News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Big Meeting at WH Today and Much, Much More

President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, en route to a day trip to New York. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Good Thursday morning.

Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president participates in the signing of a space policy directive to streamline regulations on commercial use of space
  • President Trump participates in the signing ceremony for S. 2155 – Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act
  • The president presents the Medal of Honor
  • President Trump meets with the chief of naval operations and the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy

WH’s Kelly to hang around for purported DOJ/FBI document production for Nunes, Gowdy

Although it was originally reported that the White House would not send someone to the meeting today when the DOJ/FBI brief House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and House Oversight Committee chair Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly will be present.

It’s unclear if the briefings will include documents or details about the informant’s work for the FBI or whether they’ll cover the intelligence community’s reluctance to share the highly classified information with members of Congress. Trump allies in Congress spent the day Wednesday expressing doubts that the Justice Department would provide substantive information, though the Justice Department has declined to reveal what it will share.

Ok, let’s get this straight right now. There will be no production of documents. I am positive of this. This will be another feckless attempt by Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to hide whatever parlor games were machinating against the Trump campaign. What started the investigation? When did it start? What other evidence was used to obtain the FISA warrants? Congress cannot get straight answers out of these jokers.

There will be two briefings.

At the first briefing, Kelly will join Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to brief two top House Republicans who have demanded information on the informant: Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy.

Nunes and Gowdy have been invited to the second briefing, as well, along with the House and Senate leaders of both parties, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

So one of two things will happen: Schiff will leak nothing if nothing can be spun against Trump, or he will leak some spun-up “damaging” information about Trump.

“He wants them to turn over the information that exists about the informant to the House and Senate committees,” Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told POLITICO. “All the memos they have. That’ll indicate what the informant found. Then those should be made available to us on a confidential basis. We should be at least allowed to read them so we know this exculpatory evidence is being preserved.”

They will get nothing today, mark my words.

Related:

Trump: I Did A ‘Service’ To Country By Firing Comey

FBI Informant Stefan Halper Accused Of Making ‘False’ And ‘Absurd’ Allegations About Russian Infiltration At Cambridge

Indeed. James Comey Lashes Out At Republicans: ‘Dangerous Time’ For America

HOT TAKE Cooper: Saying ‘spy’ doesn’t make it so

Mueller roundup

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is ready to sentence obscure Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos. “His team issued a status report saying that they want a presentence investigation report, and a joint status report by June 22.”

What did he plead guilty to?

Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty last year, admitting he lied to the FBI about his conversations with a professor with links to the Russian government. The academic talked about “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The terms of Papadopoulos’s guilty plea meant that he agreed to cooperate with the Russia probe, and his sentencing was postponed, pending any testimony he might be called upon to provide in other cases.

Meanwhile, Mueller is fighting attempts for transparency by the media to unseal court documents detailing surveillance and searches used during his “investigation.”

“The Special Counsel’s investigation is not a closed matter, but an ongoing criminal investigation with multiple lines of non-public inquiry,” prosecutors argued in a brief submitted to U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson. “The investigation consists of multiple lines of inquiry within the overall scope of the Special Counsel’s authority. Many aspects of the investigation are factually and legally interconnected: they involve overlapping courses of conduct, relationships, and events, and they rely on similar sources, methods, and techniques. The investigation is not complete and its details remain non-public.”

On another front, Mueller wants to slow walk (postpone “indefinitely”) the trial regarding the RUSSIAN corporation indicted for something or other. This is the second request by Mueller’s team to seek a delay. The RUSSIAN outfit Concord Management and Consulting showed up for trial, catching Mueller’s witch hunters by surprise. It was obvious that the Special Counsel’s indictments were supposed to be for show, but now a trial brings a layer of complication: discovery.

Dubelier has repeatedly notified the court he would insist on using “discovery” to review the “evidence” the special counsel had accumulated about their charge of Russian collusion. His use of discovery would compel Mueller to turn over the U.S. intelligence about Russian activities.

“Speedy trial rights belong to the defendant, and if the defendant pushes for a trial within the 70 days, the government has little cause to complain,” the great Andy McCarthy said. “If the case was too complex, the government had the option of holding off on seeking an indictment until it was ready to proceed to trial. When a prosecutor files an indictment, it is tantamount to saying, ‘We are ready to go.’”

Related:

Kushner spent 7 hours with Mueller investigators last month

Hall of shame:

Can’t wait for this guy go GOP senator on Trump, state of politics: ‘We may have hit bottom’

‘No Government Official is Above the Law’: Judge Rules President Can’t Block People on Twitter

Historical picture of the day:

Angela Lansbury, the star of Broadway’s newest musical “Mame,” at a party following the opening of the show in New York, May 24, 1966. She dances cheek-to-cheek with her husband, Peter Shaw, and in the picture she is shown as someone reads reviews of the show in the morning papers. The musical is based on the comedy of a dozen seasons ago, “Auntie Mame.” (AP Photo)

Other morsels:

Discharge petition efforts intensify as leadership seeks unity

North Korea warns of nuclear showdown, calls Pence ‘political dummy’

U.S. cautions citizens in China after ‘abnormal’ sound incident

Turns out that Libby Schaaf doesn’t care for the Libby Schaaf Act

Wow California lawmakers vote to expand gun restraining orders — but ACLU says bill goes too far

Police release 2,100 pages of Las Vegas shooting documents

Business Owner Tells Nancy Pelosi His Employees’ Bonus And Pay Increases Were Not ‘Crumbs’

Man arrested at McDonald’s for threatening customers with stun gun, yelling ‘get out of my country’

Jessica Walter confirms Jeffrey Tambor verbally abused her on “Arrested Development,” says she now forgives him

We Sat Down With the ‘Arrested Development’ Cast. It Got Raw.

Trump calls for new tariffs on imported cars and trucks, escalating trade wars

‘Mexican Mafia’ crackdown results in charges against 83, authorities say

Jared Kushner receives full security clearance

Arby’s creates Brandi Chastain portrait out of sauce as response to bad plaque

Military dog heroes honored with K-9 Medal of Courage

Chris Long Rips NFL’s New Anthem Rules: ‘This Is Not Patriotism’

Sweden is telling its citizens to prepare for crisis or conflict — and it’s ‘becoming a bit of a trend’ in Europe

Back channel: Cohen got $400,000 from Ukraine to broker Trump meeting, says BBC

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!