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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 72,643

Journal Archives

BREAKING: Trump asked additional Countries for election help (developing per CNN)


Bill Clinton Had a Strategy. Trump Is Doing the Opposite.

The Atlantic

Donald Trump may have no impeachment war room, but he does have an impeachment strategy. He deployed it this past weekend.

It’s the same strategy he brought to his presidential campaign, then to his presidency: all base, all the time. In 1998 and ’99, Bill Clinton directed his anti-impeachment messaging to voters who did not necessarily approve of him, but who feared impeachment as disruptive. Trump’s message is aimed only at his most all-in supporters, those who see him as a victim of plots and persecution by shadowy, unseen forces.

On December 19, 1998, the day the House voted to impeach Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice, he read a short statement at the White House. He urged the Senate to adjudicate the impeachment in a “reasonable, proportionate, and bipartisan” manner. He tried to appeal to a greater good, saying, “We must get rid of the poisonous venom of excessive partisanship, obsessive animosity and uncontrolled anger. That is not what America deserves. That is not what America is about.”

That is not the tone we’ve heard from Trump in the past 48 hours. It’s as if the Trump campaign has read the Clinton playbook, and at every turn opted for the opposite.

Um remember that "why is Barr visiting Italy?" discussion last week?


Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry's Origins

Source: New York Times

President Trump pushed the Australian prime minister during a recent telephone call to help Attorney General William P. Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the Mueller investigation, according to two American officials with knowledge of the call.

The White House restricted access to the call’s transcript to a small group of the president’s aides, one of the officials said, an unusual decision that is similar to the handling of a July call with the Ukrainian president that is at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump. Like that call, the discussion with Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia shows the extent to which Mr. Trump sees the attorney general as a critical partner in his goal to show that the Mueller investigation had corrupt and partisan origins, and the extent that Mr. Trump sees the Justice Department inquiry as a potential way to gain leverage over America’s closest allies.

And like the call with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the discussion with Mr. Morrison shows the president using high-level diplomacy to advance his personal political interests.

President Trump initiated the discussion in recent weeks with Mr. Morrison explicitly for the purpose of requesting Australia’s help in the Justice Department review of the Russia investigation, according to the two people with knowledge of the discussion. Mr. Barr requested that Mr. Trump speak to Mr. Morrison, one of the people said. It came only weeks after Mr. Trump seemed to make military aid to Ukraine contingent on Mr. Zelensky doing him the “favor” of helping Mr. Barr with his work.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/us/politics/trump-australia-barr-mueller.html

Republican senators press DOJ to probe Clinton and Ukraine

Source: Politico

As President Donald Trump's presidency is threatened by an impeachment inquiry, the Republican chairmen of two Senate committees, Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, are asking Attorney General William Barr to investigate any ties between Ukraine and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

In a letter to Barr released on Monday, Johnson (R-Wis.) and Grassley (R-Iowa) pressed the Justice Department to probe any connection between Clinton and Ukrainian operatives. They said they have "concerns about foreign assistance in the 2016 election that have not been thoroughly addressed."

Their letter comes as Trump faces an impeachment inquiry from the House amid revelations that he sought help from Ukraine's president to probe former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination. But these two Republicans say there's another story about government corruption allegations the Justice Department should be pursuing.

"The Justice Department has yet to inform Congress and the public whether it has begun an investigation into links and coordination between the Ukrainian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee. Ukrainian efforts, abetted by a U.S. political party, to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored," the two senators wrote in a letter dated Sept. 27. "Are you investigating links and coordination between the Ukrainian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee? If not, why not?"

Read more: https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2019/09/30/ron-johnson-chuck-grassley-hillary-clinton-ukraine-letter-1518995?__twitter_impression=true

Can you accuse someone of interfering with an election after the election is held?

BREAKING: Chris Collins (NY-21) resigns from House ahead of guilty plea


New Details Emerge on Ukraine's Trump Admin Lobbying Blitz

Source: Daily Beast

Lobbyists representing then-Ukrainian President-Elect Volodymyr Zelensky met or corresponded with ten Trump administration officials in the days surrounding Zelensky’s April election, according to foreign agent filings with the Department of Justice.

Those contacts, which occurred throughout April, coincided with an effort by President Trump and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani to press for additional scrutiny of former vice president Joe Biden’s son’s business dealings in Ukraine, efforts that are now at the center of an impeachment inquiry into the president.

The FARA filing shows extensive efforts by the new Ukrainian president’s team to open up channels of communication with the Trump administration and arrange an official delegation to Kiev. According to an intelligence community whistleblower, Trump was reluctant to permit high-level engagement with Zelensky before the Ukrainian president acceded to requests for a new investigation into Biden’s youngest son Hunter, who formerly sat on the board of a large Ukrainian energy company.

In the weeks between a Ukrainian election that winnowed the presidential field to two and the subsequent runoff that saw Zelensky unseat the incumbent president, his campaign hired Signal Group Consulting to advance its interests in Washington, Foreign Agents Registration Act filings show.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/new-details-emerge-on-ukraines-trump-admin-lobbying-blitz/

McConnell: 'I would have no choice but to take it up' if House votes to impeach Trump

Source: CNBC

The Senate would have to take up impeachment of President Donald Trump if the House effectively votes to charge the president, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.

“I would have no choice but to take it up,” the Kentucky Republican told CNBC. “How long you are on it is a different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up based on a Senate rule on impeachment.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced the start of an impeachment inquiry into Trump amid scrutiny over whether he tried to influence the 2020 election by urging Ukraine’s president to investigate the family of Joe Biden, the former vice president and one of his chief rivals for the presidency. The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation could lead to a full chamber vote to impeach the president.

If the House impeaches, the Republican-held Senate would then hold a trial on whether to convict Trump and remove him from office. Despite the current lack of support for the inquiry among Senate Republicans, McConnell said the chamber by rule would have no choice but to follow through with the process.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/30/mcconnell-says-senate-would-have-to-take-up-trump-impeachment.html

Another Woman Says Al Franken Groped Her

New York Magazine

The cover story New York published this week centers on the stories of women and men who came forward about sexual abuse and harassment — and one who has not yet done so. In the issue, a woman who says former U.S. senator Al Franken groped her buttocks at an event in 2006 explains why she’s kept silent until now, and why she still fears using her name.

“I was just out of college in my first job, working for U.S. senator Patty Murray,” she told New York. Franken, then exploring a run for the Senate, was the guest speaker at Murray’s annual Golden Tennis Shoes Awards (named for a dismissive description of Murray, early in her political career, as a mom in tennis shoes).

The woman worked the photo line, and when it was her turn to be photographed with Franken, she said, “he puts his hand on my ass. He’s telling the photographer, ‘Take another one. I think I blinked. Take another one.’ And I’m just frozen. It’s so violating. And then he gives me a little squeeze on my buttock, and I am bright red. I don’t say anything at the time, but I felt deeply, deeply uncomfortable.”

A military veteran who is now a senior staffer at a major progressive organization, she is the ninth woman to accuse Franken of inappropriate conduct and the fourth to say Franken grabbed her butt. New York also spoke to three individuals in whom she had confided after the first Franken accusations emerged; she says that she did not tell anyone about the incident after it happened out of embarrassment.

Giuliani: "Lindsey Graham an 'ex-Senator'"

He'll be here all week, folks (really!)

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