Tea Party Patriots Action Weekly Report from Washington for 12/09/19
The House and Senate will both come back into session on Monday and stay in session through Thursday.
LAST WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR:
The House came back to work on Tuesday, and took up and passed two bills under Suspension of the Rules.
On Wednesday, the House passed another bill under Suspension, and also passed the Rule for consideration of H.R. 2534, the Insider Trading Prohibition Act, and H. Con. Res. 77, directing the President pursuant to section 5(C) of the War Powers Resolution to remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in the Syrian Arab Republic that have not been authorized by Congress.
On Thursday, the House considered an amendment to H.R. 2534, the Insider Trading Prohibition Act, and then, by a vote of 410-13, passed the bill as amended. Then the House took up the Rule governing consideration of H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Amendment Act, and H. Res. 326, expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding U.S. efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated two-state solution.
On Friday, by a vote of 226-188, the House passed H. Res. 326, expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding U.S. efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated two-state solution. And then, by a vote of 228-187, the House passed H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Amendment Act.
And then they were done.
THIS WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR:
The House will come back to work on Monday, with the first votes set for 6:30 PM. At that time, the House is scheduled to consider 16 bills under Suspension of the Rules.
On Tuesday, the House will consider another bill under Suspension of the Rules, and will also consider H.R. 729, the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will consider H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2018 and H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019.
In addition, the Majority Leader’s Office notified members that the House may also consider the Conference Report to accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020.
LAST WEEK ON THE SENATE FLOOR:
The Senate came back work on Monday, and voted to confirm Dan R. Brouillette to be Secretary of Energy.
Over the course of the next three days, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the nominations of, and then to confirm, the following people to the following positions:
- Robert M. Duncan to be Governor of the U.S. Postal Service
- Sherri A. Lydon to be U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina
- Richard Earnest Myers II to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina
- David B. Barlow to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Utah
- Austin Huffaker, Jr., to be U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama
- Douglas Russel Cole to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio
- Saraj E. Pitlyk to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri
- John L. Sinatra, Jr. to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of New York
- Eric Ross Komitee to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York
And then they were done.
THIS WEEK ON THE SENATE FLOOR:
On Monday, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #533, Patrick J. Bumatay, of California, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
At 5:30 PM, the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Bumatay nomination.
Then, based on the cloture filings by Leader McConnell last week, before the Senate broke for the weekend, I’d say the week’s schedule looks like this:
- Executive Calendar #533, Patrick J. Bumatay, of California, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
- Executive Calendar #534, Lawrence VanDyke, of Nevada, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
- Executive Calendar #530, John Joseph Sullivan, of Maryland, to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Russian Federation.
- Executive Calendar #543, Stephen Hahn, of Texas, to be Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Department of Health and Human Services.
- Executive Calendar #452, Aurelia Skipwith, of Indiana, to be Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
INVESTIGATING THE INVESTIGATORS:
On Monday, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice is expected to release his long-awaited report on his investigation into potential abuses of the FISA warrant application process by senior levels of the FBI and DOJ.
Establishment media organs like The New York Times and The Washington Post have already run their stories on the report, based on leaks to them, with a view to de-fanging the report before it ever comes out. Wrote the Post, “Attorney General William P. Barr has told associated he disagrees with the Justice Department’s inspector general on one of the key findings in an upcoming report – that the FBI had enough information in July 2016 to justify launching an investigation into members of the Trump campaign, according to people familiar with the matter. The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, is due to release his long-awaited findings in a week, but behind the scenes at the Justice Department, disagreement surfaced about one of Horowitz’s central conclusions on the origins of the Russia investigation … Barr has not been swayed by Horowitz’s rationale for concluding that the FBI had sufficient basis to open an investigation on July 31, 2016, these people said.”
Consequently, President Trump and his allies have refocused their attention on a second locus of action – the ongoing investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham.
On Wednesday, Inspector General Horowitz will sit in the Senate Judiciary Committee for a hearing on his findings.
On Monday and Tuesday of last week, the House Intelligence Committee Republicans and Democrats released their dueling reports. The Republicans went first, releasing their report on Monday to prebut the Intelligence Committee Democrats’ report. Neither report contained anything unexpected – the Republican report said the Democrats were trying to impeach President Trump for no good reason at all, and the Democrat report said that if President Trump weren’t removed from office immediately, Western Civilization would cease to exist forthwith.
And then … ten weeks into an impeachment inquiry gone off the rails, and the House Judiciary Committee finally got into the act. On Wednesday, Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler gaveled into session a hearing featuring three crazy liberal law professors and one Democrat law professor with what seemed to be a reasonable and logical brain. Not surprisingly, the three crazy liberal law professors came to the same conclusion – that President Trump had committed impeachable offenses. Jonathan Turley, the Democrat law professor, argued otherwise. In fact, he seemed almost to argue that the President MAY have committed impeachable offenses, but his opponents had not yet proven their case. That wasn’t good enough for the radical left. They began sending him threatening communications, all for the “sin” of having failed to demand President Trump’s immediate impeachment and conviction.
On Thursday, Speaker Pelosi took control again, and announced that the Judiciary Committee would draft articles of impeachment against the President. Elsewhere on Thursday, the media began to report on something odd from the House Intelligence Committee report released a few days earlier – to wit, that Chairman Adam Schiff had, somehow or other, obtained the phone records of several of the key players in the investigation, including President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, investigative reporter John Solomon, FOX News host Sean Hannity, and – perhaps most troubling of all – his Republican counterpart on the committee, Devin Nunes.
As revealed in the majority report of the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff months ago subpoenaed telephone companies AT&T and Verizon directly, rather than the individuals whose records he sought, apparently because he believed he was more likely to get access to the phone records from the companies directly than from the individuals desired. Forced to choose between a powerful Congressman on the one hand and an individual customer on the other, phone companies would be far more likely to submit to the subpoena demands of the powerful Congressman – even if there appear to be laws in place to prevent this very thing from happening.
And that’s apparently exactly what happened here.
Schiff subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani’s phone records on September 30 – less than a week after Speaker Pelosi announced the launch of her “impeachment inquiry,” and long before the House voted to authorize such a proceeding – and told Giuliani he had until October 15 to respond. But on the same day, September 30, Schiff was separately moving to obtain those phone records by sending a subpoena directly to AT&T. Not long thereafter, AT&T handed them over.
And that’s how Adam Schiff came to be the first Member of Congress to have subpoenaed the phone records of a fellow Member of Congress – his counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes.
Nunes is said to be considering his legal options. He should be. As former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel, “There does not appear to be any basis to believe that a congressional committee is authorized to subpoena phone records directly from a provider – as opposed to an individual.”
Beginning at 9 AM this morning, the House Judiciary Committee has been meeting for a hearing to “receive presentations from counsels to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee.” In other words, the Democrat and Republican lawyers for the majority and the minority of the two committees are presenting the evidence they’ve accumulated so far.
And though no one has announced a schedule yet for a third hearing in the Judiciary Committee, I wouldn’t be surprised if the committee holds a third hearing related to impeaching President Trump later this week – a hearing to mark up articles of impeachment. So far, it looks as if the Democrats are planning to write up three separate articles of impeachment – one for abuse of power, one for obstruction of Congress, and one for obstruction of justice. Interestingly, they haven’t decided whether they’re going to continue with their focus only on Ukraine, or if they might reach back to the Mueller report for an article on obstruction of justice.
The president, for his part, seems to be resigned to being impeached in the House, and wants the action to move quickly to the Senate. On Thursday, he tweeted, “If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast … We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is.”
Of course, the Senate trial will most assuredly NOT feature testimony by Adam Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more. The Senate is not going to do that.
JENNY BETH MARTIN/TEA PARTY PATRIOTS:
INVESTIGATING THE INVESTIGATORS: