Giuliani Reportedly Pursued Personal Business Dealings In Ukraine While Pushing For Investigations

Shelby Talcott on November 27, 2019

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani reportedly tried to get business dealings with Ukrainian government officials while seeking information about the Bidens.

Giuliani was looking into financial agreements with members of the Ukrainian government during the time he was pushing for an investigation into the Bidens, documents The New York Times reviewed show. Giuliani has previously said he had no business with the country and that the documents were never finalized.

One of these business dealings reportedly got all the way to a retainer agreement, The NYT reported. Giuliani downplayed the business talks and said that a Ukrainian official was looking to hire him personally, according to an interview Wednesday. He did not agree to the idea but did spend a month looking into a different deal with Ukraine’s government, which he later rejected.

Giuliani added that it would have been “too complicated” and that he “never received a penny.” His actions have played a role in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into the president. The inquiry is based on an August whistleblower complaint that accused the president of pressuring Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joe Biden, his political rival.

Trump has denied quid pro quo and dismissed the impeachment inquiry. He has also denied sending Giuliani to Ukraine with the goal of pushing for an investigation.

“No, I didn’t direct him, but he is a warrior. He is a warrior,” Trump said in an interview with radio host Bill O’Reilly Tuesday. “I know that he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he cancelled the trip. But Rudy has other clients, other than me. He’s done a lot of work in Ukraine over the years.”

The FBI and prosecutors are currently investigating if Giuliani worked for the president while also working for Ukrainian officials, unnamed sources said, according to The NYT. A federal criminal investigation is ongoing into whether Trump’s personal lawyer played a role in getting rid of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch.

The post Giuliani Reportedly Pursued Personal Business Dealings In Ukraine While Pushing For Investigations appeared first on The Political Insider.

Trump Reportedly Knew Of Whistleblower Complaint Before Releasing Aid To Ukraine

Shelby Talcott on November 27, 2019

President Donald Trump reportedly knew of the whistleblower complaint at the center of an impeachment inquiry before he released military aid to Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The New York Times cited people familiar with the matter in its report Tuesday. This apparent timeline could play a role in the impeachment inquiry as investigators are looking into whether the president withheld military aid in an effort to get Ukraine to look into the Bidens.

White House lawyers reportedly told the president about the complaint in late August, and Trump released nearly $391 million in aid to Ukraine in September, Business Insider reported. The whistleblower complaint is focused on a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Office of Management and Budget official Mark Sandy testified behind closed doors in November and said Trump ordered a hold on the money July 12, Business Insider reported. He asked for more information about the aid on July 19, according to Sandy. This all pre-dated the July 25 phone call.

The NYT report follows Sandy’s testimony about the timeline of events between Trump and Ukraine, Business Insider reported. This new detail “could shed light” into what Trump was thinking when he decided to release the aid in September, The NYT reported.

The timing implies Trump knew the whistleblower was accusing him of withholding aid and pressuring Ukrainian officials into holding an investigation, according to The NYT.

Trump has repeatedly said there was no quid pro quo and bashed the impeachment inquiry as a witch hunt.

The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

The post Trump Reportedly Knew Of Whistleblower Complaint Before Releasing Aid To Ukraine appeared first on The Political Insider.

Three Women Accuse Gordon Sondland Of Sexual Misconduct

Shelby Talcott on November 27, 2019

Three women have reportedly accused Gordon Sondland of sexual misconduct before he was the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Sondland has been central to the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. He testified Nov. 20 that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani requested Ukraine look into the Bidens in exchange for a White House meeting.

Author Nicole Vogel, Jana Solis and Natalie Sept have accused Sondland of sexual misconduct, ProPublica and Portland Monthly reported Wednesday. Sondland has denied all of their accusations.

“There has never been mention of them in any form during the period of the allegations, although such a complaint could easily have been aired through multiple channels,” Sondland wrote in a statement. “These false incidents are at odds with my character.”

The post Three Women Accuse Gordon Sondland Of Sexual Misconduct appeared first on The Political Insider.

Anonymous Author Issues Warning For Trump: He ‘Will Hear From Me’ Before Election

Shelby Talcott on November 27, 2019

A person claiming to be the anonymous author of a tell-all book about the Trump administration promised Reddit users Tuesday that the president would hear from the person “in my own name” before the 2020 election.

The anonymous author, a “senior official in the Trump administration,” wrote in The New York Times in 2018 that there is a group of administration officials working against the president’s interests. The person launched a book Nov. 19 titled “A Warning.” It gives “an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency.”

The author took questions on Reddit Tuesday evening in an “Ask Me Anything” format, according to Mediaite. The publisher of the book told Reddit that the person answering the questions was the anonymous author.

“Trump will hear from me, in my own name, before the 2020 election,” the author warned after a user asked why the person has “so little integrity” to speak publicly.

The anonymous author also tried to explain why he or she is remaining unnamed, although the person appeared to promise that the president would learn who wrote the book. “Anonymous” compared the decision to remain unknown to Founding Father Alexander Hamilton or former President James Madison. (RELATED: ‘A Work Of Fiction’: Stephanie Grisham Calls Out Anonymous Book Author As A ‘Coward’)

“They hid their identities, not because they were scared to debate the issue openly, but because they wanted the public to focus on the message and not the messenger,” the anonymous author wrote, according to Mediaite. “They didn’t want their personal involvement to be a distraction. … Trump thrives on distractions, and anonymity is a way to deprive him of his favorite weapon of mass distraction–personal attacks–and force the discussion to center on the substance, his character.”

The book’s author attacked the president for his attacks on “honorable public servants,” noting that the whistleblower who has sparked an impeachment inquiry is one of those people.

“He can’t win on ideas, just on mud slinging and personal attacks. So he’s trying to use the long arm of government to unmask and undermine his critics. … There is a great deal that was left out of the book, out of necessity. But there is more to come, in due course,” the anonymous author wrote.

The anonymous book details a president who is allegedly unable to focus on more than one task at a time and who has forced officials to “dumb down their work,” the book reads.

The person promised Tuesday not to “keep my identity shrouded in secrecy forever.”

The post Anonymous Author Issues Warning For Trump: He ‘Will Hear From Me’ Before Election appeared first on The Political Insider.

Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Release Of President Trump’s Financial Records

Kevin Daley on November 25, 2019

  • The Supreme Court granted President Donald Trump’s emergency request to put a lower court decision giving House Democrats access to his financial records on hold Monday night. 
  • The decision means Congress will not see Trump’s financial records for the foreseeable future, or perhaps ever. 
  • The justices next have to decide whether to hear Trump’s appeal, or leave the lower court decision alone.

The Supreme Court put on hold a lower court decision granting House Democrats access to President Donald Trump’s personal and professional financial records Monday night.

In effect, Monday’s stay means House Democrats cannot examine Trump’s finances before year’s end, and conceivably much longer. Neither the vote count nor the reasoning was disclosed for Monday’s order — as is typical of orders of this nature — though five votes are needed to grant a stay.

The case, which sets Congress against the executive branch, touches significant, groundbreaking questions in an area of law with very little precedent. Trump’s lawyers told the high court the dispute is a “case of firsts” that will have “lasting ‘consequences for the functioning of the Presidency.’”

The high court indicated that it intends to process the dispute quickly. The justices gave the president until Dec. 5 to file a petition seeking reversal of a lower court decision upholding the subpoena. House Democrats will submit a response to that petition shortly thereafter. Then Trump will file a final brief about two weeks after Democrats send in their response.

If the court takes the case, Monday’s stay will remain in effect until a decision is issued. If the justices choose not to hear the case, the stay will terminate and the House will enforce its subpoena.

The expedited briefing schedule the justices set has an important practical consequence. The Supreme Court usually finalizes its docket for a given term in mid-January. Under standard rules, briefing in Monday’s dispute would end after that mid-January deadline, meaning the court would hear the case in its next term and issue a decision after the 2020 election. Because of the quickened briefing, however, the court can decide the case before the presidential contest if it so chooses.

The House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena in April to Mazars USA LLP, the longtime accounting firm for the president and several Trump business entities. Trump filed suit to block that subpoena, arguing that it lacks a “legitimate legislative purpose.” By Trump’s telling, Congress is acting improperly because it is effectively acting in a law enforcement capacity, which is inappropriate for a law-writing body. Mazars has indicated that they will cooperate with the House’s request.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. rejected Trump’s bid to quash the subpoena. A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed that decision in October, calling the subpoena “a valid exercise of the legislative oversight authority because it seeks information important to determining the fitness of legislation to address potential problems within the executive branch.”

Chief Justice John Roberts put a temporary administrative hold on that decision Nov. 18. That decision ensured House Democrats could not access Trump’s records until the high court decided how it wanted to handle Trump’s case. Without the chief justice’s stay, Congress could have enforced the subpoena as soon as Nov. 20.

Impeachment looms over subpoena fight

The House Oversight Committee issued the contested subpoena before Democrats opened their impeachment inquiry of the president. Democrats said Trump’s accounting records were relevant to ethics legislation that imposes new disclosure requirements on senior government officers, including the president. With an impeachment investigation now underway, House lawyers suggested the inquiry could serve as an alternative ground for upholding the subpoena.

The president’s lawyers counter that a defective subpoena cannot be salvaged even if it’s retroactively connected to the impeachment inquiry. If the House issues a brand new subpoena to Mazars pursuant to the impeachment proceedings, Trump’s lawyers say the Supreme Court should toss the D.C. Circuit’s October decision under legal doctrines that erase rulings in cases mooted before the justices get a chance to weigh in.

“Any attempt by the Committee to moot this case in order to thwart Supreme Court review would only confirm [Trump’s] entitlement to a stay,” Trump’s lawyers told the court in a Friday filing. “The Committee’s attempt to avoid further review while preserving the decision below as precedent should be rejected. Congress should not be permitted to benefit from such gamesmanship.”

Monday’s case is one of two disputes currently unfolding in the Supreme Court over subpoenas for Trump financial information. The other involves Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who is investigating alleged hush money payments paid to two women who claim they had sexual encounters with Trump before the 2016 election. The president has denied both relationships.

The justices are likely to consider the New York case alongside the president’s dispute with the House.

Monday’s case is No. 19A545 Trump v. Mazars USA LLP.

The post Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Release Of President Trump’s Financial Records appeared first on The Political Insider.

Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Release Of President Trump’s Financial Records

Kevin Daley on November 25, 2019

  • The Supreme Court granted President Donald Trump’s emergency request to put a lower court decision giving House Democrats access to his financial records on hold Monday night. 
  • The decision means Congress will not see Trump’s financial records for the foreseeable future, or perhaps ever. 
  • The justices next have to decide whether to hear Trump’s appeal, or leave the lower court decision alone.

The Supreme Court put on hold a lower court decision granting House Democrats access to President Donald Trump’s personal and professional financial records Monday night.

In effect, Monday’s stay means House Democrats cannot examine Trump’s finances before year’s end, and conceivably much longer. Neither the vote count nor the reasoning was disclosed for Monday’s order — as is typical of orders of this nature — though five votes are needed to grant a stay.

The case, which sets Congress against the executive branch, touches significant, groundbreaking questions in an area of law with very little precedent. Trump’s lawyers told the high court the dispute is a “case of firsts” that will have “lasting ‘consequences for the functioning of the Presidency.’”

The high court indicated that it intends to process the dispute quickly. The justices gave the president until Dec. 5 to file a petition seeking reversal of a lower court decision upholding the subpoena. House Democrats will submit a response to that petition shortly thereafter. Then Trump will file a final brief about two weeks after Democrats send in their response.

If the court takes the case, Monday’s stay will remain in effect until a decision is issued. If the justices choose not to hear the case, the stay will terminate and the House will enforce its subpoena.

The expedited briefing schedule the justices set has an important practical consequence. The Supreme Court usually finalizes its docket for a given term in mid-January. Under standard rules, briefing in Monday’s dispute would end after that mid-January deadline, meaning the court would hear the case in its next term and issue a decision after the 2020 election. Because of the quickened briefing, however, the court can decide the case before the presidential contest if it so chooses.

The House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena in April to Mazars USA LLP, the longtime accounting firm for the president and several Trump business entities. Trump filed suit to block that subpoena, arguing that it lacks a “legitimate legislative purpose.” By Trump’s telling, Congress is acting improperly because it is effectively acting in a law enforcement capacity, which is inappropriate for a law-writing body. Mazars has indicated that they will cooperate with the House’s request.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. rejected Trump’s bid to quash the subpoena. A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed that decision in October, calling the subpoena “a valid exercise of the legislative oversight authority because it seeks information important to determining the fitness of legislation to address potential problems within the executive branch.”

Chief Justice John Roberts put a temporary administrative hold on that decision Nov. 18. That decision ensured House Democrats could not access Trump’s records until the high court decided how it wanted to handle Trump’s case. Without the chief justice’s stay, Congress could have enforced the subpoena as soon as Nov. 20.

Impeachment looms over subpoena fight

The House Oversight Committee issued the contested subpoena before Democrats opened their impeachment inquiry of the president. Democrats said Trump’s accounting records were relevant to ethics legislation that imposes new disclosure requirements on senior government officers, including the president. With an impeachment investigation now underway, House lawyers suggested the inquiry could serve as an alternative ground for upholding the subpoena.

The president’s lawyers counter that a defective subpoena cannot be salvaged even if it’s retroactively connected to the impeachment inquiry. If the House issues a brand new subpoena to Mazars pursuant to the impeachment proceedings, Trump’s lawyers say the Supreme Court should toss the D.C. Circuit’s October decision under legal doctrines that erase rulings in cases mooted before the justices get a chance to weigh in.

“Any attempt by the Committee to moot this case in order to thwart Supreme Court review would only confirm [Trump’s] entitlement to a stay,” Trump’s lawyers told the court in a Friday filing. “The Committee’s attempt to avoid further review while preserving the decision below as precedent should be rejected. Congress should not be permitted to benefit from such gamesmanship.”

Monday’s case is one of two disputes currently unfolding in the Supreme Court over subpoenas for Trump financial information. The other involves Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who is investigating alleged hush money payments paid to two women who claim they had sexual encounters with Trump before the 2016 election. The president has denied both relationships.

The justices are likely to consider the New York case alongside the president’s dispute with the House.

Monday’s case is No. 19A545 Trump v. Mazars USA LLP.

The post Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Release Of President Trump’s Financial Records appeared first on The Political Insider.

Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Release Of President Trump’s Financial Records

Kevin Daley on November 25, 2019

The Supreme Court put a lower court decision granting House Democrats access to President Donald Trump’s personal and professional financial records on hold Monday night.

In effect, Monday’s stay means House Democrats cannot examine Trump’s finances before year’s end, and conceivably much longer. Neither the vote count nor the reasoning was disclosed, as is typical of orders of this nature.

The House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena in April to Mazars USA LLP, the longtime accounting firm for the president and several Trump business entities. Trump filed suit to block that subpoena, arguing it lacks a “legitimate legislative purpose.” By Trump’s telling, Congress is acting improperly  Mazars has indicated they will cooperate with the House’s request.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. rejected Trump’s bid to quash the subpoena. A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed that decision in October, calling the subpoena “a valid exercise of the legislative oversight authority because it seeks information important to determining the fitness of legislation to address potential problems within the executive branch.”

Chief Justice John Roberts put a temporary administrative hold on that decision Nov. 18. That decision ensured House Democrats could not access Trump’s records until the high court decided how it wants to handle Trump’s case. Without the chief justice’s stay, Congress could have enforced the subpoena as soon as Nov. 20.

Impeachment looms over subpoena fight

The House Oversight Committee issued the contested subpoena before Democrats opened their impeachment inquiry of the president. Democrats said Trump’s accounting records were relevant to ethics legislation they are considering that imposes new disclosure requirements on senior government officers, including the president. With an impeachment investigation now underway, House lawyers suggested the inquiry could serve as an alternative ground for upholding the subpoena.

The president’s lawyers counter that a defective subpoena cannot be salvaged even if it’s retroactively connected to the impeachment inquiry. If the House issues a brand new subpoena to Mazars pursuant to the impeachment proceedings, Trump’s lawyers say the Supreme Court should toss the D.C. Circuit’s October decision under legal doctrines that erase rulings in cases mooted before the justices get a chance to weigh in.

“Any attempt by the Committee to moot this case in order to thwart Supreme Court review would only confirm [Trump’s] entitlement to a stay,” Trump’s lawyers told the court in a Friday filing. “The Committee’s attempt to avoid further review while preserving the decision below as precedent should be rejected. Congress should not be permitted to benefit from such gamesmanship.”

Monday’s case is one of two disputes currently unfolding in the Supreme Court over subpoenas for Trump financial information. The other involves Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who is investigating alleged hush money payments paid to two women who claim they had sexual encounters with Trump before the 2016 election. The president has denied both relationships.

This is breaking news. This post will be updated.

The post Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Release Of President Trump’s Financial Records appeared first on The Political Insider.

Schiff Plans To Send Impeachment Report To House Judiciary After Thanksgiving

Chuck Ross on November 25, 2019

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Monday that he expects to send a report laying out evidence to impeach President Donald Trump to the House Judiciary Committee soon after Thanksgiving.

In a letter to his congressional colleagues, Schiff said that evidence gathered from depositions with 17 current and former U.S. officials has revealed “a months-long effort in which President Trump again sought foreign interference in our elections for his personal and political benefit at the expense of our national interest.”

On Oct. 31, the House voted largely along partisan lines to open an inquiry into whether Trump should be impeached over his actions towards Ukraine. Democrats have accused the president of improperly pressuring Ukraine’s president to open politically-charged investigations in order to secure a White House meeting, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid.

“As the evidence conclusively shows, President Trump conditioned official acts — a White House meeting desperately desired by the new Ukrainian president and critical U.S. military assistance — on Ukraine announcing sham, politically motivated investigations that would help President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.”

A whistleblower complaint released on Sept. 26 kicked off the impeachment push. Trump has denied wrongdoing.

In his report, Schiff will lay out the evidence collected in the investigation, as well as list the charges that the House Judiciary Committee will consider prior to a formal impeachment vote.

“[T]he evidence of wrongdoing and misconduct by the President that we have gathered to date is clear and hardly in dispute,” Schiff wrote.

“What is left to us now is to decide whether this behavior is compatible with the office of the Presidency, and whether the Constitutional process of impeachment is warranted.”

After Schiff submits the report to the House Judiciary Committee, that panel will hold its own hearings and potentially draft articles of impeachment to be considered in a formal House vote. If impeachment articles are approved, the GOP-controlled Senate will hold a trial to consider removing Trump from office.

The post Schiff Plans To Send Impeachment Report To House Judiciary After Thanksgiving appeared first on The Political Insider.

Impeachment Star Adam Schiff Won First Congressional Race By Campaigning Against Impeachment

Peter Hasson on November 22, 2019

While Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff today is the face of Democrats’ impeachment push, the 10-term congressman first won his seat by staking out a hard line against the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

Schiff defeated former Republican California Rep. James Rogan in 2000 by hammering Rogan’s role in the Clinton impeachment.

“Impeachment as a political issue has all but disappeared from America’s political radar in this election, with even Al Gore refusing to make the partisan death match of 1998 and 1999 a campaign issue in the year 2000. But here, in California’s 27th District, Rogan’s battle with Democratic state Sen. Adam Schiff seems the last bloody battle of the impeachment war,” Anthony York recounted in an October 2000 Salon article.

Schiff “used impeachment as a fundraising tool,” York noted in the article, which the Daily Caller News Foundation reviewed using research service LexisNexis.

“Schiff’s campaign literature hammers away on Rogan’s role in the impeachment proceedings,” The Washington Post noted in a May 2000 articleSchiff argued in one fundraising missive that “in the partisan impeachment hearings that polarized our nation for so long, the right-wing Rogan stood out,” The San Diego Tribune reported that same month in an article reviewed by the DCNF using Lexis.

“The district simply has not been a priority for him. He has been more engaged in national partisan ideological crusades than in issues important to the district,” Schiff told the Los Angeles Times in January 2000, apparently referring to impeachment.

“I think voters want to get away from the strong partisanship we’ve seen in Congress and elect someone with a good record of working in a bipartisan way to find solutions,” he added.

The Trump impeachment inquiry headed by Schiff received zero support from Republicans, while two Democrats voted against the inquiry.

Schiff’s office did not return the DCNF’s request for comment for this article.

The post Impeachment Star Adam Schiff Won First Congressional Race By Campaigning Against Impeachment appeared first on The Political Insider.

‘The View’ Hosts Squabble As Voters Turn Against Impeachment

Mary Margaret Olohan on November 22, 2019

Tensions rose on “The View” as hosts discussed voters’ changing views on impeachment Friday.

“Impeachment approval ratings is down 5% and it’s actually independent voters that are responsible for this,” said host Meghan McCain.

But other hosts disagreed.

Check out the latest from the Daily Caller News Foundation video team and subscribe to our YouTube channel to be sure you never miss out!

The post ‘The View’ Hosts Squabble As Voters Turn Against Impeachment appeared first on The Political Insider.