W

July 27, 2019

Week 141

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

This week Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees about his 448 page report. The testimony was the first glimpse many Americans had of its findings, especially Mueller’s stark warnings on Russia’s past and ongoing interference, and Trump’s and other regime members’ financial and other conflicts. While the media quibbled over whether Mueller was made-for-television articulate, the House Judiciary Committee took the first steps to effectively start an impeachment investigation, as over 100 House members have now come out in favor of impeachment. Despite testimony by Mueller and FBI director Christopher Wray, as well as a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee sounding alarms about Russia’s ongoing efforts at election interference, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continued to halt efforts by Congress to counter Russian meddling.

Troubling signs of eroding norms and Trump seizing power at an alarming rate continued. Trump ramped up attacks on the media, calling them “fake” and “the enemy of the people,” and saying the press has lost all credibility. Trump continued his diatribe on the Federal Reserve and targeted U.S. companies with his ire. A disturbing Supreme Court ruling allowed Trump to take funds from the Pentagon to build his wall, while he continued to push to end asylum and ramp up rhetoric on deportation — further fanning the flames of “us” versus “them” in America.

  1. On Saturday, more than 20,000 gathered in Moscow demanding free and fair elections, a continuation of protests from Week 140 over opposition candidates not being allowed on the ballot for local elections in September.
  2. On Saturday, Trump showed up at a wedding being held at one of his properties, the National Golf Club Bedminster. The bride and groom were ardent Trump fans and invited him. The crowd chanted, “U-S-A! U-S-A!”
  3. On Saturday, Trump mocked London Mayor Sadiq Khan after the city’s police department Twitter account was hacked, tweeting: “With the incompetent Mayor of London, you will never have safe streets!”
  4. On Sunday, WAPO reported on the political crisis created by Trump’s racist tweets in Week 140. Reporting was based on interviews with 26 White House aides, advisers, lawmakers, and others.
  5. Aides said Trump did not fully understand the impact of his racist tweets sent before golfing. Trump had acted alone, and created a crisis that he continued to flame on his own during the week, despite advice of aides.
  6. The White House feared close to 50 Republicans might vote with House Democrats on the resolution of disapproval. Trump was obsessed with the vote tally, and he and other aides labored to keep the GOP caucus together.
  7. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the WAPO story “with its phony sources who do not exist, is Fake News,” saying people were only talking about “the record setting crowd and the tremendous enthusiasm” at his rally.
  8. Trump then tweeted, “Presidential Harassment!” and then in another tweet added, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
  9. Trump also tweeted, “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country,” calling them “weak & insecure” and adding, “They should apologize to America (and Israel).”
  10. On Monday, Trump again attacked WAPO, tweeting, “the Amazon Washington Post” reported “total Fake News,” adding, “It is a made up story meant to demean & belittle,” and “The Post had no sources.”
  11. Trump also tweeted, “the Mainstream Media is out of control,” claiming “they constantly lie and cheat in order to get their Radical Left Democrat views out,” adding, “they have gone bonkers.”
  12. Trump also again invoked enemy of the people, tweeting, “Fake News Equals the Enemy of the People!
  13. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the Pentagon slipped in revealing that it is conducting a secret Army “emerging classified flight mission” involving Black Hawk helicopters flying over the Washington D.C. area.
  14. The operation was disclosed as part of the Army’s $2.5 billion request this month to Congress to “reprogram” funds, including $1.5 million for aircraft maintenance, air crews, and travel in support of the mission.
  15. On Sunday, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler told “Fox News Sunday” that the Mueller report presents “very substantial evidence” that Trump is “guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors” — an impeachable offense.
  16. On Sunday, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff told “Face the Nation” the Mueller report contains “a pretty damning set of facts,” adding of Mueller’s upcoming testimony, “Who better to bring them to life.”
  17. On Sunday, when asked about Trump’s racist statements on “Fox News Sunday,” White House adviser Stephen Miller said Democrats “try to silence and punish and suppress” people by using the term “racist.”
  18. Miller said “the core element” of Trump’s philosophy is “America First.” When asked about Trump saying the U.S. was “crippled” and a “laughingstock” under Obama, he said it was “out of love” for the country.
  19. On Sunday, when asked on “This Week” if Trump is a racist, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings said he “tried to give him the benefit of the doubt,” adding, “I believe he is. Yes, no doubt about it.”
  20. On Sunday, the president of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association apologized for the group posting a meme on their Facebook page of the four congresswomen, calling them “The Jihad Squad.”
  21. The text of the meme, which was posted on Friday and later taken down, read, “POLITICAL JIHAD IS THEIR GAME. IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH THEIR SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY, YOU’RE RACIST.”
  22. On Sunday, the Times Picayune reported Charlie Rispoli, a police officer in Gretna, Louisiana posted on his Facebook page that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot: “This vile idiot needs a round…”
  23. On Monday, Rispoli was fired, along with officer Angelo Varisco, who liked his post. Gretna’s police chief said, “To insinuate a violent act against a seated U.S. congresswoman” is “completely irresponsible and intolerable.”
  24. On Monday, Trump tweeted the four congresswomen are “a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart,” and “against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!”
  25. On Monday, WAPO obtained talking points for Trump’s re-election campaign: “The President loves America. He will stick up for this country, our flag, and the men and women who serve this country in uniform.”
  26. On Monday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib was introduced at the NAACP annual convention as “one of the four women who was told to go back home.” She said, “Yeah, I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president.”
  27. On Monday, amid calls for Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to resign over a scandal, Trump insulted him and Trump’s adversary San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz who was not involved in the scandal, calling them “grossly incompetent.”
  28. Trump said Cruz is “so bad for her people,” and repeated the false claim that the island received $92 billion in aid. Trump also said “we did a great job” and “I’m the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico.”
  29. On Tuesday, the NAACP leadership voted unanimously at their annual convention to support impeachment. Derrick Johnson, the group’s president, said Trump is “unfit to serve this country.”
  30. On Sunday, Rudy Giuliani said in a radio interview that Mueller “shouldn’t really [testify],” adding, “He’s already commented more than any prosecutor has ever commented about a case he didn’t bring.”
  31. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “Highly conflicted Robert Mueller should not be given another bite at the apple,” saying it will be “bad for him and the phony Democrats” who are wasting time on “this ridiculous Witch Hunt.”
  32. Trump also tweeted, “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION!” and asked why “Clinton’s people” were “given immunity,” and why texts messages between “Peter S and his lover, Lisa Page” were “deleted and destroyed.”
  33. Later, Trump told reporters at the White House that he does not plan to watch Mueller testify: “I’m not going to be watching Mueller because you can’t take all those bites out of the apple.”
  34. Trump repeated false claims about Mueller: “There’s a lot of conflicts…He wanted the job of the FBI director, he didn’t get it. And we had a business relationship where I said no, and I would say that he wasn’t happy.”
  35. Trump said Democrats have “gone off the deep end” and “They’re not doing anything,” adding, “All they care about is a phony investigation. They’re wasting their time.”
  36. On Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters Trump has “zero concerns” about Mueller testifying, calling it “a do-over of the do-over of the do-over” and an insult to the American people.
  37. On Monday, the Justice Department instructed Mueller in a letter to significantly limit his congressional testimony, and “not go beyond” the public unredacted version of the report.
  38. The letter also prohibits answering questions on matters that could be covered by executive privilege, a broad, vague category given Trump was investigated while working in the executive branch.
  39. The letter also reminded Mueller that Roger Stone and a separate case still await trial, and that it is the DOJ’s “longstanding policy not to discuss the conduct of uncharged third-parties.”
  40. On Tuesday, Chair Nadler called it “incredibly arrogant” to try to “instruct” Mueller on what to say, calling it “part of the ongoing cover-up by the administration to keep information away from the American people.”
  41. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Newest Poll: Only 11% in favor of starting ridiculous impeachment hearings” — a number is not close to any real poll. Trump also accused Democrats of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
  42. On Tuesday, Trump told teenagers at the Turning Point USA summit of Mueller’s testimony, “These people have gone totally crazy,” calling it a “witch hunt” and saying the report found “no collusion, no obstruction.”
  43. Trump again repeated the claim that Article II of the Constitution gave him power to “do whatever I want as president.” Article II grants the president “executive power,” but does not give him total power.
  44.  Trump also told the teens, “we have our best poll numbers today that we’ve ever had, can you imagine how good our poll numbers, with all the things we’ve done…if we had a fair media?” One teen yelled “100 percent.”
  45. On Tuesday, Mueller asked the House Judiciary Committee to allow Aaron Zebley, one of his top deputies and counsel, to testify with him Wednesday. The move went against the DOJ wishes, and created an air of uncertainty.
  46. In a statement, ranking Republican Rep. Douglas Collins accused Democrats of an 11th hour trick, and accused Chair Nadler of “again allowing the committee’s business to devolve into chaos.”
  47. Rep. Collins cited an “unprecedented decision” to allow a witness’s counsel to both advise him privately and testify alongside him, adding it could jeopardize whether the hearing “complies with the rules of the House.”
  48. Later Tuesday, Trump tweeted about the “last minute change,” saying “What a disgrace to our system. Never heard of this before,” and adding, “VERY UNFAIR, SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED. A rigged Witch Hunt!”
  49. On Monday, Trump again attacked the “very misguided” Federal Reserve, saying, “With almost no inflation, our Country is needlessly being forced to pay a MUCH higher interest rate than other countries.”
  50. Trump also claimed if interest rates were lower the “GDP & our Country’s wealth accumulation” would be “much higher,” adding, “Such a waste of time & money,” and the Fed “missed it (Big!). Don’t miss it again!”
  51. On Monday, WAPO reported Judy Shelton, Trump’s nominee to fill an open seat of the Federal Reserve Board, plans to push for a rate cut, saying in an email, “I would have voted for a 50-basis-point cut at the June meeting.”
  52. On Monday, Politico reported on dysfunction at the Commerce Department under Secretary Wilbur Ross, saying Ross does not hold regular meetings with senior staffers and is rarely in the building.
  53. Ross reportedly is disengaged, falls asleep in meetings, and spends most of his time kissing up to Trump. Sources also said there is constant infighting among top officials, and departures of senior staffers without explanation.
  54. On Monday, Politico reported Kelly Craft, Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations, spent seven of her 20 months as ambassador to Canada back at her U.S. homes, including 60 personal days.
  55. On Monday, while meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, Trump offered to mediate the long-running Kashmir conflict. Less than an hour later, India rejected Trump’s offer.
  56. Trump also said the duration of the Afghanistan war is “ridiculous,” adding he could “win that war in a week,” but “Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth. I don’t want to kill 10 million people.”
  57. On Monday, according to a new set of rules published in the Federal Register, the Trump regime will expand its power to speed deportations of undocumented immigrants who have entered in the past two years.
  58. The rules allow the regime to fast-track the deportation process, bypassing immigration judges, which the regime claimed is a “necessary response” to the influx, although southern border apprehensions fell in June and July.
  59. On Monday, the Dallas Morning News reported Francisco Erwin Galicia, an 18 year-old born in Dallas, was picked up by Border Patrol, and according to his lawyer, was detained for three weeks and may be deported by ICE.
  60. On Tuesday, after reporting by the newspaper, Galicia was released. His mother said an ICE official called and said they had found his documents and citizenship to be valid. Both ICE and CBP refused to comment.
  61. Galicia told MSNBC of his time at a Texas detention facility, “We couldn’t breathe or brush our teeth,” saying, “we were about 60 people in one small room,” and calling the conditions “inhumane.”
  62. The teen said he lost 26 pounds during his 23 days in custody, saying, “It was more psychological,” adding, “They said they were going to charge me. They would insult me so I would sign my deportation order.”
  63. On Wednesday, the White House praised a federal judge in the District of Columbia who ruled against blocking the regime’s new restrictions saying migrants are ineligible for asylum if they pass through another country.
  64. Later Wednesday, a second federal judge in San Francisco ordered the Trump regime to continue to accept asylum claims from all eligible migrants, and preventing the regime’s rules from being carried out.
  65. On Monday, WTVF-Nashville reported a group of people in Hermitage, Tennessee formed a human chain around a man and his 12 year-old son to protect them from ICE for four hours. Eventually, ICE left.
  66. On Tuesday, ICE revealed in the deportation raids touted by Trump as targeting 2,000 migrant families, just 35 have been arrested, including 18 family members and 17 who were encountered during the operation.
  67. Trump had touted the raids as “very successful.” Advocacy groups had handed out flyers to prepare for the raids, and although the raids were not successful, they have instilled fear into the immigrant community.
  68. On Tuesday, Trump threatened Guatemala, tweeting: “Guatemala, which has been forming Caravans and sending large numbers of people, some with criminal records…has decided to break the deal they had with us.”
  69. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales postponed a meeting with Trump last week after the country’s court blocked the “safe third country” accord, requiring migrants to seek protection there, not continue to the U.S.
  70. Trump tweeted, “we are looking at the “BAN,” Tariffs, Remittance Fees, or all of the above,” adding, “Guatemala has not been good. Big U.S. taxpayer dollars going to them was cut off by me 9 months ago.”
  71. On Wednesday, Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost acknowledged in a Congressional hearing that she was a member of the racist Facebook group “I’m 10–15,” saying, “I didn’t think anything of it at the time.”
  72. On Wednesday, Nancy Goodman, a white woman in Raleigh, North Carolina called two women the “N-word” at a confrontation in a restaurant. Goodman said she would do it again, saying, “I used that word because they forced me to.”
  73. On Thursday, Daniel Leonard, a member of the Toms River school board faced calls to resign after posting on Facebook that his “life would be complete” if Rep. Tlaib were dead.
  74. Leonard also called Rep. Ilhan Omar a “terrorist,” and posted a meme calling her “Sharia Barbie,” showing a Barbie doll with a black and blue eye, which read “Comes with Jihab, Bruises & Quran.”
  75. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson won the race to be the Tory leader and become the next British prime minister, replacing Theresa May. Johnson is a Trump ally, and has been one has been one of the most vocal proponents of Brexit.
  76. WAPO reported Sens. Ted Cruz and Bill Kennedy introduced a nonbinding resolution that would label antifascists as “domestic terrorists,” in step with Trump’s attacks on so-called “radical” activists.
  77. Antifascists, or “antifa,” are a collection of groups and individuals who support aggressive opposition to activists on the far right, in some cases leading to violence. Conservative media has referred to them as terrorists.
  78. On Tuesday, lawyers for Cesar Sayoc said in a defense filing he became obsessed with Trump as a “surrogate father” and believed an “alternative reality” that Democrats were working to hurt him and other supporters. Sayoc sent mail bombs to prominent Democrats, including the Obamas and Hillary Clinton.
  79. Sayoc’s lawyers said Fox News also helped radicalize him, saying he began “watching Fox News religiously,” watching “Fox & Friends” in the morning and Sean Hannity in prime time. He actively followed Trump on Twitter.
  80. On Tuesday, PEN America called for the State Department to disband the new Commission on Unalienable Rights, citing “serious concerns” over the commission’s purpose, process, and membership.
  81. On Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee the FBI has recorded about 100 arrests of domestic terrorism suspects in the past nine months, and most involve white supremacy.
  82. Wray also testified the Russians “are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections,” and said they have not been deterred by sanctions: “My view is until they stop they haven’t been deterred enough.”
  83. Wray said he was cooperating with Attorney General William Barr in his inquiry on the origins of the of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and said the bureau has instituted new policies and training to ensure impartiality.
  84. Wray also admitted when asked by Sen. Mazie Hirono if he read the Mueller report, that he had not, saying, “I’ve — I’ve reviewed it, I wouldn’t say I’ve read every single word.”
  85. On Tuesday, Politico reported that Rep. Devin Nunes met with Trump and other senior White House officials last week to discuss replacements for Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
  86. Some on Capitol Hill and in the intelligence community speculated that given Trump and Nunes’ similar views on intelligence issues, Nunes could be under consideration for DNI or another intelligence position.
  87. One member of Congress told Politico that Trump “would certainly consider Devin Nunes for the director’s position.” The notion has provoked some anxiety at the top level of ODNI.
  88. On Monday, BuzzFeed reported two unofficial envoys, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who reported to Rudy Giuliani, met with top officials in Ukraine to lobby the Ukrainian government to help Trump win 2020.
  89. The two pushed prosecutors to investigate allegations against 2020 candidate Joe Biden, and to open a probe into whether Ukrainian officials sought to help Hillary Clinton win 2016 by leaking evidence on Paul Manafort.
  90. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury convicted Bijan Rafiekian, a former business partner of Michael Flynn and Trump transition adviser, on two foreign-agent felony counts for work he and Flynn did for Turkish interests.
  91. The verdict in Alexandria, Virginia was from a case started by Mueller’s team, and came despite Flynn being dropped as a witness under his new legal representation. Rafiekian faces up to 15 years in prison.
  92. On Tuesday, Trump continued his attacks on the four congresswomen, tweeting he will win Minnesota in 2020 “because of America hating anti-Semite Rep. Omar,” and called the four “a Nightmare for America!”
  93. Later, at the Turning Point USA summit, addressing a group of teenagers, Trump railed against the four, calling Rep.  Tlaib “vicious” and “a crazed lunatic.” The teens chanted, “One Squad Under God.”
  94. Trump again repeated his conspiracy theory on illegal voting, saying Democrats won in “California and numerous other states” are “rigged” because undocumented immigrants vote “many times — not just twice.”
  95. On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Freedom of Information Act bill to counteract an EPA policy and a Supreme Court ruling which make it easier for the Trump regime to withhold information.
  96. On Tuesday, Trump’s private lawyers sued New York State officials and the House Ways and Means Committee to block congressional Democrats from obtaining his state tax returns under a newly enacted New York law.
  97. AG Letitia James of New York said her office had “all the confidence that this law is legal” and pledged to “vigorously defend” it. A spokesman for House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal declined to comment.
  98. On Wednesday, ahead of Mueller’s testimony, Trump tweeted, “why didn’t the highly conflicted Robert Mueller” investigate “Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted and acid washed” emails, saying, “She must have GREAT lawyers!”
  99. Trump asked why “Mueller & his band of 18 Angry Democrats” did not investigate “Crooked Hillary Clinton, Lyin’ & Leakin’ James Comey, Lisa Page and her Psycho lover, Peter S, Andy McCabe…and many more.”
  100. On Wednesday, Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and the House Intelligence Committees. Mueller said in his opening remarks he would not address the origins of the investigation or Steele dossier.
  101. Mueller also said, “Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious.”
  102. Mueller testified to the House Judiciary Committee that despite Trump’s repeated proclamations, the report does not exonerate Trump, and did not conclude that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice.
  103. Mueller said DOJ rules say a sitting president cannot be indicted, but that Trump could be prosecuted for obstruction of justice after he leaves office. Mueller also said Trump refused to be interviewed by his team.
  104. When asked if the Russians perceived a benefit from a candidate, Mueller said, “It would be Trump,” and confirmed that Manafort gave polling data to an associate with ties to Russian intelligence.
  105. Democrats tried to systematically walk through Volume 2, the obstruction of justice charges, including when he attempted to have Mueller fired, reading parts of the report out loud and Mueller responding with short affirmations.
  106. Mueller did say there was a sufficient factual and legal basis for further investigation, and that Trump had a motive to impede the Russia investigation, countering Barr who said Trump was merely frustrated.
  107. Republicans repeatedly asked about the origins of the investigation and the Steele dossier. Mueller refused to roughly 200 questions posed to him, frequently saying, “I’m just going to leave it as it appears in the report.”
  108. Despite saying he did not plan to watch, Trump live-tweeted the testimony, including quoting Fox News host Chris Wallace: “This has been a disaster for the Democrats and a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller.”
  109. Mueller refused to address the issue of impeachment. Republicans accused Mueller and his team members of being biased against Trump. Mueller pushed back, saying he never asked about the political affiliation of his team.
  110. Six Trump aides were charged with crimes in the Mueller probe including Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Roger Stone.
  111. Mueller was more forceful in testimony before the intelligence committee. Chair Schiff accused Trump of “disloyalty” to the country, while ranking Republican Nunes compared the probe to the search for the Loch Ness monster.
  112. Mueller corrected morning testimony where he said did not indict Trump because of the OLC opinion on indicting a sitting president, saying, “We did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”
  113. Mueller said the Russia probe is “not a witch hunt” or a hoax. He also said Russia interfered in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign appeared to welcome that help. Several members of the campaign lied to his team.
  114. Mueller affirmed that Trump’s foreign dealings, including efforts and conversations on Trump Tower Moscow, could expose him to being blackmailed by Russians. Same with other regime members.
  115. Mueller gave his most pointed criticism on Trump for his praising of WikiLeaks, saying, “Problematic is an understatement…it displays of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal behavior.”
  116. Mueller said it is not acceptable to take help from foreign governments, saying, “I hope this is not the new normal, but I fear it is,” adding, “We don’t use the word collusion,” but there may have been a conspiracy.
  117. When asked if his team found evidence to suggest Russia would try to interfere in future elections, Mueller said, “They’re doing it as we sit here,” adding, “And they expect to do it during the next campaign.”
  118. Mueller said he decided not to subpoena Trump for testimony, saying Trump would have fought it and would have extended the investigation for a “substantial period of time.”
  119. Mueller also said of Trump’s written answers, “he wasn’t always being truthful.” Mueller agreed that accepting foreign help is “unpatriotic,” and agreed when government officials lie it can open them up to blackmail.
  120. Notably, ranking member Nunes did not use his closing time to pose any questions to Mueller. In the afternoon session, one Republican did ask Mueller how to stop election interference in the future.
  121. Aaron Zebley, who served as a sort of chief of staff to Mueller during the probe and was sworn in for both hearings, did not speak. Republicans objected to him being there however.
  122. When Mueller’s testimony ended at approximately 3:30 p.m., Trump tweeted: “TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE!”
  123. The Republican National Committee said in a statement the testimony was “a disaster for Democrats,” and, “After three years, millions of taxpayer dollars…There was no collusion and no obstruction. Case closed.”
  124. Trump emerged to speak to reporters, saying had a “very good day,” adding Mueller did “horrible” job and said the investigation was “phony,” and said it was a “devastating day” for Democrats.
  125. Trump also said, “This has been a very bad thing for our country,” and “three years of embarrassment and waste of time for our country,” adding Mueller did not have the right to “exonerate.”
  126. When asked about Mueller saying he could be indicted after leaving office, Trump lashed out calling it “a very dumb and unfair question,” and telling the reporter, “you’re fake news, you’re one of the worst.”
  127. On Wednesday, Politico reported during a closed-door meeting of House Democrats after the hearings, House Judiciary Chair Nadler pushed to launch impeachment proceedings, but was rebuffed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  128. Nadler cited even though polls showed limited support for impeaching Richard Nixon when the House began impeachment hearings in 1973, public support grew as more evidence came out about Nixon’s behavior.
  129. Democrats had a lengthy discussion on impeachment, with rank-and-file lawmakers asking technical questions, including whether it would require a full vote of the House or if it could be initiated by the Judiciary Committee.
  130. In a press conference after the meeting, Speaker Pelosi seemed to soften on starting an impeachment inquiry, telling reporters, “If we have a case for impeachment, that’s the place we will have to go.”
  131. Pelosi said she wanted to build “a strong case” based on “the facts and the law,” adding, “The stronger our case is, the worse the Senate will look for just letting the president off the hook.”
  132. Pelosi added if the “cone of silence and the obstruction of justice and the coverup in the White House prevents us from getting that information,” it will be “even more grounds to go forward” with impeachment.
  133. Nadler told reporters, “Today was a watershed day in telling the facts to the American people,” adding, “we face a time of great danger,” and “This cannot go on. And it’s up to Congress to safeguard the Constitution.”
  134. Chair Cummings told reporters, “I’m begging the American people to pay attention,” urging listeners not to accept Trump’s conduct, or that of AG Barr or Republican lawmakers, as “normal.”
  135. Cummings added, “if you want to have a democracy intact for your children and your children’s children and generations yet unborn, we have got to guard against this moment. This is our watch.”
  136. On Wednesday, the House passed a measure which endorsed all Trump-focused subpoenas, past and future, after a Trump appointed judge questioned whether the House voted to authorize its investigations.
  137. On Wednesday, the DOJ said in a letter to Speaker Pelosi it will not bring charges against AG Barr and Sec. Ross after the House voted in Week 140 to hold them in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas.
  138. On Wednesday, Trump vetoed three joint resolutions that had bipartisan support in the House and Senate, which would have prohibited arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  139. On Wednesday, Bernie Madoff asked Trump to commute his 150-year sentence, filing a petition for clemency with the DOJ. Madoff has served ten years in prison and is 81 years-old.
  140. On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released the first of its five-part report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which found Russia’s “directed extensive activity” started back in 2014.
  141. The report found that Russia targeted the election systems of all 50 states, and described “an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure” as part of an effort to find vulnerabilities.
  142. The report also found “Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data” in the Illinois voter database. The report, including key findings, were heavily redacted at the behest of U.S. intelligence agencies.
  143. The report found Russia did not change votes or manipulate voting machines, but warned of an ongoing threat, and gave a series of public recommendations for 2020, much of which was redacted.
  144. The report recommended ensuring a paper trail for voter machines and paper backups for registration system, as well as strategic steps and opening discussions with U.S. allies on how to deter cyberattacks.
  145. The report also found widespread intelligence failure in countering Russian efforts, saying the scope was underestimated, warnings were inadequate, and state officials under-reacted or resisted federal help.
  146. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Senate Democrats from pushing forward a bill which had passed in the House and would authorize additional funding for the state election systems.
  147. McConnell also blocked a second bill that had passed in the House mandating the use of paper ballots, claiming, “This is partisan legislation from the Democratic House of Representatives.”
  148. A WAPO columnist compared McConnell to “a Russian asset,” saying Russia “is attacking us today…Yet each time we try to raise our defenses to repel the attack, McConnell…blocks us from defending ourselves.”
  149. CNN reported Election Systems & Software, the largest U.S. election equipment manufacturer, has been quietly lobbying to require all voting equipment to create a paper trail, a sharp departure from its past position.
  150. On Saturday, AP reported a federal judge could force Georgia to use an interim voting system, finding its current voting system is “way too old and archaic” and its machines are unsecure and vulnerable to hacking.
  151. On Thursday, AG Barr directed the Bureau of Prisons to reinstate the death penalty, after 16 years without executions, and to schedule the execution of five death row inmates.
  152. On Thursday, North Korea tested a new type of short-range ballistic missile, launching two missiles, according to the South Korean government, expanding the North’s ability to deliver nuclear warheads.
  153. On Thursday, WAPO reported that during Trump’s speech at Turning Point USA’s student summit on Tuesday, he was standing in front of a doctored presidential seal which included a Russian symbol.
  154. A closer examination of videos from the event revealed rather than the Latin phrase “E pluribus unum,” the seal says “45 es un títere,” a Spanish phrase that translates to “45 is a puppet.”
  155. The fake seal, which was meant to poke fun at Trump’s love of golf and ties to Russia, also showed the eagle clutching cash in its right talons. Turning Point USA fired the person on the video team who displayed the fake seal.
  156. On Thursday, Vox reported the Trump regime is planning to crack down on “broad-based categorical eligibility,” which enables states to enroll people who have applied for other low-income programs to get food stamps.
  157. The move would bump roughly 3.1 million people off food stamps, roughly 8% of those currently on the program, and would allow the Trump regime to bypass Congress.
  158. On Thursday, CNN reported that Monica Crowley, Trump’s pick for Treasury spokesperson, had repeatedly spread a smear that Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim, saying, “Can he be both loyal to Islam and loyal to the United States?”
  159. On Thursday, a total of five additional House Democrats came out for impeachment, including Rep. Katherine Clark, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus and the highest-ranking Democrat to join the effort.
  160. On Thursday, Trump called in to Sean Hannity’s show to talk about Mueller’s testimony, calling it a “very poor performance” and saying people watching “couldn’t believe when they saw what was going on.”
  161. Trump also called it “a disgrace to our country,” saying he “watched a little bit at the very beginning and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” even though he was tweeting about the testimony throughout.
  162. Trump called the Mueller probe “a fake witch hunt and it should never be allowed to happen to another president again,” adding, “This was treason. This was high crimes,” and the press lost “all credibility.”
  163. Trump also said, “It’s fake news,” repeating the press is “the enemy of the people,” and added on firing Mueller, “I had the absolute right to fire him but I didn’t,” and this was a coup attempt, in my opinion.”
  164. On Friday, Rep. Ann Kuster of New Hampshire became the 99th Democrat to come out for impeachment, bringing the total to 100 members of Congress. Later, Rep. Chris Pappas of a swing district in NH made it 101.
  165. On Friday, Politico reported with Democrats moving closer, Pelosi said she has “no complaint,” adding, “I’m willing to take whatever heat there is. The decision will be made in a timely fashion. This isn’t endless.”
  166. On Friday, Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama announced she plans to retire at the end of the term, the third Republican to announce their resignation this week. Roby is one of only 13 Republican women in the House.
  167. On Friday, Trump attacked Fox News in a pair of tweets, saying, “@FoxNews is at it again. So different from what they used to be during the 2016 Primaries, & before — Proud Warriors!”
  168. Trump also tweeted about “new Fox Polls, which have always been terrible to me (they had me losing BIG to Crooked Hillary),” complaining about a poll which showed Trump down by 10 points to Biden.
  169. Trump blamed it on “three year vicious Witch Hunt, perpetrated by the Lamestream Media in Collusion with Crooked and the Democrat Party,” saying no way he can lose “with the greatest Economy in U.S. history.”
  170. The day before Trump had celebrated Fox News in a series of tweets, over their polls showing his approval rating higher, tweeting: “President Trump’s Approval Rating on Economy is at 52%.”
  171. Trump also tweeted, “There may or may not be National Security concerns with regard to Google and their relationship with China.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said there was no concern on Wednesday.
  172. Trump also attacked Apple, saying the company “will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China.” Apple shared dipped slightly on the tweet.
  173. Trump also attacked the Federal Reserve again, tweeting that second quarter GDP up 2.1% was “Not bad considering we have the very heavy weight of the Federal Reserve anchor wrapped around our neck.”
  174. Trump also attacked France for a new tax law targeting U.S. technology giants like Apple, tweeting, “We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly.”
  175. On Friday, in a petition to the court over the Mueller probe, the House Judiciary Committee asked the federal judge to unseal grand jury secrets related, saying the panel is considering articles of impeachment.
  176. Chair Nadler told reporters, “Because Department of Justice policies will not allow prosecution of a sitting president,” the House “is the only institution of the federal government” that can hold “Trump accountable.”
  177. The House application states, “the House must have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise all its full Article I powers,” including “recommendation of articles of impeachment.”
  178. Chair Nadler stood with other House Judiciary Committee members (pictured below), several of whom told reporters the application indicates the start of an impeachment investigation.
  179. On Friday, Trump told reporters from the Oval Office that “it’s a disgrace” that Democrats continue to investigate him, adding, “they want to go fishing and I watched Bob Mueller and they have nothing.”
  180. Trump threatened Obama, saying, “Let’s look into Obama the way they’ve looked at me … they could look into the book deal that President Obama made. Let’s subpoena all of his records.”
  181. On Friday, a federal judge dismissed the $250 million defamation lawsuit brought by Covington student Nicholas Sandmann against WAPO, saying its coverage was protected by the First Amendment and deemed opinion.
  182. On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump can proceed with plans to use Pentagon funds for construction of his wall, overruling a lower court which found reallocating Pentagon funds would violate federal law.
  183. The unsigned ruling split along ideological lines, 5 to 3, with Justice Stephen Breyer proposing a compromise which others did not sign, and came after an emergency filing by the regime during the court’s summer recess.
  184. Speaker Pelosi said in a statement the decision allows Trump “to defy the bipartisan will of the Congress and proceed with contracts to spend billions of dollars on his wall undermines the Constitution and the law.”
  185. On Friday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, urged Chair Lindsey Graham to back down from a threatened rules change in order to vote on a bill to change the Flores settlement.
  186. Feinstein said in her letter, “Your announcement to disregard these rules…and change the rules unilaterally in a partisan manner is deeply concerning,” saying it would “set an unfortunate precedent for the future.”
  187. On Friday, NBC News reported U.S. troops are stationed inside the Border Patrol’s holding facility in Donna, Texas, a move close to violating a federal law forbidding troops from being in direct contact with migrants.
  188. The troops are not armed, and are monitoring migrant adults and children from just a few feet away and are supposed to report any problems to CBP officials rather than interact.
  189. Rep. John Garamendi said the regime is “teetering on the edge of the Posse Comitatus law,” a 1878 federal law that prohibits the government from using military forces to act as a police force within U.S. borders.
  190. On Friday, the National Institutes of Health issued new strict requirements by the Trump regime for researchers seeking federal funding grants for research using fetal tissue.
  191. Going forward, grant applications and renewals must provide a detailed justification for using tissue collected from elective abortions, and document why no alternative methods could accomplish the same.
  192. On Friday, the Senate Armed Services Committee said it would move forward with confirmation hearings for Gen. John Hyten, Trump’s nominee to be the number two general, despite sexual assault accusations.
  193. On Saturday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Chair Cummings, who is a Black American, calling him a “brutal bully,” accusing him of “shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol.”
  194. Trump claimed Cummings’ district of Baltimore “is FAR WORSE and more dangerous,” than the border, and “considered the Worst in the USA,” and “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
  195. Trump also tweeted Cumming’s district is the “worst run and most dangerous,” asking, “Where is all this money going? How much is stolen?” and threatening, “Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”
  196. Cummings tweeted back, “Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors,” adding, “It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
  197. An hour before Trump’s attack on Cummings, “Fox & Friends” ran a segment questioning, “How do living conditions in Rep. Cummings’ Baltimore district compare to those at the border?”
  198. On Saturday, CNN reported Raj Shah, the former White House deputy press secretary, took a job at Fox News, continuing the revolving door between the cable network and Trump’s White House.
  199. On Saturday, Moscow police arrested more than 1,000 protestors in continuing protests over the fairness of upcoming city elections. Protestors yelled, “We love Russia! They love money!”

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and fellow Democratic members of the committee hold a news conference about this week’s testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller July 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Nadler said that the hearing was an “inflection point,” because Mueller testified that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign welcomed assistance from Russians and that Trump “was not exonerated.”