Baller move, Zinke! You're currently under a dozen internal Interior Department investigations, one of which has just been referred to the Justice Department. You know Raúl Grijalva is already gloving up to get all the way up in your business when he takes the gavel at the House Natural Resources Committee in January. And instead of lying low, you call the Park Police on your neighbors, virtually ensuring that you get hauled in front of Congress for another ten hours of testimony to splain how you weren't abusing your office. Galaxy Brain!

Monday night, Ryan Zinke was watching football in his DC townhouse with a bunch of his asshole buddies. Were they Whitefish assholes? Blackwater assholes? Not clear! But they arrived at the party in a Mercedes SUV with New York plates, and the driver proceeded to take up three spots on the crowded street while idling the motor for two straight hours. So, definitely ASSHOLES.

When Regina Arlotto, one of Zinke's neighbors, asked the driver to pull up and make room for her husband, he responded by cutting the engine. Shortly after, the husband got home from work and confronted the driver. The Post reports,

"We had some words," Legere said. "I've had some parking issues in the past. This was not a government SUV. He wouldn't identify himself. He said he was waiting for his boss."

That's when a man who appeared to be about 6 feet tall, white and about 30 years old emerged from Zinke's front door.

"He said, 'I'm Ryan Zinke.' I said, 'Dude, you're not Zinke.' I asked, 'Who are you?' " Legere recounted.
He said his name was Scott. "Scott what?"

According to Legere, the man wheeled around toward the house without an answer and muttered as he walked to the front door. Within minutes, by about 9:30 p.m., U.S. Park Police arrived.

Paul Legere says that the Park Police arrived to question him "fully riot-geared out," after which they left, saying that the incident was "all a big misunderstanding."

Interior Department Spokeswoman Faith Vander Voort tells a different story.

Secretary Zinke and his friends were watching football and BBQing at home last night. Zinke called his security detail with concerns about a suspicious individual staking out his home and guests. While waiting for the USPP to arrive, another individual began yelling profanities in the street about the President and the Secretary.

Arlotto and Legere dispute Vander Voort's account of a (probably) one-armed man screaming threats and profanity about Trump and Zinke, telling Politico,

Arlotto, who lives two doors away, said she doubted Zinke was home because his car was not parked out front as it typically is when he's at the house, and she said she neither smelled smoke from a grill nor noticed any activity outside.

"I know for a fact no one at all yelled profanities about the President OR the Secretary," she wrote in an email. "We had all gone into our houses and I was sitting in my bay window, and heard nothing. The next thing I knew was that the USPP were outside on the sidewalk. And if Zinke was there, the police officers didn't act like it. Instead the [sergeant] said that guy was 'authorized' to 'stay' in the house? it was very strangely worded."

UH HUH. So one of Zinke's guests impersonates a federal official, Zinke calls the Park Police on his own neighbors, the police try to defuse the situation, and then the Interior spokesloon tells an easily disprovable lie about a non-existent man threatening the Secretary, guaranteeing that the story winds up the subject of a congressional investigation and probably an internal Department one as well. A smart guy who was already answering unpleasant questions about inappropriately using the Park Police to drive him and his pals around to personal events would think twice before siccing them on his neighbors. But Ryan Zinke is not a smart guy.


[WaPo / Politico]

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Good morning, America! Attorney General Bill Barr is doing a presser at 9:30 AM EDT about the Mueller report, which nobody will be able to see until around noon or after, once Congress gets the redacted report on CDs. Seeing as that is bullshit, there's no reason to watch this thing, as journalists won't be able to ask him questions about a document they haven't seen. So ... go back to bed, everyone!

Ugh, fine, we guess we will do this, and that is because we care, even though we are quite certain HGTV is doing some kind of very important "Property Brothers" marathon that adds much more of value to the national discourse, and also covers it up with shiplap accent walls. Does Bill Barr do cover-ups with shiplap? No, because he doesn't have the good taste for that.

Reportedly, we are going to hear from Barr why certain things were redacted, including why he thinks certain facts are subject to executive privilege, which is funny because he is not the president and therefore cannot invoke executive privilege. But oh whatever! Details! Robert Mueller won't be there and none of his team will be there, which tells you something about how they feel about this whole process. If they felt like this was on the up-and-up, you'd imagine they might show up to present a united front. As that is not happening, assume the entire thing is a bullshit act meant to help Donald Trump set the narrative for what will otherwise be a very bad day for him.

The New York Times reported last night that the White House has already been briefed on significant portions of the report, because Bill Barr is a rightwing scam artist piece of shit who gives the Trump White House reacharounds. The briefings have reportedly been very helpful for the White House in coming up with how to rebut today's report, which is funny because we thought Trump said this report was a full exoneration, NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. (Actually nope on both counts, since Mueller didn't decide the obstruction question, and even according to Barr's mash notes, he took a very limited view of the conspiracy question, focusing on the Russian government's hack and dump WikiLeaks operation.)

Anyway, assuming Trump is right about full exoneration, we guess Rudy Giuliani's rebuttal will state that Trump is guilty, full stop. Because that's what "rebuttal" means, correct?

Committee chairs in the House including Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters have called upon Bill Barr to cancel today's briefing, as it is useless horseshit. Because Barr literally gives zero fucks about his reputation and apparently is OK with going down in history as a fecal stain on our institutions and the rule of law, the show will go on.

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Now What? Wonkagenda For Thurs., April 18, 2019

Bill Barr's book report, the NRA is doomed, and Johnny Cash will watch over the Capitol. Your morning news brief!


Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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