Remember that moment in Bill Barr's testimony on Tuesday when Rep. David Cicilline asked if it was "ever appropriate for the president to solicit or accept foreign assistance in an election," and the attorney general of the United States said, "depends what kind of assistance"?

That was your none-too-subtle reminder that Donald Trump's re-election strategy involves getting Ukraine to help him smear Joe Biden. He got impeached over it, and yet he persisted. These fuckers are still conspiring with Ukrainian gangsters to concoct dirt on Biden and his son, and if they can ever get half a news cycle that isn't dominated by COVID-19 and the disastrous economy, they'll be back to their old tricks.

So, here are three stories to flag, since Senate Republicans are clearly cooking up an October Surprise in which they will "prove" that Joe Biden somehow helped his son by carrying out the wishes of the EU, IMF, and the entire US government by getting a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor fired.


Ron Johnson's Homeland Security Committee Election Fuckery

CNN recently unearthed a letter signed by Ron Johnson in 2016 urging the Ukrainian government to "press ahead with urgent reforms to the Prosecutor General's office and judiciary," i.e. by firing Chief Prosecutor Viktor Shokin. But since Rudy Giuliani and his merry band of chucklefucks started pretending that Joe Biden got Shokin fired to help Hunter Biden's business interests, Johnson has changed his tune. The story doesn't even make sense — Shokin had dropped the case against Burisma before Hunter Biden was even hired, possibly because the company had paid a bribe to make the investigation go away.

But Johnson has never been bothered by picayune shit like logical consistency or objective facts, and as head of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, he's going all in on the Biden-Ukraine smear. He's currently laundering disinformatzya from Giuliani's pals Andriy Telizhenko and Andriy Derkach alleging a bunch of conspiracy nonsense about Joe and Hunter Biden stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from Ukraine.

We've been over this bullshit a bunch of times, and we could 'splain the whole thing to you again, but it's Friday, and you don't care. The important thing to remember is that this stuff hasn't gone away. In fact, these two Russian-linked goons recently hosted a press conference to air their allegations about the Biden family and release doctored recordings of Biden speaking to former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. They've also sent care packages of documents to Republican politicians at the White House and in Congress, including Ron Johnson, natch, detailing Biden's supposedly dastardly deeds. We'll come back to that one in just a second!

Johnson defended himself from (accurate!) charges that he was engaging with a foreign campaign to influence the presidential election, telling BuzzFeed, "As with any inquiry, you get answers by asking questions. Those who restrict themselves from reviewing matters associated with 'people of ill repute' won't have much luck uncovering wrongdoing or improving accountability."

LOL, remember that funny time when Republicans spent four years accusing Hillary Clinton of conspiring with Ukrainians to steal the election because they had the temerity to ask if Trump's campaign manager was ever-so-slightly corrupt as fuck?

And the State Department Is Here to Help

The State Department has played along with Rudy Giuliani's smears from the jump, happily sacrificing Marie Yovanovitch and countless career civil servants to help Trump get re-elected. So naturally Mike Pompeo was delighted to fork over all Joe Biden's communications to Ron Johnson, toot sweet. He's handed over thousands of pages of documents to Ron Johnson, but somehow hasn't found the time to cooperate with the parallel inquiry in the House. Must have just slipped his mind!

Today House Foreign Affairs Chair Elliot Engel issued a reminder in the form of a subpoena demanding access to the same information the Department was only too eager to share with the Senate.

"After trying to stonewall virtually every oversight effort by the Foreign Affairs Committee in the last two years, Mr. Pompeo is more than happy to help Senate Republicans advance their conspiracy theories about the Bidens," he said in a statement. "I want to see the full record of what the department has sent to the Senate and I want the American people to see it too."

Us too!

Is There A Devin Nunes Angle? Of Course There Is!

It's about that little love note from Andriy Derkach. Politico reports that a DHL receipt for the package from the Ukrainian scammer somehow made its way to Nunes's Democratic colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee. Yesterday, Democrat Sean Maloney invited Nunes to share Mr. Derkach's mash note with the whole group.

"And so my question, Mr. Chairman, is of the ranking member, whether he is prepared to disclose to the committee whether he has received materials that have been called into question in the public reports from Andriy Derkach and, if so, whether he is prepared to share them with the rest of the committee," he asked.

In fact, the ranking member did not care to divulge the contents of his propaganda disinformation care package with the whole bunk.

"Well, I guess this is a case where silence speaks volumes," Maloney remarked.

Naturally Republicans raced to whine to their buddies at Breitbart that Maloney had violated sacred House rules of ethics and good manners and would surely face repercussions from the House Ethics Committee.

"He was very rude," Rick Crawford complained to Breitbart News. "Members don't question other members in hearings. This wasn't on the agenda for the meeting. It was really inappropriate in my opinion, and pretty childish."

LOL, as if Jim Jordan's entire schtick didn't consist of impugning the integrity of his fellow congressman at high decibel.

Anyway the Congressional Cowpoke did have something to say in yesterday's hearing. He rebuked his colleagues for voting to share with the entire House a classified addendum detailing ongoing efforts by foreign actors to interfere in the 2020 election.

"This document contains extremely sensitive information that Democrats will leak if the document is made available to the full House. That is a fact, and that is the intent," he railed. "In fact, some of this information may have already been leaked, a matter I hope the FBI is investigating. The effort to disseminate this addendum is yet another transparent example of the Democrats' shameless politicization and weaponization of intelligence. It is irresponsible and unacceptable."

Hey, remember that time when Nunes got recused from the Russia investigation after he got caught ninja-ing out of an Uber to go get classified intel from the White House that he could later pretend to deliver to the White House? Remember that dumbass fake "release the memo"? Because honestly, we really didn't. We just knew there was something Devin Nunes had done showing his hideous hypocrisy once again, and when we searched our own website, we found that.

We can make it six more months. We think.

Long Story Shorter? The Kremlin Is Still Trying To Fuck With Us

Yesterday, House Democrats emerged from a classified national security briefing with a dire warning.

"We do know that Russia is interfering again in our elections," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. "The intelligence community has told us that they are continuing the behavior of what they did in past elections, and there may be other foreign governments that are trying to intervene."

The White House knows that Russia is trying to enlist congressional allies in a scheme to influence the outcome of the presidential election, and they finally agreed to brief House Democrats on it, but for some reason the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge that fact to the American public.

"What I'm concerned about is that the American people should be better informed," Pelosi said. "Leader Schumer and I wrote to them and said tell the truth to the American people and for some reason they are withholding it."

Oh yeah, it's a big mystery! Maybe after we get the Bloodhound Gang on the Case of the Trumpland Refusal to Admit They're Counting on Russia to Keep Them in Power we can put them on The Mystery of Congressman Cowpies and the Hidden DHL Receipt. Then when they solve that one, they can tackle The Search for the Dumbest Republican Senator in All the Land.

Just kidding, you guys, that one is SOLVED.

OPEN THREAD!

[BuzzFeed / Politico / Politico, again / The Hill]

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Liz Dye

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.

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