In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/23-11/26

  • Joseph A. Bondy who represents Lev Parnas, the recently indicted Soviet-born American who worked with Giuliani to push claims of Democratic corruption in Ukraine, says his client is willing to testify that Rep. Devin Nunes met with an ex-Ukraine official to get dirt on Joe Biden. Bondy revealed that Devin Nunes is so deeply involved in the Ukraine bribery & extortion plot that he planned to travel there in the spring, but canceled at the last minute to hide it from Adam Schiff.
  • The State Department released nearly 100 pages of documents showing repeated contacts between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, debunking The White House claim that Gordon Sondland’s testimony that everyone was in the loop regarding the Trump-Giuliani extortion scheme.
  • The Center for Security Policy, a far-right group that alleges that Islamic extremists are infiltrating the U.S. government, held a banquet this weekend at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. The group’s leaders have spread the lie that former President Obama is a Muslim and have also falsely alleged that Muslim organizations in the United States have anti-American beliefs.
  • Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, one of the president’s longest-tenured employees, who now runs the family’s business with Eric & Donald Trump Jr. is being scrutinized by prosecutors in New York in connection to payments to Stormy Daniels.
  • President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani tweeted Saturday that his “insurance” if the president “throws him under the bus” is a safe containing alleged evidence against former Vice President Joe Biden and his family. Giuliani Tweeted: “TRUTH ALERT: The statement I’ve made several times of having an insurance policy, if thrown under bus, is sarcastic & relates to the files in my safe about the Biden Family’s 4 decade monetizing of his office. If I disappear, it will appear immediately along with my RICO chart.
  • First lady Melania Trump was booed while delivering remarks at a youth opioid awareness event in Baltimore on Tuesday. Mrs. Trump was “greeted with some cheers but also a resounding chorus of loud boos, which lasted for about one minute” from the crowd of more than 1,000 middle and high schoolers.
  • Trump’s repeated involvement in the case of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher has prompted concerns about how it’s affecting US standing around the globe. Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus says, “You can’t spin this in a good way. Throw accountability out the window, throw military justice out of the way, dishonor the tens of thousands of Americans who have served in both these theaters.”
  • The Judiciary Committee has announced its first impeachment hearing for next week, on Wednesday, on the formal definition of high crimes and misdemeanors. Trump and his lawyers are invited to attend.
  • The Office of Management and Budget’s first official action to withhold $250M in aid to Ukraine came on the evening of July 25—the day of the now-infamous call between Trump and Ukrainian president Zelensky.
  • The CIA must adequately respond to Buzzfeed Inc.’s Freedom of Information Act request for information about payments to Syrian rebels because President Donald Trump already acknowledged them in a tweet, a federal district court ruled.
  • The CIA must adequately respond to BuzzFeed’s Freedom Of Information request for information about payments to Syrian rebels because Trump’s Tweet acknowledged some payments. the CIA can’t avoid responding to Buzzfeed’s request by saying it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a covert program to arm the rebels.
  • The Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked the House’s attempts to gain access to President Trump’s financial records. “The court instructed Trump’s lawyers to file a petition by December 5th stating why it should accept the case for full briefing and oral argument. If the petition is eventually denied, the lower court ruling will go into effect. If accepted, the case likely will be heard this term, with a decision before the court adjourns at the end of June.
  • While performing the ceremonial pardoning of a turkey Trump quipped, “I expect this pardon will be a very popular one with the media. After all, turkeys are closely related to vultures.”
  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, ending a stunning clash between President Trump and top military leadership over the fate of a SEAL accused of war crimes in Iraq. In letter submitted by Spencer as he left office, he wrote, “Unfortunately it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline,” he added. “I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
  • President Trump signed the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act on Monday. The bill directs the Treasury Department to issue $1 coins honoring the history of the women’s suffrage movement. This is in preparation for next year, which will mark 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote. 

During the signing ceremony for the bill, Trump claimed credit for the bill’s passage, saying “they’ve been working on this for years and years. And I’m curious, why wasn’t it done a long time ago, and also — well, I guess the answer to that is because now I’m President, and we get things done.”

NOTE: Trump is taking credit for something timed to a specific date — the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. There were no failed efforts to pass similar legislation under previous presidents because the anniversary isn’t until next year.

  • The House Oversight Committee filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for blocking its probe into the administration’s failed efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, calling their actions a “brazen obstruction of Congress.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Oversight chief, said she filed the lawsuit in a federal district court in Washington because the two departments have refused to hand over key documents as part of its probe into the origins of the now-scuttled citizenship question.

  • A new watchdog report has found that acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan, while working for the FBI, violated federal ethics rules by seeking sponsors to buy alcohol for agency happy hours.
  • President Trump signed a bipartisan bill that, for the first time, makes acts of animal cruelty a federal crime punishable with fines and up to 7 years in prison.
  • The Washington Post reports that a confidential White House review of Trump’s decision to put a hold on 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.”

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