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

(And the weekend, too)

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/11

  • John Bolton has knowledge of “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine pressure campaign that House impeachment investigators do not yet know about, his lawyer told lawmakers.
  • Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs, Fiona Hill: “[H]e told me, and this is a direct quote from Ambassador Bolton: You go and tell [John] Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this, and you go and tell him what you’ve heard and what I’ve said.”
  • Trump said he will release the transcript of another phone call with the President of Ukraine “probably” on Tuesday — this communication having taken place in April before the July conversation at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
  • Over the span of about an hour, Trump retweeted 17 messages hammering Democrats over impeachment, with his early-morning tweetstorm coming days before the inquiry is set to enter a new, public phase.
  • The Trump Administration is proposing to become one of just four countries in the world to charge a fee for asylum
  • A lawyer representing Lev Parnas says that his client warned Ukrainian officials that the Trump administration would freeze military aid to Ukraine unless Kiev announced an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Parnas is planning to tell House Democrats that he traveled to Ukraine to warn top officials that military aid would be frozen and that Vice President Pence would not attend Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration were the announcement not made.
  • At an event promoting his book, Don Jr said to the audience, “Name a time when conservatives have disrupted even the furthest leftist on a college campus.” Soon after, he was heckled off stage by far right attendees, because the expected Q&A with him was cancelled. 
  • A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is asking Trump to rescind his White House invitation to Turkish President Erdoğan. Erdoğan is scheduled to visit the White House on Wednesday. But, the lawmakers expressed “deep concern” at the planned trip, citing Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria.
  • Two political backers of Energy Secretary Rick Perry landed a lucrative oil and gas exploration deal from Ukraine’s government shortly after Perry reportedly included one of the two men in a list of suggested potential advisers to Ukraine’s new president.
  • Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley claims Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly repeatedly tried to get her to go behind Trump’s back to “save the country.”
  • A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by President Trump trying to stop the House Ways & Means Committee from using a New York law to get his state tax returns.