Tag Archives: House Intelligence Committee

Hicks turns on POTUS; more to follow, maybe

Michael Cohen once was Donald Trump’s lawyer, a man he could count on to “fix” things gone awry. He’s now one of the president’s worst nightmares.

Hope Hicks once served — albeit briefly — as communications director for the White House occupied by Donald Trump. Now she’s gone over the hill, telling congressional Democrats she wants to cooperate fully with them.

Cohen likely was motivated to turn against Trump by a prison sentence he received after pleading guilty to lying to Congress; he is set to start a three-year federal prison term soon. He might, it should be noted, get that sentenced reduced.

Hicks isn’t driven by that necessity. She has told House intelligence and judiciary committee members she lied on Trump’s behalf. She says she’s done lying.

Oh, my. It seems as if this saga has no end. There’s no bottom to this pit. It sinks lower and lower.

Whether the special counsel, Robert Mueller III, provides anything of substance in his investigation of The Russia Thing now seems almost a moot point. There might be other information coming forward from former friends, political allies and associates of the president of the United States.

Cohen, Hicks . . . who else is out there?

Time for Schiff and others to put up ‘direct evidence’

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said today he has seen “direct evidence” that the Donald Trump campaign “colluded” with Russians who sought to intervene in our 2016 presidential election.

Hmm. Direct evidence. Well, I believe there is a mountain of circumstantial evidence piling up all around the president and his campaign operatives.

The California Democratic chairman, though, keeps teasing us with sound bites alluding to direct evidence that the Trump team worked hand in glove with Russian goons who sought to bring dirt on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in 2016.

I am still awaiting special counsel Robert Mueller to deliver his report. It needs to be made public. Mueller’s lengthy and thorough investigation needs lay out clear evidence. I no longer want to hear from Schiff who makes statements about direct evidence but then cannot divulge the details of how he knows about such matters.

All this rhetorical teasing does is give Donald Trump ammo to fire back at his political foes.

By all means, do what it takes, Chairman Schiff

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has laid it on the line for Attorney General William Barr.

Release the findings put together by special counsel Robert Mueller . . . or else.

The “or else” involves forcing Mueller to testify before the House panel — presumably in public — about what he learned after investigating whether Donald Trump’s campaign for president in 2016 colluded with Russians who interfered in our election.

Schiff said he will subpoena Mueller, make him take an oath and then grill him in search of answers.

Make it public.

Of course, Barr has sent no obvious signal that he intends to keep the Mueller report secret when the special counsel presents it to him, presumably in short order. However, Schiff is taking no chances.

Nor should he. I’ve said all along that the Mueller report needs to be made public. He needs to release all that he can without revealing national secrets to the public that has paid good money — several million dollars, in fact — for him to look for the truth behind the alleged “collusion” with Russian operatives.

It’ s our money that paid for this probe. Thus, the results of the investigation are ours as well.

I am totally on board with Chairman Schiff tossing the “or else” threat to AG Barr.

Make the Mueller report public, Mr. Attorney General.

Or else.

Preferring to wait for Mueller report

Let’s see, who should we believe?

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., says “evidence is in plain sight” that the Donald Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russian government operatives who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

There’s that view.

Then we have U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., who says there is “no evidence” of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian goons.

Clear as mud, right?

I believe I am going to await the findings of the special counsel, Robert Mueller III — the former FBI director and a first-class lawyer — to finish his investigation into the Russia collusion matter.

I also intend to insist that he make his report public. Mueller has spent a several trainloads of public money on this investigation. Thus, the public is entitled to see how its investment has paid off, if it has paid off.

As for chairmen Schiff and Burr, they’re likely viewing this matter through their own partisan prisms. I want to hear from the man who has unique knowledge of what happened.

The nation awaits you, Mr. Special Counsel.

It’s official: Trump is incorrigible

It’s been known for a while now, but I’ll just weigh in anyway.

Donald John “Insulter in Chief” Trump is utterly an incorrigible overgrown juvenile delinquent.

He’s been known to hang disparaging nicknames on political foes. He’s gone beyond the realm of decency with this one.

Trump has referred in a Twitter taunt to the incoming U.S. House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff, as “Little Adam Schitt.”

Isn’t that a knee-slapper? No. It isn’t. It’s a vulgar epithet that Trump appears to have slung at the California Democratic lawmaker on purpose.

Politico reports that Schiff had a response: “Schiff fired back 35 minutes later, quoting the president’s post and writing on Twitter: ‘Wow, Mr. President, that’s a good one. Was that like your answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions, or did you write this one yourself?'”

Trump sought to make some reference to Schiff’s criticism of the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller should have been confirmed by the Senate before he started his investigation into alleged collusion with Russian government goons who attacked our election system in 2016.

But … of course the topic of discussion has centered on the vulgar response Trump provided.

To think that the president’s political “base” continues to adore him.

Astonishing.

Tell the whole story about ‘collusion,’ Mr. President

That silly Donald Trump just cannot tell the truth about anything.

For instance, he declared this week in the presence of the media and the Japanese prime minister that the U.S. House Intelligence Committee has absolved the president of any “collusion” with Russians who meddled in our 2016 presidential election.

Wrong! Double wrong! Triple wrong!

The committee did nothing of the sort. The panel’s Republican majority issued a partisan statement ending the committee’s investigation. Intelligence Committee Democrats had no part in the statement. The panel’s GOP members decided to protect the president’s backside by issuing a statement that has no basis in fact.

The collusion issue hasn’t yet been determined finally by anyone. Special counsel Robert Mueller continues to look into it. The Senate Intelligence Committee also is continuing its work on this complicated matter.

Yet the president continues to insist repeatedly that there was “no collusion” between his campaign or himself personally and the Russian goons who hacked into our electoral system.

They launched an attack on our political process. They presented a clear and present danger to the integrity of our system of government. The president still won’t say it out loud. He still keeps giving Russian President Vladimir Putin political cover on that issue.

So, Mr. President, knock off the lying. I know I’m making an impossible request of the Liar in Chief, but I have to make it anyway.

GOP calls it: No collusion with Russians

THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

Where do you suppose the above message came from?

Why, none other than Donald John Trump Sr., 45th president of the United States, who fired off the tweet earlier today.

Trump left out a key provision of what the House Intel Committee has declared. He didn’t mention that the findings come from the Republican majority on the panel.

The GOP members of the committee, chaired by Devin Nunes of California, have issued a partisan statement that, shall we say, isn’t shared by the Democrats who also serve on the committee.

So, what the hell is the point here? It surprises not a single person with any knowledge and/or interest in this “Russia thing” that Intelligence Committee Republicans would reach this conclusion.

Nunes has been colluding with the Trump campaign and with the Trump administration from the get-go to subvert the committee’s search for the truth behind allegations that the campaign conspired with Russian hackers to influence the 2016 presidential election outcome.

The House panel’s work has been politicized from the beginning.

The GOP members want the investigation to end. Democrats want it to continue.

To be honest, no one on the outside can draw any conclusions about what the Trump campaign might have done. Committee Republicans say it’s over.

Here’s a thought. Let’s allow special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to reach its own conclusion. Perhaps his probe will end up in the same place. To be honest, I would rather hear the “no collusion” verdict from Mueller, given the dysfunction that has infected the House Intelligence Committee from the beginning of its investigation.

Mueller has a lot of ground to cover. It involves business dealings, obstruction of justice and, oh yes, whether the Russians actually meddled in our 2016 electoral process.

House Republican Intelligence Committee members say there’s no evidence of collusion? That’s their view. It’s not necessarily the view of others who also are up to their armpits in a search for the truth behind this sticky, sordid mess.

POTUS talks out of both sides of mouth

Donald Trump has shown once more how he applies different standards depending on the political impact of whatever decision he chooses to make.

The president had no difficulty releasing a four-page Republican-drafted memo that accuses the FBI of bias in its investigation into the Russia election matter. In fact, he released the memo written by the GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee as he was trashing the integrity of the nation’s premier law enforcement agency.

But when it comes to the Democratic response? Oh, my. The president wants to protect the FBI information. He wants to keep it from public view until the committee “makes changes” to it. Trump declined to release the Democratic response, denying the public the same level of transparency he said he wanted with the Republicans’ initial critique of the FBI.

The president cited “national security” concerns in denying the Democratic memo release. Strange. He didn’t express those concerns when it regarded the Republicans’ memo.

Trump’s denial, I should add, comes after the committee voted unanimously to recommend release of the Democrats’ response. Unanimously! That means it was a bipartisan vote, with Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues. When has that happened at any point of this Russia investigation?

Trump said the GOP memo “totally vindicates” him of any alleged wrongdoing regarding the Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He keeps insisting there was “no collusion.” The GOP document proves it. Actually, it doesn’t prove a damn thing.

The public deserves a full disclosure. From both sides of the aisle. The president is playing games with one side’s view of this bizarre saga.

Shameful.

Let’s hear the other side of this memo matter

We now know what Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee think of Robert Mueller’s investigation into the “Russia thing.”

Let’s now hear what Democrats on the panel think about it.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes released “The Memo” that alleges bias in Mueller’s probe into whether the Donald Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russians who hacked into our electoral system and influenced the outcome of the 2016 election.

The memo has touched off a firestorm, caused an earthquake, initiated a tsunami — pick your metaphor.

So, let’s hear what Democrats think. Nunes can make that happen, given that he’s the chairman. So can the president, who’s at the center of all this tumult.

If we’re going to talk about “transparency,” and some members of Congress are doing so, then let’s be totally transparent.

I want to hear what Democrats are saying about their GOP colleagues’ effort to discredit the Mueller investigation.

C’mon! Come clean!

Inquiring minds — such as yours truly’s — want to know. Hey, we deserve to know.

Not all in GOP are buying into Nunes memo

I am happy to acknowledge that the Republican Party’s ranks of power players aren’t singing off the same hymnal page as it regards Russian interference in our electoral process.

Donald John Trump and many of his GOP “friends” in Congress have released a memo that accuses the FBI of bias in its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., isn’t one of them.

He has released a blistering statement telling Trump that the memo is doing “Putin’s job for him.”

McCain’s statement, issued prior to the release of the memo from the House Intelligence Committee’s Republican members, said, in part: “In 2016, the Russian government engaged in an elaborate plot to interfere in an American election and undermine our democracy,” McCain said. “Russia employed the same tactics it has used to influence elections around the world, from France and Germany to Ukraine, Montenegro and beyond.”

According to the Huffington Post: McCain said Russia’s interference has, at best, sown political discord and succeeded in “dividing us from each other.” Attacking the intelligence community is not how to fix the discord, he said.

I am acutely aware of Sen. McCain’s longstanding antipathy toward Donald J. Trump. The then-GOP presidential candidate disparaged McCain’s heroic service during the Vietnam War. The men haven’t made peace yet.

That doesn’t diminish the importance of what McCain is saying about the release of the memo, written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. The intelligence community opposed its release, as did the FBI leadership.

McCain wrote further: “The latest attacks against the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests ― no party’s, no President’s, only Putin’s,” McCain added. “The American people deserve to know all the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel (Robert) Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the lens of politics and manufacturing political sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”

This is not how you protect the interests of the people you were elected to govern, Mr. President.