What Now?! – 2/22/19

The members of the North Carolina Board of Elections voted unanimously Thursday to hold a new election in the 9th District after hearings this week unequivocally revealed that Harris and a criminal operative committed election fraud via forged absentee ballots.   The panel is composed of three Democrats and two Republicans.   Mark Harris (R), the disgraced Republican candidate, tried to preempt this decision by calling for a new election himself earlier in the day, the Washington Post reports.  There is no word yet on when the new election will be scheduled.

Marcy Wheeler: “I’m fairly certain the concerns about Barr coming in and forcing Mueller to finish this are misplaced. I say that, in part, because Mueller seemed to be preparing for this timing. I say it, too, because Barr is too close to Mueller to do that to him.”

“That says that Mueller is choosing this timing (and choosing not to wait for the appeals to be done). Whatever reason dictates this timing, by doing it in this window, Mueller can ensure the legitimacy of what happens, both legally (because Barr will be in place) and politically (because it will be clear Rosenstein presided over it).”

“So whatever comes next week, people on both sides should accept that it is the outcome of the investigation that Mueller deemed appropriate.”

Garrett Graff: “The media and bloggers have regularly tracked the abnormally large number of sealed indictments filed over the last year in DC federal court, the jurisdiction where Mueller has been worked, including 14 added between August and November—a period where Mueller was theoretically ‘quiet’ around the midterm election—and four recent sealed indictment that seemed to parallel the Stone indictment.”

“Whether any relatee to Mueller remains to be seen, but in some ways the idea of piling up sealed indictments would have been the smartest way for Mueller to ensure that if he was fired, his case lived on.”

Neil Katyal: “The report is unlikely to be a dictionary-thick tome, which will disappoint some observers. But such brevity is not necessarily good news for the president. In fact, quite the opposite.”

“For months, the president’s lawyers have tried to discredit Mr. Mueller and this report, but their efforts may have backfired. A concise Mueller report might act as a ‘road map’ to investigation for the Democratic House of Representatives — and it might also lead to further criminal investigation by other prosecutors. A short Mueller report would mark the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end.”

“Michael Cohen has agreed to testify in public next Wednesday before Congress about his work as President Trump’s personal lawyer and longtime fixer, but lawmakers said they would limit the scope of their questioning in deference to the special counsel,” the New York Times reports.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday night that the House will vote in the coming day on a resolution disapproving President Trump’s emergency declaration to build his wall with Mexico, encouraging her members to support the effort as they try to stop construction at the border,” the Washington Post reports.

Pelosi said Trump’s declaration “undermines the separation of powers and Congress’s power of the purse, a power exclusively reserved by the text of the Constitution to the first branch of government, the Legislative branch, a branch co-equal to the Executive.”

She announced that the House would move “swiftly” to pass the resolution in the coming days.

Sen. Bernie Sanders “plans to sign a party pledge affirming that he will run for president as a Democrat in 2020 and serve as one if elected,” CNN reports.

“The Democratic National Committee said on Tuesday that it planned to meet in the coming week with the presidential primary campaigns and distribute a form to the candidates, who under bylaws agreed on last August will be required ‘to affirm in writing’ that they ‘are a member of the Democratic Party, will accept the Democratic nomination’ and ‘will run and serve as a member of the Democratic Party.’”

“The son of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father repeatedly that he believed a political operative now at the center of an election-fraud investigation had previously used illegal tactics to win votes,” the Washington Postreports.

“John Harris, now an assistant U.S. attorney in Raleigh, said he advised his father in conversations and emails that he believed Leslie McCrae Dowless was ‘shady’ and appeared to have illegally collected absentee ballots in 2016 while working for a different Republican candidate in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.”

“I recognize that I let the court down. I let you down. I let myself down. I let my family down. I let my attorneys down. I can only say I’m sorry. it was a momentary lapse in judgment. Perhaps I talk too much… I am kicking myself over my own stupidity.”

— Roger Stone, quoted by Politico, apologizing to U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson for violating her gag order.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson imposed a full gag order after Roger Stone posted photo on Instagram of judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of gun.  Said Jackson: “So no, Mr Stone, I’m not giving you another chance. I have serious doubts about whether you’ve learned any lesson at all.”  She added: “Any violation of this order will be a basis for revoking your bond.”

“An analyst with the Internal Revenue Service was charged with disclosing confidential reports about Michael Cohen’s bank records that revealed the President’s former lawyer sought to profit from his proximity to the White House,” CNN reports.

A senior North Korean official says his country is facing dwindling food supplies and has been forced to cut food rations for its people, according to a memo obtained by NBC News.

“The memo, written by Kim Song, the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations, appears to be an unusual admission that the country lacks enough food to feed its people, a situation that Kim blamed on a combination of natural disasters and the sanctions regime that is making it difficult to obtain farming equipment.”

“President Trump has grown increasingly disenchanted with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, who has served as the nation’s top intelligence official for nearly two years, leading some administration officials to worry he will soon be dismissed,” the Washington Postreports.

“The president has never seen Coats as a close or trusted adviser, the people said, but he has become more frustrated with him in recent weeks over public statements that Trump sees as undercutting his policy goals, particularly with respect to reaching a disarmament agreement with North Korea.”

Ron Brownstein: “As in every recent Democrat primary race, the 2020 contest will begin in two virtually all-white states, with the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary in early February. But after that the next month of the primary calendar is dominated by states across the Sun Belt where non-white voters comprise a large share, and often an absolute majority, of the electorate.”

“This decisive turn toward diversity, reinforced by California’s decision to move up its primary to Super Tuesday, represents a potentially critical new wrinkle in the nomination process. The pivot begins with Nevada and South Carolina, where contests will be held in the second half of February. The tilt toward diversity then explodes in early March when big Sun Belt states from Florida, North Carolina and Virginia in the southeast to Arizona and Texas along with California across the southwest will all crowd together on the calendar.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) told CBS News that while President Trump is likely to fend off a GOP primary challenger, he may be vulnerable in the general election against the eventual Democratic nominee.

Said Hogan: “The issue I’m concerned about is he has a very low re-elect number, I think in the 30s, high 30s, low 40s. So the chance of him losing a general election are pretty good. I’m not saying he couldn’t win but he’s pretty weak in the general election.”

He added: “At some point if he weakens further, Republicans would say we’re concerned about whether or not he’s going to win if we’re going to face a very far-left Democratic nominee, and is he going to take the rest of us down with him if you’re an elected official.”

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

1 comment on “What Now?! – 2/22/19

  1. “Far left Democratic Nominee”? Who the hell is that, Frank? There is no “far left” like there IS far-right.

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