Okay people, we're going INTO THE WEEDS!
The newest chucklefuck mixtape has dropped, and it is FIRE! Recorded live at an April 30, 2018, event for donors to Trump's America First Action PAC by Igor Fruman, the "Silent Bob" of the Chucklefuck Gang, this tape's got everything. There are donors proposing legislation to benefit their own businesses that was shortly thereafter championed by House Republicans. There's a whole lot of golf talk, including speculation about Kim Jong Un's mean game. But it's Donald Trump's order to fire ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch that's getting the most airtime.
PARNAS: The biggest problem there, where we need to start is, we gotta get rid of the ambassador. She's still left over from the Clinton administration.
TRUMP: Who, the ambassador to Ukraine?
PARNAS: And she's basically walking around telling everybody wait, he's going to get impeached, just wait. It's incredible.
UNKNOWN: She'll be gone tomorrow.
PARNAS: What's her name?
FRUMAN: I don't remember.
(Probably White House advisor Johnny) DeSTEFANO: So one of the things that will be now that we have a secretary of state that's been confirmed--
TRUMP: Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it.
Because it's totally normal for the president of the United States to fire career civil servants based on the unsubstantiated, self-serving allegations of some dipshit at a PAC dinner, right? Particularly when that dipshit admits that he's got a financial stake in the very change he's advocating.
How Many Trump Crimes Will His Lawyers Confess To Today? (Impeachment Trial Liveblog, Day Whatever!)
We are guessing 'ALL OF THEM KATIE.'
Well, hello, John Bolton, and how is YOUR mustache hanging today?
So, you mean to tell us, after an impeachment inquiry and trial where we've gotten one consistent version of the story of Donald Trump's Ukraine crimes, that John Bolton's book also too confirms that version of the story exactly and confirms Bolton's status as a firsthand witness to the whole scheme? No one could have seen that one coming, and by no one, we mean everyone.
We don't know how impeachment is going to go this week. Trump's lawyers started Saturday, and from what we can tell, they just jerked off into a cup for two hours and then went home and jerked off into more cups, but not on live TV. From Trump's tweets, it sounds like they were mad that calendars were discriminating against them by making them start Saturday.
Technically, according to the rules, Trump's lawyers could go today and tomorrow, and we know Mitch McConnell wants all this shit to be over by the end of the week, especially if Bolton's news is just going to keep breaking. At the same time, the Bolton news (and there will be more) seems to be putting some real pressure on a few GOP senators like Mitt Romney and Susan Collins to vote for witnesses and documents, which could extend things quite a bit if a number of them end up jumping together.
Of course, it's always possible that Adam Schiff will commit an act of bad Senate decorum and hurt Susan Collins's feelings so much she is forced to confirm Brett Kavanaugh again.
Point is we have no fuckin' idea and neither do you.
Shall we liveblog the things that happen as they happen?
Lying shitsack lies, is shitsack.
After he had a hissy fit and yelled the fuck-word at NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly Friday, because she asked him questions about Ukraine, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a bullshit statement claiming Kelly had lied to him twice, and also that she was dumb and stupid and an unhinged Trump-hater made of pure evil. To the surprise of nobody, the Washington Post yesterday published emails between Kelly and Pompeo's press aide which show Pompeo was the actual liar. Imagine that!
Pompeo was very very upset, because after he'd avoided giving any clear answers on how the administration would "stop" Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, Kelly then asked him questions about his failure to support then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, and he had to avoid answering those questions, too.
It's your Sunday show rundown!
We begin today's Sunday show roundup with Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma. Making appearances on both CNN's "State of The Union" and ABC's "This Week," Lankford did his best to be a one-man version of the "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" monkey.
On CNN, Lankford pretended to be offended that Adam Schiff referred to a report that Trump had threatened senators if they didn't stand with him while simultaneously "seeing no evil" by ignoring Trump's C-level gangster threats towards Schiff when pointed out to him. (We covered it here.) On ABC, Lankford decided to go with "hear no evil" as he told George Stephanopoulos why we shouldn't see new witnesses -- like saying that the House "rushed" impeachment by not waiting on courts to decide subpoenas. Stephanopoulos wasn't having it.
Don't mess with Mustache Man.
John Bolton is going to burn down the Trump administration ... eventually. The question is whether he's going to do it on the witness stand when it actually matters, or just save it all for his stupid book. Because he's got the goods on everybody in that White House, including Bill Barr, Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney, and Rudy Giuliani. And, as The New York Times reported last night, he's got Donald Trump by the short and curlies:
President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.
How you livin', Mitch McConnell? Looks like that warmongering bastard just raised the stakes on that vote to sweep this whole impeachment under the rug without witnesses. Because he's got firsthand knowledge of Donald Trump personally saying YES, QUID PRO QUO, no defense aid for Ukraine until they throw dirt on Joe Biden, and he's made it clear that he'll be telling his story sooner rather than later.
Ladies and gentlemen, your Trump administration.
Breaking! Achtung! Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is a hot sack of garbage! Okay, that's not really news. But really, this weekend Pompeo has outdone himself.
It started yesterday when NPR's Mary Louise Kelly, who has been a national security reporter for 20 years, sat down for an interview with Pompeo at the State Department. The Secretary blurped nonsense for several minutes about how the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, which caused Iran to restart its uranium enrichment program, is actually a sign of Trump's rousing success in stopping that country from getting nukes.
KELLY: My question, again: How do you stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?
SECRETARY POMPEO: We'll stop them.
SECRETARY POMPEO: We'll stop them.
SECRETARY POMPEO: We'll stop them. The president made very clear – the opening sentence in his remarks said that we will never permit Iran to have a nuclear weapon. The coalition that we've built out, the economic, military, and diplomatic deterrence that we have put in place will deliver that outcome. It's important, because this will protect the American people.
Please note how Kelly does not just transcribe what Pompeo says and move on. Which may explain his ... displeasure at what happened next.
It's Liz's Impeachment Party, grab a lei and a breakfast pina colada, and hula on in!
Good Saturday morning to you! Come on in, Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone and Pam Bondi and Ken Starr and maybe Not Trump's Lawyer More Like Just Some Guy Supposed to Say Some Things But NOT TRUMP'S LAWYER OKAY (Alan Dershowitz) who are all preparing very hard to wow us with some legal WHEREFORES and HEREBYS and a whoooole lotta conspiracy theory.
It's going to be SOME DUMB, we are saying! Here's a livestream! Ready? GO!
The president is neither an innocent man nor a well man.
OK! Here we go! One more day of impeachment trial liveblog and then this week will be ov-HAHAHA just kidding, this shit runs on Saturdays too. Trump is upset about that, because his very good lawyers will be beginning their case on Saturday, which he says is "Death Valley" of TV. And they are such very good lawyers too!
Or maybe they are not very good lawyers?
Wow, for once in our entire lives, we agree with Matt Gaetz. Trump's lawyers are so fucked right now. Maybe it is good (for them) that they have to start their business on Saturday.
Anyway, let's see what else is happening, oh nothing except for LORDY THERE ARE TAPES. And they are ... Igor tapes?
GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!
Did you miss Adam Schiff's closing speech last night? It was a stemwinder and you should watch it right now if you weren't hanging out with Evan last night for the neverending liveblog.
Colonel Vindman said, "Here, right matters." Here, right matters. Well, let me tell you something. If right doesn't matter, it doesn't matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn't matter how brilliant the Framers were. It doesn't matter how good or bad our advocacy in this trial is. Doesn't matter how well written the oath of impartiality is. If right doesn't matter, we're lost. If the truth doesn't matter, we're lost. The Framers couldn't protect us from ourselves if right and truth doesn't matter.
And you know that what he did was not right. You know that's what they do in the old country, where Col. Vindman's father came from, or the old country that my great grandfather came from. [...]
No Constitution can protect us if right doesn't matter. And you know that you can't trust this president to do what's right for this country. You trust that he will do what's right for Donald Trump. He'll do it now, he's done it before, he'll do it for the next several months, he'll do it in the election if he's allowed to. This is why, if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.
And right on time, Donald Trump's leaning on those senators to do what's right for Donald Trump.
If they hadn't already decided the outcome such behavior by a jury could be bad.
The day after Chief Justice John Roberts told both sides in Donald Trump's impeachment trial to behaaave themselves and remember they're speaking before the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, several Republican senators decided Wednesday they found the whole thing tedious, so they left their seats, ducked out to the cloakrooms, nodded off, and generally behaved like they were being forced to listen to a mandatory school assembly on railroad safety, only without even the prospect of some gory accident footage. Decorum is for losers, man. We suspect that by midafternoon today they were openly lighting their farts.
We suppose it only makes sense they'd make a great show of performing just how bored they are, like a common Fox News host would. That seems in keeping with Trump's defense team's presenting a load of Fox News talking points Tuesday, instead of any attempt to defend Trump's actual behavior.
Hola! Time for the opening arguments part of the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump.
Late last night after we went to bed, apparently there was some kind of dust-up where Jerry Nadler and the Democrats were tired of the constant lying and bullshit from Donald Trump's lying bullshit lawyers, and Trump assface lawyer Pat Cipollone acted like a real dick too, and Chief Justice John Roberts felt the need to "admonish" both sides like a common Chuck Todd and "remember [you] are addressing the world's greatest deliberative body." (Objection! Asserts facts not in evidence.) Roberts even pulled an olden-timey term out of the spare gavel he keeps inside his bottom (allegedly), and referenced a 1905 impeachment trial where a guy got in big trouble for "pettifogging."
For the record, this is all Jerry Nadler said that was supposedly so bad:
"Either you want the truth and you must permit the witnesses or you want a shameful cover-up. History will judge and so will the electorate," Nadler argued.
Whatever, that is just true.
Anyway, John Roberts is not our real dad and not your real dad either and he can't tell us what to do, so we will not be nice, and we'll continue calling Trump's lawyers the lying loser assholes they are, making jokes all the way about how they are booger-staining their careers for all eternity and will be remembered in the history books just like that, as booger-stains.
Also they are bad at TV.
Shall we watch the opening arguments together? Democrats start things off, for the next three days or so probably, after which Trump's lawyers will fill up to 12 hours of opening arguments by lying and yelling "PERFECT CALL!" or something. We don't envy their position, having to defend the world's stupidest criminal.
Yes, we know, but here's why Bill Barr should recuse like a common Jeff Sessions.
If the only way to survive the Trump administration is to keep resisting no matter how tired we get, then the combination of Lev Parnas and his attorney Joseph Bondy could be just what we need. When everything is crazy all the time and the riptide of normalization threatens to pull us under, maybe we need a wackass chucklefucker and his dead-eyed weed lawyer to shout, "Hey, snap out of it, this shit ain't right!" as they hurl a life preserver at our heads. Not because they can stop the tide, of course, but to jolt us back awake before we sink into the miasma of corruption.
It is in that spirit that we should view the latest salvo from Bondy asking Attorney General Bill Barr to recuse himself from Parnas's campaign finance case and appoint a special prosecutor. Not because it's likely to work with Barr or US District Judge J. Paul Oetken, but because it draws a giant arrow toward the gross impropriety at the Justice Department which gets buried under the daily avalanche of Trump corruption.
Checking in with the biggest Republican idiots in the land on the eve of the Senate impeachment trial!
Let's check in with some Republican idiots on the eve of Donald Trump going on trial in the Senate for IMPEACH!
Oh hey Donald Trump Jr., what is that on your face? Oh it is just your face.
What was God doing that day? Did the Almighty look at His holy schedule and see that it said "Make a face for Donald Trump Jr." and He just decided to watch Netflix instead?
Any-hoo, Junior went on the "Sunday Morning Futures" TV talk-time program on the Fox Business, and he had some fightin' words for senators who might violate his criminal father's trust by voting for witnesses in the Senate trial, if they don't want to include completely relevant witnesses like Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, who don't have shit to do with his father's crimes except for how they are victims of them:
Weird how these guys wind up in the same room all the time!
But enough about Ukraine, let's talk about Venezuela. Particularly about Rudy Giuliani and Bill Barr and whatever hinky shit the two of them were cooking up when Rudy went down to the Justice Department last September to ask the DOJ to prettyplease not indict his Venezuelan client Alejandro Betancourt López as part of a massive money laundering case in Florida.
Betancourt had generously hosted Giuliani and his henchman Lev Parnas at his estate in Madrid where they traveled to meet with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy's aide Andrey Yermak last August during their peregrinations across Europe in search of dirt on Joe Biden. The next month, Giuliani returned the favor by using his contacts at the Justice Department to score a face-to-face with Brian Benczkowski, head of the criminal division, to plead Betancourt's case. Which is a nice perk you get when you hire the president's personal lawyer and subsidize his backchannel ratfucking for the president!
Trump's Impeachment Response, Or The Wild-Assed Ravings Of A Toddler Who Missed Naptime? Why Not Both!
We'd feel sorry for White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, except no.
The initial briefs have been filed in the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump in the United States Senate. The Democrats' brief is 111 pages long, and lays out the high crimes and misdemeanors Trump committed, which resulted in him being impeached forever on two articles in the House. Calling Trump "the framers' worst nightmare," it argues, in plain yet elegant English, how Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress, how his actions threatened and undermined American national security, and why he should be convicted on both articles and removed from office.
You should read it with your children later, in place of your usual evening Bible reading!
In response, the Trump administration, shepherded by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, managed to fingerpaint out seven pages of horseshit that will surely be taught in all the law schools, in a new course about Trump's lawyers called "How To Law Bad And Do Other Stuff Bad Too." If it reminds you of the hilarious letter Cipollone penned to Congress in October about how impeachment is not real and Congress and the Constitution are neither Donald Trump's real dad nor his real mom, that's because Cipollone appears to have copy/pasted/treason paraphrased it, which is known in the legal world as "lazyass."
And a whole lot more from your favorite chucklefuck!
Time for the latest dispatches from chucklefuck Lev Parnas's phone on the Trumpland conspiracy to frame Joe Biden. The newest doc dump from the House Intel and Judiciary Committees contains three different PDFs, plus a voicemail. The first comprises messages between Parnas and Devin Nunes's aide Derek Harvey, the second pertains to surveillance of our ambassador in Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and the third is just photos of Lev Parnas, who takes more selfies than Kim Kardashian, documenting his position at the center of Trumpworld. Let's get at it.
Devin Nunes, Moo Got Some Splainin' to Do!
Friday night we got a peek at Lev's messages with Derek Harvey, Devin Nunes's top Intel staffer, and -- SURPRISE -- they back up Parnas's allegation that the congressman was up to his udders in the Biden smear. Parnas served as a conduit between Nunes and corrupt Ukrainian prosecutors willing to say more or less anything for a price, including Viktor Shokin and Yuriy Lutsenko.
As Parnas told Rachel Maddow last week, "Derek Harvey had several interviews, Skype interviews I set up, with different prosecutors like [Nazar] Kholodnytsky, which is the anti-corruption prosecutor of Ukraine, Konstantyn Kulyk, one of the major guys that's had this whole Biden stuff."
At the same time, Harvey was pumping Parnas for dirt on the Clinton Foundation. Because it will always and forever be 2016.
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