Posted on June 04 2019
The Updated 6/11/2019 at 6:22PM EST - includes Cummings Statement on the House Floor and various Documents detailing Trump’s Cover Up. Link to live stream of June 12th Vote. See bottom of entry
Updated 6/11/2019 at 11:16AM EST - includes the Contempt Memo re Barr and Roas - See bottom of entry both criminal and civil contempt of Congress.
Updated 6/5/2019 5:49PM EST - scheduling order on Show Cause and House OverSight announcement. See bottom of entry
Updated 6/4/2019 11:58PM EST - See bottom of entry of this entry.
Attorney General Roy Cohen and Sec Ross
The Congress will see you now...
You may find this previous Contempt of Congress write up helpful for today’s file drop and by file drop I mean...brace...brace...brace...for impact But first you should watch this Maddow Segment from seven moths ago - Maddow does an excellent job of drilling down on how and why gerrymandering is so corrosive to our Democracy. To that end how the Republicans (circa 2009) trickle down & the inverse of that methodology is a case study of how Republicans weaponization of gerrymandering to essentially steal and cheat Democrats. Meaning even when Democrats WIN - they still lose because the Republicans use a multi prong approach:
- voter suppression (onerous voter ID laws),
- intentional lack of funding,
- embracement of hostile foreign adversaries “dirt”, and
- insane gerrymandered districts which disproportionately disadvantage key voting groups that have a higher tendency to vote for Democrats.
Oh dear Wilbur you are so ____ they found the Gore et al communiques and you’ve been ordered to Show Cause (more on that later) - See March 2019 write up - it’s sort of weird, over a year ago I said that the US Census Citizenship Question would be a self inflicted wound. In fact I seem to recall I said party of Self-flagellation should be the Trump Administration “mission statement”. Hearing set for June 5th. This
In my March 2018 I noted that in my opinion the Trump Administration would engage in a protracted subterfuge campaign with the intended goal of “running the clock”. Specifically that the King-Tut damnit I mean Mad-King-Trump would equivocate and attempt to skip straight to SCOTUS. Weird how that prediction came to fruition.And then on May 30, 2019 occurred and good lord was it a litigation bombshell. Meaning that Secretary Ross et al might have overplayed their hand in SCOTUS Case:
Department of Commerce, et al. v. New York, et al., No. 18-966
see 133 page SCOTUS filing - it should be noted that the ACLU May have to refile because on June 3, 2019 the SDNY Judge made a slight change in which “letter” should be added to the record (see below for a deeper discussion).
Oral Argument - Audio
Department of Commerce v. New York
Date Argued: 04/23/19 Transcript of Hearing
Dr. Thomas Hofeller, a longtime redistricting specialist, played a significant role in orchestrating the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census in order to create a structural electoral advantage for, in his own words, “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites,” and that Petitioners obscured his role through affirmative misrepresentations.
When the Plaintiffs filed in both the SDNY and SCOTUS - that sound you heard was the Trump Administration inhaling the suck versus embracing it. To that end on May 30, 2019 the Trump-Justice Department under the esteemed tutelage of Roy Cohn 2.0 Also colloquially known as Bill (I’m a liar) Barr - which issued this mendacious Statement:
Justice Department said the accusations in the filing were baseless and amounted to “a last-ditch effort to derail the Supreme Court’s consideration of this case.” It said Mr. Hofeller’s 2015 study had “played no role in the department’s December 2017 request to reinstate a citizenship question to the 2020 decennial census.”
It’s not just a lie from the Justice Department’s press shop it is a straight up drowning in fermented yeast lie. STOP. GAS LIGHTING US BILL. JUST STOP IT, RIGHT NOW.
State Of New York v. United States Department of Commerce
Case No 1:18-cv-02921
Without boring you with the idiosyncratic behavior and complicated judicial procedures, suffice to say all parties have a lot to lose. Since May 30, 2019 there’s been a flurry of filings. I suppose the only way I can properly convey the import of the SDNY proceedings is - we are at the bottom of the ninth inning - with a tied score and bases loaded. All of it comes down to the pitcher. In this analogy the pitcher is NY AG Underwood. Who, in my opinion has played the best game and executed her legal moves with flawless precision. She and the other plaintiffs have been methodical and pragmatic.
Conversely it’s safe to assume none of us saw Dr. Thomas Hofeller untimely death or his daughter’s desire for full transparency coming. It was literally like a mid-game DC thunderstorm - where players sprint to the dugout, hunker down until the storm passes - only to emerge to see the baseball diamond has been completely obliterated. That’s the power and potential impact of the newly discovered evidence. It’s bad for the Justice Department, the Commerce Department and for Secretary Ross and his senior staff. And I’m certain you are rhetorically asking:
“okay Mic just how bad is this...seriously Spicy don’t toy with my heart - how screwed is the Trump Administration?”
Well let’s just go ahead and dissect Document No 595 in Case 1:18-cv-02921-JMF - generally speaking when the opening paragraph starts off with the following - the Defendants are in serious trouble - “Show Cause” never ever a good thing for the opposing party - particularly when it’s specifically calls into question of “sworn testimony”. Particularly in the “context” that the defendants “concealed” which speaks directly to the “pretextual basis” at the heart of this litigation.
“...request an order to show cause whether sanctions or other appropriate relief are warranted in light of new evidence that contradicts sworn testimony of Secretary Ross’s expert advisor A. Mark Neuman and senior DOJ official John Gore, as well as other representations by Defendants to this Court, on the central issues in this case. The new evidence, concealed by Defendants here, strongly underscores the pretextual basis for Defendants’ decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census. Although the appeal of this Court’s judgment is pending, this Court retains jurisdiction over “collateral matters related to the case,” such as “sanctions” and “contempt-related matters.”
What you need to understand is these are not specious accusations. These are founded in facts. Period. Moving on to the second paragraph...the term “affirmative misrepresentation” is very specific legalese - which means the Defendants averring from a fact - and failure to disclose said fact. In non-legalese it’s an actionable act of deception. Meaning that in this case the Defendants knew Hofeller’s role in the Citizenship Question but sought to (and almost successfully) hide his role. Judicially speaking this is super bad.
Hofeller... played a significant role in orchestrating the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census in order to create a structural electoral advantage for, in his own words, “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites,” and that Defendants obscured his role through affirmative misrepresentations.
More over the Plaintiffs articulated four areas - that are beyond troubling and will likely give Judge Furman serious pause. There is literally zero counter argument that the defendants could assuage what looks like an intentional withholding of relevant evidence.
(1) Dr. Hofeller concluded in a 2015 study that adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census “would clearly be a disadvantage to the Democrats” and “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” in redistricting;
(2) in August 2017, Dr. Hofeller helped ghostwrite a draft DOJ letter to Commerce requesting a citizenship question and providing the Voting Rights Act enforcement rationale for doing so;
(3) Neuman gave this ghostwritten draft DOJ letter to Gore in October 2017; and
(4) the letter that DOJ eventually sent to Commerce in December 2017 adopted the same VRA rationale and bears striking similarities to Dr. Hofeller’s 2015 study stating that a citizenship question on the Census was essential to advantaging Republicans and white voters.
But it’s this particular paragraph that conveys the totality of the subterfuge engaged by both the DOJ & Ross’ office. In my line of work this is what you call the “double tap” as in don’t fight it because you’ve lost all your leverage and credibility. I’m certain (as I know the sun will set in the evening and rise in the morning) Judge Furman will have little to zero appetite in allowing the Trump Administration to continue in their flagrant equivocation. Seriously, none.
The plaintiffs go on the explain in the starkest of terms, Hofeller’s intent and purpose - it’s the quotes relating to what SCOTUS would prefer and how they would likely determine. Seriously talk about
Dr. Hofeller advised that adding the question would “maximize” representation for the “Latino community.”...Hofeller instead knew that adding a citizenship question would have exactly the opposite effect—it would disadvantage Latinos and benefit “Non-Hispanic Whites.”
Granted I would be super curious to know who paid Washington Free Beacon to “commission” Dr Hofeller’s 2015 study? And I could be way off the mark but I’d put money on the GOP, specifically the NRCC and/or NRSC and/or Leo “I am Satan” Leonard - because this Census Question wasn’t Trump’s idea. He lacks the focus and intellectual capacity to see a complex scheme like this all the way through. Irrespective of my intemperate questions, it is still stunning to not only read the assertions by the Plaintiffs but then to read the supporting evidence. It’s breathtaking and vulgar.
Before we any dive further into this recent filing, I think it’s worth noting that both parties have engaged in gerrymandering. Although on the balance it has been disproportionate in favor of Republicans, as previously expressed at the beginning of this entry. . So much so that I for one would say the Republicans leading the charge (from a state level, down to and county, and to the city - gerrymandering is incredibly harmful to our Democracy. When you add in the photo ID requirements, not deploying enough eballot machines, refusal to have paper ballots as a back-up. Sure you could say there’s nothing there.
Oh Dear God - I just realized that we are merely 2.25 pages into a 130+ page Motion. Do you know who’s having a no good, terrible, awful and completely f__ked 5+ days? Because when the Plaintiffs have unassailable and -cured-concrete proof which includes metadata. You are unequivocally so f—ed it might be hard to actually convey the totality of said “cause and effect and affect” So let me get this straight DOJ Attorney Gore - absolutely okay to LIE to the Court but post judgement you felt compelled to tell Congress the truth? What in the name of all things corrupt AF is GORE STILL ON THE TAX PAYER PAYROLL and why the bleep is he not at least suspended?
“...congressional interview after the final judgment in this case, Gore disclosed for the first time that, in or around October 2017, Neuman gave Gore “a draft letter that would request reinstatement of the citizenship question on the census questionnaire...congressional interview after the final judgment in this case, Gore disclosed for the first time that, in or around October 2017, Neuman gave Gore “a draft letter that would request reinstatement of the citizenship question on the census questionnaire”
I am also going to point out, when reading a enumerated list of how you lied and perjured yourself (repeatedly while under oath) and then see the following sentence - Mr DOJ Attorney Gore should be worried about his litigation future and his role at DOJ. Although I’m pretty sure that once Attorney General Roy Cohn 2.0 aka Bill Barr is impeached (yes I’m penciling that in to my January 2021 schedule) that Gore will beseech mercy...not.
I am also going to point out that the Plaintiffs submitted nearly 125 pages of documentary evidence. The only hope Gore has is to postulate himself and beg for mercy because I get the sense the June 5th Hearing will be intense and not in a good way for Gore, Neuman, Ross or the Trump Administration In General.
For example a comparative chart which summarizes the deviation in previous testimony:
Oh dear...the Plaintiffs have numerous email exchanges - thusly it might be prudent for the House Democrats and respective Committee Chairs to serve Stephanie Edelman and Washington Free Becon the following; document preservation letter(s), Congressional letters “inviting” each to testify in OPEN SESSION and/or issue Subpoenas forthwith. Because I’d like to know who is Stephanie’s boss and where the funds came from abc why they elected “to use this entity to pay”
Although I try to limit my inherent bias towards the Trump Administration - it would be a total disservice if I didn’t provide you the Trump-Justice Department’s “counter argument” as it relates to the Census Citizenship Question. Full disclosure I have not read the Government’s 194 page response, in its entirety, given it was uploaded to the docket pretty late in the evening. Although I’m willing to admit the following highlighted paragraphs - in sum if you (the DOJ) are hinging your culpability on s “fringe leaker to the New York Times” as the foundation of your argument - that means you have literally zero or close to zero leverage. What’s next Donald Trump is your department’s Lord and Savior? Be Jesus this is one of the worst responses, ever.
The Committee has been engaged in extensive efforts to obtain key documents from the Departments of Justice and Commerce for many months, including through multiple letters, phone calls, and meetings, but both agencies have withheld unredacted copies of high priority documents.
More than two months ago—on April 2, 2019—the Committee voted on a bipartisan basis to issue subpoenas for these documents, but despite repeated efforts by the Committee to resolve this impasse, both agencies are still refusing to fully comply.
The Committee gave Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross until Thursday to produce unredacted copies of the documents they are withholding in order to avoid a contempt vote, which would initiate the process of bringing a civil enforcement action to obtain compliance with the subpoenas.
In closing Congressional Subpoenas are not optional. Trump has yet to invoke Executive Privileged (I don’t understand why some think retroactive EP is a thing, it’s not) and nor is it exactly applicable to Open Court Testimony - which based on pages of evidence clearly enumerated the affirmative misrepresentations by DOJ employee Gore & Commerce Employee Neuman - I guess now we know why the Justice Department refused to produce Gore for a Congressional Deposition(s).
Going straight to impeachment or an impeachment inquiry is DUMB
It also hands us Trump’s 2nd term. Be smart & Be strategic.
Do you understand why the need for “immediacy” or “instant gratification” is fatally flawed? That if Congress initiates Impeachment and/or an Impeachment Inquiry that would essentially FORECLOSURE the House Democrats to build a fortified wall of evidence against Trump and various cabinet members. Congress (sorry for yelling)DOES. NOT. GET. TWO. BITES. OF. THE. PEACH - and yes while Impeachment is considered a Judicial Matter - there are no appeals or do overs.
You also need to understand the process and the pros/cons of moving to impeach Trump. Don’t get me wrong I want that corrupt AF MoFo & his obsequious sycophants out of our House but a rush to impeach would be a total dereliction of Congress’ Duty. Be smart about this, Trump is goading Pelosi but as per usual he has miscalculated and continues to underestimate her Veritas (I’m using that as a noun AND Adverb AND Adjective - snort).
And yes I get it that “calls for impeachment” are growing, I still think it’s a short-sighted move and could ultimately embolden Trump & his Cult Members. If we move straight to impeachment, even an inquiry without a plethora of irrefutable evidence to convict Trump in the Senate. I’m pretty confident that 60% of Americans haven’t even bothered to read the full Mueller Report.
McGahn vis-à-vis the Mueller Report - where i provided you additional color (not to be confused with “colour” right 1weesel) or here where I explained the OLC and other mitigating factors for McGahn’s unresponsiveness to the April 2019 Congressional Subpoena - on nineteen separate occasions/blog entries I’ve drilled down on McGahn’s actions, you can find those 19 entries here.
My dissertation of facts re Flynn in the Mueller Report. I even took the time to create a cheat sheet for you to make reading the pages referencing Flynn easier to find.
Frankly this is one of my favorite “headlines” it’s a play on “hope springs eternal” - in this entry I literally walked you through Hicks & Donaldson - as well as providing you sign a cheat sheet of sections concerning Hicks and Donald’s In Mueller’s Report.
From time to time I can still find remnants of my former Twater Threads. And I remain convinced that House Democrats should Subpoena ALL the witnesses (sans Russian Nationals) and the 302s. There should be daily committee hearings so the American people can learn and understand what’s in the Mueller Report before any such earnest discussion of Impeachment commence. The Congress has one shot at this and I’d rather not screw it up simply for expediency.
Because in less than 10 minutes Robert Mueller’s Statement had a profound effect on how and what Americans should focus on, especially the relevant comments on Russia attacking our Elections and the Trump Administration’s ABJECT FAILURE TO ADDRESS said attack on America. I certainly hope other Americans love their Country as much as I do ..and if you do then you owe it to your children to read the WHOLE Mueller Report before you spaz-Tweet about Impeachment. Seriously if you don’t want to read the Report then at least watch his statement, it was powerful & true. - SpicyFiles out
JUNE 4/5 2019 Update
As previously mentioned the parties are due in Court for a Hearing (based on my work schedule I may not be able to provide you updates until after normal work hours) on June 5th at 2PM. However earlier this evening one of the Plaintiffs filed a response to the Government’s Opposition. Even in the blurry vision and tired eyes and brain...after a long day where I had a severe infringement of my bon-bon eating and Oprah watching time.
I’m thinking about opening a custom Etsy shop - because “many people have told me” that’s what all bored housewives do - do you think this would sell if I made it into an embroidered pillow? <snort>
It is so weird how a robust day for “a bored housewife” includes whipsawing through rogs & BoPs and other “fun legal stuff”...like filing motions, reading and red teaming the shit out of someone else’s work. But the cherry on my spectacular day was engaging in a rather spirited debate. It’s fun telling actual attorneys; “that argument has a lot of holes in it - like Swiss Cheese and you need to recalibrate because those holes will be the pitfalls.
Yet oddly I still had time I read the recent filing. When I reached the second paragraph I literally stood up and yelled (much to the chagrin of my spouse and one mini-spicy that I “accidentally” woke up - damn acoustics in my house, I forget that two story living-room...”voices carry”?
hell to the Mo Fo YES”...this is savage and I like it, a lot - it contains just the right amount of the Defendants said “what now..that’s super racially crazy but it’s wrapped in a damask and lightly scented by Trump’s new Eau de Parfum - racial animus..
....come on you’re honor the operative is dead, so we can’t use a medium or ouija board to ask him..and your honor I don’t know about this APA thingy-mobbober you speak of...can you use it in a sentence? Can I buy a vowel? Phone a Orange Friend?”
In all seriousness the vast majority of the time attorneys rarely use the word “lie” because it has obviously a provocative adverb. Meaning there tends to be the wordsmith’s delight and attorneys generally will use (but not limited to): fabrication, falsehoods. falsity, etc these tend to be in a passive and/or softer voice...
Defendants’ position seems to be that, sure, maybe the Commerce Department co-opted the idea put forth by a partisan operative who believed that a citizenship question on the 2020 Census would entrench the political power of “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.” And, sure, maybe this same partisan operative was also the one who, acting through a Commerce Department emissary, supplied DOJ’s VRA enforcement rationale that purports to advance the political power of Hispanic
the Administrative Procedure Act demands that federal agencies explain the real reasons for their actions. It does not permit federal agencies to lie to the public about why they act, so long as the employee tasking with implementing policy has plausible deniability...
It’s pretty clear the Plaintiffs rightfully so called in to question the veracity and truthfulness of the Defendants response to the Show Cause.
And this is when you should literally laugh out loud - my assumption upon reading the Government’s response is they “waived” the deliberative process - which normally exempts an Agency from full disclosure(s) of how the decision-makers the decision to place the Citizenship question on the Census. So it’s affirming to read the Plaintiffs highlighted this waiver. Hence yet another cognizable waiver fully enacted by the Defendants’ previous filing. Come on it’s simple - responsive pleadings should be written in a tight and concise manner.
I’m going to share a little tip - when you are facing a Show Cause and the underlying issue is - did Members of the Trump Administration lie to the Court - capitulating, equivocating and then straight up “talking out of both sides of your mouth” sooner or later your “affirmative misrepresentations” will adversely effect your “latest” affirmative defense. Meaning where you lying then or are you lying no? Irrespective of what the Government’s current position is - now that they’ve been caught (essentially) red handed you do not change your story when responding to a Show Cause. I mean that’s common sense and actual lawyers know that changing positions has the greater appearance of serious wrongdoing...but I’m not an attorney and according to some I have zero idea what I’m blogging or tweeted about - so there’s that adorable nugget of bullshit.
At this point I’m not sure if I have any further thoughtful observations - beyond collectively speaking the Plaintiffs have totally eviscerated the Trump Administration’s penchant to engage in subterfuge and just straight up lying about the lies.
Oh. Dear. God. When the plaintiffs rattle off exact lines in the previous Hearing Transcripts. You. Are. So.....no really this is a known and excellent litigation strategy. You essentially set a trap, the defense is none the wiser, walk straight into the trap and your counter maneuver is to impeach the credibility and testimony of said DOJ Assistant Attorney General Gore - who by a preponderance of hard evidence outright lied to the Court.
In my line of work - what the Plaintiffs detail as it relates to the misconduct by the Defendants - this is what we call burying the evidence. It’s wrong. It’s unethical. And more importantly it just might be criminal. When the Plaintiffs recite (literally) chapter and versus of previous sworn testimony during the trial and depositions...this is as bad as it gets. The Defendants improperly assigned a new bates number to the letter in question. During discovery the Defendants went even further and buried the aforementioned letter in a 92,000+ page discovery package. The Defendants actions appear to be premeditated and one could argue the intent is pretty clear - we’ve been caught but let’s try to obscure the evidence - the Plaintiffs won’t have a clue where that Hoffner letter is.
Once today’s hearing concludes I’ll update accordingly but if you’re asking me what will the Judge do...it’s hard to say because I’m not a mind-reader nor do I have any special insight into Judge Furman. Although I can confidently say - I know the Judge will do the right thing and demand the truth...the whole truth. At any rate I must return to my exhausting schedule of bean flicking and bon bon eating...have a great day and make sure you “make good choices” - Spicy
June 5, 2019 Update
Well that was certainly anti-climatic...thusly I expected far more fireworks than a scheduling order. Nonetheless see Judge’s Order below. On a related note late last night the Commerce Department acquiesced to House Oversight Chairman Cumming’s bipartisan calls for 3 Commerce Sr Officials to voluntary appear from depositions. See details below.
House Government OverSight Committee June 5th Update
As previously discussed on Monday June 3, 2019 one of the first Orders of Business conducted, upon members of Congress coming back to DC after their Memorial Day Recess was the protracted battle over the Citizenship Question on the upcoming US Census. As further detailed below:
On Monday, the Committee sent letters notifying Barr and Ross that it would vote to hold them in contempt of Congress if they do not produce key documents required by the Committee’s bipartisan subpoenas issued on April 2, 2019. Some of these high-priority documents include:
See the April 2, 2019 Subpoena - Chairman Cummings Statement upon the vote of the full committee members, authorized the following subpoenas:
The Committee approved, by a vote of 23 to 14, a resolution to authorize Chairman Cummings to issue three subpoenas:
(1) to Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Gore for testimony;
(2) to Attorney General William P. Barr for documents; and
(3) to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. for documents.
As previously detailed the DOJ and Commerce Department have yet to comply with the lawful Congressional Subpoenas. Hence why the process needs to run its course. You, as a likely litigant must show the Court(s) that you followed the process whereas the Executive Branch did not. Otherwise you’ve voluntarily given up your leverage in the expected and likely protracted litigation battle. The main way the DC Machine works is by a robust document file - otherwise you are not litigating from a position of strength.
“The Committee is trying to determine the real reason Secretary Ross added the citizenship question, and the documents and testimony covered by these subpoenas are critical to answering that question. We don’t want thousands of pieces of paper that are already public or extensively redacted. We want the specific priority documents we asked for—unredacted and in full.
We have bent over backwards to try to work with the Administration. We identified priority documents, we extended deadlines, and we even offered to review certain documents in camera. But the Trump Administration’s stonewalling has left the Committee no choice but to obtain this information by compulsory process.”
As previously mentioned the OverSight Chairman and Commerce & Justice Departments finally agreed to allow the three Public Servants to avail themselves for Depositions before the committee - in closed session. Which resulted in the termination of the Memorandum as the “issue” is moot.
And yes I know it’s confusing given there are three parallel paths running concurrently. I’ve taken the liberty to itemize the aforementioned paths, and I hope this is helpful to clarify the current state of play surrounding the Citizenship-Census Issue. Keep in mind these are all concurrent and it can be exceedingly difficult to accurately keep track of the Trifecta of Judicial & Legislative issue. Again mu goal is to help guide you through this incredibly complex and complicated issue.
Path 1 - Case No. 1:18-cv-02921, which is currently in the SDNY. It is the civil action initiated by NY AG (a large coalition) et al v Ross et Al - status Show Cause in light of new evidence that Sec Ross et al and AAG Gore all lied about the origins of two letters that were used in the civil litigation.
Path 2 - SCOTUS - Department of Commerce v. New York Docket Number: 18-966 in early October of 2018 Trump opted to skip right past the 2ndCCOAs and Petition SCOTUS. There Ruling is expected sometime in June - but with the May 30th disclosure of new evidence it is plausible that the Justices might delay their ruling given the new evidence.
Path 3 - the House OverSight Committee. Once the Democrats regained the House gavel (not to be confused with gravel) Chairman Cummings announced the Trump Administration quest to add the “Citizenship Question on the Census” was a priority for the 116th Congress. The core of the issue is the Trump Administration has flagrantly ignored multiple letters and subpoenas. Congress has a Constitutional Role - to be the check and balance on the Executive Branch. For nearly 4 months the Trump Administration has engaged in a protracted game of “hide the witnesses” - furthermore with the recent May 30, 2019 discovery of new evidence the OverSight Committee has three main objectives, see below:
- A secret memo from Commerce to Justice. John Gore, who drafted DOJ’s letter to Commerce in 2017 requesting the citizenship question, told Committee staff that a Commerce Department lawyer, James Uthmeier, provided him with a memo on the citizenship question before DOJ issued its official request letter. That memo, which was hand-delivered along with a personal note, may shed light on how the Administration orchestrated DOJ’s pretextual request letter. The Committee is scheduled to interview Uthmeier next week.
- Drafts of DOJ’s letter requesting the citizenship question. DOJ’s letter to Commerce asserted that the citizenship question was needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act, but this was a pretext. Recent reporting also suggests that a Republican gerrymandering expert may have influenced the letter. Drafts of the letter could shed light on the sources used to draft it and other rationales considered.
- Unredacted emails from Ross and his staff. Ross testified that he added the citizenship question “solely” at the request of DOJ to help enforce the Voting Rights Act, but emails show that he began pushing to add for the citizenship question as soon as he took office in 2017 and engineered the request from DOJ. Unfortunately, many of these emails are heavily redacted.
As to the current OverSight Subpoenas served on the Commerce Dept and DOJ - earlier today Chairman Cummings issued the following statement, which reads in part:
In addition, late last night, the Commerce Department—under threat of subpoena—finally relented to demands to schedule transcribed interviews for three current and former Department officials who were involved with adding the citizenship question, avoiding a public vote on the subpoenas this morning. These requests had been outstanding for months.
Just so you know, when this case was first filed (over a year ago) off the bat I said - Trump is going to run the clock down. The census needs to be sent to the printers by June 2019 and what do you know...here we are in June of 2019 and the Citizenship Question on the Census hasn’t been resolved. Weird how nearly 15 months ago I was like “watch the clock - Trump was Roy Cohn’s protege he knows what he’s doing and he’s going to weaponize the Courts” - so weird how that prediction has come to fruition..
And that’s where we are and the state of play - as of June 5, 2019.
June 11, 2019 Update
I did warn you that my week is off the rails crazy and that my blogging would be unusually limited. I mean how do you think I can afford to pay for all those bon-bons I shove in my calorie hole. So this is an abbreviated update because I literally have 18 minutes before I’m out of pocket until after the close of business.
Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with bipartisan subpoenas issued as part of the Committee’s investigation into the Trump Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
Late yesterday afternoon Chairman Cummings sent the resolution and report proposed to all Committee Members. The House OverSight Committee plans to proceed both criminal and civil actions in an effort to enforce the bipartisan subpoenas.
Weird remember that time I was like - hmmm why would the DOJ contort themselves into a triple pretzel to shield AAG Gore? Well as the previous body of facts explain - Assistant Attorney General Gore intentionally and repeatedly lied under oath and the Trump-DOJ with the assistance of Roy Cohn 2.0
And YES while the “criminal” contempt might grab headlines aka clickbait I am not convinced this is what should be focused on. Because the likelihood that the DC AUSA would criminally prosecute Roy Cohn 2.0 and Ross is next to zero. Conversely filing a civil motion in Court has the best opportunity to “compel” Roy Cohn 2.0, Ross and their underlinings to comply with a duly authorized subpoena. All thought I still maintain Inherent Contempt has the greatest likelihood of success with civil motion a very close second place.
Moreover if the House Democrats want to accelerate maters my assertion remains unchanged - subpoena Jared and Ivanka if they refuse to comply LOCK THEM UP. Because I am certain I’m not alone I am sick of seeing King-Trump et al Acting in utter defiance and disrespect for a CO EQUAL BRANCH of GOVERNMENT. The last time I checked American isn’t some third world banana republic nor is the POTUS an authoritarian dictator. RULE OF LAW - because we America is a Democracy. I’m over the precious and insulant behavior that Trump et al think they are above our laws and constitution.
In the interim it’s time for Speaker Pelosi to ORDER the House Sargent at Arms to go and arrest both Roy Cohn 2.0, Secretary Ross and Assistant Attorney General Gore. Remand them into Custody (and NO there isn’t a jail inside the Capital that’s literally a DC Urban Legend) until they comply with all THREE subpoenas.
Gee-Whiz for a bon-bon eating bored housewife - you mean to tell me that the previous case law and arguments proffered up months ago by moi might have been weirdly accurate. Gosh that does not make any sense at all. Because it’s both satisfying and a decent gut check to now see the House OverSight rationale is founded in the same research that got me bounced from Twitter. Weird. It is all just so weird. Also you might miss the subtext on page 7 - in my line of work we call this establishing a predicate for :Inherent Contempt”
Congress has a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that duty. The Court held in McGrain v. Daugherty that “the power of inquiry—with process to enforce it—is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function.”4 In Watkins v. United States, the Court held that Congress’ oversight jurisdiction is far-reaching, stating: “The power of Congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process. That power is broad.”
Seriously read the House OverSight Memo and lastly to the MAGA and Trump-GOP if you think this action by Congress is harsh - here’s a novel concept maybe just maybe the Democrats respect OUR laws and Constitution more than your precious mentally unhinged and proven pathological liar-in-Chief aka Donald Trump. He has forever shined your party and not a single one of you obsequious sycophants will stand up for our Rule of Law or our Constitution. You, the House and Senate Republicans are shameless hucksters who continue to abdicate your Constitutionally Mandated Job. I hope in 2020 your party is eviscerated to nothing. The Trump-GOP stands for nothing beyond not upsetting the Orange Emotional Terrorist currently occupying 1600 Penn Ave.
And my closing thought - forget impeaching Trump (for now) the Congress should vote to hold Roy Cohn 2.0, Ross and Gore in Contempt and then start Impeachment proceedings on these three - forthwith. Why?
Well for starters Ross has repeatedly LIED to Congress he also has what certainly appears to be committing financial crimes to that end the OGE refused to certify his financial disclosures. With respect to Roy Cohn 2.0 here are 25 previous write ups. Roy Cohn 2,0 repeatedly LIED to Congress and to the American people about the Mueller Report. He is complicit AF and frankly he’s Trump’s Hatchetman. Roy Cohn 2.0 is not to be trusted and the longer he “leads” the Department of Justice the more public trust will erode in that part of the Executive Branch.
Chairman Cumming - throws down. Hard
“The Trump Administration is engaging in one of the largest cover ups since Watergate”
Several weeks ago, President Trump vowed publicly, “We’re fighting all the subpoenas.” Since then, he has refused to work on legislative priorities, such as infrastructure, until Congress halts all oversight and investigations of his Administration.
He wants us to forego our responsibility under the Constitution as a condition of passing laws to help our constituents.
Oh Dear...this is just glorious;
The President’s arguments are baseless. He suggests that all subpoenas from Congress are partisan and somehow related to the Russia probe. But that is not correct.
In the Oversight Committee, we have issued eight subpoenas. Six of them are bipartisan. And none of them is about Russia. They involve issues like the Census, immigrant children separated from their families, and the President’s finances.
This entire year, the White House has not produced one document to the Oversight Committee. Let me say that again—in all of our investigations, the White House has not turned over one single shred of paper in response to any of our requests.
- The hurricanes in Puerto Rico—the White House has produced nothing.
- Security clearance abuses—the White House has produced nothing.
- Efforts to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia—the White House has produced nothing.
- Hush money payments—the White House has produced nothing.
- Even on issues like spending taxpayer dollars to pay for private jets—the White House has produced nothing.
“Over and over again, it does not matter what the topic is—the tactics are the same. And this begs the question—what are they covering up?”
June 12, 2019 10AM Official Contempt Vote
Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at 10AM the Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold a business meeting, in which members will vote to hold Attorney General Roy Cohn 2,0 aka William Barr and the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for their continued withholding of documents relating to the Census Citizenship Question and “to consider legislation that will improve government and ensure coverage for federal employees during government shutdowns”.
Live Stream of June 12, 2019 Meeting
I can’t convey how insanely busy my work schedule is for the next 8 business days but I am trying to keep you up to date in a timely manner, -SpicyFiles
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