Tuesday, August 28, 2018

House GOPlins face an investigatory nightmare

Here’s a choice selection from the popular.info email newsletter.

The Democrats’ to-do list, as written by Republicans

Axios’ Jonathan Swan obtained a list being circulated by Republicans detailing the investigations that Democrats will likely launch if they recapture the House of Representatives. The clear purpose of the list is to motivate Republican voters to turn out in November.

A small sampling:

  • President Trump’s tax returns
  • Trump family businesses — and whether they comply with the Constitution’s emoluments clause, including the Chinese trademark grant to the Trump Organization
  • Trump’s dealings with Russia, including the president’s preparation for his meeting with Vladimir Putin
  • The payment to Stephanie Clifford — a.k.a. Stormy Daniels
  • James Comey’s firing
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s business dealings
  • Cabinet secretary travel, office expenses, and other misused perks
  • Discussion of classified information at Mar-a-Lago

(Scriber: follow the Axios link to see the longer list.)

The real news here, however, is not that Democrats would investigate these issues. It’s that Republicans don’t believe any of these issues are worthy of investigation.

And because of the incredible indifference shown by the president to the corruption evidenced in the list, there is no real preparation for the coming onslaught. Here’s the Axios summation.

The spreadsheet — which I’m told originated in a senior House Republican office — catalogs more than 100 formal requests from House Democrats this Congress, spanning nearly every committee.

  • The spreadsheet includes requests for administration officials to be grilled by committee staff, requests for hearings to obtain sworn testimony, efforts to seize communications about controversial policies and personnel decisions, and subpoena threats.

  • These demands would turn the Trump White House into a 24/7 legal defense operation.

The bottom line: Thanks to their control of Congress, Republicans have blocked most of the Democrats’ investigative requests. But if the House flips, the GOP loses its power to stymie. Lawyers close to the White House tell me the Trump administration is nowhere near prepared for the investigatory onslaught that awaits them, and they consider it among the greatest threats to his presidency.

For context, when Republicans were in power, they investigated Socks, Bill Clinton’s cat.

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