Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 6/26/2020

New studies from Harvard Kennedy and the University of Chicago correlate right-wing news consumption with believe in misinformation about the coronavirus.

With millions losing their health insurance during the pandemic, the Trump administration has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court requesting that the entire ACA be struck down. Donald Trump for years now has maintained he will protect health care access to those with pre-existing conditions while never offering a mechanism for doing so.

In an NPR interview, AG Barr attacked voting by mail as an insecure system, vulnerable to fraud. Barr himself, along with multiple senior members of the Trump administration, votes by mail. Mail voting systems have multiple barriers to fraud that would be effectively impossible for a foreign power to exploit as Barr and Trump have warned of.

In response to testimony and a whistleblower complaint that the Department of Justice’s investigation into marijuana companies was predicated solely on Barr’s personal animus, the DoJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility responded that such investigations would be perfectly fine.

A GRU unit (Russian military intelligence) was paying bounties to terrorists in Afghanistan for killing Allied forces, including Americans. The president was briefed about this in March. The US has not responded in any way. After learning of these assassinations funded by Russia, the president pitched the idea of Russia rejoining the G7.

In the first Covid-19 task force press conference in 68 days, Pence casually estimated 240,000 Americans will die from Covid-19. The estimate coming from Trump and Pence has steadily increased since the beginning of the pandemic, when Trump said there were only 15 cases which would soon be near zero. Pence mentioned daily cases in OK declining while failing to mention it was a slight decline after a massive spike. Pence was twice asked about holding large rallies while the task force advises against large gatherings. And twice Pence responded by saying they had a first amendment right to free speech and assembly. The second time Pence took this question, he promptly ended the press conference, after having answered only six questions.

A 3 panel judge on the 9th circuit ruled that Trump diverting funds appropriated to military infrastructure projects to build the border wall was unconstitutional. (The Supreme Court decision regarding this subject dealt with a stay, not the merits of the case itself.) This will undoubtedly head to the Supreme Court, but likely won’t be resolved this year.

Ron Johnson is reviving his Senate investigation of Joe Biden’s son Hunter ahead of the November election. Hunter Biden has never been credibly accused of any specific wrongdoing.

Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 1/14/2020

  • The president recently said Saudi Arabia paid $1 billion to the US for us to station troops there. The president for years has argued countries with a US military presence must pay us for the “privilege.” This would turn the US military into a mercenary force. Thankfully, like several of his recent claims about the military, the president was lying.
  • Lev Parnas is the indicted Ukrainian-American who was working for Giuliani on Trump’s shadow foreign policy. Since his arrest Parnas has been publicly lobbying for permission to turn over important materials to congress which was granted. Today, Democrats in the House released some of those documents. Giuliani wrote a letter to the Ukrainian government asking to meet personally with president-elect Zelensky. Giuliani wrote that this was at the president’s request and he was acting as the president’s personal lawyer. Giuliani has publicly said both that he was acting on behalf of the State Department and that he was acting as a personal lawyer. Both can’t be true. But this also removes deniability that Trump had no idea what Giuliani was doing.
  • Parnas took handwritten notes during a phone with Giulani while in Vienna. These notes show Parnas was tasked with getting Zelensky to announce an investigation into the Biden’s to help Trump win the election. They also mention Dmitry Firtash, who is connected to the Russian mafia. The notes talk about “getting rid of (nicely)” Firtash’s lawyer right next to the names of lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova. Indeed, Firtash fired Davis and replaced him with Toensing and diGenova who also worked with Giuliani and informally advised the president. Giuliani told Firtash if he assisted in finding dirt on the Bidens, the State Department could help him with his numerous legal issues.
  • Also from the Parnas documents are text messages from Robert Hyde, a Republican donor and congressional candidate, and Yuriy Lutsenko, a former Ukrainian prosecutor. Mr. Hyde told Parnas he had Ambassador Yovanovich under surveillance, including her electronic devices. He said he knew some people who could help with her for a price. Ambassador Yovanovich was recalled due to unnamed threats. It appears those threats were coming from men working with the president’s lawyer. Lutsenko told Parnas he was working on getting information on the Biden’s but said it was a problem the couldn’t get rid of Yovanivich.
  • Mitch McConnell does not want any of this information being brought up during Trump’s Senate trial.