This Morning's DNI Hearing Gonna Drive Trump BATSH*T. A Liveblog!
OK, where were we? We don't know, the news is coming too fast, we don't know what day it is, but here's a Trump tweet to set the mood:
We learned yesterday that not only did the intelligence community inspector general send a criminal referral on the whistleblower complaint to the FBI, but so did acting DNI Joseph Maguire. We also learned that Maguire threatened to resign if he wasn't able to testify freely today for Congress, though he denied the reports (he would do that).
Oh, did we mention that the whistleblower complaint has been declassified and just came out? IT'S BAD, READ IT. Attorney General Bill Barr is mentioned in the first paragraph. Basically, the president has been abusing his office to extort Ukraine into meddling in the 2020 election, and then after that, THE WHITE HOUSE DID EVERYTHING IT COULD TO COVER UP THE PHONE CALL. Ohhhhhhhh, the coverup! Is it worse than the crime this time? We'd say it's about equal!
And now acting DNI Joseph Maguire is going to talk to the House Intelligence Committee!
Let's check in with the president one more time.
Watch live: Intelligence chief Joseph Maguire testifies following Democrats' impeachment inquiry www.youtube.com
9:12: It's starting in a second, but here is the part about the cover-up of the phone call.
The White House intervened to "lock down" records of the phone call, ESPECIALLY the full transcript, which makes the transcript we read, and the ellipses therein, even more curious. This, according to the whistleblower, goes to the other witnesses' knowledge that what happened on that phone call was WRONG.
"White House officials told me that they were "directed" by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.
Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.
How many other times have they done this? What other phone calls are on the SECRET SERVER?
And again, what were in those ellipses?
Anyway, Adam Schiff is now opening the hearing.
9:17: Schiff describes Trump's words to Zelenskiy in the transcript as a "classic organized crime shakedown." Then proceeds to read and summarize it, without Trump's bad fucked up English babbling words.
9:20: Maguire at the hearing. Schiff is very disappointed in him.
9:21: And now it is time for Devin Nunes to defend corruption and autocracy. Says Dems are doing INFORMATION WARFARE and name-checks the RUSSIAN COLLUSION HOAX.
Oh go fuck a cow, ALLEGEDLY, Mr. Nunes.
9:23: Nunes can't even read his own script. Introduced a big quote from Nancy Pelosi, forgot to read the quote, and then said "SO THERE YOU GO!" Then realized he hadn't read the Pelosi quote and went back.
Cow cow cow cow cow cow cow cow. (Devin doesn't like it when you say "cow.") Cow cow cow cow cow cow cow cow cow.
9:25: Devin says this whole hearing today is a NEW "dossier," and you know what "dossier" means to Republicans: FAKE NEWS!
Devin Nunes has said basically nothing about the actual whistleblower complaint or truncated "transcript." That's because the GOP can't actually defend it.
9:27: Devin says DEMOCRATS colluded with Russia and DEMOCRATS pressured Ukraine. Now he is telling the imaginary acid drugs Ukrainium One story about Joe Biden doing the bad things to Ukraine. It is a stupid story. These people never realize that the real world isn't Fox News, and Fox News isn't the real world, therefore these stories just don't land with normal people who know how to tie their shoes.
9:29: Maguire giving opening statement. Says he respects Adam Schiff and the committee. Does not specifically say he respects Devin Nunes, because nobody would specifically say that.
9:34: Maguire's opening statement is basically all about how he is a public servant and non-partisan and he's taken the oath to the Constitution like 100 times. It is a nice statement and if it goes on for more than two more minutes, we are going to fall back asleep.
9:36: Maguire says his integrity has never been questioned until this day, and that he has upheld the law at every point with the whistleblower. You know, except for when he ran off to Attorney General Bill Barr with the whistleblower complaint, who is mentioned all over the whistleblower complaint and the call transcript, instead of going directly to Congress.
9:38: Maguire says he couldn't share the complaint with the committee immediately because the White House Counsel's office (of course!) asserted executive privilege. Pat Cipollone, ladies and gentlemen! The understudy to Bill Barr, Trump's senile old rentboy version of Roy Cohn!
9:40: Basically Maguire says the complaint is above his paygrade, because it wasn't somebody inside the intel community, blah blah blah, heard this before.
Of course, the problem with that is that this is not Joseph Maguire's call, or Bill Barr's, or Pat Cipollone's call to make. It is the inspector general's call to make.
9:43: Maguire notes that he has "differing opinions" with the IG on whether this falls under the category of "urgent concern." Refer to our last update, where we noted that that's not Maguire's call to make. It is the IG's.
9:47: Maguire says this particular set of circumstances is "unprecedented." Which is probably true. We've never had a self-serving likely foreign agent traitor in the White House.
Anyway, questioning begins. Schiff asks if the complaint "involved serious wrongdoing by the president of the United States," or an allegation of that. After some hemming and hawing, Maguire agrees that yes, that is the subject of the complaint. Did Maguire, like the inspector general, agree that the complaint was "credible"? He said he did not look at that question.
Maguire agrees with Schiff's statement that the inspector general made a "sound" decision that the complaint was credible and "urgent and important." You know, the thing where Donald Trump was trying to extort Ukraine into making up bullshit on Joe Biden while withholding military aid from Ukraine.
9:49: Schiff nails Maguire on whether White House actually asserted executive privilege over all this. It did not. Which kind of fucks up Maguire's argument that he failed to follow the law because the subject of the complaint is covered by executive privilege.
9:51: Whole back-and-forth on whether Maguire went to Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel first, or did he go to the White House counsel first. Finally comes to the conclusion he went to White House first.
SCHIFF: So you went ... to the subject of the complaint ... to determine whether you should share the complaint with Congress? Are you aware of the balls-out bugfuck definition of "executive privilege" this current White House has?
9:55: And again, Bill Barr is mentioned in the complaint a lot of times. So Barr is a subject of the complaint, and Maguire also went to Barr's office to get permission to share it with Congress.
Maguire is bogged down in details and not getting the point of how HE DID A BAD. Keeps saying this is "unprecedented." IT SURE IS.
9:56: SCHIFF: Do you believe the whistleblower is a "political hack"?
MAGUIRE: I dunno who the whistleblower is.
SCHIFF: That's not a good defense.
MAGUIRE: I am still stuck on the last question and have not caught up yet!
Anyway, Maguire does not think the whistleblower is a hack or showed disloyalty (that's what Trump has said about the whistleblower). Maguire says when Trump said that shit, he let the intel community know he had their back, privately.
9:58: Oh good, it is time for Devin Nunes to say words to Joseph Maguire that he heard while huffing paint off a cow's bottom, ALLEGEDLY.
Nunes says the media will "spin" Maguire's words by saying he said the complaint was "credible," when all he said was that it was "credible," and Nunes just wants to give Maguire a chance to lie under oath and say the whistleblower complaint is garbage and the whistleblower is a traitor Deep State who hates Trump. Maguire does not oblige.
10:00: Maguire just pissed on Devin again, haha.
Devin really wants Maguire to say the Democrats are doing bad things by having this hearing in the open. Maguire responds by reasserting that this is an unprecedented situation.
Devin is doing a bad job, BAD DEVIN MOOOOO.
10:01: Oh good, Devin is now going to accuse Maguire and all his employees of being leakers. Maguire says the intel community knows how to keep a secret, IDIOT, but he didn't say "IDIOT," Wonkette did, because Devin is an idiot.
10:03: Hahahahhaha, Devin Nunes is so stupid, he thinks the intel community is SPYING on Donald Trump's secret phone calls with foreign leaders.
10:07: Devin concludes by telling Maguire to be careful what he says, because the media might put it on TV. You know, like the TV we're watching this hearing on now.
Questioning goes to Jim Himes, Democrat. Notes that we are sitting here because the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, a Trump appointee, chose to follow the law and come to Congress.
Maguire says Atkinson did a good job, but doesn't really answer the question.
HIMES: Did White House tell you not to give us the complaint?
MAGUIRE: Nuh uh.
HIMES: Who decided to ignore Congress's subpoena for the complaint?
MAGUIRE: Nobody decided!
We guess it is just an automatic thing in the Trump administration. You get a subpoena, it goes in the trash. Nobody decides.
10:11: HIMES: Have you talked to Trump about this whistleblower complaint?
MAGUIRE: I can't talk about my convos with Trump, it is PRIVILEGEEEEEEEEE.
10:13: Republican Mike Conaway takes over.
CONAWAY: I am not a lawyer! You are not a lawyer! That was not a question.
CONAWAY: I'm gonna keep talking, but not actually defend Donald Trump, because he's indefensible.
Maguire does say that he never heard anybody say it's just the inspector general's job to determine if something is of "urgent concern." We guess none of the very smart Trump administration lawyers are capable of reading the word "shall" in a law.
10:15: Maguire states for the record that it was Bill Barr's Office of Legal Counsel that decided the complaint was not an "urgent concern." You know, the complaint that named Bill Barr in the first paragraph as a bad actor.
10:16: Guys, the Republicans got nothin'.
10:18: Democrat Terri Sewell begins her questioning by expressing worry that future whistleblowers, seeing how this whistleblower has been treated, will not be confident to come forward. Maguire says he does not disagree with her assessment.
10:21: After extended back-and-forth about how whistleblowers should be protected, Schiff cuts in to ask for assurance that whistleblower will not be interfered with and will be able to come before Congress with the full protections of the law. Maguire says yes. Questioning goes back to Sewell.
10:23: By the way, remember how we were curious how many OTHER times Donald Trump's White House has covered up his bad phone calls with foreign leaders? It's right there in the appendix of the full whistleblower complaint:
So they put conversations like this in the secret server all the fuckin' time. Nice.
Questioning goes to Republican Mike Turner:
TURNER: The transcript is not OK! But it's also not what's in the complaint and it's not what Adam Schiff said, Adam Schiff is a liar. But anyway, my best defense for Trump is that his conversation with the Ukrainian president was "not OK."
Good job, sir!
Turner talked for like three more minutes without asking a question, because if he did, Joseph Maguire might say he's full of shit.
10:28: Adam Schiff clarifies for the very stupid Mike Turner that when he did the summary of the transcript, he was partially doing a PARODY to share what kind of message the Ukrainian president was receiving (and intended to receive!) from Trump. Sometimes you have to explain things to very stupid people like Mike Turner.
Anyway, Democrat Andre Carson takes over questioning.
10:31: Carson is NOT having it. Says Maguire decided to Just Follow Orders from the White House and DoJ, instead of following the law. Maguire says WH and OLC did not try to keep him from following the law. He is now getting bogged down in details again about whether he thought the complaint was "urgent concern." (That is exactly what the IG thought it was!)
10:34: SCHIFF: You were not instructed to withhold the complaint. So YOU DID THE CRIME, YOU DO THE TIME!
MAGUIRE: I was working on it, I wasn't finished!
SCHIFF: THE LAW SAYS WHAT THE LAW FUCKING SAYS, DAMMIT, SNIFF SNIFF, I AM ADAM SCHIFF AND I HAVE A COLD!
10:36: Maguire asserts that he referred this to the FBI for investigation, and says he COULDN'T send the complaint to Congress until the executive privilege issues were worked out. (You know, by the subjects of the complaint at the White House and the DoJ.)
Anyway, dumb fucking shitmouth Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio is very mad at Adam Schiff for doing a dramatic re-enactment of the Trump Ukraine transcript, because he is too stupid to understand that Schiff was communicating the general thrust of it, even though Schiff said he was doing exactly that.
Republicans are just very confused about all things.
10:41: Brad Wenstrup is also very worried that the time limits written into the law for turning whistleblower complaints over to Congress are TOO FAST and asks Maguire if he felt rushed a lot. Maguire says he did not feel rushed. Wenstrup crawls back under his log.
10:43: JACKIE SPEIER: Were YOU shocked when you read the whistleblower complaint?
MAGUIRE: I do not want to talk about my feelings.
SPEIER: Let's talk about the secret server where the Trump White House tried to hide Trump's phone call with the Ukraine president and do cover-ups! Did that make you feel a feeling? And knowing that part of the whistleblower complaint was literally about the White House doing cover-ups, WHY DID YOU GO DIRECTLY TO THE WHITE HOUSE TO ASK ITS ADVICE?
SPEIER: Do you think the whistleblower was A SPY, like whiny ass Trump tweeted?
MAGUIRE: The whistleblower followed the law.
SPEIER: But you didn't speak up to support the whistleblower.
MAGUIRE: I did it in secret, to the intel community, during All By Ourselves Time!
SPEIER: Trump bitched a whole lot on Twitter, asking if the whistleblower was "on our country's side." Do you think the whistleblower was not on America's side?
MAGUIRE: Whistleblower good. Whistleblower nice. Blows a mean whistle!
10:48: SPEIER: Did anybody in the White House, Trump or otherwise, tell you to find out the identity of the whistleblower?
Now we go to VERY STUPID Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, who tweeted this last night.
Stewart is too dumb to see why the complaint is bad, so he thinks you are too.
Stewart begins questioning by assuring Maguire he is not going to treat him like a child.
10:50: Stewart tells Democratic colleagues HE THINKS YR NUTS if you impugn the authori-tah of this very nice man right here Joseph Maguire, YR NUTS!
Stewart is also mad about leaks about this case, because with all these leaks, that means people know about the bad things Donald Trump is doing. That is VERY BAD!
10:53: Schiff cuts in to say that nobody has accused Maguire of being a "political stooge," but says that they ARE SAYING that when the law says something "shall come" to Congress that means it SHALL COME.
Good god, this hearing.
Stewart asks Schiff to yield so he can whine some more, Schiff ignores him and questioning goes to Dem Mike Quigley.
10:54: Dispatch from Lindsey Graham, everybody!
It's not a quid pro quo unless you're REAL THUGGY!
Meanwhile, Chris Christie, before the transcript came out, said Trump would be in serious trouble if he said something like "Do me a favor." SPOILER, Donald Trump said "I need you to do me a favor" to the Ukrainian president.
Anyway, back at the hearing, Quigley is trying to get Maguire to talk shit about Trump's freelance henchman Rudy Giuliani, and asking if Giuliani has a security clearance.
10:57: Maguire does not know WTF Rudy Giuliani does all day, besides when he sees Giuliani have pant-shitting meltdowns on the TV.
11:01: GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik "thanks" Maguire for saying he thinks the whistleblower is speaking in good faith. Then she reads from the complaint and decides to call the inspector general's trustworthiness into question, noting that in the complaint, the whistleblower did not personally witness a lot of the events in question. (The IG looked into all these things. Maguire does not know exactly who the IG spoke to, but we DO know the IG found the complaint credible and urgent.)
Stefanik concludes by saying they need to hear from the people who DO have direct knowledge. We agree!
Anyway, Eric Swalwell's turn. He starts by asking Maguire what a "coverup" is, citing the part of the complaint we posted above, about how White House lawyers flew into action after the Ukraine phone call to start hiding the records of the phone call in a hole they dug in the backyard.
11:06: Swalwell nails Maguire on important point. Maguire keeps saying all this is above his paygrade because it's about the president. But doesn't hiding Trump's bad anti-American conversations in a secret server count as classification, and thus, put it under the director of national intelligence's purview?
Maguire hems and haws a lot, but acknowledges that this is an allegation that's been deemed urgent and credible by the IG.
Swalwell brings up another thing: Is the White House hiding Trump's conversations with Putin? With Mohammad Bone Saw? With Erdogan? Kim Jong Un? Are they in the secret server?
Swalwell ends with a line of questioning on whether the DNI is supposed to protect America against foreign interference. Maguire eventually agrees with an emphatic YES.
SCHIFF: And in this complaint, Trump is leaning on Ukraine to help him win 2020 election! Isn't that ... election interference?
Sounds like this IS in the DNI's wheelhouse!
11:12: Will Hurd is so bad at "Republican." He doesn't help the Democrats, but he sure doesn't do ANY Fox News batshit. He asks real questions and stuff!
Hurd established that, to Maguire's knowledge, nobody at ODNI was aware of Trump putting the Ukraine aid on hold so he could extort them a lot.
HURD: What do you think our greatest challenges are right now?
MAGUIRE: Nothing from a "kinetic" strike, it's really maintaining the integrity of our election systems.
Trump gonna fire him by TEA TIME, we say, TEA TIME.
11:19: Joaquin Castro takes over.
CASTRO: Would you agree that the complaint and the transcript are in agreement?
MAGUIRE: They are in alignment.
CASTRO: Lemme read you a thing from the complaint about how Trump literally used his rentboys Giuliani and Barr to extort Ukraine into helping him in the 2020 election by inventing fake investigations into Joe Biden while withholding aid. And then lemme read the part of the transcript where Trump says EXACTLY THAT. (No dramatic re-enactments, Adam Schiff!)
Do you doubt what the whistleblower said?
MAGUIRE: It is not my job to say it is credible. That is the inspector general's job. He says it is. The only reason I didn't do the lawful stuff I was supposed to do is because it involved somebody outside the intel community.
CASTRO: It involved intelligence matters!
MAGUIRE: That's a hypothetical!
CASTRO: I'm reading from the complaint and the transcript!
11:21: CASTRO: Why did you feel the need to appeal the IG's decision to Bill Barr's OLC?
MAGUIRE: It's unprecedented! The whole situation!
CASTRO: If the president is the ultimate classifying authority, how can he be outside the DNI's purview?
Now it is time for John Ratcliffe to talk. You know, the guy Trump wanted to be his DNI, except for how he is a giant dumbfuck who lied basically about his entire record.
Ratcliffe has said nothing of any importance, but he sure hasn't defended Trump, because he can't. He says the whistleblower complaint is just like the dossier, like fucking Devin said.
Ratcliffe right now
Ratcliffe right now:
Fuckin' John Ratcliffe, everybody.
11:30: Denny Heck refers Maguire to FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub's statement earlier this summer about whether it is OK for the president to ask other countries to help him with his election, the day after Trump told George Snuffleupagus in the Oval Office that he wanted to:
Maguire is NOT A LAWYER, and he is not sure if it's OK to solicit a foreign nation for election help, until deciding that yes, actually, that is bad. Also says all foreign interference is bad.
HECK: Would it also be bad to EXTORT that kind of foreign help?
MAGUIRE: He is watching, I really don't want to answer the question.
11:33: Maguire leaning hard on fact that he referred this whole thing to the FBI. Heck leaning hard on fact that Donald Trump sure didn't refer it to the FBI, because DONALD TRUMP WAS THE ONE TRYING TO CONSPIRE WITH ANOTHER FOREIGN NATION TO STEAL ANOTHER ELECTION.
11:35: Maguire has read the Mueller Report. Isn't that a Trump administration sin?
11:40: Sean Patrick Maloney jokes with Maguire about how his first week on the job was PRETTY CRAZY, RIGHT?
Then reads the transcript back -- but paraphrases some of it, UH OH! -- and really wants to drive home the point that Maguire made a BAD DECISION when he saw a complaint where the president extorted a foreign country into giving him an election reacharound and investigate his opponents, while simultaneously withholding aid from that country, and immediately WENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND TRUMP'S ASSLICKER AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE about the complaint, instead of running directly to Congress.
MAGUIRE: I didn't actually want this job.
11:44: It's not over yet, but we are getting close, so we want to tell you that if you love Wonkette and you love ME and you love liveblogs, please remember that Wonkette is only funded by YOU. That's where we get all our money! All our salaries and our healthcare!
So please hit the buttons below to donate and/or subscribe. The instructions are just below!
11:46: Val Demings says OK PAL, COP TO COP, REAL TALK, I have done many investigations in my whole life, and I have never ever gone to the suspect for permission to investigate them. Just saying.
Then she gets Maguire to opine on America's obligation to support Ukraine.
Then she starts outlining Trump's scheme to hide Ukraine's aid money until he and Giuliani can successfully extort Ukraine into helping Trump win the election.
Here was Maguire's face when Demings said she doesn't know WHAT THE HELL role Rudy Giuliani really plays in the Trump administration.
Everybody hates Rudy Giuliani and his stupid senile face.
11:51: DEMINGS: Would you have any reason not to trust the judgment of Michael Atkinson, the inspector general?
MAGUIRE: He is tremendous and wonderfully made. The only place I got "stuck" is on the whole thing about executive privilege and the thing about whether Trump's actions were in my wheelhouse. And I'm sorry.
Yes, he said he got "stuck" and "I'm sorry."
11:53: Raja Krishnamoorthi gets Maguire on the record once again that the whistleblower is acting in good faith, that he's absolutely committed to protecting the whistleblower, that the IG acted in good faith, and all those things. Confirms that Michael Atkinson, the IG, is a TRUMP APPOINTEE. Will Maguire also protect Atkinson from retaliation? "Absolutely," says Maguire.
11:57: Final questions from Devin Nunes!
NUNES: What is the sexiest cow?
JUST KIDDING, HE DIDN'T SAY THAT. He's just whacking off with his mouth, as usual.
11:58: Schiff has actual final questions. They are follow-ups, mostly.
SCHIFF: Did you have conversations with Donald Trump about Ukraine or this complaint?
MAGUIRE: no no no no no no no no. No!
SCHIFF: Actually it is not required for the subject of a whistleblower complaint to be part of the intel community. It requires the whistleblower to be part of the intel community. You have instead adopted the Barr Justice Department's jackhole cover-up "legal reasoning" that says Trump is above the law.
MAGUIRE: Nobody is above the law.
SCHIFF: Sounds nice, let's see if it's actually true!
12:04: Schiff is closing by noting that because they followed Barr's Justice Department's cover-up interpretation of the law, then the IC IG probably doesn't have the authority to investigate this anymore, and because the DoJ decided the criminal referrals weren't worth shit, then FBI can't investigate. Does Maguire think this is worth investigating?
MAGUIRE: The horse has left the barn!
SCHIFF: I'm asking YOU. The president is using the power of his office to coerce another nation into interfering in the 2020 election, and it's been corroborated!
MAGUIRE: No corroborated, no corroborated, you are the corroborated!
SCHIFF: Do you think we should talk to the other people the whistleblower cited?
MAGUIRE: My job is finished here!
Maguire just really wants to wash his hands of this, and does not want to say on TV that this should be investigated, or that Trump did a bad thing. He reasserts that he does not disagree with the IC IG that this is a "credible matter."
Maguire asserts that the FBI has investigated this. Schiff says NOPE, IDIOT.
MAGUIRE: I referred it!
SCHIFF: And the DoJ threw it in the trash and didn't authorize the FBI to investigate it!
12:10: Schiff is pissed. And Maguire does not know! He does not know the answers to your questions!
Schiff notes that executive privilege goes out the window when the president is committing crime or fraud. Maguire agrees and says it should go to the DoJ for investigation when that happens. You know, the BILL BARR JUSTICE DEPARTMENT THAT QUIT DOING "JUSTICE" THE DAY BARR WAS CONFIRMED, AND NOW SERVES ONLY TO DO COVER-UPS FOR DONALD TRUMP AND TO EAT DONALD TRUMP'S ASS FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER AND BEDTIME SNACKS.
12:17: Schiff's final questions are about more allegations from the whistleblower complaint. For instance, VP Mike Pence's trip to Ukraine to attend Zelenskiy's inauguration was canceled. Was it because Trump was waiting to give Zelenskiy any attention until they figured out if Zelenskiy was willing to "play ball" with Trump, which is also why Trump was denying Zelenskiy a phone call or a meeting, which should probably be interpreted as whether Zelenskiy was willing to help Trump steal the 2020 election. Here's the passage in question:
Maguire does not know.
Schiff giving final statement. Says Congress will get to the full truth of this. And we bet there is SO MUCH MORE still to come out.
12:22: And we out! Tip your bartenders!
Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!
Wonkette relies on YOU to keep us going. We have no ads, we have no capitalist investors, we're just us and you. KEEP US GOING! Click the thing! Pick an amount! Hit 'paypal' or the other one! We love you! Go!