Category Archives: President

Ruh-roh! We may be back on government shutdown watch

Last week Congress passed a ‘minibus’ with a CR to avert Trump’s threatened government shutdown over his border wall.

The Senate on Tuesday passed the short-term spending bill that would keep the government running through Dec. 7 and avert a government shutdown, and put off a fight over funding for President Trump’s border wall until after the midterm elections. Senate passes defense and health spending bill, tries to delay border-wall fight to after midterms:

The 93-to-7 vote came less than two weeks ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline when government funding will expire unless Congress and Trump intervene.

The House is expected to take up [modifications to] the bill next week, but it remains uncertain whether Trump would sign the measure.

The legislation would not increase funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which funds construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president has toyed repeatedly with shutting down the government to try to get more funding for the border wall, at times saying there would not be a shutdown and other times saying he would welcome one.

This morning President Trump is making noise again about not supporting the spending bill because it does not include funding for his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border. Which begs the questions, “He just now realized this?” And “Will he veto it?” Trump blasts Congress over ‘ridiculous’ spending bill: ‘Where is the money for the wall?’

President Trump lashed out at Congress on Thursday over the lack of funding for his border wall in a recently passed spending bill, stoking a fight that GOP lawmakers had hoped to avoid until later this year.

Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 6.34.29 AM

Continue reading

Roll Call: Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Says Assault Was Chatter at School Afterward

As I said in the previous post, the FBI needs to complete a background check of the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford before any testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

The FBI could discover circumstantial evidence which matches Dr. Blasey’s description of events and speak to other persons who were at the party in question who could corroborate Dr. Blasey’s description of events (she went upstairs with Kavanaugh and Judge, locked herself in a bathroom, fled the party, etc.) Someone at that party must have saw something. Republicans don’t want to take that risk.

Roll Call reports today that Dr. Blasey’s sexual assault was “chatter” among her classmates contemporaneously around the time that it occurred. Someone at that party must have saw something, and the White House by refusing to request the FBI to conduct a follow-up background investigation is actively engaged in a coverup. Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Says Assault Was Chatter at School Afterward:

A schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, backed Ford’s claim Wednesday in a letter she posted to Facebook.

“Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her,” wrote Cristina King Miranda, who graduated a year ahead of Ford at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. Holton-Arms is an all-girls school whose students frequently socialized with Kavanaugh’s all-male alma mater, Georgetown Prep.

This incident did happen,” Miranda wrote. “Many of us heard about it in school and Christine’s recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true.”

In order for this to have been chatter at the school contemporaneously around the time that it occurred, it means that someone at that party must have saw something and there are corroborating witnesses whom the FBI has not interviewed solely because the White House has refused to direct the FBI to do a  follow-up background investigation.

Continue reading

A sham hearing and a denial of due process

This is what GOP authoritarianism looks like: a sham hearing and a denial of due process to a victim of sexual abuse.

I explained yesterday, The Senate needs to get this right, and right now it is failing: for judicial background checks, the client is not the Senate but the White House. And the White House Hasn’t Asked FBI to Vet Kavanaugh Allegations, Sources Say.

The FBI background is the legally correct thing to do in fairness to both the accuser and the accused. Due process demands it. As Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told the Washington Post, “If there’s a hearing before that investigation, the committee is going to be shooting in the dark with questions.” “As a former prosecutor and state attorney general, there’s no way I would put a crime survivor on the stand in front of a jury, let alone the American people, without a full investigation so that I know what the facts are before I start asking questions.”

On Tuesday, Christine Blasey Ford Requested That the F.B.I. to Investigate Kavanaugh Before She Testifies, a reasonable request, as is her right:

Speaking through lawyers, Christine Blasey Ford said she would cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee and left open the possibility of testifying later about her allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. But echoing Senate Democrats, she said an investigation should be “the first step” before she is put “on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident.”

Republicans signaled Tuesday night that they would not negotiate an alternative date and would go ahead with the hearing without her or declare it unnecessary if she refuses to appear, then possibly move to a vote. They have repeatedly stressed that Monday would be Dr. Blasey’s opportunity to testify, either privately or publicly, and that they planned to move forward with the confirmation process afterward.

Continue reading

Abuse of power and obstruction of justice in plain sight

Russian asset and crime family boss Donald Trump just keeps digging his hole deeper with the Special Counsel’s investigation.

Yesterday he added two more counts, for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The GOP House Freedom Caucus co-conspirators who are aiding and abetting his crimes should also be charged.

Steve Benen does a good job of breaking it down. Trump ignores security, crosses ‘red line’ with declassification gambit:

Donald Trump’s abuses have become routine, but that doesn’t make them any easier to tolerate. The president’s move yesterdayafternoon, for example, is awfully tough to defend.

In an unprecedented move that stunned current and former intelligence officials, President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the public release of highly classified documents and text messages related to the FBI investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Russia.

A statement by the White House press office said Trump had directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Department of Justice and the FBI to declassify about 20 pages of a highly sensitive application for surveillance against Carter Page, a one-time Trump foreign policy aide.

The president suggested two weeks ago that he was considering such a move, but many hoped Trump was just blowing off steam and he’d end up in a more responsible place. That’s obviously not what happened.

Continue reading

The Senate needs to get this right, and right now it is failing

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled next Monday for a hearing on Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh when they were in high school.

While there does need to be a hearing, this is yet again another example of GOP leadership steamrolling the Kavanaugh nomination without all the facts being made available to senators. GOP leadership is setting up this Monday hearing to be another public spectacle like the Anita Hill hearings were in 1991, and that is unfair to Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavaaugh, and the Senate. These fools have learned nothing in the intervening years.

Lat week Senator Dianne Feinstein referred the letter of Christine Blasey Ford to the FBI for further background investigation. All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter dated Monday morning urging Grassley to postpone the committee vote, urging that an FBI investigation should conclude before Kavanaugh’s nomination proceeds. Democrats call to delay Kavanaugh committee vote, after accuser comes forward.

The problem is that for judicial background checks, the client is not the Senate but the White House. And the White House Hasn’t Asked FBI to Vet Kavanaugh Allegations, Sources Say:

The White House hasn’t asked the FBI to investigate the allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman when they were in high school, a request required for the bureau to take further action, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Continue reading

The bogus GOP talking point about ‘timing,’ and dueling character witnesses

The Republican talking point today is “Why did Democrats wait until the eleventh hour” to bring to light this allegation of sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh when he was in high school just days before his confirmation vote?

Seriously? Republicans are complaining about regular order and procedure after having blockaded President Obama’s nomination of Merick Garland for a year, and then rushing the nomination process for Brett Kavanaugh? That is chutzpah.

The confirmation vote has been rushed by the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, before the National Archives has even completed its review of documents related to Kavanaugh. Only about 10% of documents have been made available through an alternative source, a very non-neutral arbiter, Bill Burck, a private attorney employed by former president George W. Bush and a longtime Republican — and reportedly a longtime friend of Kavanaugh’s — overseeing the review of the documents. The fight over the release of Kavanaugh documents. A group of Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have been forced to file a lawsuit against the National Archives in an attempt to gain access to records related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Senate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents.

You want to talk about regular order and procedure Turtle Man? Mitch McConnell is the man who broke America. UPDATE: Charles Pierce at Esquire brings it up to date. History Will Remember Mitch McConnell as One of the Very Worst.

Then there is the fact Christine Blasey Ford did not want to come forward and be subjected to a political assault. She told this to both Senator Dianne Feinstein and reporters at the Washington Post. It was only after her letter was leaked to the Intercept and the New Yorker last week that she made the decision over the weekend that she would be willing to testify after having been outed against her will. She is now, predictably, being politically assaulted.

Continue reading