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Member since: Mon Apr 22, 2019, 03:26 PM
Number of posts: 1,043

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"Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning Lake, thunder-struck and astonisht"*

*Milton, "Paradise Lost"
Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu May 23, 2019, 12:29 AM (5 replies)

NY Times: Trump's Financial Secrets Move Closer to Disclosure

For three years, Donald J. Trump has treated the details of his personal and business finances as a closely guarded secret.

On Wednesday, those secrets moved two steps closer to becoming public.

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled against a request from President Trump to block his longtime lender, Deutsche Bank, from complying with congressional subpoenas seeking his detailed financial records. In Albany, New York lawmakers approved a bill that would allow Congress to obtain Mr. Trumpís state tax returns.

Those actions came two days after a federal judge in Washington ruled against Mr. Trumpís bid to quash another congressional subpoena to get his accounting firm to hand over his tax returns and other financial documents.

The court rulings and the New York legislation represent the most serious attempts to pierce the veil that surrounds Mr. Trumpís finances. They increase the odds that congressional Democrats, who have become more vocal in their calls to undertake impeachment proceedings against the president, could enter such a fray with ample ammunition about Mr. Trumpís business dealings.


Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed May 22, 2019, 08:35 PM (1 replies)

Effieblack was right. So far, the courts ARE holding

In fact they're doing more than just holding. They're looking Trump in the eye and say "not on our watch."

"The Judiciary branch is strong and WE. WILL. HOLD"

A few weeks ago, a dear old friend, a Republican-appointed federal judge, trying to console me during a moment of despair about the future of our country, said to me ďThe Judiciary branch is strong and will hold.Ē When I expressed skepticism, he leaned toward me, looked me dead in the eye, and said as firmly as he could without shouting: ďWe are strong and WE. WILL. HOLD.Ē

Today, thanks to Judge Mehta, I think he may be right ...

Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed May 22, 2019, 04:34 PM (55 replies)

DOWN goes Trump! Again

For like the 8th time this week ... And it's only Wednesday.

Judge rejects Trumpís request to halt congressional subpoenas for his banking records

By Washington Post Staff

May 22, 2019 at 4:03 PM EDT

A federal judge on Wednesday said Deutsche Bank and Capital One may hand over the presidentís financial records to Democrats in the House.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.

Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed May 22, 2019, 04:07 PM (15 replies)

"I pray for the president of the United States"

The Speaker is taking. shade to an entirely new level.

There's a reason Trump doesn't doesn't taunt or call her names but literally runs away whenever she comes in the room.

Him scared.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed May 22, 2019, 12:11 PM (23 replies)

Anyone doubt Pelosi's cover up comments were timed to screw with Trump's head before their meeting?

And does anyone doubt that it worked?

We're watching a master of the game at the top of her game.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed May 22, 2019, 12:04 PM (18 replies)

Media seems frustrated that the Dems came out of this morning's meeting

sounding unified and not appearing to be in disarray or rebellion.

I just don't understand why people keep underestimating Speaker Pelosi's leadership abilities. Her caucus is behind her, even when everyone doesn't agree.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed May 22, 2019, 10:18 AM (15 replies)

Pelosi's letting Trump "chase her until she catches him"

My grandmother used to say about her courtship with my grandfather "he chased me till I caught him" - meaning she played hard to get and let him think he was pursuing her, when marrying him was her plan all along.

It's an old-fashioned concept that no longer has much credence in modern relationships, but it's a good way to explain what Pelosi is doing to Trump as she lets him think he's getting the best of her while every day he keeps falling into traps she and other Democrats are setting for him.

Keep chasing, Donald. Nancy's waiting for you...
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed May 22, 2019, 09:51 AM (7 replies)

A primer on Contempt of Congress enforcement

I wrote this in response to someone's question about the process, but thought it would be helpful to post it as an OP for anyone wanting a quick guide on the process Congress has available to it for enforcing a subpoena. https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=12115764

There are three methods Congress can use to enforce a Contempt of Congress citation in response to a witness' refusal to respond to a subpoena. All of them share specific requirements to get the ball rolling and then branch out into three different processes.

First, once the subpoena is issued, the witness or holder of documents has to definitively refuse to comply. That means more than just saying they won't, but to take some affirmative step to defy the subpoena, such as fail to appear or produce the documents by the deadline.

In McGahn's case, although he signaled yesterday he wouldn't show up, he didn't trigger anything until he actually didn't show up at the appointed time today. He has now defied the subpoena.

The Judiciary Committee now must make some effort to get him to comply. It might be by letter (the much-derided "strongly worded" letter is mocked around here, but it performs a legal necessity), conversations with him or his attorneys to try to negotiate compliance, or some other method. This is necessary because, down the road, before upholding a contempt citation, a court will require a showing that Congress made a good faith effort to secure compliance prior to issuing the citation.

If those efforts fail, the House Judiciary would hold an executive meeting - aka "markup" - to vote on a contempt recommendation. Markups usually require several days notice and usually, the minority can request a one-week extension.

At the markup, the Judiciary Committee members will discuss the measure and then vote. If a majority of Members agree, the contempt recommendation will be referred to the floor to be voted on by the full House.

When that happens, the measure will likely be referred to the Rules Committee which will set out the parameters for debate (how long each side has, etc.) and the vote. That usually doesn't take long and there may be ways to avoid having to do a rule on a contempt vote ( I haven't looked into that). The debate and vote are scheduled and then the full House votes. Simple majority carries.

If the measure passes, the Congress has now officially cited the witness for contempt. At that point, there are three different avenues that can be taken for enforcement. The first is already a nonstarter, so there's no point in even trying, unless they just want to make a point. That would be to refer the citation to the US Attorney for DC and ask them to enforce the citation with an arrest or prosecution. Since the US Attorney reports to the Attorney General, that ain't gonna happen. So let's move on.

The next possibility is for Congress to exercise its "inherent contempt" power, a rare tactic, which Congress hasn't done in nearly a century, but is being seriously considered. That could mean imposing a fine or instructing the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest the subject and bring them before the body to answer the contempt charge. If they still don't comply, they would be held in custody until they do or until a judge orders them released. While it's possible to do this, it would be very difficult to pull this off logistically in many instances. It might be easier for a McGahn, who is a private citizen. But it's not clear how the Sergeant-at-Arms would go about arresting the Attorney General or other federal official under 24-7 protection of federal agents and whose homes and workplace are virtual fortresses. It will be interesting to see what happens if they go that route.

The third possibility is to go to court and ask it to enforce the citation. If the court rules that the subject must comply, failure to comply would result in a contempt of court citation, in addition to the contempt of Congress. In such cases, the court could enforce by, among other things ordering the US Marshals to arrest a subject.

The bottom line is that contempt of Congress citations aren't simple things and Nadler can't just snap his fingers and throw someone in jail because they didn't show up this morning..

I hope this is helpful. You can read more about the enforcement of Contempt of Congress citations here: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R45653.pdf and here: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-congress-subpoena-explainer/explainer-how-hard-hitting-are-u-s-congress-subpoenas-contempt-citations-idUSKCN1SC1YE
Posted by StarfishSaver | Tue May 21, 2019, 03:29 PM (23 replies)

The Houstonian Approach to Impeachment

In the 1930s, when segregation was the law of the land, sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court, and embedded into governmental, social, educational policy, Charles Hamilton Houston, the dean of Howard Law School and his student and protege, Thurgood Marshall began mapping out a strategy for overturning Plessy v. Ferguson, the case that gave us "separate but equal."

Their strategy was complex and would require a long series of incremental cases over many years that would gradually build the case for overturning Plessy. Many people in the legal and political community were harshly critical of this plan, attacking Houston, Marshall, and the NAACP lawyers, saying incrementalism was too slow and displayed weakness when they needed to show strength. They badgered them to go at Plessy head on. But Houston and Marshall knew that if they did, they would lose and Plessy would be forever cemented into American jurisprudence and life.

So, they tuned out the naysayers and stayed on the path, carefully and brilliantly laying the groundwork for an eventual assault on Plessy.

And it paid off when in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned Plessy, thanks to the long line of cases and extensive record laid out by Houston and Marshall over more than two decades. Unfortunately, Houston didn't live to see the decision, and many people have no idea who he is today. But there's a reason that Houston is known in many quarters as "The Man Who Killed Jim Crow." He's a national hero.

I look at impeachment the same way that Houston looked at the desegregation fight. While it may feel satisfying to launch an all out impeachment assault immediately, it's not the smart move. Pelosi and the other Democrats are following Houstonian process, carefully laying the groundwork so that their efforts actually have results beyond the initially satisfying but ultimately Pyrrhic short-term outcome. Of course, unlike in Brown, we're not looking at decades or years. We're looking at weeks or months. But in the scheme of things, those weeks and months are worth it in order to achieve the end we're all seeking.

You can read more about Houston here: http://newsreel.org/transcripts/roadtob.htm
Posted by StarfishSaver | Tue May 21, 2019, 12:59 PM (10 replies)
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