Big news in the neverending story of congressional Democrats moving the ball down the field of holding the Trump administration accountable, and eventually impeaching Donald Trump for high crimes, misdemeanors, and his firstborn son's oddly shaped face. Michael Flynn and Rick Gates are the latest recipients of subpoenas from the House Intelligence Committee, and this time, we think they might comply. Perhaps. You know, unless Flynn's new batshit lawyer Sidney Powell is completely out of her gourd. (All signs point to "she may well be.")

Via Talking Points Memo:

"As part of our oversight work, the House Intelligence Committee is continuing to examine the deep counterintelligence concerns raised in Special Counsel Mueller's report, and that requires speaking directly with the fact witnesses," [committee chair Adam] Schiff said in a statement, adding that both Flynn and Gates "so far have refused to cooperate fully with Congress."

"That's simply unacceptable," the statement reads.

The men are to hand over documents by June 26 and testify on July 10, so mark that down on your calendars as a maybe.

You see, Flynn and Gates are still cooperating witnesses with the government, unless right at this very moment Flynn's new batshit lawyer is excavating a basement under the Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor in Washington DC in which to bury Flynn's plea agreement in a shallow grave. While Flynn's and Gates's cooperation agreements don't say they're required specifically to cooperate with Congress, they do say they're required to cooperate with the "government." (Look for Trumpistan lawyers to start arguing that Congress is not part of the "government" very soon, and then once about eight federal judges laugh at that, watch for them to start arguing that Congress is a myth cooked up by the Deep State, like Santa Claus and Jesus. These would be no stupider than any of their current legal arguments.)

Letters to the men accompanying their subpenises note that up to now, neither has complied voluntarily with committee requests. What's ridiculous, of course, is that since they've been cooperating with the Mueller investigation and the Justice Department, that means they've already been testifying about all they know about their own crimes and crimes throughout the Trump diaspora this whole time. So unless one or both of these men gets caught up in the hokey pokey folderol of the White House's bullshit claims of "executive privilege," then there is zero excuse for them not to show up. We shall see, shan't we!

Schiff's letter to Flynn notes something else that is specific to his case. Remember how Judge Emmet Sullivan seemed poised back in December, at what was supposed to be Flynn's sentencing hearing, to forgo prison for Flynn so that he could instead feed Flynn to a hungry hungry hippo while he pointed and laughed? And remember how Sullivan finally inveighed upon Flynn to get with his lawyers to see if he could cooperate with the government A WHOLE LOT MORE BIGLY, in order to avoid the hippo pool? And remember how Flynn just about peed hisself, before finally agreeing that yes, he'd like to do that?

Schiff is just saying:

The Committee notes that on December 18, 2018, the United States District Judge overseeing your pending criminal prosecution [...] offered you the opportunity to adjourn sentencing until "it's clear that you've done everything you possibly can for the United States of America." [...] In accepting the Court's offer, your counsel represented to the Court that you wished to "eke out the last modicum of cooperation" and thereby place yourself in "the best position to argue to the Court the great value of [your] cooperation." [...] While the Committee recognizes that your cooperation agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice only requires you to testify for the Department, your cooperation with the Committee's investigation nonetheless provides an opportunity to demonstrate to the Court that you have met the "high standard" of cooperation that you represented to the Court that you set for yourself. [...] It would further underscore to your sentencing judge that "you've done everything you possibly can for the United States of America," not just the Department of Justice.


So again, we'll see. We're still pretty sure that whatever Flynn's new lawyer pulls -- especially as they angle for a pardon from President Crime Boss -- is going to be so amusing to Emmet Sullivan that Michael Flynn is going to regret ever meeting her.

Yesterday, Wonkette "Five Dollar Feminist" laid out what is obviously the process the White House and DoJ are going to force Congress to go through in order to do their constitutional oversight duty. The shortest version of it is that they are going to throw up every single roadblock they possibly can and force Congress's hand in holding each and every one of these bastard motherfuckers in contempt and sue them in court until they cry uncle. It is perhaps expected, but also very silly, that the White House thinks it's going to outlast Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler and Elijah Cummings, AKA the Trump White House's Real Dads. It's also silly that these dicknozzles actually think they're going to find American courts that agree with their "legal arguments." But oh well, let the broke-down cum socks learn it the hard way.

Of course, as FDF also noted, the one thing the Trump White House seriously does not care about is if people in receipt of subpoenas end up going to jail for their petulance. Trump, Bill Barr, and Pat Cipollone got a bus with every one of their names on it, and they're ready to throw each and every person under that bus when the time comes, in order to protect King Shitlord of Mar-a-Lago. (Also, Barr will cave on stuff if Congress is about to hold him in contempt. He really does not like being held in contempt. But yeah, otherwise, obstruction of justice is what those guys do. For a job.)

In related news, Hope Hicks has agreed to come and visit with Congress. Don't get excited, though, because it's happening behind closed doors and she's bringing some undersexed wingnut nerd from the White House Counsel's office to sit by her and yell "executive privilege!" in her ear every time she's asked a question. But we guess she could surprise us! Will she be Helpy Hopey or Nopey Hopey? We'll see when we read the transcript!

It's a long, slow slog, kids, but we gotta go through it.

Anyway, have an OPEN THREAD now.

[Talking Points Memo]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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