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#4281
starspawn0

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The Trump Administration’s War on the Government Is an “Autocratic Attempt”

https://www.newyorke...ocratic-attempt

In the past few weeks, I’ve had the good fortune of listening to a lecture by one of my favorite contemporary thinkers, Bálint Magyar, and reading a draft of his latest book. Magyar is a Hungarian sociologist who was once a member of the post-Communist Hungarian government. As his country transformed into an autocracy, he became both a dissident and a student of the transformation. Magyar pioneered the term “mafia state,” which he has argued is a distinct approach to government. A lot of Magyar’s argument has to do with terminology. Quite simply, he says, if we use the wrong language, we cannot describe what we are seeing. If you use the language developed for describing fish, you cannot very well describe an elephant: words like “gills,” “scales,” and “fins” will not get you very far.

....

In his upcoming book, Magyar introduces the term “autocratic attempt.” It is the first of three stages of establishing autocracy—the stage where it may still be reversible. (The next stage is “autocratic breakthrough.”) It is a useful term to borrow. In the past week, what we observed was a desperate battle between the autocratic attempt and the institutions’ defensive fight to reverse it. Magyar has analyzed the signs and circumstances of this process in post-Communist countries and has proposed a detailed taxonomy. How it happens here is uncharted territory. We have to invent a way of thinking and writing about it in real time.



#4282
Jessica

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Nicholas FandosVerified account @npfandos

 
 
 
 

Three big new deposition notices just went out, per a person familiar. John Eisenberg for 11/4 Michael Ellis also for 11/4 John Bolton for 11/7

12:36 PM - 30 Oct 2019


#4283
Jessica

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omWV1cZs_bigger.jpg Kyle GriffinVerified account @kylegriffin1

 
 
 
 
 

Breaking on @MSNBC: Three sources tell the NBC News Capitol Hill team that former National Security Advisor John Bolton has been formally invited to give a deposition next Thursday, November 7.

 

 



#4284
Jessica

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Vindman testified he was convinced Ukraine aid became part of Trump's demand for Biden investigations
 

By Jake Tapper, Anchor and Chief Washington Correspon

 

 

(CNN)Top White House Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman told congressional investigators he was convinced President Donald Trump was personally blocking $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to force that country to publicly announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his family, two sources present at the deposition told CNN.

Vindman, a decorated Army officer, on Tuesday testified that he was convinced that a quid pro quo existed by July 10, which was before Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call that is now at the heart of the House's impeachment inquiry. Trump has repeatedly said he did nothing improper on the call and has cited it as the sole reason for the impeachment inquiry.

 



#4285
Jessica

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Top State Department Official Confirms Smear Campaign Against Ousted Ukraine Envoy
John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, told lawmakers he believed the president’s personal lawyer was involved in the plot to remove the ambassador to Ukraine.

 

https://www.nytimes....smid=tw-nytimes



#4286
Jessica

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White House lawyer moved transcript of Trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms

 

 
Oct. 30, 2019 at 7:50 p.m. PDT
 

Moments after President Trump ended his phone call with Ukraine’s president on July 25, an unsettled national security aide rushed to the office of White House lawyer John Eisenberg.

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine adviser at the White House, had been listening to the call and was disturbed by the pressure Trump had applied to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rivals, according to people familiar with Vindman’s testimony to lawmakers this week.

 

 

https://www.washingt...6e01_story.html

 

https://pbs.twimg.co...EjQga.jpg:large



#4287
Jessica

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NANCY PELOSI WARNS DONALD TRUMP IMPEACHMENT WILL BE 'IRONCLAD,' SAYS HOUSE ALREADY HAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE

https://www.newsweek...ukraine-1468865
 


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believes there is already enough evidence to justify moving forward with the impeachment of President Donald Trump over his Ukraine conduct.

The House is due to vote Thursday on a resolution that formalizes the current impeachment inquiry, setting out its scope and terms. Republican lawmakers had accused Democrats of mishandling the inquiry by not putting it to a vote.

Trump allegedly pressured Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to open potentially damaging and spurious investigations into the Democratic Party and former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 nomination, for his own political benefit.

snip

"When we decide if we are going to go forward, we will be ready, and we will be ironclad," Pelosi, a California Democrat, told The Atlantic, referring to an eventual vote on specific articles of impeachment before the process heads to the Senate for a trial.

 



#4288
Jessica

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The New York TimesVerified account @nytimes

 
 
 
 

Breaking News: A National Security Council aide told U.S. House investigators on Thursday that he, too, saw signs of a quid pro quo in President Trump's handling of Ukraine aid, corroborating an episode at the center of the impeachment inquiry

 

 



#4289
Jessica

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Today's #impeachment resolution adopted by the House of Representatives includes a key provision that has the potential to become a game changer.

Former White House Counsel W. Neil Eggleston explains:

https://www.justsecu...ent-resolution/

 

The House Resolution incorporates by reference procedures adopted by the Judiciary Committee that will be entered into the Congressional Record. Those procedures are contained in an accompanying document, which has this key language:

“Should the President unlawfully refuse to make witnesses available for testimony to, or to produce documents requested by, the investigative committees . . . in furtherance of the investigations described in the first section of [this resolution], the chair shall have the discretion to impose appropriate remedies, including by denying specific requests by the President or his counsel under these procedures to call or question witnesses.”

This is, in effect, a discretionary measure that would keep President Donald Trump’s lawyers from participating in the impeachment process if the Trump White House continues to refuse to produce documents and bar witnesses from testifying. The provision is smart, important, and possibly even alters the current balance of power between Congress and the White House. This provision recognizes that the White House should not be permitted to participate in the process only on its own terms. If the White House wants to participate in full, then it has an obligation to respond to legitimate requests for witnesses and documents from the House.

 



#4290
Jessica

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ABC /Wash post:
Approval: 38%
Disapproval: 58%

Support for impeachment and removal: 49%-47%

https://mobile.twitt...209368387674112



#4291
Jessica

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Breaking - Testimony: White House lawyer (Eisenberg) told Vindman not to discuss Ukraine call
https://www.politico...ine-call-063892

The senior White House lawyer who placed a record of President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president in a top-secret system also instructed at least one official who heard the call not to tell anyone about it, according to testimony heard by House impeachment investigators this week.

...

Eisenberg recorded Vindman’s complaints in notes on a yellow legal pad, then conferred with his deputy Michael Ellis about how to handle the conversation because it was clearly “sensitive,” Vindman testified. The lawyers then decided to move the record of the call into the NSC’s top-secret codeword system—a server normally used to store highly classified material that only a small group of officials can access.

Vindman did not consider the move itself as evidence of a cover-up, according to a person familiar with his testimony. But he said he became disturbed when, a few days later, Eisenberg instructed him not to tell anyone about the call—especially because it was Vindman’s job to coordinate the interagency process with regard to Ukraine policy.

Eisenberg’s decision to move the call record to the codeword system following his conversation with Vindman was first reported by The Washington Post. But Eisenberg’s subsequent request that Vindman not disclose the content of the call to anyone has not been previously reported.

 

 



#4292
Jessica

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Bannon to Kushner talking about Paul Manafort three days before the 2016 election: “they are going to try and say the Russians worked with wiki leaks to give this victory to us... can’t let word get out he is advising us.”



Link to tweet


The Mueller Report’s Secret Memos


The 448-page report issued by then–special counsel Robert Mueller last March was the most hotly anticipated prosecutorial document in a generation, laying out the evidence of Russia's interference in the 2016 election and the Trump administration’s efforts to obstruct the inquiry. That report, however, reflects only a small fraction of the billions of primary-source documents that the government claims Mueller’s team may have amassed over the course of its two-year investigation.

Those documents are a crucial national legacy, a key to understanding this important chapter in American history. But the public has not been allowed to see any of them. Until now.

Beginning last April, BuzzFeed News has pursued five separate Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to pry loose all the subpoenas and search warrants that Mueller’s team executed, as well as all the emails, memos, letters, talking points, legal opinions, and interview transcripts it generated. In short, we asked for all the communications of any kind that passed through the special counsel’s office. We also requested all of the documents that would reveal the discussions among Attorney General Bill Barr, former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, and other high-ranking officials about whether to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction.

Justice Department lawyers said the volume of records at issue could total 18 billion pages and could take centuries to produce.

At a hearing earlier this month, US District Court Judge Reggie Walton was not sympathetic. “It shouldn’t fall on the backs of the citizens to wait years to find out what the government is up to,” he said. If the Justice Department couldn’t handle the request in a more timely fashion, he added, it should ask Congress for money to hire more help.

Today, in response to a court order, the Justice Department has released the first installment of documents: 500 pages of summaries of FBI interviews with witnesses, available here for the first time. Another installment will be released every month for at least the next eight years.

 



https://www.buzzfeed...-secret-memos-1


#4293
Jessica

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Mueller interview notes obtained by CNN show Trump's push for stolen emails
 
(CNN)President Donald Trump and other top 2016 Trump campaign officials repeatedly privately discussed how the campaign could get access to stolen Democratic emails WikiLeaks had in 2016, according to newly released interview notes from Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation.

CNN sued the Justice Department for access to Mueller's witness interview notes, and this weekend's release marks the first publicly available behind-the-scenes look at Mueller's investigative work outside of court proceedings and the report itself. Per a judge's order, the Justice Department will continue to release new tranches of the Mueller investigative notes monthly to CNN and Buzzfeed News, which also sued for them.

A retelling of events from former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, who served alongside campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is the fullest detail revealed by the Justice Department yet on discussions within the Trump campaign as it pursued damaging information about its Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. The documents were stolen by the Russians, the American intelligence community has found.

"[Rick] Gates recalled a time on the campaign aircraft when candidate Trump said, 'get the emails.' [Michael] Flynn said he could use his intelligence sources to obtain the emails," investigators wrote in a summary of Gates' April 2018 interview with Mueller's team. Flynn was a foreign policy adviser on the campaign and became Trump's first national security adviser.

"Flynn had the most Russia contacts of anyone on the campaign and was in the best position to ask for the emails if they were out there," the investigators also wrote about Gates' interview.

Gates described in an interview with Mueller investigators last year how several close advisers to Trump, Trump's family members and Trump himself considered how to get the stolen documents and pushed the effort, according to investigators' summary.

 



#4294
wjfox

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wat.

 

https://twitter.com/...683545288593408



#4295
starspawn0

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‘Seven whistleblowers’

And a story that — if true — could be deadly for Jared Kushner

https://spectator.us...ner-bin-salman/

I don't know much about the American Spectator, so looked them up. They are a right-wing website that features articles by people like Ben Stein and Pat Buchannan (not all of whom are Trump supporters). They have a "mixed" rating for factual accuracy; so, this article may or may not be true. If it is, Trump will have a whole new set of problems to deal with -- a whole new level of scandal:
 

Unfortunately, it’s claimed that what he was sharing was American secrets: information Kushner had requested from the CIA would (allegedly) be echoed back in US intercepts of calls between members of the Saudi royal family. One source said this was why Kushner lost his intelligence clearances for a while.

According to Cockburn’s source about the seven whistleblowers, there’s more. It is that Kushner (allegedly) gave the green light to MBS to arrest the dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was later murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A second source tells Cockburn that this is true and adds a crucial twist to the story. This source claims that Turkish intelligence obtained an intercept of the call between Kushner and MBS. And President Erdogan used it to get Trump to roll over and pull American troops out of northern Syria before the Turks invaded. Cockburn hears that investigators for the House Intelligence Committee know this whole tale and the identities of some of the people telling it. Whether any of is true is another matter but Adam Schiff certainly seems to be smiling a lot these days.



#4296
Jessica

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WTAF! State Department Consulted HANNITY?!?! On what to do about Yovanovitch?!?! JFC!

This admin needs to be fucking disassembled. Like yesterday!

https://www.rawstory...gjgWJshNtNrJM-c
 

The transcript of testimony released by the House of Representatives Monday shows that Yovanovitch was asked by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) if she ever knew how Secretary of State Mike Pompeo felt about the attacks being made on her by Donald Trump Jr. and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Yovanovitch replied that she was told that State Department officials would get to the bottom of it by consulting with Hannity.

I was told… that the Secretary or perhaps somebody around him was going to place a call to Mr. Hannity on Fox News to say, you know, what is going on?” she said. “I mean, do you have proof of these kids of allegations or not? And if you have proof, you know, tell me, and if not, stop.”

Yovanovitch went on to say that the call was apparently placed to Hannity, although she can’t say for sure who at the department spoke with the Fox host.

 

 



#4297
Jessica

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Breaking via Reuters: Lev Parnas, the indicted Ukrainian-American businessman who has ties to Rudy Giuliani, is now prepared to comply with requests for records and testimony from congressional impeachment investigators, his lawyer told Reuters.

 

https://www.reuters....r-idUSKBN1XE297



#4298
Jessica

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Sondland Updates Impeachment Testimony, Describing Ukraine Quid Pro Quo

Source: New York Times

Michael S. Schmidt
By Michael S. Schmidt
Nov. 5, 2019
Updated 1:33 p.m. ET


WASHINGTON — A critical witness in the impeachment inquiry offered Congress substantial new testimony this week, revealing that he told a top Ukrainian official that the country likely would not receive American military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations President Trump wanted.

The disclosure from Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, in four new pages of sworn testimony released on Tuesday, confirmed his involvement in essentially laying out a quid pro quo to Ukraine that he had previously not acknowledged.

The testimony offered several major new details beyond the account he gave the inquiry in a 10-hour interview last month. Mr. Sondland provided a more robust description of his own role in alerting the Ukrainians that they needed to go along with investigative requests being demanded by the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. By early September, Mr. Sondland said, he had become convinced that military aid and a White House meeting were conditioned on Ukraine committing to those investigations.

Mr. Sondland had said in a text message exchange in early September with William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, that the president had been clear there was no quid pro quo between the aid and investigations of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his son and other Democrats. But Mr. Sondland testified last month that he was only repeating what Mr. Trump had told him, leaving open the question of whether he believed the president. The new account suggested that Mr. Sondland may have not been completely forthcoming with Mr. Taylor, and that he was, in fact, aware that the aid was contingent upon the investigations.

In his updated testimony, Mr. Sondland recounted how he had discussed the linkage with Andriy Yermak, a top adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, on the sidelines of a Sept. 1 meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and Mr. Zelensky in Warsaw. Mr. Zelensky had discussed the suspension of aid with Mr. Pence, Mr. Sondland said.

 


Read more: https://www.nytimes....pgtype=Homepage



#4299
Jessica

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House impeachment committee release excerpts of Sondland and Volker testimonies

Source: CNN


(CNN)House Democrats on Tuesday released excerpts of the transcripts of their closed-door depositions with former US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees are expected to release the full transcripts for Sondland and Volker later Tuesday, which would mean the panels will have released four of the 13 deposition transcripts ahead of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry, which Democrats say could happen later this month.

The depositions of Volker and Sondland -- who, along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, referred to themselves as the "three amigos" placed in charge of Ukraine policy -- are anticipated on Capitol Hill for different reasons. Volker, President Donald Trump's handpicked envoy to handle the crisis in Ukraine, was the first witness to testify in the impeachment inquiry. He sat for a private deposition with House lawmakers on October 3, soon after he had resigned when the Ukraine scandal burst into public view. As part of his cooperation, Volker gave Congress copies of text messages he had exchanged with Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and senior State Department diplomats. He denied participating in any effort to dig up political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, but the texts revealed that he had talked to Ukrainian officials about launching politically charged investigations.

Republicans have been clamoring for House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, to release the Volker transcript, arguing that it contains exculpatory information showing there was no "quid pro quo" between Trump and Ukraine. Democrats, meanwhile, want Sondland to clarify his testimony after he appeared behind closed doors on October 17, when he said that Trump had directed him and other diplomats to work with Giuliani on Ukraine issues. But he denied knowing at the time that Giuliani had been attempting to spur Ukrainian officials to launch criminal investigations into the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden.

Sondland's testimony appears to have been contradicted by at least two other witnesses, according to CNN reporting and publicly released statements. At the heart of the discrepancy is whether Sondland ever explicitly linked US actions to requests for Ukraine to launch investigations into the Bidens, and whether he had dangled White House visits or US military aid as a potential quid pro quo.

 

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/...uiry/index.html



#4300
Jessica

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Sondland's bombshell testimony outlines 'the clear definition of bribery':

Ex-Defense Secretary Panetta



Shortly after CNN’s Manu Raju read excerpts from Sondland’s congressional testimony — in which he agreed it was “fair” to say that a face-to-face meeting between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was conditioned upon agreeing to investigate the company formerly employed the son of former Vice President Joe Biden — Panetta tore into the Trump White House for extorting a foreign government.

“That is the clear definition of bribery,” he said. “And it’s a clear definition of what constitutes a violation of the president’s oath. So this is just additional evidence that when you look at the testimony, when you look at the facts here, it basically supports a charge against the president that he was deliberately misusing his office of the presidency.”

 

 


[link:https://www.rawstory...retary-panetta/|]







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