basically just made the argument at the core of capitalism: Self interest is its own justification.

Sen Baldwin's question about why Jennifer Williams' supplemental testimony was classified elicits new info: Philbin says it's because it's based on the transcript of Pence's talk with Zelensky. Haven't both Trump & Pence called for the record of that conversation to be released?

China reports large single-day leap in #2019nCoV cases—now totaling 9,692 confirmed + thousands of suspected—and 43 additional deaths, totaling 213. Unfortunately, these numbers will rise....and quickly.

Transportation Sec. Chao has a pattern of granting a disproportionate amount of access & money to constituents of her husband Mitch McConnell. 25% of her meetings were with Kentucky constituents who make up 1.3% of the US population. We’re investigating.

Will democracy get the rose? Or will super scary autocracy get the rose?

.@SenAlexander to @mkraju: “I'm going to make my decision after the last question tonight.” Asked if he would announce it tonight, he said: "Yes."

When we have a President who so egregiously abuses and corrupts his office, unlike other countries, we have a remedy: Impeachment. This trial is now part of our Constitutional heritage. But if we refuse a fair trial, it diminishes the example we set for the rest of world.

From Senators Carper, Booker, Cardin, Kaine, Markey, Menendez, Merkley, Murphy, Shaheen: How was the president’s act in withholding security assistance to Ukraine different from how the U.S. uses foreign assistance to achieve foreign policy goals & national security objectives?

I asked Pres. Trump's lawyers to name a document or witness he turned over to the House impeachment inquiry in response to request or subpoena They didn't answer So I asked 𝘒𝘨𝘒π˜ͺ𝘯: Can you name a witness or document Pres. Trump turned over to the House impeachment inquiry?

.@RepZoeLofgren on the Judiciary Committee vote during Nixon's impeachment: "It ended up bipartisan, but it didn't start that way. The parties were as dug in as parties are today... But as the evidence emerged... a number of Republicans... couldn't turn away from the evidence."

"If there’s one constant in the Trump presidency, it’s that he loves his television. Historically, that’s meant Fox 'News' but more recently Donald Trump has met someone else, someone younger, blonder and dumber,"

House impeachment manager Adam Schiff says the Trump team's argument about quid pro quo is "a descent into constitutional madness"

From Senators Carper, Booker, Cardin, Kaine, Markey, Menendez, Merkley, Murphy, Shaheen: How was the president’s act in withholding security assistance to Ukraine different from how the U.S. uses foreign assistance to achieve foreign policy goals & national security objectives?

I asked @RepAdamSchiff: At time when many have lost faith in govt, does the fact that the Chief Justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which GOP senators refuse witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the Chief Justice, SCOTUS, & Constitution?

A second audio recording released by Lev Parnas’ attorney purportedly shows the former Giuliani fixer socializing at a 2018 Republican fundraising event.

"If the Senate ignores President Trump's ongoing obstruction of Congress, it would lead to the end of Congressional oversight as we know it today... A vote against Article II is a vote to condone Trump's corrupted view of America's Constitutional balance." -

The key swing vote Lamar Alexander emerges from lunch and says he hasn’t made a decision on whether to vote for witnesses. “I’m going to listen to the questions,” Alexander said, shaking his head “no” when I asked if he’s made a decision

"You can't make this stuff up... The Justice Department, in resisting House subpoenas, is in court TODAY and was asked: If Congress can't come to the court to enforce subpoenas... what remedy is there? The DOJ lawyers response? Impeachment."

A president "is not above the law," Trump lawyer asserts in batting back criticism of his impeachment defense

Jennifer Williams, national security aide to Vice President Mike Pence and key witness in the House’s impeachment of Trump, will be leaving her post early to join Central Command in the spring as a deputy foreign policy adviser.

We have the perfect formula for tyranny: The executive claims unlimited power; his critics are muzzled. I do not think you spent decades in public life to allow this to play out before your eyes.

BREAKING — Sen. Joe Manchin calls for witnesses at trial: “I think it's time to hear from the witnesses, hear from the people that really know... I want to make sure I've seen everything and heard everything and I'm very impartial." #BoltonMustTestify


Alan Dershowitz has repeatedly cited Harvard professor Nikolas Bowie's scholarship to support his argument that abuse of power is not a crime. Well, Bowie is on CNN right now calling Dershowitz's interpretation "a joke"

GOP Senators know Trump's claims about Biden in Ukraine are lies. Here's proof. In a 2016 hearing, numerous GOP Senators were briefed on the *Obama administration policy* of pursuing Shokin's ouster. There was zero controversy. I have new details here

"I argued the Confederate flag wasn’t about race. I believed it. Millions of well-meaning Southerners believe it too," says Jack Hunter "I was wrong."

The Treasury Department announced earlier this week that it was lifting sanctions on three companies connected to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska is an ally of Vladimir Putin

NEW: Senate Intel Chairman BURR says he has no problem with the WH team's suggestion that it's fine to accept dirt on a political adversary from a foreign power.

The plot thickens. Attorney General Barr now moves to install one of his top aides as the new US Attorney in the office prosecuting Flynn

NEW –Trump’s border wall is vulnerable to flash flooding, and will likely require the installation of hundreds of large storm gates that will remain open for months every summer to prevent the structure from being damaged or toppled

John Bolton, it’s now or never

Warren asks a question about the "loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the supreme court and the constitution." And Roberts has to read it

From @PattyMurray: If there are no consequences to defying a valid congressional subpoena, how will Congress be able to perform its constitutional oversight responsibility to make sure any administration is following the law and acting in the best interests of American families?

Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll, a writer who accused President Trump of raping her in the 1990s, are asking for his DNA sample to determine whether his genetic material is on a dress she says she wore during the alleged encounter

The dress has been tested. We have the results. My attorney @kaplanrobbie has served notice to @realDonaldTrump's attorney to submit a sample of Trump's DNA

THIS! With the Republicans in the Senate turning a blind eye to executive overreach, 45 is taking time to attack the weakest members of society! Trump administration announces Medicaid program funding overhaul

Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll, a writer who accused President Trump of raping her in the 1990s, are asking for his DNA sample to determine whether his genetic material is on a dress she says she wore during the alleged encounter

Coronavirus is declared global emergency by World Health Organization as outbreak continues to spread outside China

Question from @LisaMurkowski & @SenBrianSchatz: Would you agree almost any action a president takes—or the vast majority of politicians take—is to one degree or another inherently political? Where's the line between permissible political actions & impeachable political actions?

Trump: "We THINK we have it very well under control." UN: " #Coronavirus declared a public health emergency of international concern by @WHO. Global outbreak includes 98 cases in 18 countries, outside China."

“The Senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin” John McCain - March 2017

"Hunter Biden" is the new "Hillary's emails" of this election cycle. Don't get fooled again.

This is supposed to be an official White House event, not a campaign rally, but Trump doesn't care. He's giving a rally speech to workers in Michigan anyway. Legalities like that don't matter anymore because Trump has figured out that nobody will stop him.

NEW TODAY: A Justice Department lawyer said in federal court that the House actually CAN impeach a president over ignored subpoenas, a noted contrast to what Trump's lawyers are arguing this week at his Senate impeachment trial.

NEW: Schiff proposes limiting witness depositions to one week, in order to alleviate fears of never-ending trial.

White House to propose maintaining Ukraine aid after initially weighing massive cut

AFTER EPSTEIN: Survivor Annie Farmer shares her story in her own words. “The hardest part of this whole situation is to think that so much pain could've been prevented if people had listened and paid attention.”

Rand Paul storms out of Senate to tweet after John Roberts refuses to read his question a second time

BREAKING: Chief Justice Roberts declines to read an impeachment trial question submitted by Sen. Paul: “The presiding officer declines to read the question as submitted.”

Question from @SenSchumer to President Trump’s lawyers and the House Managers: I ask once again: Can you name a single witness or document that the President turned over to the House impeachment inquiry?

Trump once again tells his totally made up story about winning a "man of the year" award in Michigan that he never in fact won. Many of his lies are completely impervious to correction.

Republicans who defend Trump on this cannot realistically claim they are “For the Troops.”

TOOMEY just announces on @BillHemmer Reports that he will NOT support witnesses.

Oh look Rand Paul outed the whistleblower again.

Two Manhattan jail guards charged with falsifying records after Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell will face trial in June

Barr has replaced DC prosecutor Jessie Liu (who was overseeing many Mueller cases, including some ongoing) and has replaced her with a staunch ally of his.

“There are leaders around the world who are watching this and saying ‘the American presidency is open for business.’ Is that the kind of message we want to send to the rest of the world? That’s the result of normalizing lawlessness.”

Elizabeth Warren proposes criminal penalties for spreading disinformation online

Angus King: "I've had it with the idea that we're tired and we can't take the time. Seriously. I did a little calculation last night. About 250 people in the history of the U.S. have had this responsibility ... Give me a break. That's not what our responsibility here is."

So it seems evident that GOP not only in the loop but guilty of wide ranging conspiracy against the United States of America. This why they not want witnesses and obstruct justice across board.

Over the past week, we've seen a descent into Constitutional madness. The President and his team argue that any conduct is okay, as long as a president thinks it will benefit him. That's an argument of pure desperation — one you only make when you know your client is guilty.

Two senators from South Dakota will cast votes against witnesses and documents. They each represent 429,234 South Dakota voters. Our two California Senators represent 19,625,000 voters each. South Dakota voters have 45.72 times the voting power that I do. Fuck that.

John Bolton should do a prime time interview this evening.

Adam Schiff is cementing Dershowitz's disgrace in history. "descent into Constitutional madness" "normalization of lawlessness"

Breaking via WaPo: Ten days before Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman dined with Trump at his Washington hotel, they were part of a small group of Republican Party donors who met with the president at Mar-a-Lago, a new recording shows.

If Trump is acquitted, he can call on foreign govts tomorrow to investigate every Democrat in our nation (and do so in secret). He can ask DOJ to target every Democrat as well, too. And his legal argument,voiced by his lawyer,is that there is nothing wrong with this. Buyer beware

The president’s lawyers call our Constitution’s carefully prescribed impeachment process “massive election interference,” but they consider the president’s abuse of power to benefit his re-election just another day at the office.

New: Newly released video shows indicted Giuliani associate Igor Fruman with RNC chief Ronna McDaniel. She hugs him during a Trump event at Mar a Lago and says she's "so glad" he's there.

This little sawed-off Trump lackey just read the alleged whistleblower's name to the press. He needs to be in steel bracelets pronto!

Horseshit. You did this to drop an email fundraising appeal to your list. "Hurrrr durrr ah outed duh whistleblower." That's the whole story. Pathetic.

Trump's coronavirus task force has not a single woman on it.

When you can't pass the Ohio Bar Exam so you spend your entire career trying to dismantle the American criminal justice system....

You can argue that what trump clearly did to ukraine and wanted from ukraine was dead wrong BUT not worthy of removal...but you cant in good faith argue trump has not lied about every relevant aspect of the investigation. And yet no gop’er will own this obvious reality

THIS JUST IN: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is planning to force a vote on Friday to require Chief Justice John Roberts to subpoena impeachment witnesses who he believes are relevant, and also rule on any claims of executive privilege.

President's lawyers misrepresented separation of powers in Trump's impeachment trial — Judge Napolitano

You tried to put up straw men of your own (Obama holding off bombing Syria for political reasons) that are irrelevant. Obama not launching a strike doesn't implicate a criminal provision. Trump conspiring to commit bribery in order to get foreign investigations of Biden does.

So they KNOW the damage they are inflicting on their country. They KNOW they are violating their oath to uphold the Constitution. And they still line up to hand over to King Donald the power that should belong to their own positions. How degrading and vile.

Antiwar candidate Bernie Sanders faces backlash over the $1.2 trillion war machine he brought to Vermont

Good thing we spent all that Department of Defense money on a wall that got its ass kicked by the wind

In 2016 Trump attacked this "Mexican" judge (a United States District Judge) for "bias." That's what Hitler said about judges who were Jews-- that they were biased because they were Jews. We never should have elected this man president. And here we are ..

1) Feller patriots, we may be livin' in the final 36 hours of our Democracy as our Constitution lay in tatters, trodden under the boots of evil men and women that prize power above precious freedom. Like Rome, America is crumblin' under the weight of it's own corruption.

Rep. Doug Collins is not expected to stay on as the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee as he seeks a Georgia Senate seat. But he won’t be stepping down right away.

Team Trump says there's no reason to call witnesses that didn't testify in the House. So we did some research. Turns out, literally every impeachment trial completed by the Senate in the history of America has had witnesses who didn't testify in the House.

Lev Parnas: There were many quid pro quos

Ukraine’s importance to America may not be immediately obvious, but the former Soviet republic’s significance goes far beyond the current impeachment drama and extends all the way to the very foundations of international law.

My Latest-> A Confederacy of Dunces stumbled onto the Senate floor this week to launch a bewildering defense of Donald Trump

Wuhan coronavirus has now spread to every region within mainland China

No one is above the law, not even the President. — Nancy Pelosi

The idea that abuse of power isn’t impeachable would’ve terrified our Founders. You can’t write off a consensus of Constitutional scholars by calling them “Never Trumpers,” Unless we're prepared to accept that Article II really does allow the President to do whatever he wants.

As Trump said, they “have all the material.” And there’s a reason they won’t provide it. The White House is blocking all witnesses and documents, and Senators can infer why. But Senators don't have to infer. They can demand to see it. And they must.

Enjoy retirement

Hannity's spectacular meltdown at Mitt Romney over his demand to hear from Bolton shows how central disinformation is to the Cult of Trump. We're at the point where asking for facts outside the Trump disinfo bubble constitutes "Trump hatred."

The Senate has become a threat to democracy itself

Breaking: UN report warns ISIS is reasserting under new leader believed to be behind Yazidi genocide

The White House is holding up Bolton's book on classification grounds. Guess who is likely overseeing this process? John Eisenberg, who buried the whistleblower complaint on a secret server. I talked to a former NSC official about how this could work:

This is perhaps one of the most wild things I’ve ever seen, @KamalaHarris having United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts read into the record Trump’s Access Hollywood comments: “When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Democrats said they were "stunned" by the argument delivered by White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin.

Americans want Congress to reclaim authority presidents have usurped to keep us in endless wars and enter new conflicts without approval. Stand with our Constitution.

Trump Middle East plan: Palestinians reject 'conspiracy'

Cory Gardner has announced he's a NO regarding witnesses His phone numbers:

Sorry, Jared, this time it’s not the Palestinians who have 'screwed up,' it’s you

New from Republicans for the Rule of Law: We've made an emergency buy of TV time in Washington, D.C., for ads making the case for witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial. The ads will rotate every hour for much of Thursday and for Friday morning on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC

Ebola kills half of the people who get it. SARS killed 10% of those infected. The new coronavirus from Wuhan appears far less fatal—and that presents a different problem

22 days ago, DOJ prosecutors in the Mike Flynn case were asking for a sentence of imprisonment. Now they say they're not. What happened in the last 22 days?

A week after Wuhan was placed under lockdown, more than 7,700 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in China, including 170 deaths.

This is good. She's fact-checking them in real time. Zeldin is befuddled, Stefanik is just an idiot.

Mike Flynn's lawyers filed motions today to withdraw his guilty plea, citing what they say were conflicts with his prior counsel; and to dismiss the case altogether for "outrageous government misconduct." These are both high hills to climb.

“Hey, which one of us should press the case about how Hunter Biden looks corrupt?” “How about the one of us who dropped a probe of Trump U after Trump donated $25,000 to our campaign?” “Brillliant. They’ll never see it coming.”

“If every defendant could be exonerated just by denying the crime, there would be no trial. It doesn’t work that way.” - @RepAdamSchiff on President Trump’s denial of a quid pro quo.