The Morning Briefing: DoJ Threatens Executive Privilege Smack Down
Good Wednesday morning.
Here is what's on the president's agenda today:
- The president leads a Cabinet meeting
- President Trump departs the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews
- The president arrives and tours areas impacted by Hurricane Michael
- President Trump delivers remarks at a Make America Great Again rally in Panama City, Florida
Weaponized House Committees continue assault on Barr, DoJ, government employees
First up, we have the House Intelligence Committee led by the very unhinged Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff who wants the DoJ to turn over all the underlying documents and an unredacted version of the Mueller report to congress. They are getting ready to issue a subpoena. (A copy of the report with everything other than the grand jury testimony is available but no Democrats have gone to view it. Clearly, a priority.)
Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) sent two letters to the Justice Department and FBI in March and April requesting all materials obtained or produced by Mueller in the course of his investigation. They also asked for Mueller to testify before the committee.
A House Intelligence Committee aide said Tuesday that the Justice Department has not produced documents or started scheduling testimony in response to the requests and noted that the panel would “soon start the compulsory process since the Department has not even begun to comply.”
Turning now to another unhinged committee chair, Rep. Elijah Cummings on the Oversight Committee is threatening to withhold the paychecks of Interior and Commerce Departments employees who refuse to be interviewed as part of the committee's "investigations."
Democrats in the House are looking into the addition of a citizenship question in the 2020 Census and there are concerns that Secretary David Bernhardt has not been transparent about his schedule.
In letters to seven federal employees, Cummings said the committee has the authority to withhold salaries of any employee who "prohibits or prevents" or "attempts or threatens to prohibit or prevent" testimony in front of the committee.
Remember when the Democrats had a meltdown when the government was shutdown courtesy of Trump over budget negotiations? Remember all the sob stories of starving federal employees that that had to sell their blood and forage in trash to feed their families because Trump and the GOP shut the government down? You can see how much the Democrats really care about ensuring the federal employees get their salaries.
The secret word is
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee and the single most important thing that came from the hearing is that Wray disavowed the term "spying" unlike his boss, Attorney General William Barr. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) was left speechless when she questioned Barr last month and he told her he was looking into the spying on the Trump campaign.
“That’s not the term I would use,” Wray told lawmakers. “Lots of people have different colloquial phrases. I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me the key question is making sure that it's done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.”
Shaheen tried to extract the disagreement from Wray when she asked if following FBI's lawful procedures was considered spying. We have yet to see if the
spying followed any sort of lawful procedures.
Barr: it's privilege time
What time is it? It's privilege o'clock at the DoJ. The Justice Department says it will move to have sections of the Mueller Report protected by executive privilege if Rep. "Fat Jerry" Nadler of the House Judiciary Committee doesn't stop quacking about a contempt of congress charge.
In a letter to New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said the department would “request that the President invoke executive privilege” over the unredacted parts of the Mueller report.
Barr offered to work with congress regarding the parts of the report that were publicly withheld, but congressional Democrats are more interested in forcing Barr to bend to their will and violate the law. They know Barr isn't going to do that so the Democrats get what the want which is an occasion to grand stand how Barr is hiding all the smoking guns in the report that shattered their impeachment dreams.
“The White House waived these privileges long ago, and the Department seemed open to sharing these materials with us earlier today. The Department’s legal arguments are without credibility, merit, or legal or factual basis,” Nadler said in a statement, according to The Hill.
“Worse, this kind of obstruction is dangerous. The Department’s decision reflects President Trump’s blanket defiance of Congress’s constitutionally mandated duties. In the coming days, I expect that Congress will have no choice but to confront the behavior of this lawless Administration. The Committee will also take a hard look at the officials who are enabling this cover up,” he added.
Good luck with that Jerry.
The Dems have been seeking impeachment since the second Trump won the election. Nancy Pelosi: 'Trump is goading us to impeach him'
New York Times prints Trump's old tax returns
The New York Times breathlessly reported 10 years of Trump tax returns from the 80s-90s that showed him losing a ton of money. Who cares? Voters didn't care in 2016 when Trump campaigned for president. Are there Trump supporters out there that will now turn on the president because these old tax returns have been released?
The documents from 1985-1994 show he lost millions each year on casinos, hotels and retail space — totaling a loss of $1.7 billion for the decade, according to the paper.
Compared to IRS data, Trump lost more money than most other taxpayers during that time. In 1990 and 1991, he lost $250 million — double the next closest filer for those years, the paper said.
Trump lost so much money during this period that he avoided paying income tax for eight of those 10 years, the Times reported.
“I.R.S. transcripts, particularly before the days of electronic filing, are notoriously inaccurate [and] would not be able to provide a reasonable picture of any taxpayer’s return,” Trump lawyer Charles J. Harder said.
Where did the paper get the documents?
School shooting in Colorado
Yesterday, two deranged maniacs shot up their school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, killing one student and wounding eight. The two maniacs are in custody: 18 year-old Devon Erickson was one shooter and the other is a minor. Authorities have not determined their motives but this might be a clue:
Police towed a white car with “FUCK SOCIETY” spray painted in blue on one side away from the house.
“Two individuals walked into the STEM school, got deep inside the school, and engaged students in two separate locations,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.
Colorado ABC affiliate Denver 7 reported a combination of factors, including revenge and anger, spurred the attack. One suspect faced bullying for wanting to change from female to male and identifying as a male, the station said, citing law enforcement sources.
Kudos to her, she's more effective than most elected officials. Kim Kardashian West has helped free 17 inmates in 90 days
The Democrats tried to do that here too. Turkey’s president didn’t like an election outcome so he’s “fixing” it
This story is horrific. When a Seattle woman raped by a homeless man told her story, the progressive backlash began
And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!