The Mueller investigation.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Quantum Quack, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    It's not true. They say both syllables in, "Biden", and five of the six syllables in the words, "Democratic Party".

    Meanwhile, in not entirely unrelated news ....

    • • •​

    If nobody knows what to tell you, it's because you apparently missed everything.

    You can't possibly be referring to the part where Trump asks for a favor and leads with a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton, right?

    After all, Trump and Barr have known about the whistleblower since before ICIG referred the complaint to DNI, and part of the President's response has been to spin up an internal State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton that has contacted at least a hundred thirty people as potential witnesses.

    The particular ignorance Trump defenders seem to require in order to make their cases ranges well beyond unbelievable.

    (Update: Ah, I see, having just picked up, via President Trump's desperate retweeting, on the Levin/Henry buzz among the pandemonium.)​
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
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  3. Vociferous Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah, they hid materials they quite readily unclassified and released to the public. Sure.

    Yes, people who aren't aware of reality are often at a loss to explain it.

    Yes, people have known about the whistleblower, who had no evidence beyond hearsay. Yawn.

    Yes, the investigation into Hillary email handling is still ongoing, and conspiracy theories about a motive relative to the whistleblower looks like a sad red herring.

    Ad hominems against people who disagree with you do nothing to make your case. They actually weaken it.
     
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  5. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    I think it is indicative of a new political situation. Up to Trump time, those in power could be corrupt quite openly without having to fear anything. Like Biden.
    With Trump in power, a serious war has been started against those in positions close to Trump and supported by the deep state. Something new, unexpected. As a consequence, there have been victims of this.
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    They were, that is more than obvious and why several key persons are in jail.
    What they did was on order of "the "boss". Trump ordered them to refuse compliance with the subpoenas, which is unlawful. You seem to totally ignore that Trump is an "unindicted co-conspirator". He is unindicted because Trump (unlawfully) claims that a "sitting president cannot be indicted". A President cannot make law!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Yep. I do, which is why I avoid FOX.
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The particular ignorance Trump defenders seem to require in order to make their cases ranges well beyond unbelievable.

    During a tense interview with Tapper on "State of The Union," the Ohio Republican attempts to give his spin on the drama, making unsubstantiated claims about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Trump tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating the Bidens, though there is no evidence of wrongdoing by either.

    "The vice president's son gets paid $50,000 a month and gets hired by a company in an industry he has no experience in and oh that's fine?" Jordan says, referring to Hunter Biden serving on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company. "Try taking that message to the American people ... When they see the vice president's son getting paid $50,000 a month in a field, in an industry he has no experience in ... And then when the company that's paying that money is under investigation, guess what? Daddy comes running to the rescue. The vice president of the United States comes running in and says, 'Fire that prospector.' "

    "That's not what happened. Sir, sir, that's not what happened," Tapper responds. "The European Union, the Obama administration, the International Monetary Fund, pro-clean government activists in Ukraine, (all) thought that the prosecutor was not prosecuting corruption."

    "So you're saying Joe Biden didn't tell Ukraine to fire that prosecutor? I think he did," the congressman says.

    "He did, but the guy was not prosecuting anything. That was the problem," Tapper replies.
    "Here are the facts," Jordan says, before Tapper interjects, saying: "You're not saying facts, you say, 'Here are the facts,' these are not."

    "Did Joe Biden tell him to fire the prosecutor?" Jordan asks again.

    "Because he wasn't going after corruption. He wasn't going after corruption. Do you understand what I'm saying?" Tapper replies.

    According to CNN's fact check, the Obama administration, American allies, the International Monetary Fund and Ukrainian anti-corruption activists, among others, had all made clear that they were displeased with the performance of Viktor Shokin, who became prosecutor general in 2015.

    Shokin was widely faulted for declining to bring prosecutions of elites' corruption, and he was even accused of hindering corruption investigations. His deputy, Vitaliy Kasko, resigned in February 2016, alleging that Shokin's office was itself corrupt.

    "Was that prosecutor looking into Burisma, the company that had hired Joe Biden's son for $50,000 a month?" Jordan says.

    "According to the Ukrainians, that investigation was dormant at the time," Tapper said, adding later: "If you want to push a law saying that the children of presidents and vice presidents should not be doing international business deals, I'm all for it. But you're setting a standard that is not being met right now."


    (Cole↱)

    Congressman Jordan (R-OH04), like so many Trump defenders, is days, at least, behind the story. Nor does his apparent ignorance of circumstances stop there:

    "Two things you look at to determine the credibility of a so-called whistleblower when they're coming forward," Jordan says. "First, did they have firsthand knowledge? And second, what is their motivation? Was there some kind of bias? This individual has problems on both of those counts. He had no firsthand knowledge, he heard something from someone who may have heard something from someone."

    "No, no, his sources were firsthand sources," Tapper replies.

    "But he has no firsthand knowledge. And second, he has a political bias. That should tell us something about this guy who came forward with this claim," Jordan says.

    "You know as well as I do, that you do not need to have firsthand knowledge to be a whistleblower," replies Tapper.

    "Well, you don't now because they changed the form. You used to," Jordan contends.

    "There's no evidence of that. And we looked into this," Tapper says. "It has never been true that you need to have firsthand knowledge to be a whistleblower."

    "But it's something that's critical when you're assessing if they're credible. That's a major determination," Jordan replies.

    And there are a couple things, there. First, those who attend the detail we have so far understand this is a hear-something/say-something whistleblower circumstance; with that many people in the murmur and buzz, a whistleblower eventually will emerge. After the fact, saying everyone was talking about it but that had nothing to do with me would not suffice; it never has, but for whatever reason we apparently need to fall off the turnip truck for that one. And what that sort of ignorance leads to is pretty stupid:

    The smoking gun in the putative conspiracy is an obscure government form, IC IG ICWSP Form 401, also known as the Disclosure of Urgent Concern Form. The document is put out by the IC IG for intelligence workers who need to file urgent complaints that trigger special treatment under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.

    According to the GOP and an army of conservative commentators, the old version of the form prohibited workers from submitting urgent complaints based on secondhand information; only misconduct witnessed personally could be reported. That changed in early August, the false claim goes, when ICIG Michael Atkinson snuck through a hasty revision to the complaint form that reversed long-standing policy.

    "Whistleblowers were required to provide direct, first-hand knowledge of allegations," reads a Saturday tweet by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "But just days before the Ukraine whistleblower came forward, the IC secretly removed that requirement from the complaint form."

    "Records show that the intelligence community quietly revised the formal whistleblower complaint form in August 2019," Rudy Giuliani tweeted on Sunday. "Eliminating the requirement to have direct, first-hand knowledge of perceived wrongdoing. Coincidence?"

    "That was on the form literally until apparently very recently," said Trump's other lawyer, Jay Sukulow, in an appearance on Hannity. "Months ago: no first hand information, no report."

    "WOW, they got caught," tweeted Trump. "End the Witch Hunt now!"

    The Atkinson smear comes amid a broad GOP campaign seemingly calculated to discredit the whistleblower report as unreliable, partisan hearsay, despite it having already been corroborated by an IC IG review and confirmed by the White House's own transcript of Trump's call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. It began late Friday with a story from the conservative website The Federalist headlined "Intel Community Secretly Gutted Requirement Of First-Hand Whistleblower Knowledge." The article claimed "the intelligence community secretly revised the formal whistleblower complaint form in August 2019 to eliminate the requirement of direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing." ....

    .... What the article didn't mention or screenshot is a nearly identical field gracing Form 401 since at least May 2018, making it impossible that it was added as an easement for Trump's whistleblower. The major difference in the fields is that the old form includes three options instead of two, subdividing secondhand sources into outside source and "other employees."

    There's a reason the form has allowed secondhand reports all along. The requirement for firsthand whistleblowing only is completely made up.

    "There's never been a requirement that a whistleblower have firsthand knowledge of what they're reporting," said Irvin McCullough, an investigator at the nonprofit Government Accountability Project (and the son of a former IC IG). "They need to have a reasonable belief. The firsthand information is usually gathered by the inspector general, as I believe did occur here."


    (Poulsen↱)

    A bit of American trivia: The coincidence between the Party long famous for arguing that government doesn't work, and those who need to complain when a system works like it is supposed to.

    McCarthy, Giuliani, Sekulow, Hannity, The Federalist; to revive an old expression, these are divorced from reality. Of course, they're not sinister, right? They just don't know, right? No, really, they either know or not, and toward the latter, the particular ignorance Trump defenders seem to require in order to make their cases ranges well beyond unbelievable.

    It is downright stupid.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Cole, Devan. "Tapper fact-checks GOP Rep. Jim Jordan on Ukraine scandal". CNN. 29 September 2019. CNN.com. 29 September 2019. https://cnn.it/2mOu8UG

    Poulsen, Kevin. "GOP Shows Russian Trolls How It’s Done With Whistleblower Smear". The Daily Beast. 29 September 2019. DailyBeast.com. 29 September 2019. http://bit.ly/2mg2j7o
     
  10. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not aware of Biden having arranged any conspiracies with drunken Russian peasants pretending to be important people on the global stage.
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Donald Trump spent part of his Sunday morning furiously retweeting hardliner discussion of Fox News, and apparently so mindlessly as to include the one who writes sharks into every tweet. It really was a doctrinaire bacchinal; as Mediaite↱ reported of the Fox & Friends confrontation:

    In a chat with Fox & Friends, Levin ranted against Democrats for their renewed efforts to impeach the president. As he trashed the whistleblower who raised the alarm over Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to conduct an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden (his potential 2020 rival), Ed Henry asked Levin if he thought Trump did anything "illegal" during his call with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

    "What crime was violated?" Levin responded. "It's not illegal. The question is whether Biden did something illegal. The president didn't do anything illegal."

    As Levin proceeded to bash the media for not doing more to look into the unsubstantiated criminal allegations against the Biden family, Henry tried to get back on topic and asked "so you're okay with a president asking another president to dig up dirt on a candidate?"

    "He's a former vice president," Pete Hegseth interjected as Levin asked "what dirt are you talking about?" When Henry re-asked the question, Levin grumbled that "your question is not honest."

    Mark Levin is days behind the curve. What was illegal? Well, we can look at it as a campaign finance violation, or even a bribe demand. Trump's defenders cannot find a useful defense, so they just pretend. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA23) found himself pretending, for CBS' 60 Minutes, that he did not know what was in the White House's own released information, accusing reporter Scott Pelley of adding a word. Or, you know, it's McCarthy; maybe he wasn't pretending.

    It's one thing to answer the argument: Is this not a campaign finance violation or bribe? Then make the case; don't just ask questions as if you haven't a clue what sun you're under. To wit, we can't tell what Levin objects to if he won't tell us; nobody knows what to tell him because apparently he missed everything.

    And it is true, at some point it seems disqualifying; the particular ignorance Trump defenders seem to require in order to make their cases ranges well beyond unbelievable.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Meyer, Ken. "Mark Levin Growls At Fox Host Asking if He's 'Okay' With Trump's Ukraine Conduct: 'Your Question is Not Honest'". Mediaite. 29 September 2019. http://bit.ly/2mczdpr
     
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    The local Nazi CptBork wrote another anti-Russian piece of bs:
    The drunken peasants Biden has conspired with will probably be Ukrainians, by passport. But as far as I understand, behind them is the oligarch Kolomoisky. Who is jew, but with power center in Dnepr, and most of the "Ukrainians" living there are more Russian than Ukrainian, in particular, they speak Russian language. So, it does not look like Biden would reject being bribed by "drunken Russian peasants".
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Godwin's Law, forfeiture corrollary.

    Seriously, one of the quirks of the American circumstance at present is that the forfeiture corrollary of Godwin's Law gets complicated when actual Nazis are under consideration. To the other, it's not like we actually close threads over this and declare you a loser, but that's a matter of redundancy; someone will open a related thread, the discussion will resume, and nobody needs to up and actually call you a loser.

    But as long as you're on a Nazi trip, the question whether there is some reason you're jew-baiting does sort of stand out.

    • • •​

    Oh, come on, that's not fair. Really, who the hell does Yeltsin jokes, anymore?
     
  14. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Ukraine currently has a Jewish president and a Jewish prime minister, and they refuse to drop to their knees and say how awesome Russians are for... well... you know, being Russian and all. That's about as Nazi as it gets. Also there's an interview with a couple Ukrainian guys who say they're Nazis, large samples like this are difficult to dispute.

    The Yeltsin jokes shall continue as long as our Stasi friend and part-time Putin concubine shows that he's pathetic and insecure enough to take offense to them and thinks the appropriate responses are invasions, threats of nuclear exchanges and generally causing chaos around the globe so other places look dirtier and less developed than Moscow. If he lacks a sense of purpose in his life or he's upset that the government cheques aren't coming in like they used to, he should gain all the self-esteem he needs from taking pride in his country's ability to precision target surgical wards and toddlers, real cutting edge capabilities being shown off there.
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Such is life, but I would remind, for future reference, that I should not need to remind about the Leroy Neiman paintings.
     
  16. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    This is really a quite interesting post. Especially interesting for me, because I'm surprised, I have not expected such a reaction from you. My impression was that you fight against hate speech directed against various groups like blacks, Jews, LGBT*, women and so on. Now, we have a clear case of such hate speech against Russian people, a guy who likes to describe Russians in such phrases like "the pants-pissing drunks littering Moscow". Ok, Russians are obviously not among those who you would like to protect against such hate speech. But now it looks like you even support such hate speech. Against me, you apply
    (which makes no sense because there is nothing worth to be named discussion with him, but so what). Instead, his hate speech, also in this case directed quite generally against "drunken Russian peasants" - a distribution of prejudice which is wrong, alcohol consumption is in many European states higher than in Russia, and he has been informed about this - gets an excuse, as a harmless joke, not even directed against Russians, but against Yeltsin:
    Of course, I have seen already a lot of Green politicians which present themselves in Germany as "antifascist" openly supporting Ukrainian Nazis. But these were politicians, supported by journalists, both expected to be liars and prostitutes without any values. I have always assumed that normal people would not support such double thinking themselves. That they would at least recognize that there is something wrong also with hate speech against Russians and they should at least not support it, once they fight against hate speech directed against Jews, women, gays and so on.

    Thanks for correcting this quite naive assumption.
     
  17. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    No, just Putin.
     
  18. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It was all legal. Illegal corruption is still considered a bridge too far.
     
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The thing is, Schmelzer, I can read. If I attend the colloquial description of "pants-pissing drunks littering Moscow", it is you, not our neighbor, extending that to all Russians:

    Yes, the people who wring their hands and wail about because they bought into some cheap propaganda are the sort of people that statement regards unkindly. We have our own versions of besotted barflies who are willing to believe birth announcements are part of a decades-long conspiracy to steal the United States from white Christians, or that it will culminate in the U.S. Army rounding those folks up to steal their guns on behalf of Walmart and McDonald's.

    And it's true, when it comes to policy, we expect better of American Presidents than delusional conspiracism.

    The drunken potsherds at the pub? Well, their accuracy isn't so important, but after a while it's certainly fair to call them out on their bullshit. And if they're too far out of it to know what freaking day it is, maybe the barkeep should nix that next round. That is its own question.

    Still, we ought to be able to expect better of Senators and Members of Congress.

    Your complaint requires that all Russians be so easily duped as the pants-pissing drunks our neighbor describes as littering Moscow, but it is also true that we don't actually know how much the trollfarmers drink.

    And while it is true there are at least some language and cultural barriers in effect, it is also true you're doing a bit we Americans have known for a long time. It's an occasional ejaculation of fallacy that used to catch others off-guard; the way it goes is that some celebrity says something reprehensible, and some person out in the masses happens to denounce that statement as some sort of -ist, at which point somene else near that person erupts, complaining that when a someone denounces all [____] as supremacist, that someone force others to oppose them. It comes up a lot, actually, in our civil rights discussions.

    Presently, we Americans hear it about white supremacism: Apparently, calling white supremacism racist forces white people to become white supremacists. Well, at least, to take the white supremacists' word for it.

    Trying to depict the whole of Russian people as being so creulous and delicate and dysfunctional as yourself doesn't actually help them.

    Your bawl just doesn't meet any useful standard.

    Nor does that surprise anyone.
     
  20. Vociferous Registered Senior Member

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    Where the evidence they were ordered by Trump?
    Presidents do have executive privilege and pardon power. Nothing unlawful about either. Remember, Holder was held in contempt of Congress for stonewalling in much the same way. Just because Dems have called Trump a "unindicted co-conspirator" (and that's all they've done) doesn't make him one. Trump didn't claim anything, Mueller did. What law do you imaging Trump made?


    But go ahead, I say. Impeach him. It won't benefit Democrats.
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Remembering that President Obama's words about sex offense were once held against him as biasing a court martial, "Where is the evidence they were ordered by Trump?" is the wrong question. To wit:

    Executive privilege is not unlimited, neither is pardon power; encouraging people to break the law according to a false pretense of executive privilege for sake of the notion they can be pardoned, later, is actually very much unlawful; it's called obstruction of justice.

    No, that was just Republicans making shit up as they went, so that someday, some dupe who doesn't know any better would say something like, "Remember, Holder was held in contempt of Congress for stonewalling in much the same way."

    Actually, that has to do with a court, not Congressional Democrats.

    You don't really know what you're talking about, do you? Mueller cited an old DoJ standard. President Trump himself has invoked it, too, and, moreover, gone so far as to state it should be illegal to even investigate him.

    Do you ever actually know what's going on?
     
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  22. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    So "pants-pissing drunks littering Moscow" means Putin (who is known not to drink)?

    Obviously, nothing is absurd enough not to be used to justify primitive anti-Russian hate speech by the liberal fighters against hate speech in this forum.

    Not the standards against hate speech are the problem here - you have any right to fix arbitrary standards of decency for your community. The double standards make this despicable. I have always thought that this type of behavior is despicable. But it is one thing to see such double standards in big political movements, which naturally contain different people following different personal values, so that double standards are essentially unavoidable even if all people involved have no double standards at all, and what looks like a double standard is only a necessary tolerance inside a movement, where proponents of different standards articulate their ideas and are not attacked by those who propose contradicting standards.

    But here we see these double standards concentrated in a single person who is opposing, on the one hand, hate-speech if directed against trans people (not?), but on the other hand, defends anti-Russian hate speech with such absurdities as quoted above.

    The absurdity of excuses for CptBork's hate speech has reached new heights in this example:
    CptBork, I have to thank you for your post, for your phrase about "pants-pissing drunks littering Moscow", which every civilized person will identify as primitive anti-Russian bs. If I would have guessed that those fighters against hate speech would even start to defend you, I would have objected against this much earlier. BTW, iceaura, what do you think about those "pants-pissing drunks littering Moscow"? Very interested in your answer.
     
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    This one actually has a little bit of suspense built in.

    Lawyers for the House of Representatives revealed on Monday that they have reason to believe that the grand-jury redactions in special counsel Robert Mueller's report show that President Donald Trump lied about his knowledge of his campaign's contacts with WikiLeaks.

    The attorneys made the stunning suggestion in a court filing as part of the House Judiciary Committee's bid for Mueller's grand-jury materials, which have remained secret by law ....

    .... To back up their claim, the House's legal team—led by House General Counsel Douglas Letter—cited a passage in Mueller's report about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's testimony that he "recalled" Trump asking to be kept "updated" about WikiLeaks' disclosures of Democratic National Committee emails. There is a grand-jury redaction in that passage, the lawyers note.

    "The text redacted ... and any underlying evidence to which it may point are critical to the committee's investigation," they wrote.

    "Those materials therefore have direct bearing on whether the president was untruthful, and further obstructed the special counsel's investigation, when in providing written responses to the special counsel's questions he denied being aware of any communications between his campaign and WikiLeaks," they added.


    (Desiderio↱)

    The part in question is pp. 17-18, from Volume II of the Mueller report:

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    We should, however, attempt to cover a difficult base: While it is hard to predict just what any given tinfoiler might demand, or potsherds offered, not every attorney is Rudy Giuliani. Whatever else people might suggest about lawyers, politicians, and intersections thereof, the House General Counsel is expected to maintain conduct befititng an attorney. Even Thomas Hungar, the former HGC under Republicans, a former ADF attorney who fought for religious supremacism, was able to do this. Mr. Letter, a constitutional law professor, will not be burning up his license to practice on political fluff.

    Additionally:

    Monday's filing also referenced the most recent scandal engulfing the Trump White House—the president's efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden—which caused Speaker Nancy Pelosi to formalize an impeachment inquiry. Letter, the House general counsel, and his deputies argued that Mueller's grand-jury evidence could also be useful for the House's ongoing Ukraine probe.

    “Those events may also be relevant to the House's investigation of the president's solicitation of Ukrainian interference in the 2020 election,” the lawyers wrote, referencing Trump's efforts to curtail the Mueller probe.

    More specifically, they said Mueller's grand-jury materials “would further” the House Intelligence Committee's investigation of Trump's alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine to prosecute individuals who testified against Manafort.

    The House lawyers also argued in Monday's filing that the Justice Department has no grounds to determine whether the House is engaged in an impeachment inquiry, which is the House's central claim to Mueller's grand jury files.

    That last is impressive for the fact that such a paragraph even exists. Then again, Attorney General Barr is, well, the Attorney General; it comes up.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Desiderio, Andrew. "Trump may have lied to Mueller, House Democrats say". Politico. 30 September 2019. Politico.com. 30 September 2019. https://politi.co/2o1YWkU
     

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