What Now?! – 2/8/19

TRUMP TWEETS. President Trump tweeted that the sweeping investigations launched by House Democrats are la “continuation” of special counsel Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt.” Said Trump: “So now Congressman Adam Schiff announces, after having found zero Russian Collusion, that he is going to be looking at every aspect of my life, both financial and personal, even though there is no reason to be doing so. Never happened before! Unlimited Presidential Harassment.” He continued: “The Dems and their committees are going ‘nuts.’ The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing.”

LOL. This clown has no political memory, or memory of any kind. Either that or he is mentally impaired, or he is lying. Remember Benghazi? Fast and Furious? Trump’s own myriad investigations into Obama’s birth certificate?

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has hired officials with experience at the National Security Council to help with its oversight of President Trump’s administration, CNN reports.

“An aide declined to say how recently the newly hired officials worked at the council, whether they served under Trump or to identify the individuals. But the move appears to have enraged the President and some members of his senior staff, who view the move as an intrusion.”

“Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are preparing to issue a subpoena as soon as Thursday to obtain phone records linked to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer,” The Hill reports.

VIRGINIA CLUSTERF*CK. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) was made aware of allegations of sexual assault against now-Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) over a year ago by the alleged victim herself, ABC News reports.

“Scott learned of the allegations directly from Dr. Vanessa Tyson, who on Wednesday released a statement detailing the alleged 2004 assault, which took place at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.”

The Washington Post’s editorial board has joined top Democratic leaders in calling for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s resignation: “He must go,” the editorial board wrote in a Thursday column.

“It’s reasonable to guess that other revelations elsewhere, about other public figures with their own histories or photos of offensive, insensitive or racist conduct, may surface in coming days,” they wrote. “Each should be judged on its own set of circumstances. In the case of Mr. Northam, the circumstances are decisive; what’s done cannot be undone. He must go.”

The newspaper called Northam’s handling of the controversy “artless” and “tone-deaf,” and said he has a “manifest inability at this point to be an effective governor.”

THAT F*CKING WALL. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi is vowing that the federal government will not shut down again, even as President Trump ratchets up pressure for his border wall ahead of a fast-approaching deadline,” Politico reports. Said Pelosi: “There will not be another shutdown. No, it’s not going to happen.”

“After the 35-day shutdown — and the political drubbing that Trump and Republicans took during the record-breaking impasse — Pelosi predicted GOP leaders won’t go down that road again.”

Ron Brownstein: “All of this underscores how Trump, across a broad range of immigration issues, is steering the GOP toward the preferences of a distinct minority of Americans. And yet the evidence is also clear that Trump is systematically eradicating opposition to his agenda inside the GOP. Over four-fifths of Republicans in the House and nearly three-fourths of Republicans in the Senate voted for the massive cuts to legal immigration that Trump supported last year, though the bills ultimately failed.”

“While many Republicans were initially skeptical of the border wall when Trump first endorsed it in the 2016 campaign, those voices have been almost completely silenced.”

“The party’s willingness to link arms behind Trump over the wall is especially striking because the idea faces such preponderant opposition from all the groups that powered the big Democratic gains in November’s midterm elections: young adults, minorities, independents, and college-educated white voters, especially women.”

MUELLER TIME. “Paul Erickson, the American political operative and boyfriend of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in South Dakota on charges of wire fraud and money laundering,” the Daily Beast reports.

Sergei Millian, a Belarus-born businessman who was the source of the “pee-tape” allegations in the infamous Steele dossier, built a close relationship with Trump aide George Papadopoulos in 2016 and offered to serve as a go-between for the Trump campaign and an author with connections to the Russian government, the Washington Post reports. The new report suggests Millian was closer to Trump’s campaign than was previously known.

Garrett Graff: “The one thing that remains clear is just how much Mueller knows: He’s uncovered ‘track changes’ in individual Microsoft Word documents, he’s referenced what specific words Russian military intelligence officers Googled three years ago, and even what the hired trolls inside the Internet Research Agency wrote to family members. Long before the House Intelligence Committee today kicked over a few dozen transcripts, Mueller amassed some 290,000 documents from Michael Cohen, tons more from the Trump transition team, and what the White House says is 1.4 million documents it turned over voluntarily, among countless other files, documents, reports, and classified raw intelligence.”

“Given that foundation of knowledge, it’s worth examining some of the ‘known unknowns,’ places where Mueller has been silent but where he presumably knows far more than he’s chosen to say.”

ABC News: “On the copy of Stone’s indictment filed to the official docket for his case, a marking from the U.S. district court clerk’s office reveals it has a ‘related case’ — the July 13 indictment against a dozen Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.”

“The seven charges against Stone are for allegedly lying to lawmakers and attempting to intimidate a witness. Legal experts said the assertion that the hacking case is ‘related’ means the prosecutors consider both cases to be part of a larger story.”

“The marking indicates prosecutors see a ‘common nucleus of facts’ in the cases.”

2020. “As Joe Biden decides whether or not to run for president in 2020, top Democratic leaders in the first caucus and primary states have heard little, if anything, from the former Vice President,” BuzzFeed News reports. Biden’s plans remain a mystery to state and county party chairs, as well as other prominent activists who spoke to BuzzFeed News. Many said they’re not even in touch with close advisers or allies who would have to spring to action if and when Biden announces.”

But, “Joe Biden is working one of his most important constituencies as he closes in on a decision about running for president: Capitol Hill Democrats,” Politico reports. “In recent weeks, the former vice president and longtime Democratic senator has spoken with former congressional colleagues about how he sees his chances in 2020, his timing for entering the race, and what it would take for him to compete in a crowded Democratic primary.”

“Biden has an established fan base among Democratic lawmakers, particularly in the Senate, where he served for 36 years. The outreach indicates that Biden is looking to lock down establishment support on the front end of a campaign to give him an edge in a splintered field.”

New York Times: “The flash of enthusiasm for Ms. Abrams came as no surprise to Georgia Democrats, who rallied behind her run to become governor there last year, which would have made her the first black women to lead a state. And her well-received speech Tuesday evening will most likely intensify the current efforts by national party leaders to recruit Ms. Abrams to run for Senate in 2020.” “But some of her supporters and other Democrats are also asking whether she should be running for an even bigger position — and why the clamoring has been louder for some white male politicians to run than for her.”

“Beto O’Rourke appears to be close to jumping into the race for president, but some Texas Democrats hope he’ll run for Senate instead,” the Dallas Morning News reports. “That’s not to say they would be terribly upset by their favorite son running for the White House. But in terms of what’s best for Texas Democrats, some contend challenging Republican incumbent John Cornyn would provide a greater opportunity for victory and push Texas close to becoming a battleground, if not a bluer state.”

A new CNN poll finds that 87% of Americans say special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators should produce a full, public report on their findings, a sentiment that crosses party lines.

COHEN. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced that Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony, previously planned for today, February 8 before Schiff’s committee has been postponed. “In the interests of the investigation, Michael Cohen’s testimony has been postponed until February 28th,” Schiff said in a statement.

Cohen’s testimony before another committee, House Oversight, has already been postponed once before due to what he called “threats against his family.” President Donald Trump has publicly suggested Cohen’s father-in-law should be investigated.

POLLING. A new Optimus survey finds former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Trump in a potential 2020 head-to-head match up, 50% to 43%. However, Biden’s lead shrinks to 4% when Howard Schultz is included as an independent candidate.

In another potential match up, Trump narrowly led Sen. Kamala Harris 45% to 43%, but his lead swelled to 4% with Schultz as an option. Trump also led 3-way races against Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

Stuart Rothenberg: “Schultz isn’t likely to have much appeal among Trump’s rural, culturally conservative, white evangelical base. And that means he would be likely to do much greater damage to the Democratic nominee’s vote than to Trump’s. And that’s why Democrats have reason to be worried about Schultz’s candidacy.”

A new Morning Consult poll finds a record low of 40% of voters approved of President Trump and a record-high 55% disapproved, resulting in the worst monthly net rating of his presidency.

A new CNN poll finds that 87% of Americans say special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators should produce a full, public report on their findings, a sentiment that crosses party lines.

EXPORTING GUNS. Semi-automatic weapons, flamethrowers and even some grenades will become easier for U.S. weapons manufacturers to export overseas under new rules being put in place by the Trump administration and obtained by NBC News.

“Under the new rules, set to take effect in just under a month, gun makers will no longer need licenses from the State Department to sell dozens of types of weapons to other countries, including the popular AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle that’s been employed in many of America’s worst mass shootings. Instead, sellers will need only a no-fee license from the Commerce Department, which has a less onerous licensing process and a smaller global footprint, making it harder to track how the weapons are ultimately used overseas.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

2 comments on “What Now?! – 2/8/19

  1. Love the idea of O’Rourke in the Senate. He might do more to throw texas go the dem nominee as a senator than a VP. Im still net skeptical on him at the top of the ticket.

  2. 2nd women comes forward:

    “We serve as counsel for Meredith Watson, who was raped by Justin Fairfax in 2000, while they were both students at Duke University. Mr. Fairfax’s attack was premeditated and aggressive. The two were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship,” Nancy Erika Smith, Watson’s attorney, said in a statement. “Ms. Watson shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession. Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her.”


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