In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

  • Trump has routinely communicated with Rudy Giuliani and other individuals speaking on cell phones vulnerable to monitoring by Russian and other foreign intelligence services.  US officials said it’s “guaranteed” that Russia monitored Giuliani calls with Trump/White House; Moscow may know more about Ukraine plot than impeachment investigators.

John Kelly and intelligence officials attempted to get Trump to use secure White House line, but when he realized that this enabled them to compile daily logs of his calls & the identities of those he was speaking to, Trump reverted to using his cellphone.

  • The EPA has reauthorized the use of “cyanide bombs” to kill wild animals such as coyotes, foxes and wild dogs after adding restrictions in response to critics who blasted the proposal because “cyanide bombs” temporarily blinded a child in 2017 and killed family pets.
  • The U.S. economy gained 266K jobs in November, which was higher than expected. Unemployment had a slight downtick to 3.5%. Most gains in healthcare, technical & professional services. Average hourly wage grew by $.07, 3.1% for past 12 months.
  • 520 law professors signed an open letter calling President Trump’s conduct impeachable the day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that committee chairmen should begin drafting articles of impeachment. The professors said in the letter posted to Medium that impeachment does not require a crime, but rather an abuse of the public trust. “There is overwhelming evidence that President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to use presidential power to pressure a foreign government to help him distort an American election, for his personal and political benefit, at the direct expense of national security interests as determined by Congress. His conduct is precisely the type of threat to our democracy that the Founders feared when they included the remedy of impeachment in the Constitution,” the professors wrote. 
  • After Pres. Trump previously complained that he wasn’t being given a chance to make a defense at the impeachment hearings, the White House has rejected the Judiciary Committee’s invitation to participate in the proceedings, instead demanding that the inquiry be ended,
  • The President Tweeted: “All necessary work has been completed to declare Mexican Cartels terrorist organizations. Statutorily we are ready to do so. However, at the request of a man who I like and respect, and has worked so well with us, President Andres Manuel will temporarily hold off this designation and step up our joint efforts to deal decisively with these vicious and ever-growing organizations!
  • The Supreme Court on Friday granted President Trump’s emergency request to temporarily block a congressional subpoena for his financial records from Deutsche Bank. 

The court’s order came just hours after the president’s legal team asked for a temporary stay of an appellate court decision ordering Deutsche Bank to comply with subpoenas from the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees for a broad range of documents concerning Trump’s finances and his businesses.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who oversees the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, issued an administrative stay of that court’s decision that will be in effect until Friday, Dec. 13, while the court deliberates on whether to grant a longer stay and to give Trump’s lawyers time to prepare a formal appeal.

  • The White House and Congress have reportedly reached a tentative agreement to grant 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all federal workers, in what would be a historic deal for the United States which does not currently have a federal parental leave policy.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

  • House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler had a blunt message as he privately addressed Democrats the day before his panel assumes a starring role in the impeachment inquiry. “I’m not going to take any shit,” Nadler said in a closed-door prep session Tuesday morning — a rare cuss word from the Manhattan Democrat that prompted some lawmakers to sit up in their chairs, according to multiple people in the room. 

Nadler’s warning referred to likely GOP antics to try to undermine the first impeachment hearing in the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. But it wasn’t lost on Democrats that Nadler’s message could also apply to those in his own party who have closely scrutinized his role in the House’s impeachment probe.

  • A video of world leaders caught Trudeau, Macron, and Johnson on camera mocking and laughing at Trump. Later, Trump called Trudeau “two-faced” adding, “and honestly, he’s a nice guy.”  Trump then cancelled a press conference and left the Nato summit early.
  • The House Judiciary Committee began impeachment hearings with a panel of four Constitutional experts. 
  • The Trump administration said Wednesday it had finalized a new rule tightening work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which could cut hundreds of thousands from food stamps. The rule would tighten work requirements for able-bodied adults with no dependents, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced. 

The new plan will strip states’ ability to issue work requirement waivers unless a city or county has an unemployment rate of 6% or higher. The rule will cut food stamps for nearly 700,000 people.

  • 14 states filed a brief to the Supreme Court expressing support for the Trump administration’s push to resume federal executions. The filing came a day after the Trump administration asked the justices to authorize the U.S. government to carry out four death sentences. The executions, which were scheduled to occur over the coming weeks, were put on hold last month when a federal trial judge ruled that a separate legal challenge to the Trump administration’s new lethal injection protocol should have a chance to play out in court.
  • Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, has been in Budapest and Kyiv this week to talk with former Ukrainian prosecutors for a documentary series intended to debunk the impeachment case.
  • Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, sent a letter to the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General to request a review of the awarding of the contract to Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. to build several miles of barrier along the border with Mexico.

The president had pushed for the firm to be tasked with the job despite having been told Fisher’s bids did not meet the required standards. The presidential endorsement came after the company’s CEO, Tommy Fisher, appeared on Fox News to promote his firm’s ability to swiftly construct the wall.

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that the U.S. would be exchanging ambassadors with Sudan in a boost to diplomatic relations between the two countries. “Today, we are pleased to announce that the United States and Sudan have decided to initiate the process of exchanging ambassadors after a 23-year gap,” Pompeo said in a statement.
  • Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp appointed business executive Kelly Loeffler to fill Senator Johnny Isakson’s seat when he retires at the end of the year, rebiking President Trump’s wishes. Trump and his allies had called for the governor to appoint Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) to Isakson’s seat.
  • The Senate confirmed Sarah Pitlyk to the federal judiciary on Wednesday by a 49–44 vote. Every Democrat present voted in opposition; every Republican present except Sen. Susan Collins voted in her favor. Pitlyk’s nomination drew controversy for her extreme opposition to reproductive rights: She opposes not just abortion but also surrogacy and even fertility treatments.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

  • Joseph Bondy, an attorney representing Rudy Giuliani’s indicted associate, Lev Parnas, asked that documents and recordings seized by feds seized during his client’s arrest be released to the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
  • In another ruling against Trump, Judge Brown Jackson denies Trump request for stay in McGahn case and orders McGahn to abide by Congressional subpoena and appear for testimony. Judge Brown called the DOJ arguments “disingenuous” and an “unacceptable mischaracterization.”
  • The Trump Administration has proposed tariffs “up to 100%” on certain French goods (about $2.4 billion worth) in retaliation for France’s digital services tax. Items include: Sparkling wine, Swiss, Gruyere, Pecorino and other cheeses, Handbags, and Various makeup products.
  • France and the EU said they were ready to retaliate if President Trump acted on a threat to impose duties of up to 100% on imports of Champagne, handbags and other French products worth $2.4 billion.
  • The Trump administration has released more than $100 million in assistance to Lebanon that had been on hold in recent months. A congressional aide also said the administration “has not provided any explanation of why it was held” in the first place
  • President Trump on Monday questioned whether he and his allies could go to the Supreme Court to halt the House impeachment inquiry. Trump tweeted shortly after arriving in the United Kingdom for two days of NATO meetings that he had read House Republicans’ draft defense in which his allies insist there was no evidence of wrongdoing in Trump’s interactions with Ukraine. “Great job! Radical Left has NO CASE,” Trump tweeted. “Read the Transcripts. Shouldn’t even be allowed. Can we go to Supreme Court to stop?”

NOTE: Legal experts doubt the chances of the Supreme Court taking up such a case. They noted that the Constitution grants impeachment powers to the House and that Chief Justice John Roberts would be expected to preside over a Senate trial.

  • With a 70-15 vote, the Senate confirmed Dan Brouillette to be President Trump’s second Energy Secretary replacing Rick Perry. He served as Deputy Energy Secretary since August 2017.
  • Attorney General William P. Barr has told associates he disagrees with the Justice Department’s inspector general on one of the key findings in an upcoming report — that the FBI had enough information in July 2016 to justify launching an investigation into members of the Trump campaign. 
  • A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can hand over years of President Trump’s financial records in compliance with House subpoenas. The ruling in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals deals another loss in the courts for Trump, who has fought attempts to obtain his financial records, including his tax returns.The case is likely destined for the Supreme Court, where the president has already appealed two other lower court rulings requiring him to share his hidden financial documents.
  • House Democrats on Tuesday released a 300-page impeachment report asserting that President Trump abused his power by trying to enlist Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election. The report said that Mr. Trump “placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States,” seeking to undermine American democracy and endangering national security.
  • Brian Barnard, who was a senior adviser to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, has left the administration to join Uber’s Washington office. He’ll be a senior manager of federal affairs at Uber and plans to register to lobby.
  • President Trump on Tuesday claimed to not know Prince Andrew despite multiple pictures of the two men together taken over the years.
  • President Trump’s long-standing pledge to revive American manufacturing through a muscular trade policy took another hit with new data showing that the sector continued to slow for a fourth straight month.
  • Prosecutors say more charges are possible against Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two associates of President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The pair have been indicted on charges related to alleged campaign finance violations.
  • A damning part of the new House report is the newly disclosed phone calls between Giuliani and everyone else involved – Nunes staff, Parnas and Fruman, OMB, Bolton, and others. On the day Marie Yovanovitch was told to “be on the next plane home” Giuliani took part in 13 phone calls with the White House and the Office of Management and Budget.
  • Lev Parnas’ attorney, Joseph Bondy, tells PBS correspondent, Yamiche Alcindor : “Everything that Mr. Parnas has been attempting to convey to Congress and the American public would appear to be validated by the existence of phone records for Devin Nunes, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump.”
  • Lewis Lukens, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in London, claims that he was prematurely fired from his post in 2018 because he cited former President Obama in a speech, GQ magazine reports. According to GQ, Lukens asserts the reason he was fired was because he had told an anecdote about Obama in a speech he gave to a pair of British universities right before Halloween.
  • Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says he is “1,000% confident” that Russia, not Ukraine, meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, breaking from President Trump and others in his party who have pushed the discredited conspiracy theory.
  • Armed with never-before-seen phone records, Democrats on Tuesday accused President Trump’s allies of coordinating with a conservative journalist to peddle “false narratives” about Trump’s opponents as part of his multi-pronged pressure campaign on Ukraine. The House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report says the committee’s top Repubican, Rep. Devin Nunes, was linked to that effort. The records were subpoenaed from third-parties. “Mr. Solomon was not working alone,” the report said of conservative journalist John Solomon’s articles throughout 2019 that spread Trump-backed conspiracies about Ukraine.The phone records, which are labeled in the report’s endnotes as coming from AT&T, show a web of communications between Solomon, Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Ukrainian American businessman Lev Parnas, Nunes and the White House’s budget office.
  • Trump’s obstruction of Congress included 12 witnesses prevented from testifying (10 defied subpoenas) and Executive branch agencies ignored subpoenas for documents.

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.”

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

  • Statement from attorney for Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, “Mr. Parnas is prepared to testify completely and accurately about his involvement in the President and Rudy Giuliani’s quid pro quo demands of Ukraine.”
  • EPA has finalized a rule that it argues “reduces unnecessary regulatory burdens” at chemical plants by undoing some Obama administration safety regulations and parts of a major chemical disaster rule that was implemented in response to an explosion that left 15 dead. Opponents warn it could put low income communities at risk to chemical explosions and oil spills.
  • California’s highest state court has struck down a state law that would have required President Trump to hand over his tax returns as a condition to appearing on the state’s ballot for the Republican primaries.
  • President Trump’s much-scrutinized pick to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Barry Myers, has withdrawn from consideration, citing health concerns. Myers has faced criticism from Democratic lawmakers over sexual harassment allegations made against AccuWeather while Myers served as the company’s CEO.
  • President Trump made an unexpected trip to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Thursday to receive the remains of a fallen service member.
  • Trump has signed a temporary spending bill to fund federal agencies through Dec. 20, averting a possible government shutdown.

For full coverage of the Impeachment hearings visit The Hill at the following link. http://bit.ly/37uFeAn

In The Past 24 Hours Or So Weekend Edition

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/16-11/17

  • California and twenty-two other states sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday, challenging President Trump’s decision to block the state from setting tougher tailpipe emissions standards. Trump announced in September that he was revoking the waiver California has relied on for decades that require automakers to produce more environmentally friendly cars for the state.
  • President Trump defended his Friday morning Tweet attacking former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during her testimony in House impeachment inquiry, saying: “I have freedom of speech just like other people do” and that he’s “allowed to speak up” if others are talking about him.
  • Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman had a private meeting with Giuliani and Trump at the White House’s annual Hanukkah party last year. At one point during the party, Parnas and Fruman slipped out of a large reception room packed with hundreds of Trump donors to have a private meeting with the President and Giuliani. Later Parnas bragged he was on a “secret mission” on behalf of Trump to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the DNC.
  • The Agriculture Department will begin distributing another round of tariff relief payments next week to farmers and ranchers burned by President Donald Trump’s trade war.The Trump administration has already paid farmers at least $6.7 billion for their 2019 production, on top of $8.6 billion provided for last year’s production and additional trade relief efforts like commodity purchases and marketing assistance.
  • The White House is standing by senior adviser Stephen Miller as he faces calls to resign after newly released emails showed he circulated material linked to white nationalism to conservative media before taking his role in the Trump administration.
  • Syrian President Assad announced a “resistance” against US troops. Which translates into Iran coordinating militia attacks against American military & SDF allies in East Syria. Militias to include Syrian Baath, Hezbollah, Iraqi Hashd, and other factions. The goal is to seize the oil and subdue the Kurds. 
  • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards defeated Trump-endorsed Republican Eddie Rispone. This is the second time this month that Trump campaigned for a gubernatorial candidate and lost in a state he carried in 2016.
  • After harsh criticism from North Korea, U.S. and South Korean military forces have indefinitely delayed a planned joint exercise in what Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “I see this as a good-faith effort by the United States and the Republic of Korea to enable peace, to shape … to facilitate a political agreement – a deal, if you will – that leads to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” Despite the gesture, North Korea’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying it has no plans to negotiate over denuclearization unless the U.S. first puts an end to “hostile” policies toward North Korea.
  • FedEx, a company that had a tax bill of $1.6 billion in 2017 fiscal year, reportedly owed zero dollars in taxes the fiscal year after President Trump signed off on a $1.5 trillion tax cut that sharply reduced tax rates for corporations in the country.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/7

  • President Trump was more personally involved in his campaign’s effort to obtain Democratic emails stolen by Russian operatives in 2016 than was previously known, phone records introduced in federal court suggested.
  • Rudy Giuliani Tweeted, “The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven.”

NOTE: As Republicans are espousing that investigating the Bidens was of legitimate state interest, Rudy steps in to confirm that the requests he and the State Dept were making of Ukraine were simply to advance Trump’s personal interests.

  • It was reported that Trump wanted Attorney General Barr to hold a news conference declaring that Trump had broken no laws during a phone call in which he pressed the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, though Barr ultimately declined to do so. The request for the news conference came sometime around Sept. 25, when the administration released a rough transcript of the president’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky.

NOTE: In response, Trump Tweeted: “Bill Barr did not decline my request to talk about Ukraine. The story was a Fake Washington Post con job with an “anonymous” source that doesn’t exist. Just read the Transcript. The Justice Department already ruled that the call was good. We don’t have freedom of the press!”

  • Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general and more recently a lobbyist at a firm with extensive ties to Trump, will join the White House communications staff temporarily to help with messaging during the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
  • The Trump administration has sued Gilead Sciences, a pharmaceutical company that sells H.I.V.-prevention drugs, accusing it of earning billions from research funded by taxpayers without paying taxpayers back
  • Trump repeated the false claim that a large liquified natural gas project in Louisiana couldn’t get approval under Obama and that he had it approved almost immediately. The plant got its final federal go-ahead June 2014.
  • Republicans intend to subpoena the government whistleblower to testify in the House’s impeachment investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, according to GOP Rep. Jim Jordan.
  • Interviews in Kiev have revealed high-level Ukrainian officials ultimately decided to acquiesce to Trump’s request for a public announcement about investigations, because the need for aid was so great. By a stroke of luck, they never had to follow through.
  • Trump has had talks of having a post-presidency reality show. One of the ideas kicked around was shooting a new version of The Apprentice, tentatively titled ‘The Apprentice: White House,’ and to produce it shortly after the president leaves office.
  • Trump Tweeted: “It was just explained to me that for next weeks Fake Hearing (trial) in the House, as they interview Never Trumpers and others, I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS. It is a Pelosi, Schiff, Scam against the Republican Party and me. This Witch Hunt should not be allowed to proceed!”

NOTE: Trump hasn’t been charged with a crime and impeachment isn’t a legal proceeding, so he doesn’t have any of the rights, including due process, associated with a criminal case. As a matter of law, a president has essentially no claim to any kind of participation in the impeachment process. 

  • A federal judge has ruled the Trump administration must provide mental health services to migrant families that have undergone trauma as a result of being separated from their families at the border.
  • A NY state judge has ordered Trump to pay $2 million to a collection of non-profit organizations as part of a settlement with the New York state attorney general’s office to resolve a civil lawsuit that alleged “persistent” violations of charities law.

NOTE: In 2018 Trump Tweeted: “The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case!”

  • R&B singer, Ray J, in talks to meet with the Trump administration to get Suge Knight pardoned for manslaughter conviction.
  • Roger Stone’s trial has begun and prosecutors are citing evidence that Trump lied to Special Counsel Mueller.
  • In the released transcript, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent confirms Ambassador to the European Union Sondland was told by Trump to seek quid pro quo: “Gordon [Sondland], had talked to the President, POTUS in sort of shorthand, and POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton.”
  • Kent corroborates that Sondland told Ambassador to Ukraine Yovanovitch to send a supportive tweet about Trump to save her job.
  • The House Impeachment Committee is moving on from their efforts to obtain testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton. Though Bolton was scheduled to voluntarily testify Thursday, he did not. A lawyer for Bolton threatened to file a lawsuit if their client was subpoenaed.
  • The Government Accountability Office is looking into the Trump administration’s hold on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to see if the freeze, which is at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, was illegal.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

10/31

  • John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state and Trump’s nominee as ambassador to Russia, said Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was involved in a smear campaign to oust the ambassador to Ukraine, publicly confirming a key part of the saga behind the impeachment inquiry.
  • Mr. Sullivan, testifying under oath and on camera before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, corroborated private testimony from one of House Democrats’ central impeachment witnesses, Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine.
  • Giuliani hit back at Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan in a pair of tweets, claiming Sullivan “doesn’t know what he’s talking about and shouldn’t be incorrectly speculating.”

Giuliani Tweeted, “This is an orchestrated attempt to harass and hinder me in my role as @realdonaldtrump’s attorney.” “All of the information I obtained came from interviews conducted as private defense counsel to POTUS, to defend him against false allegations.”

  • Two environmental groups, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration’s Bureau of Land Management over a plan to open over 700,000 acres of land in California to oil and gas drilling.
  • Lt. Col. Vindman told John Eisenberg, the NSC’s lead counsel, about his concerns over Trump’s call with Zelensky. Eisenberg then proposed moving a transcript of the call to a highly classified server and restricting access to it.
  • Tim Morrison, Trump’s top adviser for Russian and European affairs, is leaving his job at the White House, a day before he’s scheduled to testify before the House impeachment investigators, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
  • Trump says US and China will pick new site to sign partial trade deal after Chile calls off summit.
  • In a Tweet, Trump congratulated Fox News on their ratings.
  • Agriculture Department predicts farm incomes will reach $88B. But, nearly $33B of that will be from Federal Aid and insurance.
  • The House voted 232-196 along party lines to pass a resolution that sets the rules for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry.
  • American Bar Association’s assessment of Lawrence VanDyke, nominated by Trump to be a federal judge. Based on interviews, the ABA wrote VanDyke is “arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of day-to-day practice.”
  • NSC’s Senior Director for European Affairs Tim Morrison told impeachment investigators that the account offered by Bill Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, is accurate. He said that he alerted Taylor to a push by Trump and his deputies to withhold both security aid and a White House visit for the Ukrainian president until Ukraine agreed to investigate the Bidens and interference in the 2016 presidential election.
  • A leak in the Keystone pipeline system spilled about 383,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota, covering an estimated half-acre of wetland, state environmental regulators said. The spill has been contained.
  • Trump is rewarding senators who have his back on impeachment with promises of cash for their campaigns. 

NOTE: Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, warned Trump appeared to be committing “felony bribery” by giving Republican senators fundraising cash ahead of an increasingly likely impeachment trial in the Senate.