Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Horowitz Remains a Joke

As I noted earlier this morning, three years on Michael Horowitz still claims he’s going to get around to the probe that predates any of these other investigations he’s released to great fanfare. This is the probe into whether anti-Clinton agents at the New York City FBI field office forced James Comey’s hands in sending that possibly election turning letter in the final days of the campaign. Well, he got asked and he says, yep, he’s still working on it. Just seemingly taking a super long time. It’s the Horowitz pattern, don’t ask any questions or push any probes that could yield findings that will make President Trump mad.

Housekeeping and Link Sharing

One thing I hear from many of you is that while you understand that we now restrict some of our posts to members only you’d still like to share them with friends or colleagues who are not members. That totally makes sense – both for you and also for us since we want to bring new readers into the TPM world. We hope to make it one of the features we add to your membership next year. Let me explain some of our thinking.

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An Important Reminder

Shortly after James Comey sent his notorious letter to then-Chairman Jason Chaffetz a week before the 2016 election, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz was charged with investigating whether or how anti-Clinton bias and leaking out of the FBI’s New York City field office may have driven the decision to send that letter. More than three years on, Horowitz has still not found time to conduct that investigation. Through each of these other probes we’ve been told it will either be included in this investigation or the next investigation. Those who credited these claims have again and again been disappointed. On the other hand we’ve had numerous probes into the origins of the Russia probe itself.

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Good Point

From TPM Reader EH

We gave the Democrats power in 2018 in order to use it. I’m not in the mood to quibble at the moment. The nation will go home for the holidays with an impeached President. A President who was, remains, and will be a threat to national security and our democracy. The Democrats did their job and the nation owes an immense debt of gratitude to the whistleblower. I’m willing to leave all the rest for next year.

For all the chatter, remember: had Democrats not won control of the House last year, this entire story would have been covered up and not only would we never have known what happened it almost certainly would have succeeded, with potentially large impacts on the 2020 election.

We All Get Stupider

Presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani has found new friends in Ukraine and they’ve spun him up on a new scandal, which he hopes to present shortly to authorities in DC. His finding is that Adam Schiff owns about $250,000 in mutual funds from Franklin Templeton, the mutual fund company. And some of their funds have invested in Ukraine. In other words, Schiff is compromised. Josh Kovensky has the story.

Today's Agenda: Senate Will Grill The Watchdog

Good morning and happy Wednesday, December 11. Attorney General Bill Barr has been highly critical of the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s findings laid out in his report on the launch of the Russia probe. President Trump and Republicans have taken a similar stance, meaning things will likely get heated during Horowitz’s hearing before Congress today. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following.

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Thinking Through Impeachment, Part 2

From TPM Reader BM

It is very much too absurd, but I do fear that Democrats are failing to appreciate the necessity of explaining very slowly and clearly what has happened every single time the cameras start rolling or a new MoC starts her five minutes:

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Thinking Through Impeachment, Part 1

TPM Reader WH with some impeachment thoughts …

Agree with your last two blog posts, especially the misguided anger from Democrats regarding the last two hearings in the Judiciary Committee. I, too, found myself having to tune out simply because half the time was allotted to Republicans making (at best) specious or contradictory claims. Admitting this is deeply disheartening, as it forces me to admit that the GOP efforts to disorient and disgust those following along at home are very effective.

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New Podcast Alert

On this week’s episode, we take a look at the House’s articles of impeachment against President Trump, the inspector general’s report on the Russia probe and Josh Kovensky’s exclusive report on a Ukrainian oligarch’s ties to the pressure campaign. Give it a listen here, or favored podcast platform.

Trump Trial Strategy: Maximum Shit Show

Interesting note here from CNN about alleged disagreement between Mitch McConnell and the White House over what a Senate impeachment trial should look like. The gist seems to be that McConnell wants an orderly presentation and then a vote for acquittal as soon as possible. Trump, meanwhile, wants to burn the place down, or to put it more specifically turn the whole thing into a circus on the reasoning that the crazier it is the best chance he has to turn it into a spectacle and one that hurts Democrats.

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