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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I’ve said a number of times that I think impeachment under the present circumstances is a mistake. There are two reasons. The lesser of them is the near impossibility of removing President Trump from office. The greater one is that moving quickly toward impeachment rather that holding it as a cudgel in the process of on-going investigation gets in the way of aggressive investigations. If people want to apply pressure, that’s where to apply it. Yesterday it was revealed that Chairman Cummings had agreed to delay the Oversight Committee’s subpoena deadline until after a court hearing on May 14th, when a court holds a hearing into President Trump’s suit against Cummings and the Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA.

This is a mistake.

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Read this very closely.

It’s from an anonymous TPM Reader who I cannot identify but has a specific, professional experience with the questions at hand. The Census/citizenship question is highly consequential in itself. But it is also a critical signal about whether the Court will make any pretense of following a coherent jurisprudence or simply toss the pretense and make openly results-oriented decisions to entrench Republican power. To me this issue is more focused on what will almost certainly be a raft of upcoming cases testing whether the President can defy the the Congress’s constitutional oversight mandate. Will we have an executive power friendly third branch of government arbiter or will the five justice conservative majority remake itself into an off-site annex of the White House Counsel’s office?

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I just got this very heart-warming note from TPM Reader RM about some earlier book recommendations. I replied by recommending two other books I just finished. So I thought I’d share the recommendations with you as well.

I just want to thank you for your frequent book recommendations. You have been especially helpful to me in finding good reading for my 93-year old mother who is an avid reader and history buff. She is reading the Empires of the Word right now and is really into it. This is probably the 3rd or 4th book rec from you that I’ve given her and they are a hit.

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Nothing else you read today will be as important as this. A corrupt Supreme Court already signaling its support for the GOP’s plan to lock in Republican political dominance against the threat of future majorities.

I’ve hinted at this in a few posts. It’s time to confront it head on. The White House isn’t doing the standard tussling with Congress about oversight: some stonewalling, some negotiation, taking some questions of privilege to court. It’s more accurately characterized as massive resistance. The Congress has a constitutionally mandated responsibility to oversee the executive branch. They are flatly refusing to comply with ordinary document production and testimonial requests across the board. It’s not a difference of degree but of kind. In itself it is an impeachment worthy refusal to follow the constitutionally mandated framework of American government. It’s up to Democrats to make this clear.

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Oh

Before border militia leader Larry Mitchell Hopkins was arrested over the weekend after detaining migrants trying to cross the border (he was arrested on a firearms charge) the FBI learned that Hopkins was telling people he and his militia “were training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, because of these individuals’ support of Antifa.”

If you haven’t read the first part of the Mueller Report, I recommend reading it. You’ve probably heard and understood that it doesn’t exonerate President Trump. It gives a pretty narrow verdict that there wasn’t enough evidence to “establish” coordination or conspiracy – basically not enough evidence to indict. But that frankly doesn’t capture what’s actually in the report.

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I’ve been exchanging emails with various TPM Readers over the course of the day. If anything it’s tending to confirm my sense that the intra-Democratic acrimony over impeachment is driven less by disagreement than the understandable intensity of people’s feelings and anger over President Trump.

For example I’ve had a number of readers take issue with my viewpoint on this or ‘Democratic leaders’ (I scare quote only to make clear it usually isn’t specific to an individual) say, “No one is saying he should be impeached right away!”

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