TPM Reader LB takes us down memory lane. And he’s right. We’re talking now about Rep. Duncan Hunter and his imminent resignation from Congress in the wake of his guilty plea to federal campaign finance charges. But Rep. Hunter inherited the seat from his dad Duncan Hunter, Sr. Pops Hunter never got indicted but he was notoriously crooked and came close to getting pulled down in the wake of the Duke Cunningham scandal back in 2005/2006. (There was a crew of this Southern California GOP Reps who all had problems on the criming front.) Let’s hear from LB …
John Light mentioned in this morning’s email that the Golden Duke awards are coming soon. It reminded me of the blatantly corrupt Randy “Duke” Cunningham, from whom the Dukes got their name, The blatancy of the corruption included the shopping price list of how much it would cost to bribe him. Bigger the favor, the higher the cost.
That led me to remember that Duke’s best friend in the House was another name that has been prominent in the news the last several months, Duncan Hunter, although right name, wrong person. Of course the elder Duncan Hunter, best friend of Duke Cunningham, is the father of Duncan Hunter, Jr., who just plead guilty to stealing campaign funds for his personal use (Turns out the pet rabbit liked flying in first class. Who knew?). I used to be in that district, but was saved with the redrawing of the maps in 2010, putting me in a safe Democratic district, with Susan Davis as our rep. (She announced her retirement a few months ago. But, it’s a safe Democratic District, so I don’t think it goes to red.)
I was watching the cable shows yesterday afternoon and the constant refrain was infighting among House Democrats over whether to ‘go big’ on impeachment or keep articles narrowly focused on Ukraine. I know this is a basic question being debated. I don’t know how acrimonious it really is. But I did spend some time last week familiarizing myself with the thinking of those on the Hill who want a more expanded approach. And at least as presented it made a fair amount of sense to me, both substantively and politically.
Here’s a heads up on something. There are a number of questions about what kind of articles of impeachment will be voted against President Trump and what wrongdoing they will cover. But it’s generally assumed that we know the relevant facts those articles will be based on. Don’t be so sure.
The actual articles, the report that goes with it and the evidence presented at a Senate trial will likely contain at least one pretty substantial surprise – and not a good one for President Trump.
In what’s seen as an attempt to poke holes in House Democrats’ impeachment case, White House officials are disputing the details of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s contacts with White House aides during key moments in the Ukraine pressure scheme. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following.
The end of the year is just around the corner, and it’s time to look back and contemplate what was. Get ready for the annual TPM Golden Dukes: the awards celebrating the year’s political disasters of all stripes.
I’ve seldom considered a public question in which the two possible answers both seem quite so compelling and convincing as this one. Late last month I said I had grave misgivings about ending the Impeachment inquiry, as the House appears intent on doing, without having deposed any of the key players in the scandal. The list is long: Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton in addition to as many as a dozen others. Stopping here seems crazy on several fronts: There are numerous key questions that remain unanswered. There are dimensions of wrongdoing that remain all but unexplored – side rackets pursued by Rudy Giuliani, his hustler pals Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas and others. These unknowns appear to contain at least substantial venal corruption, likely subversion of US foreign policy and even possible subversion by foreign nation states.
For all of these reasons, ones that are both substantive and narrowly political, it seems crazy to leave these questions unanswered. And yet I think they should. People talk about whether the Democrats should go small or go big. I think it’s more whether they should go fast or go slow. (After all, it’s easy enough to add on an obstruction article based on the Mueller Report. The work is already done.) I think they’re right to go fast, even as I agree that the arguments to the contrary are powerful and compelling.
Here are my four reasons.
Happy Thursday, December 5. President Donald Trump took a stab at explaining away his damning request for a favor from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on the July 25 call. Here’s more on that and the other stories we’re watching.
Some aspects of Wednesday’s impeachment hearing — the first in front of the House Judiciary Committee, the panel with jurisdiction for advancing the ultimate articles of impeachment — felt like déjà vu all over again.
As far back as October 2018, a former U.S. attorney acting on behalf of Ukrainian interests tried to get federal law enforcement to bite on bogus political dirt about the Bidens and on whether Paul Manafort’s notorious Black Ledger was a forgery.