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What Now?! – November 25, 2019

WHITE HOUSE EMAILS REVEAL COVER-UP OF EXTORTION SCANDAL. “A confidential White House review of President Trump’s decision to place a hold on military aid to Ukraine has turned up hundreds of documents that reveal extensive efforts to generate an after-the-fact justification for the decision and a debate over whether the delay was legal,” the Washington Post reports.

“The research by the White House Counsel’s Office, which was triggered by a congressional impeachment inquiry announced in September, includes early August email exchanges between acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House budget officials seeking to provide an explanation for withholding the funds after President Trump had already ordered a hold in mid-July on the nearly $400 million in security assistance.”

INDICTED GIULIANI ASSOCIATE PROVIDES HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY WITH AUDIO/VIDEO EVIDENCE. The House Intelligence Committee is in possession of audio and video recordings and photographs provided to the committee by Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, who reportedly played a key role in assisting him in his efforts to investigate Joe Biden and Ukraine, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.

NAVY SECRETARY ASKED TO RESIGN. “Defense Secretary Mark Esper demanded the resignation of the Navy secretary, Richard Spencer, declaring that he had lost “confidence” in the Navy’s top civilian leader after Mr. Spencer diverged from President Trump over the treatment of a member of the Navy SEALs at the center of a high-profile war crimes case,” the New York Times reports.

“In a statement, Mr. Esper said he had lost trust in Mr. Spencer because his private statements about the Navy SEAL case differed from what he advocated in public. But Defense Department officials said Mr. Spencer prompted the ire of Mr. Trump when he threatened to resign over the president’s handling of the case of the SEALs member, Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, and publicly said he disagreed with the president’s handling of the matter.”

This comes after the Navy Secretary decided to proceed with disclipary actions against the murdering bastard that the treason President pardoned last week.

New York Times: “The secretary of the Navy and the admiral who leads the SEALs have threatened to resign or be fired if plans to expel a commando from the elite unit in a war crimes case are halted by President Trump, administration officials said Saturday.”

““The high-level pushback to Mr. Trump’s unambiguous assertion on Twitter this past week that the commando, Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, should remain in the unit was an extraordinary development in what was already an extraordinary case, one with few precedents in the history of presidential relations with the American military.”

“The Navy secretary, Richard V. Spencer, later denied that he had threatened to resign but said disciplinary plans against Chief Gallagher would proceed because he did not consider Mr. Trump’s statement on Twitter to be a formal order. Mr. Spencer added that the president, as commander in chief, had the authority to intervene and that it would stop ‘the process.’”

RELUCTANT WITNESSES MAY BE COMPELLED TO TESTIFY IN SENATE TRIAL. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff left the door open to the possibility of more hearings or depositions in the impeachment inquiry but said that Democrats will not “wait months and months while the administration plays a game of rope-a-dope in an effort to try to stall,” CNN reports.

In fact, he said it’s possible reluctant witnesses could be compelled to testify at a Senate trial. Said Schiff: “Well, I think there’s certainly merit to the idea that we may get a quicker ruling from a chief justice in a Senate trial, if it ever came to that, than we would get by going months and months on end litigating the matter.”

REMOVAL OF THE TREASON PRESIDENT WILL COME DOWN TO VOTERS. New York Times: “Every one is playing their assigned role in a drama where the ending seems known in advance as the House of Representatives heads toward a likely party-line vote to impeach the president, followed by a Senate trial that will not convict him.”

“But if the outcome of the showdown on Capitol Hill at the moment appears foreordained, the ultimate verdict still is not. Unlike Presidents Richard M. Nixon or Bill Clinton, Mr. Trump faces an election after his impeachment battle, meaning that the voters will serve as the court of appeals rendering their own final judgment on whether he has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.”

US BUSINESSES PULL BACK ON INVESTMENT. Mind you, the tax cuts were supposed to spur investment. Instead, these businesses pocketed the money to pay out bonuses or buy back shares.

Wall Street Journal: “Many of the biggest U.S. companies are moderating their spending on equipment and other capital investment, as an uncertain business environment prompts some to postpone or shelve otherwise promising projects. That could pose a continuing drag on economic growth.”

“The pullback began as trade tensions escalated last fall, leaving companies unsure about their supply chains, pricing and profits. It has continued amid signs of slowing global growth and increasing consumer concerns about the future.

She’s home now and recovered, but can we just encase the Justice in carbonite until 2021, please?

WHITE HOUSE RESIDENCE CENTER OF POWER NOW. It makes sense, since Trump doesn’t get out of bed until noon and Melania and Baron live with her parents in Maryland.

“The Oval Office is the traditional epicenter of power for American presidents, but a new one is emerging that’s more exclusive, more secluded and more convenient,” Politico reports.

“President Trump is increasingly morphing the White House residence into a second Oval. It’s become the place where Trump feels most productive, where he avoids meddling by his staff and where he speed-dials his network of confidantes, GOP lawmakers and TV pundits.”

“The residence was where Trump made the infamous July 25 phone call to the Ukrainian president that’s now at the center of impeachment proceedings. It’s where Trump often meets his personal attorneys to plot legal strategy or campaign advisers to shape 2020 campaign moves. And last week it became the location for a Trump meeting that’s as official as any, hosting Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell — the target of countless Trump twitter attacks — along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for a Monday morning discussion of monetary policy.”

BLOOMBERG OFFICIALLY RUNNING FOR CANDIDATE. Michael Bloomberg announced his presidential bid with a video.

New York Times: “At 77, Mr. Bloomberg is one of the oldest candidates in the race, and like Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders he would become the oldest person ever to assume the presidency if elected. Mr. Bloomberg is also, with Mr. Sanders, one of two major candidates for the nomination who are Jewish, and either would be the first Jewish president if elected.”

“Should Mr. Bloomberg become the Democratic nominee, it would set up a general election between two party-switching moguls from New York City, though Mr. Bloomberg’s fortune is larger than Mr. Trump’s many times over.”

YANG SAYS MSNBC IS IGNORING HIM. Andrew Yang doubled down on his criticism of MSNBC, telling CNN the network was “suppressing” him and “ignoring” his campaign. Said Yang: “I’m not the kind of guy who takes offense easily but at this point you have to call it like you see it.”

SANDERS BASE KEEPS HIM IN THE GAME. “Bernie Sanders’s most adamant backers expect that he will be the Democratic nominee for president, but if it ends up looking like someone else may take that title, they want Mr. Sanders to put up a fight,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mr. Sanders’s campaign has made it clear that to win the nomination, he would have to pull off an ambitious expansion of the electorate. His campaign says it is banking on turning out a coalition of young, working-class and minority voters.”

“But polls show the Vermont independent’s base is more loyal than that of any other 2020 Democrat, and in interviews over the last four months, Mr. Sanders’s supporters told The Wall Street Journal that they wouldn’t support any other candidate as long as he is running.”

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

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