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Adam Schiff Seems to Agree

It seems our former AUSA Reader was on to something when they pointed to the logic of trying to deal with subpoenaing recalcitrant witnesses at a Senate trial rather than getting slow rolled for months in the courts and possibly, ultimately getting nothing. You’ll remember that Chief Justice Roberts acts as judge in a senate trial and under Senate rules he makes all decisions on questions of evidence, relevance, subpoenas witnesses – though he can be overruled on those judgments by a majority of the Senate.

Chairman Adam Schiff appeared this morning on both the State of the Union and Meet the Press and he seemed to confirm that this is his thinking too.

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Impeachment Podcast

On this week’s podcast, we covered all the twists and turns in the marathon impeachment hearings, from Gordon Sondland’s wisecracks to Fiona Hill’s subtly devastating testimony. Take a listen here, or on your podcast platform of choice.

32,000

A few years back I remember talking on the phone with a skeptical media reporter explaining that over the next two years we planned to build our membership to 20,000 subscribers. Today as I write this we are 51 subscribers short of 32,000 members. 32,000 is our goal for this year’s membership drive. Our whole team would like to thank you for subscribing to TPM and becoming a member. If you haven’t joined us yet, please consider doing so right now.

The last two plus months has been the kind of breakneck torrent of news that is what this organization and the machine of its news reporting was built for. We’ve heard from many of you thanking our team for the coverage they’ve provided over this period. So let us thank you because your membership makes it all possible.

Read This

I read through this a number of times before deciding to publish it. But I strongly, strongly recommend it to you. The author of the email is a former federal prosecutor. When I first read it I confess I found it all a bit loopy or improbable. But as I thought about it and read it again I eventually found it quite compelling. Whether this is actually the House strategy I don’t know. But I think the author is correct about the dynamics involved.

I should add that I don’t think this relies on any great civic virtue on Justice Roberts’ part. As I read it, if he wants to shut the whole thing down he’s entirely capable of doing that through the conventional appellate process ending up at the Supreme Court. This just means ruling on these decisions quickly and in the spotlight.

A majority of the Senate can also overrule his rulings. But that means owning overruling a Chief Justice strongly identified as a conservative and a Republican.

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It's A Good Question

TPM Reader SS has a good question …

This is a question I really haven’t seen addressed which given how obvious it is I’m really surprised that no one has addressed it. We know from Cohen that Trump makes a point of never getting himself directly involved in situations that could be illegal or unethical enough to cause himself problems. Instead, he prefers to use intermediaries, and even then he often uses opaque enough language to give himself lots of wiggle room to avoid taking direct responsibility for what happened.

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Today's Agenda: What A Week

Happy Friday, November 22. Whew. After a packed week of impeachment inquiry hearings — not to mention a Democratic debate — there’s a lot to mull over. Here’s what we’re watching.

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The Inquiry's Ominous Verdict

I wanted to share with you a few thoughts about the impeachment hearings which have just concluded.

1. I have grave misgivings about concluding this inquiry without receiving testimony from Mick Mulvaney, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, Lev Parnas and a number of others. This isn’t to say that I don’t understand the argument for not doing so. It is a strong logic. Doing so could lead to months of slow-rolling before a judiciary at best disinclined to get between the President and Congress and at worst reflexively friendly to President Trump. It’s also true that the evidence of the core wrongdoing is already overwhelming. By any reasonable standard we know more than enough to merit removal from office. But the layers of wrongdoing beneath that surface layer are, I suspect, profound. It’s not an easy question. But ending the factual inquiry here worries me greatly.

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Critical Testimony

GOP staff counsel Steve Castor walked Fiona Hill into this critical portion of testimony. It’s understated in a way but for those who have ears to hear it, this is devastating testimony.

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