Whoopi Goldberg Suggest Democrats ‘Impeach’ SCOTUS Justices To ‘Balance Stuff Out’

On Tuesday’s episode of “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg suggested that Democrats make the unprecedented move of impeaching Supreme Court justices, saying that this would restore balance on the Supreme Court.

Goldberg Suggests Democrats ‘Impeach’ SCOTUS Justices

Goldberg said this while the panel on the ABC talk show was discussing the Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett by the Republican-led Senate the day before.

“I think her appointment is really going to change the way the Supreme Court is going to not only handle cases but the way the Supreme Court is going to look going forward,” cohost Sunny Hostin said. “We all know the Republican Party has been packing the Supreme Court for decades. They’ve been packing the judiciary for decades.”

“Trump has put now three justices on the Supreme Court and just dozens and dozens of judges on the federal judiciary,” she added. “I think what we’ll see is perhaps the Democrats unpacking the Supreme Court, so there’s more of a balance.”

That’s when Goldberg chimed in with her own bright idea.

“Or some impeachments which is possible with Supreme Court judges. They also can be impeached,” Goldberg said.

“There are lots of ways to shift this,” she added. “One could impeach judges that have not stuck to the rules of being judges on the Supreme Court. That’s been done several times. There’s a lot of ways to balance stuff out.”

Pelosi Flirts With Idea Of Packing Supreme Court

This comes after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) flirted with the idea of expanding the Supreme Court during an interview with MSNBC.

“Should we expand the court?” Pelosi asked. “Well, let’s take a look and see.”

“But not — and that relates to the nine district courts, maybe we need more district courts as well,” she added. “And one other thing we need, we need for these justices to disclose their holdings.”

RELATED: Pelosi Flirts With Packing Court And Suggests ‘Maybe We Need More District Courts’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a self-described Democratic Socialist who has become the face of the far-left side of her party, has let it be known that packing the court is something she will be fighting for if Joe Biden wins this election.

“Expand the court,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday. “Republicans do this because they don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do. And for a long time they’ve been correct. But do not let them bully the public into thinking their bulldozing is normal but a response isn’t. There is a legal process for expansion.”

RELATED: AOC Demands Democrats ‘Expand The Court’ After Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed

This piece was written by James Samson on October 28, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Brad Pitt Narrates Pro-Biden Ad Portraying Him As Bipartisan Unifier

Hollywood star Brad Pitt has thrown his support firmly behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as he narrated an add for him that aired during the World Series on Saturday night.

Pitt Narrates Biden Ad

Though Biden is known to be a firm Democrat, Pitt tried to portray him as a bipartisan unifier in the ad.

“America is a place for everyone,” Brad Pitt said in the minute-long commercial. “Those who chose this country. Those who fought for it. Some Republicans. Some Democrats. And most, just somewhere in between. All looking for the same thing, someone who understands their hopes, their dreams, their pain, to listen.”

“To bring people together. To get up every day and work make life better for families like yours,” the Twelve Monkeys star added. “To look you in the eye, treat you with respect, and tell you the truth. To work just as hard for those who voted for him as those who didn’t. To be a president for all Americans.”

RELATED: Biden Confuses Trump With President Bush, Says Country Can’t Afford ‘Four More Years Of George’

Pitt Has Gotten Political Before

This is not the first time that Pitt has gotten political. While accepting his Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his work in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood earlier this year, Pitt shamelessly used his speech to rant about the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

After taking the stage to accept his award, Pitt attacked the Senate for not calling on former National Security adviser John Bolton as a witness.

“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” Pitt said. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.”

RELATED: Brad Pitt’s Anti-Trump Oscar Speech: 45 Seconds is ‘More Than the Senate Gave John Bolton’

Despite Pitt’s speech, Trump was later acquitted by the Senate on all charges.

As a Hollywood star who has appeared in a wide variety of movies over the years, Pitt has fans on all sides of the political spectrum. It’s a shame that he feels the need to alienate millions of them by going political and blatantly catering to the liberal voting base.

This piece was written by PopZette Staff on October 26, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Barrett Shines In Final Day of Questioning Before The Senate

On Wednesday Judge Amy Coney Barrett again triumphed over Democrat attempts to get her to comment on matters that could potentially be before the high court.

Barrett Shines On Final Day Of Questioning 

In her final day of Senate questioning she constantly told Democrat senators she couldn’t give an opinion on their contrived questions. But that didn’t stop the Democrats from asking them.

Barrett sounded sharp and looked perfect. The Democrats looked bored and sounded beaten and depressed. But the Right is crowing over Barrett’s performance and rightfully so.

 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham opened up the day:

“This is history being made, folks. This is the first time in American history that we’ve nominated a woman unashamedly pro-life and embraces her faith without apology and she’s going to the court.

It will be a great signal to all young women who want to share your view of the world that there’s a seat at the table for them.”

Democrats Question Barrett

Then the questions began. There were a Democrat litany of them.

Democrat Senator Leahy of Vermont asked, “And does the president have an absolute right to pardon himself for a crime? I mean, we certainly heard this question after President Nixon’s impeachment.”

“Sen. Leahy so far as I know that question has never been litigated, that question has never risen,” Barrett replied. “That question may or may not arise, but it’s one that calls for a legal analysis of what the scope of the pardon power is.”

“So because it would be opining on an open question when I haven’t gone through the judicial process to decide it, it’s not one on which I can offer a view,” she added. 

RELATED: Amy Coney Barrett Responds To Far-Left Attack On Her Family For Adopting Black Children

Barrett said no can do at least a dozen times during the day. But the Democrats had nothing else better to do. So they kept on asking.

Ted Cruz said Democrats “are out of arguments to challenge Judge Barrett’s nomination, so aren’t bothering to show up…It is striking that as we sit here right now in this committee room, there are only two Democratic senators in the room. If you look at the dais, there’s chair after chair after chair that is empty. The Democratic senators are no longer even attending.”

Yup, they’ve given up.

Democrats Flounder 

Democrat Senator Klobuchar said, “Are absentee ballots, better known as mail-in ballots, an essential way for voters to vote right now?”

“That’s a matter of policy that I can’t express a view,” Judge Barrett replied, again.

Democrat Senator Coons of Delaware asked Barrett to explain legal consequences of thinking like Justice Scalia. Barrett was not amused with Coons.

“I hope that you aren’t suggesting that I don’t have my own mind or that I couldn’t think independently or that I would just decide, let me see what Justice Scalia has said about this in the past, because I assure you I have my own mind,” Barrett said.

“But everything that he said is not necessarily what I would agree with or what I would do if I were Justice Barrett,” she added. 

RELATED: Democratic Senator Asks Amy Coney Barrett If She’s Ever Committed Sexual Assault – It Immediately Backfires On Her

Democrat Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut asked, “Do you agree with the president on his views of climate change?”

“I don’t know that I have seen the president’s expression of his views on climate change,” Judge Barrett said.

Senator Booker of New Jersey said, “But do you think it’s wrong to separate children from their parents to deter immigrants from coming to the United States?”

Barrett responded, “Sen. Booker, that’s been a matter of policy debate and you know, obviously, that’s a matter of hot political debate, in which I can’t express a view or be drawn into as a judge.”

And again and again in that same manner. They ask an inappropriate question. She says she can’t comment. Kamala Harris tried to rope her into an idiotic question and answer session. Barrett deftly demurred. And so on it went.

At the end of the day, as opposed to the Kavanaugh hearings, there was little rancor, as the Democrats had clearly folded their tent. It’s all over but the final vote. Probably 52-48 for confirmation.

This piece was written by David Kamioner on October 15, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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It’s not about Barrett’s religion: It’s about the cover-up of how extreme and unqualified she is

The fact that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett "served as a ‘handmaid’ in Christian group People of Praise," in the words of The Washington Post, is a thing. It's a thing that is concerning to a lot of not evangelical or fundamentalist Christian Americans. Republicans are, however, trying to make that a landmine for Democrats, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading the way. They're saying any questions about her rather out-of-the-mainstream practice is an attack on faith. They are in fact itching to have a fight about her religion.

But that's eliding a larger problem: Barrett has been actively trying to cover-up her association with People of Praise and her fundamentalist beliefs, and People of Praise have been helping. This is what Democrats need to be focusing on. The Post reports that while Barrett has disclosed "serving on the board of a network of private Christian schools affiliated with the group," People of Praise will not confirm that she is a member. Furthermore, in the last few years it has "removed from its website editions of a People of Praise magazine — first those that included her name and photograph and then all archives of the magazine itself." Why are her ties to the group being scrubbed and who is helping her do that?

That goes along with Barrett's failure in 2017 and again this year to disclose that she had signed on to a newspaper ad in 2006 taking the most extreme position on abortion possible, advocating for the overturning of Roe v. Wade and going further, saying she  opposed "abortion on demand" and defended "the right to life from fertilization to the end of natural life." That's leaving the door open for banning types of birth control and for investigation and potential prosecution of women who've had miscarriages, the furthest forced birth extremists tend to go. Of course she doesn't want that information in front of the Judiciary Committee or the American public, which supports abortion rights.

So who's covering it up for her? Is the White House advising her to withhold information? Is the Republican-majority Senate  Judiciary Committee staff helping her pick and choose the information senators and the American public get to weigh when considering the nomination? Because it sure seems like a concerted effort, and the kind of thing that raises eyebrows for investigators. What else might she be failing to disclose—and why? This should at least require more time for a more thorough investigation and Democrats should demand that. It's not about her religion: It's about why she is trying to cover up her religion!

Clearly the investigation into Brett Kavanaugh wasn't thorough enough because McConnell and Sen. Chuck Grassley, who was then chair of the committee, wouldn't let it be. They didn't give enough time. That means there are still outstanding questions about Kavanaugh, and big ones. Like who paid his $92,000 country club fees, his $10,500-a-year private school for his kids, his $60,000 to $200,000 credit card debt, and his $1.2 million mortgage before his confirmation hearings. Which is a question for another time and potentially an impeachment investigation when there's a Democratic-controlled Senate. Potentially.

But on this nominee, there needs to be an investigation. The FBI needs to figure out why there was a coordinated effort to cover this information up, why the People of Praise group has been erasing her from existence in their organization, and what else she could be withholding from the committee. It's not about the organization itself: It's about the effort to prevent the Senate and public from knowing. She, and the Republicans, demean the process by hiding things.

There are already serious questions about her fitness to serve. First and foremost, Barrett accepted the nomination in the first place, in these extraordinary circumstances and mere weeks before a presidential election. Then she participated willingly and knowingly in what turned out to be a coronavirus superspreader event that violated the rules the District of Columbia has in place for public gatherings. Yes, the White House is federal land and not governed by D.C.'s ordinances, but it shows an appalling lack of judgement on the part of this would-be justice to participate in the whole fiasco.

But there are also questions about her actual ability to judge. She actually authored a Seventh Circuit opinion last year "that threatened to hurl corporate insurance policies into chaos" and was quickly and quietly withdrawn to allow the lower court judgement she had initially overturned stand. It was an "episode that stunned attorneys and raised questions about her judgment." Because she made an extremely basic and big mistake. She ignored state law, in this case Indiana’s, in her initial ruling. "Her opinion, absolutely, 100 percent, ignored Indiana law with respect to how those things would be decided," one lawyer involved said. "It was the only time in my career where I had to file a brief that raised this point."

It's a given, even among conservatives, that Barrett got this nomination not for her legal qualifications but because of her ideological ones. That's not even debatable in 2020, after the Trump administration and the kinds of judges—even those rated unqualified—he's promoted. What's remarkable is the extent to which Republicans are still committed to covering up her background. That's a problem, and one that gives Democrats absolutely every reason to fight this nomination. Not on religious grounds: on the cover up.

Barrett is the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee, so Democrats have nothing to lose in this fight

For decades, the American public has been working under the assumption that if someone were nominated to the Supreme Court, that person must be qualified. How else could that individual get to a place where they would even be considered for nomination? That slipped a little with President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork, who ended up being rejected even by Republicans—enough of them to sink his confirmation. Everything's changed with Donald Trump, however. First Republicans broke all norms and regular procedures by refusing to even talk to President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, for more than half a year before the election. Then we had the Brett Kavanaugh debacle, where the whole country could see the blunt force Republicans would employ to get a guy everyone recognized as the frat-boy bully of their school nightmares onto the court.

Now we've got the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, and an electorate not giving her the benefit of the doubt as to qualifications. CNN reports: "Initial reactions to Barrett are among the worst in CNN and Gallup polling on 12 potential justices dating back to Robert Bork, who was nominated by Ronald Reagan and rejected by the Senate." Barrett has the distinction, along with Kavanaugh, of being "the only two for whom opposition outweighed support in initial polling on their nominations." A plurality does not want her confirmed, 46% to 42%, and 56% say she should recuse herself from any cases resulting from the 2020 election, including 32% of Republicans. Which leads us to the fight Democrats have to have against her confirmation. There's absolutely no downside to Democrats doing everything in their power, limited though it may be, to fight this.

Most of that fight is going to have to be in the Judiciary Committee. The No. 1 thing Democrats should be doing is boycotting the hearings and refusing to allow Lindsey Graham, the chairman, a quorum to conduct most of his business. With any number of Republican senators unavailable at any given time because of quarantine, Democrats need to be nimble and flexible in when they choose to participate. But senators, Democratic or Republican, aren't likely to miss an opportunity to get some video clips of themselves scoring points out there. Knowing they aren't going to give up a chance at their 15 minutes, they need to follow a plan. Chuck Schumer needs to make them do it.

For once, they have to coordinate. They have to find a single plan of attack and stick to it, with their questions coordinated and designed to build a narrative. Already we're seeing the opening—this is a rushed confirmation that Republicans are intent on ramming through before the election and in that rush, they're covering stuff up. We saw the initial evidence of that when Barrett did not submit a newspaper ad she signed on to in 2006 on behalf of a forced-birther group with the materials she provided to the Judiciary Committee—either for this nomination or for her 2017 nomination to an appeals court position. In the ad, she said she opposed "abortion on demand" and defended "the right to life from fertilization to the end of natural life." That's not all: In 2017, The Washington Post reports she didn't disclose her affiliation with the radical Christian group People of Praise. The group has scrubbed all references to her from its website. What else is she hiding?

In pushing that narrative, they should also have the less effective of their members step back. Let Sens. Kamala Harris (she has said she intends to participate), Amy Klobuchar, Mazie Hirono, and Sheldon Whitehouse—the sharpest interrogators—take the lead. They were the sharpest and most effective questioners in the Kavanaugh hearings and we need that acuity again now. 

That's not the only Democratic coordination we need to have happen. Schumer should be quietly working with his conference and with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on measures they can take to gum up the works for the Senate after the almost inevitable vote out of committee happens. There are things like War Powers resolutions Democratic senators can bring to the floor that will take precedent over a confirmation vote. Likewise, there are resolutions—most notably impeachment—that the House can send over that have to be considered before nominations. Note that this kind of coordination could be happening already. We're not supposed to see it. To be most effective, it can't be seen coming. McConnell is likely already figuring out how he can combat such measures, so Democrats have to be as wily in figuring out when and how to spring them. Which they should be working on. Right now.

Stopping this is going to be nearly impossible, barring the coronavirus continuing to sweep through Republican ranks and reducing the number of senators McConnell has available at any given time. But that doesn't mean Democrats are powerless, and it doesn't mean they shouldn't find every possible avenue for getting this delayed past the election. It probably won't work, but they've got to try it anyway.

For one thing, it will give them practice on coordinating their messaging and their efforts to reform the courts when they have the White House and Senate in 2021.

Democrats, don’t let RBG’s seat—or the Supreme Court—be further soiled by Trump

Honestly, there isn't much that Senate Democrats can do to fully prevent a Republican majority, slim though it may be, from seating another Supreme Court nominee from Donald Trump, illegitimate as that nomination might be. What they can do, however, is delay it until after the election. And after the election, the chances of blocking it are probably better. There could very well be some defeated Republicans who won't have anything to lose anymore and might just decide not to seal their legacies with something so ignoble as this. Additionally, if they can delay throughout November, Democrats will likely have a new member—Arizona's Mark Kelly, who could be seated as early as Nov. 30 by Arizona law.

To that end, congressional procedural experts have drawn up a memo that's reportedly circulating on Capitol Hill that details the myriad options available to Democrats—both in the House and Senate—to eat up Senate time and prevent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham from rushing the nomination through before Nov. 3. There's no silver bullet here for Democrats to stop the confirmation, but there are tons of BBs.

We talked about a lot of what the Senate can do in this post, but didn't explore the House's options. Like sending over articles of impeachment. (I nominate Attorney General Barr for that one, personally.) The House could act on Senate bills pending in the House, amend them, and send them back as privileged—the Senate could be forced to act on them.

In a perfect world, Sen. Chuck Schumer and team would deploy all of them. As of now, they are not. As of now, with no official appointment, they don't have to. McConnell is going to have to deal with the continuing resolution the House just passed to fund government through Dec. 11 early next week, because the deadline is midnight Wednesday.

Republicans are not devoid of ways of trying to keep Democrats from doing this—they can keep putting up things for unanimous consent, like this resolution expressing support for the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, what Democrats could do is use every tactic from Republicans to engage the Republicans in hours of debate on them. That's something they need to be doing anyway: standing on the floor punching holes in Republican arguments and making them answer for their blind loyalty to Trump.

Democrats can start doing these things now to show McConnell their resolve to stand together in making his life hell, dissuading him from trying to push through the nomination before the election. They can use a wide variety of procedural tactics to force Republicans who need to be spending all their time on their reelection at home to stay in Washington, D.C., having to be subject to a call to come to the chamber at any given time. Sowing as much unrest as possible among those Republicans is always helpful.

It's about meeting McConnell's fire with fire; it's about not being steamrolled, and not letting him and Trump further foul the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mitch McConnell Shuts Down ‘Myth’ That Republicans Won’t Have Time To Confirm A SCOTUS Nominee

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor of the Senate on Monday to completely debunk the “myth” that the GOP does not have time to confirm a Supreme Court nominee before the election.

McConnell Says There Will Be Confirmation Hearings For Trump SCOTUS Pick

McConnell cited a historical precedent in arguing that the Senate actually has lots of time to confirm a nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat that was left vacant by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday.

“President Trump’s nominee for this vacancy will receive a vote on the floor of the Senate,” McConnell said. “Now already, some of the same individuals who tried every conceivable dirty trick to obstruct Justice [Neil] Gorsuch and Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh are lining up to proclaim the third time will be the charm.”

RELATED: President Trump: If Dems Use Impeachment To Block Supreme Court Nomination, “We Win”

“The American people are about to witness an astonishing parade of misrepresentations about the past, misstatements about the present, and more threats against our institutions from the same people who’ve already been saying for months — well before this — already been saying for months they want to pack the court,” he added.

McConnell Cites Historical Precedents

Not stopping there, McConnell addressed the “incorrect” claims that the Senate does not have time to complete the process of confirming a nominee before the election.

“We are already hearing incorrect claims that there is not sufficient time to examine and confirm a nominee,” McConnell said. “We can debunk this myth in about 30 seconds.”

“As of today there are 43 days until Nov. 3 and 104 days until the end of this Congress,” McConnell said. “The late iconic Justice John Paul Stevens was confirmed by the Senate 19 days after this body formally received his nominations — 19 days from start to finish.”

“Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, another iconic jurist, was confirmed 33 days after her nomination,” he added. “For the late Justice Ginsburg herself it was just 42 days. Justice Stevens’ entire confirmation process could’ve been played out twice between now and Nov. 3 with time to spare. And Justice Ginsburg herself could’ve been confirmed twice between now and the end of the year, with time to spare.

“The Senate has more than sufficient time to process a nomination,” McConnell concluded. “History and precedent make that perfectly clear.”

And that, ladies and gentleman, is what we call a mic drop moment.

READ NEXT: Rush Limbaugh: Skip the Senate Hearings And Go Straight To A Vote On Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on September 21, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Rush Limbaugh: Skip the Senate Hearings And Go Straight To A Vote On Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee

Rush Limbaugh toyed with the idea that Senate Republicans skip the confirmation hearings for President Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee.

Limbaugh, a conservative radio host, mentioned the idea during his Monday broadcast.

He believes whoever the nominee is, Democrats will be planning to drag their name through the mud, just as they did with other Republican presidential nominees.

“I want the Judiciary Committee — I think it’d be great if it were skipped,” suggested Limbaugh.

“We don’t need to open that up for whatever length of time so that whoever this nominee is can be Kavanaughed or Borked or Thomased,” he added. “Because that’s what it’s gonna be, especially when it’s not even required.”

RELATED: FBI Agent Who Discovered Hillary’s Emails On Anthony Weiner’s Laptop Claims He Was Told to Erase His Own Computer

Rush Limbaugh Explains Why Republicans Should Skip SCOTUS Hearings

Aside from noting that the next nominee to the court will have their lives turned upside down by Democrats, Limbaugh believes there is no requirement dictating hearings must be held.

“You know, I mentioned that the Judiciary Committee does not have to do its thing. It’s become a tradition, but it’s not a requirement,” he explained.

“Why not just blow up another tradition? Because, I’ll tell you, that’s how we’re gonna maintain the ones that matter,” continued Limbaugh.

“They have to be defeated. This Supreme Court seat has to be confirmed, it has to be named and confirmed before the election.”

The United States Senate website on nominations states that the practice was not initially common:

“In the 19th century, the Senate referred few nominations to committees. Since the mid-20th century, committee referral has become routine and most nominees testify at Senate hearings.”

Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution alludes to the “advice and consent of the Senate” being required.

The president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for…”

The Senate site notes that this section though, “has inspired widely varying interpretations” of its meaning.

RELATED: AOC, Pelosi Hint Impeachment Should Be Considered To Stop Trump Supreme Court Selection

SCOTUS Process Was Always Going to Come Back to Haunt Dems

If holding confirmation hearings in the Senate is nothing more than a tradition, we see no reason for President Trump not to ‘blow it up.’

For two reasons:

1. Democrats are already threatening to blow up the process by using impeachment – a process reserved for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ – as a means to stop Trump’s nominee.

2. Is there any doubt that the resistance party would take any action necessary the moment they have power again? Please.

In 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell triggered the so-called ‘nuclear option’ after Democrats filibustered the nomination of  Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Doing so abolished the 60-vote requirement for nominees, something the Democrats themselves instituted for other judicial nominees under the leadership of Harry Reid in 2013.

And McConnell warned him not to do it …

“You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think,” McConnell warned from the Senate floor.

Gorsuch, and later Brett Kavanaugh, were both beneficiaries of the ‘nuclear option’ being invoked.

It will certainly come into play with Trump’s selection to fill the vacancy left by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

We have Democrats to thank for the controversial tactic. Now Limbaugh wants to see Republicans toss out another archaic tradition. Should they do it?

The post Rush Limbaugh: Skip the Senate Hearings And Go Straight To A Vote On Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee appeared first on The Political Insider.

Senate Republicans authorize subpoenas in bogus probe angling for October surprise to boost Trump

As Republican Sen. Mitt Romney acquiesced to voting to approve some three dozen subpoenas for one of two bogus partisan probes being conducted by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he worried that at least one of the investigations "had the earmarks of a political exercise."

That's the understatement of the century. In fact, the committee chair, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, just came out last month and confirmed in an interview that one of his two ongoing  investigations "would certainly help" Trump.

Johnson, who is desperately trying to deliver an October surprise to boost Trump's reelection bid, currently has two probes going in his committee. He's hell-bent on delivering the Biden probe that Trump had tried to force on Ukraine before he hit that impeachment wall. But just in case that entirely baseless probe fails to curry favor with the public, Johnson's got a second investigation in the works focusing on the work of Obama administration officials during the transition period following the 2016 election.

That's the investigation for which Republican senators, on a party-line vote, approved a raft of subpoenas targeting people like former FBI director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, according to Politico. Both men participated in the transition period and ultimately briefed Trump on the intelligence community's conclusions that Russia attacked the 2016 election to help boost his presidential bid. Another GOP target is former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who temporarily took over for Comey after Trump ousted him. Romney's opposition to the Biden-Ukraine probe, however, forced Sen. Johnson to scrap a subpoena vote related to that pet investigation. In fact, that investigation is such a heap of trash, the U.S. Treasury Department recently declared one of the pro-Russian Ukrainians who helped fuel the probe an "active Russian agent for over a decade."

But the GOP's approval of dozens of new subpoenas prompted Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Homeland Security committee member, to introduce a resolution Wednesday afternoon "opposing efforts to launder Russian disinformation through Congress." 

From the Senate floor, Schumer charged that "While the rest of the country has been focused on fighting a global pandemic, for the last few months the chairman and Republicans of the committee have wasted taxpayer resources to run a hit job on President Trump’s political rival." Schumer said he would have more to say on the matter later, but added, "for one of our most important committees to be echoing a Kremlin-backed conspiracy theory is beyond the pale."

Johnson reportedly plans to release an interim report within the coming days on his Kremlin-driven probe into Biden's diplomatic efforts in Ukraine when he was serving as vice president. In the other investigation, Johnson will maintain the power to deliver headlining-grabbing subpoenas into October, even after Congress has recessed in the run-up to Election Day. How convenient. 

Senate Republicans privately more worried that Trump talked to Woodward than about his deadly lies

Three days into the revelation that Donald Trump willfully lied to the American people about the deadly coronavirus from the absolute beginning of the crisis, and Senate Republicans are still hiding out, avoiding the press, pretending like they missed the biggest news of the week entirely.

"Haven't seen it." "Didn't read it." Or, in the case of Sen. Susan Collins, pretending like she's invisible. Collins "walked quickly into Thursday's morning series of votes, flanked by an aide who shielded her from a reporter who yelled a question in her direction about Trump downplaying the threat of coronavirus," The Hill reported. CNN adds she refused to take any questions on Wednesday or Thursday. At least her fellow vulnerable colleague, Iowa's Joni Ernst, took the question. She waffled it—"I haven't read it, I haven't seen it, so give me a chance to take a look"—but she answered the damn question.

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Same with Arizona's Martha McSally and Colorado's Cory Gardner. Not reading or paying any attention to any news at all has become quite fashionable among Republicans. If you haven't read it or listened to the tapes with your very own ears, it didn't happen. At least that's Texan John Cornyn's take. He said he didn't have "personal knowledge" and didn't "have any confidence in the reporting," so he couldn't weigh in on it.

Others decided their best bet was going all in with the Trump excuse that he was trying to avert a national panic. Because if there's anything the guy who screams about antifa and Mexicans and Black Lives Matter protesters coming to rape and pillage and loot in the suburbs wants, it's not to cause a panic. North Carolina's Thom Tillis endorsed Trump's excuse. "When you're in a crisis situation, you have to inform people for their public health but you also don't want to create hysteria." When Tillis was pushed and asked if Trump should have been comparing the virus to the flu when he knew that it was far deadlier, Tillis wouldn't answer.

Trump's little golfing buddy, Lindsey Graham, piped up: "I don't think he needs to go on TV and screaming we're all going to die." Georgia's David Perdue agreed. "I understand trying to manage the psyche of the country and also look at the actions that he took. […] I look at what he did—and it was certainly a strong response." In no universe whatsoever was it a strong response, but that's a popular lie among Republicans. "Actions speak louder than words," said Louisiana's Bill Cassidy, another Republican up for reelection. "The President tends to speak loosely. We know that. That's just his pattern." And of course there’s Sen. Mitch McConnell, who combined the professed ignorance and defense of Trump into one: "Well, I haven’t read the Woodward book, but we all knew it was dangerous. The president knew it was dangerous and I think took positive steps very early on, for which he should be applauded, not criticized," he said.

Anonymously, Republican senators were less bothered by Trump's lies to the American public about a pandemic that has gone on to kill 200,000 Americans than about the fact that he would talk to Bob Woodward. "Most of us say, 'What the hell is he doing talking to Bob Woodward at 11 at night?'" one of them told The Hill.

Remember back in March, when McConnell talked about how Trump's flat-footed response to the pandemic was the fault of House Democrats and impeachment? How he said that it "diverted the attention of the government?” Yeah, that. The refusal of McConnell and fellow Republicans to actually look at the evidence, to put country over party in the impeachment, has led directly to this: 200,000 people dead. McConnell's continued insistence on putting party over country means that six months into the pandemic, he's abandoned it.