Thursday, October 24, 2019

Flailing

Via the Washington Post:

Republicans’ defense of President Trump grew more frantic and disjointed Wednesday, with House members storming a closed-door meeting, delaying the testimony of an impeachment witness as the GOP grappled with a growing abuse-of-power scandal centered on the president.

A group of Trump’s congressional allies escalated their complaints about the impeachment inquiry by barging into a secure facility on Capitol Hill where a Pentagon official was to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.

Their intrusion, which caused the testimony to be delayed for about five hours over security concerns, came a day after the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine testified under oath that the White House had threatened to withhold military aid unless the Ukrainian government announced investigations for Trump’s political benefit.

It’s not only desperate, but it has the added bonus of being egged on by Trump, and since they were trying to disrupt an evidentiary hearing, piles on the obstruction of justice charges.  Or, put another way: he committed impeachable offenses in his attempt to subvert his impeachment.  (But then, when your lawyers argue in court that you could literally get away with murder, what’s the big deal?)

More on the security concerns from Adam L. Silverman at Balloon Juice:

These morons, in an attempt to create a spectacle that will take over the news cycle about impeachment so that the majority of the public that isn’t paying close attention at all times just throws its hands up in disgust, didn’t just force entry into the House of Representatives’ Secure Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), they brought their unsecured cell phones with them. Moreover, they then took imagery with those phones – pictures and/or videos – of classified spaces and, potentially, any classified information that had been taken out in advance of the deposition and was in public view for those members of the House, Republicans and Democrats alike, who actually had the need to know to access it today. And then they started texting and tweeting and emailing that out. On unsecured devices and unsecured and non-governmental networks! This required, as was reported, the SCIF to be closed once they finished their pizza, Chick Fil-A, their stunt and finally gave up and left, so it could be swept and resecured before the delayed deposition could finally take place. What Congressman Gaetz, Congressman Scalise who is the #2 Republican in the House/Republican House Caucus, and their 28 or so colleagues did wasn’t just a stupid stunt, it was a major security violation.

How major? Off the top of my head the number of Federal felonies committed by Gaetz and his colleagues is:

  1. Forced entry into a SCIF
  2. Criminal trespass in a SCIF
  3. Bringing unsecured electronic devices into a SCIF
  4. Taking imagery – pictures and video – of classified spaces and materials on unsecured devices
  5. Transmitting imagery – pictures and video – of classified spaces and materials on unsecured devices to unsecured devices through a variety of unsecured platforms (texting, tweeting, emailing, etc)

It has now been reported that Congressman Thompson (D-MS), the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, has asked the House Sergeant of Arms to take action against Gaetz and his colleagues.

Rep, Matt Gaetz (R-FL, of course) is in the running against Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) to the the stupidest person ever elected to Congress.

Is it any wonder why all of a sudden Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Majority Leader, has no idea what Trump is talking about in connection with Ukraine, his phone call with President Zelensky, or if he could pick Trump out of a line-up.  McConnell, who has his own re-election to worry about, is not about to expose himself to any chance he’ll be dragged down with Trump.

Things are going to get even more wild as we head to the end of the year.  Fasten your seat belt and get the popcorn.