Trump White House: F*CK IT, WE'RE DOING THE WATERGATE THING!
Remember a few weeks ago when House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler sent a very nice and loving request to 81 people and entities associated with Donald Trump, including the White House, asking to please FUCKING GIVE IT a million documents, in order to aid Judiciary's investigation into Trump's millions of crimes? Well, the deadline was Monday, and some folks are helping! Others are not!
According to Nadler, they've already gotten "tens of thousands" of documents, and all signs point to more document requests coming, to approximately one million more people. There have been some surprises, too. Steve Bannon is helping a LOT, turning over thousands of pages (which is perhaps too much if you've ever seen that episode of "The West Wing," where CJ Cregg talks about being so crazy over-compliant with Congress that they just snow down investigators with everything, including take-out menus and junk mail). Trump Inauguration weirdo/longtime associate Tom Barrack is helping, and Hope Hicks is also too gonna be a good little helper. And so on!
And some are asking for "friendly subpoenas," like for instance attorney Keith Davidson, who used to rep Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who's asking for that in order to "formalize the process," as Politico puts it. (Some people don't like being asked nicely.)
Still others are saying straight up NO, and some of them have better reasons than others. Roger Stone is pleading the Fifth on advice of counsel because, you know, he's in trouble with the law right now. Rick Gates says he can't really help, citing how he is still a cooperating witness who is very business hunting wabbits in multiple ongoing investigations. And Julian Assange said no, because (LOL) he is a journalist, you guys, and Congress shouldn't subpoena journalists about their sources. (Actually WikiLeaks is a cut-out for Russian intelligence. Which is kind of like "journalist," except not remotely.)
But the real story here is that the White House, in response to pretty much every document request it's gotten, is saying "FUCK OFF! WE ARE GOING TO DO THE WATERGATE THING! IT WORKED OUT VERY WELL, IN WATERGATE! FUCK IT, LET'S DO THE WATERGATE THING!"
They're telling Nadler's Judiciary Committee to fuck off, they're telling Elijah Cummings's Oversight Committee to fuck off -- he wrote an op-ed about it and he is pissed -- ERRBODY. They blew the deadlines to respond to congressional questions about Trump's made-up NATIONAL EMERGY declaration; they've blown off questions from Cummings about Jared Kushner and others communicating with hostile foreign powers on AOL Instant Messenger (which we examine in more detail here); they've blown off questions from Cummings about the White House's joke security clearances -- just literally everything.
In their early response to an onslaught of Democratic requests, Trump officials are breaking from norms set by previous administrations of both parties, according to people who worked in the White House or Capitol Hill during the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Over the last two months, Trump's intent has become clear: He doesn't plan to negotiate with Congress over their demands for information and witnesses the way his predecessors did. Instead, House Democrats are going to have to fight him for everything.
POLITICO contacted the 17 House committees that unsuccessfully requested records or witnesses from the Trump administration over the last two months. In most cases involving the White House itself, as opposed to agencies and departments, the request was ignored altogether. In at least one instance, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone responded with an aggressive letter questioning the committee's authority to even ask for information.
That Politico article was published on March 19. And Cipollone has just done it again, in a letter to committee chairs Cummings, Eliot Engel (Foreign Affairs) and Adam Schiff (Intel), which says HOW VERY DARE YOU ask for details of Trump's private communications with his KGB handler Vladimir Putin! Have you no decency, at long last, sirs, have you no decency! You know, despite how the FBI opened an investigation into whether Trump is a literal actual foreign agent -- and there's no reason to believe that investigation is not still ongoing -- and that Trump does things every week that make it look like he is a wholly owned asset of the Russian Federation. HOW DARE YOU!
So we bet some subpoenas will be coming on that very soon!
What's hilarious, on top of the very mad letters from Pat Cipollone, is that Trump White House officials are actually saying the quiet part loud to the press, off the record of course, in order to communicate that they are very intentionally doing the Watergate thing, because know what's a good idea? The Watergate thing.
The move is intentional as the White House sees the requests from newly empowered Democrats as illegitimate, too expansive or infringing on presidential privilege, such as Trump's communications with his senior advisers or another head of state, according to two senior administration officials. Those officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss strategy, said the White House is intent on challenging most, if not all, House Democrats' document requests. [...]
Trump White House officials [...] dismissed the House Democratic inquiries as political stunts. One administration official argued that House Democrats know the documents they seek are guarded by executive privilege.
"They are doing it for headlines," the official said.
And if they're serious, well, they'll just have to sue, and maybe it'll go all the way to the Supreme Court! Just like the Watergate thing! And Trump has installed two buttlicking morons on the Supreme Court, and they'll surely protect Trump's butt! Just like in Watergate!
Except wait, how many justices did Nixon appoint? Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun, Lewis Powell, and William Rehnquist. So four. And how many of his own appointees were part of the UNANIMOUS decision that agreed Nixon had to FUCKING GIVE IT the tapes? Burger, Blackmun and Powell, which according to our algebraic calculations is three. (Rehnquist was recused.)
FUCK YEAH! WATERGATE THING!
Our point is this may not go as well for the Trump White House as they think it will.
We are just saying.
Also we are just saying, FUCK IT, IT'S YOUR OPEN THREAD.
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