Subpoena-Thirty Just Got A Li'l Bit More Interesting, Motherf*ckers!
We know, people are getting tired of this kabuki dance, where the House asks nicely for documents and testimony, Trump people say fuck off, the House shoves subpoenas up Trump people's asses, and then they either ignore the subpoenas (see you in court, Don McGahn!) or they show up in Congress and White House lawyers loudly say "I OBJECT!" to questions as rudimentary as "Hey, Hope Hicks, where was your desk in White House?"
(By the by, the House Judiciary Committee released the answers from the take-home test completed by McGahn's former deputy Annie Donaldson, who was up close and personal with all the times Trump tried to get McGahn to criminally obstruct justice on his behalf, and whose notes on those events are all over the Mueller Report. Surprise, Donaldson answered even fewer questions than Hope Hicks! Although, as Marcy Wheeler noticed, her non-answers seemed to follow a certain code, which she'd specifically employ when the real answer would have been damaging to Donald Trump. Read Wheeler's analysis when you are done here!)
But as we've noted, this is all part of a necessary dance, so that the Democrats who control the committees can go into court and say, "Look, Judge! We did absolutely everything we could to try to get these people to cooperate nicely. And now, alas, we are forced to show up in Your Honor's courtroom and ask you to fuck these assholes the fuck up and make them comply."
In fact, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler's big subpoena list includes several witnesses who never even worked at the White House, so not even under the thinnest and most hilarious of legal pretexts can Trump assert that he is Congress's real dad, because executive privilege does not apply.
On that note, the House Judiciary Committee is voting on some new subpoenas Thursday! Politico reports that the list includes noted Trumpo-Russian collusion and/or obstruction of justice fact witnesses Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, Michael Flynn, John Kelly and Corey Lewandowski, the last of whom, it should be noted, never worked in the Trump administration. (Though we wouldn't be surprised if they're currently in the process of hiring Lewandowski as Mick Mulvaney's fluffer or something, just so they can retroactively scream PRIVILEGE! and see if they can get a judge to buy it.)
But wait, there's more, because it's time to start talking about President Unindicted Co-Conspirator and the porny payoff crimes he directed, which also appeared in the Mueller Report, and which have so far landed only Michael Cohen in jail, but which may net more crooks by the time this is all over:
The subpoena targets include two executives of American Media, Inc. — Dylan Howard and David Pecker — who testified about Trump's alleged hush-money payments to a woman who accused him of an extramarital affair before the election. And it includes current and former Trump administration officials Rick Dearborn, Jody Hunt and Rob Porter.
The list also includes Keith Davidson, an attorney who previously represented adult-film actress Stormy Daniels. Trump's former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen orchestrated a $130,000 payment to Daniels to buy her silence over an alleged affair with Trump. Cohen is serving a three year prison sentence in part for the hush-money payment, which prosecutors said amounted to a campaign finance violation.
Davidson previously said he had asked the committee for a so-called "friendly" subpoena in order to comply with the committee's demands for documents and testimony.We already know how cute judges find the Trump team "legal arguments" that have come before them recently.
Dearborn, Hunt and Porter may be administration people, but the lawyers and AMI executives who helped arrange Trump's porn payoffs certainly aren't! We have a feeling those AMI guys might be in the mood to be extra cooperative with Congress. Why? No reason, just a hunch. For a brief recap on all the trials and tribulations and joys and abject failures of David Pecker, Keith Davidson and Dylan Howard in their porny payoff associations with the man known worldwide as "Individual-1," please click here. In short, this is about to get GOOD.
At the risk of restating the obvious, the Trump White House has zero valid claim to executive privilege over anything Congress wants to ask the folks who have worked or currently work in the White House, who also freely talked to Mueller investigators. They had their chance to assert privilege before allowing those witnesses to talk to Mueller, and it's certainly waived now that the substance of their testimony is public record. But Nadler is just getting their bullshit -- or their lack of compliance -- on the record as evidence that Congress made a good faith effort to negotiate.
All the same we are sure judges will be very amused by Trump lawyers' arguments that it is simply unconstitutional for current and former Trump White House officials to answer for Congress the same questions they already voluntarily answered for Robert Mueller. All Trump's legal strategeries have worked well so far!
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