Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler: Just The Witch Hunter We've Been Waiting For!
Yes, there really is a Santa Claus. Only sometimes he waits for March, when he appears in the form of a jolly Jewish Judiciary Chairman from Manhattan who brings us sacks upon sacks of glorious document demands to be litigated, docketed, savored, and finally unwrapped in open hearing. HO HO L'CHAYIM!
Yesterday Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York dropped requests for documents -- because he's nice, and he asks politely before busting out those subpoenas -- on 81 different people and entities in Trumpland. Don't you ever let anyone tell you your vote doesn't matter. As Mr. Nadler put it in the Committee's announcement of the investigation:
Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms. Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee. We have seen the damage done to our democratic institutions in the two years that the Congress refused to conduct responsible oversight. Congress must provide a check on abuses of power.
Put that shit directly in our veins, babeeee!
Want some more sexxxxxxy congressional investigative action? Check out this list of people who just got love notes from Mr. Nadler.
BOW CHICKA BOW BOW! Here's a handy cheat sheet from the nice people at the Washington Post in case you forgot who some of the players are in the Griftapalooza Soap Opera. Thanks, WaPo! And here's a breakdown into sub-categories like Hush Payments, Pardons, and Trump Tower by Russia savant Marcy Wheeler. Thanks, Empty Wheel!
TL, DR? It's basically every person or entity that was ever involved in Trump's company, campaign, inauguration, or the first year of his administration, NBD. Sadly Ivanka Trump didn't make the list. But don't get your knickers in a twist, because a Judiciary spox tells The Daily Beast that, "[T]his was the first phase of document requests. We have more letters coming soon." And Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings assured us last week that the committee chairs would take a tag team approach to divide up all the Grifters in Griftville.
Nadler is swinging for the fences, with an investigation covering:
Obstruction of Justice, including the possibility of interference by the President and others in a number of criminal investigations and other official proceedings, as well as the alleged cover-up of violations of the law;
Public Corruption, including potential violations of the emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution, conspiracy to violate federal campaign and financial reporting laws, and other criminal misuses of official positions for personal gain; and
Abuses of Power, including attacks on the press, the judiciary, and law enforcement agencies; misuse of the pardon power and other presidential authorities; and attempts to misuse the power of the Office of the Presidency.
And he'd like two copies of those documents -- one for him, one for Doug Collins, Judiciary's Republican ranking member -- numbered, dated, stamped, and on his desk in two weeks thankyouverymuch.
With last night's news that Bill Barr will not be recusing himself from the Russia investigation, it looks like House Democrats aren't counting on getting to see the whole Mueller report. Instead, they're trying to recreate those findings themselves by demanding that witnesses hand over to Congress whatever they gave to the special counsel.
Please produce the documents set forth in Schedule A, provided, however, that in order to facilitate production of documents on an expedited basis, you may limit your production at this time to documents you furnished at any time after November 8, 2016 to: (a) the Special Counsel's Office established by Department of Justice Order No. 3915-2017 (May 17, 2017); (b) the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York ("SDNY"); (c) any other federal or state regulatory and/or law enforcement agency; (d) any congressional committee; or (e) in civil or other litigation. This includes but is not limited to documents that were voluntarily provided, produced under compulsion, or seized.
And just in case witnesses might get any bright ideas about invoking privilege, Mr. Nadler would remind them that THAT IS NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.
In complying with this request, please be advised that the U.S. House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary do not recognize any of the purported non-disclosure privileges associated with the common law. These include, but are not limited to, the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product protections; any purported governmental privileges such as privileges over law-enforcement sensitive disclosures or disclosures related to deliberative processes; or any purported contractual privileges, such as non-disclosure agreements.
Remember when Steve Bannon clammed up before the House Intel Committee based on an interpretation of executive privilege so broad that he caused Trey Gowdy to go on Fox and lose his shit? Remember when Don Jr. claimed attorney client privilege because A LAWYER was somewhere in the room, or possibly the zip code? Remember when Jeff Sessions refused to answer Senate Intelligence Committee questions citing some BS "appropriateness policy," because he knew those lickspittles in the GOP would never challenge his non-invocation invocation of executive privilege?
Your Wonkette remembers! And we also remember when Devin Nunes led the GOP charge to demand every single piece of sensitive information on the Trump Russia and Clinton email investigations, even threatening to hold Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein in contempt if he didn't hand over the basis for the original FISA warrants. Congressman Schiff warned them at the time, "whatever precedent they were going to set, they were going to have to live by." So now it is PONY UP FUCKERS TIME!
Now's the time the White House trots out its Hot Tub Time Machine Executive Privilege defense where they try to claw back all the dirt Don McGahn and Reince Priebus spilled by claiming that NUH UH there was no waiver of privilege. Because, see, Robert Mueller works for the Justice Department, and DOJ is part of the executive branch, so it was just like Reince was handing those memos over to himself. Of course the special counsel law mandates that Mueller's findings be reported to Congress, so good luck with that argument Rudes!
And before those GOP assholes can even start that whiny bullshit about protecting ongoing investigations, Nadler announces that he's already working hand-in-glove with the DOJ.
We have sent these document requests in order to begin building the public record. The Special Counsel's office and the Southern District of New York are aware that we are taking these steps.
Naturally the Republicans have issued their usual well-reasoned, deeply honest responses. Rep. Doug Collins is whinging that, "We don't even know what the Mueller report says, but Democrats are already hedging their bets. After recklessly prejudging the president for obstruction, Chairman Nadler is pursuing evidence to back up his conclusion because, as he admits, 'we don't have the facts yet.'" That's not ... you know what, whatever.
Guess it's better than Sarah Huckleberry Sanders flinging her own poo again.
Democrats are harassing the President to distract from their radical agenda of making America a socialist country, killing babies after they're born, and pushing a 'green new deal' that would destroy jobs and bankrupt America. The American people deserve a Congress that works with the President to address serious issues like immigration, healthcare, and infrastructure. The Democrats are more interested in pathetic political games and catering to a radical, leftist base than on producing results for our citizens.
Blah blah blah. Okay, bring it on home, Big Boy.
No better way to combat that Jane Mayer blockbuster in The New Yorker saying that Trump has been captured by the Fox propaganda network than to spend an entire day and night live-tweeting Tucker, Hannity and Dobbs!
Look, every day in the Trump administration is NOISY. But this is signal. This is an impeachment investigation, and shit is about to get really REAL.
Follow your FDF on Twitter!
Please click here to fund your Wonkette, tour guide for the insane shitshow that's about to go down.
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.