POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 160: “ROCKY’

NOVEMBER 30, 2019
Week 159
Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
In Freeman’s Alley, NYC 24nov19
West Village, NYC 21nov19
Store Window, SOHO, NYC 28nov19
Brooklyn, New York 25nov19
Manhattan, NYC 29nov19
This week, more conspiracy theories were debunked, as a draft of the Department of Justice Inspector General report found the FBI did not try to place spies in Trump’s 2016 campaign, nor did Obama wiretap him. Trump allies continued to push the conspiracy that Ukraine, not Russia, may have interfered in 2016, despite it being thoroughly and widely disproved.
Trump sought to portray strength — firing the Navy Secretary and tweeting an image of his face super-imposed on the body of Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky.” He told supporters in Florida how hard he was working for them — as opposed to Democrats’ focus on impeachment — then clandestinely flew to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving to visit U.S. troops under false pretenses.
The House Judiciary Committee announced the start of impeachment hearings next week, as Trump and his team weighed whether to participate. The committee did not rule out an article related to the Mueller probe. Reporting revealed the September 9 call between Trump and Gordon Sondland — central in Trump’s defense of his actions towards Ukraine — may not have happened, and Rudy Giuliani faces a broad probe of possible criminal activity.
East Village, NYC
West Village, NYC
1 On Saturday, NBC News reported the Trump regime is also holding back $105 million in congressionally-approved military assistance to Lebanon. Trump’s national security team is also in favor of the aid.
2 The aid was mentioned by David Hale in his closed-door impeachment hearing deposition. The Office of Management and Budget has not explained the reason for the delay.
3 On Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff told “Meet the Press” the hearings produced “overwhelming” evidence Trump conditioned aid on investigations to help his re-election.
4 Schiff said it is “urgent” for the House to move forward and not do “months and month of rope-a-dope in the court,” adding, “we have another election where the president is threatening more foreign interference.”
5 On Sunday, ABC News reported the House Intelligence Committee is in possession of video and audio recordings, and photographs provided by Lev Parnas which include Rudy Giuliani and Trump.
6 Chair Schiff said on “Meet the Press” that Parnas and Igor Fruman were subpoenaed. Fruman has not cooperated. Parnas’ lawyer said his cooperation is “non-partisan,” and for “the best interests of our nation.”
7 On Sunday, WAPO reported a confidential White House review of Trump’s decision to put Ukraine aid on hold revealed emails showing extensive after-the-fact communication to come up with justification of his decision.
8 The research by the White House Counsel’s Office, triggered by the House impeachment inquiry, included emails between chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and other officials in early August on the hold Trump placed in mid-July.
9 Trump decided on the hold without a rationale or legal justification. Mulvaney asked OMB director Russell Vought in early August for a legal rationale. Vought said it was legal, but the NSA and the State Department disagreed.
10 Mulvaney’s request came as he learned the whistleblower made a complaint to the CIA’s general counsel. The White House released aid on September 11, two days after the House was notified of the complaint.
11 White House counsel Pat Cippollone’s office has overseen the review, and has kept tight control of his findings, exasperating tensions between he and Mulvaney, whose aides said they need information for public inquiries.
12 On Saturday, Rep. Adam Smith, a high ranking Democrat, said an ethics investigation of Rep. Devin Nunes is likely over allegations he met with Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, to get dirt on the Bidens.
13 According to the lawyer for Parnas, a top aide for Nunes, Derek Harvey, also joined a group that frequently met at the Trump Hotel DC in the spring of 2019 to discuss the Biden matter and other topics.
14 Nunes told Breitbart, these “false and scandalous stories published by the Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth,” and threatened to sue for the “fake stories.”
15 Newsweek reported Nunes spent $57,000 of taxpayer monies on flights and other expenses for travel to Europe for himself and three staffers, Scott Glabe, George Pappas, and Harvey.
16 Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News on Saturday, saying “Devin Nunes says he didn’t meet with Shokin. I have no reason to believe that he did,” adding, “If he did, there would’ve been nothing wrong with it.”
17 Giuliani also said that he has a good relationship with Trump, adding, “I’ve seen things written like he’s going to throw me under the bus,” but “when they say that, I say he isn’t, but I have insurance.”
18 On Sunday, in an interview with NYT, former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “I was attacked for everything, not just my performance,” and, “I don’t like being called a liar.” Sander repeatedly lied.
19 On Sunday, Rick Perry told “Fox & Friends” Trump is “the chosen one” and “sent by God to do great things.” Co-host Peter Hegseth said what Trump withstood is “unlike what really any other mortal could understand.”
20 On Monday, Nikki Haley told Christian Broadcasting Network on Trump, “I think God sometimes places people for lessons and sometimes places people for change. And you can look at everything that has happened.”
21 On Tuesday, First Lady Melania was booed while addressing a group of middle school and high school students in Baltimore in a speech about youth opioid use, four months after Trump publicly disparaged the city.
22 On Wednesday, former Democratic governor Martin O’Malley confronted acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli at Dubliner, a Capitol Hill Irish bar, on Thanksgiving Eve over immigration policy.
23 Onlookers said as the two passed, O’Malley unloaded on Cuccinelli over separating migrant children from their parents, invoking “kids in cages,” and telling him his immigrant parents would “be ashamed of him.”
24 On Wednesday, WAPO reported White House adviser Stephen Miller has emerged unscathed from leaked emails tying him to white nationalists and racist talking points. He boarded Air Force One with Trump on Tuesday.
25 The White House has vigorously defended Miller, and Republican lawmakers have refrained from commenting. Two dozen Senate Democrats and 100 in the House have called on him to step down.
26 On Wednesday, the editorial board for the Sacramento Bee, Nunes’ local paper, said in an op-ed he should “cease silly lawsuits and answer serious questions” about the roughly $60,000 spent on his trip to Europe.
27 The board cited Nunes’ ongoing lawsuit against Twitter accounts known as “Devin Nunes’ cow” and “Devin Nunes’ mom,” calling the suits a “mockery” and saying he was “eviscerated” in court filings this week.
28 On Thursday, NYT reported at least nine Republican organizations have bought Donald Jr.’s book in bulk in an effort to bolster sales. Nonetheless, “Triggered” dropped to number 2 this week as Anonymous’ book came out.
29 On Sunday, Trump tweeted about a non-existent poll, claiming, “Polls have now turned very strongly against Impeachment, especially in swing states. 75% to 25%. Thank you!”
30 On Monday, Trump tweeted again about an non-existent poll: “Support for Impeachment is dropping like a rock, down into the 20’s in some Polls,” adding, “Dems should now get down to work.”
31 Later Monday, Trump quoted “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade saying impeachment “is getting less and less popular by the day.” This tweet is also false.
32 In all three tweets, Trump did not cite a polling source for his numbers, and it appeared rather than cherry-picking polls which Trump has done in the past, he instead invented polls.
33 On Tuesday, a new CNN poll found 50% of Americans say Trump should be impeached, 43% say he should not — unchanged since October despite impeachment hearings. Independents are 47% in favor, 45% opposed.
34 The gender gap for impeachment was 40 points: women 61% in favor, 34% against; men 40%, 53%. The poll also found Trump’s approval with women was 32% with women, and 52% with men.
35 Relative to past presidents, CNN found support for Trump’s impeachment was high: Bill Clinton at his highest point was 29%, Obama was 33%, and George W. was 30%.
36 On Tuesday, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found support for impeachment up to 48%, with 45% against. Support has increased from +3 to +5 in the past week.
37 On Wednesday, Reuters/Ipsos found support for impeachment up to 47% for, 40% against. Net support is up 4 points in the poll since impeachment hearings began.
38 On Saturday, AP reported Secretary of Navy Richard Spencer said he does not consider a tweet by Trump to be a formal order, saying, “I need a formal order to act,” relating to a sailor who could lose his status as a Navy SEAL.
39 On Saturday, NYT reported Spencer and the admiral who leads the SEALs have threatened to resign or be fired if Trump halted their plan to expel the sailor, Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher.
40 On Sunday, Gallagher appeared on “Fox & Friends,” saying the Navy was retaliating against him and trying to take his Trident pin “after the president restored my rank,” and that he was “overjoyed” by Trump’s help.
41 Ahead of Gallagher’s appearance, Trump tweeted, “Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher will be on @foxandfriends this morning at 7:30 A.M.,” adding, “Have no fear, all will end well for everyone!”
42 Later Sunday, Trump tweeted, “I was not pleased with the way that Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s trial was handled,” saying, “he was treated very badly.” Trump also cited “large cost overruns” by the last administration.
43 Trump added, “Therefore, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer’s services have been terminated by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper,” and, “Eddie will retire peacefully with all of the honors” and his Trident pin.
44 Sec. Esper claimed Spencer privately proposed to White House officials that Gallagher could retire as SEAL with his pin if they did not interfere, but did not share the proposal with him, and so he lost confidence in him.
45 Shortly after, Spencer resigned in a letter to Trump, saying, “Unfortunately it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me.”
46 Spencer 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.”
47 On Wednesday, in an op-ed, Spencer responded to his firing, saying, “We are effective overseas not because we have the best equipment but because we are professionals. Our troops are held to the highest standards.”
48 Spencer noted, “Trump involved himself in the case almost from the start. Before the trial began,” and that Trump’s interest in the case “stemmed partly from the way the defendant’s lawyers” talked about it on Fox News.
49 Spencer wrote to Trump on November 14 to ask him not to get involved, and next day, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone called to say Trump would remain involved. Cipollone called again to tell Spencer to restore Gallagher’s rank.
50 Spencer said, “This was a shocking and unprecedented intervention,” adding Trump “has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically,” or to be governed by “rules and practices.”
51 On Sunday, Sen. John Kennedy told “Fox News Sunday” he was not sure if it was Russia or Ukraine that interfered in the 2016 election, saying, “I don’t know, nor do you, nor do any others.”
52 On Monday, Kennedy backtracked, telling CNN, “I was wrong,” adding, “It was Russia who tried to hack the (Democratic National Committee) computer. I’ve seen no indication that Ukraine tried to do it.”
53 On Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson joked he was siding with Russia over Ukraine: “Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?…Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.”
54 On Monday, Trump also quoted lawyer Sam Dewey, a frequent cable news commentator, tweeting, “President Trump is facing a process which is unprecedented for its unfairness.”
55 On Monday, Trump claimed credit at a ceremony for signing the Woman’s Suffrage Centennial Coin Act, saying, “I’m curious why wasn’t it done a long time ago?” adding, “now I’m president, we get things done.”
56 The bill, introduced in April 2019 with bipartisan support of all 25 female senators, commemorates the 100 year anniversary of when the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote.
57 On Monday, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson found that the White House claim that Don McGahn is “absolutely immune” to be “baseless,” saying he must comply with the House Judiciary subpoena.
58 In an 118-page opinion, the judge said, “per the Constitution, no one is above the law,” adding, “the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings.”
59 The ruling also says that the House should have subpoena power over other top regime officials, and that Trump himself may not be immune from testimony.
60 Jackson’s wording was some of the strongest yet to criticize the White House’s approach to investigations into Trump. The Justice Department, which represents McGahn, said it would appeal.
61 On Tuesday, the lawyer for John Bolton said the court decision did not impact Bolton, claiming his “responsibilities are focused exclusively on providing information and advice to the president on national security.”
62 Jackson’s ruling said there was not “any difference whether the aides in question are privy to national security matters, or work solely on domestic issues,” saying that aides could cite executive privilege, but should testify.
63 On Tuesday, Trump attacked the ruling, tweeting, “the D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much” into it, and, “I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President.”
64 Trump claimed, “I would actually like people to testify. Don McGahn’s respected lawyer has already stated that I did nothing wrong,” and complimented John Bolton as a “patriot” for not testifying.
65 Trump added, “I would love to have Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney and many others testify about the phony Impeachment Hoax,” adding, “It is a Democrat Scam that is going nowhere.”
66 On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election is worthy of investigation, saying we have “a duty to make sure we chase that down.”
67 Pompeo told reporters that in his time as CIA director, he learned “there were many countries that were actively engaged in trying to undermine American democracy, our rule of law.”
68 Pompeo refused to say what he and Giuliani discussed in two March phone calls revealed in State Department records in Week 158, telling reporters, “I don’t have much to say with respect to the Ukraine investigation.”
69 Pompeo also side-stepped questions about Trump’s morning tweet, in which he said he would “love to have Mike Pompeo” and other officials testify, responding, “When the time is right, all good things happen.”
70 Later Tuesday, Bolton tweeted, “our country’s commitment to our national security priorities is under attack from within,” and, “America is distracted. Our enemies are not.” It was unclear what Bolton meant or his intention.
71 On Wednesday, a federal judge on the DC Circuit Court temporarily stayed Jackson’s order for McGahn to comply with a House subpoena to testify, and said the appeals court would hear arguments on January 3.
72 On January 3, the DC Circuit Court will also hear arguments on whether the DOJ must turn over Mueller grand jury testimony to the House. The DOJ is also representing McGahn.
73 On Monday, the Supreme Court blocked the House Oversight Committee from immediately obtaining Trump’s tax returns, giving Trump’s lawyers until December 5 to file a petition stating why it should accept the case.
74 If the petition is denied, the lower court ruling will go into effect. If accepted, the case will be heard before June. The House lawyer said, “Each day of delay harms Congress by depriving it of important information.”
75 On Tuesday, the House Oversight Committee sued AG William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for failing to turn over documents related to the regime’s failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
76 On Saturday, WAPO reported during the team’s visit to the White House as NCAA champions, the Columbia fencing team was not able to give Trump a letter critical of his gender equity policies, nor wear pins in support of it.
77 On Monday, WAPO reported José Ricardo Villalta Canales sued Maryland Natural Resources Police for turning him over to ICE where he remained in custody for three months, after being fined for cutting down a tree.
78 On Monday, WAPO reported the Education Secretary is poised to issue sweeping rules governing campus sexual assault, requiring universities to allow cross examination of those alleging sexual assault.
79 The proposal received an astounding 124,196 public comments, criticism from advocacy groups, survivors of sexual assault and campus leaders. Secretary Betsy DeVos said the new system would restore balance.
80 On Monday, DOJ Pride, a group of DOJ employees who are LGBTQ, sent a letter to AG Barr arguing the department’s stance against Title VII of the Civil Rights Act had a “clear and negative impact on employee morale.”
81 The letter cited concern the DOJ does not “support its LGBTQ workforce” or believe they “need or deserve anti-discrimination protections,” and the department “will be less able to recruit and retain talented employees.”
82 On Monday, Google fired Rebecca Rivers, the employee who helped organize a petition against its working with Customs and Border Protection. She was placed on administrative leave earlier this month.
83 On Monday, Trump ally and conservative broadcaster Rick Wiles warned on his show of a “Jew Coup,” saying Jewish members of Congress, the media, and the government were trying to take down Trump with impeachment.
84 On Wednesday, LA Magazine reported Tom Bowers, a Deutsche Bank executive who signed off on bank’s unorthodox loans to Trump, committed suicide. Rosemary Vrablic, Trump’s private banker, reported to Bower.
85 On Wednesday, Detroit Free Press reported 90 foreign students were arrested at a fake university set up the Department of Homeland Security in metro Detroit, bringing the total to 250 since it was set up in January.
86 University of Farmington was set up as part of a sting operation to entice foreign-born students, mostly from India, to register for a school that claimed it offered graduate programs in technology and computer studies.
87 The students arrived legally in the U.S. on student visas, but since the school was revealed to be a federal creation, they lost their immigration status, and 250 were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
88 On Wednesday, WSJ reported according to a report by the DHS IG, the department did not have the necessary process in place to track how many migrant children were separated from their families.
89 The report found U.S. Customs and Border Protection was aware of the deficiency in November 2017, but the agency did little to address the problem ahead of mass separations that took place from May to June 2018.
90 The report found Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy backfired, citing CBP agents were so overwhelmed, they released more migrants from detention and failed to turn over children in the required 72 hour window.
91 The report found at least 1,200 migrant children were not properly tracked by the government, and it is not known if they were reunited with their families.
92 On Thursday, WSJ reported that immigration judges in San Diego are quietly disrupting Trump’s new “Remain in Mexico” rule. Between January and September, 33% of the cases before the nine judges were terminated.
93 On Wednesday, ProPublica and Portland Monthly reported three women say they experienced sexual misconduct by Gordon Sondland in business settings before he become ambassador, including one saying he exposed himself.
94 All three women described professional retaliation when they rebuffed him, including one saying he backtracked from investing in her business. All three women agreed to be named in the reporting.
95 In a letter to ProPublica, Sondland’s attorney accused it of trying to “affect Ambassador Sondland’s credibility as a fact witness,” and suggested the news organizations of “veiled witness tampering.”
96 On Thursday, associates of Sondland said he had no plans to resign over the allegations, which he denied.
97 On Friday, Guardian reported the Ohio legislature introduced a bill that required doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy,” a procedure that does not exist in medical science, or face charges of “abortion murder.”
98 The bill, one of the most extreme anti-abortion introduced to date, marks the second time obstetricians and gynecologists have told Ohio legislators that an idea is medically impossible.
99 On Saturday, Rep. Ilhan Omar’s 2020 opponent, Danielle Stella, was permanently banned from Twitter, after tweeting the congresswoman “should be tried for #treason and hanged.”
100 Stella took to Facebook to defend her rhetoric and the accompanying image, citing a conspiracy theory and claiming, “I believe all involved should be thoroughly investigated. I did not threaten anyone.”
101 On Monday, Hong Kong voters delivered a landslide victory to pro-democracy candidates, who won almost 90% of districts. China-backed leader Carrie Lam said she will “listen humbly” to the views of the public.
102 However, the Chinese foreign minister warned, “Whatever happens, Hong Kong is always a part of China and any attempts to create chaos in Hong Kong or to jeopardise its prosperity and stability will not be successful.”
103 On Sunday, Axios reported that White House officials directed Sen. Lindsey Graham to block the Armenian genocide resolution after leaving a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Oval Office.
104 On Monday, Sen. Ron Wyden said in his investigation of Turkish state-run bank Halkbank, accused of the biggest money laundering scheme in US history, he learned that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attended lunch with Erdoğan.
105 The Treasury Department disclosed Mnuchin had six other meetings with top Turkish officials. Wyden said Treasury “does not deny” Trump tasked Mnuchin “with intervening in the criminal investigation of Halkbank.”
106 On Monday, Reuters reported Turkey will test its new Russian S-400 missile defenses, despite pressure from the Trump regime to drop the system, which is incompatible with NATO defenses.
107 On Thursday, CNN reported the Trump regime plans to cut its financial contribution to NATO, seen as a symbolic move, ahead of Trump attending a summit of NATO’s 70th anniversary in London next week.
108 U.S. officials say the regime plans to reduce the U.S. contribution down to 16% of the overall budget, in line with Germany which provides 15% but has a smaller economy. Other NATO members will make up the shortfall.
109 On Thursday, speaking alongside the NATO chief, French President Emanuel Macron criticized Turkey’s operation in Syria against Kurds, who were critical in the fight against ISIS, after Trump’s withdrawal.
110 On Friday, Erdoğan called Macron “brain dead,” and “inexperienced” for saying Turkey should not be part of NATO. France summoned the Turkish envoy to explain Erdoğan’s comment.
111 On Thursday, Seoul said North Korea fired two short-range projectiles, the 13th major public weapons test by Kim Jong Un this year.
112 On Tuesday, WSJ reported Trump secretly met Sunday morning with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and his preferred pick to fill the state’s Senate seat, Kelly Loeffler, at the White House — and told Kemp not to pick Loeffler.
113 Reportedly, Trump did not inform White House aides about the meeting which turned acrimonious. Trump pushed for Rep. Doug Collins, who would be a certain vote against impeachment.
114 On Friday, Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz called for a primary challenge to Kemp for not obeying Trump, tweeting, “maybe you need a primary in 2022,” adding, “Let’s see if you can win one w/o Trump.”
115 On Sunday, WSJ reported Andrew Favorov, the head of natural gas for Naftogaz, told SDNY federal prosecutors that Parnas and Fruman tried to recruit him in March to help oust Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev.
116 Favorov said the two described Kobolyev and Marie Yovanovitch as part of “this Soros cartel” working against Trump, and said he should take over as CEO of Naftogaz. Favorov said he reported their plan to Kobolyev.
117 On Monday, WSJ reported prosecutors have subpoenaed Giuliani Partners, Giuliani’s consultant business, and sent subpoenas and other requests to possible witnesses for records and information on Giuliani, Parnas, and Fruman.
118 Subpoenas list eight possible charges, including obstruction of justice, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud, making false statements, serving as an agent of a foreign government without registering with the DOJ.
119 Other charges include donating funds from foreign nationals, making contributions in the name of another person or allowing someone else to use one’s name to make a contribution, and mail fraud and wire fraud.
120 On Monday, WAPO reported SDNY federal prosecutors are also investigating Parnas and Fruman’s interactions with Giuliani and the main pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action, set up after the election.
121 Investigators are scrutinizing Giuliani Partners’ donations to the PAC. Parnas and Fruman attended an America First dinner in April 2018, at which they spoke to Trump about Yovanovitch.
122 On Monday, NYT reported Giuliani targeted two Ukrainian oligarchs with legal trouble in the U.S., Dmitry Firtash and Ihor Kolomoisky, to help him dig up damaging information on Joe Biden.
123 Kolomoisky said he met with Giuliani and Parnas under a made-up pretense, and Giuliani asked him to set up a meeting with Zelensky. He said no, so Giuliani tweeted an uncomplimentary article about him.
124 Firtash initially said he did not have information on the Bidens, but hired lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova, recommended by Giuliani, who approached the DOJ on his behalf.
125 Confidential documents on Firtash made their way to John Solomon, who was a client of Toensing. Giuliani and Solomon obtained a sworn affidavit from Shokin saying Biden wanted him fired, taken by Firtash’s legal team.
126 On Tuesday, WAPO reported Venezuelan energy executive Alejandro Betancourt López hosted Giuliani in Madrid in August, and hired him to help him in a DOJ investigation of money laundering and bribery.
127 A month later, Giuliani was part of a legal team for Betancourt that met with the chief of the DOJ’s criminal division and other government attorneys, saying he should not face criminal charges.
128 The $1.2 billion money laundering case is the latest example of Giuliani using his access in the Trump regime to offer his services to foreign clients. The Madrid meeting took place as Giuliani pursued the Ukraine campaign.
129 On Tuesday, in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, Trump distanced himself from Giuliani and contradicted witnesses, saying of Giuliani’s efforts with Ukraine, “No, I didn’t direct him.”
130 Asked what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine, Trump said, “You have to ask that to Rudy,” and “I don’t even know,” adding, “I know he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he canceled a trip,” and “Rudy has other clients.”
131 In Week 130 NYT reported Giuliani had planned a trip to visit Zelensky to push for investigations, but canceled after political blowback. Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker mentioned him 430 times in their testimony.
132 On Wednesday, WAPO reported Giuliani was in talks with Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, on a deal for Giuliani Partners to work for Ukrainians. Legal agreements were drafted, but not signed.
133 Talks occurred between the two in New York in January and Warsaw in February, as Giuliani was gathering information on the Bidens and Ukraine 2016 interference, and wanted Lutsenko’s help with that.
134 Lutsenko wanted a pipeline to top U.S. officials arranged by Giuliani. Notably, Giuliani told WAPO that he does not charge Trump any fees for legal services.
135 Giuliani’s firm would have been paid a $200,000 retainer, then a $300,000 monthly fee from the Ministry of Justice. Toensing and diGenova were also mentioned, and were part of a separate proposal with the Ministry.
136 On Wednesday, Reuters reported Giuliani called Trump to say he was joking about having an “insurance policy” if Trump turned on him on the Ukraine scandal.
137 Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello said the call was made “at my insistence,” adding of Giuliani, “He shouldn’t joke, he is not a funny guy. I told him, ‘Ten thousand comedians are out of work, and you make a joke.’”
138 On Monday, WAPO reported Trump has made Jared Kushner the de facto project manager for constructing his wall, following frustration with the lack of progress ahead of the 2020 election.
139 Kushner has pushed CBP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the process of taking over private land. More than 800 filings to seize private property are expected to be made in the coming months.
140 Kushner has started convening biweekly meetings in the West Wing, and has clashed with career officials who question his ideas and say he lacks knowledge on policy issues and politics of the immigration debate.
141 On Monday, Daniel Walsh, the deputy White House chief of staff, who had significant and broad responsibility, resigned. He was one of the last senior officials remaining from day one of the regime.
142 It was unclear what Walsh would do next, but the White House said he planned to join the private sector. Senior officials leaving the Trump regime have had mixed luck with their professional careers.
143 On Tuesday, the House committees released transcripts of OMB official Mark Sandy’s closed-door deposition in the impeachment inquiry. Sandy, a career official, was the only OMB official to testify.
144 Sandy, the deputy associate director for national-security programs, said he flagged concerns with his boss at OMB that the hold on Ukraine aid could violate appropriations laws.
145 Sandy said on July 12 he received an email from Mulvaney’s office, notifying him that Trump had directed the regime to freeze Ukraine’s military aid.
146 Sandy said he signed the paperwork for the hold in July, but was not given a reason for the hold until September, when he was told it was Trump’s desire to have other countries contribute aid to Ukraine.
147 Sandy said Michael Duffey, a political appointee took over the process for Ukraine aid on July 30, and began personally approving foreign aid and defense accounts, a task typically overseen by career officials.
148 Sandy said he first got questions on aid from Duffey on July 19 when Duffey said Trump had questions. On July 25, Sandy approved a temporary freeze after getting guidance from OMB lawyers.
149 Sandy said that two OMB officials had expressed frustration and quit, in part because of the hold on Ukraine aid. One was in the legal division and had a “dissenting opinion” over whether aid could be put on hold.
150 On Tuesday, the House also released the deposition transcript for Philip Reeker, a senior State Department official. The two transcripts were the final two to be released from closed-door impeachment depositions.
151 Reeker defended Yovanovitch, and described a State Department leadership failure, including by Pompeo, to defend her.
152 Reeker had a call with Ulrich Brechbuhl, counselor at State and confidant of Pompeo on April 24, who told him things had gotten “suddenly much worse” for her and there was “a lot of unhappiness” in the White House.
153 On Tuesday, the House Budget Committee said in a report that the OMB engaged in a “pattern of abuse” of its authority and the law by withholding State Department and Pentagon aid to Ukraine approved by Congress.
154 The report said limiting the spending is a violation of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, adding the funds were not released until September 12, when the House was notified of the whistleblower complaint.
155 On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee announced its first public hearings on impeachment will start on December 4, with a panel on the “constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment.”
156 Chair Jerrold Nadler said Trump’s counsel can participate in the hearing and question witnesses. The House Intelligence report will be released shortly after Congress returns from Thanksgiving recess.
157 Chair Nadler in a letter to Trump, gave him until December 1 to inform the committee if he plans to participate in the hearings. House Judiciary has the power to draft articles of impeachment against Trump.
158 On Tuesday, NYT reported that Trump had already been briefed by lawyers from the White House counsel’s office about the whistleblower in late August — well before he released aid to Ukraine in September.
159 At the time lawyers briefed Trump, they were trying to determine if they were legally required to give the complaint to Congress, after it was given to the intelligence committee’s inspector general in mid-August.
160 In late August, the intelligence committee IG Michael Atkinson concluded the complaint should go to Congress. White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy John Eisenberg disagreed, citing executive privilege.
161 Given the disagreement, advice was sought from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel. A week later the OLC concluded the regime did not have to turn over the complaint.
162 On Tuesday, CNN reported according to a House Budget Committee summary, the OMB’s first official action to withhold $250 million in Pentagon aid to Ukraine came on the evening of July 25.
163 Trump spoke to Zelensky at 9:00 a.m. ET. Laura Cooper said an email from the State Department came at 2:31 p.m., saying, “Ukrainian embassy and House foreign affairs committee are asking about security assistance.”
164 Another email from State at 4:25 p.m. said, “The Hill knows about the FMF situation to an extent and so does the Ukrainian embassy.” Cooper said “my staff got a question from a Ukraine embassy contact” too.
165 A letter from Michael Duffey, an OMB political appointee, on August 9 said the OMB would begin releasing 2% of State Department funds each day. When Politico reported on August 29 of aid being withheld, 25% of funds were released each Sunday.
166 On Tuesday, at a rally near Miami, Florida which Trump dubbed a “homecoming rally” — the first in the state since he switched his primary residence — Trump lashed out at the impeachment inquiry.
167 Trump accused Democrats of “trying to rip our nation apart” with investigations, saying, “First it was the Russia hoax,” and “now the same maniacs are pushing the deranged … impeachment” narrative.
168 Trump continued to say that he did nothing wrong, and that Democrats are moving forward on impeachment because “they know that they cannot win the next election.”
169 Trump claimed he beat the “Clinton dynasty,” adding, “And then we beat Barack Hussein Obama and whatever the hell dynasty that is!” —  stressing Obama’s middle name. It was unclear what he meant.
170 Trump added, “we won these last two weeks so solidly,” and “You see what’s happening in the polls? Everybody said, ‘That’s really bulls***,” and described his supporters as the “super elite.”
171 Trump added, “They said he went into the hospital. And it’s true, I didn’t wear a tie,” adding, “first thing they do is say, ‘Take off your shirt, sir, and show us that gorgeous chest. We’ve never seen a chest quite like it.’”
172 Trump said he pushed back by pardoning and granting clemency to military members, saying, “I stuck up for three great warriors against the deep state,” and, “you know what I’m talking about.”
173 Trump added, “I had so many people say, ‘Sir, I don’t think you should do that,’” adding, “I will always stick up for our great fighters,” and, “People can sit there in air-conditioned offices and complain.”
174 Trump also claimed the “radical left” wants to “change the name Thanksgiving. They don’t want to use the term Thanksgiving.” The idea came from Fox News segments on the “War on Thanksgiving.”
175 Trump compared it to the so-called War on Christmas, saying, “Now everybody is using Christmas again,” saying of Thanksgiving, “Everybody here loves the name Thanksgiving and we’re not changing it!”
176 On Wednesday, WAPO reported while Trump’s phone conversation with Sondland on September 9 where he said, “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” is a centerpiece of GOP defense, it may not have happened.
177 There are no other witness testimony or documents to corroborate Sondland’s impeachment inquiry testimony about the call. Trump referred only to what Sondland said in his written notes speaking to the press.
178 The White House has not located a record in its switchboard logs of the September 9 call, raising questions about the accuracy of Sondland’s testimony. Trump has cited the call as proof he was not seeking favor.
179 There was however a call between them in early September in which Trump said he wanted “no quid pro quo,” but that he did want Zelensky to publicly announce investigations into his political opponents.
180 Tim Morrison said after Sondland described that call to him on September 7, he had sinking feeling, saying he “did not think it was a good idea for the Ukrainian president to . . . involve himself in our politics.”
181 Sondland has been confronted about September 9 because of his WhatsApp messaging with William Taylor, and five hour delay in responding. His account of his conversation has evolved in his testimony.
182 Given the time difference, the call would have taken place at roughly 5:30 a.m. ET — two hours before a colleague said Sondland typically would have called. Trump’s first tweet on September 9 was at 6:21 a.m.
183 On Wednesday, NYT reported in a draft of his soon to be released report, DOJ IG Michael Horowitz found no evidence the FBI attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Trump’s 2016 campaign.
184 The finding undercuts the conspiracy theories frequently cited by Trump and his allies that not only did the FBI spy, but also frequent accusations by Trump that Obama had ordered his phone to be tapped.
185 The report will also undercut a claim by Trump allies that Joseph Mifsud was an FBI informant. George Papadopoulos has helped spread the false claim, saying he was set up by the FBI and CIA, without offering proof.
186 The report was also expected to debunk a theory that the FBI relied on the Steele dossier information to open their investigation. The dossier was cited in the wiretap applications for Carter Page.
187 On Wednesday, ProPublica reported according to a review of documents, the Trump Org reported higher numbers to lenders, and lower to tax officials for Trump Tower, the third Trump property known to do so.
188 On Wednesday, Trump tweeted an image of his head superimposed on the body of Sylvester Stallone in his boxing gear from the movie “Rocky.” It was unclear why.
189 On Thursday, CNN reported there is worry and a morale problem at the Pentagon over Trump’s decision making, including intervening in the cases of service members, and sporadic and impulsive decision making.
190 Military leaders are also concerned that Trump is being influenced by Fox News commentators in ways that encourage him to politicize the military, an institution that is meant to stay above the fray of politics.
191 Military leaders also cited Trump’s intervention in war crimes has created “confusion,” making it appear there is no accountability if people violate their oath or commit crimes so long as they can get Trump in their corner.
192 They also cite concern of Trump’s divisive rhetoric and mercurial management style, including frequently issuing orders in tweets, which undermines national security by making planning increasingly difficult.
193 On Thursday, Thanksgiving, Trump made a surprise visit in Afghanistan. His flight was shrouded in secrecy and kept from the media until he arrived, in what was described as “a made-for-TV drama” display with the military.
194 Trump’s three-and-a-half-hour stop marked his second visit to a combat zone while in office, after facing criticism for going two years without a visit to troops overseas. He had hinted recently, “I’m going to a war zone.”
195 While visiting troops, Trump claimed he came because the Taliban “wants to make a deal. And we’re meeting with them, and we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire.” Trump broke off talks with the Taliban in September.
196 Trump also claimed, “They didn’t want to do a cease-fire, but now they do want to do a cease-fire,” adding, “It will probably work out that way…We’ve made tremendous progress.” It was unclear what Trump meant.
197 On Friday, WAPO reported neither the Taliban nor the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani indicated that a cease-fire was near, or even being discussed.
198 A spokesperson for the Taliban told the Post, “We are ready to talk, but we have the same stance to resume the talks from where it was suspended.” Back home, the Trump regime also lowered expectations on talks.
199 On Friday, Daily Beast reported Trump invoked Section 412 of the PATRIOT Act, which permits indefinite detention of resident aliens on national security grounds, on Palestinian Adham Amin Hassoun.
200 This marks the first time in the 18 years since the act was enacted that this obscure provision has been used. Hassoun was never accused of an act or plot of violence, but for cutting checks to extremist-tied Muslim charities.
201 On Friday, HuffPost reported that Trump has spent $115 million on travel and security expenses at golf trips. Some of those expenditures have gone to Trump’s personal benefit for staffers who stay and eat at his properties.
202 The exact amount cannot be determined, because the White House has repeatedly refused to provide documentation on aides staying at his properties, or receipts for the charges they incurred.
203 On Friday, Chair Nadler asked Trump in a letter if he intends to mount a defense during the committee’s consideration of impeachment articles, asking if his lawyers will present evidence or call witnesses.
204 Nadler gave a December 6 deadline. Nadler also said the committee has been investigating if Trump engaged in “obstruction of justice” detailed in the Mueller report, and may draft an impeachment article on the report.
205 Nadler said the committee will hear a public defense of Trump during the week of December 9, and the entire House plans to vote on impeachment during the week of December 16, before leaving for holiday break.
206 The White House had not yet responded to an email seeking comment on Friday, and Trump weighs whether to participate in the impeachment hearings, which he has called a sham and unfair.
207 On Friday, NYT after facing an outcry from Trump allies on Fox News for his silence on impeachment, Sen. Graham has emerged as a Trump defender. He tweeted on Wednesday, “Salem witches got a better deal than this!”
208 On Friday, CNN reported Ukrainian officials are discussing ways to improve the country’s standing with Trump, and may still announce investigations that would politically benefit Trump.
209 The discussions come as Zelensky is slated to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris on December 9, along with leaders of France and Germany, and is eager to show that Ukraine has U.S. support.
210 On Friday, presidential historian David Brinkley predicted support for Trump will collapse “once the vote is taken by Congress to impeach him and he’s wearing the ‘I’ on his chest.”
211 Brinkley added after Congress votes, “you’re going to see that movement grow even more,” adding, “It tells you he doesn’t have a lot of friends, he’s a base politician. He doesn’t know how to turn this around.”
212 On Saturday, the Hill reported no Republican senators want to take over as chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, with Sen. Johnny Isakson retiring, an unusual occurrence to have a chair position difficult to fill.
213 The Ethics committee is responsible for enforcing standards of behavior for senators and their staff, and investigating potential violations of federal law or the Senate’s rules. One senator said “I’d rather have a root canal.”
214 On Saturday, CBS News reported Speaker Nancy Pelosi will lead a delegation of Democratic House and Senate members next week to the annual international climate summit known as COP25 in Madrid.
215 The trip comes after Trump formally withdrew from the Paris climate accord. Pelosi said, “On behalf of the U.S. Congress, I am proud to travel to COP25 to reaffirm the commitment of the American people.”
216 On Saturday, NYT reported on voting machines that malfunctioned in Northampton County, Pennsylvania in the 2019 election, and left officials scrambling to count paper ballots by hand overnight.
217 The machines were ExpressVoteXL, made by Election Systems & Software, and are among their newest and most high-end machines, which combines a touch-screen with a paper ballot. Problems were identified in testing.
218 The suburbs of Philadelphia will play a critical role in the 2020 election. The snafus highlighted the fears, frustrations, and mistrust over election security that many voters are feeling ahead of the election.
219 Concerns are heightened in an era when candidates and incumbents have challenged or discredited a close loss, either using unfounded allegations of voter fraud or claims of a “rigged” election.
220 On Saturday, WAPO reported as Trump faces impeachment, he and his aides have staged photo opportunities and public events to showcase him on the job and make him seem hard at work.
221 At his rally in Florida, Trump told supporters, “I’m working my ass off,” and “The failed Washington establishment is trying to stop me because I’m fighting for you and because we’re winning.”
222 Trump recently met with former Clinton strategist Mark Penn, who counseled him to focus on governing and travel more. Trump is seeking to draw a contrast to Democrats as they try to impeach and remove him.
223 On Saturday, Trump was uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter, unlike tweet storms in recent weeks. Between Friday, and the close of Week 159 mid-Saturday, Trump sent only four tweets.
The Weekly List podcast is here! You can find more information here by clicking here.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 157: “NOT COMPETENT ENOUGH”

NOVEMBER 09, 2019

Week 156

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-156/

This week, House Democrats released transcripts of eight depositions, and announced a schedule for public hearings next week. As support for impeachment plateaued, Democrats tentatively planned to fast-track hearings, with a vote on articles of impeachment before the holiday break. Republicans meanwhile, careened from varying defenses of Trump, from it was not a bad quid pro quo, to he is not competent enough to carry out quid pro quo, to targeting witnesses and the whistleblower, to considering sacrificing a fall guy in Trump’s stead.

The Mueller probe was again back in the news, as the Justice Department released FBI 302 summary reports of interviews, and the trial of Roger Stone got underway. Documents revealed the source of the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election was actually Konstantin Kilimnik, an employee of Paul Manafort who the FBI determined has ties to Russian intelligence. Stone and Trump’s possible involvement in seeking emails stolen by Russia from WikiLeaks was also back in the spotlight.

Election night provided victories for Democrats, taking control of the Virginia legislature for the first time in 26 years, winning the governorship of red state Kentucky, and historic victories in the suburbs of Philadelphia. As we head toward the 2020 election, U.S. intelligence again warned of election interference underway, something that Trump, and Republicans who continue to block legislation to protect voting, oddly seem to welcome.

IMG_3777
BERNIE. San Diego, CA 9nov19
DCIM104GOPROGOPR2365.
New York City, May 2019
  1. On Saturday, the Department of Justice released the first installment of documents related to the Mueller probe to BuzzFeed News in response to a court order, after five separate Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.
  2. The documents were FBI 302 report summaries of interviews. Rick Gates said Paul Manafort pushed the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the Democratic National Committee in the summer of 2016.
  3. Gates said Manafort “parroted a narrative” told to him by Konstantin Kilimnik, a Manafort employee who the FBI determined has ties to Russian intelligence and indicted on witness tampering in the Muller probe.
  4. Gates also said Michael Flynn was “adamant” Russia was not responsible for the hacking, and told Trump U.S. intelligence “was not capable of figuring it out,” and that Ukraine, not Russia likely carried it out.
  5. Gates also said shortly after the Democratic convention and Russia hacking the DNC server, while in a car with Trump to the airport, Trump received a call related to WikiLeaks and said more leaks were coming.
  6. Michael Cohen said before he testified to Congress, he was told “to keep TRUMP out of the messaging related to Russia and keep TRUMP out of the Russia conversation.” Cohen said false testimony was “not his idea.”
  7. Steve Bannon testified that Manafort worked on the campaign until days before the election, and they needed to hide it. Bannon wrote in an email, “They are going to try to say the Russians worked with wiki leaks to give this victory to us.”
  8. Also close to the campaign as more on Russia interference came out, Erik Prince suggested to Bannon “an alternative narrative” about Russia’s efforts, that they wanted Clinton to win. Trump used this narrative.
  9. On Tuesday, the trial for Roger Stone got off to an unusual start in Washington, as Stone left the courtroom twice to use the restroom during jury selection, and later was excused for the day citing food poisoning.
  10. Stone’s case is the last filed in the Mueller probe. On Wednesday, in opening statements, prosecutors said Stone lied to Congress “because the truth looked bad for Donald Trump,” linking the case to Trump.
  11. Prosecutors said on June 14, 2016, the day the DNC server was hacked, Stone called Trump, and again in July after WikiLeaks began releasing DNC material. An hour later he tried to make contact with Julian Assange.
  12. On Wednesday, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones said on his InfoWars broadcast that he had the name of a jurist in the Stone trial who was anti-Trump, threatening, “We’ve got her name, and we’re going to release it.”
  13. On Thursday, prosecutors said Stone had lied and obstructed, threatening Randy Credico about testifying in a message: “You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends,” and, “I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die…”
  14. On Friday, Bannon testified for 40 minutes, saying he was doing so under subpoena. He said the campaign viewed Stone as “an access point” to WikiLeaks, citing his implied relationship with WikiLeaks and Assange.
  15. Bannon said Stone implied he could get information from WikiLeaks. He said Stone was an expert in opposition research and dirty tricks, “the type of things that campaigns use when they have to make up some ground.”
  16. On Friday, Paul Manafort’s son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai was sentenced to nine years in prison for an array of scams. The judge said Yohai was a serial scammer whose “horrific” crimes posed a significant threat to the public.
  17. On Saturday, while entering Madison Square Garden for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Trump was greeted by loud boos in his former home state of New York. There were roughly 150 protestors outside.
  18. On Monday, the World Series champion Washington Nationals visited the White House. Eight of the key players chose not to attend.
  19. On Wednesday, ahead of Trump’s visit to the Alabama vs LSU football game on Saturday, the Alabama Student Government Association warned protestors risk losing their reserved seating for the rest of the season.
  20. On Saturday, WAPO reported when Rick Perry and other top advisers met with Trump in May to say the new Ukraine leader could be an ally, Trump said, “They tried to take me down,” and “are horrible, corrupt people.”
  21. In 2017 Trump tried to block aid to Ukraine saying it was not a “real country” and was “totally corrupt,” and claiming “everyone” was telling him it would anger Russia, although the opposite was true.
  22. On Saturday, Trump continued his attacks on the whistleblower, tweeting, “The Whistleblower has disappeared. Where is the Whistleblower?”
  23. On Sunday, Trump continued, tweeting, “The Whistleblower got it sooo wrong that HE must come forward,” and “Fake News Media knows who he is but, being an arm of the Democrat Party, don’t want to reveal him.”
  24. Trump also tweeted, “Many people listened to my phone call,” and “I never heard any complaints,” adding, “The reason is that it was totally appropriate, I say perfect. Republicans have never been more unified.”
  25. Trump also tweeted, “The Angry Majority!” — a phrase he first used athis rally Friday to describe supporters angered by the impeachment inquiry.
  26. Later Sunday, speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump threatened to expose information on Alexander Vindman, calling him a “Never Trumper,” and saying, “We’ll be showing that to you real soon.”
  27. Trump also told reporters the whistleblower “hated Trump,” and “You know who it is. You just don’t want to report it. CNN knows who it is, but you don’t want to report it…You’d be doing the public a service if you did.”
  28. Trump also said, “The whistleblower should be revealed because the whistleblower gave false stories. Some people would call it a fraud. I won’t go that far. But when I read it closely, I probably would.”
  29. Later Sunday, Mark Zaid, the attorney for both known whistleblowers, told NBC News the first whistleblower had offered to provide written answers to questions by House investigators, to protect his or her identity.
  30. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff,” adding, “He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable!”
  31. Trump also tweeted, “Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist?” adding, “Where is the informant? Con!”
  32. On Monday, Zaid tweeted, “we have offered to Rep. Devin Nunes,” the ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, written answers, saying the whistleblower “is not a partisan..nor is impeachment an objective.”
  33. On Sunday, an NBC/WSJ poll found net approval for impeachment and removal up 9% from last month, to 49% approve and 46% disapprove, up from 43% approve and 49% disapprove.
  34. On Sunday, Trump dismissed polls showing growing support for impeachment, telling reporters, “I have the real polls. The CNN polls are fake. The Fox polls have always been lousy.”
  35. On Monday, Fox News host Sean Hannity parroted Trump, blasting Fox News polling on his radio show, saying the methodology used by the network was “really wrong” and was “oversampling” Democrats.
  36. On Sunday, as wildfires rages in California, Trump tweeted, “The Governor of California, @GavinNewsom, has done a terrible job of forest management,” saying he told Newsom “he must “clean” his forest floors.”
  37. Trump also again threatened to pull federal aid from California, tweeting: “Every year, as the fire’s rage & California burns, it is the same thing-and then he comes to the Federal Government for $$$ help. No more.”
  38. On Sunday, Republicans shifted strategy to saying quid pro quo is not impeachable. Rep. Tom Cole told “Meet the Press” that “Concern is different than rising to the level of impeachment.”
  39. Trump tweeted, “False stories” are claiming “Trump may have done a quid pro quo,” and added, “but it doesn’t matter, there is nothing wrong with that, it is not an impeachable event.”
  40. On Saturday, a federal judge blocked the Trump regime’s plan set to go into effect on Sunday that would require immigrants to prove they have health care or the financial resources to get it in order to obtain a visa.
  41. On Sunday, the White House slammed the court, saying, “Once again, a nationwide injunction is permitting a single judge to thwart the President’s policy judgment,” calling it “wrong and unfair.”
  42. On Saturday, officials in Norway arrested Greg Johnson, a high-profile U.S. white supremacist, hours before he was scheduled to give a speech at the Scandza Forum, a network known for its anti-Semitic and racist views.
  43. On Sunday, NBC News reported a group of white people carrying a white nationalist flag were caught trying to record a video in front of the Emmett Till memorial. An official of the memorial called it a propaganda video.
  44. On Monday, ABC Milwaukee reported Mahud Villalaz, a U.S. citizen and Latino, suffered second-degree burns to his face when a white man threw acid at him, accusing him of being in the country illegally.
  45. On Monday, Buffalo Wild Wings fired employees in Naperville, Illinois who asked a black family and their party to change tables, because a white man did not “want black people sitting near him.”
  46. On Monday, NBC News reported Richard Holzer, 27, a white supremacist, was taken into custody and charged with plotting to blow up Temple Emanuel, the oldest synagogue in Colorado.
  47. Holzer told undercover investigators he was planning for a “racial holy war,” after investigators reached out to him after he promoted racially motivated acts of violence on Facebook.
  48. On Monday, Adrian Vergara, 26, pleaded guilty to a hate-crime for striking a teenage Syrian refugee who was speaking Arabic on a cellphone in the face five or six times while riding a trolley in Encanto, California.
  49. On Monday, former evangelical megachurch pastor and author Joshua Harris said the support Trump has gotten from the evangelical community has been “incredibly damaging to the Gospel and to the church.”
  50. On Monday, WSJ reported Navajo people took control of the San Juan County, Utah commission, 2-1, for the first time in 150 years in 2017 and plan to oppose Trump’s plan to develop federal lands like Bear’s Ears.
  51. Conservative white people, a minority who are pro-Trump, sought to dilute the commission by growing it from three to five seats through Proposition 10 in Tuesday’s election. Prop 10 failed in a close election.
  52. On Monday, the first day possible under the accord’s rules, the Trump regime formally served notice to the United Nations that it would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  53. On Monday, a report by 11,258 scientists in 153 countries declared the planet “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency,” and provided six broad policy goal to address the crisis.
  54. On Tuesday, USA Today reported millions of poor people lost access to a cellphone service through Lifeline, one of a number of federal assistance programs being targeted by the regime. Enrollment has dropped 21% since 2017.
  55. On Tuesday, WAPO reported the Citrus County, Florida commission voted 5-0 to block a librarian’s request for a NYT subscription on Oct 24, the same day the Trump announced canceling federal agency subscriptions.
  56. The vote took place before reporting on agencies, but after Trump’s public statements. The commissioner said, “Do we really need to subscribe to the New York Times?” and another added, “it’s fake news, and I’m voting no.”
  57. On Tuesday, 70% of Kansas City voters voted to remove Dr. Martin Luther King’s name from one of the city’s most historic boulevards, less than a year after The Paseo was renamed for King.
  58. On Tuesday, Somali refugee Safiya Khalid, 23, won a seat on the Lewiston City Council in Maine, after enduring vile abuse during her campaign by online trolls from as far away as Alabama and Mississippi.
  59. On Wednesday, the EPA’s inspector general said Ryan Jackson, the chief of staff to administrator Andrew Wheeler, refused to cooperate with an inquiry into whether he pressured a scientist to alter her Congressional testimony.
  60. In a letter, the IG said Jackson was in “open defiance” of two separate inquiries, an audit and an investigation, calling his actions a “flagrant problem” and referring the matter to Congress.
  61. On Thursday, the San Diego Union Tribune reported, in at least 14 cases, Customs and Border Protection agents in CA and TX are writing fake court dates on asylum seekers’ paperwork and sending them back them Mexico.
  62. On Monday, CNN reported the DOJ sent a letter to the agent of the upcoming book “A Warning,” saying the author may be violating “one or more nondisclosure agreements” with their anti-Trump book.
  63. On Monday, Hillary Clinton told Guardian that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “should pay a price” for what he is doing to democracy, and said false information, or “propaganda,” will have an impact on elections.
  64. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported Russian FSB Gen. Alexander Bortnikov, Vladimir Putin’s top spy, is continuing to publicly push that Russia has a behind-the-scenes cooperation with the U.S. on cybersecurity.
  65. On Wednesday, an investigation by OpenDemocracy revealed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has received a surge in donations from Russians with ties to Putin in recent months.
  66. Johnson is also under increased scrutiny for his refusal to sign off on the public release of a report on possible Russian interference in the UK’s 2016 Brexit referendum, ahead of the December 12 election.
  67. On Wednesday, in a joint statement by the DOJ, Department of Defense, DHS, FBI, and the NSA said “Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors” will seek to interfere in the 2020 election.
  68. On Wednesday, a complaint unsealed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco revealed the Saudi government, frustrated by criticism of its leaders and policies, recruited Twitter employees to spy on its critics.
  69. The Saudis sought employees to look up private Twitter data on its critics, including news personalities and a popular personality, including their email address and internet protocol addresses that can reveal a location.
  70. Two employees Ahmad Abouammo, a U.S. citizen, and Ali Alzabarah, a Saudi citizen, were charged as acting as agents of Saudi Arabia without registering. They got designer watches and tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for their spying.
  71. A third man who ran a social media marketing company that did work for the Saudi royal family was also charged. This marks the first time the Kingdom has been accused of spying in America.
  72. On Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan unanimously upheld a lower court decision that Trump’s accountant must turn over his tax returns to New York prosecutors.
  73. Later Monday, attorney Jay Sekulow said Trump will ask the Supreme Court to take up the case. The appeals court rejected the argument that Trump is immune from criminal investigation while in office.
  74. On Friday, Trump’s personal lawyers told a federal judge they intend to petition the Supreme Court next week to appeal the decision.
  75. On Monday, E. Jean Carroll said she would sue Trump for defamation, after Trump countered her allegations of rape by calling her a liar who wanted to sell books, said he never met her and “she’s not my type.”
  76. On Tuesday, Summer Zervos said new public cell phone records released by the Trump Org “corroborate” her allegations of sexual assault by Trump. Records show six calls made by Trump in late 2007 and early 2008.
  77. On Thursday, a federal judge in New York said Trump misused the Trump Foundation to further his political and business interests, and ordered him to distribute the remaining $1.7 million in funds to other charities.
  78. In the settlement, Trump admitted to giving his campaign complete control over $2.8 million the foundation raised at a fundraiser for veterans in Iowa in January 2016, saying it was campaign event.
  79. Trump also admitted to using the foundation funds to settle the legal obligations of his companies and Mar-a-Lago. Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric will go through training to ensure they do not repeat his improprieties.
  80. On Thursday, in a speech at an annual gathering, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said Trump’s rhetoric “violates all recognized democratic norms,” adding, “We are in unchartered territory.”
  81. He added, Trump “criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn’t go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him,” and views courts “as obstacles to be attacked and undermined…not as a coequal branch.”
  82. On Monday, four White House officials scheduled to testify in the impeachment probe refused to appear: John Eisenberg, Michael Ellis, Robert Blair, and Brian McCormack.
  83. An attorney for Ellis said his client was instructed by the White House not to appear, calling the congressional subpoena “invalid,” citing Democrats have not allowed Trump’s counsel at depositions and other concerns.
  84. Eisenberg’s attorney, William Burck, who also represents Don McGahn, said the DOJ advised him Sunday that as a senior adviser to Trump, Eisenberg is “absolutely immune from compelled congressional testimony.”
  85. On Monday, NYT reported at an “Off the Record” dinner for the Republican National Committee, officials shared they swamped House Democrats phone lines in recent weeks with anti-impeachment calls.
  86. The effort targeted nearly three dozen House Democrats and generated roughly 11,000 automated calls, in an effort to defend Trump by shaping opinion on impeachment and tying up phone lines.
  87. On Monday, the House released transcripts of its depositions with Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley. McKinley said he repeatedly tried to get Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to come to Yovanovitch’s defense publicly.
  88. Pompeo did not, and McKinley resigned citing the State Department being used for politics. Pompeo recently said in an interview on ABC McKinley never expressed concerns, saying, “I never heard him say a single thing.”
  89. Yovanovitch said she got a call at 1 a.m. in April from the Director General of the Foreign Service telling herto get the next flight home, citing control of her “security.” When she asked why, she was told, “I don’t know.”
  90. When asked about Pompeo’s refusal to defend her, Yovanovitch said she was told Pompeo or someone around him would need to call Fox News host Sean Hannity to find out about allegations against her on his show.
  91. Yovanovitch said Gordon Sondland urged her to tweet support of Trump to save her job, saying, “you know the sorts of things that he likes. You know, go out there battling aggressively and, you know, praise him or support him.”
  92. Yovanovitch said she felt threatened by Trump telling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky she was “bad news” and would “go through some things,” and feared Trump could retaliate: “I didn’t know what it meant. I was very concerned. I still am.”
  93. Yovanovitch said Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov expressed concern to her in February about the country getting embroiled in U.S. politics, citing Manafort’s “black ledger” and a Biden investigation.
  94. Yovanovitch said Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general, Yuri Lutsenko, teamed up with Rudy Giuliani to work around the system, and worked to smear her as undermining Trump’s agenda with Ukraine, which he later recanted.
  95. On Monday, NYT reported Pompeo faces his most perilous time in office as the impeachment inquiry looks into what he knew, and diplomats are revolting against his leadership and testifying in the inquiry.
  96. Notably as CIA director, Pompeo testified to Congress that Russia interfered in the election. Now as Secretary of State, he has reversed and is openly backing the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, did the hacking.
  97. Pompeo helped Trump and Giuliani oust Yovanovitch. McKinley testified Pompeo refused to “say a single thing” about her ouster. Pompeo has also tried to block State Department officials from testifying in the inquiry.
  98. Career officials accused Pompeo of abandoning veteran diplomats and allowing Trump’s personal agenda to infect foreign policy. He is facing a revolt as officials say he has damaged the department and morale is at rock bottom.
  99. He has also drawn fire for four trips to Kansas while he considers a Senate run , most recently with Ivanka. The Kansas City Star Editorial Board wrote, “Pompeo should quit and run for Senate or do his job at State.”
  100. On Monday, Reuters reported lawyers for Lev Parnas said he will comply with the impeachment inquiry. Parnas helped Giuliani look for political dirt on Joe Biden.
  101. Parnas’s new attorney, Joseph Bondy, who replaced John Dowd, explained the change of heart, saying, “Parnas was very upset by President Trump’s plainly false statement that he did not know him.”
  102. NYT reported Trump had signed off on Parnas using Dowd in an October 2 email. Dowd had said Trump’s support was sought “simply as a courtesy.” Parnas had previously been in Trump’s camp, and refused to cooperate.
  103. On Monday, Reuters reported Ukraine plans to fire prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk, who led the investigations into Burisma. The decision comes as Ukraine tried to avoid getting drawn into U.S. partisan politics.
  104. On Monday, Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should investigate Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, and “the State Department’s role in all of this.”
  105. On Tuesday, Michael Duffey, a top official on the White House budget office, and Wells Griffith, a senior aide to Energy Department Sec. Rick Perry, refused to appear before the House impeachment inquiry.
  106. On Tuesday, the impeachment depositions of Kurt Volker and Sondland were released by the House. The day prior, Sondland released four pages of new sworn testimony, laying out his involvement in the quid pro quo.
  107. Sondland claimed reading the testimony of William Taylor and Timothy Morrison had “refreshed my recollection.” He provided a description of his involvement in telling Ukraine military aid was dependent on opening investigations.
  108. Sondland said he was not forthcoming in his testimony about his texts to Taylor, acknowledging he did know by then that military aid to Ukraine was contingent on the investigations.
  109. His new testimony contradicted that he was pushing the quid pro quo as a lone wolf, instead claiming he was just the messenger, who understood that aid was linked to investigations, and articulated it that way to others.
  110. Sondland said on September 1, while PresidentZelensky was meeting with Vice President Mike Pence to discuss aid, he discussed the linkage to aid to opening investigations with Andriy Yermak, a top Zelensky adviser.
  111. On Tuesday, the White House pushed back on his new testimony, saying Sondland failed to cite a “solid source,” and “no amount of salacious media-biased headlines” change that Trump “has done nothing wrong.”
  112. On Wednesday, Graham questioned why Sondland changed his testimony on Fox News, musing, “Was there a connection between [Sondland] and Democratic operatives,” or “Did he talk to Schiff” or his staffers?
  113. On Tuesday, the transcripts revealed both Volker and Sondland testified that at a May 23 meeting, Trump complained about suspicions Ukraine tried to undermine his 2016 campaign, and they were “trying to take him down.”
  114. Volker also testified that Trump said of Ukraine, “They are all corrupt, they are all terrible people,” and “I don’t want to spend any time with that.” Volker said Giuliani amplified Trump’s “negative narrative” about Ukraine.
  115. Volker said he told Giuliani the theories on Ukraine were “not credible.” And said Ukrainians asked to be put in touch with Giuliani, saying because they believed “that information flow would reach the President.”
  116. Volker said he was surprised and troubled by what was said on the July 25 call, but claimed he did not have a conversation about quid pro quo “because I didn’t know that there was a quid pro quo.”
  117. Volker said he became aware of the hold-up of aid on July 18, saying although it “struck me as unusual,” he claimed, “Nobody ever gave a reason why.”
  118. Volker said “the news about a hold on security assistance did not get into Ukrainian government circles” until “the end of August” — bolstering a Trump defense there was not a quid pro quo since Ukraine did not know.
  119. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Giuliani was cited 480 times in Sondland and Volker’s testimony, and appears to have played a central role in driving Ukraine policy. Trump seemed to refer to him too, saying, “Talk to Rudy.”
  120. Their testimony showed Trump grew disinterested and pushed responsibility for Ukraine to Giuliani, who took the lead over the State Department, even checking the statement Zelensky was prepared to give.
  121. On Wednesday, Giuliani announced on Twitter that he has assembled a legal team for the criminal investigation into his activities related to Ukraine, including his longtime friend, Robert Costello.
  122. Giuliani tweeted, “The evidence…will show that this present farce is as much a frame-up and hoax as Russian collusion, maybe worse.” Hiring counsel shows how seriously Giuliani is taking the inquiry in Manhattan.
  123. NYT reported it took Giuliani weeks to find lawyers willing to represent him. At least four prominent lawyers turned him down, including Mary Jo White, Theodore Wells Jr., Daniel Stein, and Paul Shechtman.
  124. On Wednesday, NYT reported the $500,000 paid to Giuliani’s firm by Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman’s Fraud Guarantee in September and October 2018 came from lawyer Charles Gucciardo, a GOP donor and Trump supporter.
  125. On Monday, at a rally in Lexington, Kentucky, Trump again attacked the whistleblower, saying they “said lots of things that weren’t so good, folks. You’re going to find out,” adding, “These are very dishonest people.”
  126. WAPO reported Trump has made the false claim that the whistleblower misrepresented the call more than 100 times in the past six weeks. Experts noted a form of gaslighting: repeating the falsehood to make a lie credible.
  127. Trump has called the whistleblower’s allegations “false,” “fraudulent,” “wrong,” “incorrect,” “so bad,” “very inaccurate,” and “phony.” At the rally, supporters behind him wore t-shirts saying, “Read the Transcript.”
  128. Trump also told supporters that Matt Bevin losing “sends a really bad message” adding, “you can’t let that happen to me!” The most recent Kentucky governor poll had Bevin up by five points.
  129. Also at the rally, Sen. Rand Paul demanded the media expose the whistleblower, saying, “do your job and print his name.” The whistleblower’s lawyer said Paul “betrays the interests of the Constitution and the American people.”
  130. On Tuesday, Paul told reporters he “probably will” disclose the name. He later said on Fox News that he “may” disclose the name, saying, “There’s nothing that prevents me from saying it now.”
  131. Shortly after, Paul tweeted an article by Real Clear Investigations which speculated on the whistleblower’s identity and gave considerable detail including the name, photograph, and political history of a CIA professional.
  132. Shortly after, Russia state media outlets TASS, RT, and Rossiya-1 disseminated the information speculatingon the whistleblower, but falsely claimed the source was the Washington Post.
  133. On Wednesday, Donald Jr. tweeted a Breitbart story that named the person believed to be the whistleblower, and added the name to the text of his tweet. Fox News hosts have been instructed not to mention the name.
  134. On Wednesday, a lawyer for the whistleblower said, “Identifying any name for the whistleblower will simply place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm,” and “we will not confirm or deny any name.”
  135. A second lawyer called Donald Jr. speculating on the identity “disgusting and reckless,” adding, “It puts the individual in danger, no matter if he is the whistleblower or not, and is an insult to the federal whistleblower law.”
  136. On Thursday, Donald Jr. defended himself on “The View.” When a co-host called the outing “something dictators do,” he responded “For days, he’s been out there in the media,” and “I’m a private citizen.”
  137. On Wednesday, Paul blocked a Senate resolution put forward by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Mazie Hirono which acknowledged “the contributions of whistleblowers” protected them from retaliation.
  138. On Wednesday, NYT reported Donald Jr. also retweeted an unsubstantiated claim shared by right-wing commentator Jack Posobiec that Alexander Vindman had bashed America to Russian officers in 2013.
  139. On Tuesday, Election Day, Democrats won control of the Virginia House and Senate, giving Democrats control of the state government for the first time in 26 years. Democrats also won the Kentucky governor seat.
  140. Democrats won decisively in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. Democrats won control of the Delaware County Council for the first time since the Civil War. Pennsylvania is an important swing state.
  141. On Wednesday, WAPO reported the outcome in Kentucky embarrassed Trump who had just campaigned there, and worried Republicans for 2020. Trump won the state by 30 points in 2016.
  142. While aides tried to spin the loss as an anomaly, saying the candidate was unpopular, the GOP candidate had run on embracing Trump and his agenda, and ran against the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
  143. On Wednesday, Trump held a ceremony at the White House to mark that more than 150 of his judicial pickshad been confirmed by the Senate, musing, “How ‘bout adding another 100 or so?”
  144. Trump said his picks might only be topped by George Washington, and lamented liberal “activist” judges, including ones who have blocked his travel bans and attempts to limit immigration.
  145. Trump also said he will host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 13 at the White House, despite Turkey’s invasion of Syria, on the same day public impeachment hearings begin.
  146. On Thursday, NYT reported in a searing internal memo, the top American diplomat in Syria, William V. Roebuck, criticized the Trump regime for not doing enough to stop the Turkish military offensive.
  147. Roebuck said Turkish-backed militia fighters committed “war crimes and ethnic cleansing,” and Trump’s policy shift left Syrian Kurdish allies abandoned and opened the door for a possible Islamic State resurgence.
  148. Roebuck added, “One day when the diplomatic history is written” people will wonder why officials did not do more to stop “an unprovoked military operation” that killed 200 civilians and displaced over 100,000 people.
  149. On Thursday, Foreign Policy reported the position of U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, formerly held by Kurt Volker, is expected to be scrapped, and its responsibilities taken up by someone else at the State Department.
  150. On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron told the Economist that Europe can no longer count on the U.S. to defend its NATO allies, after Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.
  151. Macron said Trump “doesn’t share our idea of the European project,” and “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” and Europe needs to needs to start thinking of itself as a geopolitical power.
  152. On Wednesday, WSJ reported the White House is bringing on Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general, and Tony Sayegh, a former Treasury Department spokesman, to bolster Trump’s impeachment strategy.
  153. Bringing on Bondi and Sayegh is a tacit acknowledgement by the Trump regime that it needs a strategy and coordinated response to impeachment. Trump has resisted forming a team despite pressure from GOP lawmakers.
  154. On Wednesday, a Morning Consult poll found support for impeachment fell to 47% from a mid-October high of 51%. Voters who heard “a lot” about the House vote were more likely to support impeachment.
  155. On Tuesday, Roll Call reported according to the transcripts released in the inquiry, most GOP members of the three committees have not shown up. Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2-to-1 during Sondland’s testimony.
  156. On Tuesday, CBS News reported Republicans are considering moving Rep. Jim Jordan to the House Intelligence Committee, and having him take the lead role from Rep. Devin Nunes as the impeachment inquiry heats up.
  157. On Thursday, a professional referee became the second person who said he told Jordan about sexual misconduct at Ohio State by a former doctor who allegedly sexually abused nearly 300 men over 17 years.
  158. On Friday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that Jordan would officially be joining the House Impeachment Committee for hearings next week, replacing Rep. Rick Crawford.
  159. On Wednesday, David Hale, the State Department’s third-ranking official, testified behind closed doors in the impeachment inquiry for more than six hours, and was expected to testify about Yovanovitch’s ouster.
  160. AP reported Hale was expected to say Secretary Pompeo and other senior officials determined publicly defending Yovanovitch would hurt efforts to free up military aid to Ukraine, and would upset Giuliani.
  161. On Wednesday, two other witnesses who were scheduled to testify — Russ Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and Energy Department Sec. Rick Perry — did not show up.
  162. On Wednesday, the House released a 300-page transcript of William Taylor’s testimony. Taylor said it was Giuliani’s idea to have Zelensky commit to the political investigations.
  163. Taylor said there was clear quid pro quo, saying, “that was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [of Ukraine] committed to pursue the investigation.”
  164. Taylor also said there was a second quid pro quo, involving a meeting with Trump: “By mid-July, it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelensky wanted was conditioned on investigations.”
  165. Taylor also mentioned a “nightmare” scenario where Zelensky would publicly promise an investigation, which got him into “big trouble” in the U.S. and Ukraine, and ultimately benefited Russia.
  166. Taylor said Giuliani spearheaded the drive to get Zelensky to announce investigations into Trump’s political rivals, and that Giuliani was acting on behalf of Trump.
  167. Taylor said Bolton “was very sympathetic” to his concerns about aid, and Bolton “was also trying, with the two secretaries [Pompeo and Defense Sec. Mark Esper] and the director of the CIA, to get this decision reversed.”
  168. Taylor said an NSC meeting to discuss Ukraine aid was hard to schedule because the focus was on Trump’s desire to buy Greenland, and there was “discomfort” in the State Department about Sondland’s role in Ukraine.
  169. Taylor said he kept “careful notes” in a “little notebook where I take notes on conversations.” He also had “handwritten notes…on a small, little spiral notebook in my office of phone calls that take place in my office.”
  170. On Wednesday, Sen. Graham, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he will not read the transcripts of testimony, calling the process an illegitimate “sham” and “bunch of B.S.”
  171. Graham also tried a new defense of Trump, claiming Trump’s Ukraine policy was “incoherent,” and saying, “They seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo.”
  172. On Wednesday, Trump held a rally in in Monroe, Louisiana. Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana stood on stage with Trump, and said of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “I don’t mean any disrespect but it must suck to be that dumb.”
  173. Trump raged against House Democrats for pursuing a “deranged, delusional, destructive, and hyper-partisan impeachment witch hunt,” adding, “It’s all a hoax, it’s a scam.”
  174. Trump also accused Democrats of “ becoming increasingly totalitarian,” accusing them of “staging show trials” and “trying to overthrow American democracy to impose their socialist agenda.”
  175. Trump also said, “I had a perfect phone call, a totally perfect phone call,” and said the whistleblower made a “horrible statement” about his July 25 call, and then “disappeared” after the transcript was released.
  176. Trump also falsely claimed that Joe Biden pushed for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating his son, saying, “That’s called a quid pro quo. Not here.”
  177. Trump made a brief mention of Hillary Clinton, whom he called “Crooked Hillary,” leading his supporters to chant, “Lock her up!” He also referred to Democratic 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”
  178. Reporters indicated that starting around halfway through Trump’s 72-minute speech, a steady stream of supporters stood up and left. The venue was filled to capacity according to Trump’s campaign.
  179. On Wednesday, WAPO reported around September 25, when the White House released the July 25 call transcript, Trump wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a news conference and say Trump did not break the law in the call.
  180. The request traveled from Trump to White House officials, who then passed it on to the DOJ. Barr declined to do so, but the DOJ issued a statement saying it would not investigate for campaign finance violations.
  181. The DOJ pushed to release the transcript following reporting on the whistleblower complaint, wrongly assuming it would quell the controversy since Trump did not explicitly push for quid pro quo.
  182. Trump has mentioned Barr’s unwillingness to make a statement to associates in recent weeks, saying he wished he had done so, but the two remain on good terms. The DOJ had tried to distance itself from Trump and Giuliani on the matter.
  183. Later Wednesday, just after midnight, in a series of tweets, Trump pushed back on the story, tweeting, “Years ago, when Media was legitimate…“Fact Checkers” would always call to check and see if a story was accurate.”
  184. Trump also tweeted now, “they just write whatever they want!” adding, “The story in the Amazon Washington Post, of course picked up by Fake News CNN…is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story.”
  185. Trump also again evoked the phrase “enemy of the people,” tweeting, “the LameStream Media, which is The Enemy of the People,” of “working overtime with made up stories in order to drive dissension and distrust!”
  186. On Thursday, Trump continued his attacks in the morning, tweeting, “Bill Barr did not decline my request to talk about Ukraine,” calling it a “Fake Washington Post con job with an “anonymous” source that doesn’t exist.”
  187. Trump also tweeted, “The degenerate Washington Post MADE UP the story about me asking Bill Barr,” adding,“Never happened, and there were no sources!” In a separate tweet, Trump wrote “Read the Transcript!”
  188. Shortly after, Trump continued, tweeting, “The Amazon Washington Post and three lowlife reporters, Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey, and Carol Leonnig, wrote another Fake News story, without any sources.”
  189. Trump also called WAPO, “a garbage newspaper!” and accused “The Radical Left Dems and LameStream Media” of making it harder for him to win, and citing the “new Impeachment Hoax” turning against them.
  190. In a statement, WAPO Executive Editor Marty Baron responded, saying the Post fully stands by the story and its reporters. The story was also later confirmed by NYT and ABC News.
  191. On Friday, Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal, and Sheldon Whitehouse filed a FOIA request seeking documents related to Trump’s alleged call for Barr to hold a press conference.
  192. In their filing, the three cited “serious concerns” about Trump’s perception of the DOJ “as a partisan political instrument and his willingness to use the power of federal law enforcement in pursuit of his own objectives.”
  193. Trump also called for the end of the impeachment inquiry, citing a 2017 tweet by Mark Zaid, “the Fake Whistleblowers attorney,” predicting his impeachment, and tweeting “the Impeachment Hoax should be ended IMMEDIATELY!”
  194. Trump also falsely claimed, “I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS. It is a Pelosi, Schiff, Scam against the Republican Party and me,” adding, “This Witch Hunt should not be allowed to proceed!”
  195. On Thursday, Daily Beast reported Trump and “Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett have discussions about doing another TV series together, possibly “The Apprentice: White House.” Trump misses being a reality TV host.
  196. On Thursday, in response to a request for witnesses sent by Chair Adam Schiff to ranking member Nunes, Jim Jordan responded instead, saying Republicans want to subpoena the whistleblower.
  197. On Thursday, NYT reported Zelensky met with two U.S. Senators in early September and was told if the $400 million in military aid was not released by Trump by September 30, it could be lost entirely.
  198. All of Zelensky top aides were in favor of bowing to Trump’s demands except Alexander Danyliuk, the director of the NSC, who resigned and said Zelensky would need to “correct the mistakes” in U.S. relations.
  199. Negotiations for a statement for Zelenksy happened between Kurt Volker and his senior aide Andriy Yermak in August. U.S. diplomats agreed to drop mention of Ukraine interference in the 2016 election.
  200. Taylor testified that Trump wanted the statement made on CNN. Aides for Zelensky, cautious not to upset Trump, noted his negative tweets about CNN, but then also noticed Trump was attacking Fox News.
  201. Zelensky decided to make a statement on September 13 on CNN show hosted by Fareed Zakaria. Two days before, news had been leaked out about the aid, Congress was in an uproar and aid was released. Zelensky canceled the interview.
  202. On Thursday, Jennifer Williams, a career foreign service officer and special adviser to Pence for Europe and Russia, appeared before the House committees on the impeachment inquiry. She was issued a subpoena.
  203. Williams likely would have briefed Pence ahead of his meeting with Zelensky on September 1. She was also the second on the July 25 call to testify. Pence claimed he was not aware of Trump’s demands to Zelensky.
  204. John Bolton however did not appear for his scheduled impeachment deposition. Bolton has not been issued a subpoena. WAPO reported Bolton is willing to appear if the federal court clears the way.
  205. On Thursday, House Democrats dropped efforts to get testimony from Bolton, after his lawyer threatened to file a lawsuit if he was subpoenaed. Both Democrats and Republicans have said they want to hear from Bolton.
  206. House Democrats also withdrew their subpoena from Charles Kupperman on Wednesday, citing the drawn out time for a legal battle. Oral arguments would have started December 10.
  207. Instead the House will rely on the outcome of a similar ongoing case with Don McGahn, heard by a different judge in the same courthouse. She is likely to issue an opinion in November.
  208. On Thursday, CNN reported House Democrats plan to fast-track the impeachment inquiry, limiting the number of witnesses and avoiding court battles. Sources say the timeline has not been finalized.
  209. Democrats plan to hold public hearings for two weeks, write a report over Thanksgiving break, have two weeks for debate, and then a full House vote before Christmas. Trump would be the third president to be impeached.
  210. On Thursday, House investigators released the transcript of George Kent’s testimony. Kent said he had written contemporaneous memos of specific conversations he had witnessed related to quid pro quo.
  211. Kent testified he believed the Trump-Ukraine conduct was “injurious to the rule of law, both in Ukraine and the U.S.” His notes are in the property of the State Department, and have not been turned over despite a subpoena.
  212. He told Catherine Croft on August 15, on asking Ukraine to investigate, “that goes against everything that we are trying to promote in post Soviet states for the last 28 years, which is the promotion of the rule of law.”
  213. Kent also testified Giuliani started a “campaign of slander” against Yovanovitch in mid-March, and was aided by journalist John Solomon, and Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
  214. On Thursday, WAPO reported House Republicans’ strategy to shield Trump is raise motives about his deputies — Sondland, Giuliani, and Mick Mulvaney — and say they could have acted alone, and make them the fall guy.
  215. On Thursday, Pence denied allegations in the anonymous author’s book that he would have backed removal of Trump under the 25th Amendment, and added, “I never heard any discussion in my entire tenure.”
  216. Pence also told reporters there was “no quid pro quo,” adding Trump “made military support available for Ukraine,” and, “The American people have the transcript” of Trump’s call.
  217. On Thursday, lawyers for the whistleblower sent the White House a cease and desist letter, demanding Trump stop calling for the outing of the whistleblower’s name, and citing his “reckless and dangerous” comments.
  218. The letter to White House counsel states: “should any harm befall any suspected named whistleblower or their family, the blame will rest squarely with your client.”
  219. On Thursday, journalist Bill Moyer called on PBS to televise the impeachment hearings live, and repeat the broadcast in primetime for Americans who work to see, as was done with Watergate.
  220. On Thursday, a USC Dornsife/LA Times poll found 44% believe the House should vote to impeach, 30% say they should not, and 26% say they do not know or it is too soon to tell.
  221. On Thursday, advance copies of “A Warning” came out, describing Trump as cruel, inept, and a danger to the nation. Anonymous said the ‘quiet resistance’ inside the regime would not steer Trump in the right direction.
  222. The author described Trump as unfit, reckless, and without full control of his faculties, saying he is “like a twelve-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately.”
  223. The author claimed senior regime officials considered resigning en masse in a “midnight self-massacre” to sound the public alarm, but decided not to, citing it would destabilize the already fragile government.
  224. On Friday, Trump said he has not agreed to scrap tariffs on China including finalizing “phase one” of the trade deal, after holding a celebratory ceremony in the Oval Office in Week 152.
  225. On Friday, before heading to Georgia, Trump stopped and spoke to reporters on the South Lawn, after avoiding the press for two days — highly unusual for Trump.
  226. Trump told reporters of Sondland, “Let me just tell you: I hardly know the gentleman.” Sondland donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural fund and has flown several times on Air Force One.
  227. Trump said of the impeachment hearings next week, after complaining about closed door hearings recently, “they shouldn’t be having public hearings,” adding, “This is a hoax. This is just like the Russian witch hunt.”
  228. Trump also said, “Everybody that’s testified, even the ones that are Trump haters, they’ve all been fine. They don’t have anything,” again saying his call “transcript is perfect,” and My phone call was perfect.”
  229. Trump also said the whistleblower “is a disgrace to our country,” and their identity “should be revealed,” and their lawyer “should be sued. And maybe for treason. Maybe for treason.”
  230. Trump also said “Nancy Pelosi should go back to her district, which is horrible. It’s filthy. It’s drug-infested. The stuff’s being flown out to the ocean — it’s being wiped out to the ocean through their drainage systems.”
  231. Trump said of the WAPO story, “if I asked Bill Barr to have a press conference I think he’d do it,” placing him at odds with Barr. Then he added, “But I never asked him to have a press conference. Why should I?”
  232. Trump complained about the media and Democrats, saying, “you’ve really shaped my behavior,” citing “phony stuff” and “false investigations,” adding, “a lot of my behavior was shaped by the fake news and by the other side.”
  233. Trump also told reporters Putin invited him to Russia’s Victory Day parade on May 9, and he is “thinking about it,” adding, “It is right in the middle of political season,” but “I would love to go if I could.”
  234. Later Friday, Trump courted African-American voters at the launch of “Black Voices for Trump” in Atlanta. Roughly 300 attended. Trump told reporters Democrats’ “sinister effort” to get him out of office will not work.
  235. Trump said the inquiry is a “deranged, hyperpartisan impeachment witch hunt,” and “failing fast. It’s all a hoax,” and blamed Democrats for urban issues like crime, saying, “Pelosi should go back home to San Francisco.”
  236. On Friday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defied a House subpoena and skipped his scheduled closed door deposition, saying he was not coming because he had “absolute immunity.”
  237. On Friday, the transcripts of Alexander Vindman and Fiona Hill’s testimony were released by House impeachment investigators. Both Vindman and Hill are in discussion about publicly testifying.
  238. Hill said after it became public that she would cooperate, she was threatened: “I received…death threats, calls at my home. My neighbors reported somebody coming and hammering on my door.”
  239. The transcripts showed Chair Schiff sparred with Rep. Matt Gaetz when he attempted to enter the closed door hearing while Hill testified, with Schiff saying, “You’re not permitted to be in the room,” and “absent yourself.”
  240. Hill testified there was a “good chance” Russia had kompromat on Trump during the 2016 campaign, and it “often is factual,” adding, “then they will sprinkle into that disinformation.”
  241. Hill testified that Giuliani and Sondland side-stepped typical NSC and White House processes for foreign policy, and Giuliani undercut and derailed U.S. diplomats charged with the U.S.-Ukraine relationship.
  242. Hill said the ouster of Yovanovitch was a turning point for her leaving, and that Giuliani was behind Yovanovitch’s “defamation.” Bolton’s reaction was Giuliani is a “hand grenade that is going to blow everyone up.”
  243. Hill also said the campaign against Yovanovitch was “ruthless and nasty,” and had “a really devastating effect” on career diplomats like herself, and on female diplomats in particular.
  244. Hill said reading the July 25 transcript and Volker’s texts were her “worst fears and nightmares” realized, adding there were “an awful lot of people” involved in turning “a White House meeting into some kind of asset.”
  245. Hill said Sondland told her on multiple occasions he was overseeing the Ukraine relationship, on Trump’s authority. She worried Sondland would become a “target for foreign powers” for offering White House access.
  246. Hill and Vindman testified Sondland told Ukrainian officials at a July 10 meeting they would need to open an investigation to secure a White House meeting. Sondland said he was acting at the direction of Mulvaney.
  247. Hill and Vindman testified that the quid pro quo effort was coordinated by Mulvaney. Vindman said he heard of the first hold on Ukraine aid by July 3, and later learned it came from Mulvaney’s office.
  248. Vindman said “there was no doubt” that Trump was seeking political investigations of political rivals, and that Zelensky would “need to fulfill this particular prerequisite in order to get the meeting.”
  249. In total, Democrats released 2,677 pages of testimony from eight impeachment witnesses. Overall, the House committees have called 33 witnesses to testify and 16 have appeared so far.
  250. Later Friday, in a letter to Congress, Bolton’s attorney said his client knows about “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine pressure campaign that the House has not yet covered.
  251. Bolton’s attorney said his client would be willing to testify, but would first need a court ruling hat he should ignore White House objections. The attorney, Charles Cooper, also represents Kupperman.
  252. Cooper also argued, unlike others who have testified in the inquiry, Bolton and Kupperman did not have the same constraint since they “did not provide direct advice to the president on a regular or frequent basis.
  253. Late Friday, attorneys for Mulvaney asked to join a federal lawsuit filed by Kupperman seeking a judicial ruling on whether Congress can compel Trump’s senior advisers to testify in the impeachment inquiry.
  254. In reaction to the House asking the judge to dismiss Kupperman’s case on Wednesday, Cooper said in a letter Friday that Kupperman and Bolton want to get a “definitive judgment” on whether to testify.
  255. Mulvaney’s attorneys said he and Kupperman face identical competing demands, although Kupperman has left his position. Mulvaney said he fears the House will hold him in contempt for not appearing.
  256. On Friday, WSJ reported in late February, Parnas and Fruman urged former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko to announce investigations in Trump’s political opponents in exchange for a White House meeting.
  257. The three met at the offices of then Ukrainian general prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, shortly after Parnas and Fruman met with Giuliani and Lutsenko in New York in late January, and then again in Warsaw in mid-February.
  258. Poroshenko was in a tight race and wanted to have a state dinner with Trump, then do an interview with a news outlet, then he would announce the investigations. His approval sagged and the meeting did not happen.
  259. Lutsenko told the Hill in March that he was opening an investigation into interference by Ukraine in 2016, and had evidence to present to the DOJ on Joe Biden and Burisma. He later found no wrongdoing by the Bidens.
  260. On Saturday, early in the morning and continuing through the day, Trump sent a flurry of tweets attackingthe impeachment probe, witnesses, and Democrats. He retweeted 17 messages in one hour alone, hammering Democrats.
  261.  Trump also tweeted, “Fake News is reporting that I am talking to Mark Burnett about doing a big show,” adding, “which I would assume they mean in 5 years,” and “This is not true,” and “False reporting!”
  262. Trump also promoted his son’s book, tweeting, “Just finished reading my son Donald’s just out new book, “Triggered.” It is really good! He, along with many of us, was very unfairly treated. But we all fight back.”
  263. In his book, Donald Jr. wrote that a visit to Arlington National Cemetery reminded him of all his family’s sacrifices, saying, “we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make.”
  264. Trump also promoted another book, tweeting, “Bringing the word “Nationalism” back into the mainstream — great job by Rich Lowry!” adding, “Very important book.”
  265. Trump also tweeted, “the Witch Hunt continues. After 3 years of relentless attacks against the Republican Party & me,” adding, “the Do Nothing Dems are losers for America!” and “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!”
  266. On Saturday, House Republicans sent a list of witnesses they want to call in the impeachment hearings, including Hunter Biden, Nellie Ohr, a board member of Burisma, Volker, Morrison, and the whistleblower.
  267. Chair Schiff responded, “This inquiry is not, and will not serve…to undertake the same sham investigationsinto the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit.”
  268. On Saturday, NPR annotated the whistleblower complaint based on public record of testimony in the impeachment inquiry, and found most of the content has already been corroborated.
  269. On Saturday, Trump told reporters he will “probably” release the transcript on Tuesday of a second call with Zelensky on April 12 after he won the election, saying, “They ask for it, and I gladly give it.”
  270. Trump also said on the hearings, “I don’t care if public — they should be public. What I said it was misreported as usual. What I said is very simple. There should not be anything. There should not be impeachment hearings.”

The Weekly List podcast is here! You can find more information here by clicking here.

THE LIST — weeks 1–52 of The Weekly List is out as a book! You can order your copy by clicking here.

In this Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, photo Delaware County Council candidate Monica Taylor high-fives a supporter during the Delaware County Democratic Committee’s election watch party. Democrats won all three seats and took control of the council for the first time since the Civil War.