Friday, June 21, 2019

Mea Culpa


My bad. Rep. Stefanik did come out with a statement critical of the president's notice that he is open to information from foreign sources. It is nearly identical to the FEC chair's. What is remarkable is that anyone has to point out the chief executive that it's illegal. So we can only hope ignorance of the law is not an excuse in 2020. It's reassuring to see our rep working to protect the sanctity of American elections.

No such sanctity for congressional oversight. Due to my inexperience with law, I didn't realize obeying subpoenas was optional. Failure to comply doesn't mean jail? The same article said our rep "voted against a procedure that would allow the Judiciary Committee to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce subpoenas." Her rationale is "this resolution does little to strengthen congressional oversight." Enforcing subpoenas doesn't strengthen it?

She also says it "only furthers House Democrat’s pro-impeachment agenda." There is a minority of Democrats in the House calling for impeachment and Speaker Pelosi has continually tamped it down. I saw recently that Rep. Stefanik has read the Mueller report. She's not curious why the president put forth so much effort into obstructing the investigation into Russian interference in the election? Mr. Trump stated in the Stephanopoulos interview that Don McGahn lied to the grand jury. He resorted to insulting the interviewer when it was pointed out he did not answer Mueller's obstruction questions in his written responses. Seems like enough reason to compel Mr. McGahn to testify. Still time for Republican congress folks to get on the right side of history.

Monday, June 17, 2019

In Defense of Government Employees


I'm responding to Carl Thomas' entreaty to "forget Russia" and focus on the supposed treachery of Barack Obama who apparently spent 8 years trying to destroy the country. That's when he wasn't busy rescuing it from the Great Recession and giving access to healthcare to over 20 million Americans. And "collusion investigators were complicit including Mr. Mueller" in the treachery. Read the report. They didn't investigate collusion. So, who should I trust: Mueller or Trump? Robert Mueller rehabbed his knee in order to serve in Vietnam, directed the FBI after 9/11 and has been married to his wife for 53 years. One wife, same as Obama. Trump? The less said on all of these and more, the better.

In a recent interview, the president said "there's nothing wrong with listening" if the Russians offer help. His cleanup efforts say you still have to look at it. That's after the chair of the Federal Elections Commission released a statement, "It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election." It's illegal to look at it. The FBI director concurs.

Rep. Stefanik has legislation targeting Putin and his minions. Great! But, Trump is inviting all comers to the table and Sen. McConnell is killing any legislation in the Senate designed to protect elections. In addition, there are a large number of people trotting out Deep State conspiracy nonsense about government employees, including former heads of FBI and CIA. I'd gladly match the patriotism and dedication of any of them against our president. Let's extend that to journalists, as well. Your silence implies agreement, congresswoman.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Stefanik on Barr


Because my rep values my opinion so much. 


Awhile back, Rep. Stefanik signed off on a letter to Rep. Schiff that, "your actions ... are incompatible with your duty of Chairman of this committee" and "we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman."

More recently, she released a statement on the Mueller report, "AG Barr was clear that the process was completed with a high degree of transparency, no executive privilege, limited redactions and resulted in a report of no collusion." Read the report. Collusion is a cliche, not a crime.

During AG Barr's testimony to the Senate, he told Sen. Harris that he'd made the call of no obstruction without looking at underlying evidence and based on the Mueller report which didn't make a determination one way or the other. He also couldn't say whether the White House had suggested investigations for the DOJ to engage in because he was "grappling" with the meaning of the word "suggest." He also couldn't say if campaigns should report foreign interference when they see it. The cherry on top is that, in his opinion, a president can shut down an investigation into himself if he feels he's being falsely accused.

In late March, Mueller wrote to Barr that his summary letter "did not capture the context, nature and substance of this office's work and conclusions." And that it "threatens to undermine ... full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations." Yet, on April 10 Barr told Sen. Van Hollen, "I don't know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion." I'm curious if our congresswoman has faith in William Barr discharging his duties in a manner consistent with the Constitution.


She's such a hack. She was in the paper today, too.


“I have read the report which found that there was no conspiracy or collusion. However, the report is extremely clear that Russia did attempt to meddle in our elections and that cannot be ignored,” she said in a follow-up email.

And

When asked to comment about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s’ comment that Barr had lied during his testimony to Congress, she said she did not see the testimony because she had committee hearings that day.

Stefanik said she did not reach any conclusions from the report different from what Barr said in his summary letter.

Link

Monday, April 22, 2019

Stefanik's Response to Mueller Report


I first want to mention Rep. Stefanik's bizarre legislation requiring the FBI to notify Congress if candidates were under investigation. It would've been a footrace among Republicans on the Hill to see who could inform candidate Trump first. His campaign was warned that foreign actors, including Russia, would try to infiltrate it and that they should, wait for it, tell the FBI.

In the wake of the Mueller report, Rep. Stefanik put out a statement noting "no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign." She's going to focus on "interference in our elections by Russia and other foreign adversaries." It would've been nice to see some mention of obstruction to balance that no collusion mantra. Mueller seemed to say that the only thing preventing those charges were OLC guidelines against indicting a sitting president and Trump's staff saving him by not following orders.

A group of writers at Lawfare blog posted that Trump's campaign, "were aware the Russians sought to help him win. They welcomed that assistance. Instead of warning the American public, they instead devised a public relations and campaign strategy that sought to capitalize on Russia's illicit assistance. In other words, the Russians and the Trump campaign shared a common goal, and each side worked to achieve that goal with basic knowledge of the other side's intention. They just didn't agree to work toward that goal together."

Rudy Guiliani said this weekend, "There's nothing wrong with taking information from the Russians." It kind of sounds like our congresswoman agrees with that. They didn't help Donald Trump in order to MAGA. That's a given. Maybe finding why they did is something she could focus on.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Stefanik Hackery




     I’m writing about Rep. Stefanik joining 8 members of House Intelligence to call on Rep. Schiff to resign because “the findings of the special counsel conclusively refute your past and present exertions.” Odd, since they’ve only seen the Barr letter and not the Mueller report. Rep. Schiff gives rebuttal in which he mentions the Russians approaching the Trump campaign with “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Instead of contacting the FBI, they met with them in Trump Tower and later “lied about that meeting and said it was about adoptions.” He also brings up Paul Manafort sending polling data to the Kremlin, Jared Kushner’s attempt to “establish a secret back channel of communication with the Russians,” Michael Flynn’s conferring with the Russian ambassador about sanctions before the inauguration, Donald Trump’s calling on Russia to hack Clinton’s e-mails and his secret attempt “to consummate a real estate deal in Moscow” all through the campaign. A reasonable person might see moral collusion, if not legal.
     Rep. Stefanik has said, “Policymakers on both sides of the aisle should respect the findings of this investigation: There was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.” Does she have as much of a problem with the president disrespecting the findings by falsely saying he’s exonerated as she does with Rep. Schiff? Obstruction, anyone?
     Some of Mueller’s investigators say Barr, “Failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Barr indicated.” They were silent as the tomb during the investigation, but they’re free to speak now. When they come before House Intelligence, are those who are so troubled by Rep. Schiff, but not the president, going to attempt to get at the truth?
286 words

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Complete Schiff Response to Republican Quislings



“My colleagues might think it’s OK that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what’s described as the Russian government’s effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think that’s OK.

“My colleagues might think it’s OK that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the president’s son did not call the FBI; he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help – no, instead that son said that he would ‘love’ the help with the Russians.

“You might think it’s OK that he took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience running campaigns, also took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that they concealed it from the public. You might think it’s OK that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn’t better. You might think that’s OK.

“You might think it’s OK that when it was discovered, a year later, that they then lied about that meeting and said that it was about adoptions. You might think that it’s OK that it was reported that the president helped dictate that lie. You might think that’s OK. I don’t.

“You might think it’s OK that the campaign chairman of a presidential campaign would offer information about that campaign to a Russian oligarch in exchange for money or debt forgiveness. You might think that’s OK, I don’t.

“You might think it’s OK that that campaign chairman offered polling data to someone linked to Russian intelligence. I don’t think that’s OK.

“You might think it’s OK that the president himself called on Russia to hack his opponent’s emails, if they were listening. You might think it’s OK that later that day, in fact, the Russians attempted to hack a server affiliated with that campaign. I don’t think that’s OK.

“You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law sought to establish a secret back channel of communication with the Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility. I don’t think that’s OK.

“You might think it’s OK that an associate of the president made direct contact with the GRU through Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks, that is considered a hostile intelligence agency. You might think it’s OK that a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that hostile intelligence agency had to say in terms of dirt on his opponent.

“You might think it’s OK that the national security adviser designate secretly conferred with the Russian ambassador about undermining U.S. sanctions, and you might think it’s OK that he lied about it to the FBI.

“You might say that’s all OK, that’s just what you need to do to win. But I don’t think it’s OK. I don’t think it’s OK. I think it’s immoral, I think it’s unethical, I think it’s unpatriotic and, yes, I think it’s corrupt – and evidence of collusion.”

“Now I have always said that the question of whether this amounts to proof of conspiracy was another matter. Whether the special counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the proof of that crime would be up to the special counsel, and I would accept his decision, and I do. He’s a good and honorable man, and he is a good prosecutor.

“But I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK. And the day we do think that’s OK is the day we will look back and say that is the day that America lost its way.”

“And I will tell you one more thing that is apropos of the hearing today: I don’t think it’s OK that during a presidential campaign Mr. Trump sought the Kremlin’s help to consummate a real estate deal in Moscow that would make him a fortune – according to the special counsel, hundreds of millions of dollars. I don’t think it’s OK to conceal it from the public. I don’t think it’s OK that he advocated a new and more favorable policy towards the Russians even as he was seeking the Russians’ help, the Kremlin’s help to make money. I don’t think it’s OK that his attorney lied to our committee. There is a different word for that than collusion, and it’s called ‘compromise.’

“And that is the subject of our hearing today.”

And one of those quislings is my own rep. Rep. Stefanik. We are so proud of her.