BREAKING: Avenatti Charged With Aggravated Identity Theft, Scheme To Defraud Ex-Client

Buckle Up

President Trump has made a surprise appearance in the White House’s Rose Garden to discuss — what else? — the Mueller report.

His podium is decked out with statistics about the Mueller investigation alongside the President’s mantra: “NO collusion, NO obstruction.”

Making the Case
Prime Membership Required

TPM Reader PM makes their case against my reasoning on impeachment …

At every further step in this discussion, I find myself sharpening my disagreement with your conclusions (thank for your applications of the socratic method :).

Keeping it short: The difference in moving forward with impeachment in the present circumstances is the difference between gathering around a single purpose and principle that can be formulated in fundamentally patriotic terms, and being mired in an unruly mess of legalistic language that will draw on for months without ever (or only very rarely) exiting the world of fake lawyers’ panels on CNN.

Three Things To Watch Today
Prime Membership Required

Happy Wednesday, May 22. President Donald Trump’s lawyers will see the inside of another courtroom today as they yet again try to stop a congressional committee that has subpoenaed information about the President. This time, it’s the House Oversight Committee’s effort to get Trump’s financial records from his banks. Here’s more on that and the other stories we’re following.

Internal IRS Memo Says IRS Must Hand Over Trump Taxes

The Washington Post has gotten hold of a draft internal IRS memo which argues that the IRS and Treasury Department have no choice but to hand over the President’s taxes.

This seems like little more than a legal analysis that states what I think everyone who has looked at the law understands, which is that it’s crystal clear: To follow the law they have no choice but to hand over the returns. The only real argument I’ve seen from conservatives is that the law itself is unconstitutional. But the text of the law is clear.

On Yesterday’s Major Court Ruling

Yesterday we got the first court ruling in Congress’ battle to conduct oversight of President Trump. The judge issued a broad decision that affirmed Congress’ oversight authority, rather than narrowly ruling on the subpoena for Trump’s accountant, Mazars. TPM’s Josh Kovensky talked to legal experts who provide a very helpful lens through which to read the ruling. It’s worth a look.

Numbers from New Q Poll

Some very interesting numbers in a just released Quinnipiac Poll.

Here are numbers that jump out to me.

President Trump’s numbers are 38% approve, 57% disapprove. On May 2nd those numbers were 41%-55%. 54% of voters say they would “definitely not vote” for President Trump. 31% say they’d “definitely vote” for him.

Thoughts on Speaker Pelosi and Impeachment
Prime Membership Required

TPM Reader JP has thoughts about Nancy Pelosi and the difference between leading the Democratic caucus and being – whether she wants it or not – the Democrats current national leader. The inside game and the outside game, if you will. I have some comments in response below …

Was reading yet another reference to Pelosi’s infighting with her caucus:

In observing the public machinations and gyrations Speaker Pelosi continues to conduct regarding impeachment I found myself thinking back to the position she took during the ACA debate. More than anything I think it highlights the significant gap in her effectiveness at inside baseball (passage of legislation) and outside baseball (directing the public politics regarding a compelling national issue such as impeachment). Ultimately both goals are the same: keep your caucus unified and get a win for your side (and then sell the win to the country).

Very Important

A highly knowledgable lawyer writes in the following about the Trump accounting firm subpoena …

Judge Mehta wrote a smart and detailed opinion. And his decision not to grant a stay pending appeal sends a strong message that he views Trump’s arguments as extremely weak.

Trump of course has appealed and will seek review in the Supreme Court if he loses in the court of appeals.

His goal is to run out the clock until the middle of next year, which will make it hard for the House to analyze the documents, conduct further investigations, and reach any conclusions before November 3. It also will mean that any conclusions will be lost in the swirl of a highly partisan election contest.

Moving Fast

President Trump is moving quickly to appeal the federal court ruling against him over the congressional subpoena of his accounting firm.

Today’s Agenda: McGahn Likely To Play Hooky, Provoking Democratic Wrath
Prime Membership Required

Happy Tuesday, May 21. The White House has blocked former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying before Congress — and Democrats are less than pleased. Here’s more on that and the other stories we’re watching.

Voter Fraud

Before he was named by President Trump to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, Donald Palmer, a former GOP-appointed secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections, assisted in the creation of sensational voter fraud reports that prompted a defamation lawsuit, documents released in the litigation Friday revealed.

Trump vs. Congress

When D.C. federal judge Amit Mehta upheld a Congressional subpoena into President Trump’s accounting firm on Monday, he made the first real chip in the wall that Trump has built against Congressional oversight.

Ep. 65: Are We Witnessing The End Of The NRA?
Ep. 65: Are We Witnessing The End Of The NRA?
Josh, David, and TPM reporter Josh Kovensky discuss the implosion of the NRA — and the real possibility that the organization might be dissolved or reorganized ...
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