Trump🇷🇺Russia🇺🇦Ukraine

 
https://wp.me/PDKwi-6Kc
 

With Tweets, Retweets, links to articles and excerpts, I’ve tried to document this national soap opera/tragedy we’re living through. The resources at the beginning are a mixed bag of timelines and documents and I provide a clickable cast of characters (Russians, mostly).

What does this have to do with The Blacklist? A lot, actually. Russian mob figures, spies and apparatchiks. Semion Mogilevich, the Smart Don, reminds me of Red, though Red is a lot nicer and much better-looking.

Featured are drawings (she calls them “maps”) by @Jzikah, and “Mueller, She Wrote” is the best podcast I’ve ever come across. The three women who do it are comedians, though they’re all super smart and A.J. (the lead) has a PhD and is a Veteran.

Caution: You may enjoy this feature a bit more if you’re of the liberal persuasion. This is the single place on this blog where *there are politics* though I tend to stick with MSM, specialized sources (ex-Intel Community, altGov, and reputable sleuths) and other people I’ve learned to trust.

 

🇷🇺 Press Here For recent articles

🇷🇺 Press Here For 7/26/2017 through 2018

 
💽Recommended⋙ Mueller She Wrote Podcasthttp://bit.ly/2PgTKWs  or Press   ⇊  ⇊
 
Other Podcasts:

    All The President’s Lawyers (J Barro, R Lowry)
    The Asset (Center for American Progress) 🌟
    The Dworkin Report (Scott Dworkin)
    Gaslit Nation (Sarah Kendzior, Andrea Chalupa)
    The Lawfare Podcast (Benjamin Wittes, Brookings)
    The Josh Marshall Podcast (TPM)
    The Mother Jones Podcast (David Corn)
    Mueller Time (Eric Leval, Chris Carey)
    The Oath (Chuck Rosenberg, MSNBC)
    The Report (Lawfare)
    On Topic (Renato Mariotti)
    Skullduggery (Michael Isikoff, Yahoo)
    Trump Inc (ProPublica)
    Trumpcast (Slate)

🔊 PlayerFM: Best Trump Russia Investigation Podcasts (2019) http://bit.ly/2MKbtV8
 
Twitter List: INVESTIGATORS: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/investigators
// Investigative reporters, Trump-Russia sleuths, Intelligence Community, Legislators, “alt-gov,” and Targets
 

Russian Intelligence Services:

Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) – The Foreign Intelligence Service reports directly to the President of Russia.
GRU – Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces.
Federal Security Service (FSB) – The Federal Security Service is responsible for counter-intelligence, state security and anti-terrorist operations

 
<img src="https://blacklistdeclassified.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/06192e25-fc1f-4f85-bdc4-ce63b05ec238-e1559118405219.jpeg&quot; alt="" width="655" height="654" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-37440" /io

 
🔄 ECFR , Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Introduction: Putin’s hydra: Inside Russia’s intelligence services http://bit.ly/2NZWN1h
// 5/11/2016, Intro
⋙ 📒 ECFR, Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Report: Putin’s Hydra: Inside Russia’s Intelligence Services [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NYjG5b 20p
// May 2016, Full report

 

 
Key People: Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova, Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baronov, Vitaly Bespalov, Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva, David Bogatin, Victor Boyarkin, Wm Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Oleg Deripaska, Andrii Derkach, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis, Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Igor Fruman, Daniel Gelbinovich, Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg, Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser, Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly (“Ike”) Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin, Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova, Elena Khusyaynova, Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Yuriy Lutsenko, Simona Mangiante, Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon), Konstantin Molofeev, George Nader, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov, Konstantin Nikolaev, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Lev Parnas, Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichnyy, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky, Petro Poroshenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili, Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko, Viktor Shokin, Oleg Solodukhin, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Oleg Solodukhin, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov, Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel, Volodymyr Zelensky

 

 
Bios w links (Wikipedia unless otherwise noted): Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova (National Compass), Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baranov (Bloomberg), Vitaly Bespalov (NBC), Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva (NYT), David Bogatin (NYT), Victor Boyarkin (TrumpRussia), William Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Oleg Deripaska, Andrii Derkach, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis (Archinect), Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Igor Fruman, Daniel Gelbinovich (Daily Beast), Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg (Miami Herald), Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser (Cambridge Analytica), Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Elena Khusyaynova, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin (National Compass), Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova (NYT), Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Yuriy Lutsenko, Konstantin Malofeev, Simona Mangiante (Papadopoulos), Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon)

 

Cover: KyivPost (10/18/2019): <bShady Cast of Characters: Engineers of Trump-Ukraine Scandal http://bit.ly/2MZCilW
 
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov (NYMag), Konstantin Nikolaev, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Lev Parnas ,Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichny, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky (RIM), Petro Poroshenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili (Bloomberg), Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze (CNBC), Nastya Rybka (aka Anastasia Vashukevich) (WaPo), Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko (Amnesty Intl), Viktor Shokin, Oleg Solodukhin, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka) (WaPo), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov (Moscow Proj), Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel, Volodymyr Zelensky

 

By @WendySiegelman
 

Key Documents

 
🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 LawfareBlog: Litigation Documents Related to the Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/2OVch6n
// new November 2018, to be continually updated

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity: Public Document Clearinghouse: UKRAINE Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2CEsQ2F ‼️ Links to ALL documents ‼️

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 AmericanOversight: Trump-Ukraine Key Figures and Documents http://bit.ly/2C24bES
AmericanOversight: The Trump Administration’s Contacts with Ukraine http://bit.ly/2BYSY89 from FOIA requests

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity, Andy Wright: Just Security Launches the Russia Investigation Congressional Clearinghouse http://bit.ly/2L21uHz
// 8/22/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Full Text of the Mueller Report’s Executive Summaries http://bit.ly/2IFLewq
// 4/18/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Document: The Mueller Report http://bit.ly/2vcgNpN
// 4/18/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2nq4FAD
// 9/26/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: Trump impeachment inquiry: Latest news and updates http://wapo.st/2P09WuE [Continually updated]

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo, Kate Rabinowitz and Kevin Schaul: Who’s involved in the Trump impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/2W673dg
// orig published 10/21/2019
~~~~~~~~~~
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 Court Filing (1/17/2019): Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-03501 [pdf] http://cnn.it/2CBddZy (111p) Democratic National Committee v.: Russian Federation, DJ Trump For President, Inc (and others)
// 1/17/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Yoni Appelbaum: Impeach Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2FykFIP
//March 2019 cover story

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Politico Mag, Darren Samuelsohn: The Only Impeachment Guide You’ll Ever Need http://politi.co/2QHcJGi
// 1/11/2019, As talk of the I-word heats up, here’s POLITICO Magazine’s soup-to-nuts answers to all your questions about the politics—and the practical realities—of removing a president.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo, Max Boot: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset http://wapo.st/2D7IJQ9
// 1/13/2019
 

By @jzikah has a new book! Cartoon President http://amzn.to/2QUeZhk
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg (Editor): UNTHINKABLE: 50 Moments That Define an Improbable Presidency http://bit.ly/2RvDFOn
// Jan 2019; Donald Trump’s 50 Most Unthinkable Moments ~ 50 Articles

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Wikipedia: Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2018) http://bit.ly/2Bh12jP

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Axios: Timeline: Every big move in the Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2Euh3H9
// 12/12/2018
 

By @jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 Moyers&Co: Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump http://bit.ly/2uVHc9j
// continually updated

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 DocumentCloud: Steele Dossier [pdf] http://bit.ly/2y5ZhnF 35p

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 FBIRecordsVault: Records Between FBI and Christopher Steele http://bit.ly/2KqLoF1

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ AP: Mueller Investigation documents http://bit.ly/2ihbK0l

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CitJourno: Trump/Russian Mob Connections http://www.citjourno.org
 

By @jzikah

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CNN, Marshall Cohen, Tal Yellen & Liz Stark: Tracking the Russia investigations (documents) http://cnn.it/2hVCpU5

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Russian Hacking and Influence in the U.S. Election http://nyti.ms/2NqFXeY

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ BrennanCenter: Trump-Russia Investigations http://bit.ly/2yRKcu6

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Politico: The people connected to the Russia probes [ Interactive ] http://politi.co/2FUDhz2 //➔ Democrats, Prosecutors, Law Enforcement/Lobbyists/Media,Team Trump, Foreign Nationals

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheMoscowProject: Trump’s Russia Cover-Up By the Numbers http://bit.ly/2ycY959
// Center for American Progress; 80+ contacts with Russia-linked operatives https://themoscowproject.org/about/ http://bit.ly/2ycY959
 

By @jzikah

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NBCNews: Russia timeline: Key players, meetings and investigation details http://nbcnews.to/2vtR3YW

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DailyBeast: Democrats Release the Fusion GPS Testimony on Trump and Russia http://thebea.st/2qMmH1d w attachment [pdf] ⋙ via Dianne Feinstein http://bit.ly/2FjtlPP

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Justice Department Gives Congress Comey’s Memos on Trump http://nyti.ms/2HdLe2Z
// 4/19/2018 ➔ DocumentCloud: http://bit.ly/2HOGC4z

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DOJ: Indictment of Internet Research Agency LLC et al … [PDF] http://bit.ly/2CqdHzD 37p //➔ Mueller Investigation
// 2/16/2018
 

By @jzikah
 

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Amy Siskind: The Weekly List ~ “This is How Democracy Ends” https://theweeklylist.org

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Mueller Has List of Questions for Trump http://nyti.ms/2rfDuqK + http://nyti.ms/2HExEKi
// 4/30/2018, Majority Relate to if Trump Obstructed Inquiry on Russia

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Trump Lawyers’ Confidential Memo to Mueller, Explained [ Document ] http://nyti.ms/2kKPgq9
// 6/2/2018, NYT article about document: http://nyti.ms/2swIZSc

 

By @jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: The Arguments President Trump Has Made Against the Mueller Investigation http://ti.me/2MdeARX
// 6/8/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: Wikipedia: Links between Trump associates and Russian officials http://bit.ly/2K42VDF

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ WaPo: Who has been charged in the Russia probe and why http://wapo.st/2toNwH2
// continually updated; WaPo Russia page

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ ForeignAffairs Anthology: A New Cold War? Russia and America, Then and Now 1947- http://fam.ag/2KEA4dF

 

By @jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Mueller Indictment of 12 Russians in the GRU for Election Hacking [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NbphV6 29p
// 7/13/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ FactCheck.org: Timeline of Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2KZ4qaQ
// posted 6/7/2018, updated 7/13/2018; Key moments in the FBI probe of Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election; Readable

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Legal Process Server: DNC Lawsuit vs Russia, Wikileaks, et al http://bit.ly/2KIOhBq

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT, Linda Qiu: Truth-Testing Trump’s 250-Plus Attacks on the Russia Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2MY609E
// 8/18/2018

 

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Manafort Plea Agreement [pdf] http://bit.ly/2CZiVb7 17p
// 9/14/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄💽 NYT: Opinion | Operation Infektion: A three-part video series on Russian disinformation http://nyti.ms/2OHqSSV
// 11/12/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ PasteMag, Jacob Weindling: A Year of Trump and Russia: The 75 Stories That Defined the Mueller Investigation in 2018 http://bit.ly/2QWN1SU
// 12/28/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ LawFareBlog: Document: Indictment of Roger Stone [pdf] http://bit.ly/2UdQgmj 24p
// 1/25/2019

 

By @jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄📋 NYT: Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2MAZCps
// 1/26/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 BuzzFeedNews: These Secret Files Show How The Trump Moscow Talks Unfolded While Trump Heaped Praise On Putin http://bit.ly/2DWQ2ed
// 2/5/2019; ⏳TIMELINE ⌛️

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: What we learned about Trumpworld outreach to Russia since Mueller’s investigation began http://wapo.st/2twkXYE
// 2/19/2019, And what we still don’t know.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 NYT, Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish: Trump Has Publicly Attacked the Russia Investigation More Than 1,100 Times http://nyti.ms/2T2HSsN
// 2/19/2019

 

By @jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 WaPo, Philip Bump: The 81 people and organizations just looped into the Trump probe — and why they were included http://wapo.st/2SJrw41
// 3/4/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2lfBkbC (Annotated)
// 9/25/2019″

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2nq4FAD
// 9/26/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Ukraine Top Diplomat William B. Taylor Jr.‘s Statement to the Impeachment Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2P80Yvn
// 10/22/2019

 

By @jzikah

 
📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Testimony of Yovanovich and McKinley as Part of New Public Phase of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/36vgIPr
// 11/4/2014
● Yovanovich: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2PTqCnM ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2PQOete ; CSPAN http://cs.pn/343IO2g
● McKinley: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/32cHgRT ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2NJkdZE

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Sondland and Volker Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2WKuedv
// 11/5/2019; New Text Messages Also Released

● Sondland: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/33nkqsq ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2NjiXxC
● Volker: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/34A7mQE ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2WOhnXE
● Volker texts: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2qtbhju ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/30QhpPi

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Ambassador Bill Taylor’s Deposition Transcript as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2JWZiRS http://bit.ly/2WKuedv
// 11/6/2016

● Taylor: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2rhMrDn ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2WQCys7 ; CSPAN http://cs.pn/2KjMcya

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Ambassador George Kent’s Deposition Transcript as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2JWZiRS http://bit.ly/2pQjH4j
// 11/7/2016

● Kent: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2CjYwud ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2WRwZK5 ; CSPAN: http://cs.pn/2KjMcya

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Vindman and Hill Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/34JUlEa
// 11/8/2019

● Vindman: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2NSQEoL ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/32sSKRt
● Hill: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/32xLow2 ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2X12TDN

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Laura Cooper’s Transcript as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/34SP3pT
// 11/11/2019

● Cooper: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/34VAZvT ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2NAN0kv

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Croft and Anderson Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2Q5m4ep

● Croft: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2O7AszY ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2qN1BQF
● Anderson: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2qGPlRU ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2qN1Knb

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Croft and Anderson Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2Q5m4ep
// 11/14/2019

● Croft: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2O7AszY ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2qN1BQF
● Anderson: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2qGPlRU ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2qN1Knb

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI):: Committees Release Morrison and Williams Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2Q5m4ep
// 11/16/2019

● Morrison: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2KqPAYg ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2KtPsHn
● Williams: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2CSjMra ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/37hpNM

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI):: Committees Release Holmes and Hale Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2KxG2Lh
// 11/18/2019

● Holmes: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2XyrQa8 ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2Xsy7nq
● Hale: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2Kw91if ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2r4jB9D

 

@jzikah has a book! Cartoon President http://amzn.to/2QUeZhk

 
⭕ 18 Nov 2019

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Holmes and Hale Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2KxG2Lh

● Holmes: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2XyrQa8 ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2Xsy7nq
● Hale: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2Kw91if ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2r4jB9D

“Today, the Committees released the transcripts of depositions with Mr. David Holmes and Mr. David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

“Mr. Holmes, a nonpartisan career Foreign Service officer, testified that he was present when Ambassador Gordon Sondland spoke directly with President Trump on July 26—the day after President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Zelensky.

“Mr. Holmes overheard President Trump asking Ambassador Sondland whether President Zelensky committed to ‘do the investigation’ into the Bidens and the 2016 election, which Trump pressed Zelensky for in his call the previous day. Sondland responded to President Trump stating, ‘Oh yeah, he’s going to do it’ and added that President Zelensky will ‘do anything you ask him to.’ Following the conversation between President Trump and Ambassador Sondland, Mr. Holmes asked Sondland whether it was true that President Trump ‘did not give a [expletive] about Ukraine,’ to which Sondland agreed that Trump did not, and that he only cared about the ‘big stuff’ like ‘this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing.’

“Mr. Holmes testified that he felt obligated to come forward to rebut the unfounded claim by the President and his allies that ‘certain senior officials may have been acting without the President’s knowledge in their dealings with Ukraine.’

🐣 RT @mimirocah Yovanovitch’s testimony – and strength – hit a nerve for a lot of people, in part, because of echoes of Dr. Ford’s testimony. @pithywidow & I explain.
⋙ NBCNews, Mimi Rocah and Karen Schwartz: Trump’s smearing of ex-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch echoes Christine Blasey Ford http://nbcnews.to/2XpyqPW
// In the same way that Ford came to symbolize a certain kind of strength, Yovanovitch symbolizes any woman who’s ever had a man try to undermine her, demote her or push her out.

CNN: DOJ inspector general scheduled to testify about Russia report http://cnn.it/35fyhRX before Senate Judiciary on Dec 11

The scheduled hearing is the strongest indication yet that the report’s release is imminent. Graham and other supporters of the President have led a steady drumbeat of anticipation over the Horowitz report in recent weeks, suggesting it will provide evidence of improper conduct by the FBI in the early stages of the investigation that undermines the credibility of the probe.

What the report says is still unknown. But some witnesses who have been interviewed by the inspector general say they expect that it will likely reveal some missteps, though none that should be interpreted as undermining a legitimate investigation.

The report, expected to be released with minimal redactions, is likely to land at the height of the unfolding House impeachment inquiry. It could be a boon for Republicans, who’ve accused law enforcement of abusing its power as it investigated Trump.

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “It’s gonna be really interesting to see which way [Sondland’s] testimony breaks. He’s obviously been somebody who has been reluctant to totally rip the lid off this scandal… This is somebody who is very much on his heels…” – @AaronBlake w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1196583137238757377?s=20/photo/1

JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman: Chart: Side-by-Side Comparison of Kurt Volker’s vs Other Witnesses’ Testimony in Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/32U1tMF Volker’s testimony is contradicted by statements of at least eleven other current or former officials

NYT: Impeachment Investigators Exploring Whether Trump Lied to Mueller http://nyti.ms/2qrlBbP “‘I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with him,’ Mr. Trump … wrote of Mr. Stone.” Others have testified, under oath, that he did.
// As part of the Russia inquiry, President Trump had given written answers to questions from Robert S. Mueller III.

🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio Pelosi in letter to colleagues just now: “The facts are uncontested: that the President abused his power for his own personal, political benefit, at the expense of our national security interests.” https://twitter.com/AndrewDesiderio/status/1196504226932953088?s=20/photo/1
🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio Pelosi also doubles down on “bribery”: ¤ “The fact is, the aid was only released after the whistleblower exposed the truth of the President’s extortion and bribery, and the House launched a formal investigation.”

AP Exclusive: US officials knew of Ukraine’s Trump anxiety http://bit.ly/2XnHuVw ‘Despite his denials, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was feeling pressure from the Trump Administration to investigate Biden before his July phone call with Trump’

🐣 RT @CharlesPPierce If this really is Attorney General William Barr’s final go-round as a servant to radical conservative power, and we can only pray to god that it is, he’s certainly going out with a bang. [Link] https://twitter.com/CharlesPPierce/status/1196445984538148876?s=20
⋙ 🐣 My guess is likely disingenuous, but I think the CI IG report may have turned up clean and Barr is trying to reestablish his cred w Trump. Perhaps too clever.

TIME, Ian Bremmer: The End of the American International Order: What Comes Next? http://bit.ly/2qcVRA5 text of a speech delivered by Ian Bremmer on November 18 at the 2019 GZERO Summit in Tokyo

🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Former prosecutor Lutsenko (involved in smear campaign of Amb Yovanovitch) gave an interview to a Ukrainian outlet revealing more details about his 3 day meet w @RudyGiuliani ¤ Most damning is the meet was arranged by a Kremlin backed prosecutor connected to oil business. Lukoil 📌 https://twitter.com/olgaNYC1211/status/1196423099400511488?s=20

🐣 RT @SeanEldridge “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” -Samuel Adams
⋙ 🐣 RT @real The Crazed, Do Nothing Democrats are turning Impeachment into a routine partisan weapon. That is very bad for our Country, and not what the Founders had in mind!!!!

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson This week is going to be insane.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Opinions seem to be moving rapidly. 51% favor impeachment. 70% believe what Trump did is wrong. Public hearings seem to be working with 20% saying they’re paying close attention now.
⋙ 📊 ABCNews: ABC/Ipsos Poll: 70% of Americans say Trump’s actions tied to Ukraine were wrong http://abcn.ws/2qorsPg 51% think he should be impeached and removed from office

In addition to the 51%, another 19% think that Trump’s actions were wrong, but that he should either be impeached by the House but not removed from office, or be neither impeached by the House nor convicted by the Senate. The survey also finds that 1 in 4 Americans, 25%, think that Trump did nothing wrong.

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley: GOP Pushes an Impeachment Conspiracy That the FBI Debunked Years Ago http://bit.ly/33YD3Dh
// Bank records cited by the FBI show that Manafort received some of the money that Ukraine’s “Black Ledger” alleged he was paid.

WaPo, Meg Kelly and Elyse Samuels: How Russia weaponized social media, got caught and escaped consequences http://wapo.st/2KygopH

NPR, Jessica Taylor: Fractured Into Factions? What The Founders Feared About Impeachment http://n.pr/37fCF5q They were “trying to avoid a repeat of the situation they had just fought a war to free themselves from — a ruler with unchecked power.”

💙 NBCNews: Trump’s impeachment ire turns on Pompeo amid diplomats’ starring roles http://nbcnews.to/2r4mEhO By Carol E. Lee, Courtney Kube and Andrea Mitchell
// Impeachment hearings have created a rift between the president and one of his staunchest allies in the administration.

✅ TheIntercept, Robert Mackey (May): A Republican Conspiracy Theory About a Biden-in-Ukraine Scandal Has Gone Mainstream. But It Is Not True. http://bit.ly/2muqizk
// 5/10/2019

✅ WaPo FactChecker, Glenn Kessler (10/8/2019): The GOP theory that Ukraine ‘set up’ Trump http://wapo.st/2CPohCV

≣ GaslitNation: Alexandra Chalupa Interview [Transcript] http://bit.ly/2XpKT68
// undated; 19p

⭕ 17 Nov 2019

💽 CNN, Fareed Zakaria: What in the World: The Crowdstrike Conspiracy Theory http://cnn.it/37gfW9f
// Disinformation Fellow at The Wilson Center, Nina Jankowicz tells Fareed that President Trump is trying to use the Crowdstrike conspiracy theory to detract from the unanimous conclusions of the Intelligence Community about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Inquirer, Will Bunch: Marie Yovanovitch, impeachment, and America’s last stand for playing by the rules http://bit.ly/32TAIIb

🐣 RT @McFaul Elected politicians do not get to use their public office for private gain. That’s not “foreign policy.” That’s the definition of corruption.
⋙ 🐣 RT @LuvGrammyLife So… UNELECTED BUREAUCRATS DO NOT MAKE FOREIGN POLICY! Their attempts to override the POTUS is criminal!

💽 MSNBC, AMJoy: How conservative media is covering the impeachment hearings http://on.msnbc.com/2qlQ8I0
// The impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump public hearings have been characterized very differently on many Fox News shows, compared to other major news outlets, which instead often called out Republicans for allegedly parroting Kremlin propaganda. Joy Reid and her panel discuss.

💽 MSNBC, AlexWitt: Historian who predicted Trump’s election also predicted his impeachment http://on.msnbc.com/2pwk0RM
// Allan Lichtman has correctly predicted every presidential election since Ronald Reagan in 1984. But in his same 2016 prediction that Donald Trump would win, Lichtman also predicted he’d be just the third president ever to be impeached. The historian joins Alex Witt to discuss his prediction model and draw comparisons to Richard Nixon’s impeachment.

🐣 RT @TeamPelosi Trump is accelerating his attacks — his distractions and lies are getting worse. We must be laser-focused on protecting our Majority so we can keep fighting to defend our democracy and root corruption out of the White House.

ForeignAffairs, Michael McFaul (2018): Russia as It Is http://fam.ag/2pwiwXI
// 6/14/2018; A Grand Strategy for Confronting Putin

🔄  Teri Kanefield Blog: Musing about law, books, and politics http://bit.ly/35aN4xd

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The party of lying liars http://wapo.st/2Xsb2RV “Both Trump and his House enablers are unfit to serve since personal and political considerations obliterate their ability to detect the truth and thereby to uphold their public obligations.”

🐣 RT @JohnWDean One of many ways Trump’s bribery with Ukraine has been statutorily defined. And of course bribery is a named impeachable offense.
⋙ 🐣 RT @tribelaw “Whoever…being a public official…SEEKS..anything of value personally …in return for: being influenced in the performance of any official act..shall be fined …or imprisoned..or both.” 18 U.S.C. Sec. 201 (b) (2). So even in the federal code, soliciting a bribe is bribery.

WaPo, Max Boot: William Barr’s chilling defense of virtually unlimited presidential power http://wapo.st/32XoTB0

USAToday, Mimi Rocah and Jennifer Rodgers: Impeachment: Trump abuses power by harassing, intimidating witnesses like Yovanovitch http://bit.ly/32RMjI1
// Trump has a pattern of public witness tampering. Using his presidential platform this way may not be criminal but that is not relevant to impeachment.

DailyBeast: Chris Wallace Accuses Top Republican of ‘Very Badly’ Mischaracterizing Impeachment Testimony http://bit.ly/33UyQQQ
// “No, sir, they are career foreign service officers and these are people who worked in the Trump administration,” Wallace snapped back at Scalise.

🐣 RT @ericgarland Mr. Zakaria, you and Jeff Zucker are gliding over WHERE you’d be conducting Zelenskyy’s extorted interview: at Ukrainian oligarch Viktor PINCHUK’s YES conference. ¤ Let’s give people the true context.
⋙ CNN: [ Fareed Zakaria ]The @nytimes has reported that Ukrainian Pres. Zelensky was set to make a public announcement of the investigations sought by Pres. Trump on my @CNN program. So, I think I owe viewers my best understanding of what actually happened. My take: 💽 https://twitter.com/FareedZakaria/status/1196080871939293185?s=20/photo/1
🐣 RT @ericgarland Pinchuk most notoriously gave Trump $150,000 for a “speech” at this same YES Conference while Trump was running for office. ¤ And the US MSM has reported that Mueller was investigating it.
⋙ CNBC (2018): Mueller is reportedly investigating $150,000 a Ukrainian billionaire gave Trump’s foundation http://cnb.cx/2pqWzJp
// 4/9/2018
↥ ↧
TPM, Josh Marshall: A Bit More Detail on the ‘Deliverable’ That Never Was http://bit.ly/2COBE6i

I wanted to flag this brief account by Fareed Zakaria which comes after Matt Shuham’s report from last week about just how close Ukrainian President Zelensky came to delivering the “investigations” Trump demanded. As you’ve likely heard, the announcement was to come on Zakaria’s CNN show, Fareed Zakaria GPS. It got canceled only when the news of the whistleblower complaint was finally going public. It had seemed that the interview was likely scheduled for September 13th and canceled as late as the morning of that day. But according to Zakaria it was only canceled on the 18th or the 19th of September.

This isn’t just a matter of a few days difference. ¤ Zelensky’s team, it seems, did not rule out the announcement until as long as a week until after the aid was released. Zelensky or his staffers told Zakaria when they met for an off-camera chat on the September 13th that they knew the aid had finally been released.

WSJ: Sondland Kept Trump Administration Officials Apprised of Ukraine Push http://on.wsj.com/2XoZ77x
// Ambassador is set to testify Wednesday in second week of public impeachment hearings

DailyBeast, Erin Banco and Lachlan Markay: Gordon Sondland Stepped In ‘and Things Went Really Off the Rails’ http://bit.ly/2qZW6ys
// “Erratic,” “very emotional,” and “lots of yelling.” Those are some of the words used to describe Sondland’s performance in a White House meeting with top Ukrainian officials.

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind Republican Senators by and large have been notably gone quiet this past week in defending Trump – save the lost sycophants like Graham, Paul and Johnson. This is telling.

🐣 RT @peterbakernyt The Republicans have three conflicting defenses for Trump, writes @gerardtbaker:
1. There was no quid pro quo
2. There was but it’s no big deal
3. There was, it was wrong, but voters should decide.
He thinks the last is the most viable.
⋙ WSJ, Gerard Baker: The GOP Has Three Defenses of Donald Trump. Only One Really Works. http://on.wsj.com/2QrlY0J
// He did it and shouldn’t have. But it should be left to the voters to decide.

🐣 RT @JeffreyGoldberg William J. Burns is the most highly regarded American diplomat of his generation. Here is his indictment of Mike Pompeo’s leadership of the State Department:
⋙ TheAtlantic, William Burns: I Fear the Weak State http://bit.ly/2QpDjqU
// The State Department that I once served is adrift, and its leadership is too often complicit in Trump’s worst tendencies.

🐣 RT @MollyMcKew The Donald J Trump for President campaign is running TV ads saying that a coup against POTUS is underway, led by the lawyer of the whistleblower. ¤ We’re sooooooooo far down the rabbithole.

DailyBeast, David Lurie: This Decision Could Be Bigger Than Impeachment http://bit.ly/37fGSFW
// The Supreme Court has avoided taking sides in what Bill Barr calls a “scorched earth, no-holds-barred war” between Congress and the president. That could end this week.

🐣 RT @Kkyahu fair enough. my edited quote tweet: thoughts and prayers that the doctors at walter reed convince him that resignation is in his best interests

🐣 RT @qjurecic For anyone counting, we’re now up to 3,504 pages of transcripts, or 2.86x the length of the first edition of War and Peace
⋙ 🐣 Feels like War and Peace ~ tons of colorful characters, lots of Russians, competing systems of governance, the fate of Europe in the balance

⭕ 16 Nov 2019

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Russia Loves the Impeachment Hearings Because GOP Is Parroting Kremlin Propaganda http://bit.ly/32WFHI8
// Vladimir Putin could not possibly envision a sweeter gift than Ukraine falling away from the West into the welcoming—albeit bloodied—hands of the Kremlin.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Unless Pence was the only one who missed out on the code, this is damning: Pence told Zelensky he wanted an update on corruption reform efforts “that he could then convey back to” Trump. Williams gave Pence the 7/25 call memo, didn’t know if he read it
⋙ Politico: Pence aide testified that Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine were ‘inappropriate’ http://politi.co/2CPB48b
// Jennifer Williams told investigators that she took notes while she listened in on Trump’s July 25 phone call.

🐣 RT @TeamPelosi There is no time for fear. We must stand up and do the right thing for our country and hold Trump accountable for his abuses of power. – NP

DailyBeast, Michael Weiss and Casey Michel: The Alleged Russian Mobsters in Trump World’s Orbit: A Dirty Dozen http://bit.ly/2NWQspU
// The impeachment investigations will have as constant background Trump’s most important and long lasting connections to Russia—through alleged mobsters.

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Morrison and Williams Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2Q5m4ep

● Morrison: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2KqPAYg ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2KtPsHn
● Williams: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2CSjMra ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/37hpNMa

“The testimony released today shows that President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky immediately set off alarm bells throughout the White House. Both witnesses provided the Committees with first-hand accounts after personally listening to the call in the White House Situation Room. 

“Mr. Morrison confirmed Ambassador Taylor’s testimony to the Committees that the Ukrainians were told that U.S. military assistance, not just the White House meeting, was conditioned on their public announcement of political investigations that the President wanted.  Additionally, following the September 1 meeting between President Zelensky and Vice President Pence, Mr. Morrison confirmed that Ambassador Sondland informed one of President Zelensky’s top aides that American military aid was conditioned on the investigations.  Mr. Morrison informed John Bolton of the meeting and was told by Mr. Bolton to go see the lawyers, which he did.

“Ms. Williams testified that the President’s requests were ‘unusual and inappropriate’ and shed light on ‘possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold.’  She also confirmed, like Lt. Col. Vindman, that the Ukrainian President specifically mentioned ‘Burisma’ during the call, even though the White House call record does not reflect that.  Importantly, Ms. Williams also testified that in mid-May, President Trump instructed Vice President Pence to cancel plans to attend President Zelensky’s inauguration before the date for the inauguration had been set.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews At their introductory meeting in Germany in 2017, Putin urged Trump to recognize Russia’s claim of sovereignty over part of Ukraine, citing links dating to an 11th-century political federation located in modern-day Ukraine, Belarus, and part of Russia.
⋙ WSJ: Trump’s View of Ukraine as Corrupt Took Shape Early http://on.wsj.com/2QsYqbM
// President’s skepticism of Kyiv and sympathy for Moscow have colored U.S. engagement

🐣 RT @StevenBeschloss Trump betrayed our allies, the Kurds, paving the way for the Russians to take control in Northern Syria. While people die and lives are destroyed, Trump spends his time appeasing Erdogan and attacking US diplomats who’ve devoted their lives to public service & building stability.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RichardEngel Massive attacks underway against the kurds in northern syria. No ceasefire. Total nonsenses there is. US military officials tell me they are ashamed, “sickened.” It’s cold now outside. What about the families, and kids, out of their homes? @OARichardEngel #AmericanBetrayal

💙 WaPo: How a CIA analyst, alarmed by Trump’s shadow foreign policy, triggered an impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/2CRds38
// nice chronology timeline

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Is it possible to have too many smoking guns?

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Schiff: “The most profound threat to democracy today is not from Russia … The most grave threat to the life and health of our democracy comes from within, from a president without ethical compass. Without an understanding of or devotion to our Constitution.” Via The Hill

✅ CNN, Daniel Dale: Fact check: A list of 45 ways Trump has been dishonest about Ukraine and impeachment http://cnn.it/2XlvzaR

🐣 RT @RichardEngel Spoke to a sr former justice dept official. He too worries Trump can’t get off, won’t get off, “dictator’s treadmill.” Once you’re on the ride is high, so you’ll do anything, and everything, to keep running and not to crash and burn. I’ve seen it all my life. Never ends well

🐣 RT @joshtpm You should go testify just to show them how bad it’s going.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RudyGiuliani After 3 witnesses no evidence has been presented of any offense. The first two permanent diplomats had no direct knowledge just overhearing things. The third one had no knowledge not even hearsay. This is a travesty.

🐣 RT @anders_asland Excellent article documenting how Ken Vogel has disinformed about the US in Ukraine in the NYT to the benefit of Giuliani & Trump. ¤ This is a great embarrassment for @nytimes.
💙💙 ⋙ WaPo: A New York Times reporter dug into Ukraine and the Democrats. Critics are still howling. http://wapo.st/2NUvoQU Ken Vogel
WaPo: New York Times reporter Ken Vogel dug into Ukraine and the Democrats. Critics are still howling. http://wapo.st/2NUvoQU l

🐣 RT @AngrierWHStaff It goes without saying, but the Secret Service doesn’t like taking POTUS anywhere without advanced warning — they only go somewhere unannounced if it’s an absolute necessity.

‼️ 🐣 RT @ShimonPro This is very mysterious today. President Trump’s trip to Walter Reed National Medical Center was previously unscheduled, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. ¤ The visit was not on the Saturday public schedule. It was also not on the internal schedule.

WaPo: Senior national security official ties key official more closely to Trump on Ukraine in impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/32Vx4Oe Tim Morrison

WaPo: White House budget official says decision to delay aid to Ukraine was highly irregular http://wapo.st/2qZ3dXN Mark Sandy

💙💙 CNN: Exclusive: After private White House meeting, Giuliani associate Lev Parnas said he was on a ‘secret mission’ for Trump, sources say http://cnn.it/2qZG3As

Among the many guests who had their pictures taken with President Donald Trump at the White House’s annual Hanukkah party last year were two Soviet-born businessmen from Florida, Lev Parnas and Igor  Fruman. 

At one point during the party that night, Parnas and Fruman slipped out of a large reception room packed with hundreds of Trump donors to have a private meeting with the President and Giuliani, according to two acquaintances in whom Parnas confided right after the meeting.

Word of the encounter in the White House last December, which has not been previously reported, is further indication that Trump knew Parnas and Fruman, despite Trump publicly stating that he did not on the day after the two men were arrested at Dulles International Airport last month.

Eventually, according to what Parnas told his confidants, the topic turned to Ukraine that night. According to those two confidants, Parnas said that “the big guy,” as he sometimes referred to the President in conversation, talked about tasking him and Fruman with what Parnas described as “a secret mission” to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman and Sam Brodey: Republicans Thought Yovanovitch Would Be a Pushover. She Beat Them Up Instead http://bit.ly/35b8n1R
// The fired U.S. ambassador showed why Trump needed her out of the embassy in Kyiv before pressuring the Ukrainians for dirt on his political opponents.

⭕ 15 Nov 2019

🐣 RT @McFaul In impeachment hearing today, we heard how Putin practiced “narrative laundering” in blaming Ukraine for interfering in our 2016 election, a narrative that our president now believes. @noUpside @alexstamos & I explain how Russian intel does it:
⋙ WaPo: Here’s how Russia will attack the 2020 election. We’re still not ready. http://wapo.st/2qoKsNp by Michael McFaul and researchers from the Stanford Internet Observatory

WSJ: Federal Prosecutors Probe Giuliani’s Links to Ukrainian Energy Projects http://on.wsj.com/2CRciob
// Associates told others that Giuliani stood to profit from natural-gas project pitched alongside campaign for investigations of Joe Biden

🐣 RT @EvanMcMullin I pray that we don’t lose sight of Trump’s escalating abuses of power. Our self-government isn’t guaranteed. This is a moment of truth for the Republic, a time to fight for our freedoms or watch them slip through our fingers while imagining that they never could.

TheWeek: Trump and Attorney General Barr had an ‘animated’ talk, reportedly about the Horowitz report, in the Oval Office http://bit.ly37dROUx

💙 TheAtlantic, David Graham: We Still Don’t Know What Happened Between Trump and Russia http://bit.ly/2XmKCAX
// Roger Stone’s conviction for obstruction serves up some justice but underscores how effectively Trump aides have prevented a full reckoning.

🐣 RT @AndyOstroy Many people are saying @realDonaldTrump’s been holed up in the WH all day/night w/ lawyers ENRAGED at today’s DEVASTATING setbacks…& is having a colossal unhinged MELTDOWN. Screaming, throwing things, threatening to fire everyone. He’s TERRIFIED, PANICKED & DESPERATE… #Trump

💙💙≣ WaPo, Karen Olmsted: Watergate led to sweeping reforms. Here’s what we’ll need after Trump. http://wapo.st/35akAUg
// The laws that will protect elections, end corruption and fix the balance of power.

💙💙 NewYorker, Susan Glasser: In Trump’s Jaded Capital, Marie Yovanovitch’s Uncynical Outrage in the Impeachment Hearings http://bit.ly/2CN3vUl
// A fired Ambassador demonstrates that it is apparently still possible to be shocked by the President.

As with most truly memorable public moments, there was something raw and unexpected about Yovanovitch’s appearance on Friday; it cut through the rote posturing and partisanship to get at an essential fact. Yovanovitch reminded us that all of this is, in fact, amazing and shocking and outrageous. It is not normal. Trump is not on the brink of impeachment because of some arcane dispute over differing philosophies about anti-corruption policies in Ukraine. Yovanovitch, who spent her career fighting corruption in the former Soviet Union, was dumped because the President had allied himself with Ukrainians who wanted to stop America’s anti-corruption efforts. He personally ordered her fired. He spoke threateningly of her during a phone call with Ukraine’s new President and did it again, on Twitter, while she was testifying on Capitol Hill. No previous President—of either party—has ever acted in this way.

That is why Yovanovitch’s appearance was ultimately about what the hell the country is supposed to do with a President who is so manifestly unpresidential. Friday offered a chance to reflect on Trump’s conduct, to consider the extent of his boorishness, his poor judgment, his ignorance, his recklessness, and his callous disregard for anything other than his own personal interests. There will be many days and weeks to come in which to hash out what, if anything, in all this saga involving Ukraine, should be considered impeachable by Congress. But that is not the real import of Friday’s hearing, which was a rare opportunity for America to stop and take stock of Trump and what he has wrought. This was a day to contemplate the excesses of Donald John Trump. …

As Fiona Hill, Trump’s former senior Russia adviser at the National Security Council, told the committee in her deposition, Yovanovitch’s firing was “a real turning point,” the head-snapping moment when the handful of officials in charge of America’s Ukraine policy realized that something had gone terribly wrong and the President was going to war against the executors of his own Administration’s policy. Schiff identified its significance in his opening statement, pointing out that, while “the powers of the Presidency are immense, they are not absolute. And they cannot be used for corrupt purpose.” Those powers, he added, are meant to be used “in service of the nation, not to destroy others to advance his personal or political interests.” …

Several times, Yovanovitch was asked why it mattered that Trump had fired her, what his prerogative was, and why we should care about it. She reached back to the Truman era and to Arthur Vandenberg, the late Republican senator from Michigan, a prewar isolationist who became a pillar of the postwar internationalism that had been the hallmark of American foreign policy right up until Trump took office. “Partisan politics stops at the water’s edge,” Vandenberg was famous for saying, even if the two parties were never as bipartisan about foreign policy as his statement implied. At least the aspiration was there, even if the execution faltered. Yovanovitch still seemed to want to believe it. She insisted upon the idea that there remains an American national interest, as opposed to a Republican interest, a Democratic interest, or a Presidential interest. She was an Ambassador from our past, and maybe from our future. But not, sadly, from our present.

WaPo Editorial: Yovanovitch makes it clear: Trump put his personal interests above the U.S. http://wapo.st/32OfWKg

NYT Editorial: Donald Trump, Corruption Fighter? http://nyti.ms/37kv9Gq
// The impeachment inquiry revealed the absurdity of claims that he wanted to clean up Ukraine.

WaPo: Roger Stone guilty on all counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering http://wapo.st/2QqeaMG

WaPo: Yovanovitch makes it clear: Trump put his personal interests above the U.S. http://wapo.st/32OfWKg

WaPo: Impeachment witness provides firsthand account of hearing Trump demand ‘investigation’ of Bidens by Ukraine http://wapo.st/2Ofr9Ox David Holmes, an embassy staffer in Kyiv, testified that he heard Trump press Sondland about whether Zelensky would ‘do the investigation’

🐣 RT @rachaelmbade WOW. Yovanovitch got the call to come home while she was GIVING AN AWARD to the father of a deceased anti-corruption crusader who was killed by acid due to her work. ¤ She was told to “get on the next plane” that night.

💽 MSNBC: McCaskill: Quest[ion]ing of Yovanovitch ‘cleanup on aisle 5’ for GOP http://on.msnbc.com/2qYQXXa
// Former Sen. Claire McCaskill describes the Republican questioning of former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch as “cleanup on aisle 5,” and questions whether you would stop investigating a failed robbery if the suspect was caught in the act.

WaPo, Dan Balz: Hearings underscore the pressure on career officials struggling to serve under Trump http://wapo.st/33RJrvL

🐣 RT @FaceTheNation “He made a mistake,” @SpeakerPelosi says on Trump’s tweet about Yovanovitch during her testimony. “I think part of it is his own insecurity as an impostor…he knows full well he’s in that office way over his head. And so he has to diminish everyone else.” https://cbsn.ws/32PUQek 💽 https://twitter.com/FaceTheNation/status/1195481643978498049?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Another “perfect” call. Witnessed by Holmes & others. Trump was shouting to Sondland, anxious to hear his bribery/extortion scheme to get Ukraine to announce Biden investigations was on track before he’d release aid. Remember, Putin heard all of this too. #Impeachment
⋙ 🐣 RT @PaulaChertok ‼️💥‼️David Holmes confirms Taylor testimony: He overheard Trump on call w/Sondland. Trump’s voice was so loud, Sondland held the phone away from ear.
TRUMP: So he’s gonna do the investigations?
SONDLAND: Zelensky will do whatever you want. He loves your ass”
#ImpeachmentHearings

NYT: Key Takeaways from Marie Yovanovitch’s Hearing in the Impeachment Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2OlPhz0
// Even as Ms. Yovanovitch was testifying about “the smear campaign against me,” President Trump hurled insults at her on Twitter.

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “We look to our leaders for lots of things, including moral guidance. When something is wrong we have to say it’s wrong. If we don’t say it’s wrong we are complicit in that behavior. That is the obligation we all have as public servants.” – Chuck Rosenberg w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1195483923016540161?s=20/photo/1
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @JasonOverstreet Mild mannered chuck Rosenberg never speaks like this. But he just put his foot up Mike Pompeo‘s ass 💽 https://twitter.com/JasonOverstreet/status/1195378374950047744?s=20/photo/1

NYT, Charlie Savage: Did Trump Commit ‘Bribery’? Pelosi’s Impeachment Accusation, Explained http://nyti.ms/32UOjip
// Her declaration reflected a shift by Trump’s critics from talking about the Ukraine affair using more abstract concepts like “quid pro quo” or “abuse of power.”

🐣 RT @MichaelRWarren According to David Holmes’s opening statement obtained by @mkraju and @jeremyherb, Holmes could hear Sondland tell Trump on the phone that President Zelensky “loves your ass.” ¤ Trump responded “So, he’s gonna do the investigation?” ¤ “Sondland: “He’s gonna do it.”

WaPo: Trump attacks ambassador even as she describes feeling threatened by him http://wapo.st/2Ofr9Ox
// Yovanovitch says that Trump transcript ‘shocked’ and ‘devastated’ her

WaPo, Paul Waldman: Yovanovitch hearing confirms that Trump is running a thugocracy http://wapo.st/2pl6fFi

🐣 RT @real So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?….

WSJ: Federal Prosecutors Probe Giuliani’s Links to Ukrainian Energy Projects http://on.wsj.com/2NPZDbz
// Associates told others that Giuliani stood to profit from natural-gas project pitched alongside campaign for investigations of Joe Biden

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Chuck Rosenberg rips into Mike Pompeo: “His silence is deafening. It is an act of abject cowardice. I am astonished that somebody who … was an Army officer does not have the spine to stand up for the people in his organization who are being denigrated by this president.” @MSNBC

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen STONE GUILTY of lying to Congress about his outreach to WikiLeaks and attempts to coordinate with the Trump campaign about hacked Russian emails. He lied to Congress when he testified as part of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in 2016.

🐣 RT @jimsciutto Breaking: Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone has been found guilty on at least one charge in a case that has shed new light on then-candidate Donald Trump’s anticipation of the release of stolen Democratic emails in 2016.
// 7 of 7 counts: Lied to save Trump

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman and Sam Brodey: Smeared, Fired U.S. Ambo to Ukraine Says Trump’s ‘Effect Is To Be Intimidating’ http://bit.ly/2CJ5TLM
// Democrats highlighted Marie Yovanovitch’s work to fight corruption—what President Trump claims motivated his pressure on Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.

🐣 RT @scottbix Marie Yovanovitch’s response to this tweet: “I… I don’t think I have such powers.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is a stalwart anti-corruption advocate, dedicated to the rule of law. ¤ That made her an obstacle. ¤ So Trump and his allies pushed her out, and set the stage for what was to come.

🐣 RT @tribelaw In our book, “To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment, @JoshuaMatz8 and I predict that it’s how a guilty president reacts to the pressures of an ongoing impeachment proceeding that’s likely in the end to bring down an unredeemably corrupt, lawless leader.

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay: Transcript Shows WH Made Up Details of Trump’s Zelensky Call http://bit.ly/2QmpwkR
// The transcript released on Friday doesn’t even mention the word “corruption.”

WaPo: Ex-U.S. ambassador says Trump’s comments ‘sounded like a threat’ http://wapo.st/2CIL1Ez

⭕ 14 Nov 2019

NewYorker, Masha Gessen: The Two Irreconcilable Realities of the Trump Impeachment Hearings http://bit.ly/35cCoOF
// “In Reality One, political power is governed by values, norms, history, procedure, and law. In Reality Two, political power aims to be absolute—its limit is what the President can get away with.”

💽 MSNBC, Rachel Maddow: Elephant in the impeachment hearing: Trump hands Russia big wins http://on.msnbc.com/2Os2kzg
// Rachel Maddow runs through a litany of foreign policy decisions by Donald Trump that were of dubious value to American national interests but from which Russia was a clear beneficiary.

💙💙 🔊 TheAtlantic: How to Stop a Civil War http://bit.ly/2Xlj6E4
// Index page for December issue: Listen to Jeffrey Goldberg, Danielle Allen, and Adam Serwer discuss how America is coming apart—and how they think it can be reunited.

● Jeffrey Goldberg: A Nation Coming Apart http://bit.ly/2XkLu9g
// The meaning of the American idea in 2019
● Yoni Applebaum: How America Ends http://bit.ly/2CGO3ZG
// A tectonic demographic shift is under way. Can the country hold together?
● Danielle Allen: The Road From Serfdom http://bit.ly/2OkaAkv
// How Americans can become citizens again
● Adam Serwer: Civility Is Overrated http://bit.ly/2OpHxvU
// The gravest danger to American democracy isn’t an excess of vitriol—it’s the false promise of civility.

Politico: Judge slams feds over murky stance on McCabe http://politi.co/2qW8TSx

CNN: Trump talks Russia probe audit with attorney general and White House counsel in Oval Office meeting http://cnn.it/2OdtKbR the “animated” discussion was noticed by those outside //➔ wild guess: Trump unhappy that even Barr has limits

Bloomberg: Giuliani Faces U.S. Probe on Campaign Finance, Lobbying Breaches http://bloom.bg/2NMFJhu “Probe of lawyer presents a threat to Trump’s presidency”
// Giuliani has become a central figure in impeachment inquiry

The probe of Giuliani, which one official said could also include possible charges on violating laws against bribing foreign officials or conspiracy, presents a serious threat to Trump’s presidency from a man that former national security adviser John Bolton has called a “hand grenade.”

Giuliani is a central figure in the U.S. House impeachment inquiry, which focuses on an effort led by the former New York City mayor to pressure Ukraine’s government to investigate the president’s political rivals. If Giuliani is charged or indicted, he could expose Trump to a new level of legal and political jeopardy, especially if he’s accused of committing a crime on the president’s behalf.

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan and Adam Rawnsley: Exclusive: Giuliani Ally Pete Sessions Was Eyed for Top Slot in Ukraine http://bit.ly/2NMDWsU
// Pete Sessions received millions from Giuliani’s indicted cronies. He joined Rudy in speaking out against the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. He was even considered as her replacement.

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan, Erin Banco and Adam Rawnsley: The Conspiracy Theory So Far Out There Even Trump’s Biggest Defenders Are Walking Away From It http://bit.ly/2Koprtj
// The Ukrainians had to Google it. George Kent had never heard of it. And yet Trump was so obsessed he tried to will it into existence—but triggered an impeachment inquiry instead.

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay and Betsy Swan: Five Cellphones, Trump Straws, a Lot of Cash—What This Giuliani Crony Was Carrying When the FBI Arrested Him http://bit.ly/373591X
// Lev Parnas also had the business card of a top Ukrainian anti-corruption prosecutor with whom Giuliani met this year.

TPM, Josh Kovensky: The Most Pivotal Moment In The Trump Ukraine Scandal Timeline http://bit.ly/378Ok5G “The fulcrum of the scandal was the April 21 election. It is the key to understanding what came before and to unlocking the sequence of events that followed”
// Lev and Igor

It all comes down to April. ¤ President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and his two now-indicted cronies had thought they had struck a deal with Kyiv for political dirt.

But everything changed in a matter of days. Whatever deal the group thought they had struck fell apart with the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky, forcing Trump and Giuliani to launch a new pressure campaign to bully Kyiv anew into helping them politically.

It was then that Giuliani, his two buddies, and Trump embarked on a flurry of activity to try to convey to the newly elected Zelensky the need to announce investigations into the Bidens and into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, eventually trying to bring to bear the full might of U.S. foreign policy to serve their partisan political goals.

The fulcrum of the scandal was the April 21 election. It is the key to understanding what came before and to unlocking the sequence of events that followed, culminating in the impeachment inquiry against Trump.
 
💙💙 TIMELINE: Also from ✅ FactCheck: http://bit.ly/2q5kgHM
Jan – Rudy (and Lev & Igor) meets w Poroshenko prosecutor Lutsenko in NYC on “investigations”
“Giuliani reportedly spoke with Trump about “investigations” after the January meeting, where Lutsenko spun Giuliani a tale about abuse of office by Joe Biden and supposed collusion in 2016 between Ukraine and the DNC.” Meeting had to be approved by Poroshenko. (Kent)
Feb – Then in Warsaw
March-ish – Deal didn’t materialize, but Lutsenko began talking to John Solomon about “dirt” [smears Yovanovich]
March 20 – Solomon begins publishing conspiracy theory about “dirt” in The Hill
April 21 – Poroshenko lost in landslide; Zelensky elected; Trump calls Zelensky, tells Hannity call will result in Biden dirt that Barr “would want to see”
Late April – Giuliani (w Lev and Igor) want to pitch “dirt” to Zelensky, but needed access, Lev and Igor fly to Israel to meet with oligarch supporting Zelensky, Kolomoisky, to secure access. Kolomoisky “kicked them out”
Early May – Rudy tells NYT he wants to encourage Kyiv to investigate Hunter Biden, as well as allegations that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 elections
May 7 – After lobbying by Giuliani, Parnas, and Fruman, Yovanovich forced out
May 9 – NYT published story, followed by “outcry”; Rudy trip cancelled
Early May – Trip of “Three Amigos” thrown together for Zelensky swearing-in (Perry, Volker, Sondlund)
May 20 – Zelensky inauguration
May 23 – Trump tells “Three Amigos” he was “worried about corruption in Ukraine and indicated that Giuliani – and his push for “investigations” into the matter – was necessary.”
Late May – “Three Amigos” try to get Zelensky to announce investigations; doesn’t happen. Hold put on military aid.
May 16 – Lutsenko tells Bloomberg Hunter Biden “broke no laws”
July 25 – Trump calls Zelensky in which he “praised Lutsenko while telling Zelensky to ‘do us a favor’ and open politically beneficial probes.”
Aug 12 – Whistleblower complaint filed
Aug 25 – Inspector General finds complaint “credible”; tells McGuire he must inform Committee Chairs in seven days
Aug 28 – Politico reports Ukraine money begin “slow-walked”
Aug 29 – Pentagon confirms “hold”; Taylor cables Pompeo to object
Sep 1 – Pence meets Zelensky; Sondland talks to Yermak: aid for “investigations”
Sep 13 – Schiff issues subpoena for whistleblower complaints
Sep 19 – CIOIG meets with Schiff; stopgap spending bill passed to secure Ukraine funding
Sep 25 – WH releases “transcript” of Trump/Zelensky phone call
Sep 26 – Redacted Whistleblower complaint published; Lutsenko tells WaPo Biden did nothing wrong
Sep 27 – Volker resigns

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews “The message is clear: The Kremlin is feeling invincible.”
⋙ WaPo: In Russia, Putin’s state TV apparatus is busy defending Trump http://wapo.st/375jRWm
// How impeachment and Ukraine are being covered in Moscow.

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Croft and Anderson Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2Q5m4ep

● Croft: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2O7AszY ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2qN1BQF
● Anderson: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2qGPlRU ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2qN1Knb

“Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, both advisors to Ambassador Kurt Volker on Ukraine policy, testified before the Committees about concerns they had with efforts to press Ukraine into announcing specific investigations which would help President Trump politically. Ms. Croft also testified that Ukrainian officials approached her quietly about the hold on security assistance in the July or August timeframe, before the hold had been made public.”

NYT: Pelosi Points to Possible Bribery Charge Against Trump http://nyti.ms/34Z9yBl
// The day after the first public impeachment hearing, Speaker Nancy Pelosi used the word “bribery,” mentioned in the Constitution’s impeachment clause, to describe President Trump’s conduct.

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona: Fox Regular Claims George Soros ‘Controls a Very Large Part’ of the State Department http://bit.ly/374DfTo
// “He also controls the activities of FBI agents overseas who work for [non-governmental organizations]. That was very evident in Ukraine,” Joe diGenova told Lou Dobbs on Wednesday.

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: All the President’s Fools Couldn’t Put Trump’s ‘Perfect Call’ Together Again http://bit.ly/2Qoxom5
// Wednesday’s impeachment hearing was a contest of gravitas that the skells, sycophants, and dead-end goons on the committee were bound to lose—and did.

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman, Sam Brodey and Asawin Suebsaeng: After Today, the Vise Tightens on Trump’s Ukraine Point Man http://bit.ly/32JS7TP
// Republicans argued that the two witnesses who testified Wednesday weren’t credible since they never spoke to Trump. Increasing pressure on a witness who did: Gordon Sondland.

⭕ 13 Nov 2019 Impeachment Hearings Day 1

💽 HuffPo: Dan Rather Exposes Shady GOP Tactic That ‘Jumped Out’ In Impeachment Hearings http://bit.ly/351NMwQ
// “The complicity of the Republicans is depressing, and it’s a serious moment for the country,” said the veteran journalist.

“They seek to have people become numb to what we already know,” Rather continued. “That’s what jumped out to me today, because we already know that the evidence we’re talking about now, the solicitation of a foreign power to get involved in our election, the evidence is strong. The president’s behavior in what he said has been outrageous.”

Rather described “the complicity of the Republicans” during” a “serious moment for the country” as “depressing” and explained how the impeachment effort against Trump differed to those against former Presidents Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, both of which he reported on.

“First and foremost, this is the first time in which we’ve had an impeachment proceeding in which it involved questions of a foreign power involved in elections or sought to be involved in elections, and very serious military national security issues,” said Rather. “That didn’t exist with the Clinton impeachment. It didn’t exist with the impeachment effort against Richard Nixon, who resigned, rather than face them.”

“But in a broader and much more important way, this is fundamentally about our history of the country and the destiny of our country because history is watching and listening and it’s going to be a very tough chronicler of these events and the people involved in the events of today,” he added.

🐣 RT @mikecarpenter Viktor Shokin, Konstantin Kulyk, Yuri Lutsenko & Dmytro Firtash are all associated with major corruption scandals. Trump and Giuliani enlisted the most corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs and officials to carry out their scheme of pressuring President Zelensky.
⋙ JustSecurity, Kate Brannen, Tess Bridgemsn and Ryan Goodman: Highlights of Taylor-Kent Hearing and Connections to Other Witnesses http://bit.ly/2NK1CxS

🐣 RT @PreetBharara Ratcliffe used to be a US Attorney so of course he can’t understand why an extortion victim might deny being extorted in front of the extortionist upon whom he still relies

🐣 RT @danpfeiffer The Republicans are much more interested in persuading Trump of their loyalty than in persuading the public of Trump’s innocence.

💽 🐣 RT @neal_katyal The only other R arg, that aid ultimately was released, v weak:
1) It’s not a defense to bank robbery to say “I didn’t get to carry it out b/c the cops stopped me.” Attempted crimes are crimes. Trump tried to do this secretly, he just got busted
2) Timeline blows it apart…1/2 📌 https://twitter.com/neal_katyal/status/1194702105933746177?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal
[ Timeline blows it apart… ]
8/12/19–whistleblower files complaint
9/9/19- House told of whistleblower complaint.
9/9/19–Sondland and Taylor exchange text messages and Sondland sends scripted “no quid pro quo” text
9/10/19-House asks for info about whistleblower complaint
9/11/19–Ukraine aid released
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @renato_mariotti Very important point by Neal Katyal. The Ukraine aid was only released after the House was informed of the whistleblower complaint.
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal The President attempted to get Ukraine secretly to help him by announcing a public investigation into his chief political rival. That’s impeachable, even if he didn’t pressure Ukraine thru tying up aid/WH meetings w him. But he did those too. Fact he got caught doesn’t excuse him

🐣 RT @NewsHour Rep. Jordan calls on the whistleblower to testify because they are “the reason we’re all sitting here today.” ¤ Rep. Welch: “I’d be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify. President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there.” https://to.pbs.org/2qOAuFa 💽 https://twitter.com/NewsHour/status/1194902793502543873?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Ambassador’s cellphone call to Trump from Kyiv restaurant was a stunning breach of security, former officials say http://wapo.st/2pmFP6g

Politico, Darren Samuelsohn and Josh Gerstein: Feds’ closing argument: Roger Stone made the House Russia report ‘not accurate’ http://politi.co/2XhJWNh
// Prosecutors also implied that Stone’s misdirection caused special counsel Robert Mueller to potentially lose out on key evidence.

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ HPSCI (House Intel): Chairman Schiff Releases Opening Statement for First Open Hearing http://bit.ly/2KhuStF

Today, Chairman Adam Schiff released his opening statement for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s first open hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump.

In 2014, Russia invaded a United States ally, Ukraine, to reverse that nation’s embrace of the West, and to fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to rebuild a Russian empire. In the following years, thirteen thousand Ukrainians died as they battled superior Russian forces.

Earlier this year Volodymyr Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine on a platform of ending the conflict and tackling corruption. He was a newcomer to politics and immediately sought to establish a relationship with Ukraine’s most powerful patron, the United States. The questions presented by this impeachment inquiry are whether President Trump sought to exploit that ally’s vulnerability and invite Ukraine’s interference in our elections? Whether President Trump sought to condition official acts, such as a White House meeting or U.S. military assistance, on Ukraine’s willingness to assist with two political investigations that would help his reelection campaign? And if President Trump did either, whether such an abuse of his power is compatible with the office of the presidency?

The matter is as simple, and as terrible as that. Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency, but the future of the presidency itself, and what kind of conduct or misconduct the American people may come to expect from their Commander-in-Chief.

There are few actions as consequential as the impeachment of a President. While the Founders did not intend that impeachment be employed for mere differences over policy, they also made impeachment a constitutional process that the Congress must utilize when necessary.

The facts in the present inquiry are not seriously contested. Beginning in January of this year, the President’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, pressed Ukrainian authorities to investigate Burisma, the country’s largest natural gas producer, and the Bidens, since Vice President Joe Biden was seen as a strong potential challenger to Trump.

Giuliani also promoted a debunked conspiracy that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that hacked the 2016 election. The nation’s intelligence agencies have stated unequivocally that it was Russia, not Ukraine, that interfered in our election. But Giuliani believed this conspiracy theory, referred to as “Crowdstrike,” shorthand for the company that discovered the Russian hack, would aid his client’s reelection.

Giuliani also conducted a smear campaign against the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. On April 29, a senior State Department official told her that although she had “done nothing wrong,” President Trump had “lost confidence in her.” With the sidelining of Yovanovich, the stage was set for the establishment of an irregular channel in which Giuliani and later others, including Gordon Sondland – an influential donor to the President’s inauguration now serving as Ambassador to the European Union – could advance the President’s personal and political interests.

Yovanovich’s replacement in Kyiv, Ambassador Bill Taylor, is a West Point graduate and Vietnam Veteran. As he began to better understand the scheme through the summer of 2019, he pushed back, informing Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent and others about a plan to condition U.S. government actions and funding on the performance of political favors by the Ukrainian government, favors intended for President Trump that would undermine our security and our elections.

Several key events in this scheme took place in the month of July. On July 10th, Ambassador Sondland informed a group of U.S. and Ukrainian officials meeting at the White House that, according to Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, a White House meeting desperately sought by the Ukrainian president with Trump would happen only if Ukraine undertook an investigation into “the energy sector,” which was understood to mean Burisma and, specifically, the Bidens. National Security Advisor Bolton abruptly ended the meeting and said afterwards that he would not be – quote – “part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this” – end quote.

A week later, on July 18, a representative from OMB, the White House agency that oversees federal spending, announced on a video conference call that Mulvaney, at the direction of the President, was freezing nearly $400 million in security assistance authorized and appropriated by Congress and which the entirety of the U.S. national security establishment supported.

One week after that, Donald Trump would have the now infamous July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. During that call, Trump complained that the U.S. relationship with Ukraine had not been “reciprocal.” Later, Zelensky thanks Trump for his support “in the area of defense,” and says that Ukraine was ready to purchase more Javelins, an antitank weapon that was among the most important deterrents of further Russian military action. Trump’s immediate response: “I would like you to do us a favor, though.”

Trump then requested that Zelensky investigate the discredited 2016 “Crowdstrike” conspiracy theory, and even more ominously, look into the Bidens. Neither of these investigations were in the U.S. national interest, and neither was part of the official preparatory material for the call. Both, however, were in Donald Trump’s personal interest, and in the interests of his 2020 re-election campaign. And the Ukrainian president knew about both in advance — because Sondland and others had been pressing Ukraine for weeks about investigations into the 2016 election, Burisma and the Bidens.

After the call, multiple individuals were concerned enough to report it to the National Security Council’s top lawyer. The White House would then take the extraordinary step of moving the call record to a highly classified server exclusively reserved for the most sensitive intelligence matters.

In the following weeks, Ambassador Taylor learned new facts about a scheme that even Sondland would describe as becoming more insidious. Taylor texted Sondland, “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?”

As summer turned to fall “[i]t kept getting more insidious,” Mr. Sondland testified. Mr. Taylor, who took notes of his conversations, said the ambassador told him in a September 1 phone call that “everything was dependent” on the public announcement of investigations “including security assistance.” President Trump wanted Mr. Zelensky “in a public box.” “President Trump is a businessman,” Sondland said later. “When a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing the check.”

In a sworn declaration after Taylor’s testimony, Sondland would admit to telling the Ukrainians at a September 1st meeting in Warsaw “that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

The President’s chief of staff confirmed Trump’s efforts to coerce Ukraine by withholding aid. When Mick Mulvaney was asked publicly about it, his answer was breathtaking: “We do that all the time with foreign policy . . . I have news for everybody: get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy. That is going to happen.” The video of that confession is plain for all to see.

Some have argued in the President’s defense that the aid was ultimately released. That is true. But only after Congress began an investigation; only after the President’s lawyers learned of a whistleblower complaint; and only after Members of Congress began asking uncomfortable questions about quid pro quos. A scheme to condition official acts or taxpayer funding to obtain a personal political benefit does not become less odious because it is discovered before it is fully consummated. In fact, the security assistance had been delayed so long, it would take another act of Congress to ensure that it would still go out. And that Oval Office meeting that Zelensky desperately sought – it still hasn’t happened.

Although we have learned a great deal about these events in the last several weeks, there are still missing pieces. The President has instructed the State Department and other agencies to ignore Congressional subpoenas for documents. He has instructed witnesses to defy subpoenas and refuse to appear. And he has suggested that those who do expose wrongdoing should be treated like traitors and spies.

These actions will force Congress to consider, as it did with President Nixon, whether Trump’s obstruction of the constitutional duties of Congress constitute additional grounds for impeachment. If the President can simply refuse all oversight, particularly in the context of an impeachment proceeding, the balance of power between our two branches of government will be irrevocably altered. That is not what the Founders intended. And the prospects for further corruption and abuse of power, in this administration or another, will be exponentially increased.

This is what we believe the testimony will show — both as to the President’s conduct and as to his obstruction of Congress. The issue that we confront is the one posed by the President’s Acting Chief of Staff when he challenged Americans to “get over it.” If we find that the President of the United States abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections, or if he sought to condition, coerce, extort, or bribe an ally into conducting investigations to aid his reelection campaign and did so by withholding official acts — a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid — must we simply “get over it?” Is that what Americans should now expect from their president? If this is not impeachable conduct, what is? Does the oath of office itself – requiring that our laws be faithfully executed, that our president defend a constitution that balances the powers of its branches, setting ambition against ambition so that we become no monarchy – still have meaning?

These are the questions we must ask and answer. Without rancor if we can, without delay regardless, and without party favor or prejudice if we are true to our responsibilities. Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of a country America was to become, “A Republic,” he answered, “if you can keep it.” The fundamental issue raised by the impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump is: Can we, keep it?

🐣 RT @joshtpm What still sticks with me are the repeated interchanges where Castor or some GOP Rep asked Taylor abt some canard from John Solomon or Hannity and then grinned in vindication when Taylor said, “um I’m not familiar with that”.
⋙ 🐣 RT @joshtpm 2/ The idea being that if you weren’t fluent in the characters and spells from Ukraine Collusion D&D it was ludicrous that you could have a position of responsibility in the Foreign Service.

🐣 RT @HouseIntel Today we heard from Ambassador Bill Taylor and George Kent in the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry. ¤ The takeaway: Testimony from both witnesses confirms that Trump abused the power of his office for his own political gain. ¤ Here’s what else you should know ⬇️ 💽 https://twitter.com/HouseIntel/status/1194775241039462400?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa Has any GOP member explained why — if as Jim Jordan says Ukraine is “one of the three most corrupt countries on the planet” — Trump trusted them to investigate two U.S. citizens for…corruption? 🤔

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti The first day of impeachment hearings looked like trials where the prosecution has the defendant on tape admitting to a crime. ¤ Republicans tried to distract and confuse the issues because Democrats have the goods on Trump.
⋙ Politico, Renato Mariotti: Impeachment Is Not a Fair Fight, and on Day One It Showed http://politi.co/2ObQrNr
// There’s only so much Republicans can do when Democrats have all the evidence they need.

🐣 RT @joshtpm When I step back it’s just jarring how pathetic this is. We’re stuck in some alt reality where the gang from the geriatric ward is spun up about a great new offer emailed to them by a Nigerian prince. Only it’s not that funny because they’re running the country.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ “Rudy called me earlier this year to tell me what he discovered about Ukraine. He was told that these people in Ukraine were working to frame the president.” 💽 [DeGenova/Toensing on Fox]
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @PaulaChertok We’re adaptive creatives—for better & worse. Most have adapted to the daily onslaught of authoritarian mafia state bs. Some still don’t grasp the gravity of what’s happened let alone maintain a sense of outrage. Then there’s us, who haven’t slept well since Russia invaded Crimea.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Basquerading “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.” – Hannah Arendt [orig as pdf]

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood on these two “dueling narratives”:
one of them – which Taylor and Kent described – has been proven true by overwhelming evidence
the other has been shown to be fabricated nonsense
⋙ WaPo, Issac Stanley-Becker: Dueling narratives, separated by a polarized media, collide at first public impeachment hearing http://wapo.st/34XmDuS

WaPo: Impeachment hearings begin with new evidence of phone call implicating Trump in Ukraine controversy http://wapo.st/33MNQjR

WaPo Editorial: Kent and Taylor testify to Trump’s corruption. And more evidence is coming. http://wapo.st/2Oef4cF

NYT, Noah Bookbinder: The Evidence of Wrongdoing by Trump Is Overwhelming http://nyti.ms/2QiJnkQ
// The witnesses’ testimony on Wednesday was clear and alarming.

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman, Sam Brodey and Asawin Suebsaeng: After Today, the Vise Tightens on Trump’s Ukraine Point Man http://bit.ly/32JS7TP
// Republicans argued that the two witnesses who testified Wednesday weren’t credible since they never spoke to Trump. Increasing pressure on a witness who did: Gordon Sondland.

WaPo: Republicans tried to make him impeachment’s ‘star witness.’ Bill Taylor became an Internet meme instead. http://wapo.st/2QgpriD

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: You’ve Got to Be High to Believe Republicans’ Impeachment Bullshit http://bit.ly/2Oct2eS
// Democrats have to sell the country on their assertion that Trump released the money only because he was about to get busted. A lot hinges on them winning that argument.

DailyBeast, Will Sommer: Devin Nunes Pushes Bogus ‘Ukrainian Collusion’ Conspiracies During Impeachment Hearing http://bit.ly/375LTRl
// The top intel committee Republican pushed debunked claims about Ukraine to excuse the president’s actions.

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Nunes and Kent tell us everything we need to know about impeachment http://wapo.st/375L6Qn

💙💙 💽 CSPAN: HPSCI Impeachment Hearing with William Taylor and George Kent http://cs.pn/2KjMcya

WaPo, Greg Sargent: At hearing, Republicans carry forward Trump’s effort to make lies into truths http://wapo.st/2QcIR86

WSJ: Justice Department Filing Suggests No McCabe Prosecution Imminent http://on.wsj.com/32EdF4c
// In pending lawsuit, DOJ says it won’t block release of documents related to former deputy FBI head based on probe

🐣 RT @GregMiller The big development today: new evidence tying Trump to Ukraine plot. He spoke by phone w/Sondland on 7/26 seeking status report on “investigations.” Shockingly, Sondland calls POTUS by cell from Kyiv restaurant. So Russia prolly intercepted the call.
⋙ WaPo: New testimony ties Trump more directly to Ukraine pressure campaign http://wapo.st/32L2UwM

🐣 RT @JoshTPM He used extortion to get a foreign country to sabotage a US election in his favor. What else is there to say?

🐣 RT @SarahKendzior “It’s about annihilating law, facts, truth. It’s about them saying ‘You know the truth. You may have even heard me confess the truth, confess my crimes. But it makes no difference what you heard, because this is a matter of power.'” — @gaslitnation

⭕ 12 Nov 2019

WaPo, David Ignatius: People died while Trump played games with Ukraine’s military aid http://wapo.st/2KedoOP

💙💙 CNN: Impeachment investigators slate open hearings for 8 more witnesses next week http://cnn.it/2NFDaxNhttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1194460186947272704?s=20/photo/1
// Schedule of Hearings

Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council aide next Tuesday morning
Kurt Volker, the former US special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a National Security Council aide, next Tuesday afternoon
Gordon Sondland, US Ambassador to the European Union on the morning of Wednesday, November 20
Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense and David Hale, the under secretary of State for political affairs, on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 20
Fiona Hill, Former White House Russia expert on the morning of Thursday, November 21

WaPo: Trump offers trade deal, sanctions workaround to Erdogan for better U.S.-Turkey relations http://wapo.st/36Wmt93
// The offer is likely to infuriate at least some of the overwhelming House majority that voted last month to impose sanctions on Turkey over its assault into Syria

🐣 RT @KatieCouric Pres. Trump likely lied to special counsel Mueller about conversations he had in 2016 regarding WikiLeaks’ plans to release info stolen from Democrats by Russian hackers. That’s the big takeaway from dramatic courtroom testimony that occurred Tuesday in the trial of #RogerStone.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MotherJones JUST IN: President Donald Trump likely lied to special counsel Robert Mueller about conversations he had in 2016 regarding WikiLeaks’ plans to release information stolen from Democrats by Russian hackers.
⋙⋙ MotherJones, Dan Friedman: Stone Trial Reveals Trump Likely Lied to Mueller http://bit.ly/2KhmsCV
// New bombshells at the trial of Trump’s longtime adviser.

WaPo: Aides are counseling Trump not to fire Mulvaney, as acting chief of staff changes course again http://wapo.st/2qR5DaJ
// Lawyer says the acting chief of staff will follow Trump’s order not to cooperate.

WaPo, Dana Milbank: The case against Trump in seven words http://wapo.st/2NG2fss
“He abused presidential powers for personal advantage”
“He abused presidential powers for personal advantage”
“He abused presidential powers for personal advantage”
“He abused presidential powers…

WaPo: At donor dinner, Giuliani associate said he discussed Ukraine with Trump, according to people familiar with his account http://wapo.st/2KgtMyu “Parnas’s account of the 2018 dinner is the first indication that he or Fruman interacted directly with Trump about Ukraine”
// Lev and Igor

TPM: Bill Taylor Op-Ed Subtweets Entire Trump Ukraine Scandal http://bit.ly/34V5im9
↥ ↧
💙💙 USEmbassyUkraine: Op-Ed in Novoye Vremya by CDA Taylor: Ukraine’s Committed Partner http://bit.ly/2NEHiOq

🔆 This❗️⋙ 📔 JustSecurity: Public Document Clearinghouse: UKRAINE Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2CEsQ2F ‼️ Links to ALL documents ‼️

Bloomberg, Ilya Arkhipov: Don’t Sweat U.S. Presidential Vote, Russia Says It’s on the Case http://bloom.bg/32C7qhe
● ‘Don’t worry,’ Russian foreign minister jokes at Paris forum
● U.S. intelligence concluded Russia meddled in 2016 campaign

AP, Jonathan Lemire: Trump to face limits of his power in impeachment hearings http://bit.ly/32Jix7Y

🐣 RT @HayesBrown ‘Twas the Night before Hearings
And all through the Hill
No business was moving
Not even a Bill

The committee room prepped
To minimize glare
Ready for the cameramen
Soon to be there

With the witnesses ready
And the lawyers on deck
POTUS readied his Twitter
To blast them to heck

🔆 This❗️⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Here it is. The link we’ve been waiting for. Trump had foreknowledge of the Wikileaks dumps and talked to roger Stone about it. This has been redacted in every single report, filing, and 302 so far, but it just came out in open court.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Trump denied in writing and under oath to Mueller any recollection of ever discussing WikiLeaks with Stone or being aware of Stone discussing WikiLeaks with the campaign. ¤ Gates testified he was in the car with Trump when he Trump talked to Stone about it.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @rachelseinerwp Rick Gates direct is over. Brief but hardly lacking in substance, including government getting on record that Donald Trump himself talked about upcoming WikiLeaks disclosures based on conversation with Roger Stone

💙🐣 RT @awprokop Now the audio is onto Swalwell questioning Stone about a deleted tweet of his attacking @RVAWonk and claiming he had a “perfectly legal back channel to Assange”
⋙ doccloud: http://bit.ly/32DoZ0l https://twitter.com/awprokop/status/1194340189453389824?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @SethAbramsom My only “ask” to print, radio, podcast, TV and digital media in the United States is that you not wait until it’s too late to see that we’re in a NATIONAL EMERGENCY ¤ If you work in media and aren’t acting like we’re in a NATIONAL EMERGENCY, you’re failing your duty to the country

🐣 RT @VeraMBergen Trump blames Michael Atkinson, whom he appointed, for being “disloyal” for finding the anonymous whistle-blower’s complaint on his interactions with Ukraine to be credible
⋙ NYT: Trump Has Considered Firing Intelligence Community Inspector General http://nyti.ms/2qKYsBa //➔ I’m shocked, shocked
// Haberman and Schmidt; The president blames Michael Atkinson, whom he appointed, for finding the anonymous whistle-blower’s complaint on his interactions with Ukraine to be credible.

🐣 Confession become him
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Why is such a focus put on 2nd and 3rd hand witnesses, many of whom are Never Trumpers, or whose lawyers are Never Trumpers, when all you have to do is read the phone call (transcript) with the Ukrainian President and see first hand? He and others also stated that there was…..
⋙ 🐣 RT @real …..”no pressure” put on him to investigate Sleepy Joe Biden even though, as President, I have an “obligation” to look into corruption, and Biden’s actions, on tape, about firing the prosecutor, and his son’s taking millions of dollars, with no knowledge or talent, from a…..
⋙ 🐣 RT @real ….Ukrainian energy company, and more millions taken from China, and now reports of other companies and countries also giving him big money, are certainly looking very corrupt (to put it mildly!) to me. Both Bidens should be forced to testify in this No Due Process Scam!

💙💙 TheAtlantic, Yoni Applebaum: How America Ends http://bit.ly/2CGO3ZG ¤ #longread
// Dec 2019 issue; A tectonic demographic shift is under way. Can the country hold together?

🐣 RT @SykesCharlie In retrospect, Nixon made a huge mistake by not spending months focused on the background and politics of Frank Wills, the security guard who stumbled on Watergate break-in…. #whistleblower

WaPo: On eve of open hearings, GOP, Democrats lay out competing cases on impeachment http://wapo.st/2Qe31ia

NBCNews: In private speech, Bolton suggests some of Trump’s foreign policy decisions are guided by personal interest http://nbcnews.to/34VTaBC
// The former national security director was especially critical of the president’s handling of Turkey, according to multiple sources present for his remarks.

CNN: Inauguration galas, an intimate dinner, and a White House party: Trump’s 10 interactions with indicted Giuliani associates http://cnn.it/2QeLTsq

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Trump just undercut his own spinners’ latest line of propaganda http://wapo.st/2NEc4aj

GOP HPSCI: Briefing Memo http://bit.ly/2KfVY4J

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Trump told Lavrov & Kislyak he was fine with Russia’s election interference, admitting he knew it was a Russian operation! He was so grateful; he blurted out classified secrets! So PLEASE let’s stop saying he “believes” Ukraine did it. He is *knowingly pushing #disinformation. https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1194289278106230786?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @BillKristol So there was collusion, and there was lying to cover it up. And while I suspect the impeachment articles will be narrowly Ukraine-focused, members of Congress deliberating on impeachment are entitled to consider whether Ukraine is part of a longer train of abuses and usurpations.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Trump denied in writing and under oath to Mueller any recollection of ever discussing WikiLeaks with Stone or being aware of Stone discussing WikiLeaks with the campaign. ¤ Gates testified he was in the car with Trump when he Trump talked to Stone about it.

WaPo Factchecker, Glenn Kessler and Salvador Rizzo: The Fact Checker’s guide to impeachment hearing spin http://wapo.st/32HN4TG

Politico, Juleanna Glover: There’s a Surprisingly Plausible Path to Removing Trump From Office http://politi.co/33H0HUG
// It would take just three Republican senators to turn the impeachment vote into a secret ballot. It’s not hard to imagine what would happen then.

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen THREAD: Top minds from both political parties are preparing their best strategy as the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump heats up. Here’s my analysis of the strongest arguments FOR and AGAINST impeaching President Trump. 📌 https://twitter.com/MarshallCohen/status/1194245488301789184?s=20
⋙ CNN, Marshall Cohen: The case for and against impeaching President Donald Trump http://cnn.it/2rCBZql

TPM, Josh Marshall: The Collusion Never Stopped. The Whole GOP Got on Board. http://bit.ly/2X6vqrC The conspiracy theories being promoted by the GOP derive from Russian propaganda channels going back to 2016.

DailyBeast, Sam Brodey, Jackie Kucinich and Betsy Swan: Meet the Inquisitors About to Rule the Impeachment Hearing http://bit.ly/2Kcvlxx
// One’s a former mob-buster. The other’s a veteran of more than a decade of Capitol Hill’s most divisive investigations. And on Wednesday both will go prime time.

“His style is right out of the SDNY bootcamp, as am I. He will know everything there is to know about a witness and the circumstances around the witness. He’ll be fully, 100 percent prepared.””
— Elie Honig, a former SDNY prosecutor who worked with Daniel Goldman

“He’s a very dedicated institutionalist. He’s one of those people you see on the Hill that you know he could have left a long time ago and made a lot of money in any number of places.”
— Former Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), of Steve Castor

🐣 RT @tedlieu Dear @realDonaldTrump: It’s clear @GOPLeader McCarthy & Rep @DevinNunes are letting you down. Force them to release the “Republican version” of the witness transcripts. Why haven’t Kevin McCarthy & Devin Nunes done this yet? I hope you yell at them big time. They sure deserve it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Shifty Adam Schiff will only release doctored transcripts. We haven’t even seen the documents and are restricted from (get this) having a lawyer. Republicans should put out their own transcripts! Schiff must testify as to why he MADE UP a statement from me, and read it to all!

DailyBeast, Erin Banco and Sam Brodey: Top Pentagon Official: White House Asked Mysterious Questions About Ukraine Aid http://bit.ly/2qIq8Xe
// “The way the email was phrased, it said follow-up from POTUS meeting,” Laura Cooper testified. “So…I’m thinking that the questions were probably questions from the President.”

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 I think we’re going to see some of the best America has to offer beginning on Wednesday. We’re going to see people who are the polar opposite of folks like Trump and Barr and Mulvaney and Graham and McConnell. We’re going to see sefless patriots.
⋙ 🐣 RT @wyomingnan I’m with you there. I have very low days having seen the real underside of America in all this &the worst is seeing what’s in the Repub party right now. I feel like evil aliens have slowly invaded our society without us knowing it. Is Wednesday going to bring hope or more crap?

⭕ 11 Nov 2019

WaPo: Trump cites corruption in Kyiv and European stinginess to justify actions on Ukraine. Neither rationale withstands close scrutiny. http://wapo.st/33QcpMV Europe has provided $18.3B vs $4B from the U.S., and Zelensky filled his new cabinet with reformers

WaPo, Max Boot: Can American democracy survive a second Trump term? http://wapo.st/2O1JAGx “Second-Term Trump is more likely to inflict damage — to our democracy, our environment, our world order — that is incalculable and unfixable”

VanityFair, Eric Lutz: Giuliani Crony Lev Parnas Is Going Full Kamikaze on Ukraine http://bit.ly/2O9WxhE
// Spurned by Trump, Parnas now says he personally offered a quid-pro-quo ultimatum to the incoming Ukrainian government.

According to an attorney for Parnas, he traveled to Kiev just ahead of Volodymyr Zelensky’s swearing-in in May to deliver an ultimatum: investigate Joe Biden, or Vice President Mike Pence will not attend Zelensky’s inauguration, and Congressionally-approved military aid will be held up. The account to the New York Times, which was strenuously denied by Giuliani and others potentially implicated, suggests that the effort to extort Zelensky into conducting politically-motivated probes on Trump’s behalf began earlier than previously known and included threats beyond the suspended aid and a denied White House visit. It also puts the spotlight back on Giuliani, who rebutted Parnas’s accusation. “Categorically, I did not tell him to say that,” Giuliani told the Times. The other two people at the meeting this spring—Igor Fruman, the other Giuliani associate arrested last month, and Serhiy Shefir, a member of Zelensky’s inner circle—also denied Parnas’ claims.

Of course, it’s probably in their best interest to do so. Parnas’ account, which he plans to deliver to House lawmakers as part of their impeachment inquiry, draws all parties involved deeper into the scandal that has engulfed the White House and left several in the president’s orbit exposed to potential legal jeopardy. Giuliani has been under particular pressure since October, when Parnas and Fruman were pinched at Dulles International Airport attempting to flee the country—right after having lunch with Giuliani at Trump’s D.C. hotel.

WaPo: White House infighting flares amid impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/2NDPRce
// A dispute erupts between the Mulvaney and Cipollone camps over how to counter House Democrats’ impeachment push

Reuters: Putin, Merkel say Ukraine’s Donbass [Donetz] should get special status – Kremlin http://reut.rs/2CB5WJB “The breakthrough raised hopes that a date would be set for the summit involving Kiev, Moscow, Berlin and Paris.”
Reuters: Putin, Merkel say Ukraine’s Donbass [Donetz] should get special status – Kremlin http://reut.rs/2CB5WJB //➔ In terms of language, culture and politics, Donbass [Donetz province] is the most Russophilic ~ but one remembers the Sudetenland
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1194198543742967810?s=20/photo/1
// four maps

WaPo, Eugene Robinson: Rank partisan solidarity is all Trump’s defenders have left http://wapo.st/2NBPAql

Axios, Mike Allen: Preview: “A Warning,” by “Anonymous” Trump official http://bit.ly/33Qtkyw “Don’t worry about Congress,” the president said. “Just do what you need to do.” ¤ “Can we just get rid of the judges? Let’s get rid of the fucking judges,” Trump fumed one morning.

RawStory: Trump told national security official to blow off Congress and ‘do whatever’ they wanted: tell-all book http://bit.ly/ book by “Anonymous”

Reuters: Former U.S. top diplomat Rice concerned by shadow diplomacy on Ukraine http://reut.rs/2KemlI3 “It is troubling. It is deeply troubling,” she said.

CNBC, Holly Ellyatt: The international system is somewhat dangerous and chaotic,’ Condoleezza Rice warns http://cnb.cx/3524FHR “nothing challenges this system like the rise of populism, nationalism, protectionism and isolationism“

● Condoleezza Rice, the former United States Secretary of State, said on Monday the ‘global order’ was in a “somewhat dangerous and chaotic” state.
● The global or world order refers to a rule-based system of international relations created by the U.S. and its allies after World War Two.
● Headlining a CNBC-moderated panel on “Political Risk in the 21st Century” at the Adipec oil and gas conference in Abu Dhabi, Rice told the audience that “the global order is suffering a period of dislocation.”

🔆 This❗️⋙ DailyBeast: Mulvaney’s OMB Held Up Lethal Ukraine Aid in 2017 for Fear of Russian Reaction http://bit.ly/2O0xayF
// “[It] was rather unusual to have OMB expressing concerns that were purely policy-based and not budget-oriented,” former White House official Catherine Croft told investigators.

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog It’s not just about praising Vladimir Putin and having secret communications with him all the time, it’s that this is what we are doing to our closest ally who is at most danger from Russia’s every move. ¤ This is what we’ve been doing to them.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MaddowBlog Unless this president is removed in this impeachment process, the repair of our standing with Ukraine is going to be job one for the next president of the United States. ¤ Whoever replaces Trump will have this as day one, job one as the cleanup for what this guy’s already done.

💽 MSNBC, DeadlineWH: Testimony reveals Trump’s view on Ukraine was driven by Russia and Hungary’s leaders http://on.msnbc.com/
// NYT’s Peter Baker, former chief of staff for the CIA and Dept of Defense Jeremy Bash, former congresswoman Donna Edwards, former deputy assistant attorney general Harry Litman, and NBC News’ Heidi Przybyla on the revelation in George Kent’s testimony about Russia and Hungary’s influence on Trump when it came to Ukraine

🐣 RT @tribelaw The REASON all Trump roads lead to Moscow is that Trump is so deeply beholden to Putin that he can’t afford to cross his (to put it politely) Kremlin sugar daddy. It explains sanctions relief, Ukraine shakedown, and pretty much all of what passes for Trump’s Russia policy.

WaPo: Testimony from Pentagon, State Dept. officials undercuts a key piece of Trump’s impeachment defense http://wapo.st/2X5EcpP

📔💙💙🔆 This❗️⋙ House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence (HPSCI): President Trump’s Abuse of Power http://bit.ly/33QbknW Summary with Links; graphic presentation
// continually updated

When the White House released the July 25 phone record, the American public saw firsthand that when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sought more weapons critical to his country’s defense, President Trump responded: “I would like you to do us a favor though,” laying bare his grave abuse of the power of the presidency.

The House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry to ascertain the full extent of the president’s misconduct, and thanks to testimony from dedicated, nonpartisan public servants, we now have a much fuller picture of how President Trump abused the State Department and other levers of government for his own political gain.

Pursuant to House Resolution 660, we are now releasing transcripts of these witness interviews so every American can see the facts and decide for themselves: is this conduct acceptable?

Marie Yovanovitch is the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.
Her testimony demonstrates how President Trump removed a respected diplomat in advance of a months-long pressure campaign to interfere in the 2020 election for his own political gain.

President Trump approved the removal of a highly-respected and effective diplomat based on a smear campaign orchestrated by the President’s allies.

● The smear campaign against Ambassador Yovanovitch was based on public falsehoods. The president’s allies sought to tarnish her reputation, character, and her work to clear the deck to advance Trump’s scheme.
● Ambassador Yovanovitch said she felt threatened by Trump’s words and attempts to remove her, and expressed concern for her safety and career.

Ambassador Michael McKinley is the former Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State.
His testimony demonstrates the contamination of U.S. foreign policy to serve the President’s political interests rather than our national security interests.

With each new interview, we uncover more evidence about the President’s attempts to manipulate the levers of power to his personal, political benefit.

● Ambassador McKinley’s testimony confirms Trump and his allies launched a months-long pressure campaign starting back in November of 2018 to get Ukraine to launch bogus investigations into a political rival.
● It appears that Ambassador Yovanovitch was pushed out to make room for Trump’s henchmen to come in and advance his scheme. McKinley testified: “What is clear is that both Volker and Sondland were engaging the Ukranian Government in conjunction with Rudy Giuliani on domestic political issues.”

Ambassador Gordon Sondland is the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. Ambassador Kurt Volker is the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine. Their testimony confirms the ‘insidiousness’ of President Trump’s months-long pressure campaign, jeopardizing national security.

● Ambassadors Volker and Sondland testimony shows the progression of efforts by the President and his agent, Rudy Giuliani, to use the State Department to press Ukraine to announce bogus investigations that would benefit President Trump politically.
● President Trump directed the Ambassadors to work with Giuliani on Ukraine policy, and over the course of the summer, an effort was made to extract a public statement from the new Ukrainian president that the Ukrainian government was investigating Burisma or the Biden family and a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 U.S. elections.
● It is clear from their testimony that, in exchange for the statement, President Trump would award the Ukrainian president with a highly coveted White House meeting and, later, with millions of dollars in critical military aid being withheld.  
● Ambassador Sondland testified that the President’s scheme “kept getting more insidious as [the] timeline went on, and back in July, it was all about just corruption.”

Ambassador Bill Taylor served as the chargé d’affaires for Ukraine.
His testimony confirms the insidiousness of Trump’s months-long pressure campaign at the expense of U.S. security and foreign policy interests.

● The testimony of Ambassador Taylor—a West Point graduate, Vietnam veteran, and nonpartisan diplomat—shows how President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine and conditioned its release, as well as a vital White House meeting, on the President of Ukraine publicly announcing investigations into debunked conspiracy theories involving the Biden family and the 2016 election.
● In the early stages, the promise of a coveted Oval Office meeting was dangled in exchange for announcing bogus investigations into the Bidens and 2016 election interference. As the Ukrainians resisted, the stakes were raised: nearly $400 million in desperately needed military aid was blocked.
● Taylor’s testimony lays bare how the shadow foreign policy channel pursued by the President’s agent, Rudy Giuliani, with the assistance of Ambassadors Sondland and Volker, placed immense pressure on the Ukrainian government to advance Trump’s scheme.

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog “In a meeting during that trip, Perry handed the new president a list of people he recommended as energy advisers. One of the four names was his longtime political backer Michael Bleyzer.”
⋙ 💙 AP: After boost from Perry, backers got huge gas deal in Ukraine http://bit.ly/2Q7HmYU
// But it’s *our* corruption

🐣 RT @IlvesToomas If it looks like an asset, talks like an asset and acts like an asset…
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Trump reportedly called Bolton at home to complain about a CNN story that said the Navy was pushing back against Russian aggression in the Black Sea. When CNN portrayed the move as a response to Russia, the White House told the Navy to cancel the maneuver.
⋙⋙ Politico: Alarm bells’: What Cooper, Croft and Anderson told impeachment investigators http://politi.co/2NBco9M
// The investigators released transcripts of Laura Cooper, Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson.

💙 NYT, Michelle Goldberg: To Exonerate Trump, Republicans Embrace Russian Disinformation http://nyti.ms/36ZkwJ0
// In this week’s impeachment hearings, expect a lot of G.O.P. conspiracy theorizing.

NYT: Defense Dept. Official Testified Trump Questioned Ukraine Aid in June http://nyti.ms/34M43po
// Laura K. Cooper told impeachment investigators the White House began questioning the military aid after it came up at a meeting with President Trump.

NYT: Trump, Ukraine and Impeachment: The Inside Story of How We Got Here http://nyti.ms/2CvNGRV
// President Trump fixated on Ukraine as a solution to his political problems. In five months, his obsession upended American foreign policy and threatened his presidency. Here is how it happened.

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Laura Cooper’s Transcript as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/34SP3pT
// 11/11/2019

● Cooper: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/34VAZvT ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2NAN0kv

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Croft and Anderson Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2Q5m4ep

● Croft: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2O7AszY ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2qN1BQF
● Anderson: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2qGPlRU ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2qN1Knb

H. Res. 660, which was passed by the House of Representatives on October 31, 2019, authorizes the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence “to make publicly available in electronic form the transcripts of depositions” with “appropriate redactions for classified and other sensitive information.”

Pursuant to this resolution, and consistent with the Committee’s rules and longstanding bipartisan practice, the Committee has begun preparing transcripts from the impeachment inquiry for public release, which includes a thorough, nonpartisan security review to protect classified and other sensitive information.

As part of this process, the Committee is redacting (1) personally identifiable information; (2) the names of non-senior Executive Branch personnel and Intelligence Community employees; (3) the names of committee staff who did not ask questions or make on-the-record statements; and (4) classified or potentially classified information or other sensitive information not pertinent to the subject of the impeachment inquiry.

In addition, consistent with the Committee’s rules, each transcript has been made available to the witness for inspection, including to identify technical, grammatical, and typographical corrections.  The Committee has also taken into consideration requested redactions from witnesses, if they fall within the parameters above.

Although the transcripts list Members of the three Committees who were present at the outset of a deposition, they do not necessarily reflect the attendance of all Members who may have joined or departed a deposition at different points.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Nikki Haley’s real disclosure: Concerns about Trump’s dangerousness went right to the top http://wapo.st/34UKNX1

🐣 RT @carolecadwalla Boris Johnson is a national security risk. This is his personal decision. If the report contains information pertinent to the election, he is deliberately subjecting us to harm from a hostile foreign power for personal political gain.
⋙ TheGuardian, Charlotte Higgins: UK government delay of Russia report is shaming, says Clinton http://bit.ly/36QVH1P
// Ex-secretary of state says it is unacceptable to keep report from public before election

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: The Secret Reason Republicans Won’t Impeach Trump http://bit.ly/34RSCwA
// The modern GOP is an un-American party. It is not interested in democracy; it is interested in power and it doesn’t care how it gets it.

WaPo, Greg Sargent: An epic ‘Meet the Press’ rant unmasks the real goal of Trump’s lies http://wapo.st/32GeDN7

🐣 RT @CharlesPPierce There is not a lick of truth in this.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Shifty Adam Schiff will only release doctored transcripts. We haven’t even seen the documents and are restricted from (get this) having a lawyer. Republicans should put out their own transcripts! Schiff must testify as to why he MADE UP a statement from me, and read it to all!

NYT: How Russia Meddles Abroad for Profit: Cash, Trolls and a Cult Leader http://nyti.ms/2NDAhh5
// Madagascar has little obvious strategic value for the Kremlin or the global balance of power. But Russians were there during an election, offering bribes, spreading disinformation and recruiting an apocalyptic cult leader.

NYT: Bolton Rejects Legal Alliance With Mulvaney http://nyti.ms/2p6YiDy
// A lawyer representing the president’s former national security adviser filed a motion opposing an effort by Mick Mulvaney to join a suit on impeachment testimony.

🐣 These will be hearings unlike any other. Two so-called “narratives” will compete. One is true. One is a lie. It is a test. The American people get to decide. Never have the stakes been higher. “A republic – if you can keep it.” #Impeachment

🐣 RT @Sulliview The national press faces its most difficult and important test of the Trump era starting Wednesday. Here’s how they can ace it. (Beware of stunts; focus on substance not speculation; lose the mealy-mouthed language of false equivalence.) My column:
⋙ WaPo, Margaret Sullivan: Media beware: Impeachment hearings will be the trickiest test of covering Trump http://wapo.st/34ONola
⋙ 🐣 RT @GeneralHealthy Providing one from each “side” to debate, when the evidence is 95% in favor of one side, is pure bullshit in the media. ¤ It gives the impression that there are REAL credible merits of the argument on both sides…when there really aren’t.
⋙⋙ There really aren’t, but 40% of people think there are. If 10-15% can be convinced by evidence – can distinguish between truth and spectacle – there is a chance we can come through this challenge intact.

🐣 My grandfather (WWI), father (WWII), husband (Viet Nam) and son (Iraq) have all been vets. We should honor all vets by winning the battle to save our democracy from ALL enemies, foreign and domestic, in this time of great peril. #Impeach

CNN, Zachary Wolf: The biggest week yet in the House impeachment investigation is here http://cnn.it/2CzAF9M

🐣 RT @AaronBlake The president’s top aide and his Secretary of State thought he was such a danger that they felt the need to recruit other people to resist him. ¤ The story isn’t that the U.N. ambassador declined. It’s that the the recruitment effort took place.

AP: After push from Perry, backers got huge gas deal in Ukraine http://bit.ly/2Q7HmYU

WaPo Factchecker, Glenn Kessler: Pompeo tries to spin himself out of a tricky situation http://wapo.st/2NXP8BW On the dismissal of Amb. Yovanovitch: “This is a story of spin. See if you can keep track of the bouncing ball.”

⭕ 10 Nov 2019

🐣 RT @djrothkopf Russia’s plan to infiltrate & influence right wing parties in Western democracies has turned out to be one of the greatest intelligence successes in modern history-a sweeping, shocking, enduring success. We need to view everything from the 2016 election to the Ukraine scandal… 📌 https://twitter.com/djrothkopf/status/1193540493415788545?s=20
🐣 RT @ as part of this one massive attack on our system. The Brexit vote and the current positioning of the UK Tory party is part of it. So too are political shifts in France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Hungary and Poland. Not viewing it in its totality is a huge mistake. [ … ]

🐣 RT @NightlyPolitics Republican Joe Walsh: ¤ “I’ve given up on the Republican Party. The Republican Party is a cult. They no longer stand for ideas. The Republican Party right now is all about washing their leader’s feet every day.” 💽 https://twitter.com/NightlyPolitics/status/1193759909495504896?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @EvanMcMullin And we have the White House’s own detailed accounting of Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president in which Trump himself attempted to secure illegal foreign election help in exchange for US military aid.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto You would have to forget all we know about the top-down structure of this administration to imagine that Trump’s underlings were freelancing on Ukraine.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @GregJaffe In 3,000 pages of impeachment testimony Trump often seems like a supporting character in someone else’s drama– unseen, mercurial impossible to please. The key impeachment question: What exactly did he do?
⋙⋙⋙⋙ WaPo, Greg Jaffe: The key impeachment question: What did Trump want from Ukraine — and what exactly did he do? http://wapo.st/2X6AMTY

NYT Editorial: The Disorienting Defenses of Donald Trump http://nyti.ms/
// The president and his allies ask Americans to reject the evidence before their eyes.
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1193742819569098752?s=20/photo/1

The case for weighing the impeachment of President Trump boils down to a few simple points: In an effort to win re-election in 2020, Mr. Trump apparently attempted to extort a foreign government into announcing an investigation of his top political rival. The president did so while also trying to revive a conspiracy theory that casts doubt over whether the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election on his behalf. Witnesses have already testified that in order to achieve those goals, Mr. Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid against the bipartisan wishes of Congress. All the while, the president and his staff have refused to cooperate with the congressional investigation into what transpired.

Here’s a field guide to some of the lines of attack that Republicans have used so far.

● There was no quid pro quo.
● How could it have been a quid pro quo if the Ukrainians didn’t know about it?
● It’s all just hearsay. And the whistle-blower is a partisan Democrat.
● It was a quid pro quo. But so what? This happens all the time.
● It was a quid pro quo, but President Trump was only interested in rooting out corruption in Ukraine.
● It was a quid pro quo, but Mr. Trump had nothing to do with it.
● Fine. It was a quid pro quo. Trump ordered it. He did so for his own political benefit. The Ukrainians knew about it. That’s bad, but it’s not an impeachable offense.
● It wasn’t a real quid pro quo because the Trump administration is too disorganized to pull off such a scheme.
● “I hardly know the gentleman.”
● This is a coup by the Deep State! A decorated American soldier is a Ukrainian agent! The witnesses who have testified are “Never Trumpers”!

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Retaliation against Lt. Col. Vindman started shortly after he reported his concerns with Trump’s call to Zelenskyy to the senior White House lawyer, John Eisenberg. Vindman was subsequently excluded from trips to all countries in his portfolio (Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus). https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1193642351970963457?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @brianstelter Bill Moyers says that he fears for the U.S. “for the first time in my long life.” ¤ “A democracy can die of too many lies. And we’re getting close to that terminal moment unless we reverse the obsession with lies that are being fed around the country.”
⋙ 💽 CNN: Bill Moyers says he fears for America for ‘first time’ http://cnn.it/2pZyMka
// Legendary journalist Bill Moyers discusses the looming impeachment hearings with Brian Stelter. Moyers fears for the country “for the first time, because a society, a democracy, can die of too many lies. And we’re getting close to that terminal moment, unless we reverse the obsession with lies that are being fed around the country.”

DailyBeast, Erin Banco: Ukrainians Contacted U.S. Officials in May About Aid Fears http://bit.ly/34OR06A
// nIn May, Ukrainian officials were growing increasingly concerned about Rudy Giuliani’s public comments regarding investigations into Hunter Biden and Burisma.

BusinessInsider: Boris Johnson’s Conservative party has received cash from 9 Russian donors named in a suppressed intelligence report http://bit.ly/2Ny5hio
// businessmen linked to Kremlin

🐣 RT @PaulaReidCBS UPDATE: @mikevolkov20, attorney for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, tells @CBSNews his client “Still has a job – his detail ends in July 2020.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @FaceTheNation VINDMAN OUT AT NSC: After testifying on the Hill, NSA O’Brien says Alexander Vindman will be removed from the National Security Council. “Everyone who’s detailed at the NSC, people are going…back to their own departments and we’ll bring in new folks” https://cbsn.ws/2p41BLK

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews The meeting took place in May, in Kyiv, with only 3 people in attendance: Parnas, Fruman and Serhiy Shefir, a member of the inner circle of President Zelenskyy. The sit-down took place at an outdoor cafe. The men sipped coffee and spoke in Russian.
🐣 RT @mikecarpenter Lev Parnas says he told a Zelensky associate in May that military aid would be withheld and VP Pence would not attend the inauguration unless the Bidens were investigated. Not sure I trust a con man’s word but this needs investigating.
⋙ NYT: Giuliani Associate Says He Gave Demand for Biden Inquiry to Ukrainians http://nyti.ms/32up8mM
// Lev and Igor; The claim by the associate, Lev Parnas, is being vigorously disputed.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “Bannon didn’t only say the Trump campaign was receiving what it thought was inside information on Wikileaks from Roger Stone, he also suggested that they believed that Stone was sort of orchestrating the release of these Democratic emails.” – Dan Friedman
⋙ MSNBC, TheLastWord: Bannon: Stone was ‘access point’ to WikiLeaks http://on.msnbc.com/36SgPo8
// Mother Jones reporter Dan Friedman tells Ali Velshi Steve Bannon’s testimony against Roger Stone suggests the “Trump campaign apparently thought it was colluding with WikiLeaks.” Bannon testified under oath that Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign considered Roger Stone as the “access point” to WikiLeaks. Natasha Bertrand joins.

⭕ 9 Nov 2019

DailyBeast, Christopher Dickey: The Night the Cold War World Turned Upside Down http://bit.ly/2WXEPlm
// The generation now quaintly known as “boomers” had grown up thinking the planet might soon be blown to hell. Now that threat was over. Or was it?

CNN, Kevin Liptak: Transcripts depict Trump as fickle, susceptible to flattery and prone to grudges http://cnn.it/2qD4dRd

🐣 RT @UROKlive1 “The Republican Party was in big trouble. I brought the party back. The Republican Party is strong. The Republican Party is strong. They’ve got to remain faithful. And loyal.” ¤ Who Will Betray Trump?
⋙ Politico Mag, Tim Alberta: Who Will Betray Trump? http://politi.co/33AjJMe
// 11/8/2019; Donald Trump knows there are potential traitors in his midst. His presidency could depend on keeping them at bay.

🐣 RT @waltshaub 18 U.S.C. § 201 makes it a crime to corruptly “demand” a thing of value in exchange for an official act. ¤ It does not matter if the demand was met. It does not matter if the official later dropped the demand. The demand is the crime.
// law, US code, anti-extortion

DailyBeast, Will Sommer: GOP Unveils Wild Wishlist of Impeachment Witnesses Including Hunter Biden and the Whistleblower http://bit.ly/2K4eih6
// Ranking Republicans issued their own list Saturday including Hunter Biden and the unnamed whistleblower, who they say will help treat the President with “fundamental fairness.”

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan: Aide to Ukrainian President Addresses Bill Taylor Testimony http://bit.ly/34Ndt41 //➔ Ukrainian official criticized US for pursuing politically-motivated investigations while urging Ukraine not to investigate its own previous president for corruption
// The top U.S. diplomat indicated to impeachment investigators that a Zelensky aide seemed enraged about his relative’s military service. That aide says there’s more to the story.

Volker and Taylor’s efforts to influence Ukrainian prosecutors’ investigation decisions made for a bit of discomfort, according to George Kent, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs. Kent said that when Taylor and Volker urged Yermak not to investigate Poroshenko, Yermak pointed to American efforts to get Ukraine to open politically motivated investigations. 

“Andry Yermak said: What? You mean the type of investigations you’re pushing for us to do on Biden and Clinton? And at that point Kurt Volker did not respond,” Kent said. 

💙💙 DailyBeast, Masha Gessen: How the Fall of the Berlin Wall Radicalized Putin http://bit.ly/2Q6Wrd1
// orig dated 10/24/2019, pub’d today; In 1989, as East Germany collapsed around him, a KGB spy in Dresden named Vladimir Putin came to some hard conclusions that would later inform his bellicose geopolitics.

WSJ: Giuliani Associates Urged Ukraine’s Prior President to Open Biden, Election Probes http://on.wsj.com/34PVBpn
// Lev and Igor; Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman pushed then-president Poroshenko [earlier than thought] to announce probes in return for U.S. state visit

A late February meeting in Kyiv between Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko took place at the offices of Ukrainian general prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, the people said. It came soon after Messrs. Parnas and Fruman met with Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, and Mr. Lutsenko in New York in late January and again in Warsaw in mid-February, Mr. Giuliani has said.

Mr. Lutsenko also attended the late February meeting, the people said. Mr. Poroshenko didn’t ultimately announce that he was opening those investigations. Mr. Lutsenko, the prosecutor, gave an interview to the Hill in March in which he said he was opening an investigation into alleged interference by Ukrainians in the 2016 U.S. election. He also said he had evidence he wanted to present to the U.S. Justice Department related to former Vice President Joe Biden and Burisma Group, a Ukrainian gas company where Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, was a director. Two months later, in an interview with Bloomberg, Mr. Lutsenko said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. …

The meeting, which hasn’t previously been reported, shows associates of the U.S. president’s personal lawyer as early as February were pressing the president of Ukraine to open investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump politically in exchange for a White House visit. No White House meeting resulted from the discussions. Mr. Poroshenko lost his re-election bid to Volodymyr Zelensky, who Mr. Trump in a July call urged to investigate the Bidens, as well as other matters. …

🐣 RT @TheHill Reporter: “What do you think of the idea of President Trump going to Moscow for the May Day parade?”
Joe Biden: “Are you serious?”
Reporter: “Yes, he’s been invited and he said he’s considering it.”
Joe Biden: “You’re kidding me. Whoa. Are you joking?”
💽 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1193304483121520640?s=20/photo/1

💙 Bloomberg: State Department Freed Ukraine Money Before Trump Says He Did http://bloom.bg/33w4Vyc
● Department lawyers found the White House lacked authority
● Chain of events undercuts Trump’s account of freeing the funds

🐣😅 RT @AltCyberCommand impeachment is infair to rupublicans who had to waite through the mueller which hunt while they were just trying to smock their cigars and enjoy their covfefe with hamberders in everlasting peach. this is a unpresidented discgrace and also melanie will not let me tapp anymore

WaPo: Ukraine expert who listened to Trump’s call says ‘there was no doubt’ the president was seeking investigations of political rivals http://wapo.st/36RHXn9
// Lt Col Vindman

USAToday: 5 takeaways from the impeachment inquiry testimony of Fiona Hill, former White House adviser on Russia http://bit.ly/2NZYTiM

● Bolton was ‘furious’ about the push for Ukraine investigations
● Giuliani’s ‘whirlwind’ of Ukraine claims 
● Gordon Sondland’s activities were ‘deeply concerning’
● Hill was ‘shocked’ by Trump’s call with Zelensky
● Hill and Republican questioners butt heads

WaPo: House GOP asks for Hunter Biden and whistleblower to testify in impeachment probe http://wapo.st/34H6vgM

⭕ 8 Nov 2019

WaPo, Daniel Baer: The Berlin Wall’s fall shaped a generation of U.S. diplomats. Trump upends that. http://wapo.st/32zpb0A
// American exceptionalism? Now it’s American pedestrianism.

EmptyWheel: Why Did Gucciardo Pay Giuliani Partners For His “Loan” To Fraud Guarantee? http://bit.ly/2Q61J8Q

Slate, William Saletan: The Ukraine Depositions Have Destroyed Trump’s “Corruption” Defense http://bit.ly/32vtBpf
// Republicans say the president wanted to clean up Ukraine. Witness testimony shows he didn’t.

💽 MSNBC, Hardball: Kathleen Matthews plays Hardball http://on.msnbc.com/33Ju8FL
// “Kathleen The Queen”; Hardball has a special guest for the show’s 20th anniversary: Kathleen Matthews!

WaPo, Philip Bump: An oral history of how Trump allegedly tried to leverage a White House visit for an investigation into the Bidens http://wapo.st/2p90kDm

🐣 RT @ChristopherJM Vindman testified that Fiona Hill told him that Patel was misrepresenting himself as a Ukraine expert and Trump believed Patel was in charge of Ukraine policy on the NSC. Vindman also said that he was told not to attend a meeting with Trump b/c he might be mistaken for Patel.

🐣 RT @myworldmysun Mo Brooks Republican Rep said
“The American people deserve a public and open process”
Just before the GOP stormed the Impeachment Inquiry.
Now Trump Says “They shouldn’t be having public hearings”

YahooNews: Testimony from Alexander Vindman and Fiona Hill caps a devastating week for Trump http://yhoo.it/2CsVHXS

🐣 RT @MSNBC So far, at least 11 officials have been no-shows for testimony during the House impeachment inquiry. https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1193106729317412864?s=20/photo/1

WashingtonExaminer: Bannon: Trump campaign saw Roger Stone as link to WikiLeaks and Assange http://washex.am/32uEGHk

💽 MSNBC, RachelMaddow: With impeachment looming, Trump rallies dubious support http://on.msnbc.com/34Jhl5Z
// Rachel Maddow looks at the cast of characters being assembled to support Rudy Giuliani and, in turn, Donald Trump heading into public impeachment hearings in contrast to the stalwart set of witnesses being lined up by the House impeachment committees.

WSJ: Giuliani Associates Urged Ukraine’s Prior President to Open Biden, Election Probes http://on.wsj.com/34PVBpn //➔ there was a prequel
// Lev and Igor; Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman pushed then-president Poroshenko to announce probes in return for U.S. state visit http://on.wsj.com/

CNN: UK inquiry was warned of Russian infiltration, leaked testimony shows http://cnn.it/2rkR4fU

🐣 RT @RepSwalwell One more time for the people in the back: ¤ The whistleblower pulled the fire alarm. The 1st responders showed up and saw smoke, flames, and @realDonaldTrump holding matches. Does it matter who pulled the fire alarm?

🐣 RT @MollyMcKew POTUS just said he wants to go to the Kremlin’s military parade in May — and hoo-boy, I guess he’s all done pretending that this wasn’t all about debasing himself for Russia. The propaganda is now writing itself.

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona and Asawin Suebsaeng: Vindman Burns Trump Booster John Solomon: ‘All the Key Elements’ of His Reporting ‘Were False’ http://bit.ly/2rrumD3
// Hannity’s favorite “investigative” reporter’s columns formed the basis for Trump allies like Rudy Giuliani’s messaging about Biden and Democrats.

Throughout his testimony, released Friday, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman—who listened in on the infamous July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine’s president—noted that Solomon’s March interview with former Ukraine Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko was a major influence on Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the president, especially when it came to the removal of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch last spring. 

Lutsenko alleged in the interview that Ukrainian officials helped Hillary Clinton in 2016 by leaking damaging information about former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and that Yovanovitch gave him a “do-not-prosecute” list and cooperated with Clinton to undermine Trump. Lutsenko eventually retracted the claim against Yovanovitch.

During an exchange with pro-Trump Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Vindman said that Solomon’s article was a “false narrative” and that he based that assertion on “authoritative sources.” When asked to elaborate, the NSC official said he talked to “interagency colleagues from State and the Intelligence Community,” adding they found the claims against Yovanovitch to be “preposterous.”

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Oh BTW: Collusion. Steve Bannon just admitted on the witness stand in Roger Stone’s trial that the Trump campaign used Stone as the “access point” to Wikileaks. You know, the Russian asset that published Russia’s hacks to subvert our election that put a Putin-lover clown in WH.

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog “The Russians were who attacked us in 2016, and they’re now writing the script for others to do the same. And if we don’t get our act together, they will continue to make fools of us internationally.” -Fiona Hill, former senior NSC official 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1193004130589192193?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Fiona Hill gets brilliantly testy schooling & slamming Republicans’ Ukraine conspiracy theories as playing into Russia’s hands. “All of you are going down a [misinformation] rabbit hole…Russians thrive on misinformation …We’re in peril as a democracy.” #Maddow #UkraineGate https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1192996742834188288?s=20/photo/1-4

🐣 RT @harrylitman Both Hill and Vindman finger Mulvaney. Lines clearly drawn now: Giuliani, Sondland, Volker, Mulvaney Pompeo in roughly that order v. Hill, Vindman, Yovanovitch, Kent, Taylor.

Politico: Hateful calls, conspiracy theories’: What Fiona Hill told impeachment investigators http://politi.co/2WXhy2Q

🐣 RT @brianklaas Just to be clear: trying to extort a bribe is a crime even if you don’t get the bribe in the end. And impeachment (followed by Senate removal) is not “the death penalty.” It just means you don’t get to be president any longer. You know better, @NikkiHaley. Stop being so craven.
⋙ 🐣 RT @sahilkapur Nikki Haley says President Trump did “nothing impeachable” because he released the aid and Ukraine didn’t do the investigation. ¤ “Impeachment is, like, the death penalty for a public official…there’s nothing in that transcript that warrants the death penalty for the president.”

WaPo: Giuliani associates pressed past president of Ukraine to announce Biden investigation in exchange for state visit http://wapo.st/33xB5tb

NYT: Bannon Tells of Campaign Willing to Try ‘Dirty Tricks’ to Win in 2016 http://nyti.ms/36MS5xO
// The former Trump campaign chairman testified at the trial of a longtime Trump adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr.

NYT: Impeachment Briefing: Anatomy of a Scene From the Hill Testimony http://nyti.ms/2qyuJLA
// The transcript of Fiona Hill’s interview describes a cinematic White House scene. Our reporters help break it down.

WaPo: Trump learns that fake charities are tons of fun until you get caught http://wapo.st/2X6YAXT
// Maddow: Pam Bondi received $25,000 from charity; down she’s on Trump’s legal team

WSJ: Giuliani Lawyer Advised Company Shut Down Over Fraud Complaints http://on.wsj.com/34Tt4zh
// Rudy Giuliani’s new lawyer advised an invention-promotion company that allegedly defrauded customers

WaPo: Top White House official told Congress ‘there was no doubt’ Trump sought quid pro quo with Ukrainians http://wapo.st/34NKmNR

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom This is a pretty widespread conclusion among almost all Russia experts. Because that’s how Russia works. It would have been strange if they had *not* targeted him.
⋙ 🐣 RT @janestreet Buried at the end of the testimony, Hill says she believes Putin was targeting Trump back when he was a businessman! https://twitter.com/janestreet/status/1192939766075015168?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Alexander Vindman: Soviet emigre and decorated U.S. Army officer wanted to be as American as can be. Now the president questions his motives. http://wapo.st/2Q1XWZW

🐣 RT @OliverDarcy Lee Zeldin repeatedly asked Lt. Col. Vindman about the veracity of a John Solomon story. Vindman kept saying “all the key elements” of it “were false.” 📌 https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1192861998645731329?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @OliverDarcy Fiona Hill talks about influence of conspiracy theories from places like InfoWars. ¤ Asked about The Hill, she says, “It’s become part of what’s become a very large universe of information … that are out there on the internet … affecting an awful lot of people’s judgements.”

DailyBeast, Will Sommer: Trumpkins Accused Him of Being the Whistleblower. They Were Wrong. http://bit.ly/33txhsU
// A former Obama staffer has been erroneously accused by the pro-Trump internet of blowing the whistle on the Ukraine affair. He didn’t. But now his life has been upended.

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona and Asawin Suebsaeng: Vindman Burns Trump Booster John Solomon: ‘All the Key Elements’ of His Reporting ‘Were False’ http://bit.ly/2rrumD3
// Hannity’s favorite “investigative” reporter’s columns formed the basis for Trump allies like Rudy Giuliani’s messaging about Biden and Democrats.

WaPo, Jason Rezaian: A ray of light in the mysterious case of an American missing in Iran http://wapo.st/33vgaHn the case of Bob Livingston, the longest-held hostage in US history

WaPo, Dana Milbank: The United States is being run by a toddler http://wapo.st/34HWkIX “He has tantrums. He rips up paper. He disregards facts. He believes crazy conspiracies. He’s erratic and ill-informed”

📔🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Vindman and Hill Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/34JUlEa
// 11/8/2019; Depositions Reveal First-Hand, Direct Testimony on Instruments of Power Used for Political Gain

● Vindman: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2NSQEoL ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/32sSKRt
● Hill: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/32xLow2 ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2X12TDN

“Lieutenant Colonel Vindman—an active duty military officer who was awarded the Purple Heart after being injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq—performed another duty to the country by testifying before the Committees about presidential misconduct that he witnessed during his service at the White House. Lt. Col. Vindman testified that the July 25, 2019, call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president led him to report immediately to lawyers at the White House his serious concerns about political investigations the President pressed for on the call.

“Lt. Col. Vindman also told the Committees that the ‘demand’ by President Trump for the announcement of a politically-motivated investigation into a U.S. citizen by a foreign country forced him to make a‘moral and ethical’ judgment, and led to his concern that the act could ‘undermine U.S. national security.’ He also detailed a pressure campaign waged by the President and his allies ahead of the call, and how he properly reported this activity to the same White House legal advisors.

“Dr. Fiona Hill—a respected Russia and Ukraine expert who served as Lt. Col. Vindman’s supervisor—detailed how senior officials at the White House, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, shared her serious concern about efforts prior to the July 25 call to push Ukraine to undertake these politically-motivated investigations, and about her efforts, at Mr. Bolton’s direction, to report this activity to senior White House officials.

“Lt. Col. Vindman and Dr. Hill—two courageous and patriotic Americans—testified despite pressure by the White House to silence their testimony. Their superiors in the White House have declined to cooperate with the inquiry, but transcripts released today show clearly that individuals close to the President were alarmed by a presidential scheme as illicit and corrupt as a ‘drug deal.’”

NYT, Maggie Haberman: ‘A Warning’ by ‘Anonymous’: 5 Takeaways http://nyti.ms/33xWN0m
// The book seems to be the product of a Republican with access to the White House who grew increasingly upset by President Trump.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance If Bolton is serious about preserving the Republic he’ll present himself to testify instead of playing games about what he knows. It’s either party or country in this moment.
💙 ⋙ NYT: Bolton Knows About ‘Many Relevant Meetings’ on Ukraine, Lawyer Says http://nyti.ms/
// The former national security adviser would be an important witness in the impeachment inquiry, but his lawyer wants a court to rule on whether he should testify.

⭕ 7 Nov 2019

CNN: Pence aide said Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine was political and not a normal diplomatic call http://cnn.it/2Q2pqi3

NBCNews: U.S. response on Ukraine sidelined by ‘Greenland question,’ testimony reveals http://nbcnews.to/2pUMRiL
// Trump sparked a diplomatic row with Denmark in August after he proposed that the U.S. buy Greenland.

WaPo: House GOP looks to protect Trump by raising doubts about motives of his deputies http://wapo.st/2WVfDf7 U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and possibly acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney

CNN: Lawyer for Ukraine whistleblower sends White House cease and desist letter to stop Trump’s attacks http://cnn.it/33FlUhu

🐣 RT @davidfrum These Ukrainian soldiers were killed in August 2019, while President Trump was withholding congressionally voted military aid to pressure Ukraine to exonerate Russia and defame his political opponents https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1179960497573171200?s=20/photo/1
// 10/3/2019; Ukrainian casualties: photos of 8 men
⋙ KyivPost: 72 Ukrainian soldiers killed in Russia’s war this year http://bit.ly/36MOrnh
// 8/30/2019

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Trump went against the advice of his national security team when he decided to “congratulate” Putin and later invited him—OUR ADVERSARY—to the White House, but ripped up a congratulatory letter/WH invite addressed to—OUR ALLY— #Ukraine’s Zelenskyy. What’s wrong with this picture?

NBCNews: Diplomat testified that Putin, Orban poisoned Trump’s views on Ukraine http://nbcnews.to/2Nq9VyN
// Senior State Department official George Kent told House investigators that Trump’s views on Ukraine changed after conversations with the leaders of Russia and Hungary.

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan and Sam Stein: Ukrainians Teased U.S. Officials About Trump’s Obsession With Biden http://bit.ly/2NMww7K
// The conversation was described as “awkward.”

🐣 RT @McFaul The more we learn, the more I am impressed at how @ZelenskyyUa and his team resisted Trumps pressure to engage in misconduct.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok NO way #Pence was outside the extortion loop. Recall Trump bailed on Warsaw Poland trip. Hurricane Dorian was a pretext. He played golf! And sent Pence as more pressure, reminding Zelensky that NO Trump meeting or aid unless Ukraine acquiesced on investigations. #UkraineGate

🐣 RT @joncoopertweets .@TheDemCoalition filed an election complaint w/ the DoJ against then FL Attorney General Pam Bondi in Sept 2016. The Trump Foundation gave Bondi $25,000 for her re-election, and she then dropped the case against Trump U. It was a bribe, plain and simple.
⋙ ABCNews (2016): Election Complaint Filed With DOJ Against Florida AG for 2013 Trump Foundation Contribution http://abcn.ws/33tKl1o

💙💙 WaPo, Philip Bump: This is how close Trump’s plan came to working http://wapo.st/2Ck10J1 TIMELINE: “But for two news articles, President Trump’s strong-arming of Ukraine probably would have worked.”

On Aug. 28, the first news article dropped. Politico reported that the aid was on hold and quoted an administration official who insisted that it was under review. In that article, an official from the Defense Department stated on the record that no further review was necessary, the aid having gone through necessary reviews. But still, no assistance was coming.

The next day, Yermak, the aide to Zelensky, texted Volker and William B. Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, with concerns about the article. While there are some indications that Ukraine knew about the aid stoppage before that point, it’s clear that it was the Politico article that forced the issue to the forefront. Taylor testified that he was flummoxed, not being able to give Yermak a reason the aid had been stopped.

Sondland made it clear to Yermak on Sept. 1: The aid had been stopped because the Trump administration wanted those investigations. Sondland told investigators with the House impeachment inquiry that he simply assumed this was the predicate for the aid to be released, without any specific direction from Trump. In short order, that explicit link between aid and the investigations trickled out to the rest of the United States’ Ukraine team. Taylor said that after confronting Sondland that same day, he was told that “everything” depended on an announcement of new investigations, “including security assistance,” and that Trump wanted Zelensky “in a public box” on the issue. …

Zelensky and his team struggled with a choice articulated by Andrew Kramer of the New York Times: “whether to capitulate to President Trump’s demands to publicly announce investigations against his political enemies or to refuse, and lose desperately needed military aid.”

Zelensky — who won election as an anti-corruption reformer — decided to capitulate. He’d announce the investigations in an interview with CNN on Sept. 13, Kramer said. The Ukrainians told Sondland on Sept. 8 and he shared it with Taylor.

Taylor, worried about the appearance of Ukraine taking a side in U.S. politics, pressured then-Ukrainian national security adviser Alexander Danyliuk to keep the CNN interview from happening. Kramer describes Danyliuk as the “lone holdout” among Zelensky’s team; he told Taylor that the interview wouldn’t happen. As the interview loomed, Taylor asked Zelensky’s team to confirm that no interview would take place. Yermak, he said, “looked uncomfortable in response to the question.”

By then, though, the second article had come out. The Washington Post’s editorial board wrote on Sept. 5 that it had been “reliably told” that the aid was on hold to pressure Ukraine to initiate investigations helpful to Trump. That was a Thursday; by Monday, Sept. 9, Democratic lawmakers had announced an inquiry of the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine. That day, the House and Senate intelligence committees were informed about a whistleblower complaint filed in response to Trump’s July 25 call, although it’s not clear whether they were informed about its focus.

Two days later, after Zelensky had agreed to the CNN interview but before it was set to occur, the administration released the aid. Zelensky’s team canceled the interview, leaving Ukrainians to wonder what he might have said. …

📔🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release George Kent’s Deposition Transcript as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2pQjH4j

● Taylor: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2CjYwud ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2WRwZK5

“The testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent strongly corroborates testimony from numerous other witnesses.  Mr. Kent affirms that he and his colleagues recognized the impropriety of pressuring Ukrainian officials to undertake politically-motivated investigations to help President Trump’s reelection prospects in 2020.

“Mr. Kent not only affirms testimony released this week by the Committees, but he also describes his contemporaneous documentation of conversations and events.  Yet, the State Department and White House continue to withhold these key documents from the Committees in defiance of duly authorized subpoenas.  These actions demonstrate the President’s clear obstruction of Congress and support the inference that these documents further corroborate the testimony of presidential misconduct that we have received.”

💙💙 EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: After Engaging in Multiple Overt Acts Benefitting a Conspiracy, Bill Barr Had Kerri Kupec Commit the Most Overt Act http://bit.ly/34G9h60

WaPo, Max Boot: The anatomy of a Republican smear http://wapo.st/2pHgp3v “If you want to see a real-time example of how McCarthyism operates, look no further than the attempts by President Trump and his henchmen to malign the heroic whistleblower”

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Trump Told Kentucky’s Voters to Make the Election About Him. They Did, and He’s Fucked. http://bit.ly/2WUrdav
// Trump proved this week that big rallies, big talk, and bad campaigns are a recipe for electoral disaster, and alienated suburban voters are a dagger in the heart of the GOP.

🐣 RT @mike_giglio internal State Dept. memo blasts Trump admin for not doing more to stop Turkey’s Syria invasion, accuses Turkey-backed fighters of “war crimes and ethnic cleansing,” and calls it all “a catastrophic sideshow and it is to a significant degree of our making”
⋙ WaPo: Bolton willing to defy White House and testify if court clears the way, according to people familiar with his views http://wapo.st/2NNVfsl the related ruling in the McGahn case could provide clarity by the end of November

DailyBeast, David Lurie: SCOTUS’ Choice: Trump or the Rule of Law http://bit.ly/36NHrXF
// With its own legitimacy at stake, the Supreme Court has avoided weighing in on the president’s attempts to make the legal system his personal guardian. That’s about to change.

As his losses pile up, Donald Trump has made it plain he expects the Supreme Court to serve as his ultimate protector from the overreaching “Deep State” and its allies in Congress. 

We’re about to find out if Chief Justice John Roberts and other members of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority will accept Trump’s designation of their institution as his personal guardian. The court would do so at its own peril, as stepping in to protect the president could help elect a Democratic president and Senate, and encourage them to put a quick end to the court’s long-standing conservative majority. 

Notably, the court has yet to weigh in as Trump has stonewalled nearly all efforts to gain access to key White House witnesses and documents for months. But it may weigh in soon, now that a federal appeals court in New York upheld a district court ruling ordering Trump’s accounting firm to hand over Trump business and financial records in its files, including the tax returns of the President and his businesses. 

The case raises issues going “to the heart of our Republic,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said as he declared that Trump will petition the Supreme Court for relief. Under an agreement between the parties, Trump will be asking the court to decide the case during its current term, meaning a reckoning is coming. Trump’s argument that his accountants cannot be subpoenaed for his financial records is quite weak, particularly given that the court upheld a subpoena directly to the president for the White House tapes during Watergate, in its 8-0 United States v. Nixon decision. …

This is hardly the first time the Supreme Court has been called upon to render a decision in a high-profile case implicating who will become president, or whether a sitting president will remain in power. Such decisions almost inevitably have a heavy impact on the court’s reputation, for better or for worse. 

The court emerged from Watergate with its reputation enhanced, after justices appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents (including Nixon himself) joined together to order the president to comply with a court order to turn over the tapes. Justice Brett Kavanaugh has described the Nixon decision as among the “greatest moments in American judicial history,” given that the courts “stood up to the other branches, were not cowed, and enforced the law.” …

🐣 RT @gtconway3d When there’s no room left in the stadium to move the goalposts, you just take the goalposts and leave.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ABC “I’m not going to read these transcripts,” Sen. Lindsey Graham says of transcripts of depositions from House impeachment inquiry. ¤ “The whole process is a joke…I’m not going to legitimize it.” https://abcn.ws/2oSjLzZ

WaPo, Paul Waldman: The Trump-era GOP: Grifters all the way down. http://wapo.st/2NQwk7p

⭕ 6 Nov 2019

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona: Lindsey Graham Claims Trump Donor Sondland Is in Cahoots With ‘Democratic Operatives’ http://bit.ly/2WRLIVj
// “Why did Sondland change his testimony?” Graham wondered aloud. “Was there a connection between Sondland and Democratic operatives on the committee?”

🐣 RT @yashar 1. Exclusive: I’ve obtained passages from the book by ‘Anonymous’, the author of the NYT Op-ed ¤ In the book, Anonymous claims that senior officials had no doubt that Pence would support invoking the 25th amendment if the majority of the cabinet agreed 📌 https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1192271574365278208?s=20

💙💙 WaPo: The fall of 1989 http://wapo.st/2p0X1xY
// ✛ Blacklist; various authors; The Berlin Wall crumbled. Regimes toppled. But 30 years later, how much have things changed?

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Schiff asked Taylor about his assertion that multiple NatSec officials sought a meeting with Trump to discuss lifting a hold on military aid to #Ukraine but the meeting proved difficult to schedule, because the issue of “purchasing Greenland” took up a lot of energy in the NSC.” https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1192184402169749516?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @CDG_GDR Apparently a lot of staff time taken up by something Republicans said was only a joke

🐣 RT @BillKristol I’m struck by Trumpworld’s obsession with the whistleblower. Exposing him wouldn’t help Trump’s case a bit. But it’s clear that outing him would be really satisfying psychologically to Trumpsters. One forgets how central to Trumpism are petty vindictiveness and cowardly bullying.
⋙ 🐣 RT @PaulaChertok The whistleblower is a powerful distraction. Smearing witnesses is a primary strategy. The WB is a focal point to literally put a face on the smear campaign, and to direct the angry mob to the scapegoat. They’re out for blood. And to revel in their lawlessness. Ugly AF.

TheAtlantic, David Graham: The More We Learn, the Worse Things Look for Trump http://bit.ly/2re8Q4q
// Republicans insisted that the full account would vindicate the president, but that’s not how it’s worked out.

💙 BuzzFeedNews, Emma Loop and Michael Sallah: Facing Scrutiny Of Their Donation To Top Republicans, Giuliani’s Associates Turned To A Major Trump Ally For Help http://bit.ly/33pNS0R
// Lev and Igor, source of funds related to marijuana [an interest of Firtash] and LNG imports [their side deal in Ukraine; RNC connections]; A firm run by Andy Surabian, who has worked with Steve Bannon and Donald Trump Jr., says Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the business partners at the center of the impeachment inquiry, still haven’t paid for work done last year.

🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio WHOA. Costello is the lawyer who emailed Michael Cohen saying, “Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places.” ¤ He’s now representing Giuliani.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ I am represented and assisted by Robert Costello and the Pierce Bainbridge firm in particular, Eric Creizman and Melissa Madrigal.
🐣 RT @BillKristol Isn’t Rudy admitting here that if he interfered to shape U.S. foreign policy, it was for the private interest of his client? And if he did so with Trump’s approval and involvement, that Trump was carrying out U.S. foreign policy in his personal interest not the national interest?
💙💙 🐣 RT @RudyGiuliani The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven.

WaPo: Prosecutor says Roger Stone lied ‘because the truth looked bad for Donald Trump’ http://wapo.st/2NsrRsN

NYT: Stone Trial Links Trump More Closely to 2016 Effort to Obtain Stolen Emails http://nyti.ms/2NojY7p
// Newly revealed calls between President Trump and Roger Stone dovetailed with key developments in the theft of Democratic emails, prosecutors said.

WaPo: Ambassador’s testimony offers window into impeachment inquiry’s first public hearing http://wapo.st/2JWZr7Y

WaPo, Dana Milbank: Are Bill Taylor’s notebooks Trump’s Nixon tapes? http://wapo.st/2qxEh9O

WaPo: Trump wanted Barr to hold news conference saying the president broke no laws in call with Ukrainian leader http://wapo.st/2Npbg9i

WaPo: John Bolton expressed alarm about shadow Ukraine policy, but at key moments it’s unclear what he did to stop it http://wapo.st/2pDQ4mU

🐣 RT @Bill_Maxwell_ Bill Taylor testimony: ¤ Transcript released for top US diplomat in Ukraine as part of impeachment inquiry. ¤ Taylor one of several witnesses who explained how he was told that “everything” Ukraine wanted was conditioned on the investigation.

📔🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Ambassador Bill Taylor’s Deposition Transcript as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2JWZiRS

● Taylor: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2rhMrDn ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2WQCys7

“The testimony of Ambassador Taylor—a West Point graduate, Vietnam veteran, and nonpartisan diplomat—shows how President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine and conditioned its release, as well as a vital White House meeting, on the President of Ukraine publicly announcing investigations into debunked conspiracy theories involving the Bidens and the 2016 election.

“Ambassador Taylor’s testimony lays bare how this shadow foreign policy channel pursued by the President’s agent, Rudy Giuliani, with the assistance of Ambassadors Sondland and Volker, placed immense pressure on the Ukrainian government to accomplish the President’s goal. Ambassador Taylor makes clear why this military aid and continued bipartisan support for Ukraine are so critically important—and why these efforts to undermine U.S. foreign policy for domestic political reasons were so damaging. We look forward to his public testimony.”

HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): House Intelligence Committee Announces First Week of Open Hearings With William Taylor, George Kent and Marie Yovanovitch http://bit.ly/33AbmAc

WaPo: ‘Talk to Rudy’: Testimony from diplomats highlights Giuliani’s central role in driving Ukraine policy http://wapo.st/2CkllOd

🐣 RT @mitchellreports .@neeratanden: “A big question for Dems, in those counties can they get back some voters on kitchen table issues. Even in midterms, Dems did better in rural counties, significantly in many states really focusing on ACA expansion & issues like teacher pay.” #AMRstaff
⋙ 🐣 Yes, Dems did 13% better among RURAL voters in 2018 than in 2016 ‼️ This is a greater than the change for any other demographic.
CNN Exit Polls 2016 http://cnn.it/2PWBn9j
CNN Exit Polls 2018 http://cnn.it/2QHVBki ¤

✅ WaPo Factchecker, Salvador Rizzo: Trump’s false claim about what the Ukrainian president said about the U.S. ambassador http://wapo.st/2CfPIFE FOUR PINOCCHIOS 🍄🍄🍄🍄

WaPo, Tulose Olorunnipa and Philip Rucker: Trump makes falsehoods central to impeachment defense as incriminating evidence mounts http://wapo.st/2qujgfQ

🚫 WaPo: Senate Republicans consider including Bidens in Trump impeachment trial http://wapo.st/2PSzeex
// unlikely to happen; a distraction

ABCNews, Matthew Dowd: Impeachment looms large over the 2020 election, but Trump’s approval could be a bigger factor: Opinion http://abcn.ws/32qF49r Every president running for re-election for 60 years has received on election day within 1% of their job approval number
// “Every president running for reelection over the last 60 years has received on Election Day a percentage of the popular vote within a point of their job approval number.”

WaPo, RobertCosta: Kentucky outcome embarrasses Trump and worries many Republicans ahead of 2020 http://wapo.st/2JSHvLx

Newsweek, Greg Olear: Mike Pence Knew http://bit.ly/2WQw4t3

🐣 RT @JoeNBC #MoscowMitch has the lowest approval rating of any senator in America. Bevin’s approval rating was much higher. Your Putin fixation has now put the Majority Leader’s political future at risk. Russia’s Republican comrade is in for the fight of his political life.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Based on the Kentucky results, Mitch McConnell @senatemajldr will win BIG in Kentucky next year!

RawStory: MSNBC’s Morning Joe hilariously blames ‘toxic’ Trump for Bevin loss: ‘You lost Kentucky for Republicans!’ http://bit.ly/2NLsk8d

“Donald Trump the night before saying, you have to do this for me, basically saying this is all about me, this is all about Trump,” Scarborough said. “Bevin has to win or if he doesn’t this will be the biggest loss in the history of American politics.”

“Before Donald trump went to Kentucky on that last night and had those stupid shirts that said, ‘Read the transcript,’ printed up,” Scarborough said. “By the way, which of course the document he was talking to said up top, ‘This is not a transcript.’ The stupidity, it’s really shocking, and we’re sitting there going, how do people get away with that? They don’t.”

“We’re going to get to what happened again in the suburbs, in the Cincinnati suburbs, which, again, once again shows that Donald Trump is toxic,” Scarborough said.

Republicans won the other statewide races in Kentucky, but they didn’t tie themselves so closely to the president.

“Here’s the thing, they don’t get away with it,” he added. “He doesn’t get away with it. He’s going to be impeached. His party lost the biggest landslide vote loss in the history of the United States, Republican 2018, for following him blindly.”

Scarborough said Bevin had been cruising to re-election before rallying with Trump the night before polls opened.

“Bevin, get this, oh, so unpopular,” he said. “Bevin was ahead by 5 percentage points in the polls before Donald Trump came to the state.”

“Donald Trump cost him 5 1/2, 6 percentage points by that one rally,” Scarborough continued. “Think about it, if you’re Donald Trump you’re waking up this morning and you know — Donald, come here. Get a little closer. Bevin was ahead, son. He was ahead by five points before you went to Kentucky.”

“Donald, look at that,” he added. “I know you don’t like reading, Donald, but look — that stands for Republican. He had 52 percent before you went and did that rally for him, and he got those poor folks wearing that shirt that said ‘read the transcript’ when the piece of paper itself said ‘this is not a transcript.’ Donald, this is not working for you. You should just stay home and watch like those cage fights, right?”

“Donald, my friend, you lost the state for Republicans,” he concluded.

⋙ @Morning_Joe Often overlooked is the 13% swing of RURAL voters toward Dems between 2016 and 2018. Most rural districts remained Red BUT it shows up in state wide races like for Senator or Governor, eg Kentucky governor.
2016 http://cnn.it/2PWBn9j
2018 http://cnn.it/2QHVBki ¤

🐣 RT @JimAcosta On last night’s results, source who regularly talks to Trump: “Totally bad. Kentucky and Virginia signal to GOP they are underestimating voter intensity against Trump, and it could be terrible for them next year,” the source said. “Bad omen for impeachment,” the source added.
⋙ 🐣 Per @Morning_Joe Beshear was losing by 5% in the last poll of the KY race

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng: Giuliani Cronies Planned ‘Fraud Guarantee’ Infomercials Starring Rudy http://bit.ly/2qtZYqY
// The former New York City mayor was nearly even more of a cable news fixture.

🚫 DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Thanks to Rand Paul, Russian Media Are Naming the Alleged Whistleblower http://bit.ly/2oR6JCP
// disgusting; Outing “the whistleblower” is the most egregious, but certainly not the only, example of Kremlin-funded media cheerleading the fight against impeachment. They love “their” Trump.

⋙ 🐣 According to FoxNews poll http://fxn.ws/2PIxCDX 34% of the 41% currently opposing impeachment say they could be swayed by new evidence. If all were persuaded, it would add 14% to the current 49% favoring impeachment = 63%. It was 58% for Nixon (59% of GOP opposed) https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1192060377896562688?s=20/photo/1
// FoxNews poll from 11/3/2019

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan and Erin Banco: Exclusive: Trump Letter Promised Zelensky ‘Unwavering’ Support http://bit.ly/2PPYMc7
// In the letter, published here for the first time, Trump pledges to stand by Kyiv no matter what. That was before he withheld aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating his rival.

🐣 🔆 This❗️⋙ On @MorningJoe, @ HeidiNBC reports that in open hearings in no later than two weeks, these fact witnesses will testify:
● Marie Yovanovitch, former ambassador to Ukraine
● Willam Taylor, her successor
● Lt Col Alexander Vindman, listened to call between Trump & Zelensky

⭕ 5 Nov 2019

CREW Sues Pompeo and State Department Over Recordkeeping Failure http://bit.ly/33XQaVl ‘State Dept officials used an irregular channel that bypassed department recordkeeping systems to enlist the aid of Ukraine … to dig up dirt on the president’s political enemies’

WashingtonMonthly, Martin Longman: Lev Parnas Could Be the Star Witness Who Takes Trump Down http://bit.ly/2Q4RL7x

JustSecurity, Sidney Blumenthal: A Dozen Questions for John Solomon http://bit.ly/34PNaKB

💙 WaPo, Philip Bump: This is how close Trump’s plan came to working http://wapo.st/2Ck10J1 TIMELINE: “But for two news articles, President Trump’s strong-arming of Ukraine probably would have worked.”

NYT: U.S. Envoy in Syria Says Not Enough Was Done to Avert Turkish Attack http://nyti.ms/2qAgzty
// In an internal memo, the senior American diplomat in northern Syria criticized the Trump administration for failing to try harder to deter Turkey from invading northern Syria last month.

🐣 The fact Barr wouldn’t go “on tv” to say Trump’s phone call w Zelensky was ‘perfect’ gives me some hope maybe he’s going to break it to him that he found nothing going after Trump’s counter-narrative on the 🍊s of Mueller probe. He’s toast w Trump anyway? 🤞

WaPo: Trump ordered to pay $2 million to charities over misuse of foundation, court documents say http://wapo.st/36SxhoC

CNN, Elliot Williams: The biggest question facing voters in 2020 http://cnn.it/2Cpi28l “Do rules matter” //➔ seems Dems are the Constitutional LAW and ORDER vs Chaos party now

🐣 RT @SethAbramson Trump’s impeachable crimes *must* be seen by Americans as CUMULATIVE. He doesn’t get a pass on *any* of it. He obstructed justice. He committed bribery. He illegally solicited foreign donations. He witness tampered. He lied to investigators. He abused power. He violated his oath.

🐣 RT @McFaul Will Trump defenders now throw Sondland under the bus, or will they say his testimony is being misunderstood (like the perfect phone call)?
⋙ 🐣 Where they’re heading: “If the President does it, it’s not illegal.” We’ve been here before.

🐣 RT @ For over a year, I resisted calls for an impeachment inquiry, knowing it is a remedy with serious consequences for the country. ¤ But the evidence we’ve uncovered of the president’s abuse of power has made that inquiry a necessity. ¤ We will do our duty.
⋙ NYT: Inside Adam Schiff’s Impeachment Game Plan http://nyti.ms/2NmtSGT
// Democrats believe the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee could be the man to bring down President Trump. This is how he’s running his investigation.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Testimony from Sondland and Volker demonstrates:
➡️Trump used a White House meeting and military aid to pressure Ukraine to publicly announce political investigations.
➡️The pressure campaign came at the expense of our national security.
➡️And it got more insidious over time.
https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1191850322387505153?s=20/photo/1

💽 MSNBC, Hardball: David Jolly thinks ‘Lindsey Graham should resign if he’s not going to do his job’ http://on.msnbc.com/2NO5sFj
// On Senator Lindsey Graham’s denial on a quid pro quo, David Jolly says: “I think Lindsey Graham should resign if he’s not going to do his job. He’s the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and he says he’s not going to take the time to look at the facts.”

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti We’ve approached “Baghdad Bob” territory.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Yamiche NEW White House statement on impeachment inquiry:”Both transcripts released today show there is even less evidence for this illegitimate impeachment sham than previously thought.” https://twitter.com/Yamiche/status/1191815597971165191?s=20/photo/1

💙 WaPo, Philip Bump: Gordon Sondland just gave us this scandal’s smoking quid pro quo http://wapo.st/2NEWH04

🐣 .@SecPompeo ~ “A cadet shall not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do.” ¤ My husband tells me this honor code applies for life. ¤ @StateDept @WestPoint_USMA

💙🐣 RT @brycetache Kentucky, Virginia and Sondland all flipped today.

WaPo, David Ignatius: Where is Mike Pompeo? He’s hiding in fear of Donald Trump. http://wapo.st/2CiLnl2

WaPo, David Ignatius: Where is Mike Pompeo? He’s hiding in fear of Donald Trump. http://wapo.st/2CiLnl2

NYT: Trump Tax Return Case Confronts Supreme Court With a Momentous Choice http://nyti.ms/2CfSSce
// Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton sustained unanimous losses when they sought to withhold evidence, suggesting that President Trump may face an uphill fight.

💙 NYT: Sondland Updates Impeachment Testimony, Describing Ukraine Quid Pro Quo http://nyti.ms/2WKIdjg
// Gordon D. Sondland recounted how he told Ukrainian officials that military aid was tied to their commitment to investigations President Trump wanted.

💙 WaPo: Gordon Sondland just gave us this scandal’s smoking quid pro quo http://wapo.st/2NEWH04

💙 🐣 RT @kylecheney READ: Sondland submitted this amendment to his testimony, saying other witnesses refreshed his recollection tha tmilitary aid was withheld as part of Trump’s push to get a Biden investigation going. https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1191790088218394625?s=20/photo/1-3
📌 COMPLETE THREAD: https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1191789347445624838?s=20
💙 🐣 MT @kylecheney WOW: Kurt Volker TEXTED to a top Ukrainian official the script they wanted Zelensky to read to announce the Burisma (i.e. Biden)/2016 election investigaitons. ¤ The text: https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1191796014237331457?s=20/photo/1 ¤ The latest:
💙 🐣 RT @kylecheney In a conversation that included Volker, Trump said “all” Ukrainians as “corrupt” and “terrible people.” He said they “tried to take me down” — a reference to conspiracy theories that Manafort and Kilimnik had planted during the 2016 campaign. https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1191813999849037826?s=20/photo/1
⋙ Politico: Sondland reverses himself on Ukraine, confirming quid pro quo http://politi.co/
// A key figure in the Ukraine saga revised his testimony for impeachment investigators.

🐣 RT @ABCNews JUST IN: DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA release joint statement on 2020 election security, warning, “Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions.” https://abcn.ws/2PSAiin https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1191840420906643457?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Aaron Blake: 5 takeaways from the Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker testimonies http://wapo.st/2oPCwUJ

🐣 RT @AndreaChalup Putin has great representation in the hearings thanks to Devin Nunes. When Chairman Schiff first ran for Congress, bet he never imagined he’d have to counter Kremlin propaganda promoted by his GOP colleagues while they smeared a US ally. Pres. Reagan must be rolling in his grave.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavis Are their heads truly filled with this garbage, or is the GOP willingly disseminating Russian conspiracy theories? https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1191809744966766592?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: With revised testimony, Sondland ties Trump to quid pro quo http://wapo.st/2JVk7gz

🐣 RT @Yamiche Huge change it seems. ¤ Amb to E.U. Gordon Sondland updated his statement before Congress to say he now remembers telling top Ukrainian official that country likely would not receive U.S. military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations of Bidens that Pres Trump wanted. https://twitter.com/Yamiche/status/1191793420072890368?s=20/photo/1

NYT: Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts: Key Excerpts of Sondland’s and Volker’s Testimonies http://nyti.ms/2JUBJtb
// House investigators on Tuesday released transcripts from two more closed-door depositions.

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Sondland and Volker Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2WKuedv
// New Text Messages Also Released

● Sondland: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/33nkqsq ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2NjiXxC
● Volker: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/34A7mQE ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2WOhnXE
● Volker texts: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2qtbhju ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/30QhpPi

“The testimony of Ambassadors Volker and Sondland shows the progression of efforts by the President and his agent, Rudy Giuliani, to use the State Department to press Ukraine to announce investigations beneficial to the President’s personal and political interests.

“As early as May 2019, President Trump directed the Ambassadors to work with Giuliani on Ukraine policy, and over the course of the summer, an effort was made to extract a public statement from the new Ukrainian president that the Ukrainian government was investigating Burisma or the Biden family and a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 U.S. elections.

“It is clear from their testimony that, in exchange for the statement, President Trump would award the Ukrainian president with a highly coveted White House meeting and, later, with millions of dollars in critical military aid being withheld. Ambassador Sondland called this changing U.S. policy toward Ukraine a ‘continuum’ that became ever more ‘insidious’ over time.

“Finally, with the release of the full production of text messages provided to the Committees by Ambassador Volker, and an additional declaration by Ambassador Sondland, the President’s scheme comes into clearer focus.

“In an effort to prevent further incriminating information from coming to light, the State Department is continuing to obstruct our investigation by refusing to provide subpoenaed records, including additional text messages provided to the Department by Ambassador Sondland. This blanket stonewalling will only continue to build the case against the President for obstruction of Congress, especially in light of the damning evidentiary record the Committees have already gathered.”

WaPo: The Mueller Report Illustrated: Inside the special counsel’s obstruction investigation – Washington Post http://wapo.st/2Cj5xLQ
// A forthcoming book and six-part digital series on the obstruction investigation

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan and Erin Banco: Gordon Sondland Admits He Told Ukraine Aid Was Tied to Biden Probe http://bit.ly/2JQ5FpZ
// The U.S. ambassador to the European Union revealed in his revised testimony that he believed there was an attempt to tie Ukraine aid to public announcements of investigations.

🐣 RT @pbump Sure, why not.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kathrynw5 Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he won’t read any of the transcripts, and dismissed Sondland’s reversal. ¤ “I’ve written the whole process off … I think this is a bunch of B.S.” ¤ Per @alanhe

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan: Source for ‘Ukraine Collusion’ Allegations Met Devin Nunes http://bit.ly/2JSJik5
// Ex-diplomat Andrii Telizhenko said he and Nunes discussed Ukrainian politics and how to fight Russian propaganda.

⭕ 4 Nov 2019

Wonkette: Rudy’s Fixers Keep Breaking Sh*t http://bit.ly/2X8PMRe

WaPo, Yaël Eisenstat: I worked on political ads at Facebook. They profit by manipulating us. http://wapo.st/2K67ob2
// The company can’t avoid damaging democracy.

🐣 RT @justinamash Read the Constitution.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Read the Transcript

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay: Rudy Allies Are Spreading Dirt About Bannon Behind the Scenes http://bit.ly/36DKMYU
// Trump’s former chief strategist is coming under attack from allies of the president’s personal attorney, with one memo calling Bannon “THE FOX IN THE TRUMP HOUSE.”

Politico: Giuliani associate Parnas offers to comply with subpoena http://politi.co/33ltZIb
// Many of Parnas’ records were seized by the FBI in raids on his home and elsewhere around the time of his arrest last month.

🐣 RT @JoyceVanceWhite If reports that his pal Lev Parnas is cooperating are true, we will likely get answers to the question of who has been paying Rudy soon. That should make him very nervous.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Prosecutors are looking at his bank records. I have lots of questions, including who’s paying Rudy, if he’s paying for his travel (if not, someone else is), if he’s being reimbursed for travel & if he’s received any reimbursements/payments from the gov’t. https://twitter.com/JoyceWhiteVance/status/1183906266520915969?s=20
// 10/14/2019

DailyBeast, Amy Knight: Putin’s Top Spy: We’re Teaming Up With D.C. on Cybersecurity http://bit.ly/36zVQq8
// Behind-the-scenes cooperation with U.S. agencies, particularly on cybercrime and terrorism, is a theme the Kremlin likes to push onto center stage. Trump likes it, too.

💽 MSNBC, TheBeatWithAri: Trump’s Nixon problem: When Republicans bail on impeachment http://on.msnbc.com/2oRjZHK
// Every House Republican voted against moving forward with the Trump impeachment probe. But Democrats may be eyeing lessons from Watergate, when public hearings helped turn sentiment against Nixon, and key Republicans bucked their own party to back impeachment.

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom I am immobilized with a heating pad on my back, so you’re all getting my Sunday night blast of ill-temper about Trump’s latest attacks on Vindman and others. Bottom line: We are not required to think well of people who are still defending this. /1 📌 https://twitter.com/RadioFreeTom/status/1191200567210590210?s=20
🐣 RT @ “Polarization” implies that people give a shit about policies and ideas. I will fight all day long with @CharlesPPierce or @jentaub on the left, or @JayCaruso on the right, because we disagree about policies and visions for America. That’s not this. This is something else. /4
🐣 RT @ What’s also new is that the GOP – once called the party of ideas even by Sen. Moynihan in my lifetime – has now decided that being in power is more important than fidelity to ideas or to the Constitution itself. There is no legal or constitutional red line they respect. /6
🐣 RT @ Mass communication technology exploited by unprincipled and cynical leaders in wink-wink cahoots with foreign powers, demagogues getting rich by scaring rubes and old people, a sociopath with a cult following. This is something we once would have joined together to stop. /7
🐣 RT @ At some point, friendship and comity require shared values. Americans have broken friendships over early Communism, McCarthy, civil rights, Nixon, Vietnam. This was not a tragedy. It was the social opprobrium that is a sign of moral health rather than relativistic anomie. /11
🐣 RT @ This is another of those times. The President has become a raving paranoid on national television, name calling members of Congress, smearing military officers, promising secret revenge, demanding others in the govt break the law, deriding our intel and LE professionals. /12
🐣 RT @ But the damage to the legitimacy and the long-term health of our institutions is now, in some cases, deep and irreversible. This will harm everyone long after this idiocy is over, except for the right wing grifters who will take their payday and skip town. /17
🐣 RT @ Either way, the rest of us are not obligated to respect those views, no more than we had to respect the supporters of Joe McCarthy, Father Coughlin, Huey Long, George Lincoln Rockwell, or any of the other hideous Americans who attracted a mass following. Enough is enough. /19x

NYT: Excerpts and Analysis From 2 Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts http://nyti.ms/2Cj4ECF
// House Democrats released the first two transcripts of their closed-door impeachment testimonies.

💙 NYT: Pompeo Faces Political Peril and Diplomats’ Revolt in Impeachment Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2WK2Igf
// The secretary of state has been drawn deeply into the Ukraine scandal, with a parade of his diplomats testifying. He is sticking by the president.

WaPo, Dana Milbank: So this is why Trump doesn’t want officials to testify http://wapo.st/36zeEFQ

Yovanovitch detailed a Hollywood-ready tale about how Giuliani and two of his now-indicted goons hijacked U.S. foreign policy as part of a clownish consortium that also included Sean Hannity and a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor. Their mission: to oust the tough-on-corruption U.S. ambassador who threatened to frustrate Giuliani’s plans to get Ukraine to come up with compromising material on Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.

WaPo: Former ambassador testifies she felt threatened by Trump’s comments about her http://wapo.st/2PMdzEN

📔 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCommittee (HPSCI): Committees Release Testimony of Yovanovich and McKinley as Part of New Public Phase of Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/36vgIPr

● Yovanovich: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/2PTqCnM ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2PQOete
● McKinley: Key Excerpts: http://bit.ly/32cHgRT ; Transcript: http://bit.ly/2NJkdZE

The three Chairs issued the following statement announcing today’s releases:

“As we move towards this new public phase of the impeachment inquiry, the American public will begin to see for themselves the evidence that the committees have collected. With each new interview, we learn more about the President’s attempt to manipulate the levers of power to his personal political benefit.

“The transcripts of interviews with Ambassadors Yovanovitch and McKinley demonstrate clearly how President Trump approved the removal of a highly respected and effective diplomat based on public falsehoods and smears against Ambassador Yovanovitch’s character and her work in support of long-held U.S. foreign policy anticorruption goals.

“Ambassadors Yovanovitch and McKinley’s testimony also demonstrates the contamination of U.S. foreign policy by an irregular back channel that sought to advance the President’s personal and political interests, and the serious concerns that this activity elicited across our government.

“Unfortunately, despite those concerns, the transcripts also show clearly that efforts to secure public support for Ambassador Yovanovitch from the senior-most levels of the State Department were never realized, thanks to worry among those leaders that such support would be directly undermined by presidential attacks.”

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “It looks like American foreign policy has become a cross between the Three Stooges and the Godfather. It’s an amazing mix of venal, violent corruption and complete and utter incompetence. That’s a toxic combination.” – @RonaldKlain w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1191491840597463041?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @duty2warn Malignant Narcissism has been at the root of the most vicious inhumanity in human history. A malignant narcissist when threatened tells lies that are the diametric opposite of truth. They walk a line between sanity and insanity. We are witnessing a descent now. In plain view.

🐣 RT @EricLiptonNYT There’s an earlier chapter with Trump & Ukraine. It involves a Ukrainian leader courting Trump. Hundreds of millions in politically convenient deals for Trump. A hold on Mueller investigation & US missiles. w/ @MarkMazzettiNYT @AndrewKramerNYT
⋙ 💙 NYT: Inside Ukraine’s Push to Cultivate Trump From the Start http://nyti.ms/2PMlhyQ
// Former President Petro Poroshenko alternately flattered President Trump, signed deals with U.S. firms and met with Rudolph Giuliani.

WaPo: Former ambassador Yovanovich testifies she felt threatened by Trump’s comments about her http://wapo.st/2PMdzEN

💙 NYT, Michelle Goldberg: On Ukraine, Trump Is a Con Man, but He’s Also a Mark http://nyti.ms/2C95SAD
// Corrupt forces find it easy to manipulate this president.

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: When Your Joint Defense Agreement with the Russian Mob Blows Up in Your Face http://bit.ly/2PO54ZQ “Parnas has decided to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry because Trump pretended not to know Parnas”

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Lev Parnas, Giuliani Associate, Opens Talks With Impeachment Investigators http://nyti.ms/2JP0E16
// Mr. Parnas could offer Congress a vein of information about a political pressure campaign in Ukraine.

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “These are, in today’s Republican party, spineless politicians rotten to the core without virtue, without any level of human integrity, devoid of self respect… Without courage and without the moral compass to recognize their own malevolence” – @DavidJollyFL w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1191487380190093313?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Warren’s climb in the polls should horrify Democrats http://wapo.st/2oLMLtb

🐣 RT @JuddLegum A U.S. ambassador was under attack from several people close to the president so she asked her bosses at the State Department WTF was going on and THEY TOLD HER THEY’D CALL SEAN HANNITY TO FIND OUT

💙 Reuters, Polina Ivanova and Ilya Zhegulev: Exclusive: Ukraine to fire prosecutor who discussed Bidens with Giuliani – source http://reut.rs/2WJwh1l Basically in keeping with Trump’s demands

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind The Mueller report interviews released Saturday revealed that Manafort pushed the conspiracy that Ukraine hacked the DNC, as early as the summer of 2016 -and importantly, per Gates, Manafort was parroting Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI believes has ties to Russian intelligence.
🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind So in summary, the conspiracy theory that Ukraine hacked the DNC server which Attorney General Barr is tracing down – and Giuliani, Trump and the rest of the regime are using to punish Ukraine, likely originated with Russian intelligence.

Reuters: Exclusive: Giuliani associate Parnas will comply with Trump impeachment inquiry – lawyer http://reut.rs/2WMipUa

TPM, Summer Concepcion: Grassley Defends Whistleblower Again After Trump Renews Attacks http://bit.ly/2CgkvBW

TPM, Josh Kovensky: Impeachment Be Damned: In Ukraine And US, The Hunt For Dirt Continues http://bit.ly/36Basp1

DailyBeast: Republicans’ Sad New Trump Defense: Is Attempted Murder Really a Crime? http://bit.ly/2WIPvUF “I don’t think it’s sunk in how damning these revelations are”
// I don’t think it’s sunk in how damning these revelations are, partly because information is coming at us so quickly that it’s hard to fully digest it.

💙 DailyBeast, Erin Banco and Jackie Kucinich: Senior State Adviser: Pompeo’s Silence on Yovanovitch Attacks Absolutely Killed Morale http://bit.ly/2NgR6OI
// “He just listened,” Michael McKinley, a senior aide to Pompeo, said.

💙 WaPo, Aaron Blake and Amber Phillips: 7 takeaways from Marie Yovanovitch’s and Michael McKinley’s Ukraine testimony http://wapo.st/2WIgJe2
// links to transcripts

💙 NYT: House Impeachment Investigators Release Transcripts of Closed-Door Testimony http://nyti.ms/32cN8dX

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Trump’s shift from “no quid pro quo” to “there was nothing wrong with my quid pro quo” is the kind of thing we’ve seen him get away with before. But, saying there was a quid pro quo is an admission there was attempted bribery. Bribery is a constitutional ground for impeachment.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ WaltShaub Trump just tweeted that there’s “nothing wrong” with engaging in “quid pro quo” to extort a foreign power into attacking our election. We are in some seriously dark times when the president’s defense becomes “I didn’t do the crime, but there’s nothing wrong with crime if I did.”

🔊 Words Matter Podcast: Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America on Apple Podcasts http://apple.co/36sfu7j
// It is impossible to understand Donald Trump without understanding America’s relationship with television. James Poniewozik is the chief television critic for The New York Times. He often focuses on the intersection between television, politics and culture. He is the author of the new book — Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America
// Donald Trump as anti-hero

⭕ 3 Nov 2019

🐣 RT @SallyDeal4 Biden & our allies pushed out Ukrainian prosecutor because he DIDN’T pursue corruption cases, not to thwart investigation of H. Biden. Burisma Holdings wasn’t even under scrutiny at the time Joe Biden called for Shokin’s ouster.
⋙ USAToday, Courtney Subramanian: Explainer: Biden, allies pushed out Ukrainian prosecutor because he didn’t pursue corruption cases http://bit.ly/33ERGLW
// because he DIDN’T

AP: Mueller documents: Manafort pushed Ukraine hack theory http://bit.ly/32etwWW

Notes from an FBI interview were released Saturday after lawsuits by BuzzFeed News and CNN led to public access to hundreds of pages of documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The documents included summaries of interviews with other figures from the Mueller probe, including Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Manafort speculated about Ukraine’s responsibility as the campaign sought to capitalize on DNC email disclosures and as Trump associates discussed how they could get hold of the material themselves, deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates told investigators, according to a summary of one of his interviews.

Gates said Manafort’s assertion that Ukraine might have done it echoed the position of Konstantin Kilimnik, a Manafort business associate who had also speculated that the hack could have been carried out by Russian operatives in Ukraine. U.S. authorities have assessed that Kilimnik, who was also charged in Mueller’s investigation, has ties to Russian intelligence. American intelligence agencies have determined that Russia was behind the hack, and Mueller’s team indicted 12 Russian agents in connection with the intrusion.

💙 NYT: Manafort Spread Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Months Before 2016 Election http://nyti.ms/2PJ1ikv
// Documents from the special counsel’s inquiry show that President Trump’s former campaign chairman shared the theory shortly after stolen Democratic emails were published that June.

CBSNews: Whistleblower willing to answer Republicans’ questions in impeachment probe, lawyer says http://cbsn.ws/2K1nMK3 in writing, but without going through Democrats

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood bipartisan support has long been the gold standard signifying national consensus ¤ but concept loses meaning if one party withholds support no matter what, as a matter of strictly-enforced doctrine ¤ McConnell announced this strategy against Obama ¤ It’s GOP impeachment strategy now

🐣 RT @BillKristol Of course many (all?) of those who listened to Trump’s call were horrified. But Trump does argue that he knew the call had many listeners, and that’s evidence of innocence. What then to make of his insistence on meeting Putin one-on-one, and confiscating the translator’s notes?

🐣 RT @amandarivkin There are countries capable of reform in the face of failure and collapse, countries where human misery and suffering are not treated as sports for the soul, where alcohol isn’t consumed by the bathtub full and the truth about the barbarism of the past isn’t spun into foul lies.
⋙ 🐣 RT @amandarivkin Just sayin’ Leonid, no one is Russophobic because Russophobia isn’t real. People don’t like Russia because it’s leadership past and present is literally comprised of some of the worst people on earth who are responsible for so much human misery on this earth.
⋙ 🐣 RT @amandarivkin There are better brands than a corrupt mafia coterie of oligarchs pretending to govern a country they are absolutely incapable of governing. There are big countries with a GDP greater than Italy. There are countries where the leader doesn’t get off on being a comic book villain.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Sure, Republicans want to retain power. But they’ve chosen wrapping themselves in Trump to do it. That means embracing mind-numbing propaganda, lurching toward fascism & aligning w/ true foes of America & democracy. Trump’s adopted Putin’s views on nearly everything, esp #Ukraine
⋙ 🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Do you think Republicans knew Trump would soak up Russian propaganda like a sponge? Because that’s the generous take on Trump’s apparent loathing of Ukraine. He’s even said “It’s not a real country.” GOP better wake up & smell the Putin. #ImpeachAndRemove WaPo: http://wapo.st/2pEzmU9

🐣 RT @NatSecMulligan As Americans begin to tune out of the confusing political debate about high crimes and misdemeanors and quid pro quo, Washington insiders should take note. We need to keep it simple. Here’s how. 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/NatSecMulligan/status/1191058737848573953?s=20

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 Given that we are now in an officially-declared impeachment hearing, Congress should subpoena all phone conversation records with specific world leaders (first among them Putin) that are hiding in the secret server. It would be a treasure trove of impeachable Trump dirty-talk.

🐣 I saw the danger of “siloing” back in the ‘90s ~ that the Internet wld let people self-sort. First I thought this would be based on ideology; then I thought it was based on brain structures; now I think it is based on social evolution: Enligtenment values vs a prior feudal model.

🐣 RT @BillKristol How large is Trump’s base? Well, take a look at the cross tabs at pages 43-44. 41% of registered voters are against impeachment. Of those, 57% say no new evidence could cause them to change their minds. That would put Trump’s hardcore base at around 25%. https://fxn.ws/2NcAc3J

📊 Fox News Poll: Fox News Poll: 49 percent favor impeaching Trump http://fxn.ws/2PIxCDX (Fox News polls are rated “A” by FiveThirtyEight)
● Job Performance 42/57 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1191026872370503683?s=20/photo/1
● Impeach? 49/41 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1191027250533142528?s=20/photo/1
● New evidence 34* https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1191027653622599680?s=20/photo/1
● Remove v Vote 42/43 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1191028011132428289?s=20/photo/1
// *among those opposing impeachment: could change mind 34, no 57

📊 Fox News Poll: Biden leads nomination race, tops Trump by 12 points in matchup http://fxn.ws/2PIxCDX (Fox News polls are rated “A” by FiveThirtyEight)
● Change since March https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1191022351728730114?s=20/photo/1
● Matchups https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1191022672655847427?s=20/photo/1
// Trump vs: Biden 39/51, Sanders 41/49, Warren 41/46, Clinton 41/43, Buttigieg 41/41

CNN: Mueller interview notes obtained by CNN show Trump’s push for stolen emails http://cnn.it/33bW1G9

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom Manafort was in bed with pro-Russian oligarchs, meaning “Russia.” They wanted to discredit the election story, and turn Americans – one in particular – against Ukraine. Manafort did what he was paid to do: keep Trump pro-Russian and anti-Ukraine

DailyBeast, Sam Brodey: Inside the Republican Plan to Deep-Six the Trump Impeachment Hearings http://bit.ly/33olegk
// Trump allies plan to call for witnesses who could bolster their narrative and hammer away at the anonymous whistleblower whose account launched the inquiry in the first place.

DailyBeast, Michael Weiss: Here’s How the KGB Knew You’d Be a Traitor: an Exclusive Look at Its Recruitment Manual http://bit.ly/32a5Rae
// The bottom line for spy recruitment comes down to this: look for the losers, especially the ones who want to think they are winners because they hang on to important positions.

⭕ 2 Nov 2019

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Such a shocker that Konstantin Kilimnik, with his ties to Russian intelligence, has been promoting the same conspiracy theory (“let’s pretend that Ukraine—not Russia—meddled in U.S. elections”) that Trump is still pushing. https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1190739813919580161?s=20/photo/1
// from Buzzfeed’s Mueller docs

🐣 RT @JohnWDean At what crime did Richard Nixon succeed, Brit? The break-ins failed, the abuses of power failed, the obstructions failed. Have you ever heard of conspiracy, aiding & abetting, attempted crimes or endeavors— all can be serious crimes. Don’t show you’re stupid, @brithume
⋙ 🐣 RT @brithume Dumb answer. Failed crimes don’t get the ultimate penalties. Impeachment is the ultimate penalty.

🐣 RT @markrcarpenter Surely one of the most successful active measures of all time:
Manafort blamed Ukrainians for the DNC hacks by “parroting a narrative advanced by Konstantin Kilimnik,” who the FBI assessed has ties to Russian intelligence.
And it’s still propagating.
⋙ WaPo: Internal Mueller documents show Trump campaign chief pushed unproven theory Ukraine hacked Democrats http://wapo.st/34oCK4k

🐣 RT @tedlieu Why is @realDonaldTrump making up this lie? Because he knows these transcripts, which are all reviewed and signed off by the witnesses, will be devastating to him when they are released to the public. ¤ No one is above the law.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Schiff will change the transcripts just like he fraudulently made up the phone call. He is a corrupt politician!

🐣 RT @ericgarland I concur. If Manafort, Kushner, and Trump were working with Veselnitskaya & Co on June 9 down to the level of propaganda about the Clinton Foundation, THEY WERE COLLUDING. BIGLY. WITH THE RUSSIAN MOB. 📌 https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/1190794358519422977?s=20
🐣 RT @ THIS EXPLAINS THE PANIC CALLS TO UKRAINE THIS SUMMER. Trump knew that impeachment would bring up the real details of how in bed they were with Putin.
🐣 RT @ The only play Trump had left was to bully Ukraine’s new president into helping him “both sides” the issue by ginning up a fake investigation of Joe Biden. ¤ Because IT WASN’T BOTH SIDES.
🐣 RT @ Neither side is perfect. But only one political party conspired directly with America’s mortal enemies at the level of hacking computers, planning propaganda using Russian military-grade PsyOps, and laundering Russian Mob money into campaigns. ¤ The GOP. And Trump. [ … ]

WaPo: Internal Mueller documents show Trump campaign chief pushed unproven theory Ukraine hacked Democrats http://wapo.st/2NzIrFR The documents were obtained through FOIA lawsuits by BuzzFeed and CNN

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: DOJ Pre-Dumps the Stone Trial: What BuzzFeed Obtained via FOIA http://bit.ly/2PJwikm “we’re really only getting a snippet of damaging information we’ll get over the next two weeks”

NYT: In Trump’s Twitter Feed: Conspiracy-Mongers, Racists and Spies http://nyti.ms/2NDkA83

🐣 RT @ JasonLeipold Earlier this year, right after AG Barr released his memo characterizing Mueller’s report, I started filing #FOIA requests for primary source documents that were used to draft the report as well as other underlying documents amassed by Mueller’s probe ¤ 1/📌 https://twitter.com/JasonLeopold/status/1190834783514853376?s=20
⋙ BuzzFeedNews, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormie: Here Are 17 Things BuzzFeed News Is Trying To Pry Loose About The Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/34zXKp5
// 4/17/2019; BuzzFeed News has filed Freedom of Information Act requests for a broad swath of records about the Mueller investigation — and is already fighting for some of them in court.r
↥ ↧
💙💙 BuzzFeedNews: The Mueller Report’s Secret Memos http://bit.ly/2oIj8Jp
// By Jason Leopold and Zoe Tillman and Ellie Hall and Emma Loop and Anthony Cormier;
BuzzFeed News sued the US government for the right to see all the work that Mueller’s team kept secret. Today we are publishing the first installment.
⋙ ≣ First Tranche: [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NNmx2b 278p

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Trump told his top advisers that “everyone” was telling him not to do it because it would anger Russia, the former official said. In fact, his entire team was advising the opposite.
🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Trump’s entire national security Cabinet unanimously supported selling antitank weapons to the Ukrainians. But Trump hesitated. “He kept saying it . . . wasn’t worth pissing off Russia and what a bad country Ukraine was.”
🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Trump peppered Volker with his negative views of Ukraine, suggesting that it wasn’t a “real country,” that it had always been a part of Russia, and that it was “totally corrupt.” ¤ [That is EXACTLY what Putin would want Trump to think and say.]
⋙ WaPo: A presidential loathing for Ukraine is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/36pnt5j

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Your Trumpkins Won’t Say It But You’re in Deep Shit, Donald http://bit.ly/2PCC6Mx
// You’ll never admit it, and no one in your orbit will tell you, but you’re in the s**t, and it’s getting deeper and more pungent by the hour.

⭕ 1 Nov 2019

ForeignPolicy (11/1): Fear and Loathing at Pompeo’s State Department http://bit.ly/33pp5tU
// Career diplomats feel betrayed as the secretary of state stays silent on the Ukraine inquiry. But Pompeo remains a star in Republican circles as he eyes a possible Senate run.

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs Those battling today against the plagues of nationalism and irrationalism should remember Albert Camus’s greatest insight, writes Robert Zaretsky: while hope might well be foolish, despair is even more so.
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Robert Zaretsky: The Cure for the Plague Is Decency http://fam.ag/2WR8NYi
// For Times of Extremity, Albert Camus Prescribed Modest Virtues

💙 Reuters: Exclusive: Overhaul of Ukraine prosecution agency buries Manafort inquiries – investigators http://reut.rs/2pD724E

Politico, Natasha Bertrand: Testimony: White House lawyer told Vindman not to discuss Ukraine call http://politi.co/34vlElx
// The Nationals Security Council’s top Ukraine adviser told lawmakers he was instructed to conceal details of the president’s conversation from other officials.

Eisenberg recorded Vindman’s complaints in notes on a yellow legal pad, then conferred with his deputy Michael Ellis about how to handle the conversation because it was clearly “sensitive,” Vindman testified. The lawyers then decided to move the record of the call into the NSC’s top-secret codeword system—a server normally used to store highly classified material that only a small group of officials can access.

Vindman did not consider the move itself as evidence of a cover-up, according to a person familiar with his testimony. But he said he became disturbed when, a few days later, Eisenberg instructed him not to tell anyone about the call—especially because it was Vindman’s job to coordinate the interagency process with regard to Ukraine policy.

💽 MSNBC, All In: Chris Hayes presents 9 pieces of evidence of a quid pro quo http://bit.ly/2NFykPK
// Chris Hayes lays out the nine pieces of evidence that show Trump committed the most elemental form of corruption and bribery.

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: Trump and His Defenders Keep Tossing Around Legal Terms. Here’s What They Really Mean. http://bit.ly/325Z3uc
// The idea seems to be to confuse the public by tossing around terms that simply don’t apply to his impeachment proceeding.

WaPo, Barbara McQuade: Trump’s demands that we ‘READ THE TRANSCRIPT!’ are just sleight of hand http://wapo.st/2C4lqpl
// The president agrees with his critics on what happened on the call. But they disagree on whether it was corrupt.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Least surprising news: Indicted Russian mob linked oligarch #FIRTASH bankrolled Lev Parnas’ jet setting w/ #Giuliani in search of Biden dirt. So Firtash’s money, made thx to Putin, funded Trump’s Ukraine extortion scheme! #AllRoadsLeadToPutin #Impeachment
🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN, Vicky Ward and Marshall Cohen: ‘I’m the best-paid interpreter in the world’: Indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas touted windfall from Ukrainian oligarch http://cnn.it/36k2gcK

Earlier this year, Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, received a sudden windfall of money from a prominent Ukrainian oligarch who is fighting extradition to the United States and is suspected of having ties to the Russian mob, according to four sources who spoke with Parnas.

This summer, Parnas told potential business associates that his company began receiving payments from the oligarch, Dmytro Firtash, who is living in Austria while fighting bribery charges in the US, the sources told CNN.

Parnas also told these people he met with Firtash several times over the summer while in Vienna. In June, according to one of these sources, Parnas vouched to Firtash for two well-known Washington lawyers who later brought up Firtash’s plight in a face-to-face meeting with Attorney General William Barr.

These new details appear to reveal a much more substantial relationship than previously known between Parnas and Firtash, and how Firtash’s years-long extradition battle suddenly collided with Giuliani’s push to dig up dirt on President Donald Trump’s political opponents.

They could also raise the stakes for Giuliani, whose financial ties are being examined by federal investigators. A company owned by Parnas paid Giuliani $500,000 for consulting in the fall of 2018. Giuliani maintains that the money did not originate overseas.

CNN previously reported that a counterintelligence probe of Giuliani is also underway. Giuliani has maintained he’s acted appropriately in the interests of his client, President Donald Trump.

In private conversations with would-be business associates before his arrest this month, Parnas boasted that his newfound luxurious lifestyle was bankrolled by Firtash, two sources told CNN. …

Firtash’s lawyers have downplayed the relationship between their client and Parnas. In statements, they describe Parnas as merely an interpreter hired to communicate with Firtash, who does not speak English. …

Parnas played a pivotal role in Firtash’s decision to replace Davis with Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. ¤ Parnas vouched for them directly to Firtash at a meeting in Vienna in June, specifically touting their personal ties to Giuliani, a source close to the lawyers told CNN. ¤ The husband and wife legal duo are well-known Republicans, frequent defenders of Trump on cable news and nearly joined Trump’s legal team last year. diGenova says he’s known Barr for 30 years— connections that could prove valuable in Firtash’s ongoing extradition fight.

Firtash was arrested in 2014 and the Austrian Supreme Court finally approved his extradition in June, though some legal obstacles still remain while he seeks to overturn the ruling.

A source with knowledge of the meeting told CNN that Parnas was the middleman who, a month after the Vienna meeting, formally met with Firtash’s legal team as well as diGenova and Toensing back in the US.

The July meeting took place at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Present were Parnas, Fruman, diGenova, Toensing and two other Firtash representatives, a source with knowledge told CNN. Also in attendance, the source said, was David Correia, one of Parnas’ business partners who was also indicted in the campaign finance conspiracy.

At some point shortly before that meeting, the deal was sealed. Toensing and diGenova joined Firtash’s legal team and, they later met personally with Barr and other Justice Department officials, where they asked for the criminal case against Firtash to be dropped. The Washington Post was first to report the meeting, and that Barr declined to get involved. …

The next month, on October 4, shortly after House Democrats requested documents from Parnas and Fruman, flight records show that Parnas chartered a jet to Cape Cod. Parnas told two sources that he was there to meet his lawyer John Dowd, who previously represented Trump during the Mueller investigation.

Democrats have since subpoenaed Parnas and Fruman for documents, though Dowd has pushed back. Dowd directly tied Parnas and Fruman to the President when he told lawmakers that some requested materials could fall under attorney-client privilege because his clients “assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump.”

The flight records indicate that Parnas and Fruman chartered a private jet from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Washington on October 8, the day before they were arrested at Dulles while boarding a plane to Vienna. Giuliani lunched with Parnas and Fruman at the Trump International Hotel in Washington just hours before they were arrested, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The purpose of their trip to Vienna, as CNN previously reported, was to meet up with Giuliani and former Ukrainian prosecutor general Victor Shokin, a major player in the widening Ukraine scandal because of his discredited claims against the Bidens.

As vice president, Biden led a push by the Obama administration that was joined by the International Monetary Fund and other European nations to have Shokin removed because he was not prosecuting corruption cases.

By the time of Parnas’ attempted trip to Vienna this month, Shokin was already involved in Firtash’s case. Shokin had submitted an affidavit to an Austrian court supporting Firtash’s arguments against extradition, claiming there was political interference by the US.

It was in that affidavit that Shokin first made the unfounded claims about Biden, which Giuliani promoted for months after speaking with Shokin earlier this year. That conversation happened over Skype after Giuliani unsuccessfully lobbied the State Department and White House to grant Shokin a visa so they could to meet face-to-face.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens.

Parnas and Giuliani hoped to book Shokin for a Fox News interview in Vienna, where he could levy his allegations against Biden for the first time on American television, according to four sources. It never happened.

TheHill: Pelosi suggests impeachment inquiry could expand beyond Ukraine http://bit.ly/2WFfnkn

💙 WaPo, David Ignatius: In Ukraine, the quid pro quo may have started long before the phone call http://wapo.st/322Duuo
// 10/31/2019; next 2 also from Maddow ✛ Ignatius Jan 2017 “dawdle”
↥ ↧
💙 WaPo, David Ignatius: Why did Obama dawdle on Russia’s hacking? http://wapo.st/2PE5cv2
// 1/12/2017
↥ ↧
💙 KyivPost, Veronika Melkozerova: Black ledger’ investigation appears to come to a halt http://bit.ly/34qKCCz
// 6/15/2017

WaPo: Growing number of GOP senators consider acknowledging Trump’s quid pro quo on Ukraine http://wapo.st/2WyhgPT

💙🐣 RT @TheReinhardt One British official with knowledge of Barr’s wish list presented to London commented “it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services”’
⋙ TheIndependent [UK]: ‘It’s like nothing we have come across before’: UK intelligence officials shaken by Trump administration’s requests for help with counter-impeachment inquiry http://bit.ly/2JH5MnI
// As impeachment inquiries heat up, president’s people are busy pursuing a counter offensive aimed at discrediting Mueller’s findings that Russia interfered in 2016 election

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: White House official who heard Trump’s call w Ukraine leader testified that he was told to keep quiet http://wapo.st/34l58nT Lt Col Alexander Vindman testified that he received this instruction from John Eisenberg, the top legal adviser for the National Security Council

BuzzFeedNews, Zoe Tillman: The Mueller Investigation Is Having An Unexpected Moment In Democrats’ Impeachment Inquiry Months After It Ended http://bit.ly/2NuUZhG left over legal cases become newly relevant
// What is dead may never die.

AP: Impeachment inquiry focuses on 2 White House lawyers http://bit.ly/2poqHp0 John Eisenberg, the lead lawyer for the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a senior associate counsel to the president. ⋙ shielded access to the call transcript

📊 WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Poll warning for Trump and Republicans: Danger ahead. http://wapo.st/36lAXid WaPo/ABC Poll ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1190323925613531137?s=20/photo/1

A plurality (49 to 47 percent) approve of impeachment and removal, while a large majority (58 to 34 percent) disapprove of how he is handling impeachment. Perhaps smearing respected civil servants, threatening the whistleblower and insulting members of Congress is not the way to go. By a margin of 55 to 35 percent, Americans think Trump did something wrong regarding Ukraine; 47 percent say he did something seriously wrong. It is a good thing the House is moving to open hearings — by a 65 to 33 percent margin, Americans do not like the closed-door proceedings.

Sixty-six percent think Trump has behaved in an unpresidential way, and 58 percent say in a way damaging to the United States. A majority thinks the pullout in Syria damaged our image as a reliable ally, and a majority (54 to 28 percent) think he has made us less respected in the world.

His approval numbers are atrocious among women (31/64), white college graduates (38/61), women college graduates (32/67), suburban dwellers (41/56) and independents (38/57). Among suburban women he trails 33 to 63 percent. He is surviving almost entirely on white evangelicals (74/23).

WaPo, Greg Sargent: The GOP defense of Trump is getting more corrupt. Here’s what’s next. http://wapo.st/2PCGJGk

The scope of corruption is mind-boggling. ¤ Remember, this whole scheme amounted to a months-long plot involving diplomats colluding with Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to manipulate our foreign policy and use hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid urgently sought by a nation under Russian attack to serve Trump’s political imperatives — to falsify the corruption of the 2016 election and facilitate the corruption of the next one.

This plot also involves an extensive effort by Trump’s Cabinet officials, with Pompeo’s State Department trying to block officials from divulging the truth about it, Attorney General William P. Barr working to falsify the truth about 2016, and his Justice Department trying to smother insider whistleblowing about the effort to extort a foreign power to help rig the 2020 election.

More will be publicly documented in coming weeks. This is what Republicans will be either justifying or pretending doesn’t exist.

… Trump wants Republicans to say: Trump was damn right to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, because Biden is corrupt. Trump himself has at times unabashedly told reporters that, yes, Ukraine should investigate Biden.

I don’t know whether Trump will end up going quite this far. But as more corruption is documented, Republicans will find it harder and harder to explain away — even as Trump’s demands that they go all-in behind that worsening picture of corruption grow louder and more insistent.

✅ WaPo, Salvado Rizzo: The Trump brothers’ claims that they no longer profit from foreign deals http://wapo.st/36lvgkl FOUR PINOCCHIOS 🍄🍄🍄🍄

🐣 RT @NewsHour “This is the same process and the same procedures that were used during the Clinton impeachment and the Nixon impeachment,” says @RepAdamSchiff
⋙ PBS: Schiff says House GOP hasn’t taken advantage of depositions http://to.pbs.org/2oE9t6D

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Trump is keeping US forces in Syria to secure its oil fields & is willing to go to war over them. “We may have to fight for the oil. It’s OK. Maybe somebody else wants the oil, in which case they have a hell of a fight. But there’s massive amounts of oil.” [There isn’t]
⋙ NewYorker, Robin Wright: Trump’s Baffling Plan to Pillage Syria’s Oil http://bit.ly/2C1CRqp

📊 WaPo: Americans sharply divided over whether to impeach & remove Trump from office, WaPo/ABC poll finds http://wapo.st/2q9oUEa 49% want president removed from office //➔ when televised Watergate hearings began, it was 19% (‼️) & 59% of GOP was stuck with Nixon until the end
//➔ people are characterizing this poll all wrong: 18% of REPUBLICANS thinking Trump should be impeached and removed is HUGE ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1190290865387909121?s=20/photo/1
//➔ at the beginning of the televised Watergate hearings, 19% thought Nixon should be removed; 49% think Trump should be ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1190292635531038720?s=20/photo/1
// Trump did something wrong: 47% serious, 8% not serious, 35% nothing wrong

🐣 RT @MollyJongFast How does one parody a president beyond parody?
⋙ 🐣 RT @jdawsey1 A lot of aides in Trump admin think releasing memo of Zelensky call was a mistake. Trump now says he wants to read it in a “fireside chat” on TV.

🐣 RT @Delavegalaw Trump/GOP aren’t saying “No quid pro quo.” They’re saying it was OK: an act of 45’s foreign policy power. That’s the issue! We have to argue it was NOT OK. Asking a foreign leader to aid you in an election? NOT OK. Shakedowns? NOT OK. Corrupt deals for POTUS’s benefit? NOT OK.

🐣💙 .@JonMeacham In July 2015, I wrote the passage below: @Morning_Joe ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1190246756010938369?s=20/photo/1

Can we trust ourselves with our own future and that of our planet or have we lost our sense of agency: can we even begin to comprehend the consequences of our actions? … We feel enmeshed in an indecipherable network of causality, in which it impossible to act morally because we can identify neither reachable goals nor meaningful actions.

Has the Enlightenment itself failed? – that world of rights and responsibilities in which the individual was the measure of all things, the crux of ethics and morality, the agent of action. This question frames the dreadful legacy we may leave to our children. They will live with the consequences of our inaction, of our inability to bear the burden of moral and effective self-governance. “A Republic,” Ben Franklin cautioned: “ – if you can keep it.”

🐣 RT @Morning_Joe ‘Trumpists have returned to a pre+Enlightenment way of thinking and social orgaization and in which others did your thinking for you’ [approx] ~ Jon Meacham

🎃 🎃 31 Oct 2019 🔆 This❗️⋙ Beginning Impeachment

FinancialTimes, Edward Luce: How the Borgias point the way for Trump’s America http://on.ft.com/2NvjRWD
// There are disquieting similarities between the US today and the medieval Catholic church

NewYorker, Susan Glasser: “He’s No Mr. Nice Guy”: Impeachment Comes for Trump http://bit.ly/2r2TNdV

Trump says that his July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, which set off the alarm bells among his own national-security staff, was “perfect.” He wants his defenders to agree and to do so publicly. But Republican members of Congress have largely declined to follow Trump’s instructions. In the House debate on Wednesday, there was lots of discussion about how unfair the Democratic rules for the investigation are, but almost no one claimed that it’s just fine for the President to pressure a foreign leader to investigate his political rivals. No one said that the call was “perfect,” no matter how many times Trump has asked them to.

… … Trump told reporters, before flying to Chicago, where he proceeded to claim that the Democratic-run city was more dangerous than Afghanistan. “But I think you ought to look at the case. And the case is very simple. It’s quick. It’s so quick. … …

Trump, however, is arguably right about the straightforward nature of the case. It’s just that all of the evidence and testimony so far has tended to be damaging to him, including his own words. None of it has been exculpatory. …

… On Wednesday night, in the middle of Game Seven of the World Series, the President’s campaign ran an ad that somehow managed to mash it all together, attacking the Democrats for impeachment while touting his “obliteration” of Baghdadi and the Islamic State. The ad, I thought, was a true reflection of the Trump of 2019: angry, defensive, a literal killer. It is a dark, menacing ad, for a dark, menacing time. At any other moment, the linkage between the domestic political fight over impeachment and the actual war against the Islamic State would seem bizarre and inappropriate. But not at this moment. In Trump’s world, the linkage is simple: it’s all about him. So is the ad, which sells his divisive personality as the rationale for his reëlection. This is precisely the case that President Trump will make to the members of Congress who must consider the impeachment charges against him in the coming months, and it is the case that he will make to voters next November. “He’s no Mr. Nice Guy,” the ad admits, but so what? “Sometimes it takes a Donald Trump to change Washington.” In this case, the President is absolutely right. Washington is different than it was before. There is no going back.

WaPo, Dana Milbank: An extraordinary case of projection on the House floor http://wapo.st/2N6YQm9 Devin Nunes “railed about the sort of person who believes in ‘conspiracy theories’ and relies on ‘defamation and slander,’ who spins a ‘preposterous narrative’”
// inside title (fp title above): Republicans convene the cult of Trump; “… with ‘no evidence’ and only ‘bizarre obsession’.”
⇈ ⇊
WaPo, Dana Milbank: An extraordinary case of projection on the House floor http://wapo.st/2N6YQm9 (Did the Republicans all go to the same workshop on ‘How to Gaslight’ at that retreat last week?)

… [W]hat [Devin Nunes] said on the House floor during Thursday’s debate to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry was jaw-dropping. He railed about the sort of person who believes in “conspiracy theories” and relies on “defamation and slander,” who spins a “preposterous narrative” with “no evidence” and only “bizarre obsession.”

Surely he was describing one Donald J. Trump to a T?

On the contrary, Nunes applied these Trumpian signatures to Democrats. “What we’re seeing among Democrats on the Intelligence Committee,” he said, “is like a cult. These are a group of people loyally following their leader as he bounces from one outlandish conspiracy to another.”

It was perhaps the most extraordinary case of projection ever to present itself on the House floor. [Pure gaslighting, Orwellian]

Republicans are defending President Trump, who believes windmills cause cancer, in impeachment proceedings literally sparked by his pursuit of a debunked conspiracy theory in Ukraine — and Democrats are the ones loyally following the conspiracy theories of their cult leader, who apparently is Rep. Adam Schiff?

Republicans, therefore, need a defense mechanism to displace these unpleasant feelings onto somebody else. The Grand Old Party is grossly projecting. It’s Trump’s “No puppet. You’re the puppet!” defense, but now his entire party is doing it.

Trump has repeatedly advanced Moscow’s agenda, pulling out of Syria, siding with Russia over U.S. intelligence on election interference and withholding military aid to Ukraine. But Republican Whip Steve Scalise (La.) displayed on the House floor a poster of a hammer and sickle and the Kremlin and said Democrats are the ones doing things “Soviet-style.”

Trump put national security second to his political needs when he withheld aid to Ukraine in order to get dirt on Joe Biden. But Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the GOP conference leader, said Democrats are the ones “putting politics above national security.”

Trump dismissed the threat of foreign election interference, while his allies fought off legislation to strengthen election security. But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) alleged that Democrats are the ones undermining “the integrity of our electoral process.”

And then there was Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.). “For one man to turn this country upside down,” he said, is something “our Founding Fathers warned about.” Surely this was about Trump? Nope — Schiff.

For years, the primary complaint against Trump has been that he tears the country apart — and that his constant chaos has put the nation through extraordinary stress. But during a GOP news conference after the vote, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said Democrats are the ones “eagerly ripping our country in half,” and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) lamented “what the Democrats have put our nation through for now almost four years.” (He specifically blamed them for the Mueller probe, launched by Trump appointees.)

Trump, who made the politics of projection an art form, held his own. His campaign put out a quote from him saying “Democrats have committed themselves to destroying democracy.” And Stephanie Grisham, press secretary for the chaotic White House said after the vote: “I’ve got to say, Nancy Pelosi has lost all control over there.”

Also cult-like: Republicans’ claims not only that Trump did nothing impeachable but also that he did nothing wrong when he withheld an ally’s military aid for a promise to investigate a political opponent.

At their post-vote news conference, Republicans were asked: “Will you all go on the record and say the president did nothing inappropriate?” ¤ “Yes,” chorused the 50 men and three women onstage. ¤ “A very clear yes,” said McCarthy. ¤ Doesn’t he know that cults always end badly? [Do they?]

🐣 RT @DrDenaGrayson 🔥In a lawsuit on whether Don McGahn obey a #subpoena and testify, a federal judge slammed Team🇷🇺Trump: “We don’t live in a world where your status as a former executive branch official somehow shields you or prevents you from giving information.”😎
⋙ CNN: Judge critical of Trump administration’s attempt to control testimony of former official By Katelyn Polantz and Marshall Cohen, CNN http://cnn.it/2C1z6RL

Lawfare, Jonathan Shaun: The Executive’s Privilege: Rethinking the President’s Power to Withhold Information http://bit.ly/2PAyCtS

🐣 RT @tedlieu Let’s be clear. If @realDonaldTrump does this, he is sending the message that there is nothing wrong with the US President soliciting foreign interference in our elections, and that he will do it again unless he is removed.
🐣 RT @renato_mariotti Fantastic idea. Everyone in the United States should hear what Trump said on that call.
⋙ DavidMDrucker NEWS: A defiant @realDonaldTrump signaled he’s disinclined to cooperate w/ House Dems in impeachment proceedings, while suggesting he might read transcript of Zelensky call aloud to nation in “fireside chat.” https://washex.am/2N2J4Zm me & @robcrilly from the Oval. @dcexaminer
⋙ 🐣 We’re heading in 1984 territory: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” — George Orwell, “1984”

🐣 RT @viewsfordays “Just to be clear, it wasn’t just one phone call. That is what we’ve really learned over the last several weeks. This was a multiple-month operation to try to use the public office of the president for his private interests & do nothing to defend Ukraine”
⋙ RawStory: ‘Music to Putin’s ears’: Ambassador McFaul blasts Trump’s pattern of furthering Russian interests http://bit.ly/320qeGx

WSJ: Giuliani Associate Left Trail of Troubled Businesses Before Ukraine Probe Push http://on.wsj.com/2WGKvjH
// Lev Parnas pointed to relationship with ex-New York mayor to show investors he could ‘get things done’
⋙ See under Entire Articles: WSJ Parnas 10-31-2019

🐣 Tim Morrison was called as a fact witness. He is not a lawyer.

🐣 RT @tedlieu Today the House voted to authorize release of transcripts of the witness depositions, and public hearings with those same witnesses. I guarantee you that @realDonaldTrump and @GOP will like neither. The American people will soon see all the devastating evidence against @POTUS.
⋙ 🐣 RT @rebeccaballhouse Impeachment investigators have now heard accounts of a quid pro quo from:
1. Bill Taylor, who said aid was tied to investigations
2. Tim Morrison, who said the same
3. Gordon Sondland, who said a WH meeting was tied to investigations
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @rebeccaballhouse NSC official Tim Morrison told impeachment investigators today that Gordon Sondland told an aide to the Ukrainian president that U.S. aid would be released if Ukraine committed to investigating Burisma Group, corroborating Bill Taylor’s testimony.
⋙⋙⋙ WSJ: White House Official Says He Heard Ukraine Aid Was Tied to Biden Probe http://on.wsj.com/2N5MsCS
// Morrison says he had concerns about what he heard on Trump’s call with Ukrainian leader, but had no worries about its legality

💙 CNN, KevinLiptak: Photos highlight stark differences in Trump and Obama approaches http://cnn.it/2N2pNaw

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri WATCH: As Dems are closer than impeaching President Trump than ever before, House leaders pleaded their case saying the American Democracy ‘is at stake.’ 💽 http://https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1190027850285498368?s=20

🐣 RT @ColMorrisDavis My prediction is that @RudyGiuliani will go pro bono and then appeal his conviction citing bullshit like this to demonstrate that he had incompetent counsel.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RudyGiuliani Is the Whistleblower part three of the conspiracy to overthrow @realDonaldTrump. Looks a lot like false Russian collusion conspiracy concocted by intelligence Deep Staters. Did Whistleblower work for Brennan? How much prep by Schiff and staff.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok “Would I use Ukraine to beat sleepy Joe Biden??—Gaslighter-in-Chief to a chucking Nigel Farage (who apparently has a radio show NOT on Russian propaganda media). Yes, Donald. There were witnesses. And they’re talking. #Impeachment 💽 https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1190017053685452800?s=20/photo/1

🐣 Talk about projection!
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar NUNES: “What we’re seeing among Democrats on the Intelligence Committee down in the SCIF right now is like a cult. These are a group of people loyally following their leader as he bounces from one outlandish conspiracy theory to another. And the media are the cult followers.”📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1189901967809810432?s=20

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti The White House calls impeachment “unconstitutional.” But it is literally in the Constitution. [Letter:] https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/status/1190014964901302273?s=20/photo/1

Dkos, Mark Sumner: And now the news from Opposite Land: White House produces hilarious list of ‘talking points’ http://bit.ly/2N4GLFb

AmericanOversight: Trump-Ukraine Key Figures and Documents http://bit.ly/2C24bES
AmericanOversight: The Trump Administration’s Contacts with Ukraine http://bit.ly/2BYSY89 from FOIA requests

🐣 Isn’t this jury-tampering? @RepAdamSchiff
⋙ Mediaite: CNN’s Dana Bash: Trump May Withhold Campaign Funds from GOP Senators Who Vote for Impeachment http://bit.ly/2qcMcJu

🐣 RT @DanRather The impeachment process is not about undoing the results of 2016. It’s about protecting the integrity of 2020.

🐣 I’m so glad @SteveSchmidtSES is back. He speaks with such moral clarity. @NicolleDWallace @DeadlineWH

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan and Sam Brodey: Impeachment Probe Eyes Mulvaney’s Office in Early Effort to Hold Up Ukraine Aid http://bit.ly/2qd6an3
// When the Trump administration first decided to send anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, Mick Mulvaney’s OMB put a mysterious, previously-unreported hold on the sale.

YahooNews: State Department agrees to turn over Ukraine documents, potentially providing Democrats with impeachment fodder http://yhoo.it/2N6cVjU

NYT: White House Aide Confirms He Saw Signs of a Quid Pro Quo on Ukraine http://nyti.ms/33480Wf
// Timothy Morrison, a National Security Council aide, said a top diplomat close to President Trump suggested a military aid package for Ukraine was conditioned on investigations into his political rivals.

🐣 RT @CharlesMBlow One genius move by House Dems was this: passing more than 100 bills that the Senate didn’t take up. Now that impeachment has begun, Repubs can’t say that Dems are distracted from passing legislation. McConnell has 100 on his desk. He simply has to bring them to a vote. Law passed

WaPo: Impeachment is going public. Republicans will find it harder to hide. http://wapo.st/2piPyKR

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi When we came to Congress, we all proudly raised our hands to support and defend the Constitution. That’s what today’s vote was about. In these open hearings we will seek the truth and ensure the American people can see it for themselves. #DefendOurDemocracy

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: A divided House backs impeachment probe of Trump http://wapo.st/337zEBq

🐣 RT @JoeNBC The man who said Donald Trump was being paid off by Putin is now on the House floor defending the same man. ¤ What changed, Kevin?
⋙ WaPo Adam Entous, (2017): House majority leader to colleagues in 2016: ‘I think Putin pays’ Trump http://wapo.st/2NwQXFL caught on recording

🐣 RT @drothkopf GOP wanted a resolution, wanted public hearings, wanted transparency and wanted clear rules based on the normal order. They had the chance to vote for all those things and voted against them. Yet, now…they will get them and they will regret it. The truth will hurt.

🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary .@RepJerryNadler: It is indefensible for any official to demand that an ally—one depending on our support in an existential struggle with Russia—investigate his or her political adversaries.

WaPo: White House official expected to confirm diplomat’s account that Trump appeared to seek quid pro quo http://wapo.st/2psqyRk Tim Morrison, the top Russia and Europe adviser on President Trump’s National Security Council

Tim Morrison, the top Russia and Europe adviser on President Trump’s National Security Council, is expected to corroborate the testimony of a senior U.S. diplomat who last week offered House impeachment investigators the most detailed account to date for how Trump tried to use his office to pressure Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, said a person familiar with the matter.

Morrison is expected to tell impeachment investigators on Thursday that the account offered by William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine, is accurate. He also is expected to note that he alerted Taylor to a push by Trump and his deputies to withhold both security aid and a White House visit for the Ukrainian president until Ukraine agreed to investigate the Bidens and interference in the 2016 presidential election, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive discussions.

Morrison also is expected to tell lawmakers that he spoke with Taylor again on Sept. 7 to share a “sinking feeling” about a worrisome conversation between Trump and Sondland, the person said. Morrison will say that, during that conversation, Trump said he wasn’t seeking a “quid pro quo” but went on to insist that Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky had to publicly announce that he was opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d It’s simply astounding to me how many people continue to be willing to sacrifice their honor and reputation to defend a man who has no redeeming moral virtues, and who is well on his way to well-earned self-destruction.

🐣 RT @justinamash This president will be in power for only a short time, but excusing his misbehavior will forever tarnish your name. To my Republican colleagues: Step outside your media and social bubble. History will not look kindly on disingenuous, frivolous, and false defenses of this man.

⭕ 30 Oct 2019

💙 WaPo, Ari Melber: ‘Bribery’ is right there in the Constitution. Trump could be impeached for that. http://wapo.st/34VCtpJ
// Why wrestle with the meaning of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors”? The president can be accused of an offense that’s already well-defined.

TheGuardian, Timothy Garton Ash: Democracy is under attack in post-Wall Europe – but the spirit of 1989 is fighting back http://bit.ly/33d73uK
// Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and Europe’s velvet revolutions, a new generation is standing up to the populists

DailyBeast, Amy Knight: Here’s How Dumb Bill Barr’s Great Mifsud Conspiracy Story Really Is http://bit.ly/2qekGLj
// Mifsud’s deep connections with Putin’s foreign policy establishment and his glowing appraisals of Russia’s role in global affairs show Barr has barked up the wrong tree.

It should be clear to Attorney General Barr that Mifsud was no CIA asset, but rather part of a cabal, including Roh and Timofeyev, that spreads pro-Kremlin propaganda under the guise of academia and acts as a conduit between the Kremlin and Western policy wonks who are sympathetic to the Putin regime.  

In pursuing his CIA-FBI conspiracy theory, Barr is entering a complicated maze of secret and not-so-secret relationships that characterize Russia’s efforts to undermine Western democracies. If Barr were wise, he would back off.

WaPo, Michael McFaul: Alexander Vindman should be celebrated, not smeared http://wapo.st/335iyUR

NYT, Gail Collins: The Worst Trump Cabinet Member? You Picked a Real Winner http://nyti.ms/321yiXC
// William Barr; The vote wasn’t even close.

🐣 RT @DavidCornDC From the Department of Absolutely No Self-Awareness:
💽 https://twitter.com/DavidCornDC/status/1189727837185617921?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @andrew_lawrence Actually just said by Donald Trump Jr: “I wish my name was Hunter Biden. I could go abroad and make millions off my father’s presidency. I’d be a really rich guy”

🐣 RT @TheHill JUST IN: Pompeo says Trump-Zelensky call was “consistent” with administration policy http://hill.cm/aAC4Hb8

🐣 RT @TheLastWord Dems are questioning whether to bring perjury charges against Amb. Gordon Sondland after key witnesses contradicted his testimony regarding Ukraine. @PeterWelch tells @Lawrence that after hearing from career diplomats, Sondland “has some explaining to do.” https://on.msnbc.com/3251soF

NYT: Trump, Zuckerberg & Pals Are Breaking America http://nyti.ms/2qafLLK
// Not in the Cold War, not during Vietnam, not during Watergate did I ever fear more for my country.

🐣 RT @HeidiNBC NEW:
Dems tie what U.S. founders considered ABC’s of high crimes and misdemeanors warranting impeachment to Trump/Ukraine:
A = abuse of power (using office for personal benefit)
B = betrayal of national security (compromising U.S. ally)
C = corruption of U.S. elections
@NBCNews [appearance on @Morning_Joe]

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Breaking via WaPo: Lt. Col. Vindman told John Eisenberg, the NSC’s lead counsel, about his concerns over Trump’s call with Zelensky. Eisenberg then proposed moving a transcript of the call to a highly classified server and restricting access to it.
⋙ WaPo: White House lawyer moved transcript of Trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms http://wapo.st/2PzhFjE

Moments after President Trump ended his phone call with Ukraine’s president on July 25, an unsettled national security aide rushed to the office of White House lawyer John Eisenberg.

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine adviser at the White House, had been listening to the call and was disturbed by the pressure Trump had applied to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rivals, according to people familiar with Vindman’s testimony to lawmakers this week.

Vindman told Eisenberg, the White House’s legal adviser on national security issues, that what the president did was wrong, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Scribbling notes on a yellow legal pad, Eisenberg proposed a step that other officials have said is at odds with long-standing White House protocol: moving a transcript of the call to a highly classified server and restricting access to it, according to two people familiar with Vindman’s account.

💙 Politico: Testimony: Nunes acolyte misrepresented himself to Trump as Ukraine expert http://politi.co/2C3lK7r
// Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman also testified on Tuesday that the National Security Council staffer, Kash Patel, fed the president disinformation about Ukraine.

🐣 RT @McFaul What?
⋙ ‼️ 🐣 RT @ewong In a Fox interview, @SecPompeo peddles a new conspiracy theory involving Obama, Hunter Biden and military aid. This insinuation makes zero sense. Pompeo, the top US diplomat, doesn’t seem to care anymore about trying to establish a reputation as a straight talker. https://twitter.com/ewong/status/1189719256805597184?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @LACaldwellDC NEW: Vindman told House investigators that a WH meeting AND nearly $400 million in security and military aid was “contingent” on Ukrainian officials carrying out multiple investigations, including into Burisma, the Bidens, the 2016 election and Crowd Strike. w/ @GeoffRBennett

🐣 RT @MSNBC .@TheBeatWithAri outlines how despite President Trump’s criticisms, Democrats have actually outlined an impeachment process which gives him more power to participate than Presidents Nixon or Clinton had. https://on.msnbc.com/2q1Q53H https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1189690206565339136?s=20/photo/1

NBCNews, Jonathan Allen: Pelosi wants Americans to see the trial of Donald Trump http://nbcnews.to/2JBQSiV
// Analysis: Once uncertain about holding an impeachment-related vote on the floor, the House speaker is moving to show evidence to the public.

DailyBeast, Asawin Suebsaeng: Trump Wants You to Know He’s Smart and Capable Enough to ‘Do Quid Pro Quo’ http://bit.ly/332Popx
// Everyone should just stop saying he’s too dumb or incompetent to commit crimes—he could totally pull them off if he wanted to, Trump has been complaining privately.

NYT Editorial: The Rules of Impeachment http://nyti.ms/2oBpqKM
// Democrats get serious about the next phase of inquiry.

WaPo: National Security Council official set to testify in impeachment inquiry is leaving his post http://wapo.st/2psqyRk Tim Morrison has been the senior National Security Council official handling Russian affairs

Politico: Impeachment investigators ask John Bolton to testify http://politi.co/322a8MA

🐣 RT @MSNBC BREAKING: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: “We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”
⋙ NBCNews: Twitter to stop accepting political ads http://nbcnews.to/36cuypw
// Facebook is currently embroiled in a debate over its decision to allow political campaigns to push ads containing misinformation.

🐣 RT @LACaldwellDC NEW: Vindman told House investigators that a WH meeting AND nearly $400 million in security and military aid was “contingent” on Ukrainian officials carrying out multiple investigations, including into Burisma, the Bidens, the 2016 election and Crowd Strike. w/ @GeoffRBennett

🐣 RT @jimmykimmel We mashed up @BarackObama’s Bin Laden speech with @RealDonaldTrump’s al-Baghdadi speech, and the results are amazing 💽 https://twitter.com/jimmykimmel/status/1189153270167564288?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Two volatile meetings at the White House have become central to the impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/32YLNc1

NYT: Former G.O.P. Lawmaker Pressed for Ambassador’s Ouster, Diplomat Says http://nyti.ms/330C8S1
// Robert Livingston, the former congressman turned lobbyist, repeatedly contacted a White House official to criticize Marie L. Yovanovitch.

WaPo: Testimony from career diplomats to outline Trump’s dark view of Ukraine http://wapo.st/2BQY9ae

⭕ 29 Oct 2019

YahooNews, Luppe Luppen and Hunter Walker: ‘The Wild West’: Questions surround Trump legal team payments http://yhoo.it/2NFoLjJ

✅ NYT, Davey Alba: Debunking 4 Viral Rumors About the Bidens and Ukraine http://nyti.ms/321Te0z
// As lawmakers examine whether President Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate the Biden family, here are some of the most prominent falsehoods that have spread online and an explanation of what really happened.

🐣 RT @BillKristol You know why America is great? Because there are people the president has never heard of who have taken an oath to serve, who are equal to the president under the law, and who can testify to Congress on behalf of the rule of law. And who can help hold a president to account.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Why are people that I never even heard of testifying about the call. Just READ THE CALL TRANSCRIPT AND THE IMPEACHMENT HOAX IS OVER! Ukrain said NO PRESSURE.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @real “There is no underlying crime in that transcript.” @IngrahamAngle 100% correct, and the Whistleblower disappeared after I released the transcript of the call. Where is the Whistleblower? That is why this is now called the Impeachment Hoax! The Do Nothing Dems are Doing Nothing!

🐣 RT @thehill Fmr. President Barack Obama: “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re politically woke, and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.” 💽 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1189409128587956226?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Two volatile meetings at the White House have become central to the impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/32YLNc1

Task&Purpose: Here’s the military record of Lt. Col. Vindman, the soldier testifying at Trump’s impeachment inquiry http://bit.ly/2PvnKO4 @maddow

🐣 RT @davidfrum For some reason, war heroes, career law enforcement officers, lifelong public servants of all kinds are all just hopelessly biased against President Trump.

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan and Adam Rawnsley: Trump Sides With Indicted Oligarch Over His Own Diplomat http://bit.ly/34ec868
// The President of the United States amplified a tweet calling one of his diplomats a liar—and, by implication, absolving a Ukrainian gas mogul of any mob ties.

🐣 RT @StevenBeschloss A perfect call doesn’t have to be hidden in a secret server.
A perfect call doesn’t require manipulating its transcript.
A perfect call doesn’t require lying about a decorated war veteran & crudely questioning his loyalty when he testifies to set the record straight.

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 So AG Bill Barr took a few minutes away from working on Trump’s re-election campaign to talk with Fox News. He assured everyone that his investigation of the investigators who found massive illegal Russian interference in the 2016 election isn’t designed to help Trump. 📌 https://twitter.com/glennkirschner2/status/1189337710772789248?s=20
🐣 RT @ 2. Really? Let’s see if that claim withstands scrutiny. All of our intelligence agencies concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Trump get elected. A bipartisan congressional committee concluded the exact same thing. [ … ]

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog “I know Lt. Col. Vindman. … The idea that somebody with his resume would not serve the United States of America is just disgusting. It’s outrageous. And I want those people to apologize and to remember what they’re doing when they take cheap shots…” -fmr Amb. Michael McFaul 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1189358052736196610?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance “The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former VP…Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, & an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president…of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son”
🐣 RT @maggieNYT Vindman testified that the transcript of the Ukraine call omitted key phrases, including a reference to Burisma, and that he tried to get it restored. via @NYTimes
⋙ NYT: White House Ukraine Expert Sought to Correct Transcript of Trump Call http://nyti.ms/34enzKZ
// Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, who heard President Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president and was alarmed, testified that he tried and failed to add key details to the rough transcript.

💙 Newsweek, Shane Croucher: Trump Is a ‘Successful Sociopath’ and a Predator Who ‘Lacks a Conscience and Lacks Empathy,’ Says Former Harvard Psychiatrist http://bit.ly/2JzGwjn

🐣 RT @JessLehrich
Lt. Col. Vindman – war hero, WH aide
Taylor – Vietnam vet, 50 year public servant
Yovanovitch – FSO since 1986, MS from Nat’l War College
Fiona Hill – Trump appointee, served Bush + Obama
Volker – Trump appointee, Amb. to NATO under Bush
Laura Cooper – 2 decades at Pentagon
// impeachment witnesses

CNN: Shouting match erupts in Vindman deposition as Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to out whistleblower http://cnn.it/2q8CDLh

🐣 RT @emptywheel This fact seems to have been lost. There are at least 3 crimes in play on Ukraine part of impeachment:
1) Withholding duly appropriated funds
2) To extort
3) Election assistance from a foreign govt

🐣 RT @RepValDemings “Senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call.” – Whistleblower Statement ¤ If they did nothing wrong, why the coverup?

🐣 RT @thehill Rep. @Liz_Cheney: “The [impeachment] process is broken. It’s tainted. They have gone through this process where you have seen one side of the story. It’s been an effort to get one side of facts and then to selectively leak those facts in order to taint the President.”
💽 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1189270931287359488?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 Maybe the Republicans should leak the facts that *do* exonerate the President. Trouble is the only way to exonerate him is to say he’s incompetent or insane.

WaPo, Gary Kasparov: This Soviet dissident knew why finding common ground with dictators can’t work http://wapo.st/36ilRu0

🐣 RT @oliverdarcy “Jack Posobiec…tweeted the falsehood that Mr. Vindman had been advising the Ukrainian government on how to counter Mr. Trump’s foreign policy goals. Mr. Posobiec cited The New York Times as his source — in fact, The Times reported no such thing.” NYT: After Vindman’s Testimony Went Public, Right-Wing Conspiracies Fired Up http://nyti.ms/34dA1um

Jack Posobiec, a well-known figure on the far-right internet, tweeted the falsehood that Mr. Vindman had been advising the Ukrainian government on how to counter Mr. Trump’s foreign policy goals. Mr. Posobiec cited The New York Times as his source — in fact, The Times reported no such thing.

⋙ 🐣 RT @JackPosobiac BREAKING: US Army Officer Alex Vindman has reportedly been advising the Ukrainian government, his home country, how to counter President Trump’s foreign policy goals – NY Times https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1189293734355181569?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 I think all Trump enablers in government should be asking themselves the following question: if I support, encourage or cover-up presidential crimes, can I be charged as an Accessory After the Fact once a law-abiding Attorney General takes over? See 18 USC section 3.

🐣 RT @Esquire The new impeachment rules are out, but they’ve still got to go through a Judiciary Committee featuring Matt Gaetz and the clown crew. via @CharlesPPierce
⋙ Esquire, Charles Pierce: Republicans Are Going To Love Adam Schiff’s New Powers http://esqr.co/yiY9Mm6

TPM, Kate Riga: Vindman, Subject Of Xenophobic Attacks, Was Featured In Ken Burns’ ‘America’ In ’80s http://bit.ly/34dxVL0 “[T]he Vindmans are revealed to have such a compelling and classic story as to be featured in ‘Statue of Liberty,’ an ode to the immigrant’s American dream.”

🐣 RT @jameshohman New poll from Suffolk University & USA Today shows most Americans want Trump to stop stonewalling. Asked if the White House has an obligation to comply with the subpoenas from Congress, 66% say yes. Only 26% say no. Even 35% of R’s say WH ought to comply.
⋙ 🐣📊 WaPo, James Hohman: New poll shows why Trump’s defenders are more focused on impeachment process than substance http://wapo.st/

🐣 RT @MarkSZaidEsq Jeff is one of the better #JFK researchers out there & has been a friend for years. He wrote this major @washingtonpost story on my first @CIA case back in 1996. WaPo, Jefferson Morley (3/27/1996): The Spy Who Loved Him http://wapo.st/31Xa5lt
⋙ 🐣 RT @JeffersonMorley I second the motion. I got to know Mark through the #JFK story, which #CIA still wishes would go away. (It won’t). We often disagree. We always have productive, meaningful discussions. The GOP efforts to smear him and #WBers are pathetic & doomed to #Fail. #DeepStateBlog
🐣 RT @MarkSZaidEsq That article led to Jeff’s first book on the topic and included much of the information we obtained in our #FOIA lawsuit. I highly recommend it. ¤ Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA http://amzn.to/31XGTug
// book 3/8/2008

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi Everybody has read your words on the call. The Ukrainian President asks for military aid to fend off the Russian attack, you say “I want you to do us a favor though,” and then you spend the rest of the call asking for bogus investigations to smear your political opponents.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real How many more Never Trumpers will be allowed to testify about a perfectly appropriate phone call when all anyone has to do is READ THE TRANSCRIPT! I knew people were listening in on the call (why would I say something inappropriate?), which was fine with me, but why so many?

🐣 ≣ RT @KyleCheney JUST IN: House resolution empowers SCHIFF to call public hearings and add as many rounds of uninterrupted questioning as he wants — up 45 minutes per side — in which only SCHIFF/NUNES or a staffer can ask questions. http://bit.ly/2PAGVpo
📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1189258627380588545?s=20

WaPo: Democrats unveil procedures for Trump’s impeachment inquiry, rebutting GOP attacks http://wapo.st/2BRZ7To

WaPo, Aaron Blake: The 5 public confirmations of a quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine http://wapo.st/2BWOleA

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Why Alexander Vindman’s testimony is big http://wapo.st/32YE3Xp

✅ WaPo FactChecker, Salvador Rizzo: President Trump’s alternate reality on Ukraine http://wapo.st/2BQWSQj The false narrative linking numerous Four Pinocchio claims

🐣 RT @ScottMStedman I thought Mueller included a lot of unnecessary details about Ukraine in his report. Now I know why. 📌 https://twitter.com/ScottMStedman/status/1189045297864830976?s=2

⭕ 28 Oct 2019

TruthOut/Salon, Heather Digby Parton: It’s a Mistake to Laugh Off Republicans’ Dangerous Attacks on Impeachment http://bit.ly/36h6C4A

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Hint to GOP senators: Article I, section 3, clause 6 of the Constitution gives you the keys to your own prison. USE THEM.

DailyBeast, David Axe: How U.S. Commandos IDed a ‘Mutilated’ Baghdadi So Quickly http://bit.ly/31QIMZL
// New technology includes a smaller and much faster DNA-reader that troops can haul into combat aboard their helicopters and use while the smoke is still clearing.

WaPo: White House official to tell impeachment investigators he feared Trump’s demands of Ukraine would undermine national security http://wapo.st/36dRwgc

Smithsonian, David Wise (Nov 2015): Thirty Years Later, We Still Don’t Truly Know Who Betrayed These Spies http://bit.ly/2WiNYVk
// Was there a fourth mole in the U.S. intelligence system that blew these secret agents’ covers?

NBCNews: White House told in May of Ukraine President Zelenskiy’s concerns about Giuliani, Sondland http://nbcnews.to/2WlJ4Xz
// The White House was alerted earlier than previously reported that Giuliani’s pressure campaign was rattling the new Ukrainian president, two sources say.

RawStory: Columnist warns Bill Barr has already ‘corrupted’ the DOJ — and he’ll use it to target the 2020 Democratic nominee http://bit.ly/36iSmIDPaul Waldman, WP columnist, wrote in an article in The American Prospect
⋙ AmericanProspect, Paul Waldman: William Barr and the Corruption of the Justice Department http://bit.ly/2qSDsZg
// The attorney general is using the full resources of his office in pursuit of preposterous conspiracy theories.

ABCNews: ‘We’re keeping the oil’ in Syria, Trump says, but it’s considered a war crime http://abcn.ws/32WTC1F

🐣 RT @SethAbramson The more you investigate the Trump-Ukraine scandal, the more you realize it’s about the *2016* election—not because anyone wants it to be, but because that’s what it was primarily about for *Trump*. The Biden aspect is significant, but no more so than the Manafort/DNC components. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1189003770245648386?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @RonaldKlain John Yoo, who narrowly escaped referral to bar authorities for his torture memo, had the audacity to call a purple heart winner a spy on television tonight. #NewLows
🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind There is no bottom: Fox News host @IngrahamAngle claiming Vindman is a double agent.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ndrew_lawrence Oh my God, look at the spin they are using right now, actually saying that Vindman is a Ukrainian double agent….this is so freaking bananas 💽 https://twitter.com/ndrew_lawrence/status/1189002513594441730?s=20/photo/1

NYT, Michelle Goldman: In Praise of ‘Human Scum’ http://nyti.ms/2PqSGPi
// It’s not easy to turn your back on political comrades.

NYT: As Kurds Tracked ISIS Leader, U.S. Withdrawal Threw Raid Into Turmoil http://nyti.ms/2Neb8I4
// Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria upended a 5-year alliance and threw the plans against al-Baghdadi into disarray.

🐣 RT @tburages John Eisenberg, according to this Politico article, was the lawyer who ordered the call record be hidden on the ultra-secret classified server.
⋙ Politico: The lawyer at the center of the Ukraine vortex http://politi.co/2MVveYQ
// Meet John Eisenberg, the White House attorney whose actions are coming under scrutiny in Democrats’ impeachment probe.

🐣 RT @MsEnergyHealer “At the direction of his superiors [Bolton]…Colonel Vindman drafted a memorandum in mid-August that sought to restart security aid that was being withheld from Ukraine, but Mr. Trump refused to sign it, according to documents reviewed by the Times.”
🐣 RT @juliehdavis An NSC Ukraine expert complained to WH lawyers about Trump’s appeal to Zelensky to investigate Biden. Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman will be 1st impeachment witness who heard July 25 call. “This would all undermine U.S. national security,” he will testify
🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Army Officer Who Heard Trump’s Ukraine Call Reported Concerns http://nyti.ms/345FUcY
// The top Ukraine expert at the White House will tell impeachment investigators he twice reported concerns about President Trump’s pressure tactics on Ukraine, acting out of a “sense of duty.” FULL Statement: http://bit.ly/32THfn3

A White House national security official who is a decorated Iraq war veteran plans to tell House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he heard President Trump appeal to Ukraine’s president to investigate one of his leading political rivals, a request the aide considered so damaging to American interests that he reported it to a superior.

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman of the Army, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, twice registered internal objections about how Mr. Trump and his inner circle were treating Ukraine, out of what he called a “sense of duty,” he plans to tell the inquiry, according to a draft of his opening statement obtained by The New York Times.

He will be the first White House official to testify who listened in on the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the center of the impeachment inquiry, in which Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Colonel Vindman said in his statement. “I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.”

“This would all undermine U.S. national security,” Colonel Vindman added, referring to Mr. Trump’s comments in the call.

The colonel, a Ukrainian-American immigrant who received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq by a roadside bomb and whose statement is full of references to duty and patriotism, could be a more difficult witness to dismiss than his civilian counterparts.

“I am a patriot,” Colonel Vindman plans to tell the investigators, “and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend our country irrespective of party or politics.”

🐣 RT @Bill_Maxwell_ A few of the details from Trump’s al-Baghdadi presser were wrong. ¤ Many of the rest were either highly classified or tactically sensitive. ¤ Their disclosure by Trump made intelligence and military officials cringe. ¤ According to past and current officials.
⋙ NBCNews: Officials cringe as Trump spills sensitive details of al-Baghdadi raid http://nbcnews.to/34dVK5F
// Some details the president has revealed are inaccurate, others are classified. Officials say they worry what to put in briefings for a man with no filter.

🐣 RT @mkraju Judge Leon will meet the parties in court at 3 p.m. on Thursday, “due to the time-sensitive nature of the issues raised in this case,” the DC District judge wrote tonight, per @kpolantz on the lawsuit filed by former WH official who defied subpoena
⋙ CNN: Judge kicks newest impeachment lawsuit into high gear http://cnn.it/2Ju539y

Slate, Joshua Keating: After Betraying the Kurds, the U.S. Isn’t Leaving Syria After All http://bit.ly/2qSpNRY

WSJ: Sondland Told House Panels Trump’s Ukraine Pressure Was Quid Pro Quo http://on.wsj.com/362DbD0
// U.S. envoy to EU told House committees that he believed White House meeting was conditioned on Ukraine opening investigations, his lawyer says

NYT: Shifting Course, Democrats Plan First Floor Vote on Impeachment Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2Wt39ve
// House Democrats, who have resisted a floor vote on the impeachment inquiry for weeks, are planning to hold one Thursday to lay out rules for the investigation.

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi The House has been following the facts and the evidence has only made the President’s own words on his call more appalling. This resolution will set up the structure for the next phase where the American people can hear those facts for themselves in open hearings. #TruthExposed https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1188930794515062786?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @dcexaminer “Is America ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States?” ¤ Sen. @KamalaHarris blames campaign struggles on a “difficulty in imagining” a black, female president.
WashingtonExaminer: Kamala Harris blames campaign struggles on ‘difficulty in imagining’ a black, female president http://washex.am/2Wn2RWo
⋙ 🐣 Kamala Harris’s problem is not that she’s a black woman (people are more than ready for Michelle Obama). It’s that she is a hypocrite, weak on policy, had a questionable record as CA AG and she’s a #dramaqueen.

🐣📊 RT @Politics_Polls 2020 National GE:
Biden 52% (+11) Trump 41%
Sanders 50% (+8) Trump 42%
Warren 48% (+4) Trump 44%
Harris 47% (+3) Trump 44%
Buttigieg 44% (+1) Trump 43%
@surveyusa 10/15-16 http://bit.ly/2pkQm1F

WaPo, Max Boot: Baghdadi’s death could have been Trump’s finest hour. He messed it up anyway. http://wapo.st/2Js0qN8

🐣 RT @BrookingsInst .@SpeakerPelosi announced today that the House will vote on formalizing impeachment proceedings. Here’s what @Susan_Hennessey, @mollyereynolds, and @MargLTaylor had to say about procedural fairness and perceptions of legitimacy for the inquiry:
⋙ Lawfare, Susan Hennessey, Molly E. Reynolds and Margaret Taylor (Oct 3): How Should the House Handle Impeachment? http://bit.ly/2NjBys7

WaPo, Robert Costa and Philip Rucker: ‘It feels like a horror movie’: Republicans feel anxious and adrift defending Trump http://wapo.st/348HoDp

DailyBeast, Betsy Swan and Adam Rawnsley: Ukrainian Oligarch Seethed About ‘Overlord’ Biden for Years http://bit.ly/32V912u
// Dmytro Firtash’s lawyers say his team had to investigate Joe Biden to defend their client. One expert says Biden pushed reforms that cost the oligarch up to $400 million per year.

🐣 RT @propublica Lev Parnas, recently indicted for foreign influence in U.S. elections, collaborated closely with The Hill’s John Solomon to fuel spurious allegations involving the Bidens and Ukraine.
⋙ ProPublica: How a Veteran Reporter Worked with Giuliani’s Associates to Launch the Ukraine Conspiracy http://bit.ly/2Jq3R72
// 10/25/2019; Lev and Igor; Lev Parnas, recently indicted for foreign influence in U.S. elections, collaborated closely with The Hill’s John Solomon to fuel spurious allegations involving the Bidens and Ukraine.

NYT, Zach Dorfman: How Trump Is Helping Russia Help Trump Again http://nyti.ms/2Nkl8Qk
// The efforts by presidential associates like Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine are helping set up a 2020 disinformation campaign.

⭕ 27 Oct 2019

💽 CBSNews: 60Minutes: Joe Biden defends his son Hunter’s Ukraine dealings, answers for his gaffes in 60 Minutes interview http://cbsn.ws/2q2HQEn 17mind

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Russia: Trump’s Baghdadi Victory Lap Is Nothing But ‘Propaganda’ http://bit.ly/366ZjfL
// The Russian Defense Ministry also disputed claims that Russia provided access to U.S. air units entering airspace it controls.

🐣 RT @kasparov63 Or are we to believe that it’s a coincidence that al-Baghdadi was in the only house left standing after all of Putin and Assad’s bombing of Idlib? Either they gave him up or simply declined to warn him this time.
🐣 RT @kasparov63 Isn’t it obvious that this is what happened here? Surely Putin & Erdogan gave up al-Baghdadi in exchange for Trump abandoning northern Syria and the Kurds. A quid pro quo, I believe it is called.
⋙ 🐣 RT @chessninja People we call US allies always seem to be harboring the world’s worst terrorists. When it suits them, they can kick them out or share their whereabouts. They’re just bargaining chips, like everything else to such regimes. 📌 https://twitter.com/chessninja/status/1188533602528776193?s=20

🐣 RT @julianbarnes NEW: The Baghdadi might have been like a movie, but Trump watched overhead drone video, not body cam footage–so he didn’t see anyone whimper or cry. @helenecooper @Tmgneff
⋙ NYT: Watching the Raid Was Like a Movie, the President Said. Except There Was No Live Audio. http://nyti.ms/369CurF
// Surveillance video provided a dramatic portrait of action outside the al-Baghdadi compound, but could not show what happened in an underground tunnel where the ISIS leader died. For that, Mr. Trump would have to hear from Delta Force, or their commanders.

🐣 RT @RickTyler Trump was kept in the dark about operational planning to get al-Bahgdadi. Military, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said @realDonaldTrump ’s decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria disrupted careful planning. – @nytime
⋙ NYT: Trump’s Syria Troop Withdrawal Complicated Plans for al-Baghdadi Raid http://nyti.ms/2Wjz54Z
// President Trump’s abrupt decision to pull forces from northern Syria forced the Pentagon to press ahead with a risky night operation that killed the ISIS leader, military officials said.

JustSecurity, by Ambassador Dana Shell Smith: How Trump’s Gilding the Lily on Baghdadi Death Will Return to Haunt Americans http://bit.ly/2PyZMl5
// I handled State Dept’s public messaging after we killed bin Laden. I know the risks.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance As a prosecutor, I was taught that when a witness looks down & to the right as they answer, it’s a signal they are not being truthful.
⋙ 🐣 RT @FaceTheNation UKRAINE CONTROVERSY: “I can only tell you what I know…what I know is the transcript shows there was no quid pro quo in all of my interactions with President Zelensky,” @VP tells @margbrennan of @realdonaldtrump ‘s controversial call with Ukraine’s president. 💽 https://twitter.com/JoyceWhiteVance/status/1188499047201591296?s=20/photo/1 // Mike Pence
⋙ 🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance A lot of folks seem to take issue with this, so I’ll note, this is one of many tools prosecutors use for deciding whether they have confidence in a witness & want to put them in front of a jury. Ultimately, it’s up to juries, not prosecutors, to decide what the truth is.

NYT, David Sanger: Al-Baghdadi Raid Was a Victory Built on Factors Trump Derides http://nyti.ms/2WgSRyb
// The president cast the death of the ISIS leader as validation of his disengagement strategy. But it required intelligence agencies and allies he has spurned.

🐣 RT @B52Malmet Engel: Kurds aren’t celebrating Baghdadi’s death while their homeland is destroyed. Trump can trumpet the capture of one terrorist. But he has ethnic cleansing of a whole people on his hands.
⋙ MSNBC, AlexWitt: Engel: Kurds aren’t celebrating Baghdadi’s death while their homeland is destroyed http://on.msnbc.com/2WiHPbD
// NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel joins Alex Witt to break down the U.S. operation that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Engel then explains that the mood in northern Syria is not one of celebration because the Kurds, long terrorized by ISIS and happy about the death of Baghdadi, cannot celebrate because they are currently fighting a war with Turkey.

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman: Baghdadi Is Dead. The War on Terror Will Create Another. http://bit.ly/2MS6kJK
// A U.S. raid doomed the leader of the so-called Islamic State. But there will be another Baghdadi, and another ISIS, as long as the Forever War keeps going.

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley: The Kurds Spotted Baghdadi back in March. The U.S. Abandoned Them Anyway. http://bit.ly/2q2xjJl
// Back in March, America’s closest allies in Syria were telling the world where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was. If Team Trump found the information valuable, they didn’t show it.

WaPo, Bret McGurk: Baghdadi’s death underscores what we’ve lost by abandoning Syria’s Kurds http://wapo.st/2MSnJlB Brett McGurk served from 2015 to 2018 as a special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

WaPo, Dan Zak: Whistleblowers walk among us. Now one has gotten in Trump’s head. http://wapo.st/32TJ4jU

NYT, Thomas Friedman: Al-Baghdadi Is Dead. The Story Doesn’t End Here. http://nyti.ms/31ObIlm
// President Trump boasts of defeating the Islamic State. He’s only showing how ignorant he is.

NYT, Margaret O’Mara: The ‘Deep State’ Exists to Battle People Like Trump http://nyti.ms/2Wh8mWG
// A merit-based system for hiring federal employees was created in reaction to the rampant corruption of the Gilded Age.

DailyBeast: National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien Says Russia is ‘Not an Ally,’ Can’t Explain Why Trump Thinks They Are http://bit.ly/2NfGYEp [re: @MTP]

🐣 RT @JoeBiden I congratulate our special forces, our intelligence community, and all our brave military professionals on delivering justice to the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The world is better and safer without him in it. [Full statement:] Text Block: https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1188474466155802624?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @fabricedp [Two war room photos] https://twitter.com/fabricedp/status/1188465073561460736?s=20/photo/1-2
// Osama bin Laden, al Baghdadi; Obama vs Trump
⋙ 🐣 What a brilliant contrast. I bet most GOP think the Trump war room photo is a “better” photo and most Dems think the Obama war room photo is far “better.” And therein lies the key to understanding our polarization.

🐣 The Kurds suffered 10,000 soldiers killed defeating ISIS and imprisoned 10,000 men “assumed to be ISIS” (NPR). Credit where credit is due. The Kurds defeated ISIS with our technical and air support, then we abandoned them. The question now is: Will ISIS re-emerge?

🐣 RT @CSIS The United States has squandered its leverage in Syria. Still, it has major interests there and should take immediate steps to responsibly mitigate the fallout.@csis_isp expert @natsecdalton take on the withdrawal of U.S. forces from northeast Syria.
⋙ CSIS, Melissa Dalton (10/17): When the Toll Comes Due: U.S. Failures in Syria and Next Steps http://bit.ly/2pZXsZe

🐣 I can’t think of any “test results” that could do this other than DNA testing which can take a while (DOD may have faster version than commercial) plus you need DNA prev from the same person or from close relatives. Dental records? Fingerprints?

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Trump claims that Russia and Iraq helped the U.S. with al-Baghdadi operation. Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry says they know nothing about it, scoffing at Trump’s claims: “News of al-Baghdadi”s demise come after he was reported dead on several occasions in recent years…”

🐣 RT @RichardHaass The irony of the successful operation against al-Baghdadi is that it could not have happened w/o US forces on the ground that have been pulled out, help from Syrian Kurds who have been betrayed, and support of US intelligence community that has so often been disparaged.

WSJ: Sondland Told House Panels Trump’s Ukraine Pressure Was Quid Pro Quo http://on.wsj.com/362DbD0
// U.S. envoy to EU told House committees that he believed White House meeting was conditioned on Ukraine opening investigations, his lawyer says

Politico, Natasha Bertrand: ‘This is going to do lasting damage’: Impeachment leaves Ukraine policy in chaos http://politi.co/2JrfkDs
// The probe of President Trump’s conduct has created a cloud of uncertainty from Washington to Kyiv.

🐣 So will Trump praise and take credit for the work of the deepest part of the “deep state” – the CIA – that he so far has done nothing but vilify and demoralize?

⭕ 26 Oct 2019

CNN, Marshall Cohen: By pressing Zelensky for political favors, Trump upended US support for ‘rule of law’ in Ukraine http://cnn.it/2okM8qg

WaPo: Giuliani associates claimed to have sway with both foreign billionaires and Trump administration officials http://wapo.st/2Nevj8U
// Lev and Igor

WaPo: Elijah Cummings: We are in a fight for the soul of our democracy http://wapo.st/32OBB5G This op-ed is adapted from a foreword that Cummings wrote July 17 for the forthcoming book, “In Defense of Public Service” by Cedric L. Alexander. Cummings died Oct 17.

🐣 RT @JohnWDean Unlike Nixon’s defenders, Trump has a really weak team. This report of the GOP defense is pathetic, but with Nunez, Jordan and Meadow at the top of your team, you are easily out done. Not to mention Trump’s criminal shakedown is, in fact, indefensible!

🐣 Here’s the joke: No one not on Twitter knows who Baghdadi is ~ least of all, Trump voters.

💙🐣 RT @jasonintrator A chilling @emilybazelon piece on the growing threat of authoritarianism
⋙ NYT, Emily Bazelon: Who Is Bill Barr? http://nyti.ms/2MOWCHL

WaPo: John Kelly says he warned Trump he’d be impeached if he hired a ‘yes man’ as chief of staff to replace him http://wapo.st/2Pnkfcs //➔ and whuddaya know

NYT: Key Witness in Impeachment Inquiry Asks Federal Court to Rule Over Testifying http://nyti.ms/31RxBjs
// The move raises new doubts about whether President Trump’s closest aides will be able to cooperate with the inquiry.

Medium, Rick Wilson: Is William Barr the Head of DOJ or QAnon? http://bit.ly/31PLZcj
// John Durham’s investigation of the Russia probe as a criminal matter is further proof that the Justice Department is a tool for Trump now
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1188288597985824770?s=20/photo/1

Trump seeks not only to destroy the people who tried to reveal the truth about Russia and 2016, but also to intimidate anyone else who dares to tell the truth about his rampant, ongoing regime of corruption and malfeasance. Barr is his weapon, his tool, his agent of vengeance.

That the MAGA and QAnon crowds see Durham as an avenging angel, a death-dealing wild dog here to maul and devour the Deep State, is both laughable and horrifying. Their fantasies of roundups, mass arrests, secret indictments, and one-way tickets to GITMO for anyone connected to the operations to identify and neutralize Russian election interference are a common element of their wishcasting. They’re convinced Durham will open the floodgates and bust open a conspiracy that doesn’t exist.

🐣 RT @thehill “What was working in Syria was that for very little investment, the Kurds were doing all the fighting, the vast majority of the dying, and we were providing intelligence and fire support assistance. And we were winning.”
⋙ TheHill: John Kelly: Pulling out of Syria was a catastrophic idea http://bit.ly/31R1oZQ

🐣 RT @kylecheney JUST IN: Pointing to yesterday’s ruling declaring their impeachment inquiry valid, House investigation leaders demand that KUPPERMAN (Bolton’s deputy) honor their subpoena. https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1188228696601174018?s=20/photo/1-4 📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1188228696601174018?s=20

NYT, Peter Baker: Waiting for Bolton: A Capital Speculates on What He Will Say http://nyti.ms/2NjH6D7
// As the House impeachment inquiry enters its second month, there may be no witness investigators want to question more than John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser.

Mr. Bolton implicitly criticized Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, declaring that “despite all the friendly notes and photo ops, North Korea isn’t our friend and never will be.” But he also wrote that the nation’s security “is under attack from within,” citing “radicalized Democrats.”

The conflicting signals were maddening. After either resigning or being fired last month depending on whose version is to be believed, is Mr. Bolton so estranged from Mr. Trump that he might provide damaging testimony to House investigators? Or does he share the president’s view of out-of-control Democrats pursuing an illegitimate impeachment out of partisan excess?

WaPo: In impeachment inquiry, Republican lawmakers ask questions about whistleblower, loyalty to Trump and conspiracy theories http://wapo.st/2BI4Dbp

⭕ 25 Oct 2019

💙💙 TheMoscowProject: Dmitry Firtash: A Familiar Face in a New Scandal http://bit.ly/34kHbNu All about Rudy, Lev, Igor and Firtash, including a timeline

💙💙 NYT Editorial: Thanks, Whistle-Blower, Your Work Is Done http://nyti.ms/2Wh14lJ Whistle-blower complaint, annotated with corroboration

NBCNews, Josh Lederman: Impeachment hearings depict a quid pro quo that evolved over time http://nbcnews.to/347Ji7r
// After some 65 hours of testimony along with public comments from Trump, his aides and allies, a clear portrait is emerging.

WaPo Editorial: In Trump’s world, Syria is a success. In the real world, it’s a humiliation. http://wapo.st/31NGQkS

🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary NEW: Chairman @RepJerryNadler released the following statement after Chief Judge Beryl Howell ordered the Department of Justice to turn over redacted 6(e) grand jury material from Special Counsel Mueller’s report by October 30, 2019. https://twitter.com/HouseJudiciary/status/1187838217002934272?s=20/photo/1

NBCNews: Watchdogs inside government blast DOJ for not referring Ukraine whistleblower to Congress http://nbcnews.to/32QYs0o
// The watchdogs say the Office of Legal Counsel’s decision not to forward the complaint to Congress could “undermine the critical role whistleblowers play.”

💙 NYT: Impeachment Inquiry Is Legal, Judge Rules, Giving Democrats a Victory http://nyti.ms/2WgMevv
// The declaration came in a 75-page opinion by Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the Federal District Court in Washington. She ruled that the House Judiciary Committee was entitled to view secret grand jury evidence gathered by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley: The Powerful Ukrainian Oligarch With a Stake in Trumpworld’s Search for Biden Dirt http://bit.ly/2oeuqEO
// He’s wanted by U.S. authorities and has been linked to Russian organized crime, but his interests have strangely aligned with those in Trumpworld recently. Meet Dmytro Firtash.

LawFare, Benjamin Wittes: The Collapse of the President’s Defense http://bit.ly/2BGxSer
// Ukraine, impeachment

🐣 RT @BarbMcQuade The end game of discrediting U.S. intelligence is not only to vindicate Trump, but also to remove sanctions on Russia.

💙 🐣 RT @MarkWarner Senate Intel is wrapping up a three-year bipartisan investigation, and we’ve found nothing remotely justifying this. ¤ Mr. Barr’s “investigation” has already jeopardized key international intelligence partnerships. ¤ He needs to come before Congress and explain himself.
⋙ NYT: [10/24] Breaking News: The Justice Dept. is said to have opened a criminal inquiry into its own Russia investigation, which is likely to raise alarms of political payback http://nyti.ms/2ohlM8z

JustSecurity, Jean Galbraith and Michel Paradis: George Washington’s Advisors Agreed: Impeachment Did Away with Executive Privilege http://bit.ly/2PjcJPz

🐣 RT @sarrahkendzior “There are rational reasons to be afraid. But bravery is continuing to act for what’s right in the face of that fear. It’s not a lack of fear, it’s persevering, and that’s what Cummings did until the very end.” — @gaslitnation

🐣 RT @gregolear Let’s talk about Donald Trump and his intimate relationship with organized crime—the only partner he’s ever been faithful to his whole life. 📌 https://twitter.com/gregolear/status/1187679439196426242?s=20

🐣 RT @BillKristol Isn’t Lindsey Graham’s resolution a sign of weakness? Key point: It’s not a defense of the president. It’s a criticism of House Democrats which, when the committees release the transcripts and move to open hearings and then the floor, becomes moot. And it only has 44 sponsors.

DailyBeast, Sam Brodey and Sam Stein: Senate GOP to Trump: You’re Not Helping Yourself by Attacking Us http://bit.ly/364YNPh
// “It’s exhausting and they don’t know what they don’t know in terms of where this is going,” one Senate GOP operative said of the Trumpworld pressure on them.

💙🐣 RT @KenDilanian New: In letter, Inspectors General repudiate DoJ OLC opinion that the whistleblower’s complaint was not an “urgent concern.” https://twitter.com/KenDilanianNBC/status/1187711845014089728?s=20/photo/1-4
↥ ↧
🐣 ≣ RT @WaltShaub The Inspector General council writes: “the OLC opinion, if not withdrawn or modified, could seriously undermine the critical role whistleblowers play in coming forward to report waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct across the federal government” http://bit.ly/2NcYR6R

🐣 RT @MalcolmNance WARNING: I heard a DC rumor fm a close Trump source in May 2017 he wanted to charge Obama, Biden, Brennen & Clinton w/treason over Russia. Now with Barr as AG this may be crazy but viable. It could incite civil unrest…the ultimate distraction to help steal an election. #Standby
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @B52makmet This is the next level bs conspiracy theory Barr is gonna now sell to the American people- that it was the Obama administration which set up the whole “Russia thing” – they want to hang this on OBAMA. Barr going around the world trying to get other countries to back this up.
⋙ 🐣 I’ve come across this theory on alt-alt-right crazytown Twitter. I just don’t think truth or the ranks of patriotic civil servants can be bent that far. 🙏

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Firtash’ lawyers have another client: The columnist who pushed Biden corruption claims. “John Solomon has been a client of our firm for a very long time,” Joe diGenova told POLITICO. “He’s a journalist and he has legal needs, like many journalists.”
💙 ⋙ Politico: Lawyers for Ukrainian oligarch have another client: The columnist who pushed Biden corruption claims http://politi.co/2qFmWvq
// Conservative legal duo Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing represent gas tycoon Dmitry Firtash as well as the writer John Solomon.

🐣 RT @brett_mcgurk I sincerely hope the US-led @coalition will support Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as it receives over 1,000 refugees per day from what was a stable NE Syria. Congress can also help ensure SIV processing. It would be doubly shameful to wash our hands.
🐣 RT @masroor_barzani Important cabinet meeting today. On Syria, KRG stands committed to supporting those in the most need and we have a response plan in place to accommodate over 1,000 refugees crossing each day. This is an international crisis and we call on our partners to support.

🐣 RT @cassandra17lina #FlashbackFriday to #Watergate, where 40 of #Nixon’s “faithful” went to prison. You might remember the #WatergateSeven, but the rest were tossed into the ash-heap of history, where many of #Trump’s “faithful” will soon be joining them. https://twitter.com/cassandra17lina/status/1187704593184149505?s=20/photo/1
// NYT front page

📊 FiveThirtyEight: 53.1% Support Impeachment Process (41.9% Don’t) http://53eig.ht/2N5MJV2 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1187706390221148160?s=20/photo/1
📊 FiveThirtyEight: 48.1% Support Impeachment and Removal from Office (43.7% Don’t) http://53eig.ht/2N5MJV2 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1187706456902164481?s=20/photo/1

📊 FiveThirtyEight: Trump Favorability lowest since Feb 2018 http://53eig.ht/2MJpIt2
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1187703749743128576?s=20/photo/1
// Fav 40.7%, Unfav 54.6%

⭕ 24 Oct 2019

💙 EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: If the AG Is Involved in a Foreign Influence Operation, Does He Have to Register with Himself? http://bit.ly/2MYDEi8

WIRED, Garrett Graff: Pompeo Was Riding High—Until the Ukraine Mess Exploded http://bit.ly/2q0jeMQ
// The US secretary of state may be a Trump favorite, but the Ukraine scandal appears to threaten Mike Pompeo’s ambitions for higher office.

NBCNews: The moment that shocked the room during Taylor’s Ukraine testimony http://nbcnews.to/2NbdYhg
// The former acting ambassador described a meeting that connected Trump to the withholding of U.S. aid.

WaPo, Neal Katyal: No, Trump couldn’t shoot someone without being investigated for it http://wapo.st/2W9t8HU
// The president is arguing that he’s completely above the law. He’s wrong.

💽 Crooks&Liars, Aliza Worthington: Former Rep. Liz Holtzman On Trump: ‘A Threat To Our Democracy’ http://bit.ly/2BJbTUe

🐣 RT @anneapplebaum This is exactly what the Polish government did in an attempt to kill off independent media. First ban all govt office subscriptions, then pressure advertisers…
⋙ Axios: White House to order federal agencies to end NYT and WaPo subscriptions http://bit.ly/2PjYSIO

WashingtonExaminer: DOJ inspector general says report on alleged FISA abuses ‘nearing completion’ http://washex.am/32XOwlK

🐣 RT @lotteleicht1 In adopted Res, #EU Parliament “firmly rejects #Turkey’s plans to establish a so-called safe zone along the border in northeast #Syria ..stresses that any forcible transfer of Syrian refugees ..to this area would constitute a grave violation of” int’l law.https://trib.al/q1VlBvX

🐣 need an instant vacay? visit my Twitter list
“Pictures and Poetry”
it’s addictive
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🐣 RT @normative The NYT reporters do at least lampshade the odd specificity of what sources were willing to confirm: “It was not clear what potential crime Mr. Durham is investigating, nor when the criminal investigation was prompted.”

🐣 RT @jdawsey1 US trade office recommended Ukraine be given trade privileges earlier this year. Just before papers went to POTUS desk in August, it was pulled back. Bolton told USTR head Robert Lighthizer that POTUS wanted to do nothing to help Ukraine. w/@davidjlynch

🐣 RT @joshtpm All of this together again makes clear that President Trump is a clear and present danger to the American Republic. Bill Barr does his bidding. The entire Republican Party supports him. Only the Democratic Party stands in their way.

🐣 RT @Voter99percent @maddow Diversion? ¤ Maybe Trump and Barr are simply bent on clearing Russia and Putin of U.S. election interference.
All roads lead to Putin.
Trump and Barr desperately needs to find some way or something to divert from impeachment hearings. Maddow just divert over 30 minutes.
⋙ The story hit just as she was coming on air. I want to think it’s a diversion ~ create a headline to force the impeachment news to the background for a day or two. We’ll see. I wish I could still drink.

⋙ 🐣 The story hit just as she was coming on air. I want to think it’s a diversion ~ create a headline to force the impeachment news to the background for a day or two. We’ll see. I wish I could still drink.

🐣 Well, when it comes to the NYT story, there seem to be two types of people: a) the calm-downer (“Trump just wants a headline”) people, and b)💥 The Republic is 💥 Exploding 💥 people. I wish there were more of the former than the latter. @maddow

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq I have no idea what John Durham found nor the basis for his decision to move to a criminal phase of his inquiry. If he actually found something that met the threshold for criminal activity, so be it, but so far I remain skeptical this is going to be the bombshell Trump wants.

🐣 RT @RichardEngel There is something I call the Dictator’s Treadmill: once you get on, you can’t get off, because falling off means ending up in jail. It’s something I often consider wherever I report. What options does the leader have, and what is he/she willing to do not to fall off?

🐣 RT @UrbanAchievr Remember, all Trump wanted from Ukraine was an announcement of an investigation into Biden on CNN. He wanted a headline. ¤ What is the political leadership at Justice giving Trump at a time when his Republican support is wavering? A headline.

NewYorker, Susan Glasser: On “Human Scum” and Trump in the Danger Zone http://bit.ly/2N8BR92
// After Ambassador William Taylor’s testimony, the President is freaking out about impeachment.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “This effort by the president to create or inflate a sense of threat is something you see authoritarian leaders use across the globe. It creates justification for leaders to dismantle institutions.” – Fmr. CIA analyst Andrea Kendall-Taylor
⋙ MSNBC, Hardball: Fmr. intel officer says Trump’s attacks on intel community sends ‘chilling effect’ http://on.msnbc.com/2N9VKwD
// President Trump’s attacks on public servants is part of a larger war “fomented in part by far-right media and conspiracy theorists who have gained favor” with the president. That’s according to the New York Times, which reports that those public servants feel: denigrated, sidelined, or forced out of jobs by a president who marinates in suspicion. The Trump administration has lost nearly 1200 senior career service employees. That’s according to the Partnership for Public Service.

🐣 RT @ezraklein Bill Barr is the most mysterious character in the whole Trump drama. He watched Trump’s fury build towards Sessions and decided to become the loyalist AG even Sessions refused to be. Why light your legacy on fire this way? What’s the endgame?

🐣 RT @matthewamiller Even with Trump as president, I never thought DOJ could become politicized this badly. Incredibly dangerous moment for our country.
⋙ 🐣 RT @matthewamiller We know more about the Russia investigation than probably any probe in DOJ’s history, and haven’t seen a single shred of evidence that would provide a predicate for a criminal investigation. This looks like a Trump takeover of law enforcement, plain and simple.

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Justice Dept. Is Said to Open Criminal Inquiry Into Its Own Russia Investigation http://nyti.ms/2BFgruT
// The move is likely to open the attorney general to accusations that he is trying to deliver a political victory for President Trump.

JustSecurity, Barbara McQuade and Joyce Vance: United States of America v. Rudolph W. Giuliani http://bit.ly/2N8LDbq
// Former U.S. Attorneys draft a “Mock Indictment” based on publicly available evidence of Giuliani’s misconduct.

🐣 RT @DanRather Per the GOP stunt of their “brave” storming of Capitol Hill, that old Carl Sandburg quote comes to mind:
“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”

🐣 RT @smk429 Spot on ¤ @GOP ¤ “They should stop worrying about saving their seats and start worrying about saving their souls. They should start worrying about what their grandchildren will say about them as they’re accomplices to this assault on the Constitution” -Max Boot @MaxBoot

🐣 RT @weinbergersa EXCLUSIVE: A DHS intelligence assessment obtained by @YahooNews warns Russia is still active in disinformation campaigns and looking to 2020 as a “key opportunity.” ¤ Also say sanctions and other measures haven’t worked.
⋙ YahooNews: DHS warns of Russian interference plans in 2020 elections, as Washington focuses on Ukraine http://yhoo.it/362Lui5

YahooNews: DHS warns of Russian interference plans in 2020 elections, as Washington focuses on Ukraine http://yhoo.it/362Lui5

🔆 This❗️⋙ Axios: Turkey’s Erdogan calls on U.S. to hand over top Kurdish commander http://bit.ly/2NcYbOO

WSJ: U.S. Weighs Leaving More Troops, Sending Battle Tanks to Syria http://on.wsj.com/340Hay2
// The options represent a shift from the pullout President Trump wanted and modify U.S. objectives—from countering Islamic State to also protecting oil fields

🐣 RT @FaceTheNation [7/25/2018] Rep. @TGowdySC on the House hearings with Peter Strzok and Lisa Page: Well, our private hearing was much more constructive than the public hearing. Public hearings are a circus. That’s why I don’t like to do them. I mean, it’s a freak show. 💽 https://twitter.com/FaceTheNation/status/1018511889964437505?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @ananavarro That’s well over 60 Million Americans. ¤ How comforting to know our tax-dollars pay her salary.
⋙ 🐣 RT @thedailybeast White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham says those “against” Trump deserve to be called “human scum” https://trib.al/JjypE4O
🐣 Twice Hillary’s 30 million “Deplorables”

NYT: As Putin Era Begins to Wane, Russia Unleashes a Sweeping Crackdown http://nyti.ms/2MKQctf
// A wave of arrests against journalists, opposition activists, doctors and religious believers raises a question: Is this a police state in the making or just a highly dysfunctional one?

TheAtlantic, Eliot Cohen: Trump’s Character Betrays Him http://bit.ly/2JlNLeB
// In foreign policy, reputation means everything.

🐣 RT @mikecarpenter Shame on DOD for trying to intimidate my successor, Laura Cooper, to prevent her from speaking to the House impeachment inquiry. Laura’s a professional who has served with honor and distinction under R and D admins. She does not deserve this crap.
⋙ NYT: Read the Trump Administration’s Warning Letter to Laura Cooper http://nyti.ms/2ohmQth
// The No. 2 Pentagon official told Ms. Cooper, the military’s Russia-Ukraine expert, not to talk to Congress. She did anyway.

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Senate Republicans must weigh the full cost of complicity http://wapo.st/345RSDL

WaPo: White House delayed Ukraine trade decision in August, a signal that U.S. suspension of cooperation extended beyond security funds http://wapo.st/2NbmVab

NYT Editorial: Donald Trump’s ‘Very Special’ Victory in Syria http://nyti.ms/2BIFLjz
// It’s certainly special for Erdogan, Putin and al-Assad.

Politico, Ben Levebvre: Democrats eyeing Ukraine oligarch in probe of Giuliani associates’ campaign contributions http://politi.co/32MVOsw

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance After investigating for 4 years, Starr gave his report on Clinton to House Judic. Today, the House must investigate Ukraine on its own b/c Barr’s DOJ won’t. This explains closed House sessions-it’s investigation. GOP should be careful what it asks for, Open hearings soon enough.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s state TV: Ukrainian panelist says that he doesn’t usually get involved in U.S. politics, but America can’t stand four more years of Trump. Host Olga Skabeeva tells him: “When we interfere, our candidate usually wins—and yours loses. That’s what happened in 2016.”

WaPo, Max Boot: Trump is helping to demolish a cardinal principle of the postwar order http://wapo.st/2N7ybV7 “In the past, the United States stood by its allies, championed freedom and opposed human rights abuses.”

NYT: Trump’s War on the ‘Deep State’ Turns Against Him http://nyti.ms/2MJxvGl
// The impeachment inquiry is in some ways the culmination of a battle between the president and the government institutions he distrusted and disparaged.

🐣 RT @revrlewis Andrew Napolitano: “As frustrating as it may be to have these hearings going on behind closed doors … they are consistent with the rules. … When were the rules written last? In January of 2015. And who signed them? John Boehner. And who enacted them? A Republican majority.” Fox&Friends 💽 https://twitter.com/revrrlewis/status/1187339967300812800?s=20/photo/1

DailyBeast, Jonathan Alter: The Anti-Shakedown Law That Could Finally Bring Down Trump http://bit.ly/32TzGwZ “The relevant law is the 1946 Hobbs Act”
// When voters hear “no president is above the law,” many want the law in question to be more like something out of a police procedural than a constitutional law seminar.

⭕ 23 Oct 2019

Newsweek: Retired Generals and Admirals: We Call on Trump to Start Living Up to the Values of U.S. Armed Forces http://bit.ly/2NgDO38

TheIntercept, Robert Mackey: Trump Pressed Ukraine’s President to Act Out a Fake News Script, Live on CNN http://bit.ly/31Htuq7

NYT: Italy Did Not Fuel U.S. Suspicion of Russian Meddling, Prime Minister Says http://nyti.ms/2BHuPTj
// Casting holes in a Trump conspiracy theory, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte revealed details of two visits to Rome by Attorney General William P. Barr.

💽 MSNBC, Hardball: Leon Panetta calls Trump’s Syria pullout the ‘most disastrous foreign policy blunder’ http://on.msnbc.com/2BFfu60
// On Trump’s Syria pullout, Leon Panetta says “This is the most disastrous foreign policy blunder I’ve seen a President of the United States make and it’s sending a terrible message to the world that you can’t trust the United States.”

ForeignAffairs, Michael McFaul: Trump’s Gift to Putin http://fam.ag/2Pepqv5
// The President’s Privatized Foreign Policy Is a Boon for Russia

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman and Erin Banco: Pompeo Gets Drawn Deeper—Way Deeper—Into the Ukraine Scandal http://bit.ly/347EbnR
// Amb. Taylor’s deposition moved the Secretary of State to the center of the impeachment probe. House Democrats are redoubling efforts to get him to answer their questions.

Taylor stated that he told Pompeo, who recruited him to helm the embassy in Kyiv, that he would only accept the ambassadorship if Pompeo supported him against what he called “a web of political machinations in Kyiv and in Washington” to undermine U.S. policy supporting Kiev against Moscow. Those machinations had detonated Yovanovich’s like-minded ambassadorship. Pompeo, Taylor said, gave Taylor his desired assurances – meaning that Pompeo knew about the shadow effort as early as that May 28 conversation. 

When Taylor arrived in Ukraine in June, he said, he found little evidence of such support from the secretary. Giuliani, Volker, and Sondland seemed to be in charge of the policy, and they were pushing to get Zelensky to publicly commit to investigating the origins of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe and a firm on whose board Joe Biden’s son sat. 

Taylor, as text messages previously released this month made clear, considered all that a disaster undermining the anti-corruption policy he thought he was enforcing. On advice from then-national security adviser John Bolton, Taylor said he wrote an Aug. 29 cable — a formal State Department document — to Pompeo “describing the ‘folly’” he “could not and would not defend.” He told Congress he received “no specific response.”  

… Countryman [Thomas Countryman, who retired from State in January 2017 after a three-decade diplomatic career] said, “I think that if Mr. Pompeo ever absorbed any of the leadership lessons I know West Point teaches”—Pompeo, like Taylor, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy—“he has long forgotten them.”

🐣 RT @real Neither he (Taylor) or any other witness has provided testimony that the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld. You can’t have a quid pro quo with no quo.” Congressman John Ratcliffe @foxandfriends Where is the Whistleblower? The Do Nothing Dems case is DEAD
// confession

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH .@mccaffreyr3 gives his take on Trump’s position on Syria w/ @NicolleDWallace: “I’ve worked in 3 administrations… I have never seen anything like this. There’s an Orwellian fantasy quality to what’s coming out of the White House.” 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1187137457583771649?s=20/photo/1

WaPo Editorial: The White House resorts to character assassination of courageous public servants http://wapo.st/31G6O9O

WaPo, Philip Bump: When did Ukraine know that Trump had frozen aid? http://wapo.st/2BF9dal
// Why that timing does — and doesn’t — matter

WaPo: Trump administration sought billions of dollars in cuts to programs aimed at fighting corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere http://wapo.st/31JpipU
// Democrats have slammed White House insistence that Trump was focused on corruption — not Bidens — when he blocked Ukraine aid funds.

NYT: White House Aides Feared That Trump Had Another Ukraine Back Channel http://nyti.ms/2W9vTcj
// Senior national security officials grew concerned about Kash Patel, a colleague who had previously been involved in Republicans’ efforts to undermine the Russia investigation.

🐣 RT @tedlieu As a former prosecutor, I know that when the facts and law are not on your side, the defense attacks the process. ¤ It’s no coincidence that Republicans disregarded all rules & norms by storming the SCIF to stop interviews the day after Ambassador Taylor’s devastating testimony.

Bloomberg: Trump Administration Given Deadline to Release Ukraine Documents http://bloom.bg/32FnQpS
● Group demanded records after aborted Rudy Giuliani trip in May
● Judge says administration must release some papers in 30 days

NYT, Thomas Friedman: Trump’s Syria Trifecta: A Win for Putin, a Loss for the Kurds and Lots of Uncertainty for Our Allies – It’s pure genius! http://nyti.ms/31GXJh4

NYT: Ukraine Knew of Aid Freeze by Early August, Undermining Trump Defense http://nyti.ms/2obwT2R
// Top officials were told in early August about the delay of $391 million in security assistance, undercutting a chief argument President Trump has used to deny any quid pro quo.

VanityFair, Abigail: Bill Taylor’s Testimony Puts Trump’s Impeachment in Overdrive http://bit.ly/2Pdu5gX

In the four weeks since Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, there has been no testimony as damning to the president as that of Bill Taylor, a career diplomat now serving as acting ambassador to Ukraine, who described a sweeping shadow campaign by Trump and his allies to suborn foreign interference in the 2020 election. “It is a rancorous story about whistle-blowers, [Rudy] Giuliani, side channels, quid pro quos, corruption, and interference in elections. In this story, Ukraine is an object,” Taylor told lawmakers in his opening statement Tuesday.

Over the course of more than nine hours, he meticulously outlined Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into publicly announcing investigations into Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son, and an unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukraine framed Russia for election meddling in 2016. And Taylor confirmed that the White House made these investigations a precondition for the release of nearly $400 million in military aid to help Ukraine counter an ongoing Russian invasion—the quid pro quo Trump and his allies have been denying since the story broke.

Even so, Taylor—who testified that the directive to block the military aid came directly from Donald Trump and that E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland had conveyed the president’s order that “everything” was contingent on Ukraine launching investigations—was critical to corroborating a fact pattern that will provide the basis for impeachment. “There’s a lot of information. It fills in a lot of blanks. It helps you understand the broader scope of this scheme,” said Congressman Mike Quigley, another member of the intelligence panel. Perhaps most important, he explained, each piece of evidence has reinforced the others. “Nothing I have heard publicly, privately, or whatever, has done anything but corroborate and strengthen that which is in the public record—the whistle-blower’s complaint, the White House version of a transcript [of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky].”

NYLawJournal: New York City Bar Calls for US AG William Barr’s Recusal in Ukraine Matter http://bit.ly/32I89OJ
// If Barr does not recuse himself, the bar association’s statement said, “he should resign or, failing that, be subject to sanctions, including possible removal, by Congress.”

🐣 RT @jonfavs AP sources: More than two months before the phone call that launched the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Ukraine’s newly elected leader told advisers he was worried about pressure from the U.S. president to investigate Democrat Joe Biden. http://apne.ws/XZpANgo
AP: Ukrainian leader felt Trump pressure before taking office http://bit.ly/2pN9wwS

Trump has denied that an investigation of Biden was a condition for releasing military aid as a quid pro quo. But on Tuesday, the senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine at the time, Ambassador William Taylor, starkly contradicted the president, saying that Trump had demanded that everything Zelenskiy wanted, including the aid and a White House meeting, was conditional on a public vow that he would open an investigation.

Taylor also detailed multiple previously undisclosed diplomatic interactions between Trump’s envoys and senior Ukrainian officials in which the president’s demand to investigate the Bidens in exchange for American aid was clear.

The continued flow of high-tech U.S. weaponry is seen as essential to the survival of the Ukrainian government, which has been mired in a long-running civil war with Russian-aligned separatists in the east of the county.

🐣 RT @MiekeEoyang A few words on why Gaetz stunt to storm the SCIF to disrupt Laura Cooper’s deposition is a VERY serious national security problem. ¤ Note, I worked in that SCIF for HPSCI and handled cybersecurity issues while there. 📌 https://twitter.com/MiekeEoyang/status/1187032800572125191?s=20

🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio JUST IN: Schiff/Engel/Maloney write to State Dept demanding release of documents “that are directly and highly relevant” to the impeachment probe. ¤ (Bill Taylor referenced his notes a lot yesterday, per sources, & Sondland has said he wants to provide docs but is being blocked.) https://twitter.com/AndrewDesiderio/status/1187046669608804358?s=20/photo/1-2
⋙ 🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio “These documents include information central to the inquiry’s core area of investigation: the President’s efforts to press Ukraine to initiate investigations that would benefit his personal and political interests, and not the national interest.”
http://bit.ly/31AYnww

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Gaetz is still searching for Captain Kangaroo
⋙ 🐣 RT @sambrodey Matt Gaetz says he’s about to lead this phalanx of House Republicans into the SCIF to check out what’s going on with the whole impeachment thing

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Contradicting Trump, Ukraine Knew of Aid Freeze Before It Became Public http://nyti.ms/2JgpsyW
// Top officials were told in early August about the delay of $391 million in security assistance, undercutting a chief argument President Trump has used to deny any quid pro quo.

💙 WaPo: An overlooked Bill Taylor revelation hints at worse to come from Trump http://wapo.st/33UJRkH //➔ is the Barr investigation into the origins of the Mueller investigation intended to validate the Ukraine conspiracy theory in order to absolve Russia to lift sanctions?

🐣 yesterday’s “no obstruction, no collusion” is today’s “no quid pro quo”

⭕ 22 Oct 2019

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: How DOJ Worked Overtime to Avoid Connecting the Dots in the Whistleblower Complaint http://bit.ly/31HEUu5

NYT, Sharon LeFraniere: 6 Key Revelations of Taylor’s Opening Statement to Impeachment Investigators http://nyti.ms/2MDbRDG
// with excerpts: William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, delivered detailed testimony on Tuesday about the actions at the heart of the inquiry.

1. Taylor described an explicit quid pro quo.
2. The White House had two channels on Ukraine policy: official and unofficial. Giuliani helped steer the unofficial policy.
3. Taylor was told Ukraine had to ‘pay up’ before the president would ‘sign a check.’
4. Taylor said Ukrainians would die at the hands of Russian led-forces as a result of the delay in American military aid.
5. Bolton fought the effort to hijack the policy toward Ukraine and Pompeo did not respond directly to complaints, Taylor said.
6. Demands were made for secrecy and career officials, including Taylor, were left in the dark about key events..

🐣 RT @delavegalaw Basically, Trump ordered U.S. officials to hold the President of Ukraine in a hammerlock until he agreed to do what Trump wanted him to do for Trump’s own personal benefit. That’s how crude this shakedown op was. And he did this while Ukraine was under daily attack.

🐣 RT @kyledcheney CICILLINE called Taylor a key witness who should be asked to give public testimony. He also said testimony underscores the importance of John Bolton’s role, and it raises question about why Bolton left the administration when he did.

WaPo, Harry Litman: On impeachment, the Democrats are getting it right http://wapo.st/2qvopV1

🐣 next it’ll be “a holocaust” not a “lynching”; just wait

🐣 RT @Isikof Taylor testifies he sent Pompeo a cable on 8/29 protesting the “folly” of withholding military aid to Ukraine and that he “could not and would not” defend such a policy. Where is it?

🐣 RT @dcpoll Firtash was financing Parnas and Fruman’s activities. ¤ Parnas paid Trump’s free lawyer Giuliani $500K. Ergo, Firtash was financing Giuliani’s dirty work for Trump in Ukraine. ¤ Reminds me of another Firtash bagman: Trump’s free campaign manager, Manafort. 📌 https://twitter.com/dcpoll/status/1183968849890304000?s=20

NYT, Jesse Wegman: Donald Trump’s Quid Pro Quo Is Now a Smoking Gun http://nyti.ms/32Grujl
// Mr. Trump’s own acting envoy, William Taylor, described how the president tried to force Ukraine to advance his political interests.

🐣 RT @mattklewis Just a reminder to Republicans: This won’t go away. Trump is going to do this Every. Damn. Day. You will constantly have to go on the record defending the indefensible. This will be your legacy. This is how history will remember you. This will not stop. He won’t suddenly get well
⋙ 🐣 RT @jdawsey1 A statement from WHITE HOUSE after Trump admin pick Bill Taylor testified all day: “President Trump has done nothing wrong — this is a coordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution. There was no quid pro quo.”

🐣 What will this boil down to from GOP POV? ¤ $50k/mo for H Biden ¤ It’s that simple.

🐣 “Lev and Igor” has an “Uday and Qusay” ring to it.

🐣 RT @justinamash Bill Taylor’s testimony is devastating evidence that President Trump engaged in both a corrupt act and a quid pro quo.

🐣 [reply to @YoBusiness1] Thank you! my husband went to @WestPoint_USMA and served two tours in Viet Nam. @SecPompeo of @StateDept is a disgrace. “A cadet shall not lie, cheat or steal or TOLERATE those who do.”

💙 WaPo: Prosecutors flagged possible ties between Ukrainian gas tycoon Firtash and Giuliani associates [Lev and Igor] http://wapo.st/31Bcp11
// weedsy

In September, Firtash’s Austrian lawyers filed in court an affidavit by a former Ukrainian prosecutor [Shokin] in which the prosecutor claimed he was fired because he was investigating then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden. Giuliani has since cited that document as evidence supporting his claims.

In 2010, WikiLeaks published an internal U.S. diplomatic cable from years earlier in which then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr. wrote that Firtash had “acknowledged ties” to Mogilevich in a private meeting. Taylor wrote that Firtash had denied breaking the law but said “he needed Mogilevich’s approval to get into business in the first place.”

Firtash tried one last-ditch effort to forestall the long-delayed start of his U.S. trial. ¤ That month [June], the energy mogul met Parnas in Vienna through a mutual Ukrainian friend, according to a person familiar with the episode. At the time, Firtash was considering switching lawyers and asked about Toensing and diGenova. Parnas vouched for the couple, whom he had met through Guiliani, and urged Firtash to hire them, the person said.

In recent months, Firtash’s Austrian lawyers filed a court document criticizing the Justice Department in ways that echo Trump’s own attacks on the department, according to a person familiar with the sealed Austrian proceedings.

The attorneys argued that the case against Firtash was politically motivated because Andrew Weissmann, a lawyer working for then-special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, had offered to resolve Firtash’s case if he would implicate Trump and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort in Russian interference in the 2016 election. [Denied]

At the same time, Parnas and Fruman began touting their close ties to Giuliani as they pursued their own business interests. ¤ They… invoked Firtash’s name as they sought business for a new liquefied natural gas company that they had founded in 2018, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

At an energy conference in Houston in March, the two made a pitch to Ukrainian state oil and gas giant Naftogaz, approaching a top official at the company, Andrew Favorov, according to a colleague of Favorov.

Parnas and Fruman told Favorov that they hoped to see new leadership at Naftogaz soon that would be receptive to their proposal and the ouster of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, whom they perceived as opposed to their plans. By May, she had been removed from her post on Trump’s orders.

In an interview, Perry [a Naftogaz partner] said Parnas and Fruman’s grand plan included one other element that Favorov found puzzling at the time: They said Naftogaz should put aside financial disputes with Firtash, a decision that could provide a windfall of more than $1 billion for the tycoon.

Meanwhile, Parnas and Fruman were also assisting Giuliani as he sought information in Ukraine to prove his claims that Democrats received help from Ukrainians during the 2016 election and that Biden had orchestrated the 2016 removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor because he was investigating the gas company Burisma, whose board included Biden’s son.

Parnas and Fruman helped connect Giuliani by Skype to Shokin, who alleged to the former New York mayor that his firing was connected to his Biden work. On Sept. 4, Shokin swore out a 12-page affidavit attesting to that same fact, a document Giuliani has waved on television as proof of his allegations.

According to the document, it was prepared “at the request of lawyers acting for Dmitry Firtash.””

🐣 RT @tribelaw To be troubling enough for the IG to classify as “a matter of urgent concern,” a “promise” by POTUS to any of the foreign leaders we know Trump spoke with in July or August (including Kim and Putin) would have to be one betraying our national security. This cannot stand.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw Great News! Amy Klobuchar uncovered new corroborating evidence in her probe into AG Barr’s violation of a federal law meant to protect our national security. Barr was required notify the FEC about the whistle-blower’s complaint. He did not. Read more:
⋙ ⋙ MotherJones, Pemy Levi: New Evidence Hints at Another Justice Department Coverup http://bit.ly/2qEmRbD
// Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) released evidence on Tuesday that the Justice Department buried the whistleblower complaint about President Donald Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president by failing to refer the matter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
⋙ 🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw Note Barr’s possible role in an illegal delay of reporting the whistleblower complaint to Congress. The orchestrated delay is similar to his 3-week delay of the Mueller report. Trump’s Acting Intel Dir. violated a 7-day report-to-Congress requirement citing a DOJ “legal review.”

DailyBeast, Sam Stein, Asawin Suebsaeng and Justin Baragona: Trump Whines That Senate Republicans Are Failing Him on Impeachment and Not Owning Nearly Enough Libs http://bit.ly/2P6Xn0C
// The president and his advisers want Republicans in the Senate to stage their own hearings to counteract what’s happening in the House.

BuzzFeedNews: The Investigation Into Rudy Giuliani’s Associates Has Widened http://bit.ly/2JhqudY
// Federal investigators have acquired records — many obtained earlier this month by BuzzFeed News — showing a whirlwind of lavish spending by Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two key operatives who dug up dirt on Joe Biden for President Trump.

NYT, Peter Baker: An Envoy’s Damning Account of Trump’s Ukraine Pressure and Its Consequences http://nyti.ms/2MFWB9b
// William B. Taylor Jr. laid out in visceral terms the potentially life-or-death stakes of what he saw as an illegitimate scheme to pressure Kiev for political help by suspending American security aid.

WaPo, Dana Milbank: Impeachment Diary: The words that could end a presidency http://wapo.st/2W6DDvx

🐣 RT @marty_lederman 1/ Of course the substance of the grotesque breach of constitutional duty Taylor describes is of the upmost importance. But don’t lose sight of three other things: First, as Taylor pleads at the end, don’t forget about the devastating impact …@just_security
📌 https://twitter.com/marty_lederman/status/1186733813503844354?s=20
// Lederman is a law professor at Georgetown

📊 CNN Poll: 50% support impeaching Trump and removing him from office http://cnn.it/32Ilneo

🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 The Trump White House backed by Sec State Pompeo acts like a third world nation. Incredible trickery, deception, and arrogance mugging the Ukrainians. Withholding Congressional approved military funds for domestic political purposes was chilling.
⋙ 🐣 RT @gregpmiller Bill Taylor took ambassador job in Ukraine with promises he was there to back Kyiv against Russia. Within weeks he realized he was faced with a different threat: the political schemes of the American president. Amazing read @GregJaffe
⋙⋙ WaPo: ‘Alarming circumstances’: A distressed diplomat tells a tale of venal intrigue http://wapo.st/31DOChh

WaPo Editorial: Here’s the quid pro quo proof, Lindsey Graham http://wapo.st/32ETIeq

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff It will be said of House Republicans, ¤ When they found they lacked the courage to confront the most dangerous and unethical president in American history, ¤ They consoled themselves by attacking those who did.

🐣 RT @Hardball “We now have Sondland, we have Taylor, we have Giuliani, we have Mulvaney all saying there was a quid pro quo. This, in fact, was a shakedown of a foreign govt for the president’s political purposes. That is against the law.”@clairecmc on Taylor’s testimony. #Hardball 💽 https://twitter.com/hardball/status/1186788309441404930?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @kyledcheney THE LATEST: Bill Taylor has departed after 9.5 hours of testimony that portrayed Trump as the captain of an effort to coerce Ukraine to damage Joe Biden — in part by withholding military aid to the beleaguered nation. Story w/ @AndrewDesiderio

💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Ukraine Top Diplomat William B. Taylor Jr.‘s Statement to the Impeachment Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2P80Yvn
// William B. Taylor Jr., the United States’ top diplomat in Ukraine, delivered testimony to impeachment investigators on Tuesday that described an effort by President Trump to withhold aid for Ukraine until the country’s leader agreed to investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals.

🐣 .@McFaul The title of your next book should be “The Illiberal Internationale”
// quoting him

🐣 RT @neal_katyal I cannot overstate how damaging this Amb Taylor testimony is to Trump. https://twitter.com/neal_katyal/status/1186734449720848384?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: U.S. envoy says he was told release of Ukraine aid was contingent on public declaration to investigate Bidens, 2016 election http://wapo.st/2MErA5s

WaPo: In Hungary, a Freewheeling Trump Ambassador Undermines U.S. Diplomats http://wapo.st/2PaqxMo
// He brokered a White House meeting for Hungary’s prime minister. He spends $320,000 on parties and takes positions at odds with American policy. He says he knows what President Trump wants.

🐣 My guess: Anonymous is George✛Kellyanne

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson I have rarely read a more devastating indictment of a President and his cronies than that of Taylor. This is chapter-and-verse stuff. Totally indefensible.

≣ From WaPo: Amb Taylor’s full statement [pdf] http://bit.ly/2W3tIH2 apparently a series of photos of the pages https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1186736148774830080?s=20/photo/1
// “first draft of history”

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump has lost the battle to discredit impeachment http://wapo.st/366D2i6

NYT, Andrei Kozyrev: From Russia, With Admiration and Despair http://nyti.ms/2W4jdmR
// When I was the Russian foreign minister, America was a beacon of moral truth. By impeaching Donald Trump, it can become one again.

🐣 RT @mitchellreports On Bill Taylor testimony, @samstein: “Everything we’re getting anecdotally from the Hill is that it’s a remarkable set of testimony, again painting picture of a potentially corrupt process going on at the State Department vis-à-vis Ukraine and withholding military aid.” #AMRstaff

🐣 RT @publicintegrity When Trump announced that he was pulling American troops out of northern Syria, many warned he was removing the head of the campaign to defeat ISIS. Now, it’s clear that Trump handed ISIS its biggest win in years. (via @nytimes)
⋙ NYT: ISIS Reaps Gains of U.S. Pullout From Syria http://nyti.ms/2P7yAcC
// The troop withdrawal ends American operations against the terrorist group conducted jointly with a Kurdish-led militia.

⭕ 21 Oct 2019

💙 NewYorker, Jill Lepore (10/21): The Invention—and Reinvention—of Impeachment http://bit.ly/2pR02kZ “Impeachment is a terrible power because it was forged to counter a terrible power: the despot who deems himself to be above the law”
// It’s the ultimate political weapon. But we’ve never agreed on what it’s for.

Cass Sunstein, who testified before Congress on the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors” during the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, both Ford and Pelosi were fundamentally wrong. “High crimes and misdemeanors” does have a meaning. An impeachable offense is an abuse of the power of the office that violates the public trust, runs counter to the national interest, and undermines the Republic. To believe that words are meaningless is to give up on truth. To believe that Presidents can do anything they like is to give up on self-government.

The failed impeachment of Andrew Johnson steered the United States toward a regime of racial segregation: the era of Jim Crow, which would not be undone until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Acts of 1965 were passed, a century later, in the Administration of another Johnson. Johnson’s acquittal undid the Union’s victory in the Civil War, allowed the Confederacy to win the peace, and nearly destroyed the Republic

Not every impeachment brings about a political settlement, good or bad. The failed impeachment of Bill Clinton, in 1999, for lying about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, settled less than nothing, except that it weakened Americans’ faith in impeachment as anything other than a crudely wrought partisan hatchet, a prisoner’s shiv.

The impeachment of an American President is certain to lead to no end of political mischief and almost certain to fail. Still, worse could happen. Heaven forbid this Republic should become one man’s kingdom.

MotherJones: Read Nancy Pelosi’s “Fact Sheet” About Trump’s Ukraine Call: Truth Exposed http://bit.ly/342ezbY 1. The Shakedown, 2. The Pressure Campaign, 3. The Cover-Up

💙💙🔄◕ WaPo, Kate Rabinowitz and Kevin Schaul: Who’s involved in the Trump impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/2W673dg
// The House’s impeachment inquiry into President Trump has sought testimony and documents from dozens of witnesses. Some of them are under scrutiny for pursuing foreign policy in Ukraine intended to benefit the president, while others are high-level administration aides who have been called to testify about what they witnessed and their concerns.

WaPo, Michael Gerson: The smoking gun has already been revealed http://wapo.st/32z6Gdw

WaPo, Eugene Robinson: Trump likely saw Pelosi’s overseas trip as a slap in the face. But someone had to do it. http://wapo.st/31EpQNM

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Pompeo and Mulvaney beclown themselves http://wapo.st/31D9aGx

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews One does wonder what Pompeo thinks he is accomplishing — both in serving a president who betrays allies while empowering Russia and in sacrificing his own credibility for defending policies he would have excoriated under President Barack Obama.
⋙ 💙 WaPo: Putin and Hungary’s Orban helped sour Trump on Ukraine http://wapo.st/2BAh34Q

💙💙 JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman and Alex Potpokaru: The Missing Link: Getting Dirt on Biden Was Key Part of “Investigation into 2016 Election” Too http://bit.ly/2JaX8h2

💙 DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: Bill Barr’s Plan to Rig 2020 for Trump: Frame ‘Deep State’ for Russia’s 2016 Interference http://bit.ly/2VYSJD8
// As always, what Trump says is the direct opposite of the truth, and he is describing not his opponents but himself. The “deep state” story is Trumpland’s Plan B.

NYT, Ian Buruma: This Is the True End Of Pax Americana http://nyti.ms/2qtcmaJ
// Mr. Trump is taking a wrecking ball to the world order.

🐣 RT @cnnbrk Joe Biden was a top target of Russians who are building a network of accounts designed to look like groups in swing states, new Facebook data shows https://cnn.it/2MyFUfJ
⋙ CNN: Facebook: Russian trolls are back. And they’re here to meddle with 2020 http://cnn.it/2J9A5Ds

📊 FiveThirtyEight: How unpopular is Donald Trump? http://53eig.ht/2MJpIt2 just now https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1186333295644237825?s=20/photo/1
// Approve 41.2%, Disapprove 54.4%

WaPo: Netanyahu announces he can’t form a government, opening door for Israeli president to tap political rival to build a coalition http://wapo.st/31CcZvA

NYT: Erdogan’s Ambitions Go Beyond Syria. He Says He Wants Nuclear Weapons. http://nyti.ms/2p06CFb
// A month before invading Kurdish areas in Syria, Turkey’s president said he “cannot accept” the West’s restrictions that keep him from a bomb.

⭕ 20 Oct 2019

🐣 RT @AriMelber What is the clearest Constitutional case for impeaching Trump? ¤ He sought a bribe from Ukraine. ¤ No one can deny that “bribery” is impeachable, because the Constitution *says* it is. ¤ My @washingtonpost article: 📌 https://twitter.com/AriMelber/status/1185961336829894656?s=20
⋙ WaPo: ‘Bribery’ is right there in the Constitution. Trump could be impeached for that. http://wapo.st/35V1bba
// Why wrestle with the meaning of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors”? The president can be accused of an offense that’s already well-defined.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AriMelber A focus on bribery may also distinguish this case from the 2 presidential impeachments in history, neither of which resulted in conviction in the Senate ¤ The Johnson & Clinton cases were bogged down by a difficult question: What defines a high crime or misdemeanor?
⋙ 🐣 RT @AriMelber In those trials, the Senate did not reach a super majority to accept that the alleged offenses were high crimes. ¤ By contrast, no one can deny that bribery is impeachable, because the Constitution says it is.

🐣 RT @KasieDC “…The Kurds carved out their own little enclave. It was peaceful, it was generally egalitarian, it was feminist, it was a unique thing. Men and women fighting together, co-ruling together. They had hopes that this was going to last.” -@RichardEngel in his own words 💽 https://twitter.com/KasieDC/status/1186066564489068544?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 AG Barr has abdicated his law enforcement responsibilities in favor of conducting an actual witch hunt, trying to undo the conclusions of both Mueller & Congress regarding Russia’s attack on our 2016 election. BUT Congress is stepping up & stepping in.

TheAtlantic, McKay Coppins: The Liberation of Mitt Romney http://bit.ly/2o3ezch
// The newly rebellious senator has become an outspoken dissident in Trump’s Republican Party, just in time for the president’s impeachment trial.

🐣 RT @DrGJackBrown THREAD: Body Language Analysis No. 4401 Nancy Pelosi’s and Donald Trump’s ‘Meltdown Meeting’ #DonaldTrump
#NancyPelosi #Meltdown #MeltdownMeeting #NancysPoint #BodyLanguage #BodyLanguageExpert #Nonverbal #EmotionalIntelligence 📌 https://twitter.com/DrGJackBrown/status/1186032130255548416?s=20

WaPo: Pelosi leads a surprise delegation to Jordan for ‘vital discussions’ on Syria crisis http://wapo.st/33R53bd

💽 Mediaite: Chris Wallace Brutally Grills Mick Mulvaney as He Attempts to Walk Back Briefing Comments: ‘You Said What You Said!’ http://bit.ly/32AYYQ8

🐣 RT @MeetThePress WATCH: @brett_mcgurk says Trump threw all of American leverage in the Middle East “out the window” with his Oct. 6 phone call. #MTP #IfItsSunday ¤ “I’m afraid that now the future of Syria will be determined by actors who are quite hostile to our interests.” 💽 https://twitter.com/MeetThePress/status/1185933473061785601?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @tribelaw “When tides turn, they often turn quickly and harshly. . . . [T]his week . . . brings to mind Winston Churchill’s words . . . : ‘Now is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’”
⋙ WaPo: The Senate is likelier to remove Trump after impeachment than you think http://wapo.st/2MUFcsc
// The history of past acquittals isn’t as helpful to Trump as naysayers believe

NYT, Frank Bruni: How Low Will Trump Go? http://nyti.ms/2W1UOOW
// The president is unabashed, unapologetic and out of control.

ForeignAffairs: Disaster in the Desert http://fam.ag/31xEuGF
// Nov-Dec 2019 issue; Trump’s Middle East Plan Can’t Work

NYT: Pelosi Visits Jordan to Discuss Syria Crisis Amid Shaky Cease-Fire http://nyti.ms/2Mtyw5j
// Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a bipartisan delegation to meet the Jordanian king as an American-brokered truce with Turkey in northern Syria continued to stutter. http://nyti.ms/

NPR: Kurdish General Slams U.S.-Syria Policy; Gen. Petraeus Calls Withdrawal ‘A Betrayal’ http://n.pr/2P0JK2O

🐣 Tulsi’s visit to Assad ruined my view of her, but I can’t help but wonder if HRC’s attack isn’t related to Tulsi’s take-down of Kamala Harris, a Clinton fave. The take-down was legit. Harris is a flawed candidate. All drama, no policy chops. And as tone-deaf as HRC.

🐣 RT @BillBrowder Tulsi Gabbard say that she doesn’t control the Russian bots that support her, but she did control the hiring of Chris Cooper, the smear campaigner who was paid by Natalia Veselnitskaya and her Russian backed sponsors to smear me and try to repeal the Magnitsky Act in DC https://twitter.com/Billbrowder/status/1185836541295415297?s=20

WSJ: U.S. Troops Leaving Syria Will Be Assigned to Iraq, Defense Chief Says http://on.wsj.com/2MVy2Ef “He said the U.S. hopes to continue working with Kurdish forces”
// Islamic State fight will shift, details yet to be sorted out, Esper says

Mr. Esper said one reason for his weeklong trip to the Middle East and to North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels was to iron out the specifics of the campaign against Islamic State. ¤ Mr. Esper said he would be meeting with allies on a key question: “What does the next phase of the counter-ISIS campaign look like?” he said, using an acronym for the terror group. He said the U.S. hopes to continue working with Kurdish forces.

🐣 RT @tribelaw “It’s not an exaggeration to say that Trump embodies Hamilton’s worst fears about the kind of person who might someday head the government.”
🐣 RT @tribelaw “Not only is Trump himself on trial, but he is also testing our constitutional system to the breaking point. [Yet] Hamilton anticipated …the chaos and demagoguery now on display in Washington. He also helped design and defend the remedy: impeachment.”
⋙ WaPo, Ron Chernow: Hamilton pushed for impeachment powers. Trump is what he had in mind. http://wapo.st/2P3SmpG
// He wanted a strong president — and a way to get rid of the demagogic ones.

💙 🐣 RT @repcummings I’m begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on. Because if you want to have a democracy intact for your children, and your children’s children, and generations yet unborn we’ve got to guard this moment…this is our watch. 💽 https://twitter.com/RepCummings/status/1154161356171599877?s=20/photo/1
// 7/24/2019; Dance with those angels, Elijah. ♡ ૂི•̮͡• ྀ ♡

⭕ 19 Oct 2019

WashingtonExaminer: ‘God knows why’: Long wait for DOJ inspector general report on alleged FISA abuses vexes Trump allies http://washex.am/2p0DY6Z
// DOJ IG Horowitz

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Russian Media Cheers Trump’s Moves in Syria: ‘Putin Won the Lottery!’ http://bit.ly/2J42eMk
// For Russia, Trump’s presidency is a gift that keeps on giving. The Kremlin’s propagandists see no acceptable alternative among any viable presidential candidates in 2020.

NYT, Nicholas Kristof: Trump Takes Incoherence and Inhumanity and Calls It Foreign Policy http://nyti.ms/2oNrkYX
// He was right when he said, “Foreign policy is what I’ll be remembered for.”

🐣 RT @tomjoseph Trump will be viewed as a war criminal. His words nail him for complicity in ethnic cleansing- green lighting Turkey’s move & saying “they had to have it cleaned out,” referring to Kurds living along Turkish border in Syria. He betrayed & set up the Kurds w/ no window to escape. https://twitter.com/RichardEngel/status/1185501990555738113

NYT: Review of Russia Inquiry Grows as F.B.I. Witnesses Are Questioned http://nyti.ms/2BtM0I5
// The review, led by the prosecutor John Durham, has focused on former investigators who are frequent targets of President Trump.

🐣 RT @RichardEngel The top Kurdish commander in Syria, General Mazlum Kobane told @NBCNews he is trying to pull his forces back from Ras al-Ayn, but Turkey is not allowing it. He alleges Turkey does not want Kurdish fighters to withdraw – a condition of the ceasefire – but to kill them.

WaPo: ‘They are livid’: Trump’s withdrawal from Syria prompts rare public criticism from current, former military officials http://wapo.st/35RwMdF

🐣 RT @michaelluo Illuminating (and depressing) @IChotiner interview with @brett_mcgurk. “…he doesn’t want to be in Syria. So, if a leader calls him up and says he will deal with it, the President, being totally unprepared for these phone calls, kind of rolls over.”
⋙ NewYorker, Isaac Chotiner: The Former U.S. ISIS Envoy on Trump and the Crisis in Syria http://bit.ly/2px66P0 ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1185698409103183872?s=20/photo/1

Five years ago, President Obama appointed Brett McGurk as his special envoy to counter isis. The Obama Administration had sent a limited number of troops to Syria; McGurk’s job was focussed on destroying isis strongholds and supporting the Kurds in northern Syria, who had taken up much of the anti-isis fighting. Last December, McGurk and the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, abruptly resigned after President Trump threatened to pull American troops out of Syria. “The President’s decision to leave Syria was made without deliberation, consultation with allies or Congress, assessment of risk, or appreciation of facts,” McGurk wrote in the Washington Post, in January. He warned that Trump’s choices “are already giving the Islamic State—and other American adversaries—new life.”

⭕ 18 Oct 2019

Reuters: What Hunter Biden did on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma http://reut.rs/2CBcKqE
// 10/18/2019

Zlochevsky, who founded Burisma in 2002, served as a minister under Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovich from 2010 to 2012. Burisma then began adding high-profile names to its board, including Biden and a business associate of his called Devon Archer, in April 2014.

A source close to the company said Biden took part in strategic conversations and shared his opinions and experience. In between board meetings, “there were constant calls, dialogue, sharing of advice, consideration of different options,” the source said. “Expansion to other markets was also discussed,” the source added.

Another source close to Burisma said Biden assisted with analysis of oil and gas assets the company was considering buying abroad, though a deal didn’t go through. The company was considering possible acquisitions in Europe, Kazakhstan and the United States, the source and another person close to Burisma said. …

TheAtlantic, Chris Coons (10/18): The Senate Must Rein In Trump http://bit.ly/2MTnDZq
// Unless Congress acts, the Kurds may not be the last allies this president abandons.

TheAtlantic, Peter Nicholas: The Unraveling of Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2MWFT4r
// As the impeachment inquiry intensifies, some associates of the president predict that his already erratic behavior is going to get worse.

💙 🐣 RT @HoarseWhisperer So, boiling down several stories into a likely set of punchlines:
– A mobbed up Russian oligarch, Firtash, was indicted by the feds
– He was arrested in Vienna and is fighting being extradited to the U.S.
– In an effort to buy his way out of trouble, he started spending $$
1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/HoarseWisperer/status/1185401923182174208?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @HoarseWhisperer – He hired Trump’s lawyer friends Toensing and DeGenova
– He hired Giuliani’s dirty Ukrainian pals
– He splashed money around looking for dirt on Biden
2/
⋙ 🐣 RT @HoarseWhisperer Per new reporting, Rudy just so happened to have a meeting at the DOJ recently.
Rudy was there to talk about an unnamed client facing bribery charges.
That is nearly certainly Firtash. [link NYT: Rudy Mixes … http://nyti.ms/2Bu4isJ%5D
⋙ 🐣 RT @HoarseWhisperer And the quid pro quo was that the Russian mobster was going to help the Trump campaign by helping Rudy scrounge for Biden dirt.
That’s all rather illegal – and is another bribery case for Firtash.
It may well be a new pile of crimes for Rudy too.
8/
⋙ 🐣 RT @HoarseWhisperer …and the best part?
As we learned from the unsealed indictments of Rudy’s buddies, the feds had warrants up the wazoo and may well have been sitting on wiretaps.
Rudy has been a bad boy… and just how bad is all coming to light.
Happy Friday.
9/9
⋙ 🐣 RT @HoarseWhisperer One correction: Firtash is under house arrest not in jail.
⋙ ⋙ 🐣 RT @BrightEyedDyer Have you read Proof of Conspiracy or Blowout yet?
⋙ 🐣 RT @HoarseWhisperer No, neither
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @BrightEyedDyer Both are fabulous at putting the dots together. Blowout is the history of the oil industry and how it all ties into this and Proof is jawdropping.

💙 MotherJones, Dan Friedman: How an Indicted Oligarch Became a Key Player in Trump’s Ukraine Scandal http://bit.ly/32xsQwD “Is it possible that [Ukrainian oligarch] Firtash’s case, Parnas and Fruman’s plotting, and Giuliani’s freelancing in Ukraine are intertwined?”
// Dmytro Firtash is fighting extradition to the United States. His lawyers are the president’s staunchest defenders.

NYT: As Inquiry Widens, McConnell Is Said to See Impeachment Trial as Inevitable http://nyti.ms/2J3Y6Mg

💙 NYT Editorial: The Crisis of the Republican Party http://nyti.ms/31nAnNm
// The G.O.P. will not be able to postpone a reckoning on Donald Trump’s presidency for much longer ~● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1185539934544977921?s=20/photo/1
// Caption: “At the Peace Monument near the United States Capitol, Grief weeps on the shoulder of History”

🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Trump impeachment inquiry: Latest news and updates http://wapo.st/2P09WuE [Continually updated]

💙 NYT: Giuliani Mixes His Business With Role as Trump’s Lawyer http://nyti.ms/31rJNaw
// Amid intensifying scrutiny of his own work, the former New York mayor met recently with senior Justice Department officials on behalf of a client in a foreign bribery case.

WaPo, Tony Schwartz: Why Trump can’t change, no matter what the consequences are http://wapo.st/2VW0Kcf
// Personal growth is about seeing more. The president is too self-absorbed for that.

KyivPost [UKR]: Impeachment witnesses tell how Ukraine policy hijacked by Giuliani http://bit.ly/31rS2DD

ProPublica: The Pro-Trump Super PAC at the Center of the Ukraine Scandal Has Faced Multiple Campaign Finance Complaints http://bit.ly/2P6WTr4
// Randy Perkins donated $500,000 to America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, a day after his company won federal money as part of a contract. The same PAC was dubbed “Committee 1” in a federal indictment alleging illegal donations from two Rudy Giuliani associates.

NN: Exclusive: Giuliani pushed Trump administration to grant a visa to a Ukrainian official promising dirt on Democrats http://cnn.it/2BnYpgv

WaPo: State Department probe of Clinton emails finds no deliberate mishandling of classified information http://wapo.st/33B9SWe

💙 TPM, Josh Kovensky: The Debunked Biden Allegations Are Incredibly Useful To Dmitry Firtash http://bit.ly/2Wwm9J1

💙💙 Bloomberg, Stephanie Baker and Irina Reznik: To Win Giuliani’s Help, Oligarch’s Allies Pursued Biden Dirt http://bloom.bg/2oKHfY0
● Associates of Ukraine’s Firtash procured witness statement
● U.S. law forbids foreign assistance in political campaigns

Associates of a Ukrainian oligarch fighting extradition to the U.S. were working to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden last summer in an effort to get Rudy Giuliani’s help in the oligarch’s legal case, according to three people familiar with the exchanges.

Dmitry Firtash, charged with conspiracy by the U.S. and living in Vienna, shuffled lawyers in July to add Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, vocal supporters of President Donald Trump who had worked with Giuliani. Around that time, some of Firtash’s associates began to use his broad network of Ukraine contacts to get damaging information on Biden, the people said.

DiGenova and Toensing have billed Firtash about $1 million for their work, one of the people said. That includes costs for Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate, as a translator and important contact, the person said. Parnas was arrested last week along with several associates and accused of conspiring to violate campaign-finance laws.

People working on Firtash’s behalf collected a witness statement from Viktor Shokin, a former Ukrainian prosecutor-general. The statement, dated early September, helped Giuliani renew an assertion that he’d been advancing for months — that Biden had tried in 2016 to sway Ukrainian politics to help his son. U.S. and Ukrainian officials have disputed Shokin’s account.

Shokin, though, had been promised his statement wouldn’t be made public, according to the people. Giuliani went on to cite it repeatedly, waving it around on cable news as evidence of Biden’s alleged corruption. The Hill and other media outlets provided links to it, with Giuliani later suggesting he had a role in making it public. “This is the affidavit I put out,” he said during a Fox News interview this month.

As a result of the publicity Giuliani generated with Shokin’s statement, two of the people said they believe the odds of the Justice Department dropping the case against Firtash have plummeted, because it would look like a quid pro quo. Others connected to the case agreed.

U.S. lawmakers conducting a presidential impeachment inquiry are bearing down on whether favors were traded for influence. They are examining Giuliani’s efforts to turn up evidence in Ukraine and allegations that the Trump administration withheld crucial aid until the country’s president agreed to investigate the Bidens. …

Bloomberg, Jonathan Browning: Oleg Deripaska-Linked Firm Was Raided for Undisclosed U.S. Inquiry http://bloom.bg/2BnIu1E
● Filings in U.K. reveal ‘live’ U.S. criminal investigation
● Laundering investigation grew out of Robert Mueller’s work

WaPo Editorial: Trump hosting the G-7 at his resort is blatant, corrupt self-dealing http://wapo.st/2MPN3au

WaPo, Mitch McConnell: Withdrawing from Syria is a grave mistake http://wapo.st/2MXanTX ”America’s wars will be ‘endless’ only if America refuses to win them.”

NYT Editorial: Turkey’s Victory Over Donald Trump http://nyti.ms/2OYZJyk
// The Turkish president got what he wanted — as did Russia and Iran.

WaPo: Impeachment inquiry shows Trump at the center of Ukraine efforts against rivals http://wapo.st/35LlbNq

TheGuardian: Fighting continues on Syria-Turkey border despite ceasefire http://bit.ly/2OYOtCm
// Artillery fire and ground clashes reported in violation of US-brokered five-day truce

🐣 RT @MSNBC “The fact that they tried to walk it back… is an indication of how damaging that accurate confession really is. That is impeachment game over… ¤ Mulvaney just made himself a really damning witness against the president.” -Fmr. prosecutor Glenn Kirschner
⋙ MSNBC, TheBeatWithAri: Impeachment preps underway amid Ukraine quid pro quo admission http://on.msnbc.com/2J2KXCW
// Donald Trump’s top aide undercut the president’s own defense of “no quid pro quo” with Ukraine. Top DOJ veteran Glenn Kirschner assesses the White House admission, saying Mulvaney was “extremely credible” in his “confession” and it should be “impeachment, game over.” It comes as a majority of Americans say they want Trump impeached and removed from office.

🔆 This❗️⋙ Reuters: Russia says it is starting to resume U.S. cyber cooperation: TASS http://reut.rs/35IS2lZ //➔ impeachment can’t come soon enough

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Our Commander in Chief is a Petulant Little Child, and the Bad Guys of the World Have His Number http://bit.ly/2BlF0gr
// The humiliations mount, and you can hear the laughter from Pyongyang to Ankara to Tehran. Trump isn’t their boss. He’s their bitch.

TheDailyBeast, Jackie Kucinich, Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Brodey: Mick Mulvaney Has Conservatives Asking: WTF Are You Doing? http://bit.ly/2VXoo83
// The acting chief of staff had himself a day on Thursday and his critics say he’s in over his head.

⭕ 17 Oct 2019

CSIS, Melissa Dalton (10/17): When the Toll Comes Due: U.S. Failures in Syria and Next Steps http://bit.ly/2pZXsZe

WaPo/AP Ken Bajak: Why Trump asked Ukraine’s president about ‘CrowdStrike’ http://wapo.st/2o12u7s

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Impeachment is now a slam dunk http://wapo.st/2J0KlOi

🐣 RT @tomiahonen Meanwhile in the Mueller Report (WTF? I thought we lost that fight?)
Meanwhile! ¤ ..in the Mueller Report.. ¤ Pay attention kids! Meanwhile, in the Mueller Report. A judge just ruled that DOJ made unlawful redactions! Yes, AG Barr had hidden parts that Mueller tried to tell us

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Trump is turning American ideology into a sham http://wapo.st/31saQlY

🔆 This❗️⋙ Reuters: Russia says it is starting to resume U.S. cyber cooperation: TASS http://reut.rs/35IS2lZ //➔ impeachment can’t come soon enough

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog A surprise announcement from the Russian news service, TASS: According to the FSB in Russia, the US government has now agreed to carrying out joint cyber operations with Russian intelligence.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Erdogan expected a confrontational meeting, but the mood softened when it became clear the US officials were asking only for token concessions. In return for a brief pause in fighting, there would be no sanctions & no requirement for a Turkish withdrawal.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Pence portrayed the agreement as a hard-fought victory. The deal delivered Erdogan concessions he had been unable to win during years of negotiations w/ the US. The Turkish side was surprised at how easy the negotiations were: “We got everything we wanted”

MSNBC, CraigMelvin: Former CIA Dir. John Brennan: This is a time of great national concern http://on.msnbc.com/2oVrQUH
// There are new reactions to the damning revelations from the President’s Ambassador to the E.U Gordon Sondland, as he continues testifying on the Hill. Plus Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are meeting with Turkish president Erdogan. Joining Chris Jansing to discuss all this is former CIA director John Brennan.

🐣 RT @jeffreyprescott “A Turkish official briefed by participants in the talks said the Turkish side was surprised and relieved at how easy the negotiations were. ‘We got everything we wanted,’ said the official.”
⋙ WaPo: Syria cease-fire agreement lifts threat of U.S. sanctions while letting Turkey keep buffer zone http://wapo.st/2oQYgj6

TheWeek, Joel Mathis: Trump is getting worse http://bit.ly/2ps3DFw “Can you imagine how much more quickly the misjudgments and lashings-out will pile up as impeachment draws ever nearer? The crisis is going to grow only more intense.”

🐣 RT @bkdefend “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing? Did we play games?”
Rep. Elijah Cummings 2/27/19
R.I.P. Rep. Cummings

🐣 RT @brhodes The entire foreign policy of the United States is corrupted. We can’t be sure of a free and fair election in 2020. Our allies are being killed and displaced. Dictators are privileged over democratic allies.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MarthaRaddatz Secretary Mattis lets loose “I earned my spurs on the battlefield; Donald Trump earned his spurs from the doctor”.

WaPo Editorial: Mick Mulvaney’s comments on Trump and Ukraine couldn’t have been clearer http://wapo.st/33Hc4vs

DailyBeast, Christopher Dickey: The Kurds Gave Their Lives to Defeat the Islamic State. Trump Just Pissed It All Away. http://bit.ly/2nRLMqS
// He blames those he betrayed as if they were servants who failed him.

🐣 RT @waltshaub In case it’s not clear from my freaking out, this G-7 thing is an escalation. It may look from the outside like it’s been corruption all along—because it has been—but participating in a contract award to yourself is different by orders of magnitude. This is a red line crossed.

💙 NewYorker, Susan Glasser: Forget Trump’s “Meltdown”—Follow the Testimony http://bit.ly/2qjCEMA
// On a week of revelations in the House’s impeachment inquiry.

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona: Fox’s Judge Napolitano: G7 at Trump Doral Is as ‘Profound a Violation’ as ‘One Could Create’ http://bit.ly/32qHLJ1
// “He has bought himself an enormous headache now,” Napolitano said. “This is about as direct and profound a violation of the emoluments clause as one could create.”

WaPo: Islamic State sees a chance to re-emerge as Turkey batters Kurds http://wapo.st/2VPETD0 ISIS eyes breakout opportunity as Turkish forces batter Kurds
// Despite a temporary cease-fire, Turkey’s incursion into Syria has been a propaganda windfall for the extremist group, which has stepped up attacks on prisons and the Kurdish militia, analysts said.

WaPo, Toluse Olorunnipa: ‘Get over it’: Mulvaney’s twin admissions put Trump at the center of emoluments and Ukraine controversies http://wapo.st/33GTBiA
// The Debrief: An occasional series offering a reporter’s insights

NYT Editorial: Turkey’s Victory Over Donald Trump http://nyti.ms/2OZ5hsK
// The Turkish president got what he wanted — as did Russia and Iran.

NYT: Mulvaney Says, Then Denies, That Trump Held Back Ukraine Aid as Quid Pro Quo http://nyti.ms/2Mshm8m
// Conflicting comments by the acting White House chief of staff threw Washington into turmoil.

💙💙 NYT, William McRaven: Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President http://nyti.ms/2OX0UP2 Admiral McRaven is a former commander of the United States Special Operations Command.
// If President Trump doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office.

🐣 RT 💽 @ABC In impassioned remarks on the Senate floor, Sen. Mitt Romney calls for public hearings on the Trump administration’s actions in Syria, saying the U.S. has abandoned the Kurds while advancing Russian interests in the region. http://abcn.ws/2P2ej8B
https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1185066980190998528?s=20/photo/1

DailyBeast, Christopher Dickey: The Kurds Gave Their Lives to Defeat the Islamic State. Trump Just Pissed It All Away. http://bit.ly/2MqGxIo
// He blames those he betrayed as if they were servants who failed him.

🐣 RT @maddow (1) turkey wants to push the kurds out of that part of syria.
(2) trump gives ‘em the OK to invade.
(3) pence brokers a “deal” in which the kurds… must get out of that part of syria.
(4) the US agrees to un-sanction turkey.
that’s a “deal” like being mugged is a deal.

🐣 RT @neal_katyal This is the textbook definition of an impeachable offense, and the White House Chief of Staff has just admitted it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood Mulvaney concedes that Trump’s desire to investigate “DNC server” was part of the reason Ukraine aide was held up ¤ reporter: so it was a quid pro quo ¤ Mulvaney: we do that all the time. get over it. politics is going to be involved in foreign policy. elections have consequences

⭕ 16 Oct 2019

TIME, Simon Shuster (10/16): Exclusive: How a Ukrainian Oligarch Wanted by U.S. Authorities Helped Giuliani Attack Biden http://bit.ly/378exRY

DailyBeast, Kevin Poulsen (10/16): The Truth About Trump’s Insane Ukraine ‘Server’ Conspiracy http://bit.ly/2MGAHCH
// updated from 9/25; Trump asked Ukraine’s president to help prove a bonkers, Russia-friendly conspiracy theory that U.S. intel relied on manufactured evidence to blame the 2016 DNC hack on Moscow.

TheBulwark, George Thomas (10/16): Donald Trump, Constitutional Ignoramus http://bit.ly/2o6GGHB
// He doesn’t understand the first thing about the charter he has sworn to “preserve, protect and defend.”

WaPo, Philip Bump: Only once has Gallup seen more support for removing a president. Nixon was gone four days later. http://wapo.st/2MQ0tDh
// Which, again, is why a fight with Senate Republicans is bizarre

WaPo: President Trump’s Oct. 9, 2019, letter to President Erdogan of Turkey http://wapo.st/2J0lnPc

🐣 RT @SethAbramson (HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPH) I agree with those saying this photograph will go down in history. Nancy Pelosi was reportedly chastising @realDonaldTrump, in the moment captured below, by saying the following to him: ¤ “All roads with you lead to Putin.”
https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1184652246841286656?s=20/photo/1
 

 
🐣 RT @BretMcGurk “I don’t say this lightly, and I worked for two years in the Trump administration. ¤ He doesn’t know what he’s doing or talking about. ¤ He made this decision on Sunday night without any contingency plan for our troops on the ground.” -Brett McGurk, former special presidential envoy

N🐣 RT @glennkirshner2 Trump just said the fighting in Syria “has nothing to do w/us.” So, in substance, he’s saying that loyalty to our allies ‘has nothing to do w/us.’ Standing w/those who stood by us ‘has nothing to do w/us.’ Preventing the slaughter of our brothers in arms has nothing to do w/us.’

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen Trump is WRONG (or lying) when he says the whistleblower inaccurately described his call with Zelensky. The whistleblower was RIGHT that (1) Trump asked Zelensky to probe Biden, (2) Trump mentioned CrowdStrike, (3) Trump told Zelensky to talk to GIuliani https://
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Shifty Adam Schiff wants to rest his entire case on a Whistleblower who he now says can’t testify, & the reason he can’t testify is that he is afraid to do so because his account of the Presidential telephone call is a fraud & totally different from the actual transcribed call… 📌 https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1184293357121613824?s=20

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Schumer on the Trump Syria meeting: “He was insulting, particularly to the Speaker. She kept her cool completely, but he called her a third rate politician. He said that there are communists involved and you guys might like that. I mean, this was not a dialogue.” Via ABC

WaPo: Trump called Pelosi a ‘third-rate politician’ in first encounter between the leaders since impeachment inquiry began, Schumer says http://wapo.st/2Ml941J

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Da fuq?
⋙ 🐣 ≣ RT @trish_regan EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained a copy of @realDonaldTrump ’s letter to #Erdogan. @POTUS warns him to not “be a tough guy! Don’t be a fool!” Says he could destroy Turkey’s economy if #Syria is not resolved in a humane way. Details tonight at 8pm #TrishRegan #FoxBusiness https://twitter.com/trish_regan/status/1184559361638748161?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff The Office of Management and Budget, State Department and the DOD have failed to comply with Congressional subpoenas. ¤ Despite this unprecedented obstruction, we’ve uncovered significant evidence of Trump’s abuse of power. ¤ And we’ll continue to expose the truth.

🐣 RT @djrothkopf If it weren’t Trump’s insane parroting of Russian & Turkish talking points, betrayal of the Kurds, failure to understand the basics of Middle Eastern geopolitics, we would be focused on his complete misunderstanding of trade, alliances & his insults of the Europeans right now.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Donald Trump vomiting out Turkish and Russian propaganda is something to be proud of, isn’t it @LindseyGrahamSC? ¤ Did you get your orders straight? ¤ Sit. Stay. Roll over.

🐣 RT @joshrogin Trump doesn’t seem to understand that terrorists can plan and execute attacks from long distances. That’s crazy irresponsible.

🐣 RT @NBCNews JUST IN: David Correia, 1 of the 4 people indicted in an alleged scheme to funnel foreign money and violate FEC laws was taken into custody at New York’s JFK airport this morning; the case includes Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman – @Tom_Winter

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 Great point Brian – you would have to be a really incompetent dictator/despot NOT to own Trump. He is so easily manipulated.
⋙ 🐣 RT @aniphoristan Honestly, you’d be a pretty terrible autocrat if you DIDN’T own Trump. He’s so easily own-able. The questions are: how did we let an owned asset ascend to the office, how do we remove him, and how do we insulate ourselves from its happening in the future?

WaPo: Pompeo adviser to decry politicization of State Dept. in impeachment probe testimony http://wapo.st/2VMY5RT former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley, who resigned suddenly last week

🐣 RT @ImpudentCat Wow… he almost earns some respect here
Lindsey Graham: “He will have American blood on his hands if he abandons the Kurds… because ISIS WILL come back. And if ANY American is killed ANYWHERE because of a resurgent ISIS, it will fall on Trump
#TrumpImpeachment

🐣 RT @joshtrogin Trump spouting nonsense: “The Kurds are safer right now… they are not angels, they are not angels.” Then says they aren’t really good fighters without our help.

🐣 RT @joshtpm The total humiliation of the USA here is mind boggling
⋙ 🐣 RT @Haaretz haaretz.com @haaretzcom · Erdogan: “When Trump comes here I will talk to him” Turkey’s president says while snubbing Pence and Pompeo [$link]

DailyBeast, Jeremy Hodge: Here’s How Trump Handed Bashar al-Assad Victory in Syria http://bit.ly/2IT3GRC
// Trump’s petulant decision to pull out U.S. troops while pretending sanctions can prevent Turkey from slaughtering former U.S. allies merely opened the door wide to Assad.

⭕ 15 Oct 2019

CSIS: Syria: The Real Prizes are Iraq, the Gulf, and the Southern Flank of NATO, and the U.S. May Well Be Losing Them http://bit.ly/33L6KXU

🐣 RT @BarbaraBoxer What a symbol: the US abandoned base is now flying the Russian flag in Syria. This seat-of-the-pants President had our troops leave their half-eaten meals behind while our allies who defeated ISIS face death. #ImpeachTrump.
⋙ NYT (10/15): In Syria, Russia Is Pleased to Fill an American Void http://nyti.ms/35SaOqW
// As the United States withdraws from Syria, Russia is stepping in, running patrols to separate warring factions, striking deals and helping President Bashar al-Assad advance.

⏳ NBCNews: Timeline: Trump impeachment inquiry http://nbcnews.to/2Bg58sT
// NBC News’ timeline of events leading up to and following House Speaker Pelosi’s announcement that the House would launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump and his dealings with Ukraine.

🐣 RT @abbydphillip Lindsey Graham to @SuzanneMalveaux says Trump: “is not listening to his commanders. He’s not listening to his advisers, he’s not. He’s making the biggest mistake of his presidency by assuming the Kurds are better off today than they were yesterday.”

🐣 RT @RepTedDeutsch Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t think that Congress or the American people deserve to know if he was involved in the effort to ask Ukraine to interfere in our elections. ¤ There is no privilege that allows anyone in the WH to cover up wrongdoing.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Mike Pence says he won’t comply with a wide-ranging request for documents from House impeachment investigators trying to better understand any role he may have played in Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to political investigations.
⋙⋙ NBCNews: Pence refuses House request to provide documents related to Ukraine call http://nbcnews.to/2OT5Qo7
// The vice president’s office says it won’t cooperate with a “self-proclaimed impeachment inquiry.”

WaPo: Mulvaney emerges as a key facilitator of the campaign to pressure Ukraine http://wapo.st/2BkFJy4

TheAtlantic, Peter Wehner: Trump Betrayed the Kurds. He Couldn’t Help Himself. http://bit.ly/31kOaE8
// Humiliating his own Cabinet secretaries was bad. Putting faithful American allies in harm’s way is far worse.

DailyBeast, Jeremy Hodge: Here’s How Trump Handed Bashar al-Assad Victory in Syria http://bit.ly/2IT3GRC
// Trump’s petulant decision to pull out U.S. troops while pretending sanctions can prevent Turkey from slaughtering former U.S. allies merely opened the door wide to Assad.

NYT: Giuliani Pushed Trump to Deport Cleric Sought by Turkey, Ex-White House Officials Said http://nyti.ms/33zLCUj
// The president’s personal lawyer called Fethullah Gulen an extremist, but his repeated demands raised eyebrows.

NYT, Tom Friedman: It’s Not Trump vs. the Dems. It’s Trump vs. the Country’s True Defenders. http://nyti.ms/35B649c
// Public servants who swore to protect the Constitution also set the impeachment process in motion.

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom We are now sanctioning Turkey for something Trump gave them permission to do, because no one knows what the President is saying to any foreign leaders at any given moment.

🐣 RT @monaheart1229 BREAKING: SDNY has filed a 6 count indictment against a Turkish bank with ties to Giulaini for moving billions of $ of Iranian oil revenue & millions of $ in bribes to high ranking Turkish Gov’t officials. And he fired his lawyer today.. #TuesdayMotivation
⋙ TheHill: Turkish bank linked to Giuliani client charged with fraud, money laundering in New York http://bit.ly/35DiYn0

WaPo: White House directed ‘three amigos’ to run Ukraine policy, senior State department official tells House investigators http://wapo.st/35DiYn0 Energy Secretary Rick Perry, US Amb. to the EU Gordon Sondland and special US envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker

NYT: Senior State Dept. Ukraine Expert George Kent Says White House Sidelined Him http://nyti.ms/
// Mr. Kent told investigators he was cut out of Ukraine policymaking and told to “lay low” on it, after a May meeting orchestrated by Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff.

A senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy told impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he was all but cut out of decisions regarding the country after a May meeting organized by Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, describing his sidelining by President Trump’s inner circle as “wrong,” according to a lawmaker who heard the testimony.

🐣 RT @allinwithchris BREAKING: State Department official told Congress the White House directed “three amigos” to run Ukraine policy. #inners 💽 https://twitter.com/allinwithchris/status/1184260397110644738?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @PoliticusSarah Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) said Democrats only have five or six more witnesses to interview before they are ready to turn over their evidence to the House Judiciary Committee for public impeachment hearings.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: John Bolton might get the last laugh http://wapo.st/2oxAR6h

🐣 RT @cassandra17lina Good morning, #Trumpkins… looks like the infighting has begun. We tried to warn you. Remember what happened in #Watergate? 40 of #Nixon’s “loyal” team went to prison. Nobody remembers more than a few of them. The rest, like you, will be tossed in the ash heap of history. #sad https://twitter.com/cassandra17lina/status/1184076241755877376?s=20/photo/1
// great Watergate cartoon

🐣 RT @MSNBC .@neal_katyal on President Turmp’s plan to stonewall impeachment: “There’s one president who tried that before. His name was Richard Nixon and he went down in flames. I suspect the same thing will happen here.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, TheBeatWithAri: DOJ veteran predicts Trump’s Ukraine stonewalling will make him go ‘down in flames’ like Nixon http://on.msnbc.com/
// Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal joins MSNBC’s Ari Melber for ‘Opening Arguments’ to discuss Trump’s ‘ridiculous’ attempts to stonewall Congress’ impeachment probe. Katyal comments on WSJ’s reports of Mike Pompeo’s former senior adviser Michael McKinley’s upcoming testimony, saying more Trump aides are telling ‘the truth to the American people.’ Katyal says if Trump continues to ‘try and run out the clock’ on the impeachment probe he will ‘go down in flames’ like Richard Nixon, as Trump holds no ‘valid legal argument.’ Katyal also weigh in on Rudy Giuliani’s investigation, calling the involvement of the DOJ’s ‘legendary figure’ in the Ukraine scandal ‘sad.’

WaPo: Russia patrolling between Turkish and Syrian forces after U.S. troops withdraw http://wapo.st/2IQQHzR

DailyBeast, Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein: Trump Suspects a Spiteful John Bolton Is Behind Ukraine Leaks http://bit.ly/32kMz2w
// Trump fears the leaks are now coming from the people he chose to serve—and that only increases the paranoia currently infecting the West Wing.

⭕ 14 Oct 2019

NYT: Russia Savors U.S. Missteps in Syria, and Seizes Opportunity http://nyti.ms/2MGTNHO
// President Trump’s erratic moves are letting Russia seize the role of peacemaker — and deal-maker — in Syria.

BusinessInsider, Sonam Sheth: FBI officials were ‘rattled’ and ‘blindsided’ by Trump’s call for Ukraine to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden http://bit.ly/31eAuLa

🐣 RT @EdwardGLuce Worth emphasising the scale of the disaster Trump has wrought in the week since his call with Erdogan. 1. Revived Isis. 2. Cemented Assad’s grip on Syria. 3. Handed Russia yet another geopolitical windfall. 4. Betrayed the Kurds. 5. Immeasurably harmed US power. Thread 1. 📌 https://twitter.com/EdwardGLuce/status/1183718809942839299?s=20

GQ, Jay Willis: How Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump Have Profited Off Their Dad’s Presidency http://bit.ly/2IShP17

WaPo: Trump’s ex-Russia adviser Fiona Hill told impeachment investigators of Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine http://wapo.st/2BeKARq
// Fiona Hill, who resigned from her National Security Council post this year, told lawmakers that Rudolph W. Giuliani’s dealings with Ukraine circumvented U.S. officials and career diplomats.

NYT Editorial: Trump Is Making Syria, and the Middle East, More Dangerous http://nyti.ms/2B9O5J4
// As desperate Kurds ally with Assad, the specter of the Islamic State threatens again, and American power dims.

WaPo, Ishaan Tharoor: Trump’s lose-lose game in Syria http://wapo.st/2VIzZaR

WSJ: Federal Prosecutors Scrutinize Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine Business Dealings, Finances http://on.wsj.com/32fcLeY
// Trump lawyer’s bank records have been examined; witnesses are questioned about work for a Ukraine mayor, efforts to oust U.S. ambassador

WSJ: Kurdish-Syrian Pact Scrambles Mideast Alliances http://on.wsj.com/2VHFwP3
// Kurdish authorities give way to regime allied with Russia and Iran in territory cleared by U.S. coalition

WSJ, Editorial: Trump’s Syria Mess ~ He resorts to sanctions as the harm from withdrawal builds. http://on.wsj.com/2qf3tSc “What a mess.”

🐣 RT @RBReich Trump’s withdrawal from Turkish border is:
causing slaughter of our Kurdish allies
rekindling ISIS
pushing Kurds into alliance with Syria
making Russia preeminent superpower in region.
Just as worrying, Trump made this decision w/o consulting anyone.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “Syria’s longterm goal is to regain control of all of its territory, Kurdish areas included. Now the Kurds have said ‘Fine, we’ll do that …just don’t let these Turkish militias carry out ethnic cleansing.”@RichardEngel reports on the situation in Syria.
⋙ MSNBC, RachelMaddow: Absent US, Kurds panicked by Arab ‘shock troops’ turn to Syria http://on.msnbc.com/2oKaz0t
// Richard Engel, NBC News chief foreign correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about the power dynamics in Syria after Donald Trump opened the door for Turkey to slaughter Syrian Kurds in what is devolving into a land grab between Syria and Turkey.

WaPo, David Ignatius: For U.S. soldiers, ‘it’s a dagger to the heart’ to abandon the Kurds http://wapo.st/2VHE13d

🐣 RT @brianschatz This Bolton thing seems damning. But let’s not forget that we already have the President admitting to a pretty obviously impeachable offense in dangling military assistance in exchange for personal political favors. We already have all the unrefuted facts we need.

🐣 RT @NeersTanden John Bolton called the lawyers because he was worried Giuliani and Sondland were committing crimes…man this is far worse than we thought. And all these people were just going to hide all of this. ¤ The whistleblower is an American hero.
🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Breaking via NYT: John Bolton instructed Fiona Hill to notify the chief lawyer for the National Security Council that Rudy Giuliani was working with Mick Mulvaney on a rogue operation with legal implications, Hill told the investigators.
⋙ NYT: Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani ‘a Hand Grenade’ http://nyti.ms/2VJSjjP
● John Bolton ordered an aide to report Rudy Giuliani’s campaign to a lawyer, House investigators were told by Fiona Hill, a former White House official.
● The testimony revealed the degree to which Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to extract damaging information on President Trump’s behalf divided the White House.

WaPo Editorial: Trump’s blunder in Syria is irreparable http://wapo.st/2MEOcS8

🐣 RT @MrDanZak Today the White House’s former top Russia adviser told impeachment investigators that Giuliani ran a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvented U.S. officials and diplomats in order to personally benefit President Trump.
⋙ WaPo: Trump’s ex-Russia adviser Fiona Hill told impeachment investigators of Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine http://wapo.st/2BeKARq

🐣 RT @andrewsweiss* THREAD: Have we reached the point where Giuliani’s role in Ukraine-gate no longer looks like an outtake from a bad Coen Brothers movie and is creating a far more serious legal situation that should be setting off alarm bells inside DOJ comparable to James Comey’s firing? 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/andrewsweiss/status/1183842426445807616?s=20 *(“Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Russia and Eurasia Program.”… )
⋙ 🐣 RT @andrewsweiss WSJ reported on Oct 10 that Lev Parnas, one of the Giuliani associates arrested by the Feds, had been hired by Firtash’s defense team as a translator.…/5
⋙⋙ WSJ (10/10/2019): Two Giuliani Associates Who Helped Him on Ukraine Charged With Campaign-Finance Violations http://on.wsj.com/2ovkQOd
// Prosecutors say Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were part of a conspiracy to funnel foreign money into U.S. elections
⋙⋙ NYT (3/25/2018): Trump Won’t Hire 2 Lawyers Whose Appointments Were Announced Days Ago http://nyti.ms/2OMuzdF

🐣 RT @brianklaas Trump is the arsonist who likes to pretend to play the firefighter after the blaze he started burns out of control
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Statement from President Donald J. Trump Regarding Turkey’s Actions in Northeast Syria https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1183833640507269120?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @writernthesky The US nuclear weapons are now Erdogan’s hostages. To fly them out of Incirlik would be to mark the de facto end of the Turkish-American alliance. To keep them there ‘is to perpetuate a nuclear vulnerability that should have been eliminated years ago.’
🐣 RT @ Powerful @SangerNYT “Mr. Trump ignored months of warnings from his advisers about what calamities likely would ensue if he followed his instincts to pull back from Syria and abandon America’s longtime allies, the Kurds. He had no Plan B, other than to leave.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @RonBrownstein Can’t summarize it better than this: “All the warnings were there. But President Trump’s reliance on his instincts, and his relationships, led him to ignore the consequences of a move that has emboldened Russia, Iran and the Islamic State.”
⋙⋙ NYT, David Sanger: Analysis: Trump Followed His Gut on Syria. Calamity Came Fast. http://nyti.ms/32qhqLr
// All the warnings were there. But President Trump’s reliance on his instincts, and his relationships, led him to ignore the consequences of a move that has emboldened Russia, Iran and the Islamic State. … Rarely has a presidential decision led so rapidly to what his own party leaders have described as disastrous consequences for U.S. allies and interests.

NYT: Harold Bloom, Critic Who Championed Western Canon, Dies at 89 http://nyti.ms/2MdDNOg
// Called the most notorious literary critic in America, Professor Bloom argued for the superiority of giants like Shakespeare, Chaucer and Kafka.

✅ WaPo Factchecker: President Trump has made 13,435 false or misleading claims over 993 days http://wapo.st/35AT2bG

WaPo, Rick Noack: The four biggest foes of America that gain from Trump’s Syria pullout http://wapo.st/2IRtMUR Russia, #ISIS, Iran, Assad regime

WaPo: Trump’s campaign manager calls impeachment inquiry a ‘seditious conspiracy’ as another witness testifies http://wapo.st/2VOh8eM

WaPo, James Hohman: Trump hands Putin another win with Syria pullout http://wapo.st/2VH4UEq

WaPo: Syrian forces retake territory long held by U.S. allies, as Turkey expands offensive http://wapo.st/2IPVlOe
// Alt hl: Syrian troops enter towns in northeast as Erdogan warns of wider offensive; Syrian government troops moved back into towns for the first time in years after U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters, in a stunning reversal, reached a deal with the government. Turkish-backed rebels have begun a push to retake the northern city of Manbij, which has long been a flash point.

NYT, David Sanger: Analysis: Trump Followed His Gut on Syria. Calamity Came Fast. http://nyti.ms/32qhqLr
// All the warnings were there. But President Trump’s reliance on his instincts, and his relationships, led him to ignore the consequences of a move that has emboldened Russia, Iran and the Islamic State. … Rarely has a presidential decision led so rapidly to what his own party leaders have described as disastrous consequences for U.S. allies and interests.

WaPo, Max Boot: Are you happy now, Trump supporters? http://wapo.st/2VGNDLD

DailyBeast: Donald Trump Isn’t Julius Caesar. He’s Republic-Killer Tiberius Gracchus. http://bit.ly/2BbMpPe
// What made him so dangerous was his determined incitement of the worst and most violent tendencies of his populist mob.

DailyBeast: Trump Just Enlisted America in a New Axis of Evil http://bit.ly/2BbCOYA
// In short, Trump has for the first time in our history aligned the U.S. with our enemies and against everything we should stand for and that is in our interest.

🐣 Winners: Russia, ISIS, Saudi Arabia, Trump properties; Losers: Kurds, US, NATO, Israel. (Staviridis etc on @Morning_Joe)

Staviridis: Collision of Ottoman Turks, Sunni Arabs, and Persians (Iran) with Russia hovering over (on @Morning_Joe)

WaPo: ‘I sort of thrive on it’: The impeachment crisis shines a spotlight on Trump’s state of mind http://wapo.st/2pmzcR6 //➔ ah! so from Lear on the Heath to End-Stage MacBeth

DailyBeast, Christopher Dickey and Spencer Ackerman: The U.S. Spoiled a Deal That Might Have Saved the Kurds http://bit.ly/2MCo3Du
// Forsaken by the U.S. and under attack by Turkish troops, the Kurds are turning to Russia for help. The last time they tried to do so, the Americans worked to talk them out of it

⭕ 13 Oct 2019

💙 ForeignAffairs, William Burns : The Demolition of U.S. Diplomacy http://fam.ag/2Mjo1Sh
// Not Since Joe McCarthy Has the State Department Suffered Such a Devastating Blow

In my three and a half decades as a U.S. Foreign Service officer, proudly serving five presidents and ten secretaries of state from both parties, I’ve never seen an attack on diplomacy as damaging, to both the State Department as an institution and our international influence, as the one now underway.

The contemptible mistreatment of Marie Yovanovitch—the ambassador to Ukraine who was dismissed for getting in the way of the president’s scheme to solicit foreign interference in U.S. elections—is just the latest example of President Donald Trump’s dangerous brand of diplomatic malpractice. His is a diplomacy of narcissism, bent on advancing private interests at the expense of our national interests.

Ambassador Yovanovitch is not the first professional diplomat to find herself in political crosshairs in the history of the State Department. Trump is not the first demagogue to bully career personnel. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not the first secretary of state derelict in his duty. But the damage from this assault—coming from within the executive branch itself, after nearly three years of unceasing diplomatic self-sabotage, and at a particularly fragile geopolitical moment—will likely prove to be even more severe to both diplomatic tradecraft and U.S. foreign policy. …

To clean up the institutional wreckage in the State Department will take many years. The damage to our influence and reputation may prove to be even longer lasting—and harder to repair.

WaPo, Ishaan Tharoor: Trump’s retreat in Syria turns into a mess http://wapo.st/35yi2Ai

NYT: Macabre Video of Fake Trump Shooting Media and Critics Is Shown at His Resort http://nyti.ms/2IPuPVh //➔ this sounds hideous; video not included ~ but description alone very disturbing

WaPo: Unswayed by top advisers, Trump doubles down on decision to withdraw troops http://wapo.st/33tpfzW

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: The Three Keys to Trump’s Coming Coup http://bit.ly/2VFC2MU
// With this man in office and with an authoritarian political party behind him, as we inch closer to justice, we also inch closer to our worst nightmare.

DailyBeast, Christopher Dickey and Spencer Ackerman: The U.S. Spoiled a Deal That Might Have Saved the Kurds http://bit.ly/2MCo3Du
// Forsaken by the U.S. and under attack by Turkish troops, the Kurds are turning to Russia for help. The last time they tried to do so, the Americans worked to talk them out of it

AP, Vladimir Isachenov: Kremlin relishes US pullback from Syria, turmoil in Ukraine http://bit.ly/2VKqLej

🐣 RT @OARichardEngel Since the impeachment inquiry started, Trump has only dug in. “Once he gets away with something, he tries something more extreme,” says political scientist @brianklaas. That normalizes rule-breaking behavior & conditions people to accept outrage, he says.

WaPo: As Trump withdraws U.S. forces from northern Syria, his administration scrambles to respond http://wapo.st/32c0bNr

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT Every mother and father in America should watch video. Play it all the way to end. Know that this is the re-election message of your President. ¤ And then ask yourself – how you sit your kids down and tell them you want this person to lead us. https://twitter.com/ChrisMurphyCT/status/1183591860889100288?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @HawaiiDelilah The Trump admin embodies structural immorality. Caging children; ignoring Puerto Rico; dismissing the state-sponsored murder of a columnist; green lighting genocide; leaving our own troops at risk; laughing it up with dictators. And now: the valorization of mass murder on video.

🐣 Fall of Saigon 1975 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1183428297339949057?s=20/photo/1-3

🐣 ♫ Song for the Times: Death March by Algiers
Lyrics and Credits: http://bit.ly/32armII
YouTube: https://youtu.be/5EZ3ci-r0yk
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1183596310072565760?s=20/photo/1

♫ Death March
By Algiers

♪ This can’t be how it all falls apart
Constant fear of explosion
Crypto-fascist contagion

♪ They took no time to unwind it all
Manufactured suggestion
Wag the dog and then drown him

♪ How hate keeps passing on
This is how the hate keeps passing on

♪ This can’t be how it all whimpers out
Live to die in the gutter
Empty ivory towers

♪ They pay no mind just to wind you up
Informed autosuggestion
State-sanctioned assassination

♪ How hate keeps passing on
This is how the hate keeps passing on

CNN: Retired Marine Gen. John Allen: ‘There is blood on Trump’s hands for abandoning our Kurdish allies’ http://cnn.it/2IOIRqj

💙 NYT: Abandoned by U.S. in Syria, Kurds Find New Ally in American Foe http://nyti.ms/2MCKhp5 //➔ if this saves the Kurds from being massacred, I am relieved and happy for them but what a disaster for the US’s standing in the world!
● Under fire by Turkish forces, the militia that battled ISIS joined Syria’s Russian-backed government, a major turning point in the long war.
● It capped a day of whipsaw developments as Turkish troops advanced and hundreds of women and children linked to ISIS escaped from a detention camp.

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Trump is the culmination of all that has gone wrong in our politics http://wapo.st/2qbxcLQ

NBC, Meet The Press: Poll: Is there enough evidence to begin an impeachment inquiry? Republicans: ‘Trump before Party’ ~ No: 91%; ‘Party before Trump” ~ 58%

🔆 This❗️⋙ ≣ Axios, Alayna Treene: House Democrats’ impeachment roadmap http://bit.ly/35yUDP9

Below are some of the key areas of interest to the committees, as outlined in their Oct. 9 letter:

● All transcripts, notes, recordings, summaries, prep sessions and communications around Trump’s April and July calls with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

● Efforts to restrict access to or limit distribution of documents referring to calls with foreign leaders; policies surrounding the practice of moving politically damaging documents to a special electronic system.

● Interagency meetings relating to foreign assistance of any kind.

● A meeting on or around May 21 in Kiev, Ukraine, with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Ukrainian officials and representatives of the Ukrainian energy sector.

● A White House meeting on or around May 23 involving Trump, Volker, Perry or Sondland.

● A dinner in Brussels on or around June 4 involving Jared Kushner, Zelensky, Sondland and Perry.

● A White House meeting on or around July 10 with Ukrainian officials and former national security advisor John Bolton, Volker, Perry, Sondland — and possibly Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

● Efforts by Rudy Giuliani or associates to pressure Ukrainian government officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Paul Manafort, the DNC, Hillary Clinton and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

● Potential attempts by Trump administration officials to influence Ukraine’s state gas company Naftogaz.

● Ukraine’s acquisition of Javelin missiles from the U.S. and the decision to stop investigating Manafort and cease cooperation with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

● Efforts by Trump administration officials to retaliate against the whistleblower or dispose of documents relating to the Ukraine investigation.

WaPo Editorial: There’s yet another level to the Trump administration’s corruption in Ukraine http://wapo.st/2oHOLTl

🐣 Dear @GOP, I hope your tax cuts were worth the #Kurds. @senatemajldr

🐣 RT @mccaffrey3 Vital we withdraw nuclear weapons from Turkey. NATO should administratively cut links to their armed forces. Erdogan an authoritarian threat to his own people and his NATO allies.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ RichardHaass Long overdue to give up fiction that Erdogan’s Turkey is an ally in practice. US should withdraw all nuclear weapons, reduce reliance on Turkey’s bases, and restrict intelligence sharing and arms sales. Should also articulate red lines in Syria. https://washingtonpost.com/national-security/2019/10/12/us-forces-say-turkey-was-deliberately-bracketing-american-forces-with-artillery-fire-syria/
⋙⋙ WaPo: U.S. forces say Turkey was deliberately ‘bracketing’ American troops with artillery fire in Syria http://wapo.st/2OLcQmK
⋙⋙ 🐣 But Erdogan asked Trump’s permission, right? Honestly, Trump’s access to nuclear weapons worries me a lot more than Erdogan’s.

🐣 RT @SethAbramson NOTE: The Soviet-born Lev Parnas, who says (WP) he met Trump “several” times before the 2016 election and came to “admire” him, began working with the Trump Org around 1987—the year Trump first went to the Soviet Union in a trip reports say the KGB set up. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1183412392547495936?s=20

🐣 RT @brhodes The consequences of a single phone call from Erdogan to Trump are staggering

🐣 RT @BenjaminHallNC URGENT: US official tells me the situation in NE Syria is deteriorating rapidly. US Forces are at risk of being isolated and the risk of confrontation between Turkish proxies and US Forces is high. Extremist Turkish proxies are wearing SDF uniforms and killing civilians. ¤ @foxnews

🐣 RT @MeetThePress WATCH: Turkey using militias to advance in Syria, including former Al Qaeda and ISIS members “close to U.S. forces” #MTP #IfItsSunday ¤ @RichardEngel: “The situation is not how it has been portrayed over the last several days as a conventional Turkish assault.”

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson SPOILER: Trump won’t do a damned thing.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ABCpolitics Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Turkey: “We’ve put them on warning. The president has authorized me to effectively shut down the entire Turkey economy and we can do that at a moments notice on his command” https://abcn.ws/2Mccm7K

WaPo Editorial: The truth about taxation in America http://wapo.st/35tSynL Two gurus of inequality research, University of California at Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, think Democrats have been far too timid about taking on inequality

WaPo: Trump orders withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria, days after Pentagon downplays possibility http://wapo.st/32c0bNr

NYT Editorial: Making America Worse http://nyti.ms/2B8liEH
// As impeachment commands the spotlight, the Trump administration continues to gut the rule book to hurt millions.

WaPo: How two Soviet-born emigres made it into elite Trump circles — and the center of the impeachment storm http://wapo.st/35zje6O

WaPo, Fareed Zakaria: I’ve long opposed impeaching Trump. That’s different now. http://wapo.st/31chQ6k

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews 12 Hours. 4 Syrian Hospitals Bombed. One Culprit: #Russia. ¤ The Russians saved Bashar al-Assad’s government. A trove of Russian Air Force recordings obtained by The Times shows how bombing Syrian hospitals helped them do it. #Syria
⋙ NYT: 12 Hours. 4 Syrian Hospitals Bombed. One Culprit: Russia. http://nyti.ms/2MAoezm
// The Russians saved Bashar al-Assad’s government. A trove of Russian Air Force recordings obtained by The Times shows how bombing Syrian hospitals helped them do it.

🐣 Trump needs the also release the readout from his undoubtedly “perfect” phone call with Erdogan that led to this catastrophe.

🐣 RT @rcallimachi Among the dirty little secrets of how Turkey wages war in Syria is that it’s not just Turkish soldiers poring over the border. It’s also allied rebels whose behavior isn’t so different from ISIS. This horrific video shows how they kill Kurds:
⋙ NYT: Syrian Arab Fighters Backed by Turkey Kill Two Kurdish Prisoners http://nyti.ms/2INODIH
// The killings, one of them caught on video, raised the specter of wider sectarian warfare as fighting in Syria escalates.

WaPo: U.S. troops withdraw from another Syrian town as Turkish forces block supply lines http://wapo.st/317Hh9r
// fp title: WaPo: U.S. troops evacuate Syrian town as Turkish-led forces advance, potentially marooning other U.S. soldiers http://wapo.st/317Hh9r

⭕ 12 Oct 2019

🐣 RT @BillKristol Who wanted Trump to withdraw U.S. troops and abandon the Kurds? Not the Defense or the State Department. Not the foreign policy establishment or the American people. Not Republicans or Democrats. ¤ Who wanted Trump to abandon the Kurds and withdraw U.S. troops? Erdogan. And Putin.

🐣 RT @StevenBeschloss On Trump. Every ISIS car bomb. Every air strike on Kurdish sites. Every jailbreak. Every beating. Every injury. Every death. Every collection of mass casualties. Every one. On Trump, who decided by himself and for himself, to betray the Kurds and betray America.

🐣 RT @McFaul Wow! If true, this is a bombshell. Sondlands text about there is no quid pro quo sounded so forced and scripted. This expIains why.
⋙ 🐣 RT @DavidJollyFL “The U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, intends to tell Congress this week that the content of a text message he wrote denying a quid pro quo with Ukraine was relayed to him directly by President Trump in a phone call.”
⋙⋙⋙ WaPo: Trump’s envoy to testify that ‘no quid pro quo’ came from Trump http://wapo.st/2OKtOSi

💙💙 NYT, Matt Flegenheimer: James Comey Would Like to Help http://nyti.ms/32bFhhH
// The former F.B.I. director wants an end to the Trump presidency. And yes, he knows you might think he caused it.

NYT: ISIS Rears Its Head, Adding to Chaos as Turkey Battles Kurds http://nyti.ms/2q0X5Oa
// 10/11-12/2019; A prison break and a bombing claimed by the Islamic State punctuated fears that the Turkish invasion, now in its third day, was sowing mayhem.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Putin says all foreign militaries, including the U.S., must leave Syria: “Everyone who is illegitimately on the territory of any state, in this case Syria, must leave this territory. This applies to all states” [except for Russia, “invited” by Assad.]

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump’s name will forever be linked with the word “betrayal”:
Betrayal of the our loyal allies the Kurds,
Betrayal of our battle against ISIS,
Betrayal of Ukraine,
Betrayal of Truth,
Betrayal of his Oath of Office,
Betrayal of the United States of America.

WaPo, Michael Gerhardt: Trump’s impeachment defense boils down to this: Treat me like a king http://wapo.st/2B7BdD6
// If he can’t be indicted, and if he can dictate his own terms to Congress — as the White House counsel suggests — then the president is saying that he’s something other than a president.

NYT, Michelle Goldberg: America Exports Its Corruption to Ukraine http://nyti.ms/2M7HK77
// Once upon a time, we spread ideals of democracy and rule of law. Now? We send Giuliani.

⭕ 11 Oct 2019

DailyBeast, Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein: Trump’s Favorite Impeachment Lawyer Is …Trump Himself http://bit.ly/33rXRCm //➔ turns out the letter from the OLC was largely his political talking points
// Trump penned letter from OLC himself; President Donald Trump has slowly but surely bent the Office of the White House Counsel to his will.

WaPo, Nancy Gibbs: It’s clear. Trump doesn’t want to be president anymore.http://wapo.st/2MCom13

🐣 RT @bret_mcgurk Turkish forces have fired on a declared U.S. military outpost in northern Syria. Turkey knows all of our locations down to the precise grid coordinate as confirmed by SECDEF and CJCS only two hours ago. This was not a mistake. 📌 https://twitter.com/brett_mcgurk/status/1182756792675139584?s=20

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The bully in chief loses his secret weapon: Fear http://wapo.st/2IKuIdz

CNN: Federal judge says Trump’s use of emergency funds to build wall is unlawful http://cnn.it/2p9Jyn7

@business Kremlin-directed operatives opened champagne when Trump won in 2016 and “uttered almost in unison: ‘We made America great,'” according to communication in a new Senate Intelligence Committee report on Russia election interference https://bloom.bg/2M7HGUQ https://twitter.com/business/status/1182953611812323328?s=20/photo/1

🐣 Let resignations flow like a mighty river. #TrumpAdmin

🐣 Shep Smith was a diamond in the dumpster that is Fox.

🐣 Rudy, Pompeo, Barr and Trump. They’re all going down ~ if justice.

🔆 This❗️⋙ 🔊 MaddowShow: Former Ukraine Amb. Marie Yovanovitch, Rudy Giuliano and Secy of State Pompeo: Apple Podcast http://apple.co/2M9yRdu This is incredible ‼️
⋙ Listen to Former ambassador excoriates corruption of Trump acolytes from The Rachel Maddow Show on Apple Podcasts. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-rachel-maddow-show/id294055449?i=1000453205257

CNN, Marshall Cohen: 5 explosive lines from ex-ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s statement to Congress http://cnn.it/2oDDdAi

“Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the US government chose to remove an ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”

“With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contacts with him — a total of three that I recall. None related to the events at issue. I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me. But individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”

“…after being asked by the Department in early March to extend my tour until 2020, I was then abruptly told in late April to come back to Washington from Ukraine on the next plane.”

“I met with the Deputy Secretary of State, who informed me of the curtailment of my term. He said that the President had lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador. He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the Department had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018. He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.”

“”Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within. State Department leadership, with Congress, needs to take action now to defend this great institution, and its thousands of loyal and effective employees. We need to rebuild diplomacy as the first resort to advance America’s interests and the front line of America’s defense. I fear that not doing so will harm our nation’s interest, perhaps irreparably.”

NBCNews: Giuliani’s associates tried to cut business deal in Ukraine boasting of Trump ties http://nbcnews.to/33nSZy3
// Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman pushed for the removal of a Ukrainian gas executive hailed for his anti-corruption efforts, two sources say.

🐣 RT @MSNBC Where did the Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theory come from? The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer tells @AllInWithChris how she traced its origin to a dark money group linked to one of Trump’s biggest supporters – Robert Mercer.
💙💙 ⋙ 💽 MSNBC, AllIn: Where Trump’s conspiracy theories come from http://on.msnbc.com/2OHkzCy
// Where Trump’s conspiracy theories come from The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer tells Chris Hayes about the right-wing ecosystem that creates scandals — and might well inadvertently bring down a president.

🐣 RT @maddow “US Federal prosecutors in Illinois said in court papers in 2017 that Firtash was an “upper-echelon” associate of Russian organized crime. He was indicted in 2013 on bribery charges.”
🐣 RT @maddow “Firtash is a former supporter of Ukraine’s ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich. He made a fortune selling Russian gas to Ukraine. An Austrian court in June cleared the way for his extradition to the US, but Firtash continues to fight it.”
🔆 This❗️⋙ Reuters: Indicted Giuliani associate worked on behalf of Ukrainian oligarch Firtash http://reut.rs/2M9PA0b surprise surprise!

🐣 .@SecPompeo “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” In case you forgot. @WestPoint_USMA

NYT: Giuliani Is Said to Be Under Investigation for Ukraine Work http://nyti.ms/2IKZxPr
// Prosecutors are investigating whether the president’s lawyer broke laws meant to prevent covert foreign influence on the government. http://nyti.ms/

🐣 RT @ClaraJeffery Holy shit this interview Pompeo gave NBC Nashville affiliate reporter @WSMVNancyAmons is bonkers
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, MitchellReports: Pompeo refuses to say if he met with Giuliani on February Warsaw trip http://on.msnbc.com/
// Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is doing “everything he can,” according to Andrea Mitchell, to avoid discussing Rudy Giuliani. Former CIA director John Brennan joins to discuss.

NYT, Michelle Cottle: All the President’s Henchmen http://nyti.ms/2B2wLW7
// Mr. Trump has assembled a colorful cast of characters who are having trouble keeping their stories straight.

WSJ: Indicted Donors Spread Campaign Cash Widely http://on.wsj.com/2IIuow2
// Pair of Soviet-born Florida businessmen donated $675,000 to at least 14 GOP candidates and groups last year

YahooNews: Pentagon officials deemed withholding of military aid to Ukraine was illegal http://yhoo.it/2OCZnNI

🐣 RT @real TRUMP: “Are you ready? Saudi Arabia at my request has agreed to pay us for everything we are doing. That is a first. Saudi Arabia, and other countries soon now, but Saudi Arabia has agreed to pay us for everything we are doing to help them and we appreciate that.”

Medium, Rick Wilson: The Minister of Justice Meets the Minister of Propaganda http://bit.ly/33rcntU
// Why William Barr’s meeting with Rupert Murdoch is so dangerous

CNN: Rudy Giuliani is still Trump’s attorney but won’t deal with Ukraine matters, source says http://cnn.it/33mqVLr

WaPo: Trump’s Ukraine stone wall has begun to crack http://wapo.st/2VAhXHP

🐣 RT @chocobean73 @realDonaldTrump Well, whaddya know. Here’s a picture Fromm WWII showing Kurds doing what nobody from your family line has ever done, fought alongside our allies at war. #cowardinchief https://twitter.com/chocobean73/status/1182784335562399746?s=20/photo/1

💙 DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: The ‘Serious’ Senate Republicans Chiding Trump Are Profiles in Chickenshit http://bit.ly/2oBbrEB “Unless they confront Donald J. Trump, they’re a party to the atrocities that spring from his actions.”
// Trump broke something in them, something deep and fundamental. He numbed not only their prior commitment to conservative principles but even their very instinct for survival.

DailyBeast, Spencer Ackerman Sam Brodey and Sam Stein: More Potential Whistleblowers Are Contacting Congress http://bit.ly/2B4f7S3
// The first two officials who came forward about the president’s pressure campaign on Ukraine seem to be just the beginning, according to Hill sources.

DailyBeast: Bill Barr, Trump’s Hatchet Man, Is About to Become His Scapegoat http://bit.ly/31551L5
// Trump’s DOJ is arguing that Congress should never have heard Nixon’s “smoking gun” tape and should be barred from reviewing any further evidence of Trump’s criminality.

DailyBeast: Trump Says U.S. Troops Have Quit Syria. It’s Not True. http://bit.ly/2IJnCWN
// “I don’t know what the tactical rationale for this is,” says a former Pentagon official as Turkey assaults the Kurds whom the U.S. used to attack ISIS.

WaPo: New revelations about Trump test Pelosi’s narrow impeachment strategy http://wapo.st/2M9PFAV

WaPo: Ousted ambassador Marie Yovanovitch tells Congress Trump pressured State Dept. to remove her http://wapo.st/2OEe2IH
⋙ ≣ WaPo: Read Marie Yovanovitch’s prepared deposition statement http://wapo.st/2VzCOel

WaPo, David Priess: The Senate is likelier to remove Trump after impeachment than you think http://wapo.st/2M4SLpQ David Priess is chief operating officer at the Lawfare Institute
// The history of past acquittals isn’t as helpful to Trump as naysayers believe

NPR: Former U.S. Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovich Testifies In Impeachment Probe On Capitol Hill http://n.pr/2MAVhD5

⭕ 10 Oct 2019

FinancialTimes: Trump adviser says China provided information about Hunter Biden http://on.ft.com/2JuvTOC
// Michael Pillsbury claims Beijing supplied background on alleged $1.5bn payment

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: DOJ Confirms that Trump’s Anti-Biden Propagandists Were in the Employ of a Russian http://bit.ly/2VDRBok
// Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman; “Putting together the Dowd letter and the indictment, it becomes clear that the John Solomon propaganda that Trump was pushing (and which Rudy sent to Mike Pompeo’s State Department as part of the effort to get rid of Yovanovitch and which Lindsey Graham just invited Rudy to come present to the Senate Judiciary Committee) was funded by an as yet unnamed Russian.”

WaPo, Max Boot: Why did Trump betray the Kurds? The rationales make no sense. http://wapo.st/2nC7wa9

WaPo: White House political appointees overrode career staffers before freezing Ukraine aid http://wapo.st/2VyXh2M

🐣 RT @kenvogel SCOOP: Indicted pro-TRUMP Ukraine researcher LEV PARNAS told people he paid RUDY GIULIANI hundreds of thousands of dollars to work for his firm, Fraud Guarantee. ¤ Giuliani first seemed to admit working for the firm in 2018, then said he couldn’t confirm.
⋙ NYT: Giuliani’s Ukraine Team: In Search of Influence, Dirt and Money http://nyti.ms/
// The president’s lawyer was paid by Lev Parnas, who with Igor Fruman worked on behalf of President Trump in Ukraine.

Their mission was to find people and information that could be used to undermine the special counsel’s investigation, and also to damage former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a prospective Democratic challenger to Mr. Trump.

Over the past year, the two men connected Mr. Giuliani with Ukrainians who were willing to participate in efforts to push a largely unsubstantiated narrative about the Bidens. They played a key role in a campaign by pro-Trump forces to press for the removal of the United States ambassador to Ukraine on the grounds that she had not shown sufficient loyalty to the president as he pursued his agenda there.

🐣 RT @ZeleskyLuke This could happen here. How many times in the trump era has a friend said to you, “yeah I just don’t follow current events. It’s all too crazy.”?
⋙ 🐣 RT @Heidi_Cuda “The greatest challenge..is ‘beznadyoga’—a collective feeling of hopelessness that paralyzes efforts to overturn the status quo..It’s this aspect of the Russian psyche that the opposition—led by @Navalny smashed on Sunday after marathon protests”
Politico (9/11/2019): [Valany protests] http://politi.co/35rYcqi

🐣 RT @anders_aslund We are many who have pointed out the obvious criminality of the Trump family & gang for a long time (e.g. @JuliaDavisNews @olgaNYC1211). Finally, the FBI is catching up with its arrests of Parnas & Fruman. Logically, @RudyGiuliani should be the next with many to follow.

NBCNews: Intel officials say ISIS could regroup after U.S. ‘betrayal’ of Kurds in Syria http://nbcnews.to/2IH6EIz
// They are all going to be killed or detained after we betrayed them,” an ex-CIA officer said. “Killed with weapons we gave to the Turks.”

WaPo, George F Will: The spiraling president adds self-impeachment to his repertoire http://wapo.st/2B02KpV

If Trump gets away with his blanket noncompliance, the Constitution’s impeachment provision, as it concerns presidents, will be effectively repealed, and future presidential corruption will be largely immunized against punishment.

The canine loyalty of Senate Republicans will keep Trump in office. But until he complies with House committee subpoenas, the House must not limply hope federal judges will enforce their oversight powers. Instead, the House should wield its fundamental power, that of the purse, to impose excruciating costs on executive branch noncompliance. This can be done.

🐣 RT @jonflan The terrible trio of Trump, Pompeo and Giuliani ran Yovanovitch, a career diplomat with three decades of experience, out of her job as ambassador to the Ukraine; she’s coming to town to tell her story on the Hill; that’s what a truth teller does.

TheIntercept, Ryan Grim: The Actual Laws Trump Broke Amount to 10 Years in Prison http://bit.ly/2MwhHpb

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Trump’s Syria Fiasco Is Part of Putin’s To-Do List http://bit.ly/316WnM8
// Trump tried to keep his talks with Putin at Helsinki last year secret from his staff and the world, but Russia’s president held up the checklist for the cameras. Syria was on it.

🐣 RT @WendySiegelman Wow – Lev Parnas was hired by DiGenova and Toensing as an interpreter for Dmitry Firtash
⋙ 🐣 RT @cjcmichel Aaaand here’s the confirmation that Parnas’s trips to Vienna are officially connected to Firtash: https://twitter.com/cjcmichel/status/1182471626413297664?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ WSJ: Two Giuliani Associates Who Helped Him on Ukraine Charged With Campaign-Finance Violations http://on.wsj.com/2VBaS9V
// Prosecutors say Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were part of a conspiracy to funnel foreign money into U.S. elections

🐣 RT @emptywheel Effectively, the President of the United States is sharing lawyers and (now-indicted) researcher/translators with Dmitry Firtash.

DailyBeast, Sam Stein and Lachlan Markay: Dems Want to Know: Who Paid Rudy? http://bit.ly/2MAVzdc
// The president’s personal lawyer has been digging dirt for him in Ukraine. Now Congress wants to know: who picked up the tab?

WaPo: Senior adviser to Pompeo resigns http://wapo.st/2MuCedH “amid rising dissatisfaction and plummeting morale inside the State Department over what is seen as Pompeo’s failure to support personnel ensnared in the Ukraine controversy”
// “A senior officer who has held a range of diplomatic posts, including ambassador to Afghanistan, Colombia and Peru, [Michael] McKinley was serving as ambassador to Brazil last year when Pompeo recruited him as a policy adviser and a conduit between his office and the career service.”

WaPo: Kellyanne and George Conway’s tawdry love triangle with all of us http://wapo.st/2Mv1T6e

WaPo: We investigated the Watergate scandal. We believe Trump should be impeached. http://wapo.st/35nNRvJ By 17 Watergate special prosecutors

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen Paul Manafort’s defense attorneys are helping Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman today at their initial criminal appearance at EDVA. CNN’s @kpolantz spotted Manafort’s attorneys Kevin Downing and Tom Zehnle at the courthouse. (Zehnle said he was just here to help out for the time being.)

🐣 RT @ Tom_Winter NBC News: Attorney General William Barr has been aware of the investigation into Parnas and Fruman and was since shortly after he came into office this past February, @PeteWilliamsNBC reports.

TheAtlantic, Elaina Plott: The Mystery of Rudy Giuliani’s Vienna Trip http://bit.ly/2q3TAXp
// Dmitri Firtash, Ukrainian oligarch, Russian organized crime, associate of Manafort, favored by Putin per Maddow; President Trump’s personal lawyer told me he was planning to fly to Vienna roughly 24 hours after his business associates were arrested as they prepared to do the same.

Vox, Ian Millhiser: Trump’s resistance to the impeachment inquiry is a genuine constitutional crisis http://bit.ly/2Vy3Z9t
// Here’s how bad things can get if Trump keeps stonewalling impeachment.

CNN: Giuliani dealings with associates scrutinized as part of investigation http://cnn.it/35lGu82

TheAtlantic, David Graham: The Story Keeps Getting Worse for the White House http://bit.ly/2pZ3ZU5
// A pair of men helping the president’s supposed anti-corruption campaign were apprehended as they tried to leave the United States.

🐣 RT @mikercarpenter Oh boy will the WH regret this: On October 3, 2019, counsel for Parnas and Fruman sent a letter to Congress requesting additional time…and confirming that “Messrs. Parnas and Fruman assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump.”

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH WATCH: “When the indictment itself says that this conspiracy involved others known and unknown, there are others that are being investigated… When I read this indictment… I smell not only human informants but I also smell a wiretap” – @FrankFigliuzzi1 w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1182419806466826242?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen BREAKING: The FBI and federal prosecutors in NYC are scrutinizing Rudy Giuliani’s financial dealings with the two men charged today. The men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, are charged with pumping Russian money into US political campaigns. (reporting from @evanperez @ShimonPro)

🐣 RT @DrGJackBrown Putin knows that Trump’s time in the White House in growing short. This will cause Putin to exert increasing greater force upon Trump as he asks/demands/extorts for favors. America’s National Intelligence and all who put the country first must be on high alert. Stay Vigilant.

NBCNews: Trump’s former Russia aide set to give revealing testimony on Giuliani, Sondland http://nbcnews.to/2OzGYRU
// Fiona Hill’s appearance next week before Congress has stoked fear among people close to the president.

WaPo: At least four national security officials raised alarms about Ukraine policy before and after Trump call with Ukrainian president http://wapo.st/310WIAd

NYT, David Leonhardt: ‘Wow. This Letter Is Bananas.’ When reality is inconvenient, reinvent it http://nyti.ms/310SI2F

There is no legal or logical basis to President Trump’s claim that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate.

“Wow. This letter is bananas,” Gregg Nunziata, a lawyer and former Republican staff member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote yesterday, referring to the White House letter announcing it would not cooperate with the inquiry. “A barely-lawyered temper tantrum. A middle finger to Congress and its oversight responsibilities. No Member of Congress should accept it, no matter his or her view on the behavior of Pelosi, Schiff, or Trump.”

🐣 RT @TommyVietor Via NYT: “the United States was providing intelligence to Turkey until Monday that may have helped it target Kurdish forces.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @TommyVietor Americans fighting with the Kurds could be among those killed by Turkey, including this former Marine. https://twitter.com/TVietor08/status/1182302797795975170?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @jennycohn1 Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, just asked Lee Stranahan (who works for Sputnik, a registered agent of the Russian Federation) for help with 2020. This is happening in real time, in broad daylight. #ImpeachTrump
🐣 RT @Alexandrachalup Trump’s campaign manager asked Russia for 2020 election assistance. ¤ Lee Stranahan works for Sputnik, which is a registered agent of the Russian Federation and part of Putin’s disinformation warfare machine targeted at the U.S.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff European nations are some of our closest allies. Our security is intertwined. ¤ If Trump’s impulsive capitulation to Erdogan leads to a resurgence of ISIS, it threatens everyone- in Syria, in Europe, and here at home. ¤ America may not have a friend left after this presidency.

WSJ: White House Shifted Authority Over Ukraine Aid Amid Legal Concerns http://on.wsj.com/2nzzpjf
// House Democrats are investigating why a political appointee was given control of dispensing military aid after career budget staff questioned the legality of delaying the funds

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Convenient to arrest witnesses with knowledge of campaign finance issues who are on their way to be deposed by House impeachment investigators
⋙ 🐣 RT @npfandos Parnas was supposed to be headed to Capitol Hill right now for a deposition with House impeachment investigators. Fruman was to be tomorrow. ¤ They helped Giuliani on the ground in Ukraine as he tried to gin up inquiries into the Bidens and a conspiracy about the 2016 election
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @npfandos NEWS: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Giuliani associates who donated to a pro-Trump super PAC, were arrested late Wednesday on criminal charges of violating campaign finance rules. They have been under investigation by SDNY. w @aviswanatha @sgurman
↥ ↧
WSJ: Two Foreign-Born Men Who Helped Giuliani on Ukraine Arrested on Campaign-Finance http://on.wsj.com/35nkJow
// Charges Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman are expected to appear in federal court in Virginia later on Thursday

WaPo: George Conway and other prominent conservatives call for ‘expeditious’ impeachment probe http://wapo.st/2OB9Zwx

⭕ 9 Oct 2019

Bloomberg: On Bidens and Ukraine, Wild Claims With Little Basis http://bloom.bg/2Kf8m4W
// 10/9/2019, upd. 10/15/2019

4. What criminal charges came out of this? ¤ None. Burisma issued a statement in 2017 saying that “all legal proceedings and pending criminal allegations” against it and Zlochevsky were closed and that it paid an extra 180 million hryvnias ($7 million) in taxes. There’s also no known evidence that any of the investigations ever involved Hunter Biden. Ukraine’s former prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, told Bloomberg News in May that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens.

WaPo Editorial: It’s tempting to ignore Trump’s unhinged letter to Congress. But this is different. http://wapo.st/2Mt2ghA

WaPo: Trump’s Syria decision tests the bounds of Republican support as he demands solidarity on impeachment http://wapo.st/2Mutvbn

WaPo, Hemin Kobane: Turkey wants to destroy us. Trump just gave them a green light. http://wapo.st/2p7fdWp Hemin Kobane is the Syrian Democratic Forces liaison with the international coalition against the Islamic State.

WaPo, Ashley Parker: The ‘I’m rubber, you’re glue’ presidency: Trump turns to schoolyard taunts in impeachment battle http://wapo.st/2pdrQPt

NYT Editorial: Trump Wants a Fight. Pelosi Can Hit Back. http://nyti.ms/2ICGMh7
// With rules, rigor and resolution.

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood former aide to GWB and Mitt Romney
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheLifeOfSally So let me get this straight. Basically the President of the United States helped coordinate an attack on an ally.

DailyBeast, Sam Brodey: As Capitol Hill Drafts Sanctions on Turkey, Trump Shrugs at Kurds http://bit.ly/2B0aY1j
// Even Trump’s allies are livid at his inaction as Turkey advances into Kurdish lands in northern Syria.

🐣 RT @JenGriffinFNC I just spoke to a distraught US Special Forces soldier who is among the 1000 or so US troops in Syria tonight who is serving alongside the SDF Kurdish forces. It was one of the hardest phone calls I have ever taken. ¤ “I am ashamed for the first time in my career.”

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood new Fox News poll on whether Congress should impeach Trump and remove him from the presidency: 51% yes, 40% no

DailyBeast:Trump Defends Abandoning the Kurds: They ‘Didn’t Help Us With Normandy’ http://bit.ly/2IBYgds

🐣 RT @McFaul This Trump decision is just shocking. Those currently being bombarded by Turkey are the same fighters who defeated ISIS — our enemy — alongside the United States and our partners/allies in Operation Inherent Resolve. A very sad day for American leadership in the world.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JenGriffinFNC The US military has been ordered by President Trump not to help.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @LucasFoxNews Syrian Kurds under bombardment from Turkish jets urgently request air support from U.S. and “No fly zone” to protect civilians: SDF statement
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @AmericanCrawl So Trump is commanding our troops to STAND DOWN while the Kurds, including women and children are being slaughtered. And Republicans do nothing. Republicans have blood on their hands for not holding this monster accountable.

WaPo: Turkey launches offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria http://wapo.st/325XGMM

🐣 RT @ShriazMaher Here is the immediate cost of Trump’s announcement. Islamic State launched a fairly significant attack on Raqqa last night, once the group’s de facto capital, given the group is now worried about a Turkish incursion into its territory from the north. 1/
📌 https://twitter.com/ShirazMaher/status/1181833570077331457?s=20

⭕ 8 Oct 2019

TheAtlantic, Joseph Votel and Elizabeth Dent: The Danger of Abandoning Our Partners http://bit.ly/324CMh1
// The Syria policy reversal threatens to undo five years’ worth of fighting against ISIS and will severely damage American credibility and reliability.

DailyBeast Michael Daly: This Army Veteran Went to Syria for the Kurds. He Can’t Believe What Trump Is Doing. http://bit.ly/2pTkz7P
// Porter Goodman volunteered as a combat medic in northern Syria. He fears for the Kurds he trained.

Bloomberg: Who Are the Syrian Kurds the U.S. Is Abandoning? http://bit.ly/2Vrm9K7
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1181776671260721152?s=20/photo/1

DailyMail [UK]: Turkey fires first shots: Ankara bombs Kurdish supply route ahead of invasion to create a ‘peace corridor’ along border just hours after Trump pulls US troop http://dailym.ai/2ohAEEa //➔ as president reveals he has invited Erdogan to the White House next month ● 🌎 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1181774003616337921?s=20/photo/1
● Turkey confirmed it carried out strikes against Kurdish forces on the Syria-Iraq border overnight Monday
● Strike was designed to sever supply lines between Kurds in the two countries in preparation for invasion
● Turkey plans to create a ‘peace corridor’ in northern Syria by driving Kurdish forces away from its border
● Comes after Donald Trump agreed to withdraw U.S troops from Syria, but denied he abandoned the Kurds
● Trump revealed on Tuesday that he has extended an invitation to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet with him at the White House in November
● He tweeted that Turkey was a ‘good trading partner’ of the U.S and ‘have been very good to deal with’

🐣 Trump wants blood and the Kurds will pay the price, as Trump destroys alliances and the value of the “U.S. handshake” as he goes down. It’s Mad Lear on the Heath but with armies.

WaPo: Former national security officials fight back as Trump attacks impeachment as ‘deep state’ conspiracy http://wapo.st/2LZ66A8

WaPo: White House escalates standoff with Congress, says it will not cooperate with impeachment inquiry of Trump http://wapo.st/2p77IPi
↥ ↧
≣ WaPo: Letter from White House counsel Pat Cipollone to House leaders http://wapo.st/33gqHpb

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Trump says the whistleblower got the facts wrong so @just_security took a hard look & confirmed his accuracy. See it for yourself, with annotations to the original complaint showing the facts, thanks to @rgoodlaw
⋙ JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman and John Nelson: Overwhelming Confirmation of Whistleblower Complaint: An Annotation http://bit.ly/2nt8CF5

NYT: Trump’s Ukraine Call Was ‘Crazy’ and ‘Frightening,’ Official Told Whistle-Blower http://nyti.ms/2M0EgmV “completely lacking in substance related to national security”
// The whistle-blower wrote a memo describing an official who heard the call as “visibly shaken” by it.

Politico, Charlie Sykes: The Humiliation of Lindsey Graham http://politi.co/35iRWBc
// He traded his honor to be “relevant” as a Trump adviser. But on Syria, Trump didn’t bother to ask what he thought.

🐣 RT @MarkWarner The Senate Intelligence Committee just released its report on Russia’s use of social media during the 2016 election. You can read the whole thing for yourself, but here are the important takeaways and recommendations: 📌 https://twitter.com/MarkWarner/status/1181617144611643394?s=20
⋙ Warner.Senate.gov: Senate Intel Committee Releases Bipartisan Report on Russia’s Use of Social Media http://bit.ly/35g5kpO

🐣 RT @IgnatiusPost A bad situation in Northeast Syria is about to get much worse. Sources tell me that US officials have just informed the Syrian Kurds that Turkey is likely to attack on air and ground in next 24 hours. The US will do nothing. Targets are Tal Abyad and Ras al Ayn…. 📌 https://twitter.com/IgnatiusPost/status/1181724204233904128?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @IgnatiusPost [3] …I’m also told that Turkish attack appears coordinated with the Russians. Russian-backed forces are mobilizing to invade the Kurdish area from the south — towards Tabqa and other spots. Meanwhile, ISIS is mobilizing sleeper cells in Raqqa and attacks have taken place tonight.

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi .@realDonaldTrump, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable. #TruthExposed
⋙ Speaker.gov: Pelosi Statement on Trump Administration Refusal to Comply with House Subpoenas http://bit.ly/33gf3KZ

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi .@realDonaldTrump, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable. #TruthExposed
⋙ Speaker.gov: Pelosi Statement on Trump Administration Refusal to Comply with House Subpoenas http://bit.ly/33gf3KZ

NYT: Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say http://nyti.ms/2pSJfxf

NYT: White House Declares War on Impeachment Inquiry, Alleging Effort to Undo Trump’s Election http://nyti.ms/35jRL91

📊 WaPo/Schar Poll: Trump loves to tout his base. But a new poll shows increasing GOP support for impeachment — and even removing him. http://wapo.st/2p3tu6i 58 percent support the inquiry; 38 percent who oppose it; plus, this:
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1181694154528739328?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @rickhausen Wow, ok. Read @jeremystahl William Barr’s Department of Justice now says Congress never should have been granted key evidence it needed to conduct Watergate. via @slate
⋙ Slate, Jeremy Stahl: DOJ: If Watergate Happened Today, We’d Block Evidence From Congress http://bit.ly/2IzGxU2

WaPo: Demoralized State Department personnel question Pompeo’s role in Ukraine crisis http://wapo.st/2VqeknD

DailyBeast, Adam Rawnsley: The Weird Rise of Trump’s Ukraine Hatchet Man http://bit.ly/2LXbiEl
// In any normal administration, Gordon Sondland’s tenure as ambassador to the EU might have been unremarkable. But we’re pretty far from normal.

DailyBeast, Ronald Radash: The Deep State Conspiracy Is About to Go Into Overdrive http://bit.ly/2oc6cLD
// The American right has advanced nutty conspiracy theories for decades. But the one we’re about to see play out will make Joe McCarthy look like an amateur.

⭕ 7 Oct 2019

TheAtlantic, Franklin Foer: What Authoritarians Mean by ‘Corruption’ http://bit.ly/2VtsmoR
// The president is following the template employed by other autocrats to destroy their rivals.

NYT, Paul Krugman: The Education of Fanatical Centrists http://nyti.ms/310QpwB Trump isn’t an aberration. He’s unusually blatant and gaudily corrupt, but at a basic level he’s the culmination of where his party has been going for decades.
// Will they finally admit what the G.O.P. has become?

🐣 RT @KimberlyEAtkins “According to people close to Romney, he’s firmly decided against primarying Trump. … Instead, a Romney adviser told me, Romney believes he has more potential power as a senator who will decide Trump’s fate in an impeachment trial.” #mapoli #utpoli
⋙ VanityFair, Gabriel Sherman: “Romney Is the Pressure Point in the Impeachment Process”: Mitt Won’t Primary Trump—But He’s Trying to Bring Him Down http://bit.ly/35fYPDk
// Trump’s favorite punching bag is reaching out to fellow Republicans to raise the temperature on impeachment. “Romney is the one guy who could bring along Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, Ben Sasse,” says a Mitt confidant.

WaPo, Michael Carpenter: Only in Trump’s world could what Joe Biden did in Ukraine be considered ‘corrupt’ http://wapo.st/2IuG3P6

Politico Mag, Jack Shafer: Why Trump Can’t Tweet His Way Out of This http://politi.co/35k6FMz
// On impeachment and Syria, Congress and the news media at last care more about what the president does than what he says. http://politi.co/

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews The Trump administration is pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allows the United States and our allies and partners in Europe to monitor Russian military deployments. Withdrawal risks dividing the transatlantic alliance. https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1181322726843265026?s=20/photo/1

NYT, Ken Frydman: What Happened to Rudy Giuliani? http://nyti.ms/2LW5wmu Mr. Frydman was press secretary for Rudolph W. Giuliani during the 1993 mayoral campaign.
// The man I worked for in 1993 is not the man who now lies for Donald Trump.

🐣 RT @ActiveMeasuresDoc: I know a lot’s happened in the last 12 hours, but let’s not let this story fall through the cracks. If you don’t get this part you don’t get what Rudy was really doing in Ukraine.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ScotMStedman BREAKING: Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman planned to steer lucrative contracts from a Ukrainian gas deal to Trump allies. [Link to AP article] 📌 https://twitter.com/ScottMStedman/status/1180990387608936449?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ScotMStedman This scandal just exploded perhaps far wider than the Russia investigation.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ScotMStedman 🚨🚨🚨Lev Parnas told associates that “Trump planned to remove U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and replace her with someone more open to aiding their business interests.”
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ScotMStedman “Perry made clear that the Trump administration wanted to see the entire Naftogaz supervisory board replaced, according to a person who attended both meetings…”

🐣 RT @KyleGriffin1 As Rudy Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden, individuals with ties to Trump and Giuliani were getting involved with Ukraine’s massive state gas company, AP reports.
⋙ AP: Profit, not politics: Trump allies sought Ukraine gas deal http://bit.ly/2nr8I07

NYT: ‘We Absolutely Could Not Do That’: When Seeking Foreign Help Was Out of the Question http://nyti.ms/2oVzcY3

⭕ 6 Oct 2019

🐣 RT @dcpoll Because if you’re going to run a racket on Ukrainian state-owned gas company, Naftogaz, who better to go to for advice than Manafort, bagman for Firtash, who made billions doing the very same and, though exiled in Austria, still wields power in Ukraine.
⋙ 🐣 RT @dcpoll In recent months, Trump’s lawyer, Giuliani, met with imprisoned Paul Manafort, whose pro-Putin dirty work in Ukraine was financed by Russia mobster Dmitry Firtash, who was “the de-facto head of Naftogaz [Ukrainian state-owned gas company] under Yanukovych.”
⋙⋙ WaPo (10/2): Giuliani consulted on Ukraine with imprisoned Paul Manafort via a lawyer http://wapo.st/2phcFor

GQ, Julia Ioffe: Here’s Why Ukraine Pops Up in So Many U.S. Scandals http://bit.ly/2pU6WVY
// Whether it’s Paul Manafort or Hunter Biden and Donald Trump, Ukraine seems to play a disproportionately popular role in our nation’s recent controversies. Julia Ioffe explains why the same small country is increasingly involved in America’s political chaos

WaPo, Fred Hiatt: It’s not news that Trump is corrupt. What’s new is how he is succeeding in corrupting our government. http://wapo.st/2p4l2UA

NewYorker, Jeffrey Toobin: Donald Trump’s Ukraine Scandal Has Its Roots in Russia http://bit.ly/35dyTZd
// Both situations stem from the President’s apparent willingness to accept political favors from foreign leaders, and his eagerness to do Putin’s bidding.

NYT: Legal Team Says It Represents a Second Whistle-Blower Over Trump and Ukraine http://nyti.ms/30Tu6IZ

WaPo: Barr’s review of Russia investigation wins Trump’s favor. Those facing scrutiny suspect he’s chasing conspiracy theories. http://wapo.st/3384LfW

WaPo: Whistleblower’s attorney says team now representing ‘multiple’ officials as impeachment inquiry expands http://wapo.st/33d3cgz

⭕ 5 Oct 2019

Politico: Judge orders White House to preserve records of Trump’s dealings with foreign leaders http://politi.co/2MitFmb U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued the order Thursday

🐣 RT @mhmck Russia attacked Ukraine 24 times yesterday, October 5th. The Russian invaders are shelling with heavy artillery and heavy mortars, violating several provisions of the Minsk Agreement – unfortunately with impunity from the accord’s guarantors, France and Germany.

WaPo, Joe Biden: Trump won’t destroy me, and he won’t destroy my family http://wapo.st/2IocZbF “It all comes down to the abuse of power. That is the defining characteristic of the Trump presidency.”

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT, Peter Pomerantsev: Rudy Giuliani Welcomes You To Eastern Europe http://nyti.ms/2Imayqj ‘Seeing all rules and norms as mere facades for a vast conspiracy legitimizes the exercise of unlimited corruption’
// When truth dissolves anything is possible.

🐣 RT @davidfrum “If you can help me with ‘X,’ we’ll help you achieve ‘Y.’ This is what partnerships do.”
-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
That’s an excellent description of both international diplomacy and organized crime, depending upon the “X.”
⋙ 🐣 Even when there a LAW against the X being ‘anything of value from a foreign country to influence a US election’?

🐣 Pretty soon Trump will be demanding protection money from countries so we don’t nuke them.

💙💙 NewYorker, Jane Mayer: The Invention of the Conspiracy Theory on Biden and Ukraine http://bit.ly/2IqF0zz
// How a conservative dark-money group that targeted Hillary Clinton in 2016 spread the discredited story that may lead to Donald Trump’s impeachment.

🐣 RT @PeterGleick Day 1. It never happened.
Day 2. Maybe it happened.
Day 3. It wasn’t me.
Day 4. Yes, it was me but it wasn’t wrong.
Day 5. I’d do it again, and ask China too.
Day 6. Rick Perry made me do it.

🐣 RT @JohnWDean In declaring his mission is to “disrupt the world,” he is claiming he is a anarchist — a kind of terrorist? Did Donald Trump place his in charge of anarchy?
⋙ 🐣 RT @Alyssa_Milano I’m leaving this here. I’m warning you, it bone chilling. 💽 https://twitter.com/JohnWDean/status/1180616924394164224?s=20/photo/1
// Interview w Rudy Giuliano

WaPo: Russia looks for leverage as Ukraine slides deeper into impeachment probes http://wapo.st/2oSC5IY

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: Trump and the Republicans: Part Mafia, Part Eastern Bloc Politburo, All Disaster http://bit.ly/2olunHg
// Everything is distrust, paranoia, and setting this one against that one.

DailyBeast: Betsy Swan, Asawin Suebsaeng and Spencer Ackerman: How Rudy Giuliani’s Bid to Discredit Mueller Played Into Impeachment Probe http://bit.ly/2oYMpPv
// The former New York mayor dug around Ukraine to undermine Robert Mueller’s investigation. He may have hamstrung his client’s presidency instead.

WaPo: Pompeo says he sent response to House investigators, but subpoenaed documents remain undelivered http://wapo.st/335iiER

WaPo: Mounting evidence buttresses the facts laid out in whistleblower complaint http://wapo.st/2LQrFTe

⭕ 4 Oct 2019

DailyBeast, Nico Hines: Email Leak Exposes Trump Tower Russian’s Dirty Lobbying Operations http://bit.ly/2AQQ0BV
// According to leaked emails from Natalia Veselnitskaya, Russia’s disinformation campaign may have broken U.S. law and exposed details of a witness who later fell from a window.

🐣 RT @JillWineBanks Love current discussion of ellipses in Trump-Zelensky convo. @chucktodd called it the #RoseWoods of this scandal and @neal_katyal said it was the 18 min gap. As the Watergate prosecutor who cross-examined Nixons secretary, Rose Mary Woods, I love the analogy. Sorry for deja vu.

CNN: Pompeo fails to meet House subpoena deadline to produce Ukraine documents http://cnn.it/2M8xvhy

WaPo, Ashley Parker: ‘Me! Me!’: An aggrieved Trump spins an alternate reality as impeachment probe escalates http://wapo.st/2LOh6Qy
// The Debrief: An occasional series offering a reporter’s insights

💙💙 WaPo: Trump’s calls with foreign leaders have long worried aides, leaving some ‘genuinely horrified’ http://wapo.st/31L1gfe

WaPo: Holding Ukraine hostage: How the president and his allies, chasing 2020 ammunition, fanned a political storm http://wapo.st/2IohinC

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: 2nd Official Is Weighing Whether to Blow the Whistle on Trump’s Ukraine Dealings http://nyti.ms/2Om516J
// The official, a member of the intelligence community, was interviewed by the inspector general to corroborate the original whistle-blower’s account.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WSJ: Trump, in August Call With GOP Senator, Denied Official’s Claim on Ukraine Aid http://on.wsj.com/30KZwRJ “Johnson said that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, had described to him a quid pro quo involving a commitment by Kyiv … ”
// Sen. Ron Johnson asked the president after hearing of potential pressure campaign

Sen. Ron Johnson said that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, had described to him a quid pro quo involving a commitment by Kyiv to probe matters related to U.S. elections and the status of nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine that the president had ordered to be held up in July.

WaPo: Democrats hate Trump’s executive orders. Why are they promising so many of their own? http://wapo.st/2LMkKdW

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance The biggest difficulty we’ll face after Trump is making sure we haven’t come to accept death by 1000 cuts to our republic & that we insist on integrity in all things from elected officials of both parties going forward. No more nepotism, conflicts, profiting from the presidency.

NYT, Margaret Taylor: Adam Schiff Is the Right Man for the Moment http://nyti.ms/2IpxYLv
// A clinical and focused approach is called for in the face of Trump’s theatrics and distraction.

🐣 RT @tedlieu Looks like Republican Members of Congress have now abandoned the hearsay defense for @realDonaldTrump. ¤ They’ve apparently now moved to the Nixon defense of “if the President does it, it’s not illegal.”

WSJ: Trump Administration Used Potential Meeting to Pressure Ukraine on Biden, Texts Show http://on.wsj.com/2LIuNk3
// President also called on China to investigate former vice president and his son

⭕ 3 Oct 2019

JustSecurity, James Bowman: Trump’s Extortion of Ukraine Is an Impeachable Abuse of Power http://bit.ly/366aftU

💙💙✅ NBCNews (10/3): Trump seized on a conspiracy theory called the ‘insurance policy.’ Now, it’s at the center of an impeachment investigation. http://nbcnews.to/2WcgRlK on: Crowdstrike, “insurance policy,” Ukraine server, DNC server conspiracy theories
// tags: conspiracy, Crowdstrike, “insurance policy”, Ukraine server, DNC server; Just months after Trump’s inauguration, conspiracy theorists pushed a fanciful and unsubstantiated narrative in which the DNC framed Russia for election interference.

Beginning months after Trump’s inauguration, conspiracy theorists have pushed this fanciful and unsubstantiated narrative in which the Democratic National Committee framed Russia for its election interference in 2016 and later covered up its false accusation with help from then-Vice President Joe Biden and officials in Ukraine.

In the conspiracy theory, impeachment proceedings recently pursued by House Democrats were always the DNC’s endgame, effectively a cash-out on the “insurance policy.”

Although Trump has often brought up various conspiracy theories, there had been little indication that the president had taken aggressive action on them. That changed last month, when the White House released the summary of a call with Ukraine. The subsequent release of a whistleblower complaint further confirmed that the ardently pro-Trump conspiracy theories that have percolated on the far right for years had reached the highest echelons of power — and influenced the decision-making of the president.

✅ NYT (10/3): How a Fringe Theory About Ukraine Took Root in the White House http://nyti.ms/2pzNFJy “‘The DNC server and that conspiracy theory has got to go,’ [Thomas Bossert] said. ‘If he continues to focus on that white whale, it’s going to bring him down.’” #Crowdstrike

WaPo, Joe Lockhart: I worked in the White House during impeachment. Trump’s team isn’t ready for it. http://wapo.st/2MeGIFe
// Panic, gallows humor, no sleep — it was the most harrowing period of my career.

NYT: Trump Denies Quid Pro Quo for Ukraine, but Envoys Had Their Doubts http://nyti.ms/330fs3W

NewYorker, John Cassidy: Trump’s Call for China to Investigate the Bidens Shows How Far He’ll Go to Save Himself http://bit.ly/2InwLnZ

NewYorker, Susan Glasser: Did Donald Trump Just Self-Impeach? http://bit.ly/31O8AGU

Lawfare: The Constitution Says ‘Bribery’ Is Impeachable. What Does That Mean? http://bit.ly/31YMP76 By Ben Berwick, Justin Florence, John Langford

🐣 RT @MSNBC In June, Trump promised Pres. Xi he’d stay quiet on Hong Kong protests during trade talks, CNN reports. “He’s essentially selling off the commitment to freedom by the United States in order to get something through this trade deal,” says @JohnJHarwood
⋙ MSNBC, TheLastWord: President Trump reportedly promised Xi he’d stay quiet on Hong Kong protests during trade talks http://on.msnbc.com/2Mga1Hq
// Trump publicly called on China to investigate his political rival, and CNN reports a June phone call in which Trump raised Biden and told President Xi he’d stay quiet on Hong Kong protests during trade talks. John Harwood says Trump is selling America’s commitment to freedom in exchange for something on trade, and that will be harder for Republicans to defend. Lawrence O’Donnell also discusses with Joyce Vance.

WaPo: Trump wanted Ukraine’s president to launch investigations before face-to-face meeting, State Dept. texts show http://wapo.st/2MeQDui

NYT Editorial: Trump, the Self-Impeaching President http://nyti.ms/2VcomJ2
// Now he wants China to investigate the Bidens and help his re-election bid. Give him this, he’s not subtle.

🐣 RT @McFaul The quid pro quo: Kurt Volker: “Heard from White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / “get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.” CLEAR AS DAY.
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul Amb Soundland not satisfied with Zelensky announcing an investigation. Wants it in writing: “To avoid misunderstandings, might be helpful to ask Andrey [Zelensky aide] for a draft statement so that we can see exactly what they propose to cover.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul Remember, Gordon Sundland is a real estate developer (not career diplomat), Trump donor, rewarded for his money to Trump with the position of US Ambassador to the EU. Why he is involved in these Ukrainian negotiations is mysterious to me.
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul Zelensky aide Yermak: “I thinks its possible to make this declaration and mentions all these things. Which we discussed yesterday. But it will be logic to do after we receive a confirmation date [of Oval office meeting with Trump].” Quid pro quo being executed.
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul Acting US ambassador in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, expressed concerns of Ukrainians of delivering the quid before the quo is in hand: “The nightmare is they give the interview [announcing investigation of Biden] and don’t get the security assistance. The Russians love . (And I quit).”
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul Ambassador Taylor is a real professional. Had served as US ambo to Ukraine before. He clearly is pushing back on the schemes of Giuliani, Sondland and Volker.
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul Amb Taylor (USMA grad, longtime USG public servant) to Amb Sondland (Trump funder, real estate business person, serving in Brussels, not Kyiv or DC): “As I said on the phone , I think its crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” MONEY QUOTE !
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul There. I read (and provided context about ) the information released tonight by the House Intel and Foreign Affairs committees so you don’t have to. Bottom line: overwhelming confirming evidence about Trump’s use of public office & US taxpayer money for private electoral gains.
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul These texts also show that the Trump call to Zelensky was just ONE of many different actions to compel Ukraine to investigate (1) Biden and (2) Ukraine “interference” in 2016 US election. Multiple people — Giuliani, Pompeo, Sondland, Volker — all involved in the operation.
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul For me, very depressing to read. Maybe I’m just a naive, idealistic optimist. But when you sign up to serve in the USG, you take an oath to defend the United States of America, and not any one individual. Hoping we might get back to the honorable idea someday in the future. END

🐣 RT @davidfrum Don’t call these texts dumb. Taylor was building a file. If we save the country, his determination to put the facts on record will be an important reason why. Sonderland not dumb either. He recognized what Taylor was doing and demanded Taylor cease. Which Taylor refused to do

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger Other than shouting “quid pro quo” from the rooftops I’m not sure what these guys could have done to highlight the quid pro quo. Hey, deliverable for the aid, right?
⋙ 🐣 You know this is all going to boil down to whether HBiden is worth paying $50K a month, don’t you? The Law doesn’t matter. And whataboutism won’t work on Trump.

🐣 RT @S_R_Anders These Kurt Volker text messages are FILLED to the BRIM with quid pro quo. ¤ I never expected anything this explicit in writing. It’s truly astounding. https://twitter.com/S_R_Anders/status/1179967439737630720?s=20/photo/1-3

🐣 RT @CNN “I think he’s holding the smoking gun,” says Guy Smith, who served as special adviser to Bill Clinton during the impeachment inquiry, discussing President Trump. “I think that it’s just nuts, what he’s doing.” http://cnn.it/2Oj6haJ 💽 https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1179968279609319424?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @ewarren Donald Trump is now openly calling for foreign governments to interfere in our elections from the White House Lawn. If he thinks openly committing the same crime will convince people his secret calls weren’t illegal—he’s wrong. We will hold him accountable. He must be impeached.

🐣 RT @brhodes Sad to see Trump try to turn the State Department into a tool of his criminal behavior. Infuriating to see Republicans who claimed to be about our national security and values enable it with their silence.

🐣 RT @S_R_Anders Okay, now that actually is quid pro quo.
⋙ 🐣 RT @rebeccaballhouse Kurt Volker, U.S. envoy for Ukraine, texted a top aide to Zelensky right before his call w/Trump: “Heard from White House—assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate/”get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.”

TheHill: Trump officials drafted statement for Ukraine leader pledging investigation involving Biden, Clinton: report http://hill.cm/2Ql6FXT

🐣 RT @waltshaub After today, you either do or don’t believe we can tolerate POTUS and VPOTUS soliciting attacks on our election by an authoritarian superpower and a country that’s dependent on the U.S. government for its survival. You either love this republic or you don’t. It’s that simple.

🐣 RT @tedlieu Dear @realDonaldTrump: It is a betrayal of our values & an abuse of power to solicit a foreign power to target U.S. citizens for political purposes. That’s why Congress opened an impeachment inquiry. ¤ If you continue to double down, you leave us little choice but to impeach you.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real As the President of the United States, I have an absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate, or have investigated, CORRUPTION, and that would include asking, or suggesting, other Countries to help us out!

🐣 RT @bhrodes These texts confirm that Trump fully attached US foreign relations – diplomacy, security assistance, and high level contacts – with a nation invaded by Putin to a bizarre scheme to investigate his political opponents. This is a betrayal of everything America has stood for.
↥ ↧
🐣💙 ≣ RT @RepAdamSchiff After receiving a trove of important documents from the first of the state department witnesses, my fellow chairs and I highlight some of those deserving of the most attention and what is at stake. ¤ Read them here: http://bit.ly/30QhpPi

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 In newly disclosed texts shared with Congress and obtained by ABC News, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine at the time writes to a group of other American diplomats: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”
⋙ ABCNews: ‘Crazy to withhold security assistance’ to Ukraine for political campaign: Top US diplomat http://abcn.ws/2pCfd0D

WaPo, Karen Tumulty: This might be the worst impeachment news of all for Trump http://wapo.st/30IvM80 “As the president of the United States rants and rages about the prospect of his impeachment, the woman who set the gears in motion is a study in serenity.”

WaPo Editorial: Trump is now publicly abusing his oath of office http://wapo.st/2o3FqFc

🐣 RT @MayaWiley #Trump raised not only #Biden but #ElizabethWarren prospects w/ China in June!: “Trump raised Biden with Xi in June call housed in highly secure server”
⋙ CNN: Trump raised Biden with Xi in June call housed in highly secure server http://cnn.it/2OhYWby and Warren

CNN: Trump raised Biden with Xi in June call housed in highly secure server http://cnn.it/2OhYWby and Warren

DailyBeast: White House Floats Potential DOJ Investigation Into ‘Joe Biden and His Family’ http://bit.ly/2LHMtwa
// A little noticed White House messaging memo says President Trump asked Ukraine to comply with “any” future DOJ probe into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

WaPo: Giuliani was warned Ukrainian claims of Bidens’ misconduct were not credible http://wapo.st/2MeQDui
// ⇈ FP title; inside title: Trump’s ex-envoy says Ukrainians gave Giuliani misinformation on the Bidens

💙 WaPo: Trump publicly calls on China to investigate Bidens http://wapo.st/31KNp8F

🔆 This❗️⋙ TheAtlantic, George T Conway III: Unfit for Office http://bit.ly/30NCwkV
// Donald Trump’s narcissism makes it impossible for him to carry out the duties of the presidency in the way the Constitution requires.

🐣 RT @jedshug This was felony solicitation of a foreign campaign contribution.
The statement itself – legitimating the smear with an investigation – would have been a gift to Trump.
And Volker’s text shows a knowing & willful violation.
Plus bribery/extortion.
⋙ 💙 NYT: Trump Envoys Pushed Ukraine to Commit to Investigations http://nyti.ms/2AEWjbN

🐣 RT @AdamSchiff The President cannot use the power of his office to pressure foreign leaders to investigate his political opponents. ¤ His rant this morning reinforces the urgency of our work. ¤ America is a Republic, if we can keep it.
⋙ NYT: Trump Publicly Urges China to Investigate the Bidens http://nyti.ms/2AHP4jw
// President Trump made a similar, but private, request of the president of Ukraine, an episode that has sparked an impeachment inquiry.

CNN: Biden to Trump: ‘You’re not going to destroy me’ http://cnn.it/2pArORY

🐣 RT @CSPAN Trump: “China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine. So, I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens.” 💽 https://twitter.com/cspan/status/1179769217534582784?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @eliehonig I hope everyone understands how absolutely nuts it is for the Attorney General of the United States to fly all over the world personally doing this bogus, overtly political investigation. (And he’s terrible at it, having never actually prosecuted a case).
⋙ WaPo Editorial: Trump used his office for political gain. Now Barr appears to be using his authority to help him. http://wapo.st/2oasq0p

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Again, calling on foreign governments to conduct law enforcement inquiries into his domestic political opponents.
⋙ 🐣 RT @PeterAlexander Asked what he wanted President Zelensky to do about the Bidens, “If they were honest about it, they would start a major investigation into the Bidens.”

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Russians Praise Trump, Taunt Zelensky, as Ukraine Signs On to Peace-Plan Proposal http://bit.ly/2IgQ16f
// “Trump let Zelensky down. Three times he told him: ‘Go meet with Putin,’” gloated one prominent Russian TV host.

⭕ 2 Oct 2019

🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 With this whole Ukraine/Giuliani scandal when will we get to @LindseyGrahamSC role who was pushing opening investigations on several of these conspiracies. I said it back then and again now. It was coordinated between the far right, Giuliani, trump, graham, hannity, Solomon

WaPo: Giuliani consulted on Ukraine with imprisoned Paul Manafort via a lawyer http://wapo.st/2ptuy3v

TPM, Matt Shuham: Awkward: Trump Admin Official Met With Rep For Company At Center Of Biden Smears http://bit.ly/2n4Vq9d In September 2018, the AP reported Kurt Volker met with Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board

TPM, Josh Marshall: The Rudy Dossier http://bit.ly/2nQULJb “Needless to say, it’s quite clear that Pompeo is deeply implicated in these abuses of power. Meanwhile Rudy Giuliani is happy to provide more evidence of Pompeo’s involvement.”

NYT: First Barr, Now Pompeo: Italy Is Hub of Impeachment Intrigue for Trump Officials http://nyti.ms/2psYugc //➔ Looking for Dr Mifsud

Salon, Heather Digby Parton: Yes, it’s this bad: Conspiracy-hunter Bill Barr is roaming the globe under Trump’s orders http://bit.ly/2pxkvL0
// Remember when Trump’s AG had a reputation for rectitude? Now he’s traveling the world hunting for loose nuts

🐣 RT @McFaul Things roll differently in the Trump team. But I cannot believe VP Pence would hold a meeting with Zelensky without first reading what Trump said to Zelensky just beforehand. No way. Transcript was very short ! It’s a long flight to Warsaw.

🐣 RT @PaulaChertock #Maddow shows images of “The Packet of Propaganda, Disinformation & Conspiracy Theories” from right-wing media that Giuliani gave to Pompeo, and IG gave Congress today. A disinformation campaign seems to have been the basis for firing Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch. 😰 ¤ #UkraineGate
https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1179570130277277697?s=20/photo/1

DailyBeast, Max Moran and Jeff Hauser: Don’t Stop With Donald Trump, Democrats: Impeach Attorney General Bill Barr http://bit.ly/2o1jU3D
// The sentence “every week brings a shocking new revelation” is supposed to apply to Trump. But now it also applies to his attorney general and personal fixer. Enough.

DailyBeast: Don’t Stop With Donald Trump, Democrats: Impeach Attorney General Bill Barr http://bit.ly/2o1jU3D
// The sentence “every week brings a shocking new revelation” is supposed to apply to Trump. But now it also applies to his attorney general and personal fixer. Enough.

DailyBeast, Eleanor Clift: Trump’s ‘Civil War’ Tweet Didn’t Come From Nowhere—in Fact, It Came From Here http://bit.ly/2nPpwy8
// Most of the media were shocked at Trump’s “civil war” tweet over the weekend. One expert who’s been watching the right wing is not.

WaPo: ‘A presidency of one’: Key federal agencies increasingly compelled to benefit Trump http://wapo.st/2pumnUF

WaPo: Trump involved Pence in efforts to pressure Ukraine’s leader, though officials say vice president was unaware of allegations in whistleblower complaint http://wapo.st/2nNRqum on @maddow

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Trump Is Going to Burn Down Everything and Everyone, and Republicans, That Means You http://bit.ly/2oIjHlP
// That press conference was terrifying. And congressional Republicans should be more afraid than anyone. Trump’s going down and taking them with him.
⋙ See under Entire Articles: DBeast RWilson Trump Takes All 10-2-2019

DailyBeast, Erin Banco and Maxwell Tani: Biden Dirt File Has Private Email Between John Solomon and Rudy Allies http://bit.ly/2nYCABb
// The email was then included in part of a misinformation dossier that the State Department Inspector General delivered to Congress.

🐣 RT @real Congressman Adam Schiff should resign for the Crime of, after reading a transcript of my conversation with the President of Ukraine (it was perfect), fraudulently fabricating a statement of the President of the United States and reading it to Congress, as though mine! He is sick!
🐣 Where is that crime in the U.S. Code?
🐣 RT @HHooverGhost The statement was based on fact, presented as a representation & is constitutionally protected speech. ¤ At worst though it would be truthful hyperbole ¤ Feign indignation much? ¤ Maybe desperately keep seeding doubt in the minds of your Stupids & hope something sticks https://twitter.com/HHooversGhost/status/1179504525687713792?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @minhtngo “NO SURRENDER.” Thousands of people have gathered in Kiev tonight to protest against President Zelensky’s capitulation to Russia re Donbass. ¤ The Ukranian President announced the concessions following a meeting with Trump. #TrumpUkraine

🐣 “Mr President, you have here a great democracy. Keep it going on.” – President of Finland to Trump, at end of contentious press conference. #inners

WaPo: Rahm Emanuel: On impeachment, Pelosi has many good options http://wapo.st/2oBXkic

WaPo Editorial: Pompeo is enabling the destruction of U.S. diplomacy http://wapo.st/2pxeY7j

🐣 RT @C71marie Omg. The reporter asks him to answer the question and what did the #CriminalInChief do?!? Attack the reporter and the free media instead of answering the question. He can’t answer cus he knows he has nothing but a made up story. Pathetically sad. #ImpeachmentIsComing
⋙ 🐣 RT @Reuters President Trump lashed out at @Reuters reporter @jeffmason1, who asked him what he wanted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to do when Trump brought up the business ties to Ukraine of Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden https://reut.rs/2nLI6ao https://twitter.com/C71Marie/status/1179550650767687681?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @atrupar Is there a less believable reader in the world than Trump?
[Trump’s crazy press avails] https://mobile.twitter.com/atrupar/status/1179464938974334976
🐣 Realize: Trump is going after Biden by ginning up disinformation (I researched this extensively: there’s no ‘there’ there) because he wants to run against a “socialist.” ¤ Do not let your views on ANY candidate be affected by what Trump (or Rudy) says.

NYT: Schiff Got Early Account of Accusations as Whistle-Blower’s Concerns Grew http://nyti.ms/2psN3Ff

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Trump involved Pence in efforts to pressure Ukraine’s leader, though aides say vice president was unaware of pursuit of dirt on Bidens http://wapo.st/2nNRqum

WaPo: Trump lashes out at impeachment inquiry in fiery news conference http://wapo.st/2n4yerR

⭕ 1 Oct 2019

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Is Bill Barr Already Feeding Sidney Powell So-Called Evidence Trump Coerces? http://bit.ly/2n1XJKa

🐣 RT @JohnBrennan A reminder to federal officials: ¤ There is no limit on the number of individuals who can use the whistleblower statute. ¤ If you think you were involved in unlawful activity as a result of a directive from Mr. Trump or someone doing his bidding, now is the time to report it.

🐣 RT @HouseIntel BREAKING — @RepAdamSchiff, @RepCummings, @RepEliotEngel warn @StateDept: any attempt by @SecPompeo to intimidate witnesses violates the law and is obstruction of the impeachment inquiry. Read the chairmen’s letter here. http://bit.ly/2nFFzhJ
https://twitter.com/HouseIntel/status/1179196355127980034?s=20/photo/1-3

NBCNews: Feds say Michael Flynn is pushing conspiracy theories in bid to hinder case http://nbcnews.to/2nGlh7Q
// After pleading guilty in the Russia probe, Flynn accused prosecutors of suppressing exculpatory evidence and alleged he was targeted for political reasons.

NBCNews, Heidi Przybyla and Allan Smith: Giuliani turns on ‘honest’ Ukrainian prosecutor who says Bidens did nothing illegal http://nbcnews.to/2nFtMQv
// Rudy Giuliani had nothing but praise for Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko — until he didn’t.

DailyBeast, Barbie Nadeau: Barr Went to Rome to Hear a Secret Tape from Joseph Mifsud, the Professor Who Helped Ignite the Russia Probe http://bit.ly/2p4UbaH
// US Attorney General William Barr traveled to Italy to meet with Italian secret service agents—and, potentially, undermine the Mueller investigation.

WSJ: Tense Relationship Between Barr and Giuliani Complicates Trump Impeachment Defense http://on.wsj.com/2pcaumi
// The president’s two highest-profile lawyers are struggling to get on the same page

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw Smart point. ¤ Committee Chairs’ letter to DOS points out Pompeo’s conflict of interest: ¤ 1. He was in on Ukraine call (for which, I’d add, there’s serious concerns a crime, in addition to impeachable conduct, was committed) ¤ 2. He’s acting to block State Dept officials testifying https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1179199271909953536?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @karenamyatt He apparently sought information about how he could discipline any state dept employee cooperating with Congress. Maybe that’s why the IG seeks an urgent meeting with Congress now.

🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw Yes, the deal Trump struck with Zelensky is much bigger than the dirt-on-Biden story. Z’s capitulation to the Russian occupation of eastern Ukraine is a HUGE WIN FOR PUTIN & a huge loss for the Ukrainian people, NATO allies & U.S. national security.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw I don’t disagree. But there is an argument to be made that extreme Eastern Ukraine fits better in Russia: Russian-speaking, voted for pro-Russian candidates etc. I realize the dangers to Baltic states and the precedent. But there’s this. ? is will Putin stop now? ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1179242672676130816?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Philip Bump: Government-by-conspiracy-theory rides again http://wapo.st/2nI9GVE

🐣 RT @nahaltoosi Since the memo detailing Trump’s call with his Ukrainian counterpart was released, dozens of Foreign Service officers have joined a private Facebook group for those considering quitting their jobs, a member of the group told POLITICO. https://politi.co/2mHDyB7 via @politico
⋙ Politico, Nahal Toosi: ‘Height of irony’: Pompeo’s subpoena pushback rankles diplomats http://politi.co/2p4kOwq

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 To me, it feels like the walls are falling down around Trump so he & allies are acting desperate & pulling out all the stops. That makes it scarier but also more likely they get caught (as they have) & stopped. Like a sickness that needs to peak before it’s gone.

Politico, Daniel Lippman and Natasha Bertrand: White House ordered ultrasecret system upgraded to prevent leaks http://politi.co/2ooYy0c “The changes included a new log of who accessed specific documents in the NSC’s system”

Politico: Grassley breaks with Trump over protecting whistleblower http://politi.co/2ojL71o
// The Iowa Republican is one of the few GOP senators defending the whistleblower.

🐣 RT @JasminMuj Of course he’s trying to whip up his base, of course he’s trying to incite scandal, to cause a media frenzy. But his unhinged rhetoric must be part of the impeachment inquiry; neither he nor future presidents can be permitted to bloviate their way out of constitutional oversight.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the….
⋙ 🐣 RT @real ….People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!

NYT, Frank Bruni: If Trump Goes Down, He’s Taking Everyone With Him http://nyti.ms/2p6WUAp
// The impeachment inquiry is laying him bare. It’s not a pretty sight.

WaPo: Tension escalates between administration, lawmakers as impeachment inquiry broadens http://wapo.st/2nHABAW
// letter from Pompeo refusing State Dept people from responding to subpoenas, and their response

🐣 RT @BrianKarem NOW From a GOP Senate staffer: “The Civil War tweet is a tipping point for some, but not all.” Says Trump’s actions are pushing the GOP toward removal if that vote comes. It boils down to @senatemajldr “If Sen. McConnell votes for removal, then it’s over.” @realDonaldTrump

DailyBeast, Erin Banco: Pompeo Pushed Out His Own Ukraine Rep to Squash a Growing Scandal http://bit.ly/2onMiwC
// “Volker was the easier guy to let go,” said one former State Department official. “But just because it is an easy choice doesn’t mean it is the right choice.”

🐣 RT @BarbMcQuade IG’s request for urgent meeting with congressional committees seems very significant. This comes shortly after Pompeo stiff-armed them on subpoenas. The truth will come out. Didn’t these guys read “All the President’s Men”? Or even see the movie?
🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: State Department inspector general requests urgent briefing on Ukraine with congressional staff http://cnn.it/2paOvfw

WaPo, James Hohman: Mike Pompeo and Bill Barr are increasingly implicated in the impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/2paOvfw

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote BREAKING: sounds to me like there’s a whistleblower in the state department with an urgent matter and the IG is going to inform congress, or the state department acting legal counsel forwarded documents to the IG and they want to brief congress. #beans
⋙ ABCNews: State Dept inspector general requests ‘urgent’ Ukraine briefing on Capitol Hill http://abcn.ws/2pcgITd

NYT Mag, Amanda Hess: This Is the Moment Rachel Maddow Has Been Waiting For [Interview] http://nyti.ms/2oV1G3W
// How the MSNBC host staked her show on Trump — and won the largest and most obsessive audience of her career.

⭕ 30 Sep 2019

NYT, Michelle Goldberg: Trump’s Claims About Biden Aren’t ‘Unsupported.’ They’re Lies. http://nyti.ms/2nGYbhp
// The president’s accusations turn reality on its head and the media should say so.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand NEW: No, Fiona Hill is not the whistleblower. But she and her team were among those wary of the shadow foreign policy being done on Ukraine by Giuliani, Sondland, and Volker. She resigned just a week before Trump’s fateful Zelensky call. My profile:
⋙ Politico: The Russia Hawk in the White House http://politi.co/2nc5uNY
// Nobody ever expected Fiona Hill to become a Trump adviser. She ended up staying far longer than anyone predicted — including her.

🐣 RT @BFriemanDC In the last 14 hours, the President has threatened to arrest political opponents for treason, intimidated whistleblowers with “big consequences,” called the free press “dangerous and bad” and echoed a prediction of civil war if he is removed from office. Guys, he needs to go https://twitter.com/BFriedmanDC/status/1178657693382385665?s=20/photo/1-4

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand NEW: No, Fiona Hill is not the whistleblower. But she and her team were among those wary of the shadow foreign policy being done on Ukraine by Giuliani, Sondland, and Volker. She resigned just a week before Trump’s fateful Zelensky call. My profile:
⋙ Politico: The Russia Hawk in the White House http://politi.co/2nc5uNY
// Nobody ever expected Fiona Hill to become a Trump adviser. She ended up staying far longer than anyone predicted — including her.

Reuters, Polina Ivanova and Pavel Polityuk: Ukraine agency says allegations against Burisma cover period before Biden joined http://reut.rs/2oOxJT7

🐣 RT @mccaffrey3 Trump,Pompeo, Barr, Giuliani are going to totally defy the House Impeachment inquiry. They will tell the supporting actors to obstruct and claim privilege. They will not acknowledge the Constitution. At the end of the day, the 2020 election will decide.
⋙ 🐣 RT @PreetBharara Drip drip drip. ¤ And on each drip, a public-facing body can issue subpoenas. And hold hearings. And make statements. And level accusations. ¤ Utterly unlike the Mueller investigation. The dynamic is different and far worse for the President.

🐣 RT @michikokakutani Inner circle around the leader “never stops to think about the world as it really is and never compares the lies with reality. Its most cherished virtue… is loyalty to the Leader, who, like a talisman, assures the ultimate victory of lie and fiction over truth and reality”
⋙ 🐣 RT @michikokakutani Hannah Arendt in “The Origins of Totalitarianism”: “totalitarianism in power invariably replaces all first-rate talents, regardless of their sympathies, with those crackpots and fools whose lack of intelligence and creativity is still the best guarantee of their loyalty.”

RandCorp, Christopher Paul and Miriam Matthews: (2016): The Russian “Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda Model http://bit.ly/2o8DlqR
// Why It Might Work and Options to Counter It

Politico, Bryan Bender and Wesley Morgan: How U.S. military aid became a lifeline for Ukraine http://politi.co/2mp5fys
// The U.S. provided about $1.5 billion in military aid to Kiev between 2014 and this past June, according to a Congressional Research Service analysis

📊 WaPo: Nearly half of Americans support impeaching Trump, two new polls find http://wapo.st/2oHTgwG both are for “impeach and remove”: Quinnipiac 47% in favor /47% against (was 37/57% a week ago); CNN 47% in favor (vs 41% in May)

🐣 RT @matthewamiller One thing about this investigation Barr is flying around the world to personally oversee: what is the predicate? There has never been a single credible allegation that a crime was committed.
⋙ 🐣 RT @mayawiley Quite the contrary. There has been an avalanche of evidence that Russia interfered actively in the US Presidential election & Trump campaign actively sought to have information on Clinton emails from Russians. But not the predicate #Barr is chasing down.

🐣 RT @RichardEngel A former Ukrainian lawmaker deeply familiar with the Giuliani dirt-digging campaign told me Trump’s phone call to the Ukrainian president asking for an investigation into the Bidens, while withholding vital military aid, was “pressure,” “blackmail,” and “quid pro quo.”

💽 RawStory: CNN’s Jim Acosta: Administration officials are warning Trump that he’s probably going to be impeached http://bit.ly/2n6kTiQ

NYT, Paul Krugman: Warren Versus the Petty Plutocrats http://nyti.ms/2njYgYb
// Why do they hate her? It’s mainly about their egos.

NewYorker, David Remnick: The Floodgates Open on Trump http://bit.ly/2mqP2J5

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood if the United States were no longer a sovereign nation, this might be true
⋙ 🐣 RT @carlquintanilla MOSCOW, Sept 30 (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Monday that Washington would need Russian consent to publish transcripts of phone calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin

🐣 RT @emptywheel Again: George Papadopoulos testified under oath that the conspiracies that the Attorney General of the United States is flying around the world to chase he was simply parroting because he read it in a John Solomon column. ¤ That’s where this comes from.

🐣 RT @mitchellreports I tried to ask @SecPompeo today why he is targeting veteran diplomats for routine emails when they had nothing to do with that private server. ¤ He turned his back and walked away.

NYT (5/2/2018): Ukraine, Seeking U.S. Missiles, Halted Cooperation With Mueller Investigation http://nyti.ms/2nWJdUd ⋙ as referenced on @Maddow
// 5/2/2018
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @dcpoll Ukraine, Seeking US Missiles, Halts Cooperation With Mueller Probe. In another move hindering Mueller’s probe, Ukrainian law enforcement allowed potential witness, Konstantin Kilimnik, to leave for Russia, putting him out of reach for questioning. ¤ #Maddow https://nyti.ms/2FzVW2n

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Lawyers for the House have revealed that they have reason to believe that the grand-jury redactions in Robert Mueller’s report show that Trump lied about his knowledge of his campaign’s contacts with WikiLeaks, Politico reports.
⋙ Politico, Andrew Desiderio: Trump may have lied to Mueller, House Democrats say http://politi.co/2mqLh6t
// Dems believe the special counsel’s grand-jury materials could aid their Ukraine investigation, according to a court filing.

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: Democrats Have Impeachment by the Tail. Here’s How They Tame It. http://bit.ly/2nYDX2w
// It’s not about fast/slow or narrow/broad. It’s about conducting this in a way that nullifies right-wing talking points.

TheGuardian, Laurence H Tribe: The House must flex its constitutional muscles to get to Trump http://bit.ly/2oNihXx
// Only the procedures enshrined in the impeachment process have the power to cut through the president’s smokescreens

WaPo, Catherine Rampell: There’s another whistleblower complaint. It’s about Trump’s tax returns. http://wapo.st/2ndK4zK

NYT: Alex Pascal : Did the Trump White House Mishandle the Ukraine Call Memo? http://nyti.ms/2muVq2a Mr. Pascal oversaw the system for producing and editing national security memorandums in the Obama White House.
// What the whistle-blower describes is highly unusual and cause for concern.

🐣 RT @tedlieu TRANSLATION: Bill Barr of @TheJusticeDept doesn’t believe the American people should have found out about the “sweeping and systematic” attack by Russia on our elections in 2016. He believes the Mueller investigation should never have started. This is crazy stuff from the AG.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jaketapper WP: AG Barr “has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help” in a DOJ inquiry “that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election”
⋙⋙ 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Barr personally asked foreign officials to aid inquiry into CIA, FBI activities in 2016 http://wapo.st/2mp5fys

✅ WaPo Factchecker, Glenn Kessler: Trump’s false claim that the rules for whistleblowers were recently changed http://wapo.st/2mstlIP FOUR PINOCCHIOS 🍄🍄🍄🍄

🔆 This❗️⋙ WSJ: Pompeo Took Part in Trump-Zelensky Phone Call, Official Says http://on.wsj.com/2nW8zl6
// McConnell says he envisions Senate trial if House passes articles of impeachment

NBCNews: More than 300 ex-officials say Trump’s Ukraine actions are ‘profound national security concern’ http://nbcnews.to/2nVfuem
// The former national security officials, from Democratic and GOP administrations, shared their worries over Trump in a letter released Friday.

NYT, Peter Wehner: What’s the Matter With Republicans? http://nyti.ms/2n06cxJ
// Trump has given them another chance to break away. Why won’t they take it?

WaPo: Jeff Flake: Fellow Republicans, there’s still time to save your souls http://wapo.st/2nYpCCY “[Y]ou can go elsewhere for a job. But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul.”

⭕ 29 Sep 2019

NewYorker, David Rohde: The Dangerous Position of William Barr http://bit.ly/2oBDSSw

🐣 RT @neal_katyal The Trump defense is falling apart because there is no way to defend the indefensible. Trump put himself over country, and sold out our foreign policy interests for his private benefit. That is literally what our Founders thought impeachment was for.

🐣 RT @kasparov63 They’ll attack the truth-tellers, accuse them of anything at all, because playing defense takes energy. They’ll use whataboutism to distract from their crimes. Keep following the money and repeating the truth.

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona and Scott Bixby: Trump-Supporting Lawyers diGenova and Toensing Teamed Up With Giuliani to Dig Up Ukraine Dirt on Biden: Report http://bit.ly/2nHA6qv
// Fox News cited a U.S. official who said all three were working off the books apart from the administration, and the only person who knew “what they were doing is President Trump.”

DailyBeast, Kevin Poulsen: GOP Shows Russian Trolls How It’s Done With Whistleblower Smear http://bit.ly/2mWP37Y
// Trump has joined an army of conservative commentators in pushing a false story involving an obscure government form, a Trump official, and the whistleblower.

NYT Editorial: Note to the Impeachment Investigators: Trump Rarely Acts Alone http://nyti.ms/2oosh9i incl: Giuliani, Barr, Mulvaney, Pompeo, Pence, Bolton, CI IG Atkinson, and the ambassadors to Ukraine and the EU
// Here’s who the House needs to hear from during its inquiry.

● Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney/fixer.
● Bill Barr, attorney general.
● Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff.
● Mike Pompeo, secretary of state.
● Kurt Volker, former part-time special envoy to Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union.
● Mike Pence, vice president.
● John Bolton, former national security adviser.
● Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community

NYT: Inside the F.B.I. File of Trump’s Mentor, Roy Cohn http://nyti.ms/2nNsQsU
// The president isn’t mentioned in just-released documents. Still, the thick file is a timely reminder of the unusual realm his feared mentor inhabited.

🐣 RT @ryanlizza It seems like a crisis right now in American politics is disimformation and how press, voters and Congress deal with it. Worth remembering that this isn’t the first time that our politics has been seized with a political actor and his allies spreading falsehoods with a firehouse. 📌 https://twitter.com/RyanLizza/status/1178516302807191552?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @ryanlizza I was doing some reading on Joe McCarthy and noticed that his reign of demagoguery and disinformation lasted exactly 4 years, 4 months—from 1950 speech about communists at State to “have you no sense of decency?” It‘s been 4 years, 3 1/2 months since Trump’s announcement speech.

🐣 RT @SykesCharlie The president is nuts.
🐣 RT @joshscampbell This blast from the U.S. President comes as CBS News reports the whistleblower is under federal protection because he or she fears for their safety
⋙ 🐣 RT @real ….In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the “Whistleblower.” Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!
⋙ 🐣 RT @real His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber. He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States. I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason…..
⋙ 🐣 RT @real ….In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the “Whistleblower.” Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!

🐣 RT @CREWcrew With President Trump apparently so worried about corruption, he will certainly be alarmed to learn that his business interests have resulted in more than 2,310 conflicts of interest. https://twitter.com/CREWcrew/status/1178436822092931072?s=20

🐣 RT @EdHull8 Have you seen any of Trump’s recent meltdown tweets? ASTOUNDINGLY FRIGHTENING, and GETTING WORSE by the minute. His mind has now take a one way, no return trip into the abyss of INSANITY. God protect us from this MADMAN.

🐣 RT @maggieNYT “Another former senior official said it was a constant struggle to convince Mr. Trump that Russia, not Ukraine, had interfered in the election.”
⋙ NYT: Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Was ‘Completely Debunked’ http://nyti.ms/2nI49yg
// Thomas P. Bossert, President Trump’s first homeland security adviser, said he was “deeply disturbed” that Mr. Trump had urged Ukraine to investigate Democrats.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d In point of fact, @realDonaldTrump *is* a raving lunatic
⋙ 🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump’s implication that he wants @RepAdamSchiff executed for treason is unhinged, disgusting, and beyond intolerable. The president is acting like a raving lunatic.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @real His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber. He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States. I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason…..

💙 WaPo, Jackson Diehl: How the diplomatic pros lost Ukraine to Trump http://wapo.st/2mMnVIT

Needless to say, that era is over. In a matter of months, President Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, have twisted U.S. policy in Ukraine to their personal ends, touching off turmoil inside the White House and State Department and weakening — perhaps critically — a bilateral relationship that is crucial to containing Russian aggression in Europe.

The story of Trump’s strongarming of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is first and foremost one of Trump’s abuse of his presidential power in pursuit of personal political gain. But it is also an epic example of how Trump has destroyed U.S. diplomacy in places around the world where, for years, it had worked smoothly and relatively effectively despite the growing partisan polarization in Washington.

Though Trump never had a positive view of Ukraine, the trouble really started with Giuliani, who has a record of working for and with the very Ukrainian actors that U.S. policy has aimed to marginalize: shady business executives and corrupt politicians with ties to Russia, organized crime or both.

… When members of the U.S. delegation to Zelensky’s May 20 inauguration reported back to Trump at the White House and expressed enthusiasm about the new president, Trump launched into a tirade about Ukrainian corruption and a supposed Ukraine-based conspiracy to prevent his election. He then refused to schedule a meeting with Zelensky.

… But then the State Department came up with a classic State Department solution: Organize talks. … ¤ The idea was that Zelensky would talk about his plan to “drain the swamp” in Kiev and Trump would then offer him the visit to the White House that the Ukrainian badly wanted.

The problem is that the pros misread Trump. He had no genuine interest in Ukrainian corruption. He simply wanted to squeeze the Ukrainians for the dirt on Biden and the Democrats that Giuliani said they had.

🐣 RT @ElaineLuriaVA 🚨PSA🚨: “Fox News has learned that the Pentagon, State Department, and National Security Council were ‘unanimous’ in supporting the aid to Ukraine, and that Trump acted alone in withholding the aid over the summer.”
⋙ FoxNews: Giuliani was not working alone in Biden Ukraine probe http://fxn.ws/2mLLBNz

🐣 RT @HeathMayo “For a unitary executive to become incapacitated or corrupt, Madison warned, could be ‘fatal to the republic’ without some provision for his removal from office. After this debate, the convention voted by eight states to two to make the president impeachable.” https://twitter.com/HeathMayo/status/1178503039952531457?s=20/photo/1

Reuters: Trump-Putin phone calls in U.S. Democrats’ sights: Schiff http://reut.rs/2nPtPsz

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Dear Republican friends: he’s lost it, and you know it. ¤ And every single one of you stupid badtards who pretended to love him and embraced his crapulous regime will pay the price with your reputations until the end of time.

🐣 RT @AmoneyResists 18 U.S.C 2383: “Whoever incites any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
🐣 RT @HeerJeet Nice little republic you got there. Be a shame if it were torn apart in a Civil War.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real ….If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews

CNN, Asha Rangappa: Rudy Giuliani — international man of mystery http://cnn.it/2mUr21a

Politico: Trump demands to meet whistleblower and leakers of his Ukraine call http://politi.co/2otI7Qb

DailyBeast: Alexander Hamilton Warned Us About Trump and Barr http://bit.ly/2md2q3y
// Trump will argue whatever is in his immediate interests; Barr has argued for decades against any real congressional oversight of the president.

WaPo: Democrats count on Schiff to deliver focused impeachment inquiry of Trump http://wapo.st/2mTZIjB

⭕ 28 Sep 2019

DailyBeast, Maxwell Tani and Justin Baragona: Leaked Memo: Colleagues Unload on John Solomon, the Journo Who Kicked Off Trump’s Ukraine Conspiracy http://bit.ly/2ohARGV
// The Trump-friendly scribe and his Biden-Ukraine conspiracies were cited multiple times in the whistleblower memo. Many of his co-workers are ashamed to be associated with him.

NYT (9/28): How a Shadow Foreign Policy in Ukraine Prompted an Impeachment Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2oOmLx5 as on @maddow

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ There is a kind of karmic hilarity to the fact that in order to protect Trump, his staff centralized the materials that could doom him in a highly classified system that can’t be erased or manipulated without a record of access by a very small number of people.

🐣 I thought maybe he was trying to echo an old comic strip called “Li’l Abner” but screwed it up. It sort of sounds like “Li’l Adam.” Just a hunch.

NYT: Impeachment Battle to Turn for First Time on a President’s Ties to a Foreign Country http://nyti.ms/2ohoVFd “George Washington spoke of ‘the insidious wiles of foreign influence,’ calling it ‘one of the most baneful foes of republican government’”

🐣 RT @RonWyden The same day that I released a report detailing the close relationship between the NRA and Russia, Trump met with its top exec to discuss a quid pro quo: blocking gun legislation in exchange for protection from impeachment. The corruption in this administration knows no bounds.

🐣 RT @sam_vinograd THREAD ¤ Let’s talk about Presidential readouts (send me any questions): 📌 https://twitter.com/sam_vinograd/status/1177964814414602242?s=20

NYT, Ross Douthat: Last Exit From Trumpland http://nyti.ms/2nyLLro “You can’t say that you didn’t have an early exit from the Trump era. You can’t say you didn’t have a choice.”

🐣 RT @GlennKesslerWP So many falsehoods here: not greatest economy, didn’t rebuild military, not biggest tax cut, not record deregulation, did not create VA Choice. Bottomless Pinocchios galore!
⋙ 🐣 RT @real How do you impeach a President who has created the greatest Economy in the history of our Country, entirely rebuilt our Military into the most powerful it has ever been, Cut Record Taxes & Regulations, fixed the VA & gotten Choice for our Vets (after 45 years), & so much more?…

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi We have a responsibility to protect our democracy for future generations. We must not abandon that duty. #ExposeTheTruth 💽 https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1177942420098605057?s=20/photo/1

NBCNews: Rudy Giuliani’s former DOJ colleagues believe he committed crimes in pushing Biden probe http://nbcnews.to/2lXTUVR
// “I think the Giuliani that I know would prosecute the Giuliani of today,” said Jeffrey Harris, who worked closely with him in the 1980s.

💙 WaPo, Philip Gordon and Daniel Fried: The other Ukraine scandal: Trump’s threats to our ambassador who wouldn’t bend http://wapo.st/2o7v2vw by two Asst Secs of State for Europe, one under Bush, one under Obama about dismissal of Amb to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch

The recent revelations about President Trump’s treatment of Ukraine catalogue a number of potentially serious misdeeds, including abuse of power, extortion of a foreign leader, violation of campaign finance laws and a conspiracy to cover up all of the above by storing records of phone conversations on a top-secret server in the White House.

But as investigations proceed and Americans consider these revelations, they should hold in mind another transgression: the president’s egregious mistreatment of one of the country’s most distinguished ambassadors. Even before the rough transcript of the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was released, we knew that the administration had prematurely curtailed the appointment of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch following public attacks on her by the president’s eldest son and by his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Administration officials then falsely claimed that she was leaving her post “as planned.” Now, we also know that Trump went on to denigrate the ambassador in a phone call to a foreign leader, telling Zelensky that “the woman” was “bad news” and vaguely but ominously noting that “she’s going to go through some things.”

🐣 RT @VABVOX NEW: Apparently AG Barr was “surprised and angry” that Trump put him and Giuliani together and comparable the #Ukraine call. Trump has treated Barr as if he were another personal attorney of Trump’s. Maybe if Barr didn’t act like he is, it’d be different.
⋙ AP, Michael Balsamo: Trump blurs lines between personal lawyer, attorney general http://bit.ly/2nDw4z5

🐣 RT @neal_katyal Why FEC decn so impt: Trump DOJ secretly cleared him of criminal wrongdoing w Ukraine b/c claimed foreign campaign aid wasn’t a “thing of value.” ¤ FEC, which has expertise in this, disagrees. We’d not even learned of doj jail free card w/out wblower. FEC is saying this is illegal.
🐣💙 RT @jbk1755 Wow. ¤ Yesterday the FEC chair tried to publish their weekly journal & was blocked. She says that’s unprecedented ¤ It has a draft rule re: foreign election interference ¤ So she tweeted the ENTIRE journal. ¤ Just putting that here…
@KevinMKruse @HC_Richardson H/T @PoliticusSarah
🐣 RT @EllenLWeintraub 2/ ¤ This week, I published a “Draft Interpretive Rule Concerning Prohibited Activities Involving Foreign Nationals” on the http://fec.gov web site:
⋙ ≣ FEC, Ellen Weintraub: Proposed FEC Rule: “Interpretive Rule Concerning Prohibited Activities Regarding Foreign Nationals” [pdf] http://bit.ly/2nDmWKP 8p incl cover letter

WaPo, Anne Applebaum: Americans spent decades discussing rule of law. Why would anyone believe us now? http://wapo.st/2nwfVeU

🐣 RT @ColMorrisDavis Hillary Clinton left office over 6 1/2 years ago. The statute of limitations on any potential offense is 5 years. This is 100% pure political stunt perpetrated to try and deflect attention from the corruption of the @realDonaldTrump administration.
⋙ 💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: State Dept. intensifies email probe of Hillary Clinton’s former aides http://wapo.st/2nxYdaS

The Trump administration is investigating the email records of dozens of current and former senior State Department officials who sent messages to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email, reviving a politically toxic matter that overshadowed the 2016 election, current and former officials said.

As many as 130 officials have been contacted in recent weeks by State Department investigators — a list that includes senior officials who reported directly to Clinton as well as others in lower-level jobs whose emails were at some point relayed to her inbox, said current and former State Department officials. Those targeted were notified that emails they sent years ago have been retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations, according to letters reviewed by The Washington Post.

To many of those under scrutiny, including some of the Democratic Party’s top foreign policy experts, the recent flurry of activity surrounding the Clinton email case represents a new front on which the Trump administration could be accused of employing the powers of the executive branch against perceived political adversaries.

A former senior U.S. official familiar with the email investigation described it as a way for Republicans “to keep the Clinton email issue alive.” The former official said the probe was “a way to tarnish a whole bunch of Democratic foreign policy people” and discourage if not prevent them from returning to government service.

🐣 RT @carlbildt Whether EU can step up its Ukraine efforts to handle the deepening mess remains to be seen. In Paris, President Macron seems to have gone super-Gaullist in a new effort to embrace Russia. London has its own meltdown. And it will take weeks for Brussels to sort itself out.

🐣 RT @anders_aslund The damage Trump has done to Ukraine:
1. Supported the most corrupt officials in Ukraine against the government.
2. Withheld singlehandedly $400 min of badly needed US aid.
3. Dragged the new Ukrainian President into his world of lies, trying to extort him into crime.

⭕ 27 Sep 2019

✅ PolitiFact (9/27): Trump mentioned the ‘Crowdstrike’ conspiracy during his call with Ukraine. Here’s what that means http://bit.ly/32nLqay #Ukraine

BuzzFeedNews, Maya Wiley: Opinion: Impeach William Barr http://bit.ly/2mKdlll “But it’s now clear that Attorney General Barr deserves an impeachment inquiry, regardless of the outcome, because trust in government requires it.”
// As a former assistant US attorney, I thought Barr’s past service as attorney general meant he would respect the rule of law. I was wrong.

◕ WaPo: Who’s who in the whistleblower complaint [graph] http://wapo.st/2lXbV6R

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Seven important and awful signs for Trump http://wapo.st/2nurPFW

NYT, Roger Cohen: ‘I Fought the Law and the Law Won’ http://nyti.ms/2o20TxH
// Trump is disturbed and growing more so. The narcissist cannot bear not getting away with whatever he wants.

LATimes: Trump, caught off guard, struggles to fight impeachment storm http://lat.ms/2nlytP4 “Senate Maj Ldr Mitch McConnell said Friday that if the House does vote for impeachment, the Senate ‘has no choice’ but to hold a trial to decide whether to remove Trump from office.”

NYT Editorial: Why the Trump Impeachment Inquiry Is the Only Option http://nyti.ms/2nobxyF

🐣 RT @justinhendrix I want you to cast your mind forward out of this time, beyond these headlines. We must commit to one another to use this moment to set the nation on a new path; to attack the bigotry, the plutocracy, the profound rot at the core of this country. We have decades of work to do.

NYT: White House Classified Computer System Is Used to Hold Transcripts of Sensitive Calls http://nyti.ms/2o27et9
// Current and former officials said the White House used a highly classified computer system accessible to only a select few officials to store transcripts of calls from President Vladimir Putin and the Saudi royal family.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 The Chairmen have notified Pompeo that the Committees have scheduled depositions for 5 State Department officials:
*Amb. Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch
*Amb. Kurt Volker
*Deputy Asst. Secretary George Kent
*Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl
*Amb. Gordon Sondland
https://bit.ly/2nhWOFh

Slate, William Saletan: The Ukraine Timeline Shows Trump Is Lying http://bit.ly/2mupyKP
// The phone call and the whistleblower complaint are just the beginning of the evidence.

WaPo/AP: US official: Trump’s special envoy to Ukraine has resigned http://wapo.st/2mu8VyT

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote You’re a disgusting traitor, @realDonaldTrump and you deserve every bit of karma about to rain down on you. How dare you darken the Oval Office, disrespect the oath, and disrespect the constitution so many people braver than you fought and sacrificed to defend. #Impeach

🐣 RT @KevinMKruse cc: William Barr
⋙ 🐣 RT @KevinMKruse [May] For his role in the Watergate cover-up, Attorney General John Mitchell was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. He spent over a year and a half in a federal prison. https://twitter.com/KevinMKruse/status/1177208467951632385?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I have some guilt for feeling giddy that the floodgates are now open and trump will drown in his former officials’ press reports. The Putin call. The MBS call. The Oval Office admission to the Russians. It’s all going to come out.

🐣 RT @ThePlumLineGS In this context, a reminder: When White House officials stashed Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president on the super secret server, it was a much more serious abuse of power than it first appears, once you peel back the layers of what that really means:
⋙ RT @ThePlumLineGS Stashing Trump’s call on a super-classified system was a serious abuse of power. ¤ That system is ordinarily for the most sensitive info in the government’s possession, like covert action programs. ¤ It is explicitly *not* for politically sensitive info:
https://twitter.com/ThePlumLineGS/status/1177541006507630592?s=20/photo/1-2
⋙ 🐣 Including how blaming Ukraine for election interference could lead to softening sanctions on Russia.
🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 So let me get this straight-White House officials were in essence catching & killing damaging things Trump was saying (including to Russians) that the American people had a right to know? These “officials” need to be held accountable.
🐣 RT @tribelaw It’s all starting to spill out now. The dam is breaking. There’s no stopping it.
🐣 RT @Lawrence The gun keeps smoking and the dam keeps breaking.
🐣 RT @PreetBharara It is all going to come out. All of it. The dam has broken.
🐣 RT @GottaLaff BREAKING >>Trump told Russian officials in 2017 he wasn’t concerned about Moscow’s interference in U.S. election
⋙ 💙💙 WaPo: Trump told Russian officials in 2017 he wasn’t concerned about Moscow’s interference in U.S. election http://wapo.st/2o0lnXN
📌 https://twitter.com/GottaLaff/status/1177742109127741440?s=20
🐣 RT @GottaLaff 2/ “A memorandum summarizing the meeting was limited to all but a few officials with the highest security clearances in an attempt to keep the president’s comments from being disclosed publicly”
🐣 RT @GottaLaff 3/ “WH officials were partic distressed by Trump’s election remarks bc it appeared the pres was forgiving Russia for an attack that had been designed to help elect him, the 3 former officials said. Trump also seemed to invite Russia to interfere in other countries’ elections”
🐣 RT @GottaLaff 4/ “The president and his top aides seemed not to understand the difference between Voice of America, a U.S.-supported news organization that airs in foreign countries, with Russian efforts to persuade American voters by surreptitiously planting ads in social media”

WaPo/AP: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR): NRA acted as Russian ‘asset’ in run-up to 2016 http://wapo.st/2noCFxa detailed in new report

Vox, Ian Millhiser: The 4 possible crimes in the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower scandal, explained http://bit.ly/2nU0Js5
// Based on what we know so far, Trump and his top aides could be implicated in four different types of federal crimes.

🐣 RT @Amie_FR Russia, freaked by the release of the Trump-Zelensky phonecall, says it hopes the US will not show Putin’s calls with Trump. What on Earth could they be afraid of?
https://twitter.com/Amie_FR/status/1177738030192500736?s=20

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews In the case of Trump’s call with Prince Mohammed, officials who ordinarily would have been given access to a rough transcript of the conversation never saw one. A transcript was never circulated at all, which was highly unusual.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews White House efforts to limit access to President Donald Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders extended to phone calls with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
⋙⋙ 💙💙 CNN: White House restricted access to Trump’s calls with Putin and Saudi crown prince http://cnn.it/2muMIkr

WaPo: Giuliani cancels paid appearance next week at Kremlin-backed conference http://wapo.st/2lKrHSm

Reuters: Kremlin says it hopes U.S. won’t release details of Putin-Trump calls http://reut.rs/2nKGwoA

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews House committees have scheduled depositions for several key State Department officials. One of those officials, Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, was named by the Russian state TV as someone Trump should pressure in order to extract “Biden dirt.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Russian state TV directed Trump to pressure a specific official within the U.S. Department of State for “dirt on Biden,” openly hoping that Trump will “disprove” Russia’s interference in the 2016 US elections & destroy the Democratic party in the process.
⋙⋙ 💙 DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Russia’s Fingerprints Are All Over Trump’s Ukraine Whistleblower Scandal http://bit.ly/2miPMA2
// Prominent figures on Russian TV have been openly putting out the same ideas that we now know the American president was privately pursuing.

🐣 RT @20committee KINDA
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Nancy Pelosi on Trump-Ukraine: “By the way, I think Russia has a hand in this, by the way.” @Morning_Joe

💽 MSNBC, 11thHour: Trump whistleblower leads to ‘most serious impeachment allegation’ in U.S. history http://on.msnbc.com/2lA3puc
// Jeremy Bash details why the allegations from the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower have lead to an impeachment inquiry like no other in American history.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “He’s gone rogue.” – Speaker Pelosi says about AG Barr on @Morning_Joe. https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1177553600551301120?s=20

🐣 RT @atrupar This is one of the dumbest tweets I have ever read. On top of everything else, the president doesn’t know what a hyphen is.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ real To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff. Low ratings @CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ To be fair, though — who would have predicted that putting Fruity G in charge of an international election meddling operation involving multiple U.S. agencies to try to substantiate a right-wing conspiracy theory and take down a political opponent could be a bad idea?

🐣 RT @MSNBC Speaker Pelosi: “The president of the United States used taxpayer dollars to shake down the leader of another country for his own political gain.” ¤ Watch more: https://on.msnbc.com/2n8cxqz

🐣 RT @tribelaw The House could vote an Article of Impeachment over Ukraine and its coverup before Thanksgiving — and then continue hearings into Trump’s many other impeachable acts. ¤ Congress needn’t and shouldn’t wait on this first Article but should strike while the iron is hot.

🐣💙💙 RT @MSNBC 6 U.S. officials, other than president, were implicated in the whistleblower’s complaint. At the top of the list are VP Pence, AG Barr and Pres. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. [✛ Pompeo ~ dismissal of Amb Marie Yovanovich; Mulvaney ~ hold on $$ ]
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, DeadlineWH: All the president’s men named in the whistleblower complaint http://on.msnbc.com/2n73PIX
// Former deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes, former Senator Claire McCaskill, Real Clear Politics’ A.B. Stoddard, former managing editor for TIME Magazine Rick Stengel, and former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance on the 6 other U.S. officials, beyond the president himself, who were implicated in the whistleblower’s complaint

⭕ 26 Sep 2019

Laura: This is a version of the whistleblower complaint that includes notes that you might find useful. The complaint itself is well-organized and well-written. The New York Times has suggested it was compiled by a CIA analyst assigned to the National Security Council. Clearly, it represents input from numerous concerned people. As of today, the identity of the whistleblower is not known. By law, whistleblowers are protected.

The main “impeachable act” is that Trump withheld Congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine (for its war with Russia) unless they provided “dirt” on Joe Biden. It is illegal to request anything of value from a foreign country intended to influence a U.S. election.

CNN, Zachary B. Wolf and Curt Merrill: The whistleblower complaint, annotated http://cnn.it/2nLitXa
// 9/26/2019; A line-by-line analysis of the report that triggered the Ukraine scandal.

🐣 RT @michaelluo .@SpeakerPelosi tells Remnick: “People say you changed your mind. I didn’t change my mind. The facts changed the situation.”
💙💙⋙ NewYorker, David Remnick: Nancy Pelosi: An Extremely Stable Genius http://bit.ly/2nFwgxT
// When asked if it was possible that impeachment might backfire, the Speaker of the House insisted that politics has nothing to do with it. “It doesn’t matter,” she said. “He has given us no choice.”
⋙⋙ 🐣 Trump said Pelosi is no longer Speaker. Looks to me like she’s now “Acting President”

DailyBeast/WaPo: Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General: Hunter Biden ‘Did Not Violate Anything’ http://bit.ly/2mupyKP Yuri Lutsenko: “Hunter Biden cannot be responsible for violations of the management of Burisma that took place two years before his arrival”

🐣 RT @danpfeiffer It’s pretty amazing that Ken Vogel had all the information needed for a Watergate-style scoop about Trump and was so hell bent on fitting the information into a predetermined anti-Biden narrative that he fumbled the ball.
⋙💙🚫◕ NYT: Trump’s Efforts to Push Ukraine Toward a Biden Inquiry: A Timeline [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2me1BHI
// because Vogel critics thinks he lends cred to anti-Biden claims; by By Weiyi Cai, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Alicia Parlapiano, Jugal K. Patel and Kenneth P. Vogel

WaPo, Michael Gerson: The process of impeachment is now inevitable http://wapo.st/2lBiLPg “For the first time in American history, the president has pleaded guilty to an impeachable offense.”

WaPo, Eugene Robinson: Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead on impeachment. http://wapo.st/2mb9GwN “The nation has suffered this small, foolish, dangerous man long enough.”

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Can’t say it enough: “Ukraine Collusion” is a Russian propaganda conspiracy theory long promoted by Putin’s Kremlin to transfer blame for Russia’s election interference onto its enemy Ukraine. Trump, Giuliani are (again) pushing Russian disinformation. @RepAdamSchiff #Maddow 💽 https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1177451931612008455?s=20/photo/1 [MaddowShow]

🐣 RT @McFaul Yes. I was watching and that’s what triggered my tweet. Supporters of Trump can have their own opinions but they don’t get to have their own facts. Enough already.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ScottMStedman Professor, any thoughts on Joe diGenova now representing Firtash and getting Shokin to swear in court to all sorts of wacky Biden disinformation?
🐣 RT @McFaul Shokhin was NOT investigating Hunter Biden! Stop with this disinformation campaign.
⋙ 🐣 RT @davidisaksen Case was about a transaction in 2013, before HB joined the company. It was shelved in 2014. Shokin was voted out by parliament in March 2016. Seriously?
⋙ 🐣 RT @mokimono16 “Ukraine’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to fire Viktor Shokin, ridding the beleaguered prosecutor’s office of a figure who is accused of blocking major cases against allies and influential figures and stymying moves to root out graft.” [Source?]

🐣 RT @brianbeutler If the whistleblower’s understanding is correct and there’s a classified server full of incriminating conversations between Trump and world leaders, then not exposing the truth keeps the president in hoc to those leaders for as long as he’s president.

💙 🐣 RT @atrupar Here’s Rudy Giuliani reading personal text messages live on air in an effort to prove just how deeply involved in this Ukraine mess the State Department is 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1177416704634359809?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @rickwtyler This is NOT Watergate. It’s not about the coverup. This is about the President of the Unites States Donald J. Trump extorting Ukraine using military support in exchange for political gain. Period.

💙 🐣 RT @howroute Sean Hannity is having a meltdown on live TV. 💽https://twitter.com/howroute/status/1177399876101050371?s=20 /photo/1

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq In all seriousness, is there no one left in Rudy’s life who can stage an intervention at this point? Someone who can reason with him, calm him down? ¤ Hell, someone to remind him he has a right to remain silent and that providing potentially inculpatory evidence on TV is dumb?

🐣 RT @RusEmbUSA “@Russia desires above all the maintenance of the American Union as one indivisible nation” – Foreign Minister Gorchakov, 1862.
In September 1863, Russian frigates steamed into New York Harbor, prevented hostile foreign interference in #CivilWar
⋙ RussiaBeyond: What role did Russia play in the U.S. Civil War? http://bit.ly/2m9kThn
// 8/16/2017; odd

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Holy Impeachment, Robin! The bean signal!!
⋙ 🐣 RT @pauldauenhauer https://twitter.com/pauldauenhauer/status/1177415431952502784?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @HeathMayo Some observations after re-reading the documents that have surfaced so far in the Ukraine scandal. ¤ Let’s start with the TELCON of the July 25 call between Trump & Zelenskyy, which ends up being only one piece of evidence in this puzzle.
📌 https://twitter.com/HeathMayo/status/1177353356576210944?s=20

🐣 RT @BoutrousTed It’s difficult to overstate just how devastating it is to @realDonaldTrump that the whistleblower’s complaint (written weeks ago) matches up precisely with the official White House memorandum of Trump’s phone call with the President of Ukraine (publicly released only yesterday).

GQ, Adam Jentleson: Here’s What Democrats Need to Do to Pull Off a Successful Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2nHVHz7
// The Ukraine news is damning and House Democrats should plan a process that exerts maximum pressure on Senate Republicans.

🔆 ‼️ ⋙ FoxNews, Joseph Wulfson: Jeff Flake says ‘at least 35’ Republican senators would privately vote to impeach Trump http://fxn.ws/2nBWHo8

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Oh my, the Russians weren’t lying. They knew what was taking place behind-the-scenes. The #WhistleblowerComplaint revealed that Trump personally instructed Pence not to attend the inauguration.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews [5/13/2019] #Russia’s state TV shamelessly lies that Rudy Giuliani was going to travel to #Ukraine for President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration, but Trump personally directed him & any other official U.S. representatives not to attend the inauguration. ¤ So many lies, so little time.

🐣 .@SpeakerPelosi could be proclaimed Dem Nominee and break the glass ceiling and the age ceiling simultaneously‼️🥂

TheGuardian: Whistleblower report reveals how far Trump’s dubious ethics have spread http://bit.ly/2nHl04f
// Report indicates there were a lot of people involved in Trump’s scheme to tamper in the 2020 election and prosecute opponents

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger it gives me great joy to know you will see insane Republicans defending a president’s threat vs. a whistleblower. Their remarks will become part of history and future employers including the voters will have a clear record of their moral lunacy.

WaPo: Whistleblower painstakingly gathered material and almost single-handedly set impeachment in motion http://wapo.st/2luxsDH

🐣 RT @nytopinion “The president has launched a fresh assault on fair elections.” Unfortunately, this isn’t happening a long time ago in a universe far, far away. 💽 https://twitter.com/nytopinion/status/1177383602792927232?s=20/photo/1
// after Star Wars

WaPo: In gambit for Trump, Giuliani engaged parade of Ukrainian prosecutors http://wapo.st/2lZWBXd

WaPo: Effort to shield Trump’s call with Ukrainian leader was part of broader secrecy effort http://wapo.st/2lxNhti

🐣 RT @MelaniaTrumpe [parody] I have start write my memoir. Here is first few lines:
“Twas the night before Impeachment, and all through the house…
Was nobody left who support him, not even him spouse.”
Is good?

🐣 RT @chrislhayes Giuliani clearly thinks it gets him off the hook if the State Department was deeply involved in this whole mess, but the more State was involved the bigger the scandal.

🐣 RT @BrBabblingBooks What we are seeing in America is a great struggle between liberal democracy and authoritarian nationalism.
🐣 RT @BrBabblingBooks In the end liberal democracy always wins out. But authoritarian movements can dominate in some places for a long periods of time. This restricts freedom and leads to suffering and loss of life.

💙💙 🔊 Soundcloud: The Whistleblower’s Complaint https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1177387952739160064?s=20

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 House Democratic leaders are eyeing a fast-paced investigation into the possible impeachment of Trump, instructing the committees handling the probe to wrap up their findings within weeks in hopes of concluding before the holiday season.
⋙ WaPo: Democrats eye quick impeachment probe of Trump as freshmen push for focus on Ukraine http://wapo.st/2n1BjZe

🐣 RT @Heidi_Cuda On September 24, 2019, it was quite clear: flipping the House blue in those critical midterms in 2018 gave us an opportunity to save our democracy. In this excellent archival story by @chaunceydevega for @Salon, author @craigunger explains the backstory. 📌 https://twitter.com/Heidi_Cuda/status/1177258057090289664?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @Heidi_Cuda 1/ “I’ve always been reluctant to use words like ‘treason’ or ‘fascism’ to discuss Trump. But I think we’ve entered a very dark time in American history. We can’t turn this around and save the country unless the Democrats win Congress in the midterms.”-@craigunger Oct. 2018

NBCNews: ‘Total panic’ as ‘shell-shocked’ White House struggles to find impeachment footing http://nbcnews.to/2nFcPp2
// While many in the Trump White House are battle-tested from the Mueller investigation, this is starting to feel different, aides and advisers said.

NYT, Michelle Goldman: Just How Corrupt Is Bill Barr? http://nyti.ms/2m9GKFj
// Trump’s attorney general is implicated in the Ukraine scandal, but refuses to recuse.

🐣 RT @gabrielsherman Chaos inside Fox News as impeachment looms. Mgmt told Smith to stop attacking Carlson. Hannity privately says whistleblower is really bad for Trump. Paul Ryan has told Lachlan to plan for a post-Trump future.
⋙ VanityFair: “It’s Management Bedlam”: Madness at Fox News as Trump Faces Impeachment http://bit.ly/2lsPEgP

🐣 Nixon still had 24% approval when he resigned ~ 50% among Republicans https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1177377960640286722?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @PreetBharara Acting DNI says IG and whistleblower acted in good faith and did everything by the book

🐣 RT @NateSilver538 Weird how an explosive new scandal that caught Trump red-handed working with foreign leaders moved the numbers when 2.5 years of rilitigating Mueller/Russia didn’t.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Rschooley Weird how all those people who said if you make a case the people will follow were right.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @AJentleson Another new poll shows majority (53%) support for impeachment [inquiry]. That’s two in two days.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @FiveThirtyEight Some new polling from SurveyMonkey and Business Insider suggests that support for impeachment is increasing in the wake of the Ukraine news.
⋙⋙⋙⋙ BusinessInsider: POLL: Americans support the impeachment inquiry into Trump, but they worry about electoral blowback http://bit.ly/
● Forty-five percent of respondents to a SurveyMonkey Audience poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday said they believed that the House of Representatives should impeach the president.
● A majority — 53% — backed the launch of an impeachment inquiry in the House.

🐣 RT @NBCpolitics The whistleblower says that multiple U.S. officials told him or her that Amb. Volker and Amb. Sondland “provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to ‘navigate’ the demands that the president had made of Mr. Zelenskiy.”
⋙ NBCNews: Whistleblower says U.S. envoy scrambled to contain Giuliani’s damage to national security http://nbcnews.to/2n6UGjq
// The special envoy served as the facilitator for Giuliani’s talks with Ukrainian officials.

🐣 JohnWDean Trump and Rudy are spending full time trashing Joe and Hunter Biden. Classic slander for they have no evidence to back up their claims whatsoever. The Bidens should sue for defamation. But that’s a Trump trick so they won’t do it.

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 But his phone calls . . . #ButHisPhoneCalls
⋙ 🐣 RT @AlyssaMilano They’ve been covering up potentially incriminating phone calls on a separate server. #ServerGate #CoverUp

🐣 RT @McFaul Here is my legal question: Under what conditions should a State Department employee be tasked with setting up meeting between a foreign government and a private US citizen for the purpose of obtaining dirt on an electoral opponent? My answer: never. Ok, lawyers, now correct me.

🐣 RT @CheriJacobus Ultimately, it will be Ivanka who tells Trump that he must resign.

🐣 RT @djrothkopf So, misclassifying information in a White House full of people with faulty security clearances about a case of someone trying to engineer foreign intervention into an impending US election is not a matter concerning the DNI? But running it by the alleged wrong-doers is prudent?

🐣 It’s important that Schiff focused on the process, because it was almost accidental that the Intel Committee’s got the whistleblower complaint in light of obstruction by the White
House and DOJ. Rules must be clear for future situations.

🐣 RT @EricGarland Schiff is revealing something terrible and threatening about the acting Director of National Intelligence: He is unwilling to call foreign interference in our democracy a national security threat when invited by the President.
⋙ 🐣 RT @EricGarland Moreover, Maguire is unwilling to clearly ask for a full investigation OF A NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT to democracy itself from the highest office in the land. Because the President should have, ostensibly, executive privilege when committing crimes and frauds.

WaPo: Trump’s call with Ukrainian leader is unlike anything presidential scholars have heard before http://wapo.st/2n1FUKN

MotherJones, Pema Levy: Not Just Ukraine: Whistleblower Says the White House Is Hiding Other Damaging Documents http://bit.ly/2ntKxh2
// The Trump administration is accused of abusing classification to bury “politically sensitive” information.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: 5 key takeaways and allegations from the Trump whistleblower complaint http://wapo.st/2lQiqZe

1. The White House allegedly tried to bury the Trump-Zelensky call
2. Trump allegedly dangled a meeting with Zelensky as a reward
3. Two ambassadors allegedly worked to contain the potential damage
4. The whistleblower nailed the July 25 call
5. Many people around Trump are apparently troubled, and some are allegedly assisting in a coverup

WaPo: Whistleblower claimed Trump abused office and White House officials tried to cover it up http://wapo.st/2lQdOCo
// Complaint is at heart of burgeoning controversy over Trump-Ukraine call

💙💙 WaPo: Whistleblower claimed that Trump abused his office and that White House officials tried to cover it up http://wapo.st/2lQdOCo
⋙⋙ ≣ WaPo: [Transcript] http://wapo.st/2mc7XHy

💙💙 ≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2nq4FAD
// Here is the complaint filed by an intelligence officer about President Trump’s interactions with the leader of Ukraine. It was released with a letter from the inspector general for the intelligence community
↥ ↧
🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT, Eileen Sullivan: Whistle-Blower’s Complaint Says White House Tried to ‘Lock Down’ Ukraine Call Records http://nyti.ms/2lQynP4
// The declassified complaint, released Thursday, accuses the president of trying to get Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election to benefit him.

TheIntercept, Robert Mackey: How Trump Pushed Ukraine’s President to Probe Conspiracy Theories About Democrats http://bit.ly/2npOMKN
// (✛ possible additional withholding of weapons]

… [W]hen Zelensky said that his country wanted to buy Javelin antitank missiles from the United States — using millions of dollars in American military aid the White House was blocking at the time — Trump responded by saying, “I would like you to do us a favor though.” The American president then presented shards of a conspiracy theory he’s invoked before: that the DNC computers were not hacked by Russian intelligence agents, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded, rather, Democrats had framed Russia for the crime, with the help of a Ukrainian-owned cybersecurity firm.

… Trump said “they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.” This is a frankly baffling sequence of sentences for anyone not deeply versed in the alternative reality explanations broadcast nightly on Fox News in support of Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that Russia sabotaged Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign to help elect him president.

CrowdStrike, as Kevin Poulsen explained in The Daily Beast, “enters the picture because it’s the security firm the DNC hired to investigate the breach back in 2016, and the first of many to identify Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, as the perpetrator. A publicly-traded company headquartered in California, CrowdStrike has nothing to do with Ukraine, except in conspiracyland, which pretends that CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is Ukrainian, and that he framed Russia for election interference both on the DNC’s orders and to punish Putin for invading his homeland.” ¤ Alperovitch, however, is not Ukrainian. He is an American citizen who was born in Russia and emigrated to the U.S. as a child.

The theory “is absurd for many reasons,” the New York Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth observed on Twitter. “The server is not in Ukraine; it’s sitting in the DNC basement. Despite Trump’s repeated claims Democrats withheld the server from the FBI, CrowdStrike and the DNC actually gave all their forensic evidence to the FBI.” ¤ “This DNC-didn’t-give-the-server-to-the-FBI idea makes no sense,” Thomas Rid, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, tweeted last year.

Trump previously raised the supposedly missing server while standing next to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, at their summit in Helsinki last year. Asked by a reporter why he took Putin at his word that Russia had nothing to do with the hacking, despite evidence gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies, Trump suggested that the matter was still in doubt because the Democrats had concealed evidence. … “… Where is the server? I want to know. Where is the server and what is the server saying?”

In Helsinki, the president also seemed to conflate the DNC server with the home email server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state. On Wednesday in New York, as his Ukrainian counterpart shifted uneasily in his seat, Trump told reporters that he believed that Hillary Clinton’s deleted personal emails “could very well be” hidden in Ukraine.

Trump also referred in his call with Zelensky in July, and at their news conference on Wednesday, to a false claim that has become an article of faith among his supporters: that Ukrainian officials had tried to help Clinton defeat him in 2016 by fabricating evidence of money-laundering by Paul Manafort, his then-campaign chairman. If those documents were false, the thinking goes, the entire Mueller investigation should be called into question.

Although there is no evidence that this is true, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, claimed on CNN last week that records of $12.7 million in secret payments to Manafort from the Ukrainian political party of his former client, Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian president who was toppled in a popular uprising in 2014, had been forged. In fact, as Andrew Kramer of The New York Times reported at the time, others named in the secret ledger where the payments to Manafort were documented have confirmed the records are genuine.

“Our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” Trump told Zelensky in the call. “There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation.” He then referred to Mueller’s testimony to Congress about his investigation, which took place the day before the July call, and added, “they say a lot of it started with Ukraine.”

Trump expanded on that idea while sitting with Zelesnky on Wednesday, telling reporters that he had asked Ukraine’s president to cooperate with an investigation into the origins of the Mueller probe by Giuliani.

“Rudy is looking to also find out where the phony witch hunt started, how it started. You had a Russian witch hunt that turned out to be two and half years of phony nonsense,” Trump said. “And Rudy has got every right to go and find out where that started. And other people are looking at that, too. Where did it start? The enablers — where did it all come from?” …

As I reported in May, and again this week, while Biden’s son, Hunter, was asked to join the board of a Ukrainian gas firm suspected of corruption in 2014, his father pressed Ukraine to fire its chief prosecutor the following year because that official, Viktor Shokin, had failed to pursue corruption cases — including one against the same firm. In other words, the evidence shows that the then-vice president had acted to make the prosecution of the firm paying his son more likely, not less likely.

Biden was proud of his successful intervention, which was supported by other international donors to Ukraine and local anti-corruption activists who also demanded Shokin’s ouster for failing to pursue cases against former officials and crooked businesses that profited from state contracts.

Speaking to Zelensky in July, Trump praised the disgraced prosecutor, Shokin, and suggested that the anti-corruption activists and reformers in Ukraine’s parliament who voted him out were somehow the bad guys. “I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair,” Trump told Zelensky, “A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved.” …

⭕ 25 Sep 2019

Army.mil: More joint efforts likely as the Army prepares for multi-domain operations http://bit.ly/2p0r9cu

🐣 RT @Acosta WH accidentally emailed talking points to House Dems https://twitter.com/Acosta/status/1176896651727908866?s=20/photo/1-4

TheWeek, David Faris: Donald Trump and the Derp State http://bit.ly/2lA6j2g

If President Trump is impeached sometime in the coming months — and the incomplete-yet-incredibly-damaging notes from his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky suggest this is all but a certainty — you can probably thank Joe Biden’s polling numbers. As we learn more about what nudged President Trump down the path of fresh impeachable conduct and slapdash criming, all roads lead back to his visceral insecurity and thin-skinned inability to cope with dozens of head-to-head surveys showing the former vice president obliterating Trump by double digits in next year’s general election. His refusal to countenance a fair fight with Biden led the president to reportedly assemble a goon squad full of the stupidest spies in human history to blackmail the president of Ukraine. And it may be his undoing.

TheGuardian: Favors, dirt, investigations: key takeaways from the Trump-Ukraine memo http://bit.ly/2mXj7zX
// The White House released a summary of Trump’s call with Zelenskiy that lies at the heart of the impeachment inquiry

NewYorker, Susan Glasser: “Do Us a Favor”: The Forty-eight Hours That Sealed Trump’s Impeachment http://bit.ly/2n3DDio

NYT, Charles M Blow: It Has Begun http://nyti.ms/2lSbdHW
// An impeachment inquiry is nothing to celebrate. Still, it is evidence of what’s right being put ahead of what’s expedient.

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog Rep. Jackie Speier: “I can describe that [whistleblower] complaint as nothing short of explosive.” 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1177039780049313799?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Adam Taylor: How Trump talks to world leaders in private http://wapo.st/2lHfYnP

WaPo: Trump offered Ukrainian president Justice Dept. help in an investigation of Biden, memo shows http://wapo.st/2l61P2X
// “The complaint also alleges a pattern of obfuscation at the White House, in which officials moved the records of some of Trump’s communications with foreign officials onto a separate computer network from where they are normally stored, this person said.”

Politico: Federal agency tries to serve Steve Bannon a subpoena http://politi.co/2lcVD9z
// The former Trump campaign CEO is part of a probe into “deceptive or unfair” use of Facebook data by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Breaking via NYT: The intelligence officer who filed the whistleblower complaint raised alarms not only about what Trump and Zelensky said in the phone call, but also about how the White House handled records of the conversation, according to two people.
⋙ NYT: Whistle-Blower Is Said to Allege Concerns About White House Handling of Ukraine Call http://nyti.ms/2lQ7Dhl
// New details have emerged about the intelligence officer who raised alarms about the president’s pressure on Ukraine to open inquiries that could benefit him politically.

🐣 RT @MollyJongFast There’s there there
⋙ 🐣 RT @AaronBlake Romney says it’s “troubling in the extreme.”
Toomey says it’s “inappropriate.
Sasse, who has now reviewed the complaint, says it’s “really troubling.”
Getting tougher for GOP to argue there’s no there, there.

NBCNews: White House appears to inadvertently send Ukraine talking points to Democrats http://nbcnews.to/2nkAD1h
// In a separate email obtained by NBC News, a White House staffer sought “to recall the message.”

🐣 The case was closed (found nothing; also Hunter Biden was never a target) BEFORE Biden acting for the Obama Admin and joined by the IMF and many Euro countries called for the prosecutor’s removal. He was voted out in lopsided vote in UKR parliament.

TheResurgent, Erick Erickson: REPUBLICAN SOURCE: “[The whistleblower] paints a clear path to impeachment.” http://bit.ly/2nkOzbC “it is really bad”

ABCNews: Ukrainians understood Biden probe was condition for Trump-Zelenskiy phone call: Ukrainian adviser http://abcn.ws/2lP5bHV

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump’s attempts to talk his way out of his latest, most jaw-dropping abuse of power are unraveling by the hour. Impeachment is now all but inevitable.

🐣 RT @MalcolmNance I’ve read it. Trump is dirty AF. Barr needs to be impeached as well. Giuliani needs to be prosecuted. This was extortion 101. The entire purpose of the call was to get dirt on Biden and Zelensky agreed. Zelensky kne[w] his defense funds were suspended so he cooperated. #Impeachment

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: Will Joseph Maguire Be the First Hero to Emerge from Trumpland? http://bit.ly/2lPjr3r
// All he has to do is come to the hearing with the IG report and then testify fully and honestly as to its contents. Simple.

DailyBeast, Matt Lewis: No One Can Defend Trump After Seeing Ukraine Call Memo http://bit.ly/2nkRwJf
// Death knell? Of course not—the White House wouldn’t have released it in that case. But it sure is enough to start impeachment proceedings.

DailyBeast, Kevin Poulsen: The Truth About Trump’s Insane Ukraine ‘Server’ Conspiracy http://bit.ly/2laB2ma
// Trump asked Ukraine’s president to help prove a bonkers, Russia-friendly conspiracy theory that U.S. intel relied on manufactured evidence to blame the 2016 DNC hack on Moscow.

💙💙 ≣ NYT: Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2lfBkbC (Annotated)
// The White House released this document on Wednesday, showing a July call between President Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine. The document warned its contents were “not a verbatim transcript.” Read our live coverage of the impeachment inquiry.

🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio SCHIFF after reading whistleblower complaint: “I found the allegations deeply disturbing. I also found them very credible. I can understand why the IG found them credible …The complaint was very well written and certainly provides information for the committee to follow up…”
⋙ 🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio Schiff, continued: “It is an urgent matter. And there was simply no basis to keep this from the committee. The idea that DOJ would have intervened to prevent it from getting to Congress throws the leadership of that department further into ill-repute.”

🐣 RT @carlbildt Essentially Trumps throws Ukraine under the bus. “You work it out with Putin”. Not a hint of Russia actually being the aggressor, and Ukraine in need of also political support.
⋙ 🐣 RT @joshtpm Look of existential terror descends over Zelensky’s face as Trump responds to question about military aid with suggestion that Zelensky work things out with Putin.

WaPo: Trump offered Ukrainian president Justice Dept. help for Biden investigation, memo shows http://wapo.st/2l61P2X

✅ NYT, Linda Qiu: Trump’s Misleading Defense for Withholding Assistance to Ukraine http://nyti.ms/2nil0aG
// The president, facing calls for impeachment over his pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival, inaccurately accused European countries of not providing aid to Ukraine.

European countries have contributed $1.8 billion in development assistance from 2014 to 2017, compared to $926 million from the United States, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. ¤ Countries outside of Europe have assisted Ukraine as well, with Canada providing $785 million and Japan $468 million.

🐣 He has since denied this.
⋙ 🔆 Just Now❗️⋙ WaPo: Acting director of national intelligence threatened to resign if he couldn’t speak freely before Congress http://wapo.st/2mEL7Z9

WaPo, Max Boot: The rough transcript is devastating. How could Trump not know that? http://wapo.st/2ngIX23

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT a. from what I understand, they aren’t providing a transcript, so let’s stop calling it that ● b. the fact that the President’s campaign has seen it before Congress does is, frankly, more evidence of the corruption
⋙ 🐣 RT @abbydphillip Rudy Giuliani is saying on Fox News that he has had the Ukraine transcript read to him. ¤ I’d be interested in knowing what rationale could possibly exist for a person who does not work for the government getting access to the transcript before Congress.

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 This is remarkable. Giuliani holding up his phone he says proves that he was sent by State Dept. to Ukraine. Looks to me like he’s warning others involved not to throw him under the bus (too late) because he’s got evidence & will use it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @andrew_lawrence Rudy Giuliani: “I never talked to a Ukrainian official until the state department called me and asked me to do it”

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Also: Ukrainian-aligned Martians mixed $6 trillion in George Soros-supplied bitcoin with Alpo and fed it to Jill Biden’s dog. So demand production of the dog now!
⋙ 🐣 RT @ We know corrupt Ukrainian oligarch laundered $3 million to the Biden Family. But $3 to $4m more was laundered to Biden. So release all the financial records of all businesses involving Biden, Kerry’s stepson and notorious mobster Whitey Bulger’s nephew.

🐣 RT @BillKristol So: In order to get dirt on a political opponent, the president removed a U.S. ambassador, used (paid?) a private citizen to threaten a foreign government, personally called a foreign leader, and delayed disbursing appropriated funds for that nation. All to get dirt on Joe Biden.

🐣 RT @jonlemire “The impeachment inquiry, sets up Democrats’ most direct and consequential confrontation with the Republican president, injects deep uncertainty into the 2020 election campaign and tests anew the nation’s constitutional system of checks and balances”
⋙ AP: Dems take up impeachment drive, say Trump betrayed his oath http://bit.ly/2n50udj

🐣 RT @NBCNews President Trump’s claims appear to be at the center of a scandal involving a phone call with Ukraine’s president, in which he reportedly pressed for a probe of his political rival.
⋙ NBCNews: There’s no evidence for Trump’s Biden-Ukraine accusations. What really happened? http://nbcnews.to/2mzVcGA
// Trump’s claims appear to be at the center of a scandal involving a phone call with Ukraine’s president, in which Trump reportedly pressed for a probe of his political rival.

⭕ 24 Sep 2019 ⋙ Impeachment Inquiry Announced

🐣 “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” — Thomas Paine

📔 Forbes, Zak Doffman: Russian Secret Weapon Against U.S. 2020 Election Revealed In New Cyberwarfare Report http://bit.ly/2nIAJQW

🐣 RT @MSNBC “The President actually said to Nancy Pelosi, ‘Hey, can we do something about this whistleblower complaint, can we work something out.’ And she said ‘Yes, you can tell your people to obey the law.’ So she quickly swatted that down.” – @HeidiNBC
⋙ MSNBC, TheBeatWithAri: Sources: Pelosi says Trump called her today trying to ‘figure something out’ about whistleblower complaint http://on.msnbc.com/2mGgNgo
// After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump, MSNBC’s Heidi Przybyla joins Ari Melber on The Beat to share reporting about a phone call between the president and speaker today when Trump asked Pelosi if they could “work something out” about the whistleblower complaint.

NewYorker, John Cassidy: Nancy Pelosi Finally Goes All In on Impeachment http://bit.ly/2mxlvx7

In her subsequent public statement, which she made from the Capitol Building, after meeting with the Democratic caucus, Pelosi began by running through the history of the Ukraine story, which emerged after an anonymous intelligence official filed a whistle-blower complaint that the Trump Administration has refused to turn over to Congress. Then she got to the point. “This week, the President has admitted to asking the President of Ukraine to take actions that would benefit him politically,” she said. “The actions of the Trump Presidency reveal the dishonorable fact of the President’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our election. Therefore, today, I am announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. . . . The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”

🐣 RT @JillWineBanks Notice his “it was a perfect call” before diversion to but Biden is evil. Also notice Melania’s face. Let’s be sure we hear from all the people who heard the call before accepting his version of it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @washingtonpost Watch: Trump confirms he withheld military aid from Ukraine before his call with Ukrainian President Zelensky 💽 https://twitter.com/JillWineBanks/status/1176749152866361345?s=20/photo/1

JustSecurity, Viola Geinger and Ryan Goodman: Timeline: Trump, Giuliani, Biden, and Ukrainegate http://bit.ly/2l0SlWQ

🐣 RT @atrupar Trump ends his bilateral media availability with the Polish president by claiming that “if a Republican ever did what Joe Biden did … they’d be getting the electric chair right now,” before calling the assembled journalists “crooked as hell.” 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1176206521287544832?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @chrislhayes If this is true, why on earth did the State Department call in the president’s personal attorney, with no expertise or diplomatic experience in the region, to do this? Was this Pompeo using American foreign policy for the president’s narrow political interest?
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Wow. Here’s Rudy Giuliani throwing the State Department under the bus and saying State officials called him and asked him to get involved in Ukraine.
💽 [Fox] https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1176687420961710082?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @AngryWHStaff Remember what I said: ¤ When the GOP splits from Trump, it’s going to happen *fast* ¤ I doubt today is the day, but if you don’t think Mitch packed an extra chute, you’re crazy.

🐣 RT @McFaul There is no way that Zelensky will admit , standing next to Trump, that the Trump administration pressured him to reopen an investigation of VP Biden’s son.

🐣 RT @maziehirono From Day 1 of his presidency, @realDonaldTrump has been motivated by two things: protecting himself and making money. Speaker Pelosi is right to hold this dangerous chief executive accountable.
⋙ 🐣 RT @maziehirono Here’s what we know so far:
-obstructed justice as detailed in the Mueller Report
-named as unindicted co-conspirator in campaign finance crime
-received money in violation of the Constitution from foreign governments
-pressured a foreign govt to investigate his political rival
⋙ 🐣 RT @maziehirono He’s also stonewalled every effort by Congress to do its job of oversight and investigation, by directing witnesses not to testify in front of Congress, refusing to turn over documents, and asserting privileges that don’t exist.

🐣 RT @JohnWDean Impeachment must include AG Barr for coverups and SecState Pompeo re Ukraine — along with President Trump. Others as their involvement becomes apparent. This is beyond a one man show!

NYT, Carl Hulse: Why an Impeachment Inquiry Now? Democrats Cite the Clarity of the Case http://nyti.ms/2mZ1iQY

RawStory/Alternet, Cody Fenwick: Here’s the damning timeline of Trump’s blatantly corrupt Ukrainian collusion http://bit.ly/2kVUbIp

💙 WaPo, Dana Milbank: On impeachment, the worm has turned http://wapo.st/2n3l8L3

💙 WaPo, David Ignatius: This isn’t just another spat. Trump compromised our security for his gain. http://wapo.st/2mA3zBO

Why is this more than just another Trump vs. Democrats mud fight? Because the Ukraine issue is about compromising U.S. national security — and direct pledges to allies — for the president’s personal political gain

Forget the political jousting between Trump and Biden, and consider the Ukrainian soldier in the field fighting to save his country. He has a nightmare communications problem because he can’t talk reliably with his commanders. Russia has been hacking or jamming Ukrainian military communications since it seized Crimea and began supporting the separatists in 2014.

The United States wanted to help fix this battlefield communications disaster. One item in the $391 million package Congress appropriated is a secure system made by L3 Technologies, a unit of Harris Corp., that could allow the Ukrainians to maintain contact despite Russian interference. The L3 equipment was ready for delivery in July when the company was told no, there was a hold, the equipment couldn’t be shipped, according to a congressional source.

L3 and other companies supplying Ukraine contacted leading Republican members of Congress, such as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) to find out why there was a delay. …

But Graham warned the White House: “You can’t send a signal that we’re going to back out of the deal,” the source said, adding, “It’s one thing to do ‘due diligence’ and another that we’re changing our posture.” These national security arguments eventually prevailed, and the Ukraine assistance was finally released on Sept. 11.

🐣 RT @ScotMStedman If Trump pressured Zelensky 8 times to investigate Biden on a phone call he knew was monitored, imagine what he did alone with Putin for 2 hours.
⋙ 🐣 The bedraggled look of Trump vs the triumphant look of Putin coming out of that meeting suggested Putin did most of the talking.

🐣 RT @samstein Giuliani’s contacts w/ officials at the State as part of efforts to dig up Biden dirt are more extensive than perviously reported. He briefed the US Ambassador to the EU, raising questions about what Foggy Bottom knew
⋙ 💙 DailyBeast: U.S. Ambassador Roped Into Rudy’s Quest to Smear Biden http://bit.ly/2l12q6c by Erin Banco, Asawin Suebsaeng and Adam Rawnsley
// And that ambassador was involved with the now-infamous phone call that has Washington headed towards an impeachment inquiry.

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi The times have found us. The actions taken to date by the President have seriously violated the Constitution. It is for this reason that the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. 💽 https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1176635371460976640?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote The DNI is still claiming privilege and overriding the determination of the IC IG. Here is the DNI OGC letter to the whistleblower’s lawyer. They’re continuing to obstruct. Hold the DNI in contempt tomorrow. Might want to have a contempt resolution at the ready. @HouseJudiciary
// DNI OGC = Director of National Intelligence Office of General Counsel
3. ⋙ 🐣 RT @BradEsq Here is the letter – http://2mXI2Dq

2. 🐣 RT @MaddowBlog Letter from the whistleblower’s lawyers: http://bit.ly/2kW3E2x

1. 🐣 RT @BarbMcQuade For a balanced view of the whistleblower matter, read letter from ICIG, a Trump appointee. He says the matter is credible, of urgent concern, and relates to “one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibilities to the American people.” http://bit.ly/2n15KyO
// ICIG = Intelligence Community Inspector General

🐣 RT @JohnBrennan Impeachment hearings are essential to determine whether Donald Trump, as alleged, engaged in extortion of a foreign government for personal political gain. If the allegations are true, Trump should be impeached, convicted by the Senate, & charged with a federal crime.

WaPo, Robert Kagan: If we legitimize Trump’s behavior, it’ll be open season on our politics http://wapo.st/2mv1ZS1

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Though the whistleblower report focuses on the Trump-Zelensky call, officials familiar w/ its contents said that it includes references to other developments tied to the president, including efforts by Giuliani to insert himself into US/Ukrainian relations
🐣 RT @renato_mariotti All of those officials should be subpoenaed, along with Rudy Giuliani. If they feared that Trump would abuse his power on the call, the House should find out why.
⋙ 💙 WaPo: Giuliani pursued shadow Ukraine agenda as key foreign policy officials were sidelined http://wapo.st/2kUR7fB

✅ ━━━━━━━▼ Hunter Biden FactCheck
DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: Ukraine Likely to Reopen Probe of Hunter Biden Firm: Sources http://bit.ly/2mwUXfi
// 9/24/2019; President Zelensky came to office vowing to fight corruption, and it looks like he’ll open a lot of cases shut by shady prosecutors. But the focus is on Ukraine, not the U.S.

🐣 RT @jennycohn1 It is important to understand that the Trump regime is LYING when it says that prosecutor Shokin—who Biden & the EU called out—wanted to investigate Burisma’s corruption. It was the opposite. Shokin enabled Burisma’s corruption by refusing to turn over evidence to the UK. 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1176333122507440129?s=20
// 9/23/2019; Hunter Biden

AP, Stephen Braun and Lynn Berry: The story behind Biden’s son, Ukraine and Trump’s claims http://bit.ly/2kUQBOR
// 9/23/2019

MMFA, Courtney Hagle and Bobby Lewis: Debunking lies about Trump, Biden, Ukraine, and the whistleblower http://bit.ly/2l05I9O research contributed by Courtney Hagel and Eric Kleefeld
// 9/23/2019

💙💙 🔆 WaPo, Philip Bump: Trump has been openly trying to leverage Ukraine to his political benefit for months http://wapo.st/2m6eRxr
// 9/20/2019

💙💙 🔆 DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: Ukrainian Official: Trump Wants Dirt ‘To Discredit Biden’ http://bit.ly/2mrtjR4
// 9/20/2019

Politico: Biden wages war on Hunter-Ukraine reporting http://politi.co/2lx49jR
// 9/24/2019; ‘You saw what happened to Hillary in 2016 with all of the ridiculous coverage about her emails. That’s not going to happen with us. We learned.’

WashingtonExaminer, Joseph Simonson: Business efforts of Biden brother and son prompt new questions over influence peddling http://washex.am/
// 8/15/2019

Politico, Ben Schreckinger: Biden Inc. http://politi.co/2mGFxoQ
// Over his decades in office, ‘Middle-Class Joe’s’ family fortunes have closely tracked his political career.
// 8/2/2019

NewYorker, Adam Entous (7/1): Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign? http://bit.ly/2kx7q28
// 7/1/2019, background

VanityFair, Rachel Dodes: Hunter Biden Is the Best Thing That Could Happen to Joe Biden http://bit.ly/2mHGsW0
// 6/27/2019; If Biden is in fact the Democratic nominee in 2020, his son’s messy personal life might actually be an advantage.

Bloomberg: Ukraine Prosecutor Says No Evidence of Wrongdoing by Bidens http://bloom.bg/2kJF6tz By Daryna Krasnolutska , Kateryna Choursina , and Stephanie Baker
// 5/16/2019
● Hunter Biden, Burisma not targets, despite Giuliani’s pleas
● Long-running investigation said to focus on another Ukrainian

Law&Crime, Jeremy Smith: Ukrainian Prosecutor Rains on Giuliani’s Parade, Says There’s No Evidence the Bidens Broke the Law http://bit.ly/2mFSpvK
// 5/16/2019

FreeBeacon, Brent Sched: Hunter Biden’s China Deal Partners Include Mobster Whitey Bulger’s Nephew, John Kerry’s Stepson http://bit.ly/2l6jJmn
// 5/13/2019

TheIntercept, Robert Mackey (May): A Republican Conspiracy Theory About a Biden-in-Ukraine Scandal Has Gone Mainstream. But It Is Not True. http://bit.ly/2muqizk
// 5/10/2019

TheAtlantic, Peter Nicholas: Trump’s Biden Plan? It Could Get Dirty. http://bit.ly/2l6doaz
// Should Biden remain atop the 2020 field, Donald Trump and his allies may attack the former vice president’s family.
// 5/2/2019

NYT, Kenneth Vogel and Iuliia: Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies http://nyti.ms/2lsdSrL
// 5/1/2019
~~~~~~~~~~
✅ PolitiFact: PolitiFact, Louis Jacobson: Donald Trump’s accusations about Hunter Biden and a payout from China: A closer look http://bit.ly/2OidDLW not illegal; HB was unpaid board member; company raised $4.2M (not $1.5B), Hunter invested $420K; no returns realized
// 10/2/2019

✅ NPR, Greg Myre: What Were The Bidens Doing In Ukraine? 5 Questions Answered http://n.pr/2kUuHuZ
// 9/24/2019

1. So what did Joe Biden do in Ukraine?
2. What role did Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden play in Ukraine?
3. Is there any sign of wrongdoing by either Joe Biden or his son Hunter Biden?
4. How do Trump and his supporters see Joe Biden’s work?
5. What’s next?

✅ PolitiFact, Louis Jacobson: Fact-checking Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and Ukraine http://bit.ly/2mqKylA
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1176620172830023680?s=20/photo/1
// 9/24/2019; “Half-True”

The image gets individual pieces of this assertion right — Hunter Biden was a director of the company, and Joe Biden did leverage U.S. aid to fire a prosecutor. But it overreaches by assuming that Joe Biden acted to protect the company his son was affiliated with. In reality, there was widespread agreement in the West that the existing prosecutor had to go, and it’s not clear that the company would have benefited from his ouster anyway, given evidence that its cases had long been dormant.

✅ FactCheck.org, Eugene Kiely: Trump Twists Facts on Biden and Ukraine http://bit.ly/2liUTjn
// 9/24/2019; Hunter Biden

✅ CNN, Daniel Dale: Fact check: What Trump has been getting wrong on Biden and Ukraine http://cnn.it/2mZxIef
// 9/23/2019; Hunter Biden

✅ PolitiFact, Louis Jacobson and John Kruzel: Trump’s Ukraine call, a whistleblower and the Bidens: What we know, what we don’t http://bit.ly/2mSDu14
// 9/23/2019; Hunter Biden

✅ WaPo FactChecker, Glenn Kessler and Salvador Rizzo: Fact-checking Trump’s latest claims on Biden and Ukraine http://wapo.st/2muacWl No there there.
// 9/23/2019; Hunter Biden
━━━━━━━▲

🐣 RT @TrickFreee A Ukraine legislator and former head of the country’s domestic intelligence agency tells @annanemtsova the country will likely reopen an investigation into the energy company whose board included Hunter Biden
⋙ DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: Ukraine Likely to Reopen Probe of Hunter Biden Firm: Sources http://bit.ly/2mwUXfi
// President Zelensky came to office vowing to fight corruption, and it looks like he’ll open a lot of cases shut by shady prosecutors. But the focus is on Ukraine, not the U.S.

WaPo, Amber Philips: Why the Ukraine allegations broke the Democratic dam on impeachment http://wapo.st/2mwUXfi

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry of Trump http://wapo.st/2ltjUIy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry of Trump, says his actions were a ‘betrayal of national security’
● Cover: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1176609030053212160?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: HOUSE TO BEGIN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY AGAINST TRUMP http://nyti.ms/2luyxeu President Accused of Enlisting a Foreign Power to Help Him Politically
● Cover: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1176608857927430145?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: WaPo, Philip Bump and Aaron Blake: The full Trump-Ukraine timeline — as of now http://wapo.st/2mrKemq

🐣 The transcript is not sufficient. The whistleblower complaint is mandatory. So are transcripts/notes from anyone Giuliani talked to. Apparently Trump told Zelensky to talk to Giuliani.

🐣 Trump’s collusion with Ukraine has already affected the 2020 election by casting Biden as “dirty” and perhaps not the “most electable.” He wants to run against someone he can brand a “socialist.” Listen to his UN speech. It’s Russia collusion all over again.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff We have been informed by the whistleblower’s counsel that their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so. ¤ We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week.

🐣 .@SpeakerPelosi just said straight out that the Acting ODNI “broke the law.”

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Folks, don’t let him set the narrative. There is no confirmation that the WBer complaint was this limited in scope or evidence.

🐣 RT @MayaWiley #Trump authorizing release of transcript is right thing to do but NOT enough. He must also ask #DOJ to cease its position withholding #whistleblower complaint from Congress since reporting is IG #Trump appointed suggested “multiple actions.” http://bit.ly/2muGYGQ #Ukraine

🐣 RT @politico BREAKING: Trump said tomorrow he’ll release the “complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript” of his phone call with the Ukrainian president in which he discussed a possible investigation into Joe Biden and his son [broken link]

WaPo: Biden says he’ll call for impeachment if Trump doesn’t cooperate with investigations http://wapo.st/2moUR9K he comes just shy of calling for Trump’s impeachment over Ukraine allegations
// Biden will come just shy of calling for Trump’s impeachment over Ukraine allegations

WaPo: Trump confirms he withheld military aid from Ukraine, says he wants other countries to help pay http://wapo.st/2kRe9E7

🐣 RT @howardfineman Very solid #Dem House leadership source just confirmed to me that @SpeakerPelosi will announce a formal impeachment inquiry this afternoon and imply that she herself favors impeachment of @realDonaldTrump.

TheBulwark, Andrew Egger: Kamala Harris Lets Trump Do Her Dirty Work http://bit.ly/2mwvumb
// will leave it up to “the pundits” on whether Biden is culpable on Ukraine

⭕ 23 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @jennycohn1 It is important to understand that the Trump regime is LYING when it says that prosecutor Shokin—who Biden & the EU called out—wanted to investigate Burisma’s corruption. It was the opposite. Shokin enabled Burisma’s corruption by refusing to turn over evidence to the UK. 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1176333122507440129?s=20
// Hunter Biden

🐣 RT @RWPUSA Trump’s been caught red handed. The sooner the House votes out articles of impeachment, the sooner Senate Republicans are in the hot seat. If they prevent a fair trial or acquit him they go down with Trump.

DailyBeast, Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng: Not Just Ukraine: Rudy and Bannon Try a Whole New Way to Slime Biden http://bit.ly/2lgkg5c
// The president and his allies, from Peter Schweizer to Frank Gaffney, want to open a new front on the former VP’s son even as their Ukraine gambit appears to have backfired.

TheBulwark, Tim Miller: Truth, Lies, and the Nonsense Trump-Biden-Ukraine False Equivalency http://bit.ly/2miTRno
// One of these guys was pressuring Ukraine to help him out in an election. The other was pressuring Ukraine to end corruption. They are not the same.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “Bribery is a high crime or misdemeanor that is specifically included in the Constitution.” ¤ Fmr. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade on reports that Pres. Trump offered military aid to Ukraine in exchange for information on fmr. VP Joe Biden.

NYT: Instead of ‘No Collusion!’ Trump Now Seems to Be Saying, So What if I Did? http://nyti.ms/2mnd4nP

🐣 RT @jmeacham For Republicans, this is a Margaret Chase Smith moment: Stand up for country over party. History will reward you.

TheBulwark, Bill Kristol: What the Democrats Need to Do This Week http://bit.ly/2mfD3xM
// For starters: Keep the focus on what Trump said and don’t get bogged down in the intricacies of whistleblower law.

TheBulwark, Charlie Sykes: The Trump-Ukraine Story is a Stress Test http://bit.ly/2licWpJ
// Five systems are being tested. None of them look ready.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Trump ordered hold on military aid days before calling Ukrainian president, officials say http://wapo.st/2mIPySE

WaPo: Pelosi quietly sounding out House Democrats about whether to impeach Trump, officials say http://wapo.st/2l10WJf

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri “It’s about as grave in offense as you can imagine. Even Richard Nixon, when he ordered the Watergate break in and didn’t have the imagination to outsource to a foreign government or foreign intelligence service” -@neal_katyal on Trump asking Ukraine to go after Biden 💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1176264907140059136?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Eugene Robinson: Trump is practically begging for impeachment. Give it to him, already. http://wapo.st/2kIorGL

WaPo, Randall Eliason: If the Ukraine allegations are true, there are criminal consequences http://wapo.st/2mj7W45

🐣 RT @Karoli BREAKING: According to the Washington Post, House Democratic leaders have called a caucus meeting Tuesday to discuss questions of impeachment.

🐣 RT @Duty2Warm Approximately 250 Republican Congressmen in the House/Senate have unilaterally sold their souls, unanimously placed party over country, collectively chosen demagoguery over democracy, placed falsehood over truth, and the fear of tweets from a madman above courage and conviction.

NYT, Michelle Goldberg: Nancy Pelosi’s Failure to Launch http://nyti.ms/2l0Vc27
// The House speaker’s hesitation on impeachment empowers a lawless president.

NYT: As Trump Confirms He Discussed Biden With Ukraine, Pressure to Impeach Builds http://nyti.ms/2kZvV8d
// Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned of a “new chapter of lawlessness” and a turning point in the House investigation of President Trump.

WaPo, Marc Fischer: ‘He ignores the law when he doesn’t like it’ http://wapo.st/2kVqKGE

WaPo, Daniel Drezner: The strategic case for impeaching President Trump http://wapo.st/2kAMCqn
// Welcome to some zero-sum game theory.

WaPo, James Downie: Begin impeachment hearings now http://wapo.st/2mzVVHL

WaPo, Greg Sargent: It’s time, Speaker Pelosi http://wapo.st/2l7orjw

⭕ 22 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @joshscampbell The U.S. Secretary of State endorses Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to seek help from a foreign government to investigate President Trump’s political opponent
💽 https://twitter.com/joshscampbell/status/1175771817602093056?s=20/photo/1
// Pompeo on FaceTheNatiom

Newsweek: Nancy Pelosi Calls Trump Administration Blocking Whistleblower Disclosure ‘a Grave New Chapter of Lawlessness’ http://bit.ly/2kuvaUr

🐣 RT @RichardEngel Historians and social scientists deeply worried Trump is showing all the signs of authoritarianism. Not just his rivals are saying it. Big concern there could be a crisis, real or contrived, that could push our old, and generally successful, experiment in democracy over the edge.

DailyBeast, Gideon Resnick: Impeachment Pressure Builds for Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats After Ukraine Whistleblower and Trump Admission http://bit.ly/2kXioOs
// The calls to proceed are coming from inside the House, and outside it.

NYT: Trump’s Hold on Military Aid Blindsided Top Ukrainian Officials http://nyti.ms/2mtRA98

🐣 RT @JoeBiden Let’s be clear, Donald Trump pressured a foreign government to interfere in our elections. It goes against everything the United States stands for. ¤ We must make him a one-term president.

DailyBeast: Adam Schiff Says Trump’s Ukraine Call Could Justify Impeachment http://bit.ly/2kZjeu3

DailyBeast, Michael Tomasky: Trump’s Firing Away on Fifth Avenue, and We Are Fucked http://bit.ly/2m4lwbB
// The president has all but ’fessed up to his latest impeachable offense, and Republicans are shrugging. That’s on them—not the Democrats.

NYT: Pelosi Warns of ‘New Stage’ of Inquiry if Trump Blocks Whistle-Blower Complaint http://nyti.ms/2kZvV8d
// Without mentioning impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said President Trump’s refusal to hand over the whistle-blower complaint would trigger a “new chapter of lawlessness.”

WaPo: Trump suggests he mentioned Biden in phone call with Ukrainian president http://wapo.st/2m0C6t5

DefenseOne. Uri Friedman: Imagine If Obama Had Done This http://bit.ly/2m1MuRi
// Republicans have tolerated plenty of foreign-policy moves by Trump that they would never have let his predecessor get away with. Will that continue with Iran?

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Russia’s state TV is eating up Trump’s mess like candy, arguing that the White House is not only indifferent towards Ukraine’s plight, but believes that Ukraine is “occupying Russia’s territory,” emphasizing that the only thing Trump wants from Ukraine is the Biden investigation.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: We’re passing the tipping point on impeachment http://wapo.st/2kMFbwF

WaPo: Ukrainian leaders feel trapped between warring Washington factions  http://wapo.st/2m2Tn4G

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood senior Dem aide on Speaker/impeachment: “contrary to popular belief, Pelosi isn’t giving members a red light. She’s telling them to do what’s right for them and their district. But Ukraine stuff may be breaking point. goes to whether we can actually have free/fair 2020 election”

🐣 RT @costareports Giuliani spoke w/ Post Sunday. Said he will be relentless this wk in pushing media orgs to cover Biden fam. Post asked if he has POTUS blessing. He said, “I don’t do anything that involves my client without speaking with my client.” Did not offer details of any convos w/ Trump.

🐣 RT @atrupar Trump, looking very red, basically admits he asked Ukrainian President Zelensky to look into Biden during call that’s part of whistleblower complaint: “It was largely [about] fact that we don’t want our people like VP Biden & his son creating to the corruption largely in Ukraine” 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1175780830012223490?s=20/photo/1

🐣 MT @tribelaw “There is no evidence that Mr. Biden intentionally tried to help his son when he pushed for the dismissal of the Ukrainian prosecutor, who was widely seen in the West as corrupt.” (NYT) So Trump & Co. are deflecting by fake whataboutism.
// NYT http://nyti.ms/2kyM3xs

NewYorker, Adam Entous (Jul): Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign? http://bit.ly/2kx7q28 “There is no credible evidence that Biden sought Shokin’s removal in order to protect Hunter”
// 7/1/2019; Joe Biden’s son is under scrutiny for his business dealings and tumultuous personal life

🚫🐣 RT @PhillippeReines .@kenvogel on January 11, 2017. The @nytimes hired him AFTER this tweet. DESPITE this tweet. BECAUSE of this tweet.
@HillaryClinton was the target in 2016; @JoeBiden is the 2019 target; whoever our nominee is will get this treatment in 2020. https://twitter.com/PhilippeReines/status/1175801826450530304?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 21 Sep 2019

Politico Mag, Renato Mariotti: Trump Didn’t Bribe Ukraine. It’s Actually Worse Than That http://politi.co/2m3Vrtn “[I]t’s a breach of the president’s duty to not use the powers of the presidency to benefit himself”
// Mislabeling what the president has done could make impeachment more difficult to achieve

🐣 RT @DavidCornDC Disinformation works because it creates an impression. Accuracy doesn’t matter. Then reporting on the disinformation spreads the impression. And even debunking can spread the impression. We in the media have to find a way not to be accomplices. So far, the media has not.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AnneApplebaum this is diabolical, if you think about it. Despite the fact that there is no evidence of impropriety, the issue of “Biden’s son” becomes a liability for Biden anyway.
https://twitter.com/anneapplebaum/status/1175392443245748224?s=20

NYT, Nicholas Kristof: Trump and Election Interference, Whistle-Blower Edition http://nyti.ms/2kZhvVN “This is a test of our political system, and the next few months will determine whether we pass.”
// Many elements are murky, but something clearly stinks.

Trump has been credibly accused of using the presidency to enrich himself (summits at Trump properties!), to protect himself from law enforcement (appeals to James Comey, offers of pardons!) and to punish perceived adversaries (Amazon, CNN, Andrew McCabe). Now he may have harnessed the power of the presidency to gain political advantage.

🐣 RT @DrGJackBrown THREAD: Body Language Analysis No. 4397: Donald Trump Defends Himself Against The Whistleblower – Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence — https://youtu.be/OAR7FLBLJvg — #BodyLanguage #BodyLanguageExpert #EmotionalIntelligence #Nonverbal #DonaldTrump #Ukraine #Whistleblower
📌 https://twitter.com/DrGJackBrown/status/1175596503189999617?s=20
🐣 RT @DrGJackBrown […] 39/ Trump’s Freudian Slip — when he says, “… and keep asking questions and build it up as big as possible, so you can have a bigger downfall”— is projection. He feels this advice applies to himself. It shows us he’s a man sensing his own fall — and that he’s desperate. ¤ END

WaPo: Ukrainian leaders feel trapped between warring Washington factions http://wapo.st/2m2Tn4G

🐣 RT @kasparov63 You don’t tell cancer that chemotherapy is off the table so you can rely on crystal healing. You fight for your life. Trump will, and this abuse with Ukraine is the smallest taste of what is to come.

🐣 There’s no need to retweet Trump or other despicable people, even with a comment. Paraphrase or refer to a tweet, don’t retweet. It just reinforces or introduces the toxin. It’s what they want.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d He makes everything up as he goes along.
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal This switch in strategy away from denial may mean Trump finally read something, the transcript of the call. Also …. isn’t this the same guy who 2 days ago denied the story because he knows his calls with foreign leaders are “heavily populated”? Now he’s saying the call wasn’t?

🐣 RT @glennkirshner2 Bingo! As SCOTUS said nearly 200 years ago: Congress’ power to “hold someone in contempt is essential to ensure that Congress is not exposed to every indignity and interruption that rudeness, caprice or even conspiracy may mediate against it.” Great thread. ¤ The time is NOW!
⋙ 🐣 RT @kurteichenwald 1. When the executive branch is playing Constitutional hardball – undermining checks & balances – here is what Congress is empowered by law to do and should do. If they do not, @SpeakerPelosi @RepAdamSchiff @RepJerryNadler are not strong enough for their jobs. First, why do it… 📌 https://twitter.com/kurteichenwald/status/1175181159308959744?s=20

🐣 RT @RyanLizza This is a very useful thread by an expert on Ukraine and corruption. It seems notable that the people who know the most about Ukraine are the most adamant that this Hunter Biden story is bogus.
⋙ 🐣 RT @anders_aslund Simple facts about the Trump Ukraine affair: 1. Viktor Shokin was prosecutor general from February 2015 to March 2016. He was considered close to President Poroshenko & was considered utterly corrupt. He did not prosecute any high-level person.
📌 https://twitter.com/anders_aslund/status/1175203002870849536?s=20

🐣 RT @edbot If Woodward and Bernstein had to deal with today’s media landscape.
⋙ 🐣 RT @KevinMKruse “The break-in at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate Hotel raises some troubling questions about just what it is that the Democrats are hiding there.”

🐣 RT @BillKristol “‘We haven’t seen anything like this in my lifetime,’ said William A. Galston, a senior fellow in governance at the Brookings Institution…’He appears to be daring the rest of the political system to stop him — and if it doesn’t, he’ll go further.’”
⋙ WaPo: Trump’s Ukraine call reveals a president convinced of his own invincibility http://wapo.st/2mlyjGG

Bloomberg (May): Ukraine Prosecutor Says No Evidence of Wrongdoing by Bidens http://bloom.bg/2kJF6tz By Daryna Krasnolutska , Kateryna Choursina, and Stephanie Baker
// 5/16/2019

🐣 RT @JennyCohn1 Trump froze $$$ to Ukraine while pressuring it to ascribe a fake nefarious motive behind Biden’s support of the ouster of a prosecutor who had “failed to prosecute any single prominent member of the [pro-Putin] Yanukovych regime,” a Manafort client.
📌 https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1175458142894690304?s=20
⋙ AtlanticCouncil, Anders Åslund (2016): Shokin’s Revenge: Ukraine’s Odious Prosecutor General Fires Honest Deputy Before Parliament Sacks Him http://bit.ly/2kVBMeP
// 3/29/2016

🐣 The two best articles I’ve found on Biden’s Unkraine Non-Scandal are:
🔆 DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: Ukrainian Official: Trump Wants Dirt ‘To Discredit Biden’ http://bit.ly/2mrtjR4
🔆 WaPo, Philip Bump: Trump has been openly trying to leverage Ukraine to his political benefit for months http://wapo.st/2m6eRxr

🐣 Trump wants to dirty up Biden w false accusations to convince people he’s not the “most electable” candidate, to drive down his lead by a point or two. ¤ Trump wants to run against Warren or Sanders, who he can brand as “socialist” & who may not share Biden’s swing state strength.

WaPo, Serhiy Leshchenko: Rudy Giuliani accused me of exposing Paul Manafort’s Ukraine deals to help U.S. Democrats. That’s a lie. http://wapo.st/2ksSLVx “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the Manafort revelations would become fodder for the U.S. elections in 2020”

🐣 RT @RWPUSA The United States will go down in human history as a country that impeached a president for lying about a fully consensual affair with an intern but would not impeach a president who, in two separate elections, colluded with a foreign power against a political opponent. ¤ Pathetic.

WaPo, Dan Balz: President Trump and the warping of democratic governance http://wapo.st/2munr9J “‘I have the right to do whatever I want as president,’ Trump once said, and that appears to be the basis upon which he is operating.”

The outlines are these: According to multiple reports, on July 25, the president spoke on the phone with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In that conversation, he pressed the Ukrainian leader to reopen an investigation into a company that at one time had Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden, on its board.

Shortly after that phone call, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor and Trump’s personal lawyer, met in Spain with an adviser to Zelensky. Giuliani further pressed the Ukrainian government to pursue the investigation involving Biden’s son, as well as one about alleged Democratic involvement with Ukrainians affecting Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman who is in prison.

Meanwhile, during this period, $250 million in military assistance for Ukraine, money appropriated by Congress, was, for a time, held up. Was that directly connected to Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainians? That question also remains unanswered.

The contents of the Trump phone call prompted someone in the government to file a whistleblower complaint, an unprecedented grievance aimed at the president. The inspector general for the intelligence community found the whistleblower’s charge credible and urgent, in which case the information should have been relayed to Congress. That hasn’t happened because the White House and Justice Department are fighting it.

America’s democratic system, the world’s oldest, is said to be resilient, with institutions strong enough to defend against runaway actors and with checks and balances designed to prevent too much power from building up in any one place or with any one person. Earlier in Trump’s presidency, that appeared to be the case. Right now, however, that is in question.

🐣 I’ve about had it with the @nytimes; by @Jzikah ⇊

 
🚫 NYT: For Biden, Whistle-Blower Complaint Could Cut 2 Ways http://nyti.ms/2m6mzaU
// RTing this’s trayf helps Trump; Reports that President Trump sought help from the Ukranian government could offer former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. both opportunities and risks.

CNN (6/4): Co-author of controversial New York Times Biden-Ukraine story is hired as Ukraine president’s spokesperson http://cnn.it/2m7oLPm freelancer Iuliia Mendel wrote the 5/1 article with Ken Vogel
⋙ NYT (May): Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies

TheAtlantic, Tom Nichols: If This Isn’t Impeachable, Nothing Is http://bit.ly/2kXW7jx
// The president reportedly sought the help of a foreign government against Joe Biden.

Politico, Renato Mariotti: The Weak and Risky Case Against Andrew McCabe http://politi.co/2kXUWk7
// Is the president pushing prosecutors to file charges they can’t make stick?

🐣 RT @McFaul Ukrainians just voted into office a new president and parliament, creating the possibility of a genuine break with the past. At this most critical moment in Ukrainian history, Trump should be supporting this new president & parliament, not dragging them into OUR swamp.

🚫 NYT (May): Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies http://nyti.ms/2kWmEOm
// 5/1/2019; Ken Vogel and Iuliia Mendel

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Super space beans: Kushner’s Ukraine “peace plan” has always been about lifting Russian sanctions, maybe to guarantee the commission from the Rosneft sale to himself and his family. Where’d that $283M payable by Qatar go?

🐣 RT @JoshMarshall Correct. The jejune fatalism is bullshit. People should be ashamed of themselves. This is definitely big stuff.
⋙ 🐣 RT @brianschatz Everybody trying to be all savvy and knowing about this and say “nothing matters” or whatever needs to summon some righteous outrage on behalf of our republic. This is big stuff.
🐣 But not simple, intuitive or easy-to-explain. If I can’t explain it to my 24yo daughter in 5 minutes, her eyes glaze over.

🐣 RT @JoshMarshall To me, the way this crime endangers the American government is the big deal. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the repulsive treatment of Ukraine. This is a small (in geopolitical terms) country menaced by a larger neighbor. It’s desperate for military assistance and the signal …
⋙ 🐣 RT @JoshMarshall 2/ sent by the US giving military assistance. The key word is desperate. The President is withholding that aid, which the Congress has already appropriated, until the President orders prosecutors to manufacture a case against Biden. That violates the law in Ukraine …
⋙ 🐣 RT @JoshMarshall 3/ It also puts the country in an impossible situation vis a vis the US since they know there’s a good chance Trump will be gone in a year and they’ll be faced with the party Trump made them plot against. It’s pretty garden variety extortion.

🐣 RT @kurteichenwald 1. It is very rare that I criticize a reporter by name. However, the recklessness and poor reporting of @kenvogel – and his “we’re going to keep pulling back the Biden story” garbage requires pointing out the abject poverty of his “reporting” and his attempts to take a few…
📌 https://twitter.com/kurteichenwald/status/1175474606485975042?s=20

⭕ 20 Sep 2019

🚫 NYT, Ken Vogel: Behind the Whistle-Blower Case, a Long-Held Trump Grudge Toward Ukraine http://nyti.ms/2n4jUPM
// 9/20-23/2019; anti-KV animus

WaPo, Asha Rangappa: The U.S. has no rules for when the president is a national security threat http://wapo.st/2m3lvEP
// The whistleblower controversy reveals the limits of our system’s defenses.

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Trump’s Ukraine Scandal Is Hiding in Plain Sight http://nym.ag/2lYxOSR

🐣 RT @MaxBoot “This is such an egregious example of the president misusing his office for personal gain.” My comments on @CNNTonight about why impeachment is necessary if Ukrainegate is as bad as it appears to be. See also my @PostOpinions column:
💽 https://twitter.com/MaxBoot/status/1175407179060273152?s=20/photo/1
⋙ WaPo, Max Boot: If Trump extorted a foreign leader for political gain, it’s impeachment time http://wapo.st/2AB9334

NYT, Stephen Vladeck: Why the Whistle-Blowing Process Is Breaking Down http://nyti.ms/2kVsv6o
// The separation of powers has become increasingly subservient to the separation of parties.

Politico: Biden calls for release of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine http://politi.co/2m5OYxM

DailyBeast, Sam Brodey and Sam Stein: Pelosi Not Budging on Impeachment and Her Colleagues Are Privately Screaming http://bit.ly/2kxQTeo
// “She’s still holding back,” one pro-impeachment lawmaker said of the Speaker. “If impeachment isn’t for this, why is impeachment in the constitution?”

🐣 RT @gtconway3d “The problem for Giuliani, the Republicans, and the president himself … is that Biden and his actions are now irrelevant to the offenses committed by Trump. The accusations against Biden are false, as we know from multiple fact checks ….”
⋙ WaPo, George Conway III and Neal Katyal: Trump has done plenty to warrant impeachment. But the Ukraine allegations are over the top. http://wapo.st/2kxR2ys

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: If Whistleblower Is Right, Trump May Have Committed Extortion and Bribery http://bit.ly/2m2B53x
// The president supposedly dangled millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine in exchange for Kiev investigating Joe Biden. That looks a lot like old-fashioned corruption.

🐣 RT @maxbergmann What’s stunning is that Trump didn’t THREATEN to hold Ukraine security assistance hostage. He. Actually. DID. IT. He actually held hostage vital military aid to an ally AT war to pressure them to do a hit job on Dems. @ThePlumLineGS has a great overview
⋙ WaPo, Greg Sargent: As whistleblower scandal deepens, Trump bets on the coverup working http://wapo.st/2kxfBvo

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ So basically Vogel is saying that if Trump and Rudy would tone it down and not make it so obvious that they are illegally seeking foreign election assistance it would be much easier for the NYT to help them weaponize the disinformation they are trying to spread
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Here’s @kenvogel of the New York Times saying on MSNBC that he views Joe Biden son’s work in Ukraine as “a significant liability for Joe Biden.” ¤ “There is a story here,” Vogel adds, saying “we’re going to continue to, sort of, pull that back.” (I’m sure Trump is very grateful!) 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1175155103847845893?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: U.S. to send additional troops to Saudi Arabia after attacks on oil facilities http://wapo.st/2m6EIW0 “a ‘moderate deployment,’ numbering in the hundreds” //➔ aka “sitting ducks”

🐣 RT @adamschiff The Inspector General found the whistleblower complaint involves “one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibilities to the American people.” ¤ He found it to be both credible and urgent. ¤ And it’s being withheld from Congress. ¤ It will be brought to light. https://twitter.com/AdamSchiff/status/1175081169659908096?s=20

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 If US has legit need to investigate a US citizen with the help of a foreign government, there’s a formal process through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty filed by DOJ with aid of State Dept. That’s NOT what this was. This was a political hit job through bribery & extortion.

🐣 RT @davidcicillini This is deadly serious. If the President does not allow the whistleblower complaint against him to be turned over to Congress, we will add it to the Articles of Impeachment.
⋙ 🐣 The articles of impeachment that will be printed on candy hearts next Valentine’s Day?

🐣 RT @PhilipRucker “Ukraine, if you’re listening…” — @AshleyRParker on one of the enduring characteristics of the Trump presidency: Saying the quiet part out loud.
⋙ WaPo, Ashley Parker: Ukraine, if you’re listening … How Trump tries to quell controversies by saying the quiet part out loud http://wapo.st/2kLkzF2
// The Debrief: An occasional series offering a reporter’s insights

🐣 RT @BillKristol Congress shouldn’t be distracted by the unusual way Trump’s demand for help from a foreign government against a U.S. politician came to light—a whistleblower complaint to an IG. Watergate began with a policeman coming upon a burglary. The key now is discovering what Trump did.

🐣 RT @ericbradner New Joe Biden states on Trump/Ukraine: “If these reports are true, then there is truly no bottom to President Trump’s willingness to abuse his power and abase our country.” https://twitter.com/ericbradner/status/1175176406965391360?s=20/photo/1

🐣 I dip my toes into the right wing fever swamp enough to have seen this coming about Hunter Biden. Here’s the rub: There’s no there there. This is Trump/Rudy trying to kick dirt in Biden’s face. Time to squash it. Like a bug.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: 9 questions about the Trump whistleblower complaint, answered http://wapo.st/2m5qTHq

🐣 RT @McFaul Viktor Shokin had a reputation of NOT cracking down on corruption, not the opposite.
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul Yes, the IMF and other providers of economic assistance to Ukraine at the time were deeply disappointed in Prosecutor General Shokin’s weak efforts in fighting corruption. Biden was part of big & loud chorus, not acting on his own.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul YES !!! It was not just Obama administration policy (not just “Biden policy”) to push for this Ukrainian general prosecutor to go, but a shared view in many capitals, multilateral lending institutions, and pro-democratic Ukrainian civil society.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @JoshMarshall Not enough news orgs are making the point that the person in question in 2015 was somehow us and eu believed was corrupt and had to go. Biden was US point man. Whole thing is preposterous. Everybody knows this. Some msm effort to muddy it.
⋙⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @chrislhayes I am watching this somehow turn into a story about Biden and am going to pass out.

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH MUST WATCH: Jeremy Bash sees 3 possible underlying crimes here: Extortion, conspiracy to engage in extortion, and conspiracy to violate federal election law. See the full interview w/ @NicolleDWallace: 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1175170315854462979?s=20/photo/1 https://on.msnbc.com/2kvt8DJ

🐣 RT @SethAbramson 1/ This is impeachable. Every Democrat holding public office in the United States needs to immediately say that this is impeachable. There should be no dithering about whether this is impeachable. It’s impeachable. America still has rule of law. Everyone must be on the same page. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1175153177110417408?s=20

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Interesting wording: “Mr. Trump’s desire for a Ukrainian investigation of Mr. Biden … is part of the secret whistle-blower complaint that is said to be about Mr. Trump and at least in part about his dealings with Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 NYT now confirms: Trump repeatedly pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to talk with Rudy Giuliani, who had been urging the government in Kiev for months to investigate Joe Biden and his family, according to people briefed on the leaders’ call.
⋙⋙ NYT: Trump Pressed Ukraine’s Leader as Giuliani Pushed for Biden Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2mrEPMf

WaPo, Anne Appleman: Welcome, Americans, to the Ukrainian swamp http://wapo.st/2lYNaqC

🐣 RT @davidgura Rudy Giuliani, to Chris Cuomo: “If @RepAdamSchiff sent me a letter, I’d rip it up and throw it in the garbage.”
⋙ 🐣 Giuliani is existentially incapable of not committing perjury.

WSJ: Trump Repeatedly Pressed Ukraine President to Investigate Biden’s Son http://on.wsj.com/2m0dKzw Interactions under focus amid whistleblower complaint on U.S. president’s dealings with a world leader
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1175157164291305472?s=20/photo/1
// Interactions under focus amid whistleblower complaint on U.S. president’s dealings with a world leader

President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe, according to people familiar with the matter.

“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” whether allegations were true or not, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on any investigation.

🐣 There’s really no equivalence between the Trump/Ukraine/whistleblower story and the Biden son/Ukraine story. ¤ But I’ve been researching this for several hours and it’s too complicated not to be spun by Trump into fake-Kompromat on Biden. ¤ The public may not see the difference.

WaPo: Trump pressed Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden’s son, according to people familiar with the matter http://wapo.st/2ko3wbE

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo, Philip Bump: Trump has been openly trying to leverage Ukraine to his political benefit for months http://wapo.st/2m6eRxr //➔ Is there an equivalence to a DNC contractor seeking information in Ukraine on Paul Manafort? How about Hunter Biden? #deepdive

[In a]n effort to wave away questions about Russia’s role in the 2016 election [Trump and his team] suggest[ed] that Ukraine was engaged in something equivalent. It was a line of argument that leveraged a January 2017 article from Politico, describing how a consultant working for the Democratic National Committee had sought information from Ukrainian officials largely centered on Paul Manafort, previously a political consultant in that country but at the time Trump’s campaign chairman.

When news broke about Donald Trump Jr.’s having embraced an offer of dirt on Hillary Clinton that he believed came from the Russian government, the incident with the DNC contractor was lifted up as a counterpoint. Trump Jr.’s only media interview in the immediate aftermath of the revelation of the Trump Tower meeting was with Fox News’ Sean Hannity — who opened his show by walking through the DNC-Ukraine story in his own loaded, spottily accurate way.

Where this particular look-at-Ukraine effort fails is largely in scale. What’s alleged is that one contractor — who stopped working with the DNC in July — worked with staff at the Ukrainian embassy to examine Manafort’s record. Such research wasn’t part of her role with the party, and there’s no evidence that the DNC was broadly aware of her efforts. There’s no evidence that the Ukrainian government was actively engaged in a large effort to aid the Democrats or Hillary Clinton’s campaign. By contrast, U.S. intelligence officials uncovered evidence that Russia was trying to aid Trump at the highest levels — and was actively doing so in various ways.

The allegation is that in March 2016, Biden, then vice president, threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless the country fired its prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin. Shokin had been accused of not cracking down on corruption, and the Ukrainian parliament voted him out of office soon after.

Giuliani’s allegation of bribery centers on Biden’s son Hunter, who at the time served on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch. That oligarch and the company, Burisma, may have been under investigation by Shokin at the time of his firing. That’s the line Giuliani draws: investigation tangentially related to Hunter Biden, ergo Joe Biden wants investigator fired.

Except, as with so many of Giuliani’s claims, that’s not a fair presentation of what happened.

As our fact-checkers have explained, Shokin had been under scrutiny for a long time for his failures to crack down on corruption, and not just by Biden or the United States. There’s no indication that the push to dump Shokin originated from Biden; it instead apparently came from staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. An anti-corruption activist in Ukraine told the Intercept that Shokin “was fired because he attacked the reformers within the prosecutor general’s office, reformers who tried to investigate corrupt prosecutors.”

In short, then, there’s a dearth of evidence that Biden decided that Shokin had to go in order to protect his son, or that the company for which his son worked was under investigation or that his son was involved in aspects of the company that would have been investigated. In fact, Shokin’s ouster led to the appointment of a prosecutor who ended up opening an investigation into Burisma, anyway (though this, too, is complicated).

While the thrust of the whistleblower complaint remains unclear, Giuliani seemed to suggest to Cuomo that it might involve Trump’s demanding that Ukraine focus on “corruption,” which, in Giuliani’s explanation centered on this Biden interaction. There’s speculation that Trump might have withheld aid to Ukraine in part to compel the country to conduct this “corruption” investigation — speculation that comes from people including U.S. senators. …

Here is where the loudness of the allegations is useful to Trump. If the whistleblower complaint does allege that Trump demanded Ukraine in essence bolster his political efforts in exchange for aid, Giuliani’s very public and very energetic discussion of that push in the context of “fighting corruption” has preset a narrative among Trump’s supporters. It would then have been a dually useful effort on Giuliani: smearing Biden and inoculating Trump’s base.

“Asked whether he discussed Biden in this conversation, [Trump said,] ‘It doesn’t matter what I discussed,’ ” The Post’s Seung Min Kim reports, “and says ‘someone ought to look into Joe Biden.’”

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Why Ukraine being the focus of Trump’s whistleblower complaint is particularly ominous http://wapo.st/2m0cpIY

Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani has publicly urged the Ukrainians to pursue investigations that he has admitted would benefit Trump, and one in particular that could damage what appears to be Trump’s most threatening potential 2020 Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

In May, Giuliani canceled a controversial planned trip to Ukraine that he had admitted was intended to apply pressure on its government to investigate Biden’s son Hunter Biden and his work for a Ukrainian gas company that had previously been of interest to investigators in the country.

Giuliani even acknowledged before the planned trip that it was intended to help Trump and that Giuliani was “meddling” in foreign affairs to that end.

“We’re not meddling in an election; we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do,” Giuliani told the New York Times’s Kenneth P. Vogel. Giuliani added: “There’s nothing illegal about it. Somebody could say it’s improper. . . . I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”

It was a remarkable admission at the time — particularly that it could be “very, very helpful to my client” and separating that from the idea that it might also happen to benefit the U.S. government. And it’s even more remarkable in this moment.

When Giuliani canceled the trip, he blamed the Ukrainian government and suggested Democrats had overblown the situation.

[T]he Ukrainian government’s readout of that call mentioned how Trump was “convinced the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve [the] image of Ukraine, [and] complete [the] investigation of corruption cases, which inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA.”

“The reality is the president of the United States has every right to say to another leader of a foreign country, ‘You got to straighten up before we give you a lot of money,’ ” Giuliani said. “It is perfectly appropriate for [Trump] to ask a foreign government to investigate this massive crime that was made by a former vice president.”

He tweeted the same sentiment shortly thereafter, despite the allegations involving the Bidens being highly speculative and far from proved.

🔆 This❗️⋙ DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: Ukrainian Official: Trump Wants Dirt ‘To Discredit Biden’ http://bit.ly/2mrtjR4 //➔ Head of Ukraine’s investigative agency: “There were no signs of illegality in [Hunter] Biden’s work in Ukraine.” He may be investigated anyway, to please Trump.
// Ukraine officials see no indication Biden or his son broke their laws. If Trump wants them investigated in Kyiv, his government will need to say why and what for.

Ukraine is ready to investigate the connections Joe Biden’s son Hunter had with the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings, according to Anton Geraschenko, a senior adviser to the country’s interior minister who would oversee such an inquiry. 

Geraschenko told The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview that “as soon as there is an official request” Ukraine will look into the case, but “currently there is no open investigation.”

“Clearly,” said Geraschenko, “Trump is now looking for kompromat to discredit his opponent Biden, to take revenge for his friend Paul Manafort, who is serving seven years in prison.”

His remarks last week came amid widespread speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump had made vital U.S. military aid for Ukraine contingent on such an inquiry, but had tried to do so informally through unofficial representatives, including his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Giuliani’s adviser on Ukraine, Sam Kislin. 

But Geraschenko spoke before the appearance of a Washington Post story on Thursday that implied that an intelligence community whistleblower may have reported that the untoward quid pro quo was put forth directly by Trump in a phone call with Ukraine’s newly elected president last July. 

Geraschenko reconfirmed his statements in a phone call on Friday.

Trump spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 to congratulate him on his election. According to the official readout on Ukraine’s presidency website, “Donald Trump is convinced that the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve image of Ukraine, complete investigation of corruption cases, which inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA.”

Toward the end of August, the White House reportedly was considering whether to block $250 million of funds to support Ukraine’s military in its war against Russian-backed separatists. On Sept. 12, however, that funding was released, and even increased. Congressional pressure played a role, and it is unclear whether the whistleblower’s reported “promise” allegations, made soon after the Zelensky phone call, did as well. (On Friday, Zelensky’s office announced that he will meet with Trump next week.)

What’s certain is that American and Ukrainian politics are closely connected these days, and on Thursday evening Giuliani admitted he had asked officials in Ukraine to investigate Biden. Giuliani told CNN’s Chris Cuomo in a contentious interview that there is nothing wrong with pressing for an investigation into corruption.

Others might call this whole affair a matter of political—indeed, geopolitical—extortion.

At a minimum, Giuliani’s pressure has been interpreted here as weakening this country’s institutions by pressing them to dig for dirt on Trump’s most important Democratic challenger.

The Trump administration eventually released $390 million in military aid to Ukraine, $140 million more than the amount Kyiv had expected before the administration suspended the funds for “review” last month.

[Roman Truba’s agency, the State Bureau of Investigations] neither investigated Biden’s son nor Burisma Holding. There were no signs of illegality in Biden’s work in Ukraine, he said. “The State Bureau of Investigations should be an independent institution. I wish we would become as highly qualified, equipped with all modern technologies, and professional as the FBI.”

DailyBeast, Casey Michel: Rudy Giuliani Just Declared That It’s Open Season for Foreign Influence http://bit.ly/2m1NwNb
// Kyiv may have said “no,” but Trump’s personal lawyer has opened the floodgates for other governments to follow the president’s bidding and investigate and throw dirt on his rivals.

DailyBeast: Trump on Speaking to Ukraine Leaders About Biden: ‘It Doesn’t Matter What I Discussed’ http://bit.ly/2kKSIot

When asked whether he spoke to Ukrainian leaders about Joe Biden, President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters that “it doesn’t matter what I discussed.” “Someone ought to look into Joe Biden’s statement, because it was disgraceful,” Trump said in the Oval Office, adding that the “fake news doesn’t look into things like that” because the former vice president is a Democrat. “I don’t want to talk about any conversation other than to say, other than to say great conversation, totally appropriate conversation,” Trump said when reporters continued to press him. “It couldn’t have been better and keep asking questions and build it up as big as possible so you can have a bigger downfall,” he added, calling the conversation “beautiful.”

Trump then insisted that all of his conversations with foreign leaders are above board, and that he doesn’t know the identity of the “partisan whistleblower” who filed a complaint about a pledge the president allegedly made to a foreign leader. Trump’s remarks came shortly after The Daily Beast reported that a Ukrainian official said the country is ready to investigate connections Joe Biden’s son Hunter had with the Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings.

DailyBeast, Kevin Rawnsley: There’s Never Been a Whistleblower Case Like This Before http://bit.ly/2m6lYWE “the administration’s refusal to allow [the] information to go to Congress is a blow to the IG’s independence”
// The whistleblowing process Congress set up for the intelligence community has been used up to 20 times a year, according to official reports. But never like the Trump complaint.

Background ⋙ BuzzFeedNews (7/22): Two Unofficial US Operatives Reporting To Trump’s Lawyer Privately Lobbied A Foreign Government In A Bid To Help The President Win In 2020 http://bit.ly/2mrkG95 //➔ It’s not just Rudy #longread
// 7/22/2019; By Michael Sallah, Tanya Kozyreva and Aubrey Belford; Reporting directly to Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, two operators waged a brazen back-channel campaign that could thrust another foreign country to the center of the next US election.

Background ⋙ Law&Crime, Matt Clibonoff (8/22): Rudy Giuliani Astonishes Legal Experts with Remarks on Ukraine-DNC Collusion Investigation http://bit.ly/2kIbOeR
// 8/22/2019

Background ⋙ JustSecurity, Viola Geinger (9/10): Trump and Giuliani’s Quest for Fake Ukraine “Dirt” on Biden: An Explainer http://bit.ly/2lPw3XT

Background ⋙ VanityFair, Alison Durkee (May): Ukraine Isn’t Having Rudy Giuliani’s Biden Conspiracies http://bit.ly/2krv8g3
// 5/16/2019; Even Giuliani’s top Ukrainian ally now says his claims about Hunter Biden have no basis in fact.

Background ⋙ NYMag, Adam Raymond (May): Everything We Know About the Joe Biden–Ukraine Controversy http://nym.ag/2mso8QR
// 5/7/2019

Vox, Aaron Rupar: Rudy Giuliani’s viral CNN meltdown over Trump and Ukraine, explained http://bit.ly/2kwDjb8

DailyBeast: Rudy Giuliani: Trump Just ‘Doing His Job’ on Joe Biden and Ukraine http://bit.ly/2kSW4FN

⭕ 19 Sep 2019

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona: Giuliani Admits He Asked Ukraine About Biden Seconds After Denying He Did in Insane CNN Interview http://bit.ly/2kKX92B 🤪🤐
// Giuliani CNN interview; “No, actually I didn’t,” Giuliani said when asked if he’d asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and family. Thirty seconds later, he changed his tune: “Of course I did.”

🐣 RT @mayawiley I agree the facts, if the pan out, would be #bribery- meaning the facts show corrupt intent to bribe a foreign govt to interfere with a US election
⋙ 🐣 RT @Mimirokah1 This would clearly be federal criminal bribery & serious enough that an independent AG would at least consider suspending the policy against indicting a sitting President. (And, yes, I know that’s not the AG we have).
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @GregMiller NEW: the Trump call at the center of the IC firestorm centers on Ukraine. Trump spoke with leader of Ukraine weeks before the complaint was filed. @shaneharris @nakashimae @CarolLeonnig
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @GregMiller What did Trump “promise” the leader of Ukraine? TBD, but important context: US has been holding back millions in military/intel aid for Ukraine. At same time, Giuliani has made clear Trump team wants Ukraine to pursue probe that might implicate son of Joe Biden.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 Just as with the so-called “fake dossier,” they’re building a counter-narrative that Biden withheld $1B unless Poroshenko fired a prosecutor of company Hunter Biden was on the board of. I understand the timeline doesn’t support this, but that’s what they’ll do. Wash-Rinse-Repeat

NYT Editorial: ‘Urgent Concern’ About the President http://nyti.ms/2kVM1Qb
// A whistle-blower’s report has alarmed the intelligence agencies’ watchdog. Why won’t the administration share it with Congress?

🐣 RT @MSNBC Fmr. asst FBI Dir. @FrankFigliuzzi1 has advice for the whistleblower: If by next week his or her complaint hasn’t been “substantively conveyed to the house or senate intelligence committee, it’s time for you to come forward directly to those committees.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, DeadlineWH: ‘Our founding fathers didn’t envision this level of corruption and obstruction’: The president’s actions were behind the whistleblower’s complaint http://on.msnbc.com/2lXcayu
// Wash Post’s Ellen Nakashina, former assistant director at the FBI Frank Figliuzzi, former deputy assistant attorney general Harry Litman, The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein, and NYT’s Nick Confessore on the new reporting that reveals it was the president’s “promise” to a foreign leader that sparked the whistleblower’s complaint

🐣 RT @brhodes If Trump was trying to abuse his power of the presidency to solicit foreign help for his campaign, it’s hard to imagine a more impeachable offense.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Yes.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BillKristol If the whistleblower complaint is serious—as the IG seems to think—it won’t be Trump being careless or reckless on calls with foreign leaders. It would have to be an apparent quid pro quo—an offer of a U.S. policy in return for Trump’s personal benefit or electoral advantage.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Presidential obstruction of the legal process created specifically to hold the Executive Branch accountable to Congress’s Intelligence Committees is clearly an impeachable offense on top of whatever abuses of power the whistleblower reported to the DNI.

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger IF Trump traded aid for investigating Biden what excuse will R’s come up with then? If this is nailed down impeachment is imperative. This would be bribery and a high crime and misdemeanor

🐣 RT @McFaul So the president’s personal lawyer is confirming what the rest of us have been hypothesizing– that Trump asked Zelensky for dirt on Biden’s son. But Giuliani didnt provide the quo to this quid. U.S. assistance to Ukraine? If that’s true, then we have a real scandal.

🐣 RT @brhodes Trump sees no difference between his campaign and the national security policies of the US government. This is an existential crisis for American democracy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT I don’t know what is in the whistleblower complaint, but it was clear to me that Ukraine officials were worried about the consequences of ignoring Giuliani’s demands. And of course they were. That’s why presidents shouldn’t have their campaigns talking to foreign leaders.

🐣 RT @nedprice An extraordinary letter from the Intelligence Community IG to Congress. The IG–a Trump appointee–doubles down on his determination that the matter DOES fall under the DNI’s jurisdiction and “relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibilities.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @nycsouthpaw A second letter from the IC IG to Schiff, dated September 17th. https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1174745350780968961?s=20/photo/1-4

🐣 RT @DrDenaGrayson 🔥@ChrisCuomo: Did you ask #Ukraine to investigate @JoeBiden?#Giuliani: No, actually I didn’t.
Just 26 seconds later, Giuliani ADMITS to asking #Ukraine to probe Biden.
Cuomo: So you did ask #Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?
Giuliani: Of course I did!🤯 https://twitter.com/DrDenaGrayson/status/1174879855890092032?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @jonflan Rudy’s word salad, crazed shouting, and fake fact attacks on CNN earlier this evening suggest 2 things – 1. Biden is gathering electoral steam (thus the attack), and 2. the Judiciary Committee hearings earlier this week hurt Mr. T –

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw Pence’s reply was NOT a denial. If anything, he referred to Trump wanting the new government to move ahead with process against “corruption.” That’s the same word Giuliani uses in reference to his (false) Ukraine-Biden conspiracy. ¤ Read Pence’s non-response for yourself: https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1174844883330306048?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance If this turns out to be what the whistleblower complaint is about & it’s accurate, Trump must leave office immediately. A president can’t offer US aid to a foreign country in exchange for prosecution of a political opponent. Heaven help us if we can’t all agree on that.

≣ PBS: Read what the inspector general wrote about the ‘urgent’ whistleblower concern http://to.pbs.org/2mo89TL the two letters to House Intel Chair Rep Adam Schiff

🐣 RT @atrupar Rudy denying he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden followed by Rudy admitting he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden within 30 seconds of each other in this clip is just incredible to watch 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1174874518080434176?s=20 /photo/1

NYT: Trump Lawyers Argue He Cannot Be Criminally Investigated http://nyti.ms/2mrPQ0d
// The president’s legal team is trying to block a subpoena seeking his tax returns, claiming that any criminal investigation of Mr. Trump is unconstitutional.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand New from me: What happens when an intelligence official blows the whistle on the president? The Whistleblower protection law never contemplated a scenario in which the DNI would completely withhold a complaint that the inspector general had deemed “urgent” 📌 https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1174864521359503361?s=20
⋙ Politico, Natasha Bertrand: ‘A deficiency in the law’: How Trump accidentally exposed a whistleblower loophole http://politi.co/2mpXTKS
// What happens when the administration won’t tell Congress about a whistleblower complaint regarding the president? The answer to the once hard-to-fathom question is complicated.

DailyBeast: Trump Whistleblower Saga Threatens to Blow Up 2020 Campaign http://bit.ly/2mr5ZTv by Sam Brodey, Erin Banco, Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein
// Two reports on Thursday night say the conversation in the complaint involved Ukraine, the country that the president’s close lawyer has turned to looking for dirt on Joe Biden.

DailyBeast, Scott Bixby: Whistleblower Complaint Being Suppressed by Trump or Someone ‘Close’ to Him, Schiff Says http://bit.ly/2mr5Sax
// Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) says the inspector general’s complaint is being held from Congress under the direction of either President Trump or someone in his camp.

NYT: Whistle-Blower Complaint Sets Off a Battle Involving Trump http://nyti.ms/2kVJZQ5
// The complaint, from a member of the intelligence community, remained opaque but involved at least one of the president’s communications with a foreign leader.

WaPo: Trump’s purported ‘promise’ to a foreign leader came after the White House scaled back readouts http://bit.ly/2mmj54g

WaPo: Whistleblower complaint about President Trump involves Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter http://bit.ly/2m5s21F

🐣 RT @MiekeEoyang Another interesting wrinkle here. The President’s classification authority is *regulatory* where as the requirement to disclose to the committees is *statutory*. ¤ Further, executive privilege is also not rooted in statute, and the supreme court has said that it is not absolute.

NYT: Whistle-Blower’s Complaint Is Said to Involve Multiple Acts by Trump http://nyti.ms/2kTS7Rg
// The complaint goes beyond a commitment that President Trump was said to have made to a world leader.

🐣 RT @DanaBashCNN Scoop from @mkraju Multiple sources say the House Judiciary Committee is preparing to take initial steps to potentially hold Corey Lewandowski in contempt over his refusal to answer questions at this week’s hearing.

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq We are on the verge of a major constitutional crisis here, folks.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: What is the Trump whistleblower complaint about? Here’s a timeline of what we know. http://bit.ly/2kvlwkE

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Trump Administration Covering Up His Disturbing Offer to Foreign Leader http://nym.ag/2lZ6X9c

🐣 RT @carriecordero So far based on reporting, it appears an IC whistleblower has followed the law & procedures to report, through appropriate channels, an issue the person believed urgently needed the attention of independent overseers…. 📌 https://twitter.com/carriecordero/status/1174677950656110599?s=20

Politico: Andrew McCabe cites Barr in bid to avoid charges http://politi.co/2mq7269
// Lawyers for the former FBI deputy director are asking whether the Justice Department is using a double standard to pursue him.

WaPo: Iran warns U.S. of ‘all out war’ if attacked http://bit.ly/2lVFTrB

⭕ 18 Sep 2019

WaPo, Greg Sargent (9/18): Are Democrats ready for the coming disinformation tsunami? http://wapo.st/2kw77oj

🐣 RT @mrbromwich Time to hold the lawyers accountable. The DC Rules of Professional Conduct define misconduct as “conduct that seriously interferes with the administration of justice.” Every WH lawyer who facilitates obstruction of Congress through bogus privilege claims violates this rule. https://twitter.com/mrbromwich/status/1174283126832545793?s=20

TheBulwark, Jonathan Last: 33 Questions About Lewandowski’s Lie http://bit.ly/2lXvUSs
// He says he’s not obligated to be honest with the media. This raises questions for everyone.

🐣 RT @alfonslopeztena The dictator is the one animal who needs to be caged. He betrays his profession and his constitution. He betrays the people and destroys human values. He destroys culture. He binds the youth. He makes the structure collapse. He rules by fluke and freak. – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 💽 https://twitter.com/alfonslopeztena/status/1083465747270115329?s=20/photo/1
// 🌀 Trump glowing globe Saudis skeletal

NBCNews, Ken Dilanian: Trump communication reportedly at center of whistleblower complaint http://nbcnews.to/2koDJQD
// The complaint the administration is withholding from Congress was filed by an intelligence officer after a phone call the president had, according to a former official.

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand JUST IN: The Acting Director of National Intelligence will testify publicly before the House Intel committee on Sept 26 in relation to the whistleblower complaint received by ODNI. The Intel community inspector general will testify in closed session tomorrow, per @RepAdamSchiff

🐣 RT @cryborg Iran calls it slander they’re being accused of attacking SA. SA says Iran is the culprit and offers ‘proof’. Yemen: Houthis claim responsibility
Trump wants to creditline Iran 15 billion
Putin is an Iranian ally and business partner.
Putin controls Trump
Quite the 🧩

🐣 RT @tburages I suddenly remembered what Putin asked of Trump a year ago: McFaul and Browder. Back then Trump didn’t refuse. ¤ And Putin wants Smolenkov added to that list
⋙ 🐣 RT @McFaul [2018] I am an American. Call me crazy, naive, or idealistic, but I expect my government to defend me when attacked by a hostile government. I cannot defend myself from Putin alone.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @DaniScotchIrish [2018] Michael @McFaul went to the White House today after Trump said he would hand him over to Putin to meet with Trumplicans about the possibility that Russia could charge him & other Americans Putin has it in for like @Billbrowder #Maddow

🐣 RT @brhodes The saddest thing is that Trump can find lackeys at the top of DoJ and count on Republicans in Congress to support his efforts to actively undermine the United States of America.

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ THREAD: Why should we be concerned that there may have been a communication between Trump and a foreign leader that involved a “promise” that was thought to be so alarming that it warranted a whistleblower complaint? There are tricky legal issues here I’ll try to spell out: 📌 https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1174515385204445184?s=20

WaPo: Pelosi says she would have held Lewandowski in contempt ‘right then and there’ http://bit.ly/ 2kHu6gk

🐣 RT @kelly2277 ‼️BREAKING NEWS‼️whistleblower report involves President Trump’s communications via a phone call with a foreign leader and a ‘promise’ that was made 🔥🔥🔥
⋙ [WaPo http://bit.ly/2kEHRMJ%5D
🐣 RT @kelly2277 [VentureCapital] […] 🔥🔥Well… look at the Kremlin’s readouts on calls between Trump and Putin vs the absence of any on our end 🤔 🎩 tip to @Feenielives4him for this interesting thread by @File511 https://twitter.com/kelly2277/status/1174498172401541120?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @File511 Now ¤ Now ¤ Don’t be mean and think I’m making something out of nothing because ¤ DID ¤ YOU ¤ MISS ¤ THE ¤ AUGUST 1, 2019 US TREASURY SANCTIONS DIRECTIVE? ¤ Always read the whole thread… https://twitter.com/File511/status/1174506186370166784?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @cbn2 Did you see WaPo’s breaking news on the whistleblower? ¤ Reports the person is [WAS] involved with the National Security Council, and is concerned by a promise Donald Trump made to a foreign leader in a phone call.
// To @TheRickWilson

🐣 RT @dcpoll July 31: “The Russian president viewed Trump’s offer as a sign that fully-fledged bilateral relations could be restored in the future.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @NedPrice Apropos of nothing, this July 31 Trump-Putin phone call, which Trump initiated ostensibly to offer assistance for wildfires in Siberia, has never made sense to me. Also, California was burning at the time, and Trump barely lifted a finger.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @RusEmbUSA US President Donald Trump, in phone talks with Vladimir Putin, offered assistance to Moscow in fighting wildfires in Siberia. The Russian president viewed Trump’s offer as a sign that fully-fledged bilateral relations could be restored in the future https://twitter.com/RusEmbUSA/status/1156692980180410368?s=20

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Let me reiterate, I’m speculating about what promise Trump could have made to Putin that might compel a whistleblower to file a complaint. My theories are all very plausible & very disturbing. Lives are at risk. And Putin’s done NOTHING to deserve accommodating promises. #Maddow
⋙ 🐣 RT @PaulaChertok One explosive theory: Maybe Trump made a promise to Putin involving the exfiltrated Russian spy outed in Virginia—the CIA asset w/ direct knowledge that Putin directed Russia’s attack to help Trump win the 2016 election. That would light a whistleblower’s hair on fire. #Maddow
⋙⋙ [More Theories] 🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Pentagon defunds European projects that deter #Russia to fund Trump’s wall, authority DoD gained when Trump declared the border a national emergency – The Washington Post 📌 [Thread] https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1169379170259877888?s=20

🐣 RT @Lawrence Here’s the law on whistleblower info to Congress. https://twitter.com/Lawrence/status/1174502169061539840?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @SethAbramson 1/ Presidents are allowed to make promises; they do it all the time, for instance by promising to stand by our allies in this or that way. That a secret Trump promise to a foreign national led to an intelligence community whistleblower complaint means it was an IMPROPER PROMISE. 📌 [Thread] https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1174496418335252480?s=20

🐣 RT @tribelaw Even if POTUS made some other promise to Putin — or to some other dictator — one wonders how close to treason it’d have to come for @SpeakerPelosi to be moved to consider . . . oh, say, impeachment?
⋙ 🐣 RT @tribelaw Might POTUS have promised Putin in a call in August 12 that he’d unmask the Kremlin spy who then had to be exfiltrated to save his life? Just wondering . . . @RepAdamSchiff
↥ ↧
🐣 Partial thread from 9/14/2019 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1174499048331649024?s=20/photo/1

NYT: This Picture Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Impeachment http://nyti.ms/2m1BDGK
// A Renaissance-style tableau for a divided Washington.

🐣 RT @neal_katyal This is going to be huge. DOJ& Admin are contorting themselves backwards to try to hide this. Truth will come out. There are probably tapes and transcripts documenting a gross abuse of power by Trump. Gonna be ugly.And enablers should all face consequences
🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood “Trump’s interaction w/foreign leader included a ‘promise’ so troubling that it prompted a whistleblower complaint. ¤ “complaint was filed 8/12. WH records indicate Trump had interactions with 5 foreign leaders in preceding weeks, including a call w/Putin”
⋙ 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Trump’s communications with foreign leader are part of whistleblower complaint that spurred standoff between spy chief and Congress, former officials say http://bit.ly/2kEHRMJ
// By Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Shane Harris; Carol D. Leonnig and Julie Tate contributed to this report.

🐣 RT @qjurecic Yes. Part of the job of representing the public is to guide them toward what is important and what they should care about. Pretending this isn’t so is absurd and insulting.
⋙ 🐣 RT @chrislhayes The reason that the House Democrats’ efforts have failed to galvanize the public is because the Speaker of the House very clearly does not WANT the public galvanized on impeachment. End of story.

WaPo, Max Boot: In his showdown with Iran, Trump blinks http://bit.ly/2kQA8er “The hardliners are right: Trump is weakening America with his incoherent foreign policy. Our enemies don’t fear us and our allies don’t trust us.”

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Mystery of Adam Schiff and whistleblower takes dangerous new turn http://bit.ly/2lXC8Si

🐣 RT @mayawiley I watched with great relief as @BarryBerke drew blood, drawing out #Lewandowski lies in the press, and drawing out by inference that Lewandowski did fear committing a crime. #MasterClass
⋙ 🐣 RT @thepopcornwheel Barry Berke. This is how you question a fool like Corey Lewandowski. Don’t be nice. Don’t say “I agree with you”, like some of the Democrats did today in their exchanges. Just keep throwing out the questions. 💽 https://twitter.com/mayawiley/status/1174317924527554561?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 17 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @lawfareblog The executive branch holds many cards in the dispute over an intelligence whistleblower. ¤ The administration forcing litigation on this could push resolution past the 2020 election—which, @MargLTaylor writes, could be a dereliction of constitutional duty.
⋙ Lawfare: The Mysterious Whistleblower Complaint: What Is Adam Schiff Talking About? http://bit.ly/2kUgPRx xx

💽 MSNBC, TheLastWord: Fmr. federal prosecutor: Lewandowski “may have perjured himself” in hearing http://on.msnbc.com/2kP5a6k Mimi Rocah tells Lawrence that Corey Lewandowski was likely caught in a series of lies
// Mimi Rocah tells Lawrence that Corey Lewandowski was likely caught in a series of lies under the questioning of the Democratic counsel on the Judiciary Committee. Lawrence is also joined by Judiciary member Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Politico: Schiff: Top intel official has refused to turn over ‘urgent’ whistleblower complaint http://politi.co/2lWLtd5 “”We also believe at this juncture that it would be premature for the DNI to appear on Thursday at a congressional hearing,” the DNI General Counsel wrote to Schiff

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Corey Lewandowski’s chaotic congressional testimony, explained http://bit.ly/2kCSuzD
// It was House Judiciary Democrats’ first big hearing of the fall. Here’s how it went.

NYT Editorial: When Is Impeachment Not Impeachment? http://nyti.ms/2kiiH6a
// When the speaker of the House thinks it is politically foolhardy.

🐣 RT @RepCohen Lewandowski was fired from Americans for Prosperity following voter fraud allegations & his former boss was convicted of corruption & lying to authorities. He has been around corruption for years. That’s why Trump asked him to help obstruct the #MuellerInvestigation. #CoverUp

NYT: Key Moments from Corey Lewandowski’s Testimony Before Congress http://nyti.ms/2kF6RU9
// Mr. Lewandowski, President Trump’s former campaign manager, testified before lawmakers conducting an impeachment inquiry.

TheHill: Nadler considering holding Lewandowski in contempt http://bit.ly/2mnAVnF

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Jesus, they should have LED with Berke and they would have an ENTIRE DAY OF NEWS

🐣 RT @ Ok, so Barry Berke is revealing @CLewandowski_ as lying, corrupt criminal he is. He’s showing what a well-prepared, experienced, strategic defense attorney can do. This is getting real facts & real truth out. Kudos to the @HouseJudiciary for making this happen.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance It’s now clear why the GOP didn’t want Berke to question Lewandowski, who unraveled into acknowledging lies and half truths. Lewandowski was the smarmy witness in a trial who the jury sees straight through.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance As @RepJerryNadler announces experienced criminal lawyer & House Judic comm staffer for the Dems Barry Berke will begin 30 minutes of questioning of Lewandowski, GOP Reps break out in a flurry of parliamentary motions & a request to adjourn.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance The Lewandowski hearing is still going-the hour of questioning by each party’s committee staff will happen, presumably, at the end. And it will be make or break.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ “Optimistic might be too strong of a word given how many times we’ve thought the rule of law would finally have a resurgence and it’s flopped… If the Democrats play their 30 minutes right… We’ll have this series of admissions…” – @JoyceWhiteVance w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/JoyceWhiteVance/status/1174077301199441920?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @atrupar .@RepJayapal backs Lewandowski into corner about disconnect between what he’s saying (he was truthful w/Mueller) & what Trump has said (that whole Mueller report is fabricated). ¤ She ends by pressing him about if he “lied about POTUS telling you to write down a note” for Sessions

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Get ready for a spectacular display of Trump’s corruption http://bit.ly/2kGg26L

🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger lewandowski just told us Trump tried to obstruct the impeachment process
⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The best evidence of obstruction of justice http://bit.ly/2kRhWkL

🐣 RT @moscow_project Lewandowski admits that he didn’t want to meet with Sessions at the DOJ because he didn’t want there to be an official record. ¤ That’s not what you do if you think what you’re doing is innocent.

🐣 RT @BarbMcQuade 1h Narrative that House hearings are a “redo“ of Mueller investigation is misleading nonsense. Mueller was unable to decide whether a crime was committed because he believed it was not his province to do so. It is the province of Congress. That’s why we’re here. #CoreyLewandowski

🐣 RT @jonflan The error here is that Lewandowski committed several overt acts in furtherance of the obstruction conspiracy and never w/drew from the conspiracy – a conspiracy takes 2 to tango, and you don’t have to succeed. L is exposed to prosecution w/o any immunity. So is Mr. T., Pile on.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 1/ This is outrageous contempt. It isn’t just that this scumbag Lewandowski is slapping the committee with it. ¤ This is a test, and the Democrats are going to fail it. They’re so bad at this it makes me cringe. 📌 https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/1174025822719631361?s=20

🐣 RT @joycewhitevance If Lewandowski continues to refuse to answer questions, saying “WH has directed me not to disclose” @HouseJudiciary needs to get a judge to compel him to testify.

🐣 RT @vickerysec What Lewandowski is doing, at this very moment, is obstruction of justice in the sense that whatever he testifies to right now is sworn testimony considerable within any criminal investigation. ¤ He is committing a crime right now.

🐣 RT @mayawiley What I hope Americans ask is why #GOP and White House are desperate to prevent #Lewandowski from simply sayin what he said to #Mueller. It’s because it was so clearly an active attempt to #obstruction the #MuellerInvestigation

🐣 RT @RepValDemings It’s clear that Mr. Lewandowski is going to treat this hearing as a charade. ¤ From the first minute, he is refusing to answer questions as simple as “did you meet with the President?” ¤ This is a coverup, orchestrated by the White House to protect the president.

🐣 RT @tribelaw .@RepAdamSchiff rightly said on @Morning_Joe that the president’s ongoing obstruction of all Congress’s efforts to investigate his misconduct is itself an impeachable offense. Exactly.

💙 🐣 RT @JenniferTaub 📌 Here we go! Tweeting the @HouseJudiciary impeachment inquiry hearing. Witness will be Corey Lewandowski, former Trump Campaign manager. Chairman Nadler gaveled in at 1:16 p.m.
// livetweet thread

🐣 RT @tedlieu Trump told Lewandowski to direct Sessions to limit the Mueller investigation to future elections & prohibit any look at Russian interference in the 2016 election. An attempt to obstruct an investigation is a federal crime.
⋙ 🐣 RT @tedlieu Robert Mueller identified 10 instances of Obstruction of Justice. In 5 of those instances, he found “substantial evidence” the crimes were committed. Corey Lewandowski was intimately involved in one of those crimes. He is the witness today at @HouseJudiciary. 🔲 https://twitter.com/tedlieu/status/1174008953820319744?s=20

🐣 RT @kasparov63 Germany went through the painful process of admission & reconciliation with its dark past. The USSR never did. There was no Nuremberg for Communism, even when the USSR fell in 1991. Just 9 years later, Putin took over.

🐣 RT @RepAdamSmith Under the White House legal theory, witnesses are immune from subpoena if they have:
– Worked for the President (or not)
– When he was President (or not)
– About conversations the President was in (or not)
Wrong. Corruption isn’t a privilege. And compliance isn’t voluntary.
⋙ 🐣 RT @mkraju WH says Corey Lewandowski can’t talk about conversations with the president not contained in Mueller report. Lewandowski was never a WH employee.
https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/1173749664765624322?s=20/photo/1-3

⭕ 16 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @JavierBlas The level of trolling of Putin reaches a new high, joking that #SaudiArabia should buy the same S-300 anti-missile defence system that Moscow already sold to Tehran (amid the laughter of Iranian officials, including President Rouhani) | #OOTT #oil #Iran #Russia 💽 https://twitter.com/JavierBlas/status/1173696058704191495?s=20/photo/1

USAToday, Barbara McQuade: Democrats should think like criminal prosecutors as they investigate Trump impeachment http://bit.ly/2knFWfl

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Nadler responds: “This is a shocking and dangerous assertion of executive privilege and absolute immunity. The President would have us believe that he can willfully engage in criminal activity and prevent witnesses from testifying before Congress.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 The White House has blocked former Trump aides Rob Porter and Rick Dearborn from testifying in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Corey Lewandowski has been cleared to provide only limited testimony about potential obstruction by Trump, NYT reports.
⋙⋙ NYT: Lewandowski Cleared to Testify in House Inquiry, as White House Blocks Others http://nyti.ms/2lSoX58

WaPo, Harry Litman: A whistleblower filed a complaint to the intelligence IG. Why is it being withheld from Congress? http://bit.ly/2lQJNlx

Politico, Natasha Bertrand and Josh Gerstein: Obama’s team lines up to defend Andrew McCabe in court http://politi.co/2lQvxJx
// Obama-era national security leaders would testify on behalf of McCabe should he face trial over allegations that he misled officials about leaks to the media.

NYT: 8 Years of Trump Tax Returns Are Subpoenaed by Manhattan D.A. http://nyti.ms/2kP2ANE
// Investigators demanded the president’s personal and corporate tax returns as they examine hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.

Salon, Sophia Tesfaye: Is the Trump administration squelching a whistleblower — and a major scandal? http://bit.ly/2kkclmZ
// Intel Committee chair Adam Schiff thinks there’s a major scandal brewing — and it may touch Trump personally

YahooNews: Exclusive: Russia carried out a ‘stunning’ breach of FBI communications system, escalating the spy game on U.S. soil http://yahoo.it/2lSRgQS

⭕ 15 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @justinamash Under our Constitution, the power to commence war lies with Congress, not the president and certainly not Saudi Arabia. We don’t take orders from foreign powers.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

💙💙 Salon, Paul Rosenberg: The Trump depression (and we don’t mean the economy): Key symptom of autocratic regimes http://bit.ly/2md6tfH
// Experts see a “population-based depression” taking hold in America. But it might force us toward positive change

America is nowhere near as bad as Brazil or China, much less North Korea. But our democracy is eroding significantly. Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) tracks hundreds of attributes of democracy for 202 countries, spanning more than two centuries. Its 2019 report found that “24 countries are now severely affected by what is established as a ‘third wave of autocratization,'” an erosion of democratic rights “that has slowly gained momentum since the mid 1990s. … Among them are populous countries such as Brazil, India and the United States.” 

If Trump has his way — demolishing all restraints on his power — things will only get much worse, with the journey Glasser took as a tour book guide of what’s to come. And people are feeling it in their bones.

“In America under Trump there is a population-based depression taking hold. It is a very subtle, smoldering, pervasive and serious condition that people in autocratic countries chronically live with,” physician and scholar Frederick “Skip” Burkle told me in a recent interview. Burkle has any number of academic credentials: He was founding director of the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance at the University of Hawaii, and currently serves in advisory or research capacities at the Harvard School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutes, the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington and elsewhere. …

The rise of these sycophants to positions of power in Trump’s administration is one key developments that has accelerated the craziness of late. William Barr’s appointment as attorney general was a watershed moment in this regard. His outright lying about the contents of the Mueller report profoundly misled the public about its basic findings, a state of affairs that persists to this day. That is arguably the driving reason Trump has not already been impeached.

That was echoed as farce when NOAA disavowed a National Weather Service tweet correcting Trump’s false claim that Hurricane Dorian was threatening Alabama. The insistence that Trump had no hand in that — his sycophants were only too eager to take action unbidden — is actually worse, in terms of how the pathocracy is advancing. The rot is spreading, and growing more virulent.

[Elizabeth] Mika went even further in her description. “Once a conscienceless individual assumes position of ultimate power, he gathers around him others who are psychologically similar to him, and builds a government almost exclusively comprised of characterologically defective people to better implement his egocentric, often anti-human agenda.” 

“The lessons from the collapse of communism are the same lessons that any peoples fighting against oppression have always had to learn,” she said. “The resistance always starts with like-minded people — in this case, people with a functioning conscience opposing the grip of pathocracy — finding each other, coming together, and turning their first internal, then external protest into a more or less organized social movement.” Ultimately, she assured me, “The resistance wins; all inhumane regimes eventually fall.” 

Disruption for its own sake is what we got under Trump, but it was emphatically not the ideal form of disruption. “When disruption is called for, as happens during times of peoples’ increasing pain and suffering,” Mika said, “it would take on a transformative character, leading toward, and not away from, higher values. It is the positive aspect of positive disintegration.”

That’s what we should be striving for now. It’s what we should be looking for in our leaders, and in ourselves. “It is up to us to keep this transformative momentum growing,” Mika said, stressing that in her view positive change is inevitable. “Our developmental trajectory leads always toward our highest values, despite — and because of — periods of trials and tribulations.”

‼️ Let’s not forget Congress tried to stop arms sales to Saudis for Yemen war ⋙ TheTelegraph (7/25/2019): Trump vetoes measures blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia for war in Yemen http://bit.ly/2mg26AB

WaPo: Legal showdown looms over House subpoena to intel director http://bit.ly/2lSAukT

🐣 RT @SethAbramson **TIMELINE*
1. Trump orders Deputy DNI fired (8/9).
2. Whistleblower complaint filed (8/12).
3. DNI leaves job (8/15).
4. ICIG rules whistleblower report properly filed, “urgent,” and for Congress’s eyes.
5. Acting DNI refuses to give Congress report, citing a “higher authority.”

💙 ◕ Medium, @Rigel2020 (2017): They are Rigging Elections Around the World — Staging Coups & Ruining Democracies Everywhere http://bit.ly/2me7ows
// 11/12/2017; awesome charts

🐣 RT @repadamschiff No Director of National Intelligence has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint the IG determined to be urgent and credible. ¤ There is no privilege to engage in misconduct; not under this president, or any other. ¤ That’s why I issued a subpoena and will enforce it. 💽 https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1173299911158374410?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 14 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok #Russia Has Compromising Information on Trump, former KGB chief Oleg Kalugin says 📌 https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1171474113249992705?s=20
🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Ex KGB Chief Kalugin says he saw documents about the kompromat collected from Trump’s USSR visits. He says the compromising material is w/ girls/prostitutes. He states Russia’s KGB has a very long memory & can wait decades before using its kompromat. Trump knows this, he says.
https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1172974860726747136?s=20/photo/1
// 9/10-14/2019

💙💙 TheGuardian, Peter Pomerantsev: I left Russia to escape Putin’s assault on reason. Now I fear the UK is on the same path http://bit.ly/2knB7CM
// We need to develop a more collaborative political discourse, built on facts, not spin

Nothing is true and everything is possible. That was my one-line attempt to sum up the politics and propaganda that enveloped Russia at the start of the 21st century. It was a world where politicians no longer cared whether they were caught lying; where old ideologies were dead and conspiracy thinking had become the new way to explain the world; where all the old political categories (socialist and liberal, conservative and communist) seemed utterly meaningless and it was unclear what political parties stood for; where warped nostalgia and vague emotive calls to “Raise Russia From Its Knees” had taken over from any rational idea of the future.

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the Russian organized crime and money laundering experts in DOJ who continued their investigations unabated happen to be the very people targeted by the Trump admin, as explained here:
⋙ TheAtlantic, Natasha Bertrand (2018): Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime http://bit.ly/2LGGSTm
// 8/30/2018; Some of President Trump’s favorite targets in the Russia probe have spent their careers in the Justice Department and the FBI investigating organized crime and money laundering, particularly as they pertain to Russia.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @BillBrowder Unbelievable! Cameron Ortis, the Canadian law enforcement official heading up the money laundering investigation connected to the Magnitsky murder was arrested last night in Ottawa for alleged espionage and working with a foreign power. Same thing happened in Switzerland
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MichelleZillio BREAKING: RCMP official charged with breaching official secrets law oversaw Russian money-laundering probe http://bit.ly/tgam.ca/2kBGPkD (via @globeandmail) #cdnpoli #RCMP #CameronOrtis
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MichelleZillio #CameronOrtis oversaw a money-laundering probe into allegations that millions in defrauded Russian tax dollars, exposed by Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, were funneled through Canada, a source with knowledge of the matter told The Globe and Mail. #cdnpoli #RCMP

SFChronicle: Editorial: Democrats are and should be conducting an impeachment inquiry http://bit.ly/2lQSKLD

🐣 RT @NaveedJamali The unredacted #MuellerReport contains mention of an investigation into foreign influence via money flowing to a PAC. I have long suspected this was Qatar, Saudi Arabia and/or UAE. All of which are engaged in a proxy war with Iran. This is how Trump has sold our foreign policy.

🐣 RT @tribelaw This would’ve been conspiracy by POTUS to commit criminal espionage. @RepAdamSchiff’s Committee needs to get to the bottom of it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TomJChicago Connect the dots:
1 Spy extracted from Russia is outed w/ MSM coverage
2 Schiff says DNI is withholding urgent whistleblower info
3 IG agrees- urgent
4 Barr helps cover
Guess only- Trump’s ppl planned to expose spy to Putin. Going public stopped the plan.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Atlas2112 As a former field agent, if the implications of this are fact[,] then the President of the United States and this administration are handing over government agents to Russia… while they are active… to be killed… @maddow @RepAdamSchiff @RepJerryNadler
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MissFuhrerious And this whistleblower knew Trump fed Dilanian the assets name & home address at the direction of Putin to put a target on his back? Cuz this is something HUGE going on here.
⋙⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 Why wouldn’t Trump tell Putin directly? The whistleblower could have told Dilanian to make public to compel WITSEC to act; though Dilanian said they figured out who it was from publicly available sources. (Actually, for all we know, the guy is dead.)

🐣 RT @kelly2277 [VentureCapital] 🚨Emergency🚨 @AdamSchiff subpoenaed DNI Maguire for not providing him w a whistleblowers complaint regarding the intel community. The DOJ- Barr won’t release it because of ‘privileged comms’ which must mean @realDonaldTrump is involved 😳 http://bit.ly/2kLdSme 📌 https://twitter.com/kelly2277/status/1172860031697653760?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 The whistleblower is going to have to come forward to Schiff. They will never release the report to HouseIntel. (This may be why Schiff released to letter to the public)
⋙ 🐣 RT @kelly2277 […] Timing: Smolenkov, the RU spy that said Putin gave a direct order to help Trump win the election was “relocated” the other day. Trump asked Barr to find out sources & methods that precipitated the investigation😳 http://cnn.com/ [link error]
#ImpeachTrumpNow
⋙ 🐣 RT @kelly2277 Everyone is curious why all of a sudden Smolenkov’s identity and address were ‘discovered.’ Did Trump and Barr find out about Smolenkov and share his location w Putin ¤ Did Trump want revenge on this dbl agent that had exposed his treason ¤ @RepAdamSchiff
⋙⋙ Newsweek: Russian Officials ‘Punished’ for Allowing Top CIA Spy in Kremlin to Escape Moscow, Actions Blasted As ‘Irresponsible’ http://bit.ly/2kcWTc6
⋙ 🐣 RT @kelly2277 Why does @realDonaldTrump hate Montenegro ”US contacts told the Montenegrins there were some people who had to board a vessel “without any pomp”, but gave no further details. Montenegro officials agreed without asking any questions” [⇊]
⋙⋙ TheGuardian: Oleg Smolenkov: alleged US spy who gave Russia the slip http://bit.ly/2kMov8d
// A Montenegro holiday reportedly provided cover for a defection that until this week had left little trace

NatRev, Andrew McCarthy: Why It’s Unlikely the McCabe Grand Jury Voted against Indictment http://bit.ly/2kmxGfC

⭕ 13 Sep 2019

WaPo, Anne Applebaum: How tragic that a Republican president is undermining economic and political freedom http://bit.ly/2kAqdK4 “I doubt Trump has heard of ‘autocratic capture.’ But it’s the policy he pursues.”

“State capture” is a form of systemic corruption in which private companies have improper influence on the state: They use their money to “buy” whole parts of the bureaucracy to ensure that laws and regulations fit their needs. It’s an expression the World Bank invented to describe some of the economies in the post-Soviet world.

“Autocratic capture” — a newer phrase invented by Ian Bassin, a lawyer and the director of the activist group Protect Democracy — is something like the opposite. It’s a form of systemic corruption in which politicians have improper influence on private companies. They use government power to put pressure on businessmen and to force them, or their employees, to toe a political line. …

Many Americans, but Republicans in particular, long opposed the nationalization of industry and state-controlled companies that are more common in Europe. Instead, they were proud of the American commitment to both economic and political freedom. How ironic, how tragic, that a Republican president is now undermining both.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: A big loss in court for Trump http://wapo.st/2kho9X7 On Friday, a Second Circuit appeals court revived a lawsuit filed by businesses that claim President Trump’s unconstitutional receipt of foreign emoluments negatively impacted their business.

🐣🔊RT @harrylitman The possible “no bill” in the Andrew McCabe prosecution would be huge. That calls for an immediate TALKING FEDS NOW! emergency episode with great former feds to unpack what happened and assess the damage to the DOJ. Fortunately we have one right here: http://bit.ly/McCastrophe

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ Yeah so this not good. Not just for them, but potentially for us: We share extensive intelligence with the Canadians 😳
⋙ 🐣 RT @MercedesGlobal #Breaking Global News has learned that the Director General of an intelligence unit at RCMP HQ has been arrested and charged under the secrets act involving espionage by foreign powers. Sources tell Global News this was an extensive national security investigation #cdnnatsec 📌 https://twitter.com/MercedesGlobal/status/1172540842944471043?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MercedesGlobal Global News can identify the senior RCMP member charged as Cameron Ortis. This is a very serious and rarely used charge #cdnnatsec

🐣 RT @Heidi_Cuda Another brilliant explainer on Russia’s aggression toward the West by author @KeirGiles. ¤ His first point: the language “hybrid warfare” is way too innocuous to describe the damage wrought by the relentless electronic and information attacks target nations are facing. Thread. 📌 https://twitter.com/Heidi_Cuda/status/1172702487473582080?s=20
⋙ FedAcadSecurityPol, Keir Giles: “Hybrid Threats”: What Can We Learn From Russia? (working paper) http://bit.ly/2kx8WRX
// “16/2019”

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti Wow. The Justice Department argues the House of Representatives should not have access to the results of a criminal investigation of the President. ¤ The House has the “sole power” to remove the President from office. No court will deny the House the ability to exercise its duty.
⋙ 🐣 RT @CNNPolitics BREAKING: Justice Department argues House lawmakers should not gain access to Mueller grand jury materials https://cnn.it/2UUEXky

🐣 RT @cbn2 So, according to Schiff’s letter, this whistleblower disclosure went to the IG on August 12 (Monday) … just 3 days after Deputy Director Sue Gordon resigned on August 9 (Friday), and two weeks after Coats’ resignation letter (July 28). Any connection?

🐣 RT @kylecheney HMMM: SCHIFF has issued a cryptic subpoena, claiming an intel community whistleblower’s complaint has been withheld from Congress — and could, perhaps, involve the president. 📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1172655862277689346?s=20
// 🚨 Alarming thread: Schiff memo; Coates etc resignation; leaks; outing CIA asset

💽 MSNBC, 11th Hour: Christopher Dickey: We’re seeing the death of democracy in America and Europe http://on.msnbc.com/2lTIOkg
// With populism on the rise in the U.S. and across Europe, veteran foreign journalist Christopher Dickey gives a stark warning.

WaPo, Randall Eliason: If the Andrew McCabe grand jury refused to indict, it’s a big deal http://bit.ly/2kzlp7L “If McCabe ultimately ends up being indicted anyway, it will further fuel suspicions that politics may be infecting the decisions of President Trump’s Justice Dept”

🐣 NO President has EVER been convicted in the Senate. Remember – Nixon resigned. Andrew Johnson was saved by one vote, but his powers were curtailed. Clinton was chastened but survived. Impeachment itself is a stain, a censure and a warning not to mess with the Constitution.

🐣 RT @Susan_Hennessey If the grand jury returned no true bill, that is an enormous black eye to DOJ. It is practically unheard of for a grand jury to refuse to indict and usually indicates dramatical prosecutorial overreach. It would be shocking if DOJ actually tried to submit after that.

WSJ: Andrew McCabe Hasn’t Been Indicted, a Sign That Case May Be in Jeopardy http://on.wsj.com/2keNxN2
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1172687959340015622?s=20/photo/1
// Lawyer for the former FBI official again asks prosecutors to drop the case

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the grand jury had been released Thursday with no immediate signs of an indictment.

The investigation centered on Mr. McCabe’s comments to FBI inspections division agents on May 9, 2017, and later interviews with the inspector general’s office. In those interviews, Mr. McCabe allegedly said he didn’t know who had told the Journal about a phone call he had with a senior Justice Department official in 2016 about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, even though he had authorized his lawyer to provide the information. Mr. McCabe has said he never deliberately misled investigators and cited the “chaos” of that day, which is when Mr. Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, making Mr. McCabe the bureau’s acting director.

Mr. McCabe sued the Justice Department last month, saying his termination was unlawful and part of a plot to remove law-enforcement officials deemed insufficiently loyal to Mr. Trump.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance An acting DNI is w/holding a complaint lodged by a whistleblower with the inspector gen’l for the intelligence community from House Intel Comm (which believes it concerns Trump or someone in his WH) in violation of rules worked out in the wake of Watergate
⋙ HouseIntelComm: Chairman Schiff Issues Subpoena for Whistleblower Complaint Being Unlawfully Withheld by Acting DNI from Intelligence Committees http://bit.ly/2kLSuNx

🐣 RT @SethAbramsom (SUMMARY) For the first time in history, someone outside the intel community has engaged in acts threatening national security; the intel community knows of it; whistleblower paperwork was properly filed; and Team Trump is illegally hiding it from Congress 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1172703173322203136?s=20

🐣 RT @kylecheney Rather than turn over the complaint as statute requires, Schiff claims DNI Maguire shared it with DOJ lawyers and claimed it might be privileged. ¤ Schiff says the confluence extraordinary maneuvers suggest it implicates someone senior in the admin.
⋙ Politico, Kyle Cheney: Schiff accuses top intel official of illegally withholding ‘urgent’ whistleblower complaint http://politi.co/2mfGQen
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @harrylitman That point is so true, and it’s never been fully documented or appreciate it. There is basically zero doubt that the agents’ anti-Hilary texts would swamp the anti-Trump ones like Strzok and Page’s in both number and animosity.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @steve_vladeck “The Committee can only conclude, based on this remarkable confluence of factors, that the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials. [Schiff letter:] http://bit.ly/2lT3HMM ¤ This is a Very. Big. Deal.
⋙ 🐣 RT @k8brannen According to @RepAdamSchiff, a whistleblower lodged an urgent complaint about wrongdoing within the Intelligence Community.
📌 https://twitter.com/K8brannen/status/1172661416987439110?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @k8brannen […] The delay raises “serious concerns that the whistleblower complaint is being withheld to protect the President or other Administration officials.”

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri BREAKING: In a historic step, Andrew McCabe, the former FBI official who led the Russia probe, and his team are going public with pressure – demanding answers from Trump’s DOJ on their reported attempts to bring charges against McCabe.
💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1172643577329045504?s=20/photo/1

≣ 🔆 This❗️⋙ HouseIntelCom (9/13): Letter from Chair Rep Adam Schiff to Acting DNI Joseph Maguire http://bit.ly/2lT3HMM on Whistleblower case: “Grave concerns”

TheHill: House Democrats seeking Sessions’s testimony in impeachment probe http://bit.ly/2mebKnj

🐣 RT @gregsargent Seems like a pretty clear invitation to make it a whole lot clearer that an impeachment investigation is underway.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylecheney BREAKING: DOJ has filed a 40-page brief arguing that the Judiciary Committee’s “impeachment investigation” really isn’t one. Cites Pelosi and Hoyer’s statements form *yesterday* as evidence. Story w/ @AndrewDesiderio TK
https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1172637615121719296?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ This is really bad for House Dems. DOJ has already seized on their inconsistent and head-spinning messaging on impeachment to argue that they should not be granted access to Mueller’s grand-jury files—bc the cornerstone of their argument is that they’re in an impeachment probe.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @AndrewDesiderio JUST IN: DOJ urges a federal judge to deny the House Judiciary Committee’s petition for Mueller’s grand jury materials. ¤ The filing cites Democrats’ muddled messaging this week on impeachment — including stories from me, @kyledcheney, @npfandos & others. ¤ Story TK https://twitter.com/AndrewDesiderio/status/1172636002705432578?s=20/photo/1

DailyBeast, Erin Banco: State IG Set to Recommend Discipline for Trump’s Top Iran Hand http://bit.ly/2lTDbT8
// Brian Hook is reportedly in the running for national security adviser, and any discipline for his role in politically motivated State Dept. firings would likely hurt his chances.

🐣 I think if McCabe has issues with operations in the FBI, it might have to do with the NY Field Office, not the FoxNews/Q lineup of villains ~ #Beans

🔆 This❗️⋙ WashingtonExaminer: DOJ inspector general completes investigation into alleged FISA abuse http://washex.am/2lNcNKW

💙 Lawfare, Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes: On the Mystery of the McCabe Grand Jury http://bit.ly/2lUDLA1 https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1172623168936337409?s=20/photo/1

Normally, when the Justice Department informs a criminal target that it is moving ahead with charges, particularly when the target is a high-profile one, the indictment follows immediately. Yet in this case, no indictment materialized. And that wasn’t because the grand jury didn’t meet.

According to the Post, rather, the grand jury was reconvened on Thursday—but no public charges against McCabe were filed. Now, McCabe’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich, has written to U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu, whose office is handling McCabe’s case, stating that the defense team has heard “rumors from reporters … that the grand jury considering charges against Mr. McCabe had declined to vote an indictment”—though the defense has “no independent knowledge of whether the reporting is accurate.” Bromwich added that “based on our discussion with” government lawyers, “it is clear that no indictment has been returned.”

The possibility of a criminal case against McCabe has smelled bad for a while. As one of us has spelled out in detail, this is not the kind of case that normally ends up as a criminal matter. While the Justice Department inspector general report that led to McCabe’s dismissal from the bureau is sharply critical of his conduct, indictments for false statements in internal Justice Department investigations, without some exacerbating factor, are exceedingly rare. This sort of misconduct is normally handled in internal disciplinary proceedings—and McCabe was already fired. Indeed, there’s nothing about the inspector general’s findings about McCabe that seem to make his case a likely candidate for a criminal disposition. What makes McCabe’s situation distinctive, rather, is the public campaign against him by the president of the United States, who has tweeted and spoken repeatedly about McCabe and publicly called for his prosecution.

💙💙 📔 OIG Report (2018): A Report of Investigation of Certain Allegations Relating to Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe [pdf] http://bit.ly/2mfvS8H 39p
// Feb 2018

🐣 RT @.MuellerSheWrote A message to the winner in 2020 @KamalaHarris @ewarren @BernieSanders @BetoORourke @CoryBooker @JoeBiden @AndrewYang @JulianCastro @amyklobuchar @PeteButtigieg
If you do not investigate Trump, Kavanugh, and Barr, you will be responsible for canceling America.

🐣 Several progressive news outlets are reporting that McCabe is not going to be indicted by the Grand Jury. We don’t know that. The finding might be delayed or under seal.They could also convene a new Grand Jury. Trump will not let this go. McCabe is key to his counter-narrative.

DailyBeast: Seth Rich Family’s Lawsuit Against Fox News Revived in Federal Court http://bit.ly/2lLyXNv

🐣 RT @harrylitman A Grand Jury’s refusal to return an indictment is something that happens maybe once every five years in a given office. If it occurred here, given the magnitude and visibility of the McCabe case, it is a stunning and humiliating rebuke for overreaching and playing politics.

💙 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson I doubt this is over. ¤ Barr has orders, and he’ll run McCabe to ground if it breaks every law, precedent, and DOJ procedure. ¤ They need a scalp for the Trump/Fox/QAnon crowd.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Just in: Andrew McCabe’s legal team says in a new letter to Jesse Liu that based on their conversations with the US Attorney’s office in DC yesterday, “it is clear that no indictment has been returned” against McCabe by the grand jury.
https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1172534641552699392?s=20/photo/1-2
⋙ ⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand Now, they’re asking whether the grand jury indeed declined to bring charges, and argue that if it did, “the justice manual compels you not to resubmit the case to the same or a different grand jury.”

Wonkette: Justice Department Will Get Andy McCabe, Or Die Tryin http://bit.ly/2kgckAl

The Washington Post was first to report that the DOJ intends to file a criminal indictment against the former deputy director of the FBI. The Justice Department’s Inspector General concluded that McCabe lied under oath about authorizing Lisa Page and another agent to speak to the Wall Street Journal about Hillary Clinton’s BUT HER EMAILS. McCabe contends that he never misled investigators intentionally and that he sought to revise his statements upon further review. But these arguments appear to have fallen on deaf ears, with line prosecutors at the DOJ and US Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu agreeing that McCabe should be charged.

Negotiations between McCabe’s lawyers and Deputy AG Jeffrey “The New Rod” Rosen ended yesterday, with the DOJ informing McCabe that “The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney’s Office’s decision in this matter.” Because we all know that the Trump administration cannot abide lying or leaking in any form!

So, should Andy McCabe prepare to be arrested imminently? ¤ Well, MAAAAAYBE.

The Post reports that the grand jury empaneled to hear the government’s case against McCabe had been on hiatus for months. Yesterday it reconvened, and then … nothing happened. It appears that no indictment, sealed or otherwise, has been filed, leading to widespread speculation that the jurors are unhappy with the government’s case. Prosecutors only need to convince 12 of 23 jurors to sign on the dotted line, and yet this ham sandwich remains un-indicted.

BuzzFeedNews, Zoe Tillman: An Appeals Court Revived Another Lawsuit Against Trump For Continuing To Profit From His Businesses http://bit.ly/2lPrkpr
// The 2nd Circuit found that hotel and restaurant owners could bring constitutional claims against Trump for refusing to divest from his companies.

⭕ 12 Sep 2019

💽 MSNBC, Rachel Maddow: Trump may have poisoned the case he’s pushing for against McCabe http://on.msnbc.com/2mbtjV2 Donald Trump’s advocacy for McCabe’s prosecution could undermine that very case: former DOJ spokesperson Matt Miller
// Matt Miller, former Justice Department spokesperson, talks with Rachel Maddow about the strange situation in which all indications being that former F.B.I. deputy director Andrew McCabe was to be indicted but no charges have been announced, and the likelihood that Donald Trump’s advocacy for McCabe’s prosecution could undermine that very case.

💽 MSNBC, RachelMaddow: DOJ pursuit of Trump vendetta against McCabe takes odd turn http://on.msnbc.com/2kLgtfZ Maddow looks at Donald Trump’s “persecution” of Andrew McCabe who opened the counterintelligence and obstruction of justice investigations into Trump
// Maddow looks at Donald Trump’s persecution of all of the officials involved in the investigation of Russia’s intrusion in the 2016 election in support of Trump, and the particularly hard time the Trump administration and Trump-supporting media have given former F.B.I. deputy director Andrew McCabe, who opened the counterintelligence and obstruction of justice investigations into Trump.

Alternet, Cody Fenwick: ‘Ugly and deeply disturbing’: Trump’s DOJ appears primed to indict ex-FBI chief Andrew McCabe http://bit.ly/2me3kMJ

TheHill: Toobin defends McCabe as DOJ moves toward charges http://bit.ly/2kIPmSI “McCabe’s record … impeccable; … one of the most honored and successful FBI agents of his generation”; criticized the president for going on a crusade to “disparage” McCabe.

Vox, Ian Millhiser: Justice Sotomayor warns the Supreme Court is doing “extraordinary” favors for Trump http://bit.ly/2lSe2s0
// The Trump administration thinks the court is its personal fixer. The court isn’t doing much to disabuse it of this idea.

TheGuardian: Russian police carry out mass raids against opposition activists http://bit.ly/2kkmmRa
// Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny says searches show ‘Putin is very angry’ after Moscow polls

NBCNews, Tom Steyer: Democratic leaders, stop dragging your feet and impeach Trump now http://nbcnews.to/2m7WYyn
// Nobody is above the law, and especially not the president. Proving that to Trump can’t wait until 2020.

TheAtlantic Russell Berman and Elaine Godfrey: The Question Democrats Have to Answer Before They Can Impeach http://bit.ly/2kcVToo
// The lawmakers who most want to oust President Trump don’t agree on what the party’s strongest case against him is.

WaPo: ‘You’re a prop in the back’: Advisers struggle to obey Trump’s Kafkaesque rules http://bit.ly/2ki8c2X

WaPo: Trump, facing another bipartisan rebuke, frees aid for Ukraine to battle Russian separatists http://bit.ly/2lSYFiZ

NYT: House Judiciary Committee Inches Toward Impeachment http://nyti.ms/2lNX5Pw

🐣 RT @RobReiner Today The House Judiciary Committee formally voted to launch an Impeachment investigation into the most criminally corrupt President in US history. The question isn’t will there be Articles of Impeachment. The question will be how many? Stay tuned.

CNN, Frida Ghitis: A President who threatens national security http://cnn.it/2mfTWZf

🐣 RT @atrupar TRUMP: “It’s a lot of fun to work with Donald Trump. And it’s very easy, actually, to work with me. You know why it’s easy? Because I make all the decisions — they don’t have to work.” 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1172273988699119616?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Justice Department authorized prosecutors to charge Andrew McCabe http://bit.ly/2mfThHf “But with the green light to proceed — and a grand jury summoned back after a months-long hiatus to consider the case — the day came and went with no public charges being filed.”

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Where are we on impeachment? http://bit.ly/2lLnr4S ‘the charges echo those against Richard M. Nixon: obstruction of justice, abuse of power and defiance of subpoenas, as well as violation of campaign finance law and allegations of self-enrichment’

🐣 RT @kurteichenwald If you know the reality of the @doj the limited inspector general report and other information released, the threatened indictment of Andrew McCabe is a terrifying step towards a system where politics dictates indictment. There has NEVER been a case like this. Abuse of power.

🐣 RT @DavidRothkopf Make no mistake, DoJ has it out for Andrew McCabe because he did his job, honored his oath and sought to find out the truth about Russia and Trump. They are prosecuting the good guys…which is what the bad guys do.

🐣 RT @PalmerReport For Donald Trump, putting Andrew McCabe on trial was supposed to be just a fantasy to sell his base. ¤ But now that McCabe is apparently going to be indicted after all, this will be a disaster for Trump. An actual trial, with discovery and so on? Trump might as well resign now.

🐣 RT @gregolear I have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to backfire spectacularly on Barr and Trump.
⋙ 🐣 RT @bradheath Federal prosecutors in Washington recommended that Andrew McCabe, the former second in command of the FBI and a frequent target of President Trump, be indicted. A top Justice Department official agreed, clearing the way for him to be charged.
📌 https://twitter.com/bradheath/status/1172205034790105088?s=20
⋙⋙ USAToday: Federal prosecutors recommend that Andrew McCabe, former FBI second-in-command, face criminal charge http://bit.ly/2kxHEuM

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri “Whether McCabe did anything wrong, or didn’t do anything wrong, Trump has basically put the case in a position where it is super politicized.” Fmr Watergate Prosecutor @nickakerman on reports of Trump’s DOJ authorizing charges against top FBI official 💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1172284928714838017?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @girlsreallyrule Andrew McCabe told Robert Mueller the extent to which Donald Trump went to demand that others assist him in obstructing justice and now Trump is having Barr issue the payback. Make no mistake.
⋙ NBCNews, Julia Ainsley: Andrew McCabe appeal to avoid criminal charges rejected https://tinyurl.com/y4jfqwen
// A DOJ watchdog said former FBI Deputy Director McCabe made unauthorized releases of information and then misled investigators about it.

🐣 RT @MimiRocah1 The things cited in this thread about the potential case against McCabe that should give the prosecutors very serious pause before indicting.
⋙ 🐣 RT @adamgoldmanNYT The rejection of Mr. McCabe’s appeal would typically foreshadow an impending indictment, but that has apparently not yet happened.
📌 https://twitter.com/adamgoldmanNYT/status/1172223402427506688?s=20
⋙⋙ NYT: Justice Dept. Rejects Andrew McCabe’s Bid to Avoid Charges http://nyti.ms/2lMWayQ ‘The case is politically fraught because of Trump’s attacks on Mr. McCabe, who was acting FBI director when the inquiry was opened into whether the president obstructed justice’
⋙ 🐣 RT @adamgoldmanNYT […] One prosecutor assigned to the case recently left, an unusual step so close to an indictment. Another departed for a private law firm and has expressed reservations about the merits of the case.
⋙ 🐣 RT @adamgoldmanNYT And one key witness testified that Mr. McCabe had no motive to lie because he was authorized as the F.B.I.’s deputy director to speak to the media, so he would not have had to hide any discussions with reporters.

TheHill: Trump administration releases $250M in military aid to Ukraine http://bit.ly/2keI8Wi

🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary .@HouseJudiciary is engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment. ¤ Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. ¤ Some call it an impeachment investigation. ¤ There is no legal difference between these terms.

🐣 RT @senrobportman I spoke with @RealDonaldTrump last night to ask him to release the security funds for #Ukraine, and I want to thank him for doing so. I strongly support @POTUS’ position that our European allies can, & must, do more to support #Ukraine. https://bit.ly/2k9WBCO 📌 https://twitter.com/senrobportman/status/1172209348011057153?s=20

🔆 This❗️⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote BREAKING: NYT Justice reporter says former FBI Acting Director McCabe has been advised he will be indicted.

TheHill: Russia raids scores of homes, offices of Putin critic’s supporters http://bit.ly/2ketdeJ

⭕ 11 Sep 2019

💽 MSNBC, AllInWithChris: Michael Cohen helping Manhattan District Attorney, NBC News report http://on.msnbc.com/2lKPBNm
// President Trump’s former personal lawyer is helping the Manhattan District Attorney with its investigation into Trump’s business.

DailyBeast, Amy Knight: Will the CIA’s Former Top Spy Fall Prey to Putin’s Murderous Mole Hunt? http://bit.ly/2kdJ6lD
// The Russian daily Kommersant on Tuesday published the name and biography of a man living under his own name with his wife and children near Washington, D.C.

NYT: ‘Trump Unplugged’: A President as His Own National Security Advisor http://nyti.ms/2m8uogk

LADailyNews, Molly Davis: Kamala Harris’ criminal justice reform plan can’t be trusted http://bit.ly/2kG45he “Harris has been caught lying for political gain before, so what’s stopping her from doing it again—especially if it could win her the Oval Office?”

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote And now Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell’s motivation becomes clear. She wants access to all the Mueller materials that Barr wouldn’t even give to congress so she can falsify an allegation that the Mueller’s team members were “creeps on a mission”. She doesn’t give a shit about Flynn
⋙ 🐣 RT @ZoeTillman It lists a set of 40 categories of materials that Flynn contends the government should have to turn over — it includes certain docs that directly reference Flynn, as well as things like unredacted copies of all of James Comey’s testimony before congressional committees https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman/status/1171863363116314624?s=20/photo/1-4

WaPo: NBC News wanted a part of the Russian spy story. So it did something really stupid. http://bit.ly/2kHAQdM

MotherJones, David Corn and Dan Friedman: House Democrats Are Examining Whether the Middleman in Trump’s Secret Moscow Deal Withheld Information http://bit.ly/2kwLbcL
// But Felix Sater says he has cooperated fully with the probe of Trump’s covert Russia venture.

DailyBeast, Amy Knight: Will the CIA’s Former Top Spy Fall Prey to Putin’s Murderous Mole Hunt? http://bit.ly/2ktZ3V8
// The Russian daily Kommersant on Tuesday published the name and biography of a man living under his own name with his wife and children near Washington, D.C.

⭕ 10 Sep 2019

Vox, Alex Ward: CIA reportedly removed top spy from Russia over fear of retaliation — and maybe Trump http://bit.ly/2lKPqlb

JustSecurity, Viola Geinger (9/10): Trump and Giuliani’s Quest for Fake Ukraine “Dirt” on Biden: An Explainer http://bit.ly/2lPw3XT

🐣 RT @politico John Bolton’s exit is a stark illustration of how President Trump has grown increasingly confident in his own judgment on national security
⋙ Politico, Eliana Johnson: Why Trump and Bolton parted ways http://politi.co/2lPtaq1
// The president says he fired his national security adviser. Bolton says he resigned. Either way, their conflict was deep — and irreconcilable.

🐣 RT @JoeNBC POTUS considered Bolton
*Insufficiently pro-Taliban
*Insufficiently pro-North Korea
*Insufficiently pro-Russia
*Insufficiently pro-Iranian
Trump wanted to play “Let’s Make A Deal” with those who hate America the most.
Bolton is not Monty Hall.

CNN: Chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security petitions Pompeo on delayed Russia sanctions http://cnn.it/2lQaDtJ Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA)

DailyBeast, Sam Stein: Top Dem Think Tank Scraps Talk of Killing Russia Project http://bit.ly/2k9gRVa //➔ live long and prosper, @moscow_project
// “People were looking for other jobs,” said one source familiar with the discussions. “And people on the project thought it was going to end.”

🐣 RT @thomaswright08 A thread on John Bolton. This was inevitable. For many months Trump wanted to pivot to striking deals w/ America’s enemies– Taliban, Iran, DPRK, even Russia– in the run up to the election. Pompeo was willing to accept this to shape it. Bolton was not & sought to sabotage it 1/9 📌 https://twitter.com/thomaswright08/status/1171512406134022144?s=20

❤️ NYT, Stanley Greenberg: The Republican Party Is Doomed http://nyti.ms/2m31hLk Stanley Greenberg is a Democratic pollster
// This is a transformational moment. Do the Democrats understand how to take advantage of it?

NYT Editorial: What John Bolton’s Ouster Says About Donald Trump http://nyti.ms/2m3MqAj
// No matter who advises this president, chaos will reign.

Newsweek, Naveed Jamali: I’m a Former U.S. Double Agent, and Trump Is Recklessly Endangering the Lives of America’s Spies http://bit.ly/2lKaZSV

YahooFinance, Rick Newman: Trump’s trade war has killed 300,000 jobs http://yahoo.it/2kFITYy

WaPo: The ‘rebel alliance’ teamed up to thwart Boris Johnson’s plans. Can it stay united to steer Brexit? http://wapo.st/2kdZC5h

WaPo, Harry Litman: The Justice Department’s outlandish and arrogant position on congressional subpoenas http://wapo.st/2m2ZGVQ

WaPo, Greg Sargent: What explains the Democrats’ impeachment muddle? http://wapo.st/2lFTbYZ

🐣 RT @dcexaminer [AOC:] “I want to see every Republican go on the record and knowingly vote against impeachment of this president, knowing his corruption, having it on the record. This is outrageous to protect the amount of lawlessness.” https://washex.am/34u5YQ6 💽 https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/1171549488256868353?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Donna Edwards: Time is running out. Impeach Trump. http://wapo.st/2kaQDSe

DailyBeast, Jeff Hauser: Trump’s Going to Manipulate the Government to Stay in Power http://bit.ly/2lNrpK0
// The president has given us ample signs that he will use the powers of the presidency in ways previously unimaginable. How come Democrats seem so relaxed about it?

⭕ 9 Sep 2019

Politico Mag, Jack Shafer: The Dynasty Ends With King Donald http://politi.co/2lPuA3Q
// There will be no President Ivanka. No President Jared. And certainly no President Donald Jr.

NYT, Paul Krugman: How Democracy Dies, American-Style http://nyti.ms/2kDBc59
// Sharpies, auto emissions and the weaponization of policy.

💙 TheAtlantic, McKay Coppins: The Heir http://bit.ly/2lKOMUQ
// Oct 2019 issue; Ivanka was always Trump’s favorite. But Don Jr. is emerging as his natural successor.

WaPo: Michael Flynn ordered to testify before Congress on Sept. 25 http://wapo.st/2kCdpTk

Vox, Andrew Prokop: The House Judiciary Committee will finally vote on an impeachment investigation this week http://bit.ly/2kszOT9 (Andrew Prokop’s explainers are always good)
// The vote will be about “procedures” for the investigation. Here’s the big picture.

TheHill, Alan Lichtman: Why impeachment of William Sulzer is solid precedent for Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2m0IlwK No American president has been impeached and removed from office, but several governors have …

WaPo, Amber Phillips: Congress is back, and an impeachment inquiry is here. Here’s what to expect. http://wapo.st/2k8yMvj

Alternet: Former GOP intel chair breaks down the irreparable harm Trump did by compromising US spy in Russia http://bit.ly/2k8yq7X former Rep Mike Rogers (R-MI)

CBSNews: Russian opposition barred from Moscow elections, but still finds “victory” in the results http://cbsn.ws/2m7Egai

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: U.S. Intelligence Had to Pull Spy From Russia Because Trump Is a Security Risk http://nym.ag/2ksxyeD

TheMoscowProject: Congress’s Critical Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2m9rurR

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Email evidence that McCabe DID inform Comey of an forthcoming WSJ story about Jill McCabe and @Comey acknowledged it. The IG left that detail out of the report. Are there emails confirming he told Comey about the 2nd WSJ story? Lack of candor, my ass.
⋙ DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Emails Show McCabe Scrambling to Handle Stories About Hillary Probe http://bit.ly/2m9jC9N
// The messages shared with The Daily Beast cast additional light on the circumstances that preceded McCabe’s firing from the FBI. ⋙ Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog group, obtained the emails through FOIA litigation and shared them with The Daily Beast. They are also available in the FBI’s FOIA vault. CREW’s litigation is ongoing. 

🐣 RT @HouseIntel BREAKING: House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs & Oversight Committees launch a wide-ranging investigation into reported efforts by Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and possibly others to pressure Ukraine to help the President’s reelection campaign:
⋙ HouseIntel Press Release: Three House Committees Launch Wide-Ranging Investigation into Trump-Giuliani Ukraine Scheme http://bit.ly/2kqOan2
// Engel, Schiff, and Cummings Demand Records about Efforts to Pressure Ukraine’s Government to Assist Trump’s Reelection Campaign

🐣 RT @McFaul For non-Russian speakers, this tweet is from Alexey Navalny declaring “Victory” in the Moscow elections yesterday. The results are indeed surprising. Putin’s ruling party is not very popular in Moscow. https://twitter.com/McFaul/status/1171100789609074689?s=20

WaPo, Greg Sargent: The push to impeach Trump just got more serious. But there’s a problem. http://wapo.st/2lFLfHc

NBCNews: House lays out its impeachment probe http://nbcnews.to/2m11UFd
// The House Judiciary Committee laid out the procedures on Monday of what it’s calling its ongoing “impeachment investigation” of President Donald Trump.

The resolution, should it pass, would make the following four changes to the committee rules governing hearings:

● It would allow the chairman to designate full committee or subcommittee hearings as part of the impeachment probe.
● It would allow staff to question witnesses for an additional hour, equally divided between the majority and minority.
● It would allow for secret grand jury material to be reviewed in closed executive session.
● It would allow for the president’s counsel to respond to information and testimony presented in committee in writing and give the chairman authority to invite the president’s counsel to review and respond in writing to executive session materials.

These procedures are expected to follow those the Judiciary Committee used in 1974 during the Nixon impeachment proceedings.

🐣 RT @CaroleCadwalla “You can read Lebedev’s takeover of the British press as a noble effort to save an industry in trouble. Or you can see it as a soft power play, designed in the best traditions of the KGB to weaken the enemy from inside,” @lukeharding1968 One or the other
⋙ TheGuardian, Luke Harding: Hunt the Banker: The Confessions of a Russian Ex-Oligarch by Alexander Lebedev – review http://bit.ly/2kaOpT1
// Lebedev refrains from criticising Russia’s elite in the story of his rise from the KGB to billionaire owner of London’s Evening Standard

CNN: Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017 http://cnn.it/2lGEdSu “driven, in part, by concerns that President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source”

💙💙 TheAtlantic, James Fallows: The End of the Roman Empire Wasn’t That Bad http://bit.ly/2kBO6k7
// Oct issue; Maybe the end of the American one won’t be either.

⭕ 8 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom Meanwhile, the country continues to stagger along, functionally operating without an executive branch. Unless by “executive branch” we mean a cabal of lawyers working with Mitch McConnell to appoint judges, hand out some favors to industry pals and some Russians. /1 📌 https://twitter.com/RadioFreeTom/status/1170813394984820736?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom In foreign policy, the entire diplomatic and national security apparatus reverse-engineers rationales for whatever the President blurts out at any given time, almost entirely based on what the Trump WH thinks moves the media and the polls, rather than the national interest. /2
⋙ 🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom All this, while the most powerful man in the world wrecks our alliances, starts a trade war, coddles our enemies, invites terrorists to Camp David, and then, when people question his grip on reality, responds by tweeting out cat memes while the rubes cheer. Good job, GOP. /3x
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @igt1960 Unfortunately, Trump is the least of our worries – he’s just the bully who kicked over the sandcastle. What’s deeply troubling is finding out our institutions, norms, and laws were so easily knocked over. Getting rid of Trump is a necessary start, but it won’t fix the foundation.

💙💙 Politico Mag, Rick Shenkman: The Shocking Paper Predicting the End of Democracy http://politi.co/2lCY991 “The irony is that more democracy—ushered in by social media and the Internet … —is what has unmoored our politics, and is leading us towards authoritarianism”
// Human brains aren’t built for self-rule, says Shawn Rosenberg. That’s more evident than ever.

Right-wing populist politicians have taken power or threatened to in Poland, Hungary, France, Britain, Italy, Brazil and the United States. As Rosenberg notes, “by some metrics, the right wing populist share of the popular vote in Europe overall has more than tripled from 4% in 1998 to approximately 13% in 2018.” In Germany, the right-wing populist vote increased even after the end of the Great Recession and after an influx of immigrants entering the country subsided. ¤ A brief three decades after some had heralded the “end of history” it’s possible that it’s democracy that’s nearing the end. … Taking democracy’s place, Rosenberg says, will be right-wing populist governments that offer voters simple answers to complicated questions. …

And therein lies the core of his argument: Democracy is hard work and requires a lot from those who participate in it. It requires people to respect those with different views from theirs and people who don’t look like them. It asks citizens to be able to sift through large amounts of information and process the good from the bad, the true from the false. It requires thoughtfulness, discipline and logic.

The irony is that more democracy—ushered in by social media and the Internet, where information flows more freely than ever before—is what has unmoored our politics, and is leading us towards authoritarianism. Rosenberg argues that the elites have traditionally prevented society from becoming a totally unfettered democracy; their “oligarchic ‘democratic’ authority” or “democratic control” has until now kept the authoritarian impulses of the populace in check.

And unlike democracy, which makes many demands, the populists make just one. They insist that people be loyal. Loyalty entails surrendering to the populist nationalist vision. But this is less a burden than an advantage. It’s easier to pledge allegiance to an authoritarian leader than to do the hard work of thinking for yourself demanded by democracy. …

There were less discomforting moments in Lisbon. The convention gave an award to George Marcus, one of the founders of the discipline, who has dedicated his career to the optimistic theory that human beings by nature readjust their ideas to match the world as it is and not as they’d like it to be—just as democracy requires.

But this isn’t a moment for optimism, is it? What is happening around the world shows that the far-right is on the march. And when it comes to the U.S., the problem might be larger than one man. Liberals have been praying for the end of the Trump presidency, but if Rosenberg is right, democracy will remain under threat no matter who is in power.

Hullabaloo, digby: The political argument for impeachment http://bit.ly/2lIZMC8 “[T]his isn’t about a couple of furtive blow jobs. The stakes in this are much, much more like Watergate.… Also, the monumental corruption. The sheer volume of impeachable offenses is enormous.”

Is it risky? Sure, anything can happen. But I have never understood this notion that Trump will gain power from being impeached. It’s ridiculous. I realize that a lot of the media have simply assumed that since Clinton was acquitted and remained popular that it’s a losing strategy. But this isn’t about a couple of furtive blow jobs. The stakes in this are much, much more like Watergate, even higher when you consider the act that this president welcomed the sabotage of his opponent’s election campaign by a foreign adversary and provably (and openly!) obstructed justice to cover it up. Also, the monumental corruption. The sheer volume of impeachable offenses is enormous.

I suppose a majority of the public may say that they realized this behavior is exactly what they yearn for in a president and they can’t wait for four more years after the congress lays it all out in one big case. If so, we have much, much bigger problems. And we might.

DailyBeast, Sam Brodey: Trump Raids Funds Meant to Deter Russia to Pay for His Wall http://bit.ly/2m7Rfsz //➔ Trump: Who’s gonna pay for the Wall? MAGAts: NATO‼️
// National security experts believe it could be a gut punch to U.S. diplomatic and security interests in a part of the world that’s been a sore spot for the president: Europe.

WaPo, Robert Samuelson: Political pressures rolled back globalization before. It can happen again. http://wapo.st/2kBZAEr “the trade war [with] China will lead to no good — with consequences that could … threaten the world’s geopolitical and economic stability.”

WaPo Editorial: A Russian passport. A Russian murder? http://wapo.st/2k6AQ6V “This is not the first time a Chechen rebel has been murdered abroad. Mr. Khangoshvili was reportedly on a Russian blacklist”

NYT: Democrats to Broaden Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump to Corruption Accusations http://nyti.ms/2lLnjC7 ‘Democrats plan to scrutinize role in hush payments to two women and reports that he dangled pardons to officials to break the law to implement his immigration policies’

NYT: Democrats Plan Vote to Formalize Procedures for Impeachment Investigation http://nyti.ms/2k4unta the investigation will now be primarily focused on whether to recommend articles of impeachment

🐣 RT @carlquintanilla JPMorgan has a new index — called the “Volfefe Index” — that measures Trump’s tweets and their impact on bond volatility. (1/x) 📌 https://twitter.com/carlquintanilla/status/1170693477576916992?s=20 ✛ /photo/1

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews The decision to invite Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Camp David was made a week ago in a meeting with Trump and national security officials. Trump told his team he would be better positioned to do the negotiating himself.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Pompeo said Sunday’s now-canceled meeting at Camp David was in the works “for a while” and defended Trump’s decision to invite Taliban leaders on US soil. Pompeo said the admin was seemingly close to a deal: ¤ “We have it in hand.”
⋙⋙ CNN: US still interested in Taliban peace deal, Pompeo says http://cnn.it/2lIXVNk

DailyBeast, Jonathan Alter: Yes, Democrats Should Impeach Trump — and Make Mitch McConnell Defend His Acquittal http://bit.ly/2m6eB1H
// The Senate will acquit the president if the House impeaches him, true. But that’s not a reason not to do it. It’s exactly why they should do it.

⭕ 7 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @JohnWDean Expect impeachment proceedings to become more focused. House must make his fitness for office a 2020 campaign issue! Other than tweet, play golf, and embarrass the USA what has he done? Corruption and abuses of power! He’s a disaster! Unfit for office…
⋙ 🐣 RT @voxdotcom The House Judiciary Committee plans to define its impeachment inquiry, bringing clarity to what it hopes to accomplish with its impeachment inquiry, and where it sees the investigation going.
⋙⋙ Vox: The House Judiciary Committee plans to finally define its impeachment inquiry http://bit.ly/2m7bxT1
// The committee will formalize its plans for its impeachment inquiry next week. http://bit.ly/

🐣 RT @McFaul What? TASS has these details but USG has not released them? This is very strange. And why does Russia need to be present at signing? We’re they fighting Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and I just missed that?
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s state media: ¤ Draft peace agreement between the Taliban and the Trump admin said that U.S. forces will leave five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days of signing the document, the U.S. & the Taliban insist that Russia be present at the possible signing of the agreements. https://twitter.com/McFaul/status/1170580543412613120?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Trump says he canceled secret meeting with Afghan president, Taliban at Camp David http://wapo.st/2ky7jmM

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 I absolutely do. Trump will implode. Barr has already over-played his constitutional hand in the recent DOJ court filing saying, in substance, Congress does not have the power to perform oversight of the executive branch. He’s trying to destroy accountability. He will fail.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ SchrbrM Glenn do you honestly think justice will prevail? That although it will be bruised we will get our country and democracy back? Sometimes I have faith and sometimes I wonder if it is lost..😐

🐣 RT @gregolear Harrowing passage from A Russian Diary, by the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was assassinated in 2006. https://twitter.com/gregolear/status/1170435426588463104?s=20/photo/1
// corruption of elections and the courts

🐣 RT @sandralhanlon The damage is massive. The State Department is gutted. Every department we depend on is weakened. We will be in cleanup mode for decades & that depends on us winning elections. Winning elections is all about the votes. & local races are vital!

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Trump moves us closer to dictatorship as our military rejects congressional oversight and shifts its allegiance to the #CommanderinCheat
https://twitter.com/FrankFigliuzzi1/status/1170359725713526784?s=20

WaPo: Judiciary panel to activate rare impeachment-time authorities, highlighting divide in chamber’s endgame http://wapo.st/2k8FscQ “It resembles something the Judiciary Committee did in 1973, two weeks after the ‘Saturday Night Massacre’”

The Judiciary resolution, which will be voted on Wednesday, is still being finalized. But those familiar with the resolution expect that it will allow panel staff to question witnesses for an additional hour during hearings. It would also allow the panel to discuss evidence in closed session, a move the panel wants to protect confidential information — potentially even grand jury material. 

The Judiciary Committee has appealed to a federal judge seeking to the underlying evidence and grand jury information that informed former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. Panel investigators believe those documents hold damaging evidence about Trump, but Attorney General William P. Barr has ignored a subpoena to turn over the information.

DailyBeast, Sam Brodey: House Democrats Set to Question Corey Lewandowski in Public http://bit.ly/2lJVASj
// Lewandowski will answer questions in an open hearing with the cameras rolling—making him the first Trump associate to do so before Jerry Nadler’s committee

DailyBeast, Rick Wilson: Donald Trump Enters the Eccentric Dictator Phase of His Presidency http://bit.ly/2k5b5E9
// Laws? Elections? In the Dear Leader universe, these are mere echoes of the weak, corrupt past. And the facts are whatever he says they are.

NYT, Jenni Russell: The ‘Political Anarchist’ Behind Britain’s Chaos http://nyti.ms/2lJIR1Z
// Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s Rasputin, is happy to watch the country blow up if he gets what he wants.

🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: House panel to take formal steps on impeachment probe next week http://cnn.it/2kzuE7A

⭕ 6 Sep 2019

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Donald Trump Was “Colluding” with Roger Stone on Four Different Direct Lines http://bit.ly/2kAACFt //➔ and lied about it on written answers to Mueller: Pre-trial documents from Stone case

NewYorker, Masha Gessen: A Summer of Unprecedented Brutality in Moscow http://bit.ly/2m4TOeV

🐣 RT @rigel2020 (3/24/2019) Sam Patten in 2015 started a company with Kilimnik and Nick Ayers… FYI.. Wendy does great Research @WendySiegelman
⋙ ◕ Medium, Wendy Siegelman (2018): Social Media and Influence Companies Related to the Trump Russia Story http://bit.ly/2tqNNKg
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1170250881071276032?s=20/photo/1
// 7/6/2018

🐣 💽 RT @JordanUhl Breaking now on CNN: The House will take formal steps on an impeachment probe for @realDonaldTrump next week https://twitter.com/JordanUhl/status/1170176002875637760?s=20/photo/1

TheHill, Kevin Fashola: How Russia uses racial divides to undermine American democracy http://bit.ly/2k4TDj0 Fashola is a visiting fellow w the Defending Democratic Institutions Project w the Center for Strategic & Intl Studies & a fellow w the Congress Black Caucus Foundation

TheAtlantic, Adam Serwer: Trump Is Winning His War on the FBI http://bit.ly/2lDOizL
// Within the bureau, there’s an asymmetry that even those who seek to play by the rules cannot ignore.

JustSecurity, Kate Brannon: Trump Cuts “Muscle” from European Defense to Fund Border Wall http://bit.ly/2lCFhqw

🐣 RT @JohnJHarwood the ways Trump is warping US government functions – examples surfacing today involved NOAA, the US military, and the Justice Department – increase impeachment pressure on Pelosi from within the House Democratic caucus

🐣 RT @TimInHonolulu I need to dig into facts but I think that it’s arguably DOD procurement fraud. I don’t think the civil liability can be washed away and may expose his properties to being seized in 2021 when he’s out of office. Will destroy a lot of military careers. That’s likely Putin’s plan.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand BREAKING: House Oversight is investigating whether US military expenditures have been propping up Trump Turnberry. A peculiar refueling stop in Glasgow by a US Air Force crew, who stayed overnight at the resort—there & back—tipped them off. Our exclusive:
⋙⋙ 💙💙 Politico, Natasha Bertrand and Bryan Bender: Air Force crew made an odd stop on a routine trip: Trump’s Scottish resort http://politi.co/2m25m2p re: @maddow
// Now the layover is part of a broader House inquiry into military spending at and around the Trump property.

NYT, Bret Stephens: How Vladimir Putin Falls http://nyti.ms/2kwLNip ‘Lyubov Sobol, 31, is a Moscow lawyer who has spent years pursuing a graft investigation of Putin intimate Yevgeny Prigozhin’
// A dictator meets an opponent he can’t co-opt, corrupt, calumniate, cow or coerce.

🐣 RT @AndreaChalup Ukraine has survived and sacrificed so much to become a democracy and now a refuge for Russian opposition activists. Trump and Guiliani pressuring Ukraine this way is unconscionable and serves the interests of the powerful mass-murdering dictatorship invading the country:
⋙ 🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 So much more! Russia started floating Ukraine interfering in US elections in 2016 to deflect from their actions. If Ukraine complies then Russia will blame Ukraine, Europe will not back them. If Ukraine doesn’t comply they risk losing funds necessary for protection.

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s state TV discusses Trump defunding more than $770 million in military projects designed to shore up European defense against Russia. ¤ Host Evgeny Popov says that could mean only one of two things: ¤ “Either Trump is ours, or we [Russia] are not a threat.”

🐣 RT @kyledcheney NEW: THe House Judiciary Committee has taken the first formal steps to broaden its impeachment probe to include questions about the president steering government business to his resorts — highlighted by his push to host the G7 at Doral. Story TK What the committee wants: https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1169969369427906561?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: How Joe Biden attracts both black voters and racially ‘resentful’ voters http://wapo.st/2m3IvUh

Reuters: Exclusive: U.S. congressional probe finds possible lapses in Deutsche Bank controls – sources http://reut.rs/2kwzXEY

CNN: Democrats widen impeachment probe as they confront roadblocks http://cnn.it/2m4IjUP

🔲 NYT The Weekly: The Blueprint: Russia’s Playbook for Disrupting Democracy [Trailer] http://nyti.ms/2kyqugr full episode available on FX and Hulu

⭕ 5 Sep 2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Trump tries to force Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election http://wapo.st/2lCfNcO
// added 11/2/2019
⇈ ⇊ ?
WaPo Editorial: Is Trump strong-arming Ukraine’s new president for political gain? http://wapo.st/2lCfNcO “He is attempting to force Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 US presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden”

Ukraine’s neophyte president, Volodymyr Zelensky, took a big step this week toward proving that he will be, as he promised, the most pro-reform president in Ukraine’s history. On Monday, he laid out a breathtakingly ambitious five-year plan including virtually every measure the International Monetary Fund and Western governments have urged on Ukraine in recent years, from land reform to the privatization of state companies to a cleansing of the judiciary.

That ought to be cause for celebration in Washington, where successive Democratic and Republican administrations have tried to draw Ukraine away from Vladi­mir Putin’s Russia and into the ranks of Western democracies, only to be frustrated by the fecklessness and corruption of the country’s political leaders. Yet Mr. Zelensky has so far failed to win the backing of President Trump. Not only has Mr. Trump refused to grant the Ukrainian leader a White House visit, but also he has suspended the delivery of $250 million in U.S. military aid to a country still fighting Russian aggression in its eastern provinces.

Some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin, who is dedicated to undermining Ukrainian democracy and independence. But we’re reliably told that the president has a second and more venal agenda: He is attempting to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Mr. Trump is not just soliciting Ukraine’s help with his presidential campaign; he is using U.S. military aid the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it.

LATimes, Virginia Heffernan: Count Rod Rosenstein, the guy who tapped Robert Mueller, among Trump’s toadies. Sad! http://lat.ms/2k3sfBY

💽 MSNBC, RachelMaddow: Trump relationship with Putin hampers NATO as Russia oversteps http://on.msnbc.com/2ky3T3o
// Rachel Maddow looks at what is known about the nuclear nature of a recent deadly explosion in Russia and notes reporting that while Russia’s conduct in the incident would be expected to elicit an international response, Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin undercuts NATO’s ability to do so.

KyivPost: Bloomberg: Putin says he offered to sell Trump Russia’s newest missiles http://bit.ly/2lxE97J //➔ the exploding ones? sure! throw in a couple of those exploding submarines, too!

⭕ 4 Sep 2019

🐣 They follow orders. The higher-ups can give their opinions but in the end, they follow orders, or in rare cases, resign, like Mattis. No, they’re not fascists, but the Commander-in-
Chief is unstable (putting it mildly). I’m glad my son’s deployment is over (for now).

🐣 At least Obama has a good excuse for pulling troops out of Iraq, which refused to sign a Status of Forces Agreement. Trump just wants out of Afghanistan and it’s up to the Military and State to make it look reasonable. Bad things will happen.

Newsweek, Tom O’Connor: Russia Warns of New U.S. Moves Against Venezuela, Where Military Goes on High Alert http://bit.ly/2lzIbwa

CNN, Elie Honig: In the mafia, there is a name for what Pence and Barr did http://cnn.it/2lTMEKf //➔ it’s called “kicking up” or “paying tribute” to the Boss (like in “Goodfellas”!)

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ CrookedMedia, Brian Beutler: Democrats Have Reached A Crossroads http://bit.ly/2k5zppu //➔ If Dems win, do they have it in them to hold Republicans to account?

Politico, Alexandra Panetta: Unlike U.S., Canada plans coordinated attack on foreign election interference http://politi.co/2lZKhWr
// Ahead of the October election, Canada finds itself on the front lines of the war on disinformation and hacking.

CNN: House panel subpoenas DHS for documents on reports Trump offered pardons related to immigration agenda http://cnn.it/2lDlU0o Judiciary Committee

🚫 TheAtlantic, Russell Berman: The Impeachment Summer That Wasn’t http://bit.ly/2kjdknw
// followed ONE rep; Despite impeachment efforts from progressive activists, most of the Democrats who flipped GOP seats in 2018 aren’t ready to go there.

🐣 RT @SethAbramson BREAKING NEWS: Man Working in Trump’s 2020 Re-election Intelligence Apparatus Identified As “Trollbot” By Twitter’s Top Bot-Detection Service; BotSentinel Reports That Ex-DoD Intel Officer Tony Shaffer “Exhibits Alarming Tweet Activity and Patterns That Match a Trollbot Account” https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1169368477859057664?s=20/photo/1

WashingtonFreeBeacon (rw): Andrew McCabe to Headline Dem Fundraiser in PA http://bit.ly/2lzBtXb ‘He plans to discuss his interactions with Donald Trump, the fallout and aftermath of James Comey’s firing, Russian meddling in the election, and the Mueller Investigation.’ Wow.
// Fired FBI official also recently joined CNN

TheHill, Joseph Dresen: The unraveling of Vladimir Putin http://bit.ly/2lDfrTa

The Trump/Nunes #TrumpRussia counter-narrative ⇉ WashingtonExaminer: Devin Nunes: Horowitz teeing up Comey for conspiracy charges http://washex.am/2kuZ1fB //➔ oranges🍊🍊🍊‼️

AP, Calvin Woodward: Analysis: Trump’s conservative critics are speaking a code http://bit.ly/2lZVyGg ‘DC’s partisan fever coexists with a more decorous tradition in some quarters — People such as Mattis, Robert Mueller and Chief Justice John Roberts are steeped in those ways’
// Washington’s well-known partisan fever coexists with a more decorous tradition in some quarters — of raising eyebrows instead of raising hell, of saying things in so many words without actually using the words. People such as Mattis, former special counsel Robert Mueller and Chief Justice John Roberts are steeped in those ways.

DailyKos, Joan McCarter: Russia, guns, aluminum, and Moscow Mitch http://bit.ly/2luMQQ1 “Thanks to the investigation … of the NRA and its ties to the Kremlin, we’ve discovered that McConnell really owes Putin and the oligarchs.”

WaPo, David Ignatius: Why America is losing the information war to Russia http://wapo.st/2k2BB0X “The cruel paradox of the Internet, once hailed as a liberating force, is that it empowers governments that control information and enfeebles those that let it run free”

Richard Stengel, a former Time editor who became the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy, writes that he was once an information “idealist.” He believed that in the marketplace of ideas, the truth would ultimately prevail. Not anymore.

“I think we all now know that this is a pipe dream,” writes Stengel in a disturbing memoir of his three years on the communications firing line. “Unfortunately, facts don’t come highlighted in yellow. A false sentence reads the same as a true one. It’s not enough to battle falsehood with truth; the truth does not always win.”

This book carries a blunt and frightening message: The United States is losing the fight for what Russians call the “information space.” The cruel paradox of the Internet, once hailed as a liberating force, is that it empowers governments that control information and enfeebles those that let it run free.

Stengel’s account, which will be published in October, is titled “Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation & What We Can Do About It.” Unfortunately, the first half of the subtitle is more convincing than the second. This is a tale of how government bureaucracy, inertia and, most of all, the inherent constraints of an open, democratic society made the United States so vulnerable to covert action via the Internet.

“Let’s face it, democracies are not very good at combating disinformation,” writes Stengel. Authoritarian governments, in contrast, “have gone from fearing the flow of information to exploiting it. They understand that the same tools that spread democracy can engineer its undoing.” …

Stengel frankly admits that the Obama administration was slow to react to Russia’s 2016 election manipulation. “The scale of Russian disinformation was beyond what we were capable of responding to,” he writes. He notes the eerie similarity between Russian covert propaganda and Donald Trump’s campaign themes.

But he’s skeptical that Russian intervention was decisive in 2016. “To this day, I’m not sure what impact it had,” he writes. “Russian messaging had a lot of reach but hardly any depth.” And he includes this memorable zinger: “By televising hundreds of hours of Trump’s campaign speeches, CNN did a whole lot more to elect him than Russia Today did.”

🐣 RT @tribelaw “The president is negating the Constitution’s most fundamental principle — the separation of powers. [He’s] assaulting . . . our power of the purse, and he’s undermining the oath of office he takes to protect and defend the Constitution and the American people.” @SpeakerPelosi

⭕ 3 Sep 2019

Salon, Richard Saletan: Trump, Not Comey, Is the Crook http://bit.ly/2k33oyg “Contrary to the president’s smear campaign, Comey isn’t being reprimanded for lying. He’s being reprimanded for the way he told the truth”
// The new DOJ report doesn’t say James Comey lied. It reprimands him for the way he exposed the president’s misconduct.

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 If one political party absolves the other of criminal wrongdoing after the power shifts in 2020, then I fear all hope of true government reform will be dead. Losing power should not serve as a bar to being held accountable for the crimes you committed while in power.

CommonDreams, Jake Johnson: ‘Naked Attack on the Free Press’: Trump Allies Reportedly Raising $2 Million for Campaign to Discredit Journalists http://bit.ly/2lxIfwq
// “Intimidating reporters to influence coverage is a tactic of dictators and has no place here,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley

🐣 RT @CheriJacobus Team Trump is now targeting me, targeting the celeb readers of “America Reads The Mueller Report” and are VERY nervous that the folks Putin and Parscale misinformed might learn what’s actually in The Mueller Report as we raise money to air this on local TV stations everywhere.
🐣 RT @CheriJacobus I mean, come on — the spokesthug for Trump’s evil spawn out of the blue started attacking one of the celeb readers for “America Reads The Mueller Report” — Team Trump is terrified that Americans will learn what the Report actually says and that Barr, Hannity, Rush lied to them
🐣 RT @CheriJacobus I’m just spitballin’ here, but do you think it’s possible that Arthur Schwartz, the spokesperson for Don Jr., is trying to silence me because if this? Not sure why they would fear direct excerpts from a government report with no political commentary, no spin — just the facts.

🐣 RT @CheriJacobus Arthur told me Cohen &Stone used to tweet for Trump after a certain hour at night (pre-campaign). When discussing that Trump used to keep a copy of a book of Hitler speeches at his bedside, Arthur told me Trump didn’t just read it, but made notes in the margins. @DonaldJTrumpJr https://twitter.com/CheriJacobus/status/1168914481398865927?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @CheriJacobus Arthur told me all about Henry Greenberg’s role in taking down @EliotSpitzer. So much for keeping confidences of even his boss/clients. Keep that in mind, @DonaldJTrumpJr. ⇇ ⇊ Schwartz is DonJr’s spokesperson
⋙ ⋙ 🐣 RT @ArthurSchwartz [Reply also to Rucker] ]Yes. I won’t disclose things that I’m told by other people in confidence. Unlike Rucker, who promises sources that he will keep things to himself and then burns them.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @EdSayGo [Reply also to @EliotSpitzer] When we were still “friends” he told me the Trump Admin was a “shitshow” and no one in the White House knew what they were doing. He also shared in those early days that KellyAnne Conway spent a lot of time crying at her desk. That was nice to hear…

🐣 RT @AshaRangappa_ Rod Rosenstein is really not that enigmatic or complicated. He is simply a weak character whose moral compass is outweighed by his instinct for self-preservation and need for belonging, and he’s therefore susceptible to stronger forces around him in service of those goals 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1168910610131836934?s=20
// also: 🐣 RT @harrylitman

WaPo, Stephanie Miller: Why is the Russian meddling in 2016 such a big secret? I’m not allowed to say. http://wapo.st/2kt3uzd Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat, represents Florida’s 7th Congressional District

🐣 RT @DavidCornDC Damn, the Trump Lying Machine™ just doesn’t stop. What he says about the IG report & the Mueller report isn’t true at all. These assertions have been disproven, discredited, and debunked. Yet he keeps spewing them. He’s a Prevaricating Parrot™ who believes his fans are suckers.
⋙ 🐣 RT @real Based on the IG Report, the whole Witch Hunt against me and my administration was a giant and illegal SCAM. The House of Representatives should now get back to work on drug prices, healthcare, infrastructure and all else. The Mueller Report showed No Collusion, No Obstruction!

DefenseNews: US lawmakers press Trump to release aid for Ukraine to fight Russia http://bit.ly/2khUCg3

MotherJones, David Corn: How to Stop Russia From Attacking and Influencing the 2020 Election http://bit.ly/2lulv0v
// A new report offers a roadmap. If only Trump gave a damn.
↥ ↧
💙💙📔 CAP: James Lamond and Talia Dessel: Democratic Resilience ~ A Comparative Review of Russian Interference in Democratic Elections and Lessons Learned for Securing Future Elections http://ampr.gs/2kqq2AE

🐣 RT @AndreaChalup Who helped prop-up the destructive far-right nationalist Bolsonaro?
Steve Bannon
Who does Bolsonaro’s younger son work with to organize far-right nationalists in Latin American countries?
Steve Bannon

🐣 RT @SenRobPortman As the co-chair of the Senate #Ukraine Caucus, I joined @SenatorShaheen & my fellow co-chair @SenatorDurbin, along w/ @SenBlumenthal & @SenRonJohnson in sending a letter to @MickMulvaneyOMB urging the admin to release $250M in authorized military security assistance for #Ukraine.

NYT, Michael Khodarkovsky: Putin’s Nightmare: The Ballot Box http://nyti.ms/2lXChFr
// On the eve of regional elections, the Kremlin has turned to tricks, threats and shows of force to get past the shadows of protests and falling approval ratings for Russia’s president.

🐣 RT @GovHowardDean This is the biggest danger of many from a trump presidency. He has no ability to defend American interests or democracy because of his crippling psychiatric disorders.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MarkHertling Today in international affairs:
-NKorea “advancing missile arsenal” (below)
-ISIS “regenerating” in Syria/Iraq
-China beating protesters
-Russians kill more in Donbas;VP indicates less support to Ukraine
-Taliban gain “upper hand” in Afghan negotiations
⋙⋙ NYT: North Korea Missile Tests, ‘Very Standard’ to Trump, Show Signs of Advancing Arsenal http://nyti.ms/2lXQl1J

Politico, Kyle Ferris and Sarah Ferris: Democrats’ messy impeachment push hits critical phase http://politi.co/2kfqqCh
// The window to impeach Trump is closing, and senior lawmakers are sending mixed messages.

DailyBeast, David Lurie: It’s Not Over: Trump Is Stalked by Investigations He Tried to Stonewall http://bit.ly/2k1AkY0
// Fall is here. Congress is back. The president isn’t out of trouble. A look at the post-Mueller probes.

⭕ 2 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @benjaminwittes Memo to @RodRosenstein: Stop. You’re embarrassing yourself.
🐣 RT @benjaminwittes Further memo to @RodRosenstein: If you have a story to tell, tell it. If you want to defend your tenure, by all means do so. But cut the faux-Delphic speaking in platitudes. Cut the advice about how to read. And stop cloaking yourself in the traditions of the department. It’s old
🐣 RT @benjaminwittes Further memo to @RodRosenstein: if you want to have a serious conversation about your time in office, to give your thoughts and reflections on it and answer questions about it, you are welcome any time and at any length as my guest on the Lawfare Podcast.

WaPo: Pence critical of Russia — days after Trump advocates inclusion at next G-7 summit http://wapo.st/2kcuSBH

🐣 RT @repcohen I’m pleased that 135 @HouseDemocrats support an impeachment inquiry, but we’re beyond the stage of simply having an inquiry. There’s no question he’s violated the #Constitution & committed innumerable impeachable offenses and he should be impeached. It’s time for action. 💽 https://twitter.com/RepCohen/status/1168545631394258944?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @kenvogel NEW FILING: Oleg DERIPASKA urges a judge to overturn sanctions against him because he says @USTreasury failed to establish that he acted as PUTIN’s agent, & also because Russia’s election interference & other activity doesn’t constitute a nat’l emergency. http://bit.ly/2lWZjwh

Newsweek, David Brennan: Russia Condemns U.S. ‘Provocation’ of Iran As ‘Absolutely Unacceptable’ As Nations Build Front Against Trump http://bit.ly/2kfsTfZ

DailyBeast, Anna Nemetsova and Christopher Dickey: The CAR Murders: A Critical Cold Case in the New Cold War Points to ‘Putin’s Chef’ Yevgeny Prigozhin http://bit.ly/2jUHr4f
// Evidence mounts that shows three Russian journalists investigating the mysterious Wagner mercenaries in Africa were set up by some of the same people who attacked U.S. elections.

🐣 RT @MarkHartling Russia knows it, Ukraine knows it, all of Europe and our other allies know it, and all Americans – except about 37% of us who don’t know enough to admit it – know it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s state TV says “Donald Trump lied to everyone, as we’ve been predicting,” when he used the excuse of watching a hurricane to avoid meeting the President of #Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “In reality, Trump was just casually golfing — what else was there for him to do?”

🐣 RT @McFaul Wow. Exactly what Putin wants to hear. (Deleting my earlier tweet that is was better to have Pence than Trump in Warsaw)
🐣 RT @kasparov63 I’d say Putin would be happy to hear this if Putin hadn’t written it.
🐣 RT @GovHowardDean Right on schedule with Putin’s agenda.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Pence delivers Trump’s message: The US has “carried the load” on #Ukraine, “but we believe it’s time for our European partners to step forward” and the U.S. still has “great concerns” about corruption in Ukraine. Translation: Say goodbye to U.S. aid
⋙⋙ Bloomberg: Time for Europe to Do More to Help Ukraine, U.S’s Pence Says http://bloom.bg/2lQW9da

⭕ 1 Sep 2019

🐣 RT @MSNBC “Is the IG really saying – and I think by the way that he is really saying – that if you are a law enforcement officer who’s a witness to potentially criminal activity, you got to shut up?” – Lawfare’s Ben Wittes on the DOJ report on James Comey
⋙ MSNBC, MTPDaily: IG report has ‘anger’ directed at Comey over memos http://on.msnbc.com/2jU2LqI
// 8/29/2019

HollywoodReporter: ‘Citizen K’ Director Sees Film of Putin’s Russia as “Cautionary Tale” for Trump’s America http://bit.ly/2jNzqOu
// ‘This is a cautionary tale for what’s happening in America right now,” says director Alex Gibney about his scalding portrait of the fall of dissident exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the power politics of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

🐣 RT @ARVershbow OK, but will @realDonaldTrump unblock the $250 billion in military aid, and stop defending #Putin’s ongoing aggression?
⋙ 🐣 RT @Reuters Pence says U.S. will continue to support Ukraine https://reut.rs/2ZBpCdh

NPR, Philip Ewing: What You Need To Know About Foreign Interference And The 2020 Election http://n.pr/2jPgzmc

⭕ 31 Aug 2019

NYT/Reuters: Poland Wants Sanctions Against Russia Over Crimea to Continue http://nyti.ms/32j5BpK

TheGuardian, Sabrina Siddiqui: Washington’s great mystery: Trump’s affinity for Putin and populists baffles experts http://bit.ly/2ZD7XlB
// President’s approach to foreign policy, from defending his Russian counterpart to supporting Bolsonaro after he rejected aid, has experts sounding alarms

⭕ 30 Aug 2019

TheTimes [UK]: Russia offers Iran sanctions-free oil route to Turkey and Syria http://bit.ly/2jRc2Qa

WaPo: Trump’s pardon offer may have violated federal bribery laws http://wapo.st/2lmVgst

🐣 RT @WaltShaub The appearance of a link between Trump’s threat to block aid to Ukraine and Trump’s attorney demanding that Ukraine investigate his political rival is a red alarm. If the link can be proven, it’s an impeachable abuse of power. It must be investigated.
⋙ CNN: Trump seriously considering blocking $250M in military aid to Ukraine http://cnn.it/2HC2aCD

WaPo, John Wagner: Trump says he should be ‘given our stolen time back’ after release of Comey report http://wapo.st/30Ot81p

Law&Crime: Harvard Law Prof Declares Trump Is Both a ‘Russian Asset and an Idiot’ http://bit.ly/2LbCHC3 “Of course he’s both,” Lawrence Tribe said. “Trump has been a Russian asset AND an idiot, how useful is unclear, from the beginning.”

NewCivilRightsMovement, David Badash: ‘We Have a Russian Asset Sitting in the Oval Office’ Says Former Senior DOJ Official http://bit.ly/30Os9OL Glenn Carle, a former CIA operative: “no question” in his mind that the president is behaving like “a spy for the Russians.”

LATimes, David Myers: Opinion: Trump’s silence on Kashmir sends a dangerous signal to the world’s autocratic leaders http://lat.ms/2HBhdMG Muslims “represent a constant irritant and threat to the Hindu nationalists of Modi’s BJP, who aspire to achieve ethnic purity in India”

TIME, Simon Shuster: Ukraine Is Struggling to Make Sense of Trump and Bolton’s Conflicting Messages on Russia http://bit.ly/2ZqRsKj

🐣 RT @brianklaas How is it possible that Trump being named as Individual-1—someone who literally directed a criminal conspiracy, a conspiracy that his lawyer is serving jail time for carrying out—has had no discernible consequences at all? It’s not contested. We have physical evidence, too.

🐣 RT @WarOnTheRocks Greenland is once again becoming a crucial issue on the American security agenda and it’s time for the U.S. to secure its position on the island. That doesn’t mean owning it.
⋙ WarOnTheRocks, Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen: Let’s (Not) Make a Deal: Geopolitics and Greenland http://bit.ly/2ZDU9Y0
// 8/28/2019

RollingStone, Ryan Bort: Why Is Trump Considering Blocking Military Aid to Ukraine? http://bit.ly/2NCsUqu
// We’re not saying it’s not because of Vladimir Putin

ForeignAffairs, Gideon Rose: Autocracy Now ~ Profiles of the New Strongmen http://fam.ag/30MBQ03
// Sep-Oct. 2019 issue

RFE/RL: Tensions Along Disputed Georgia-South Ossetia Boundary Lead To Calls For Restraint http://bit.ly/2Ld2NF1

Salon, Igor Derysh: After ignoring climate at G7, Trump gets back to work killing the planet http://bit.ly/34czABw
// Trump belittled the climate crisis in Biarritz. Now he’s back at his real job: Gutting regulations, smoochin’ Putin

Newsweek: Russian Official Praises Trump for Delaying Military Aid to Ukraine, Argues Americans Care About ‘Own Wellbeing,’ Not ‘Hegemonic Ambitions’ http://bit.ly/2PnZtuz

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Comey IG report exposes the hypocrisy of the ‘Russia hoax’ crowd http://wapo.st/2ZuJKif

Salon, Heather Digby Parton: James Comey has been cleared (mostly). But Republicans’ ruthless power grab continues http://bit.ly/32kHozw
// Former FBI director’s tangled saga is now over — but Republicans still yearn for hearings and show trials

🐣 RT @realDonaldTrump The disastrous IG Report on James Comey shows, in the strongest of terms, how unfairly I, and tens of millions of great people who support me, were treated. Our rights and liberties were illegally stripped away by this dishonest fool. We should be given our stolen time back?
🐣 RT @real The fact that James Comey was not prosecuted for the absolutely horrible things he did just shows how fair and reasonable Attorney General Bill Barr is. So many people and experts that I have watched and read would have taken an entirely different course. Comey got Lucky!
🐣 RT @real Bryan Dean Wright, former CIA Officer(Dem): “In 2016 we had a Coup. We have to take Comey and others to task. Makes no sense not to prosecute him. Comey got a book deal. I fear for my Country. He tried to kneecap our duly elected president, and there are no consequences.” @fox

🐣 RT @Comey And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me “going to jail” or being a “liar and a leaker”—ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.

🐣 RT @BarbMcQuade DOJ concluded no criminal charges against Comey, IG found policy violations. Like the man who breaks into a house to save his family from a storm, @Comey may have broken FBI rules, but his actions were justified. My thoughts at @NBCNews.
⋙ NBCNews, Barbara McQuade: Comey says the DOJ IG report vindicates him. Trump says he’s ‘horrible.’ So who’s right? http://nbcnews.to/2NGiXbu
// Reasonable minds can disagree about the official status of Comey’s memos. But even if the IG report is correct, it seems to miss the big picture.
🐣 RT @BarbMcQuade DOJ decision not to charge @Comey is no surprise. OIG report shows his memos were classified retroactively, negating any willful violation of the law at the time of disclosure. And no evidence of intent to harm the national security of the United States. Quite the opposite.

🐣 RT @sinanaral published our paper in @sciencemagazine on “Protecting Elections from Social Media Manipulation.”: https://bit.ly/2L7gMw9 1/
📌 [Thread:] https://twitter.com/sinanaral/status/1167142057724563456?s=20
⋙ ScienceMag, Sinan Aral and Dean Eckles (MIT): Protecting elections from social media manipulation http://bit.ly/32qdRV9

Summary: To what extent are democratic elections vulnerable to social media manipulation? The fractured state of research and evidence on this most important question facing democracy is reflected in the range of disagreement among experts. Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly called on the U.S. government to regulate election manipulation through social media. But we cannot manage what we do not measure. Without an organized research agenda that informs policy, democracies will remain vulnerable to foreign and domestic attacks. Thankfully, social media’s effects are, in our view, eminently measurable. Here, we advocate a research agenda for measuring social media manipulation of elections, highlight underutilized approaches to rigorous causal inference, and discuss political, legal, and ethical implications of undertaking such analysis. Consideration of this research agenda illuminates the need to overcome important trade-offs for public and corporate policy—for example, between election integrity and privacy. We have promising research tools, but they have not been applied to election manipulation, mainly because of a lack of access to data and lack of cooperation from the platforms (driven in part by public policy and political constraints).

🐣 RT @tribelaw .@JRubinBlogger says “We have no deus ex machina — not Mattis, not Mueller, not the 25th Amendment and not impeachment.” ¤ But why NOT impeachment? I refuse to accept that we are so constitutionally impotent. If we are, it’s our own doing.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger We have no deus ex machina — not Mattis, not Mueller, not the 25th Amendment and not impeachment. We have “only” our democracy. If we cannot collectively figure out how to motivate people to vote Trump out, we might be incapable of rational self-governance
⋙⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Jim Mattis’s dilemma is our problem http://wapo.st/2UmGXls
🐣 RT @tribelaw I know that as well as anyone, @JRubinBlogger. You know I do. But assuming impeachment is pointless or inevitably counterproductive unless it leads to removal — even though it’s clearly the right thing to do — is just too defeatist and morally compromising for me to live with.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JRubinBlogger we can impeach, we cannot remove absent a R morality and spine transplant
⋙⋙ 🐣 If Trump is not impeached – given his egregious high crimes and misdemeanors – no president will ever be impeached again. It would be the ultimate abdication of Congressional power. At the very least, a vigorous investigation must be well underway come Election Day.

WaPo: Trump says he should be ‘given our stolen time back’ after release of Comey report http://wapo.st/2ZCf39Z
// It was not immediately clear what Trump meant, but in May he shared a tweet by a supporter that said he should have two years added to his term as compensation for having endured the investigation of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

🐣 RT @KevinDrum “By definition, leaking is against government policy…But surely Comey’s act was more whistleblowing than leaking? It exposed clear wrongdoing on the president’s part. No classified information was put at risk and no investigations were compromised.”
⋙ MotherJones, Kevin Drum: Is James Comey a Leaker or a Whistleblower? http://bit.ly/2HzJAeo

WaPo: Longtime lobbyist and former congressman Vin Weber resigns from consulting firm http://wapo.st/2HALeMJ “Weber’s resignation is the latest turn in a drama that has engulfed several top Washington figures as a result of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.”
// As part of that probe, Mueller charged former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with lobbying violations related to work he did in Ukraine.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Fox News’s commendable — and necessary — rebuke of Trump’s demand for sycophancy http://wapo.st/2Lnm1X8

🐣 RT @WarOnTheRocks New Net Assessment with @profmarlowe, @ConsWahoo, and @capreble: Trade conflicts can be hard to win. Does the U.S. have a trade policy strategy for success? Or is the president simply venting frustration through erratic policies? What’s the endgame?
⋙ WarOnTheRocks: Does Trump’s Trade War Spell the End of the Global Order? http://bit.ly/ by Melanie Marlowe, Bryan McGratg and Christopher Preble

🐣 RT @BillKristol ”National conservatism is against the primacy of individual liberty….But what is national conservatism for? It is anti-immigration and anti-trade, along with pro-industrial policy and social homogenization, administered by a powerful central government.”
⋙ TheBulwark, Thomas Firey: Departing the Shining City http://bit.ly/2MSRuUD
// Michael Anton’s “Flight 93 Election” wasn’t just a call to oppose Hillary Clinton; it was a full-throated rejection of Goldwater–Reagan conservatism.

⭕ 29 Aug 2019

WaPo, Eric Wemple: Sean Hannity and John Solomon slimed James Comey. Will they admit it? http://wapo.st/2L6Dep0

🐣 RT @AlexandraChalup Russian Ambassador Antonov is on the sanctions list of Canada and the EU for his role in Russian troops invading Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. ¤ Putin’s war in Ukraine continues while Trump delays military aid to help Ukraine.
⋙ BusinessInsider: Meet Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s newest ambassador to the US http://bit.ly/2L7tE5k
// 8/21/2019

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The DOJ’s inspector general buries the real news http://wapo.st/2Zp0F5R

That finding is buried in the Trump-Barr cloud of spin, which looks at whether Comey, in attempting to document gross misconduct by the president of the United States, did not follow department procedure. Former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance tells me, “This debunks the myth from the right that Comey would be prosecuted for his actions. The conclusion of the report questions the ethics of his conduct, but not its legality.”

🐣 RT @Steven_Strauss Thread, anyone know why the OIG is not investigating this?
📌 https://twitter.com/Steven_Strauss/status/1167086140610007041?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @nycsouthpaw (2018) According to the testimony of the Attorney General in the IG report, nine days before the election she and the FBI Director discussed how a “deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton” by a cadre of senior NY FBI agents “has put us where we are today” w/r/t the Weiner laptop. https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1008032109183856640?s=20/photo/1

NYT/Reuters: Liberal U.S. House Democrat Urges Trump Impeachment Decision by Year-End http://nyti.ms/34azDxw Ro Khanna (D-CA) is vice chair of the 98-member Congressional Progressive Caucus

Slate, Dahlia Lithwick: Let’s Compare Donald Trump’s Week to the Impeachment Articles Brought Against Nixon, Clinton, and Johnson http://bit.ly/2L6RwpO
// Forget what you think “high crimes and misdemeanors” means and consider what we’ve impeached presidents for in the past.

🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 “A huge fire had broken out, and Horowitz is now castigating Comey for using a noncompliant fire extinguisher.” Can’t say it better than my friend @harrylitman does here.
⋙ WaPo, Harry Litman: James Comey helped save democracy when he wrote his memos http://wapo.st/2HySmJo

Slate, Jeremy Stahl: Inspector General Report Reveals Charges Against James Comey To Be Mind-Numbingly Stupid http://bit.ly/2HwePXS

🐣 RT @JoyceVanceWhite The only good thing to come out of this administration is @RandyRainbow. Do yourself a favor & stop whatever you’re doing to listen.
💽 https://twitter.com/JoyceWhiteVance/status/1167237204848103426?s=20/photo/1
⋙💙💙 🐣 RT @RandyRainbow 🎶Cheeto Christ…Cheeto Christ…He’s like if Jesus were pumpkin-spiced…🎶🙌 #CheetoChrist #StupidCzar #TheChosenOne
💽 https://twitter.com/RandyRainbow/status/1167130654561185792?s=20/photo/1

Politico: Mattis says he owes Trump silence, but won’t keep quiet ‘forever’ http://politi.co/34bKkzW

Politico: DOJ watchdog finds Comey violated policies with private memos about Trump http://politi.co/2NLpxgK by Josh Gerstein, Natasha Bertrand and Andrew Desiderio

🐣 RT @tribelaw The IG report clears Comey of leaking classified info and of lawbreaking but dumps on Comey for blowing the whistle on Trump’s obstruction of justice, reflecting the IG’s frankly bizarre moral compass. This analysis lays it out clearly and fairly
⋙ Lawfare, Benjamin Wittes: What that Comey Email Report Really Says http://bit.ly/349ZaqP

MSNBC, Hardball: Atlantic: Mattis found Trump to be of ‘limited cognitive ability, dubious behavior’ http://on.msnbc.com/32cdHAl
// Retired four-star General and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis is breaking his silence and sharing some of his thoughts on the Trump administration.

KyivPost, Askold Krushelnycky [UKR]: Trump is one big headache for Ukraine http://bit.ly/2MKmNRb

WaPo, Aaron Blake: New IG report rebukes Comey — and debunks Trump http://wapo.st/2ZCVnmc

WaPo, Judy Dempsey: The unfulfilled promise of the revolutions of 1989 http://wapo.st/2ZxtFn6 “The reunification of Europe after 1989 was one of the great achievements of the post-1945 era”

WashingtonExaminer: Graham open to putting Obama under oath in probe into Russia investigation origins http://washex.am/2Hv4Ul1 “I’d like to know what President Obama thought about the investigation” – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Kremlin-controlled media reacted to Trump’s G7 performance with laughter and mockery. ¤ One anchor rejoiced that “Trump is dancing to Putin’s tune,” while others were amused by the “maniacal persistence” with which Trump was lobbying for Russia.
🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Current and former spies are floored by President Donald Trump’s fervent defense of #Russia at this year’s #G7 summit in Biarritz, France. They say Trump’s performance suggests he’s either a ‘Russian asset’ or a ‘useful idiot’ for Putin
// Note: Julia Davis watches Russian media and translates it from Russian to English
⋙ BusinessInsider, Sonam Sheth: US spies say Trump’s G7 performance suggests he’s either a ‘Russian asset’ or a ‘useful idiot’ for Putin http://bit.ly/2LiRHgm

CNBC: US intel report says mysterious Russian explosion was triggered by recovery mission of nuclear-powered missile, not a test http://cnb.cx/2HxCN4V

🐣 RT @Comey And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me “going to jail” or being a “liar and a leaker”—ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.

🐣 RT @Comey DOJ IG “found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media.” I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a “sorry we lied about you” would be nice.

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri “Comey did not leak classified information. Period. Anything to the contrary, that you’re hearing, is a lie. I think there is a broader issue here, what was the FBI director to do when he thinks the President is corrupted and obstructing?” -@FrankFigliuzzi1 on DOJ’s findings 💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1167205572845940736?s=20/photo/1

🐣💽 RT @TheHill WATCH: Kremlin-backed TV runs mashup of Trump singing “Señorita” to Putin http://hill.cm/9b9wJ4a

🐣 RT @ABCPolitics James Mattis reflects on his resignation as defense secretary and warns against the current state of American politics: “When my concrete solutions and strategic advice, especially keeping faith with our allies, no longer resonated, it was time to resign”
⋙ ABCNews: ‘I did as well as I could for as long as I could’: Trump’s former defense secretary http://abcn.ws/30Hb1u9

TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg: The Man Who Couldn’t Take It Anymore http://bit.ly/2ZwWkNc
// Oct Issue; “I had no choice but to leave,” General James Mattis says of his decision to resign as President Trump’s secretary of defense.

DailyBeast, Molly Jong-Fast: The Five Distinct Levels of Donald Trump Ass-Kissing, Explained http://bit.ly/2ztTo5c
// They may all look the same to you, but in fact, there are subtle differences in the types of Trump brown-nosing. Dante helps explain it all.

DailyBeast, Barbara McQuade: Trump Is Joking When He Asks People to Break the Law? Tell That to the Russians. http://bit.ly/2Uc5Ik8
// The White House says the president wasn’t serious when he told subordinates it’s OK to commit crimes to ‘build the wall.’ Recent history shows someone may take him seriously.

⭕ 28 Aug 2019

NYMag, Adam Raymond: Mattis Criticizes American Isolationism, Divisiveness Without Using Trump’s Name http://nym.ag/2NDAHV1

MSNBC, KaryTur: Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issues a warning to the President http://on.msnbc.com/2Zzieem
// Four star general and NBC News military analyst Barry McCaffrey joins MSNBC’s Chris Jansing to discuss the former Defense Secretary’s excerpt from his forthcoming book, and what his warning could signal from a defense perspective.

NYT: Afghan Forces Still Unable to Counter Violence Alone, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Says http://nyti.ms/3495LBP “During a rare news conference at the Pentagon, Gen Joseph F Dunford Jr, the chairman of [JCS], said he was not ready to use terms like ‘withdrawal’…”

Newsweek: Donald Trump ‘Extremely Nervous’ About Tax Returns, Says Nixon’s White House Counsel: ‘There Could Be a Lot of Trouble’ http://bit.ly/2ZoJVvw
// John Dean

NationalInterest, Hunter DeRensis: How Russia and Iran Dominated the G7 Summit http://bit.ly/30Gx2cA
// Despite not being invited as official participants, Russia and Iran were front and center in the G7 summit discussions.

Brookings, John Hudak: Trump, the G7 and the perception of being Putin’s puppet http://brook.gs/2zyPbgp

💙💙 🔊 PlayerFM: Best Trump Russia Investigation Podcasts (2019) http://bit.ly/2MKbtV8 //➔ list is overly inclusive, but no omissions. My favorites: @MuellerSheWrote is very detailed and entertaining; The Asset tells the story best; Lawfare (selected episodes) is most professional

NewYorker, Adam Gopnik: Another Look at Impeachment, at the End of a Long Summer http://bit.ly/2L1l2gv “The principled case, now and then, is summed up in three words: Trump’s a crook.”

🐣 RT @SethAbramson Don’t underestimate how much of a sign of *total meltdown* it is that Trump is urging his 64 million Twitter followers to permanently abandon Fox News ¤ It’s a bridge he’s never crossed—and he’s crossing it hours after news broke that he secretly has Russian cosigners on his loans

ABCNews: Trump’s secretive intelligence advisory board takes shape with security pros and GOP donors http://abcn.ws/34alv7G

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Glenn Greenwald and David Frum Need to Stop Looking to the Mueller Report for FBI’s Counterintelligence Conclusions http://bit.ly/2L1BixV

💙💙 ModernDiplomacy, Louis René Beres [EU]: “Whisperings of the Irrational”: Core Origins of America’s Trump Decline http://bit.ly/2Pk6ddf

DailyBeast: Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) Tried to Make Nice With Russia. It Shut Him Out. http://bit.ly/2Ue9Gsg by Betsy Woodruff, Erin Banco and Sam Brodey
// Ron Johnson was working to set up talks with members of the Russian government before he was denied entry into the country.

🐣 RT @TheBeatWithAri .@AymanM: does Trump have any right to do anything through executive action on the topic of birthright citizenship?
Former Acting Solicitor General @neal_katyal: “Zero. Trump only talks about this when his poll numbers are going down and when he’s scared.” 💽 https://twitter.com/TheBeatWithAri/status/1166852669367050241?s=20/photo/1

Axios: House Judiciary Committee to investigate Trump’s 2020 G7 hosting plan http://bit.ly/2ZoaaSN

MMFA, Matt Gertz: The Trump campaign is crediting Hannity with launching a DOJ investigation into the Obama administration, and they’re probably right http://bit.ly/2L2hZos

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump deserves impeachment quite apart from the Mueller report http://wapo.st/2L1ag9P

Newsweek: Donald Trump Is ‘Playing Lapdog’ to Putin and Has ‘Consistently Refused to Take on Russia,’ Senator Jeff Merkley Says: ‘It’s Pretty Horrific’ http://bit.ly/32dqGBI

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Trump is withholding vital military aid to Ukraine, while his personal lawyer seeks help from the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent. ¤ It doesn’t take a stable genius to see the magnitude of this conflict. ¤ Or how destructive it is to our national security.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand BREAKING: Trump has asked his national security team to review funding for Ukraine, to ensure the money is being used “in the best interests” of the US. The funding has been put on hold. ¤ News comes days after Trump advocated for reinstating Russia to G7.
⋙⋙ Politico: Trump slow-walks Ukraine military aid meant to contain Russia http://politi.co/328t0do

NYT: The Trump Secrets Hiding Inside Deutsche Bank http://nyti.ms/2ZvRGL9
// The president’s longtime lender has extensive documents related to Mr. Trump’s personal and business finances. Here’s what they could reveal.

🐣 RT @Lawrence Last night I made an error in judgment by reporting an item about the president’s finances that didn’t go through our rigorous verification and standards process. I shouldn’t have reported it and I was wrong to discuss it on the air. I will address the issue on my show tonight.

Law&Crime: Potential Trump Lawsuit Against Lawrence O’Donnell Could ‘Backfire’ by Making Deutsche Bank Docs Part of Discovery http://bit.ly/2zunhm0

CNN: MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell says he was ‘wrong’ to report thinly-sourced Trump finances story http://cnn.it/2zDUZpj

CNN, Stephen Collinson: Trump’s invitation to Putin would abandon one of America’s greatest achievements http://cnn.it/2LaeZoI

TheHill: Trump lawyer demands MSNBC retract report alleging banking ties to Russian oligarchs http://bit.ly/2PjvB2I
Separately: https://twitter.com/kim/status/1166799324220551169?s=20/photo/1-2

The White House on Wednesday condemned the MSNBC report. ¤ “This is one of the reasons that a majority of Americans have lost trust in the media,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News media reporter Brian Flood. “Instead of applying ethics and standards to their reporting, journalists and left-wing outlets have weaponized the media, using it to attack and harass people with little to no regard for the truth.”

The details of O’Donnell’s report have not been verified by NBC News, according to a tweet by MSNBC “Morning Joe” producer Mike Del Moro.

⋙ 🐣 RT @MikeDelMoro Deutsche Bank is declining to comment on Lawrence O’Donnell’s reporting that Russian oligarch’s co-signed Trump’s loans. The information came from a single source who has not seen the bank records. NBC has not seen those records and has not yet been able to verify the reporting.

⭕ 27 Aug 2019

TheGuardian, Suketu Mehta: Immigration panic: how the west fell for manufactured rage http://bit.ly/2kaQ9vA
// From Trump to Orbán, politicians are winning votes by stoking age-old hatreds. Where does this fear of migrants come from?

WSJ: Democrats’ Emerging Tax Idea: Look Beyond Income, Target Wealth http://on.wsj.com/2Hwc0WC
// Lawmakers and 2020 candidates offer a range of options focused on capturing some of the trillions of dollars in assets belonging to the nation’s richest

🐣 RT @1_aurelius From the reaction Justice Kennedy has seems like #IndividualOne told him he needed #RussianCosigners to get the loan from #DeutscheBankLoans
💽 https://twitter.com/1_aurelius/status/1166654916267409408?s=20/photo/1
// Justice Kennedy stops dead in his tracks talking to Trump

WaPo: Putin’s power depends on his popularity. That makes him vulnerable. http://wapo.st/2MHeSEd
// Public opinion plays a bigger role in Russian politics than most people think

🐣 RT @SethAbramson I believe things are coming that can’t be ignored. ¤ By anyone.

🐣 RT @DavidKayeJ Single source report tonight by @Lawrence, when I was his opening guest, of Russian co-signers on Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans fits w/ what I’ve been saying for years. ¤ Judge should review loan docs in chambers. If true, judge can – and should – put in public record ASAP.

NBCNews (5/19): Deutsche Bank employees reportedly flagged suspicious transactions involving Trump and Kushner http://nbcnews.to/2ZnJbGT
// Tammy McFadden, a former Deutsche Bank employee, said she reviewed transactions that involved Kushner’s company and Russians in the summer of 2016.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance To say nothing of unprecedented national security issues, particularly if, as virtually all oligarchs, Trump’s guarantors work hand in hand with the Kremlin. This would explain all of the obvious we’ve seen in Trump’s interactions with Putin & Russia.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TimObrien If what @Lawrence has is on target, there are multiple Russian oligarchs who guaranteed Trump’s loans. At a minimum, that creates a bonfire of ethical — If not legal — issues for the White House:
💽 https://twitter.com/TimOBrien/status/1166554423516172293?s=20

WashingtonExaminer: Lawrence O’Donnell: Source says Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans http://washex.am/32b8DvY

🐣 RT @Comey Tonight, I told a former colleague that I’m tired of being a Trump critic. He responded with encouraging words that apply to all of us: “Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country.” He’s right. Keep speaking out.

🐣 RT @AnnKatz12 Tax expert David Cay Johnston warns Russian oligarchs may not be the only foreigners co-signing Trump’s loans
⋙ 💙 RawStory, Bob Brigham: Tax expert David Cay Johnston warns Russian oligarchs may not be the only foreigners co-signing Trump’s loans http://bit.ly/2PhFbmu
⋙⋙ 🐣 Johnston has seen Trump’s taxes. With the judges soon getting access to them, is he possibly putting this out there as Lawrence’s source as a warning that the truth is known and to prevent destruction of records or Barr intervening?

DailyMail: How Donald Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale went from family bankruptcy to splashing out millions on mansions, condos and luxury cars through his companies that get a hefty cut of the president’s $57M campaign contributions http://dailym.ai/2HuZxCJ

LawFare, Benjamin Wittes: Thoughts on the Impending Prosecution of Andrew McCabe http://bit.ly/2PgGemQ //➔ I’m still hoping someone stands up to Trump on this

In two meetings last week, Mr. McCabe’s lawyers met with the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, who is expected to be involved in the decision about whether to prosecute, and for more than an hour with the United States attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie K. Liu, according to a person familiar with the meetings. The person would not detail the discussions, but defense lawyers typically meet with top law enforcement officials to try to persuade them not to indict their client if they failed to get line prosecutors to drop the case.

Let me translate this paragraph for you: Such meetings generally take place when indictment is imminent; they happen when the government plans to bring charges. You should thus expect charges against McCabe to be forthcoming any day. And if such charges don’t happen, that doesn’t mean they weren’t planned but, rather, that some extrinsic event has intervened.

Why is that shocking? Because as best as I can tell, the facts available on the public record simply don’t support such charges. The only visible factor militating in favor of the Justice Department charging McCabe, in fact, is that the department has been on the receiving end of a sustained campaign by President Trump demanding McCabe’s scalp.

🐣💙 RT @GrantStern Deutsche Bank is a pit of law-breaking, corruption and Russian money laundering. ¤ A trusted source close to @SpeakerPelosi told me they might flip on Trump and try cutting a deal for themselves. ¤ Now, @Lawrence reports they’ve given Trump loans with Russian oligarch co-signers.

🚫 RawStory: Deutsche Bank has Trump’s taxes — and loan applications cosigned by Russian oligarchs: report http://bit.ly/2L1AjO8
// single source

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq View the Trump loan bombshell re Russian co-signers with serious skepticism for now. Single source, no other confirmation yet. Wait for more.

🐣 .@Lawrence better be pretty close to correct on this or @msnbc will take a real hit for promoting conspiracy theories. he stresses it’s a single source “close to Deutschebank”

🐣 RT @kurteichenwald Wait…. what?!? If true, @Lawrence just broke the biggest story in years.
⋙ 🐣💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ RT @Lawrence A source close to Deutsche Bank says Trump’s tax returns show he pays very little income tax and, more importantly, that his loans have Russian co-signers. ¤ If true, that explains every kind word Trump has ever said about Russia and Putin.
⋙ on his show: “Russian oligarchs close to Putin”

🐣 .@Lawrence just said he has a source who says Trump’s loans from Deutschebank are co-signed by … Russian oligarchs. As @MuellerSheWrote might say ~ “beans”

Politico: Deutsche Bank all but confirms it possesses some of Trump’s tax returns http://politi.co/2MIXwa6

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s subservience to Putin on display http://wapo.st/2PiqvUq

WaPo: Trump advocates for Putin at G-7 summit in move to soften Russia’s pariah status http://wapo.st/2MDQPGo

WaPo, David Von Drehle: What does Trump see in Putin anyway? http://wapo.st/30DFbhT

Newsweek: MSNBC Host: ‘Staggering’ to See Trump Attack Obama to Defend Russia’s Putin ‘On the World Stage’ http://bit.ly/30Ee2f1

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough expressed shock at seeing President Donald Trump attack former President Barack Obama during a press conference at the Group of Seven (G-7) Summit on Monday

Politico, Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett: Senate tangles with Russia after Trump’s overtures to Putin http://politi.co/32bTgDx ‘as the Kremlin bars senators in both parties from visiting, the Democrats urge Trump to keep Russia out of the G-7’

🐣 RT @rice_ricejj Klobuchar had a bill enacted into law today (Family Farmer Relief Act) & one signed in June giving her a new grand total of 35. Im voting for Amy because of her demonstrable ability to get things done,&her leadership capability & her sound approach to solving nations problems

PolitiFact: Donald Trump misleads on Russia, Crimea, Obama and the G-8 http://bit.ly/2ZvFA8J MOSTLY FALSE

⭕ 26 Aug 2019

WhatsNewInPublishing: Behind the scenes of ground-breaking multimedia storytelling: Insider’s illustrated Mueller Report http://bit.ly/323VBAD

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Trump’s bewildering history lesson on Obama and Crimea http://wapo.st/2ZxMMBn “It could have been stopped, it could have been stopped with the right, whatever.” – POTUS

WaPo: Trump advocates for Putin at G-7 summit in move to soften Russia’s pariah status http://wapo.st/2MDQPGo

Mediaite: Shepard Smith Calls Out Trump For Saying Russia Was Bounced From G8 Because Putin Outsmarted Obama: ‘Not True’ http://bit.ly/30D0tfN

💽 MSNBC, MTP Daily: Full Connolly: Impeachment can no longer ‘be ignored’ http://on.msnbc.com/2HqCYic
// Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) joins MTP Daily to discuss the impeachment debate as support grows amongst Democrats.

DailyBeast, Will Sommer: Rudy Giuliani Jumps on the Seth Rich Conspiracy Bandwagon http://bit.ly/2Hs3XKt //➔ debunked in the Mueller Report
// Trump’s lawyer says he’s just pointing to “nagging coincidences,” even though Rich’s family has begged people to stop speculating about their son’s death.

NYT: Prosecutors Near Decision on Whether to Seek an Andrew McCabe Indictment http://nyti.ms/2U8aijl

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Trump Went to the Mat for Putin at the G-7 Summit http://nym.ag/2ZfHX0e

🐣 RT @HouseJudiciary [Dems] NEW: Today @HouseJudiciary filed a motion to expedite the ruling in the lawsuit to compel former WH Counsel Don McGahn to testify as part of the impeachment investigation into obstruction, corruption + abuse of power by President Trump and his associates. http://bit.ly/2NtwOBY
https://twitter.com/HouseJudiciary/status/1166161884988477441?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog “Barium-139, barium-140, strontium-91 and lanthanum-140 were found in a cloud of radioactive gases that drifted over the city of Severodvinsk following the Aug. 8 explosion on a nearby offshore platform in the White Sea…”
⋙ Bloomberg: Russia Says Nuclear Isotopes Found After Blast That Killed Five http://bloom.bg/2KWwvxE
● Air tests showed ‘short-lived’ isotopes in radioactive cloud
● Radiation situation stabilized, meteorological service says

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona: Trump at G7 Blames Everybody but Putin for Crimea Annexation http://bit.ly/2PdKqDO
// “President Putin outsmarted President Obama,” Trump declared on Monday while repeating Russian propaganda and blaming his predecessor.

🐣💙 RT @MuellerSheWrote BREAKING: Will Barr force DoJ prosecutors to indict McCabe? According to the NYT, two meetings last week indicate that the DoJ might be thinking about indicting Andrew McCabe. Do you want to know what *I* think happened? Join me for a super space beans thread! /1 📌 https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1166099245004312576?s=20

WaPo: Justice Dept. could be nearing decision on whether to charge Andrew McCabe http://wapo.st/30D9TYq

NYT: Rule 1 at the G7 Meeting? Don’t Get You-Know-Who Mad http://nyti.ms/2ZkfNkC

🐣 RT @moscow_project Trump continues the hard work of advancing Russia’s interests, using Putin’s own rhetoric to minimize Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and argue that Russia shouldn’t face any consequences.
⋙ MoscowProject (Jul): Putin’s Payout: 12 Ways Trump has Supported Putin’s Foreign Policy Agenda http://bit.ly/30BAsxl
// 7/12/2019
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Asked to explain why he supports readmitting Russia to the G8, Trump quickly pivots to attacking Obama. He then says “a certain section of Ukraine … was sort of taken away from President Obama.” He doesn’t have a single negative thing to say about Russia’s illegal invasion. 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1166009322637340672?s=20/photo/1 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1166009322637340672?s=20

⭕ 25 Aug 2019

🔊 Listen to Bonus Episode: “Felix Sater Unbound” from Skullduggery in Podcasts. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/skullduggery/id1333621434?i=1000447688142

DailyBeast, Clive Irving: The Russians Have Been Attacking Us For 100 Years but ‘Moscow Mitch’ Still Doesn’t Get It. http://bit.ly/2ZeB3bu
// Two Vladimirs – Lenin and Putin – have given a master class in how to incite violence and chaos in Western democracies. We are just the latest victims.

Newsweek: Trump Says It’s ‘Certainly Possible’ He’d Invite Russia’s Putin to G-7 Next Year After Europe Insists It’d Never Agree http://bit.ly/2ZrNccq

VoiceOfAmerica: Trump at Odds with G-7 Leaders on Trade, Iran, North Korea, Russia http://bit.ly/2U1JXU0

TheGuardian: G7: Trump’s demands for Russia’s readmission cause row in Biarritz http://bit.ly/2ZfU9hJ
// US president argues Putin should be included in discussions on Iran, Syria and North Korea

💙💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ Harper’s, Kevin Baker (Sep Issue): The Deep State of Dementia http://bit.ly/2zpxgIZ //➔ in which 50 years of political disinformation coups flash before very our eyes; masterfully written and alarming
⋙ See under Entire Articles: Harpers Dementia/Disinfo Sep 2019

PostJournal, Rolland Kidder: Hearings Were Mueller Being Mueller http://bit.ly/2ZoJxMK “He sounded like he was back at Paris Island in the Marine Corps. He didn’t want to go to Capitol Hill, but when summoned by subpoena, he obeyed orders and went.”

⭕ 24 Aug 2019

YahooNews, Michael Isikoff: Felix Sater: Trump wanted to reveal my secret CIA, FBI work during the campaign http://yhoo.it/2U37UKI

🐣 RT @deepa_shivaram KAMALA HARRIS spoke on identity politics tonight at the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People Gala. She says the term is the new way of saying “race card” ¤ She adds when talking about civil rights issues, it’s brought as a way meant to marginalize, say hush or “shut up”
https://twitter.com/deepa_shivaram/status/1165441490597945344?s=20/photo/1

TimesArgus: Trumpilton: An American Musical Parody ~ September 27-29, 2019, Poultney VT http://bit.ly/2Zh0OYL //➔ I just KNEW there’d be a musical!
● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1165538103022497794?s=20/photo/1

Klami/Holmes Productions presents Trumpilton: An American Musical Parody, a light-hearted, tastefully irreverent musical parody, which takes a look at Trump’s life and his presidency.  Improv actor and stand-up comic Michael Kingsbury, as Donald Trump, plays against musical theatre talents Lina Cloffe, Danielle Houston, and Christopher Daniel Restino.  This parody features Broadway show tunes, past and present, as sung by a host of characters, including Hillary Clinton, Stormy Daniels, Robert Mueller, Bernie Sanders, Sarah Huckabee Sanders–to name just a few–and of course “you know who” himself. ¤ Come join us!  May the political catharsis be with you!

BusinessInsider, Brett Bruen: It’s still way too easy for countries to meddle in America’s elections. Here’s how it will happen in 2020. http://bit.ly/2KSDkjM

TheHill, Adam Levin: Prediction: 2020 election is set to be hacked, if we don’t act fast http://bit.ly/323IShj ⋙ from the DefCon annual hackers’ conference

🐣 RT @BillKristol It feels like a global inflection point. Authoritarianism has unfortunately been gaining ground in free and democratic nations. But autocracies like China, Russia, Venezuela and Iran face real challenges from within. The 2020 election is key not only for the U.S. but the world.

EU: Remarks by EU President Donald Tusk before the G7 summit in Biarritz, France http://bit.ly/2L4OlgU ⋙ Truly tells of the damage Trump has done to the entire world (without ever mentioning him directly)
// liberal democracy, climate (Amazon), trade wars, nuclear proliferation (Iran), inviting Russia back (emphatic no), female empowerment (sexual violence), Brexit

… The last years have shown that it is increasingly difficult for all of us to find common language when the world needs our cooperation more, not less.This may be the last moment to restore our political community. …

1. The defence of liberal democracy, rule of law and human rights, in particular in the context of the revival of nationalisms and new forms of authoritarianism, as well as threats coming from the development of digital technologies (meddling in elections, fake news, using artificial intelligence against citizens and their freedoms).

2. Climate crisis and the protection of natural environment, including forests and oceans. The burning Amazon rainforest has become another depressing sign of our times. … [I]t is hard to imagine a harmonious process of ratification by the European countries as long as the Brazilian government allows for the destruction of the green lungs of Planet Earth. This is about our “to be or not to be.” …

3. Putting a stop to trade wars. Trade deals and the reform of WTO are better than trade wars.Trade wars will lead to recession, while trade deals will boost the economy, not to mention the fact that trade wars among G7 members will lead to eroding the already weakened trust among us.

4. The threat of nuclear proliferation. The rejection of the nuclear deal with Iran by the US hasn’t brought about any positive results, and the divisions in the Western world when it comes to this issue, play into the hands of the Iranian Ayatollahs, as well as Russia and China.

5. Russia’s policy towards its neighbours, especially its aggression against Ukraine. One year ago, in Canada, President Trump suggested reinviting Russia to G7, stating openly that Crimea’s annexation by Russia was partially justified. And that we should accept this fact. Under no condition can we agree with this logic. When it comes to speculations around inviting Russia to the table I would like to say this. First: the reasons why Russia was disinvited in 2014, are still valid. What is more, there are new reasons, such as the Russian provocation on the Azov Sea. Second: when Russia was invited to G7 for the first time, it was believed that it would pursue the path of liberal democracy, rule of law, and human rights. Is there anyone among us, who can say with full conviction, not out of business calculation, that Russia is on that path? …

6. … Last but not least, the EU will contribute an initial 1 million euros to the “International Fund for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence” that Nadia Murad and Doctor Denis Mukwege, winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, will present to G7 leaders tomorrow.

… And I still hope that PM Johnson will not like to go down in history as Mr No Deal. We are willing to listen to ideas that are operational, realistic, and acceptable to all Member States including Ireland, if and when the UK government is ready to put them on the table.

🐣 RT @DefendDemocracy #EU🇪🇺 at #G7Summit:
Urgent & essential to build unity on:
1 #DefendingDemocracy, rule of law & human rights
2 Climate crisis & environment
3 Stop trade wars
4 Nuclear proliferation
5 More reasons for Russia out of G7; instead invite Ukraine
#G7Biarritz http://bit.ly/2L4OlgU
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @WordswithSteph G7 News: Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, announces that “under no condition” will the EU agree to Trump’s suggestion to invite Russia back into the G7. In fact, Ukraine may be invited as a guest to next year’s summit. #G7Biarritz #G7Summit 💽 https://twitter.com/thomaswright08/status/1165308677919846400?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @TheHill JUST IN: EU’s Tusk breaks with Trump, says “under no condition” should Russia be allowed back into G-7 http://hill.cm/haT4eoS

🐣 RT @_EthanGrey Impeaching Trump also doesn’t just weaken him and the GOP, it makes Democrats look consistent. We describe him as a lawless president who has committed obstruction of justice and welcomes foreign influence in our elections. Voters will ask “Then why haven’t you impeached him?”

🐣 RT @tribelaw An impeached Trump who escapes conviction in the Senate will be weaker in 2020 than a Trump who can brag that not even a Democratically controlled House could impeach him. And GOP Senators who give him a pass will be easier to defeat than ones who’re spared any need to be counted

🔆 This❗️⋙ Lawfare, Erica Newland: How to Protect Elections—From the President http://bit.ly/2Zt47HP Erica Newland is Counsel at Protect Democracy
↥ ↧
≣ ProtectDemocracy (Jul): Report: Play Fair ~ How to Prevent a Corrupt President from Tipping the Playing Field in His Own Election [pdf] http://bit.ly/32bkfiX 28p

BrookingsRegister, Byron York: What we need to know from the Horowitz report http://bit.ly/2U5Lk4e

⭕ 23 Aug 2019

YahooNews, Alexander Nazaryan: The long road to redemption for Felix Sater, Trump’s man in Moscow http://yhoo.it/329f2rP

IBA, Michael Goldhaber: American presidency: As Special Counsel, Robert Mueller more than fulfilled DoJ mission http://bit.ly/2KRlzkR Goldfarber is the US Correspondent for the International Bar Association

DailyBeast, Hanna Trudo:The Billionaire About to Make Impeachment Go Prime-Time http://bit.ly/2KQLERh
// Tom Steyer has spent years making the case for impeachment and now he’s closer than ever to doing so on the debate stage.

ProvidenceJournal: Inside Story: Impeachment scholar and historian puts the summer of 2019 in perspective http://bit.ly/33WWqwI Frank O. Bowman III outlines arguments for and against an inquiry into President Trump.

Bloomberg, Jonathan Bernstein: Does Pelosi Have a Plan for Impeachment? http://bloom.bg/2Hpu2d1
// The House speaker’s hesitation keeps the narrative in Democrats’ hands, but her strategy might not work out in her favor.

TheHill: Pelosi asks Democrats for ‘leverage’ on impeachment http://bit.ly/2TXNRxg

💙 DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff: Revealed: Felix Sater Did Extensive Work for U.S. Intelligence http://bit.ly/33RUl5r
// A newly unsealed letter from federal prosecutors shows the businessman supplied information on the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and American mobsters.

BuzzFeedNews, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier: These New Documents Confirm Trump Associate Felix Sater Helped Track Osama Bin Laden http://bit.ly/2Hoi57l
// Documents newly released by a federal judge confirm BuzzFeed News’ reporting that Felix Sater was a key US asset in major terror and Mafia cases.

CNN: Former officials deny ex-CEO’s claim FBI asked him to pursue Maria Butina http://cnn.it/33UKVWK

🚫 🐣 XT @SethAbramson (THREAD) It’s time to separate fact from fiction in the case of Patrick Byrne, Maria Butina, Trump Jr. and a cadre of FBI agents and leaders. This is a still-developing story—but problematic reporting and Byrne’s bad framing are muddling events. I hope you’ll read on and retweet. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1164909216357933057?s=20
// I never know how seriously to take Seth’s threads

AtlanticCouncil, Arseniy Yatsenyuk: G7 Leaders: The Kremlin Is Setting a Trap. Don’t Fall for It http://bit.ly/2MAuUjc

🐣 RT @BillBrowder New 31 year old Russian Opposition Leader, Lyubov Sobol is terrifying Putin and his cronies. His heavy handed reaction to her has allowed the whole world to see how scared Putin is.
⋙ NPR, Lucian Kim: ‘The Government Is Very Afraid’: Meet Moscow’s New Opposition Leader, Lyubov Sobol http://n.pr/2KTtEG0
// 8/21/2019

TIME, Billy Perrigo: The Overstock CEO Resigned Claiming ‘Deep State’ Conspiracy and a Relationship With a Russian Spy. Here’s What to Know http://bit.ly/2Zf3Psz

NBCNews/AP: Trump associate Felix Sater proved invaluable FBI source, records show http://nbcnews.to/31X3NT6
// Sater’s name appears dozens of times in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference.

TheGuardian, Shaun Walker: The Russian spy who posed as a Canadian for more than 20 years http://bit.ly/2NoLUZv
// Elena Vavilova’s book offers rare insight into the Soviet deep-cover ‘illegals’ programme

WaPo, Philip Bump: Spying, sex and the 2016 campaign: Parsing wild new allegations against the FBI http://wapo.st/2MwOBZf
// The former CEO of Overstock.com made some hard-to-believe — and confusing — new claims.

Meduza: ‘Putin could shut us down with one little finger’ ‘Ekho Moskvy’ chief editor Alexey Venediktov lays out his storied career and insider insights http://bit.ly/2TYU9wn

⭕ 22 Aug 2019

WarOnTheRocks, Robert Levinson: The Fight in the Right: It is Time to Tackle White Supremacist Terrorism Globally http://bit.ly/2NzEmTS “it is the growing international component that requires new strategies and tools”

Axios, Steve Levine: Russian interference, 2020 http://bit.ly/2ZqyKBE

🚫 🐣 XT @sethabramson (THREAD) MAJOR BREAKING NEWS (CNN): Convicted Kremlin agent Maria Butina’s longtime boyfriend confirms that Don Jr. met secretly with Kremlin agents for an hour during the 2015 NRA Conference in Knoxville; Don Jr. therefore lied to Congress about collusion. Please RT and read on. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1164714935944974336?s=20 ●●●
⋙ 🐣 XT @sethabramson NOTE5/ I think most reading this know this, but in the event you don’t, the CNN report referred to in the first tweet in this thread is the interview that @ChrisCuomo conducted with Patrick Byrne on the former’s hour-long CNN program tonight. Byrne also (previously) spoke to FNC.
https://mobile.twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1164770621726703617
⋙ 🐣 XT @sethabramson VIDEO/ Feel free to watch Byrne’s odd interview with FNC, in which he reveals the third person his orders came from—per his undisclosed sources—was McCabe. You’ll also see that he’s framing his story in a way that has nothing to do with why it’s important 💽 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1164768002127978496?s=20
⋙ 🐣 XT @sethabramson VIDEO2/ Here’s the CNN interview referenced in my first tweet. It’s odd—again—but remember everyone agrees he had a relationship with Butina, the DOJ does believe he did work with the FBI involving Butina, and there’s significant other media corroboration. 💽 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1164768782797008898?s=20
// See his follow-up thread on 8/23

Vox, Andrew Prokop: Did Democrats already start an impeachment inquiry? It’s complicated. http://bit.ly/2ZkV7s9
// Would an impeachment inquiry by any other name smell as sweet?

Salon: Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe: Framers would tell us to impeach him right now http://bit.ly/33SRARe
// Harvard constitutional law professor says Trump’s “treachery and betrayal” are now clear. There’s one solution

WaPo, Danielle Allen: Don’t forget there’s an impeachment inquiry underway http://wapo.st/2My78Em

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti If Rudy Giuliani does not speak for the United States government, why were our tax dollars spent to help him ask a foreign government to investigate Joe Biden and his son? ¤ Giuliani violated the Logan Act if he was not acting as a representative of the United States.
🐣 RT @ScottMStedman This is simple. If Giuliani is acting as a private citizen for the Trump campaign here, he is in SERIOUS legal trouble. He’s a private citizen attempting to collude with a foreign government to affect the 2020 election.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kenvogel JUST IN: The @StateDept, which facilitated @RudyGiuliani’s communications with the Ukrainian gov’t (during which he urged an investigation of @JoeBiden), says Giuliani “acts in a personal capacity as a lawyer for President TRUMP. He does not speak on behalf of the US Government.”

🐣 RT @fairchild01 Wonder why Trump is especially off the rails crazy this week? ¤ The appeals court hearing on Mazars case is Friday. Trump is expected to lose & hence his financials will be forfeited to Congress. ¤ Celebrating #TGIF early!
⋙ WaPo: Appeals court challenges Trump’s bid to block congressional subpoena to Mazars USA accounting firm http://wapo.st/2zfz2fV

🐣 RT @harrylitman It is illegal for “any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.” no requirement of knowledge by or coordination with the campaign. what’s he thinking?
⋙ 🐣 RT @Mimirocah1 He’s doing this again? There was an outcry, he canceled it, and now he’s just back at it? This seems highly unethical and likely illegal.
⋙⋙ NYT: Giuliani Renews Push for Ukraine to Investigate Trump’s Political Opponents http://nyti.ms/2KODysf

🐣 RT @avarosis So now that we know that Maria Butina apparently used sex as a weapon of her spy craft, it opens an interesting question as to how many of the GOP men she met she slept with, and whether the ones we don’t know about are now compromised (they likely are).

NYT: Patrick Byrne, Overstock C.E.O., Resigns After Disclosing Romance With Russian Agent Maria Butina http://nyti.ms/2TV9NZF

🔆 This❗️⋙ JustSecurity, Andy Wright: Just Security Launches the Russia Investigation Congressional Clearinghouse http://bit.ly/2L21uHz ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1164582181999718400?s=20/photo/1

Today we launch the Russia Investigation Congressional Clearinghouse – a resource tool that seeks to provide, in one place, all congressional investigations’ materials related to Russia’s efforts to interfere in U.S. elections. We trust it will be a great resource for journalists, academics, and the broader Just Security readership.

Bookmark the clearinghouse page to find publicly released document request letters, committee reports, deposition and interview transcripts, hearing transcripts, legislative proposals, subpoenas, criminal referrals, and major press releases related to the various Russian investigations. The database is organized by congressional session, and then by committee, with an internally hyperlinked table of contents to take you to the right section of materials.

WaPo: Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne resigns after saying he aided in ‘deep state’ Russia investigation http://wapo.st/2NpY5VZ “Last week, shares of Overstock.com tumbled 36 percent after Byrne said had been assisting federal authorities for years.”

WaPo, Adam Taylor: Why Russia’s relationship with the G-7 collapsed http://wapo.st/2U1sXgM

⭕ 21 Aug 2019

SFChronicle: Activists interrupt Pelosi award ceremony in San Francisco, demand she take action to impeach Trump http://bit.ly/2Nq06Bt

Salon, Jefferson Morley: Expect three authoritarian regimes — Israel, Russia and Saudi Arabia — to get Trump reelected in 2020 http://bit.ly/2HjS5tU
// This discussion is in light of the Israeli government’s decision to bar Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

WaPo, Lisa Monaco and Ken Wainstein: America, please look beyond your self interest and do your duty http://wapo.st/2Z9y5Fi Both Monaco and Wainstein served as chief of staff to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

TheGuardian, Richard Wolffe: Trump wanting to buy Greenland is yet another sign of Putin’s puppetry http://bit.ly/2TUjZ4B
// Greenland didn’t just bubble into Trump’s mind randomly – it’s very much on Russia’s radar for its unknown supply of oil, gas and rare metals

⭕ 20 Aug 2019

KXLY/CNN, Katelyn Polantz: Russian firm accused of election meddling could face trial in April http://bit.ly/2KZAus9
// The company, Concord Management, has pleaded not guilty

Politico: House Democrats say whistleblower bolsters case for getting Trump’s tax returns http://politi.co/30plFWf

CNN: Trump could ‘certainly’ support Russia’s return to what would be the G8 http://cnn.it/2L0R6zK

NYT: Trump Says Russia Should Be Readmitted to G7 http://nyti.ms/2KMlTBG //➔ think Trump knows they were booted out for seizing Crimea?

WaPo, Harry Litman: Why Andrew McCabe’s complaint about his firing is likely to prevail http://wapo.st/2ZbUQUg

🐣 RT @just_security Welcome to the launch of our new Resource Tool: #MuellerReportExpertSummaries ¤ 16 top legal experts condensed the Special Counsel’s report down to a fraction of its length. ¤ Lead editors: @rgoodlaw @AshaRangappa_ @jgeltzer @K8brannen
📔 ⋙ 🔆 This❗️⋙ JustSecurity: Expert Summaries of Mueller Report: A Collection http://bit.ly/2NluoW3
// by Kate Brannen, George T. Conway III, Jennifer Daskal, Kristen Eichensehr, Joshua Geltzer, Ryan Goodman, Elie Honig, Harry Litman, Renato Mariotti, Barbara McQuade, Asha Rangappa, Mimi Rocah, Paul Seamus Ryan, Rita Siemion, Joyce Vance and Andy Wright

Epilogue

By George T. Conway III

From: JustSecurity: Expert Summaries of Mueller Report: A Collection
http://bit.ly/2NluoW3
8/20/2019

[ This essay is abridged ]

Four hundred and forty-eight pages. Two thousand, three hundred and seventy-five footnotes. About 16,500 lines of text, and roughly 200,000 words. And downloaded, the Justice Department reports, nearly 800 million times.

With all the exposure it received, and given its manifest importance, you might have thought that more people would have read some or all of the Mueller report. But it seems that few have, including many members of Congress. No doubt for some, the size of the report and the sprawling nature of its subject has much to do with that. Which is why we assembled this remarkable team to summarize it all here.

The summaries distill the report to a manageable size; even so, the report’s sprawling nature is made clear. But the report’s ultimate significance can be boiled down even further—to an essence that every citizen should understand, and, ultimately, one that speaks to the obligations and duties of a president of the United States.

That essence is this. In 2016, the United States was attacked. Not its ships or its soldiers, and not with missiles or bombs. Our democracy was attacked, by a hostile foreign government, through the use of technology, lies, and deception. In “sweeping and systematic fashion,” the report tells us, the Russian government interfered in an American presidential election, seeking to affect its result, and to undermine public confidence in our politics. Whether the attack did the former will be debated for a long time, but it certainly did the latter, and all patriotic Americans ought to agree: We must do everything we can to see that it never happens again.

To that end, it was the job of the executive branch, led by the President—first President Barack Obama, and then President Donald Trump—to find out exactly what happened. America’s intelligence agencies all agreed, and still do: The Russians did interfere. In particular, they tried to help Trump and hurt candidate Hillary Clinton. The question was, exactly what did the Russians do, and how did they do it?

That was the core of the job that former FBI Director Robert Mueller was assigned—to conduct a counterintelligence investigation. To be sure, his mandate as special counsel was broader, and included a prosecutorial focus: If he uncovered crimes, he could charge them. And in particular, given some unusual links between some in the Trump Campaign and agents of Russia—including a campaign manager with financial ties to a Russian oligarch and Russian-backed Ukrainians, and a foreign policy advisor whom a court found to be an “agent of a foreign power,” namely Russia—Special Counsel Mueller’s job was also to find out the extent of those links. (The report, while finding no chargeable criminal conspiracy involving Trump campaign aides and the Russians, and not addressing the nonlegal concept of “collusion,” in the end found many more such links.)

For his part, the job of the President was to protect the nation. That meant allowing the investigation to proceed to its rightful conclusion, indeed supporting it, and letting the chips falling where they may.

But Trump didn’t see it that way. From the outset, he looked at the investigation in terms of how it affected him personally, and not in terms of how it impacted the country. From the outset, he tried to affect its outcome.

Ironically, his effort made the investigation more about himself than it ever had to be. Trump fired an FBI director because the FBI director wouldn’t make a public statement Trump wanted about his status in the investigation—and then bragged about the firing to, of all people, the foreign minister of the Russian Federation and its ambassador to the United States.

The President relentlessly attacked the investigation over the course of two years. And he tried to sharply curtail it, and even kill it altogether. Repeatedly. The President particularly hated that it made it seem he hadn’t actually won the great election victory of which he liked to boast. …

The President did much more than this, but all of this is more than enough: He committed the crime of obstructing justice—multiple times. The report doesn’t specifically draw this conclusion, but it goes through the legal analysis step by step, and the result, at least for several of the incidents the report describes, is clear. Trump’s conduct satisfies the three essential elements of obstruction: (1) an obstructive act, meaning anything that could impede the course of justice; (2) a nexus, meaning a temporal, causal, or logical connection, to a pending or contemplated or official proceeding; and (3) corrupt intent.

It doesn’t matter that the investigation may have gone on unimpeded—the statute actually refers to, and thus explicitly covers, “attempts” to “obstruct[], influence[], or impede[]” a proceeding. It also doesn’t help Trump that Article II of the Constitution gives him the power to hire and fire executive officials, and to exercise executive powers, including the power to decide what to investigate and prosecute. This is because the Constitution doesn’t give a president the power to exercise those powers “corruptly” to obstruct justice, which is what the statute, by its terms, prohibits.

And the President did just that. He certainly acted corruptly. He wanted to impede and end an investigation for his own personal reasons, not for the benefit of the nation. Officials around him knew it, which is why they refused to do his bidding, and even grew so alarmed they consulted personal counsel apparently for fear that Trump was potentially putting them into personal legal jeopardy. …

Indeed, the report shows that Trump even obstructed justice about obstructing justice. When the media reported that he had asked his White House counsel to take steps to get rid of the Mueller, Trump tried to get the counsel to lie about it. The counsel refused. Not only that, Trump tried to get the counsel to create a false document about it. The counsel refused to do that as well. Still, trying to get a witness to adopt a false story, or to create a false record, about a matter under investigation, constitutes classic obstruction. Trump brazenly did both.

Yet, in the end, the ultimate importance of the Mueller report doesn’t stem from whether it shows specific elements of a particular subsection of the Criminal Code, even one prohibiting obstruction, have been satisfied. To be sure, for the President of the United States—sworn by oath to take care that the nation’s laws are faithfully executed—to commit a crime, and a federal crime at that, is awful. And for him to commit a crime that involves an attempt to pervert justice is absolutely reprehensible.

But there is actually more at stake here, something far more fundamental. The people of the United States of America have the right to expect far more of a president than merely that he not be provably a criminal. They have the right to expect of a president what the Framers expected—and what the Constitution demands.

The Framers understood the presidency—not just the presidency, but all public offices, and especially the presidency—to be a fiduciary position, a position of trust. …

In the case of a president, the trust is the nation’s federal government, and the beneficiaries are its people. The President is called upon to “pursue the public interest in a good faith republican fashion rather than pursuing his self-interest.” In particular, given his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws, the President “must diligently and steadily execute Congress’s commands” as embodied in federal law. The special counsel’s report shows Trump disregarded that duty—indeed, that he showed contempt for it almost whenever he could. Called upon to protect the nation against an attack from a foreign power, he acted principally to protect himself. …

The Framers laid out the standard by which the President’s compliance with his fiduciary obligations must be judged—as well as who must do the judging. The standard is “high crimes and misdemeanors.” That term was not meant merely to incorporate the criminal statute books. It is a legal term of art, packing in centuries of Anglo-American parliamentary history. At its core, as another scholar has explained, “the phrase denotes breaches of fiduciary duties” by public officials. And the Framers charged the Congress of the United States with enforcing that standard.

If the Mueller report demonstrates one thing, it is that President Trump utterly failed to carry out his duties under the Constitution—that indeed, he shamelessly abjured them. It is time for members of Congress to do their duties and to hold the President to account.

⭕ 19 Aug 2019

DailyBeast, Betsy Woodruff (8/19): Trump Staffer Says He Recruited Lobbyists for Wealthy Russians http://bit.ly/2ZiFfqV ‘A little-known former Trump campaign staffer reached out to Washington lobbyists w an eyebrow-raising ask: shield well-heeled Russians from U.S. sanctions’
// Daniel Gelbinovich; It’s another strand in the web of connections between Trump World and Russia.

🐣 RT @WSJ Four Russian nuclear-monitoring stations have gone silent, official says, fueling concerns Moscow is trying to conceal data after a recent explosion
⋙ WSJ: More Russian Nuclear Monitoring Stations Went Silent Days After Blast, Test-Ban Official Says http://on.wsj.com/2Z2e0AA
// Interruption in nuclear data deepens mystery around explosion in northern Russia

MotherJones: Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos Are [Were] Scheduled to Speak at a Conference Organized by a QAnon Supporter http://bit.ly/2ZZMH6p //➔ they have now pulled out
// The right-wing event aims to prepare “social media warriors” for a coming “digital war.” http://bit.ly/

WSJ, Jason Fuhrman: Trump Is Losing the Trade War With China http://on.wsj.com/33GYDMF //➔ ouch! more criticism from Murdoch’s shop
// The markets doubt tariffs will bring about any major concessions. The U.S. needs a multilateral approach.

🐣 RT @economic [Bloomberg] A new idea dawns: Wrecking international cooperation is the point (via @bopinion)
⋙ Bloomberg, Shira Ovide: A Self-Inflicted Recession Is a Bad Soap Opera http://bloom.bg/31JjPQm A new idea dawns: Wrecking international cooperation is the point (via @bopinion)
// Even more dangerous than disrupted trade is the message U.S. actions send about wrecking global integration.

NYMag, Olivia Nuzzi: Mueller Was Listening to This Guy? Sam Patten’s wild life as a cooperating witness. http://nym.ag/2ZbQTip

TheHill: Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump http://bit.ly/2P3eZMw

MotherJones, Ali Breland: 2020 Candidate Michael Bennet Wants to Sanction Russia for Its Memes http://bit.ly/33IXODc
// “We had a Russian attack on our democracy and we have a president who refuses to take any action.”

Politico [EU], Matthew karnitschnig: Trump’s German frenemy http://politi.co/2Z2Zfxp Sigmar Gabriel
// Sigmar Gabriel’s ties to Russia make him an unlikely bridge between Berlin and Washington.

ProjectSyndicate, Carl Bildt: Remembering the Miracle of 1989 http://bit.ly/2P6Ur5C
// Thirty years ago this month, a series of peaceful demonstrations in Eastern Europe set off a chain of events that culminated in the collapse of the Soviet Union. Looking back, it is now clear that Europe experienced a miracle in 1989: the story could have had a much darker and bloodier ending.

Politico: Ben Ray Luján, No. 4 House Democrat, backs opening Trump impeachment inquiry http://politi.co/2z9gkq9

RFE/RL: British Investigators: More Evidence Found Of Russian Role In Donbas [Ukraine] http://bit.ly/2TKudVk

⭕ 18 Aug 2019

Trump-Russia, Seth Hettena: The CEO of Overstock Has More to Say about Maria Butina, the FBI … and Don Jr http://bit.ly/2ziTkFq

🐣 RT @EUvsDisInfo Russia is the leading global offender of foreign #disinfo influence operations around the world, accounting for a whopping 72% of total operations. Study by Princeton’s @ESoConflict:
⋙ ESOC: Trends in Online Foreign Influence Efforts http://bit.ly/2KGTJaZ

🐣 RT @ToddBreassealeDHS This is a fully terrifying but necessary read from a conservative (not in the current sense that America has recently co-opted the term) publication that, unfortunately, won’t sway any of the people who should be swayed by it. #democracy
💽 https://twitter.com/TBreassealeDHS/status/1163316511206887424?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣💽 RT @TheEconomist Four signs that democracy is under attack https://econ.st/2Nj5AOv

🐣 RT @carlbildt Today it’s 30 years since the historic pan-European pick nick in Sopron in Hungary that started the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Angela Merkel and Victor Orbán will take part in the commemorations there. 💽 https://twitter.com/carlbildt/status/1163317825714499585?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @jennycohn1 Black Cube’s “operatives—who include former Mossad agents—allegedly use false identities to get close to their targets and create fake companies to provide cover as they seek out evidence of financial or sexual impropriety & other embarrassing information.” 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1163312237777342466?s=20

⭕ 17 Aug 2019

🐣 RT @SethAbramson (THREAD) Here’s my thread on the discovery, by @ScottMStedman, of a document indicating Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal was making in-roads in Kentucky politics earlier than previously believed—in fact, in April 2016, as Deripaska’s old employee Manafort was infiltrating Trump’s campaign. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1162795272067604482?s=20

⭕ 16 Aug 2019

DailyBeast: Robert Mueller Russia Investigation Report Was Downloaded Nearly 800 Million Times: FOIA http://bit.ly/2Zbw63j

💽 MSNBC, RachelMaddow: Republicans block FEC probe of NRA’s Russia money and Trump [Video] http://on.msnbc.com/31LGrjm
// Ellen Weintraub, chair of the FEC, talks with Rachel Maddow about the resistance by her Republican colleagues to allow so much as a phone call to the FBI to inquire about an investigation into whether Russian money donated to the NRA was for the Donald Trump campaign.

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog “…this agency barely lifted a finger to find out the truth behind one of the most blockbuster campaign finance allegations in recent memory.” -FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1162540298226012160?s=20/photo/1
// NRA, Butina and Torshin

WaPo, Anne Applebaum: Hong Kong and Russia protesters fight for democracy. The West should listen and learn. http://wapo.st/2Z6ORE5

Reuters: Ex-Trump campaign chief Lewandowski says ‘happy’ to testify before Congress http://reut.rs/33IwBAG

Politico: House Intel Committee could bolster Dem case for impeaching Trump http://politi.co/31GRD0D
// Democrats are using the House Intelligence Committee in an unprecedented way as they consider whether to remove the president.

AmericanProspect, Robert Kuttner: The Other Reason to Impeach—Trump’s Increasing Lunacy http://bit.ly/2MkIuHx

Politico: House Intel Committee could bolster Dem case for impeaching Trump http://politi.co/2z5I1A8
// Democrats are using the House Intelligence Committee in an unprecedented way as they consider whether to remove the president.

⭕ 15 Aug 2019

LawFare: Good News for Christopher Wray: Morale Is Up at (Most of) the FBI http://bit.ly/2MwRYPL Counter-Intelligence, not so much
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1164422764868059136?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ USAToday, Tom Nichols: Why this Never Trump ex-Republican will vote for almost any 2020 Democratic nominee http://bit.ly/31NJesq

I don’t care if Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a mendacious Massachusetts liberal. She could tell me that she’s going to make me wear waffles as underpants and I’ll vote for her. I don’t care if Sen. Kamala Harris is an opportunistic California prosecutor who wants to relitigate busing. She could tell me that I have to drive to work in a go-cart covered with Barbie decals and I’ll vote for her. I don’t care if Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is a muddle-headed socialist from a rural class-warfare state (where I once lived as one of his constituents). He could tell me he’s going to tax used kitty litter and I’ll vote for him.

All of the policy “what about” hypotheticals from my conservative friends are diversions. They’re trying to move the argument to policy to blind us to the reality that President Donald Trump is both unstable and compromised.

As I have argued for well over two years, there is plenty of evidence that the president is compromised by our most dedicated enemy. Even before the Mueller report laid bare the degree to which the Trump campaign welcomed Russian help, it was obvious that Trump feared Russian President Vladimir Putin — not only because Putin knew how much Trump had lied to the American people during the campaign about his dealings with Russia, but also likely because Moscow holds Trump’s closest financial secrets after years of shady dealings with Russian oligarchs.

It is a sign of how low we have fallen as a nation that “rational” and “not compromised by an enemy” are now my only two requirements for the office of the president of the United States. Perhaps years of peace and prosperity have made us forget the terrifying responsibilities that attend the presidency, including the stewardship of enough nuclear weapons to blow the Northern Hemisphere to smithereens.

As long as the Democrats can provide someone who can pass these simple tests, their nominee has my vote. ¤ Pass the waffles.

ColumbusDispatch: Dean: Fallout from Trump-Russia probe just beginning http://bit.ly/2ZdKUO1

NYT: Overstock C.E.O. Takes Aim at ‘Deep State’ After Romance With Russian Agent Maria Butina http://nyti.ms/307WhnY “It was the start of a three-year relationship between the e-commerce executive, Patrick Byrne, and the young woman, Maria Butina, that became romantic at times”

TheHill: GOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation http://bit.ly/2Tzt3fk

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Bill Barr Refuses to “Comply First, Complain Later” with Congressional Oversight http://bit.ly/2TBGb3k

Newsweek: Russia Signs Deal to Send Navy to Venezuela After ‘Unacceptable’ U.S. Moves http://bit.ly/2H8JkCY

WaPo: Russia’s mysterious ‘new’ nuclear weapons aren’t really new http://wapo.st/2YYNuZb
// Skyfall: The U.S. pursued similar technology in the 1960s but abandoned it back then. For good reasons.

But in fact, these “new” missiles are a throwback to the early days of the Cold War. And back then, it was the United States that developed a nuclear-powered cruise missile, in the early 1960s. “Project Pluto” was part of a Pentagon program known as Supersonic Low Altitude Missile, a clunky name almost certainly designed to yield its catchier acronym, SLAM. The missile was canceled in 1964, never having taken flight. Nuclear-powered cruise missiles were not a good idea then, and they are not a good idea now.

🐣 RT @ryanjreilly House Democrats subpoena Corey Lewandowski hours before the potential U.S. Senate candidate is set to appear at a Trump rally in New Hampshire.
⋙ HuffPo: House Democrats Subpoena Corey Lewandowski Ahead Of Trump Rally http://bit.ly/2Z5qimY
// According to the Mueller report, Trump told his former campaign manager to ask Jeff Sessions to clear the president of wrongdoing and curtail the Mueller probe.

⭕ 14 Aug 2019

💽 MSNBC, StephanieRuhle: Pelosi calls McConnell ‘Moscow Mitch’ for blocking election security legislation [Video] http://on.msnbc.com/2TB8Sh9
// He might not like being called Moscow Mitch, but a new TIME article raises serious questions about why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lifted sanctions on one very specific Russian oligarch who then spent big bucks in his home state of Kentucky. TIME Washington Correspondent Vera Bergengruen joins Stephanie Ruhle to explain.

Bloomberg: The Bond Market Is Saying Scary Stuff http://bloom.bg/2TwX3se
// Recession signals keep popping up all over.

CNN: Report: Epstein autopsy finds broken bones in his neck http://cnn.it/2KKkGcI “This sort of break can happen when a person hangs themselves or dies by strangulation, forensics experts told the Post.”

💽 🔆 This❗️⋙ MSNBC, RachelMaddow: Mitch McConnell at nexus of increased Russian leverage on U.S. [Video] http://on.msnbc.com/2N3COkx
// Rachel Maddow shares details from a recent Pentagon white paper about how Russia secures its influence over other countries’ politics and notes that Mitch McConnell’s role in facilitating an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in his home state of Kentucky, among other things, aligns with Russia’s strategy.

ForeignAffairs, Susan Glasser: Putin the Great http://fam.ag/33wQXfT
// Sep-Oct issue; Russia’s Imperial Impostor

Esquire, Charles Pierce: Surely It’s a Coincidence That a Firm Tied to a Russian Oligarch Is Pouring Millions Into Kentucky http://bit.ly/2KymLJL
// Surely.

≣ 🔆 This❗️⋙ PoliticusUSA: Jaws Drop as Rachel Maddow Lays Out Mitch McConnell’s Economic Treason http://bit.ly/2Z76wYq (includes partial transcript)
// Rachel Maddow explained how Mitch McConnell has allowed Russia to gain an economic foothold in the US so that they can influence US politics from within.

Forbes, Zak Doffman: Pentagon Report Warns On Threat To U.S. From Russia’s Dangerous Global Influence http://bit.ly/2TyI8O1
// 7/1/2019 upped because on Maddow; “Russian Strategic Intentions”
↥ ↧
💙💙📔 PublicIntelligence: Joint Staff Strategic Multilayer Assessment: Russian Strategic Intentions http://bit.ly/2MjbWh1
// Summary dated 7/7/2019; 171p doc dated 5/6/2019

🐣 RT @oneunderscore_ [Ben Collins] I can’t believe it’s come to this, but since it’s now susceptible to weird reporting, here’s a quick 4chan literacy lesson. ¤ Let’s start with our story from yesterday on 4chan and Jeffrey Epstein—and how disinfo from 4chan can spread faster than real info. 📌 https://twitter.com/oneunderscore__/status/1161703815806148608?s=20

✅ CNN, Daniel Dale: Fact check: Kamala Harris makes false claim about Trump and auto jobs http://cnn.it/2OSobDh //➔ a gaffe, an error, or a lie?

WIRED, Sam Patten: Kostya and Me: How Sam Patten Got Ensnared in Mueller’s Probe http://bit.ly/2YKKW0q
// A political consultant crosses paths with Konstantin Kilimnik, Paul Manafort, and Cambridge Analytica, then becomes part of the Russia investigation.

🐣💙 Twitter List: Investigators ~ Intel Community; investigative journalists, bloggers & sleuths (971 members) https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/investigators

ABCNews: Federal workers sue for the right to call for Trump’s impeachment or to #Resist http://abcn.ws/2N7zO6L

Politico: Judge rejects House Dem request to link McGahn, Mueller grand jury lawsuits http://politi.co/2OWTJbh

WaPo: Trump wants to focus on the ‘real threat’ to elections: Not Russia, but imaginary voter fraud http://wapo.st/2TvDGQj

MotherJones, Dan Friedman: Is Sen. Richard Burr Investigating Trump’s Russia Ties—or Helping to Cover Them Up? http://bit.ly/2KNwn2d
// In his role as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Burr walks the line between probing the Trump-Russia scandal and providing cover for the president.

🐣 RT @HillaryClinton Russia’s interference in our elections will continue to threaten our democracy until Republicans join Democrats to stop it. @MichaelBennet’s new book shines a spotlight on this critical issue. Maybe we can all send a copy to @senatemajldr?
⋙ 💙📔 Dividing America: How Russia Hacked Social Media and Democracy by Senator Michael Bennet http://bit.ly/2N49dY8
// READ for free at link ⇈

⭕ 13 Aug 2019

🔊 ACSLaw Podcast: Will the Mueller Report Lead to Articles of Impeachment? http://bit.ly/2YRgv8Q Speakers: Caroline Fredrickson, ACS President, Neil Kinkopf, Professor of Law, Georgia State University, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Professor of Law, Stetson University

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote So humbled to be mentioned in @TIME , but even more humbled to be mentioned by @JoyceWhiteVance
⋙ TIME, Joyce Vance: William Barr Is the Wrong Person to Lead the Jeffrey Epstein Investigation http://bit.ly/2H54IsI
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Whether you believe there are nefarious forces within the DoJ that assisted with or turned a blind eye to the Epstein death, the bigger point is no one trusts the department of justice. No one.

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti Does this have something to do with Mitch McConnell’s refusal to allow the Senate to vote on an election security bill that would prevent future attacks on our elections by Russia?
⋙ 💙💙 WaPo: How a McConnell-backed effort to lift Russian sanctions boosted a Kentucky project http://wapo.st/2MgkSne

NYT, Edward Wong: Waning of American Power? Trump Struggles With an Asia in Crisis http://nyti.ms/2MfSIZG
// The Trump administration has taken a hands-off approach to conflicts — from Kashmir to Hong Kong to the rivalry between Japan and South Korea — as Asian officials escalate the battles.

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: Don McGahn Is Not the Most Critical Witness on Impeachment http://bit.ly/2YN6HwD Jay Sekulow, John Kelly, Steve Engel (OLC) are others

MotherJones: Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos Are Scheduled to Speak at a Conference Organized by a QAnon Supporter http://bit.ly/2ZZMH6p
// The right-wing event aims to prepare “social media warriors” for a coming “digital war.”

💙💙 TIME: A Kremlin-Linked Firm Invested Millions in Kentucky. Were They After More Than Money? http://bit.ly/2Z7WuGA

NBCNews, Alexander Smith: Failed Russian nuclear test hints at Putin’s dangerous plans to beat U.S. defenses http://nbcnews.to/2TuDm42
// “Is it dangerous? Yes! I think the phrase ‘flying nuclear reactor’ tells you all you need to know,” one analyst said.

JustSecurity: Yes, Trump Could Be Indicted If He Leaves Office in 2021, But Is That Likely? http://bit.ly/2ZaAor2

TheNation, Steve Phillips: It’s Safe to Impeach Donald Trump http://bit.ly/31Dm5c0
// So why do pundits keep claiming that it would put Democrats in danger?

WaPo, Charles Koch: It’s not just up to policy. Leaders must empower people, too. http://
USAToday, Noah Bookbinder: Make it simple, Democrats: How to tell the Trump impeachment story and speed it up, too http://bit.ly/2OTvURy
// Centralize and simplify the impeachment narrative. Show how Trump’s abuses relate to each other and how they started on the day he took his oath.

DailyBeast: Russia Evacuating Village After Nuclear Reactor Explosion Put Radiation Levels at 16 Times Above Normal http://bit.ly/2ZZWbPh

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Trump has beaten the country’s morale down to the point w