But if the subpoenas are issued now they have more time to work through the courts.
I think it is rather cynical to even ask the courts to rule on whether someone has to obey a subpoena. I don't see how someone can question such a basic and fundamental constitutional power. If a citizen stated, "You know, I don't think I have to obey a subpoena," what would happen to them? I would think most courts would laugh at them, and hold them in contempt. People have been jailed for months for simply refusing to testify. How is this not settled law?
Agreed, and I would have thought that the Supreme Court ruling on the Nixon subpoenas would have settled the matter.
Perhaps the dems should have those who have ignored the subpoenas arrested -- the way every other citizen would be treated.
Re: Democrats Should Accept Advice of Republican Witness
Trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses, but if only Ukraine articles of impeachment reach the Senate then for that trial its a one-off crime. The first successful removal of a president will require a broad range of charges that are deep in evidence.
So would it not be useful to put together a timeline of all the impeachable offenses, from asking for Russian assistance during his campaign up to today?
List all the subpoenas that have not been complied with would be a start.
To drive the point home, they could start arresting them for non-compliance.
It seems to have been little noticed (I think Vox picked it up) that Rudy Giuliani admitted in a tweet that Trump administration interest in Ukrainian corruption was based upon "compelling evidence of criminal conduct by then VP Biden, in 2016":
There it is in a nutshell: to Trump, Ukrainian corruption means Joe Biden.
Perhaps the dems should have those who have ignored the subpoenas arrested -- the way every other citizen would be treated.
I agree fully. But who will do that arresting? US Marshals? The ones working for Bolshevik Barr's subverted Department of Justice? And where would they be detained? In the jails run by that same subverted DoJ?
There is a jail run by Congress which hasn't been used for several decades. I don't know what it would take to get it up and running again, but it seems to be the only alternative. My understanding is that the Sergeant of Arms would be the one to go out and physically arrest the subpoena violators, but how much law enforcement muscle can he pack outside of that subverted DoJ?
Remember that when the inspectors general were becoming aware of wrongdoing surrounding the Trump-Ukraine Affair they did what they were supposed to do: submit to the DoJ criminal referrals (I think that's the term) that call for investigation to determine, at the very least, whether there is any criminal activity. Barr's response was to completely ignore those referrals, not even do the barest minimal investigation to determine whether there was even any there there. That is the subverted and perverted Department of Justice that we have now.
What I'm waiting to see is what the Trump Mob will do when all their legalistic delays play out and the courts issue a final court order that they must honor those subpoenas. Will they just simply ignore a court order? And if they do, then what? Wouldn't it take the DoJ to enforce that court order? Bolshevik Barr's subverted and perverted DoJ? Just how is that going to play out?
Laws are all meaningless unless they are enforced. The Constitution of the United States of America is absolutely meaningless unless it is enforced.
Trump is not only trying to destroy the Constitution (for profit!), but he is succeeding in destroying the Presidency. After Trump, one of the first orders of business will be to enact very explicitly stated laws of what the President is not allowed to do. After Trump has violated almost every presidential norm just because there was no actual law about it, there will most definitely be very specific laws against every single violation of those "norms".
quote:I think we have to gird ourselves for the possibility that McConnell will not be able to contain the circus in the Senate and the president's henchmen will be unleashed to run this "parallel" impeachment of Joe Biden.
This is the Trump administration. How can we possibly assume that this won't turn into the most surreal political event we've ever seen? Every political event is the most surreal political event we've ever seen.
CNN reports about a Growing divide between Trump and McConnell over impeachment trial. While it's reassuring to hear that McConnell will not be Trump's lapdog in defining how the impeachment trial will be conducted in the Senate, how is it appropriate that they are even talking about this subject at all? Why is the defendant permitted to negotiate with the lead juror, the jury foreman so to speak? If the principles need to speak then it should be in the judge's chambers, which would be Chief Justice John Roberts' chambers.
I understand that the Constitution doesn't cover these kinds of details, but legal precedent, mere propriety, and maintaining at least the appearance of conducting a fair and unbiased trial, all demand that there be no informal contact on this subject between the White House and the Senate. All contact should go through formal proscribed channels, likely formal letters and memoranda.
Just for the record, the article says that McConnell wants a quick and concise trial, while Trump wants a lengthy show trial where he calls witnesses like Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and the whistleblower. McConnell seems to want an actual trial, while Trump wants political theater with himself as the director.
Here are the problems the IG found with the first Carter Page FISA application:
Omitted information the FBI had obtained from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship with Page, including that Page had been approved as an "operational contact" for the other agency from 2008 to 2013, and that Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior cont acts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application;
Included a source characterization statement asserting that Steele's prior reporting had been "corroborated and used in criminal proceedings," which overstated the significance of Steele's past reporting and was not approved by Steele's handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures;
Omitted information relevant to the reliability of Person 1, a key Steele sub-source (who was attributed with providing the information in Report 95 and some of the information in Reports 80 and 102 relied upon in the application), namely that (1) Steele himself told members of the Crossfire Hurricane team that Person 1 was a "boaster" and an "egoist" and " may engage in some embellishment" and (2) the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation on Person 1 a few days before the FISA application was filed;
Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared his election-related research with the FBI and Fusion GPS, his client; this premise was incorrect and contradicted by documentation in the Woods File-Steele had told the FBI that he also gave his information to the State Department;
Omitted Papadopoulos's consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in September 2016 denying that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was collaborating with Russia or with outside groups like Wikileaks in the release of emails;
Omitted Page's consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in August 2016 that Page had "literally never met" or "said one word to" Paul Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of Page's emails; if true, those statements were in tension with claims in Report 95 that Page was participating in a conspiracy with Russia by acting as an intermediary for Manafort on behalf of the Trump campaign; and
Included Page's consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in October 2016 that the FBI believed supported its theory that Page was an agent of Russia but omitted other statements Page made that were inconsistent with its theory, including denying having met with Sechin and Divyekin, or even knowing who Divyekin was; if true, those statements contradicted the claims in Report 94 that Page had met secretly with Sechin and Divyekin about future cooperation with Russia and shared derogatory information about candidate Clinton.
Here are the problems the IG found in the three subsequent Carter Page FISA renewals:
Omitted the fact that Steele's Primary Subsource, who the FBI found credible, had made statements in January 2017 raising significant questions about the reliability of allegations included in the FISA applications, including, for example, that he/she did not recall any discussion with Person 1 concerning Wikileaks and there was "nothing bad" about the communications between the Kremlin and the Trump team, and that he/she did not report to Steele in July 2016 that Page had met with Sechin;
Omitted Page's prior relationship with another U.S. government agency, despite being reminded by the other agency in June 2017, prior to the filing of the final renewal application, about Page's past status with that other agency; instead of including this information in the final renewal application, the OGC Attorney altered an email from the other agency so that the email stated that Page was " not a source" for the other agency, which the FBI affiant relied upon in signing the final renewal application;
Omitted information from persons who previously had professional contacts with Steele or had direct knowledge of his work-related performance, including statements that Steele had no history of reporting in bad faith but "[d]emonstrates lack of self-awareness, poor judgment," "pursued people with political risk but no intelligence value," "didn't always exercise great judgment," and it was " not clear what he would have done to validate" his reporting;
Omitted information obtained from Ohr about Steele and his election reporting, including that (1) Steele's reporting was going to Clinton's presidential campaign and others, (2) Simpson was paying Steele to discuss his reporting with the media, and (3) Steele was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President";
Failed to update the description of Steele after information became known to the Crossfire Hurricane team, from Ohr and others, that provided greater clarity on the political origins and connections of Steele's reporting, including that Simpson was hired by someone associated with the Democratic Party and/or the DNC;
Failed to correct the assertion in the first FISA application that the FBI did not believe that Steele directly provided information to the reporter who wrote the September 23 Yahoo News article, even though there was no information in the Woods File to support this claim and even after certain Crossfire Hurricane officials learned in 2017, before the third renewal application, of an admission that Steele made in a court filing about his interactions with the news media in the late summer and early fall of 2016;
Omitted the finding from a FBI source validation report that Steele was suitable for continued operation but that his past contributions to the FBI's criminal program had been " minimally corroborated," and instead continued to assert in the source characterization statement that Steele's prior reporting had been "corroborated and used in criminal proceedings";
Omitted Papadopoulos's statements to an FBI CHS in late October 2016 denying that the Trump campaign was involved in the circumstances of the DNC email hack;
Omitted Joseph Mifsud's denials to the FBI that he supplied Papadopoulos with the information Papadopoulos shared with the FFG (suggesting that the campaign received an offer or suggestion of assistance from Russia); and
Omitted information indicating that Page played no role in the Republican platform change on Russia's annexation of Ukraine as alleged in the Report 95, which was inconsistent with a factual assertion relied upon to support probable cause in all four FISA applications.
Edited by Percy, : Replace the link to the Fox News version of the IG report to the one at the Justice Department which is much better because it is searchable and copyable.
I extracted the problems the IG identified with the Carter Page FISA application and renewals to make it easier to find them. I think people should make of them what they will.
If you want my own opinion it's that when you spend at least a hundred times more effort and time analyzing documents than it took to create them you'll inevitably find issues and problems.
I also think that a number of the points are very poorly described and lack a great deal of context, making them very difficult to interpret. It's often difficult to ferret out where the problem lies that is purportedly being described, or even why it is a problem at all.
Probably someone could easily write a report detailing the deficiencies of the IG's investigation and report. People writing these things with the benefit of hindsight and much greater time and manpower forget that their own efforts are as colored with human imperfection as the subject of their own report. For example, if Report 95 is so important it should be footnoted, and the footnote should point to where in the document Report 95 is described. I still don't know what Report 95 is. It's first mention is in point 3 - it isn't previously described. Reports 80 and 102 that are also referenced are not described. Were I grading the IG report for clarity I would give it a D-.
The points are also a hatchet job on Christopher Steele. The investigation obviously made a great effort to seek out derogatory information, but Steele worked for MI6 for 22 years in positions of increasing responsibility, and over the years he must have received a number of very complementary reviews, but no mention of this is made at all in the IG's Steele hit list, er, report.
I also think that even though Attorney General Barr and Senator Lindsey Graham and other Republicans who have gone over to the dark side do not believe the IG went far enough in pursuing and endorsing Trump's conspiracy theories, I believe he was still influenced by the knowledge that Trump makes it very, uh, uncomfortable for those he perceives as lacking sufficient enthusiasm for them. As compensation for not buying into the Trump conspiracy theories I believe the IG came down far harder on the FBI than was warranted by the evidence.
The Senate Will Collude With the White House in the Upcoming Trial
Assuming the House passed the two articles of impeachment, Trump will face trail before the Senate. Trump is the defendant and will be defended by his defense team, the Senate is the jury, and prosecutors will be appointed by the House.
Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the Senate, is, in essence, the jury foreman, and he has a unique twist on fair and unbiased trials. In a late Thursday interview with Sean Hannity, Mitch McConnell committed to "total coordination" with the White House and Trump's defense team. A better example of collusion could not be found.