I’m again not including the recent impeachment testimony as that’s extensively covered and easy to find. not to mention hard to fit into a short summary.
- The intelligence community has been briefing congress on the fact that the Russians are behind pushing the conspiracy theories that Ukraine was involved in interfering in the 2016 election. This means that the Republicans have been knowingly pushing Russian propaganda for weeks in an effort to defend Trump. The president most recently echoed one of these Russian conspiracy theories this morning, saying that the DNC refused to turn over their server to the FBI (a lie) and that they gave “the” server to a Ukrainian owned company (a lie).
- The Inspector General report into the origins of the Russia investigation and the FISA warrant for Carter Page is finished. A minor and inconsequential alteration was made to an email, but the Page surveillance was valid and the Russian investigation was opened due to proper evidence. This destroys several Republican conspiracy theories regarding why the investigation was begun. Among other things, the baseless claim that the Steele dossier started the investigation is now demonstrably false.
- We learned this week that Nunes was working with Lev Parnas, the indicted Giuliani associate, to organize Ukraine meetings. One of those meetings was with disgraced Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was fired in an anti-corruption effort. Republicans claim Shokin was fired for investigating Burisma, the company Hunter Biden was on the board for. This is a lie. Shokin was not investigating Burisma. Nunes was working with him to find dirt on Joe Biden. He failed to mention this throughout the entire impeachment process. Nunes has also been meeting with Giuliani, Parnas, journalist John Solomon, and lawyers Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing. The latter two represent Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch linked to the Russian mafia.
- The Navy appears to be continuing the process to expel recently pardoned Eddie Gallagher from the SEAL program. This is despite Trump’s tweet demanding this not happen. Throughout his administration, whether the president’s Tweets constitute official orders has been in dispute with the administration itself claiming at times they are and other times they are not.
- Due to a FOIA lawsuit by a watchdog group, the State Department tonight released a large number of documents. These documents show coordination between Secretary of State Pompeo, Rudy Giuliani, and the White House in smearing Ambassador Yovanovich. Aside from the damage of this coordination itself, the fact that these documents were released means there was no valid legal reason for withholding them from the impeachment inquiry in the House. (The House had requested them.) This easily constitutes an instance of obstruction of justice.