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Hey, remember the Mueller investigation? It happened when you were a baby and now you're all growned up! But among all the craziness of IMPEACHMENT-THIRTY MOTHERFUCKERS, you might have forgotten that the House of Representatives is still in court to get the grand jury information that was redacted from the Mueller Report, and also all of Mueller's underlying evidence and witness transcripts and whatnot. One of the reasons they want that information is because House Democrats believe it might show that Donald Trump lied to Mueller when he said he had no idea his campaign was cahootsing with WikiLeaks. There's a LOT of evidence that he knew exactly what was happening, and was briefed on upcoming leaks. Michael Cohen says he totally knew about it.

In the olden times of this past Tuesday, they were in court before Judge Beryl Howell, and Donald Trump's Department of Justice had some really interesting new ideas to share, on top of its running "legal" theory that the president can't be investigated, because he's above the law. They apparently think Watergate shouldn't have happened, because the congressional investigation itself was BIG BAD WITCH HUNT NIXON GOT A RAW DEAL-GHAZI!!11!!1!!!!

Clearly, they are full of shit.


At issue is that the Trump DOJ would like to stall as long as possible, and is hinging its hopes on the notion that because Nancy Pelosi hasn't held an official vote to say the House is Doing A Impeach, that means there is no impeachment inquiry happening, and no impeachment means no grand jury transcripts, that is just the rules Trump's DOJ made up right now. Just for good measure, though, the Trump DOJ also argued that even if the House is doing an impeachment inquiry, they shouldn't get grand jury transcripts, because of this one legal theory they found in Donald Trump's butt, which is why they can't exactly put their finger on it right now, EW STINKY. (It is the same legal theory White House Counsel Pat Cipollone laid out this week in his hilarious letter about how impeachment, as laid out in the Constitution, is unconstitutional.)

Howell was not having it, because she knows, just like House Democrats know, just like Wonkette knows, that the Constitution does not actually specify how an impeachment inquiry must work in the House.

[DOJ attorney Elizabeth] Shapiro argued that "some degree of formality" should be required to pierce grand jury secrecy. When asked by Howell where that line should be drawn, the DOJ attorney said, "I'm not advocating any specific line."

"That's so not helpful," Howell said.

"YOU GOTTA CROSS THE LINE!" says Justice. "OK, what is the line?" says judge. "IT'S MORE OF A LINE YOU JUST FEEL IN YOUR HEART?" says Justice. "Oh for fuck's sake," says judge. (Those are Schiff-ian treason paraphrases, obviously.)

But it really got good when Trump's DOJ told a federal judge to her bemused face that the Watergate grand jury transcripts shouldn't have been released, by which they meant Watergate shouldn't have happened at all, NIXON GOT A RAW DEAL!

As the AP history-splains, in 1974 Judge John Sirica gave Congress the grand jury information it needed to investigate Nixon in its impeachment inquiry. Does the Trump DOJ ... think that was bad?

"The answer would be that if that same case came today, a different result would be obtained," Shapiro said. That briefly left Judge Howell in silence.

"Wow, OK," Howell said. "As I said, the department is taking extraordinary positions in this case."

Wow, indeed! Based on ... what? Based on these legal theories cooked up in Bill Barr's rectum for the benefit of Donald Trump? Because they don't teach those in law school, and they never will.

By the way, that grand jury information was literally the so-called "road map" that led to Nixon's resignation. In other words, Trump's toadies are desperately standing athwart history and screaming "PLEASE DON'T SHOW THEM THE ROAD MAP, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!"

Courthouse News has more:

Offering Shapiro the opportunity to respond to [House attorney Douglas] Letter's argument that the current litigation marks the first time in history that the Justice Department has refused to hand over grand jury material to Congress in an impeachment investigation, Howell asked: "How does the Justice Department reconcile the different postures and positions it's taking? Is it just the passage of time?"

"Well, positions evolve," Shapiro replied.

Uh huh. Darwin wrote about it, probably. Like, you have one position for a bunch of years, and then the senile old lovebaby of a rabid basset hound and Earl the Dinosaur from TV's "Dinosaurs" becomes Trump's Roy Cohn at the Justice Department, and suddenly EVOLUTION HAPPENS. It is just law science.

As Courthouse News reports, Howell had already told the gathered parties that because of, you know, history and precedent from the fucking Supreme Court, she might very well have to give "enormous deference" to the House. Meanwhile, House attorney Douglas Letter reportedly told the court, "Frankly, we are all baffled why this practice over many decades is now in reverse," because apparently he hasn't read the famous Supreme Court case that determined that Congress is not Donald Trump's real dad and therefore not the boss of him.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that there is a whole contingent of our society that still, beyond all boundaries of reason and intellect, thinks Nixon was treated unfairly during Watergate. As a child of a Republican household, we were fed lies about how Gerald Ford simply HAD to pardon Nixon in order to "heal the nation," something we didn't realize was a lie until much later, but we don't particularly recall being told that Nixon was actually innocent. However, there's a documentary that plays on MSNBC from time to time about Watergate, and it features a crying Ben Stein saying there's never been a president treated more unfairly than Nixon. We watch that documentary every time it comes on, because it's so fuckin' funny just to watch Ben Stein cry.

And now the Justice Department under Trump, who is like a deformed shit-haired Nixon on steroids laced with bath salts, is in court telling the judge that Judge Sirica was wrong to give Congress all the tools it needed to investigate Nixon, and stating baselessly that if that court fight happened today, "a different result would be obtained."

"Wow," the federal judge responded.

The Justice Department is also supposed to be turning over 302s from the Mueller investigation, AKA its notes from Mueller's witness interviews, which it agreed to hand the fuck over back in June. It's done that a little bit, though some of what it's turned over has been MUY REDACTED. Also, they've been withholding notes on witnesses like former White House counsel Don McGahn, who was a victim/participant in MANY of Donald Trump's efforts to obstruct Mueller's investigation into Russia's inteference in the 2016 election to elect Trump, the giggleboners the Trump got in response to that, and any and all improper contacts between the two. (There were lots!)

Also missing?

In addition to notes from discussions with McGahn, [Michael] Flynn and [Hope] Hicks, the House has yet to receive any portions of notes from interviews with McGahn's former deputy Annie Donaldson, former FBI Director James Comey, his former deputy Andrew McCabe, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Judge Howell ordered the Justice Department to get back to her toot sweet on what they've actually handed over, what they haven't, and W[hy]TF they're still redacting shit they're turning over to Congress. (Trump's DOJ toady idiot lawyer said in court that they have to redact stuff because of how some of it included one-on-one conversations with President Treason. Did they invoke executive privilege? Hahahahahahahahahaha shut up.)

In summary and in conclusion, this fight over giving Congress the FULL EVIDENCE from Robert Mueller's investigation is still going on, and Howell looks likely to rule for Congress, but her ruling will obviously be appealed by the Trump administration, because they're protecting a lawless criminal president. But now that impeachment really is smokin' along, we can probably hope that this will go a lot faster than it was before.

And we have bad news for Trump. Even though he's done his best to stack the Supreme Court with fluffers and loyalist dipshits, they will rule against him -- this is not even complicated law, and Trump's Supreme Court appointees are still judges, for God's sake! -- and he will still be impeached, if he isn't forced into resigning in shame first.

You know, just like Nixon, who GOT A RAW DEAL GRRRRR ARGH!

[AP / Courthouse News / Politico]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior 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.

Follow him on Twitter RIGHT HERE.

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