Today’s Agenda: Yet Another Democratic Candidate?

Happy Tuesday, November 12. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is weighing an eleventh-hour presidential bid. Here’s more on that and the other stories we are watching.

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The Collusion Never Stopped. The Whole GOP Got on Board.

Republicans have put forward their requests for witnesses at the upcoming public impeachment hearings. A few are quite reasonable. Those are people who testified behind closed doors and were supportive or partially supportive of the President in their opinions and judgments even if they confirmed facts which support the case against him. NSC Senior Director Tim Morrison is in that category as is Ukraine special envoy Kurt Volker. But most are in a distinctly different category. They include Hunter Biden, Devon Archer (Biden’s business partner), Andrea Chalupa (a researcher and sometimes consultant for the DNC), Nellie Ohr (a researcher for Fusion GPS and wife of State Department organized crime official Bruce Ohr).

We could get into the specifics of each person in the second category. But each focuses on the same thing: proving or advancing the various conspiracy theories the pursuit of which got President Trump into this impeachment inquiry in the first place. In other words, House Republicans aren’t really defending Trump so much as joining his plot or conspiracy.

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Schrödinger’s Bus

On Friday night, lawyers for “acting” Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney sought to join a lawsuit (if not quite a unique one then pretty close) which lists both President Trump and congressional leaders as defendants, asking a federal judge to decide who he and other White House officials must obey. The suit was originally brought by Charles M. Kupperman, the former Deputy National Security Advisor, and is being used, if not formally joined, by John Bolton, former National Security Advisor. (Kupperman and Bolton share the same lawyer, Charles J. Cooper.)

Still with me? Good.

Despite the seeming oddity of a serving White House Chief of Staff suing the President, this may actually be at least in part an effort to help Trump. By joining this lawsuit, Mulvaney not only gives himself a legal safe harbor, he may tie the question up in the courts long enough that it stretches beyond the life of the impeachment inquiry and thus becomes moot. Read More

This Week: Those Damning Transcripts Prime Badge
What Is Michael Bloomberg Thinking? Prime Badge
Backstory on Rudy’s Goodfellas, Parnas and Fruman

I wanted to walk you through some of the backstory and context of this exclusive Josh Kovensky published a short while ago. Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were actually on their way to Kyiv when they were arrested at Dulles Airport last month. But it’s what they were going there to do that is most interesting to me.

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The Battle to Save Trump

I wanted to flag this article in the Post that published overnight, which purports (and I don’t doubt it) to described the House GOP’s latest angle on protecting the President.

Quite simply, Rudy Giuliani, Gordon Sondland and Mick Mulvaney were freelancing this whole caper and the President was not involved. In other words, they’re the fall guys who get Trump off the hook. It’s a curious and entertaining article on a number of levels since by the conventions of newspaper writing dictate that the authors cannot really say the entire premise is absurd. They have to step around it and obliquely suggest it.

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Today’s Agenda: Mulvaney To Ignore Subpoena

Happy Friday, November 8. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was subpoenaed to testify in the impeachment inquiry Thursday night — he is, predictably, ignoring it. Here’s more on that and the other stories we’re watching.

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Things Get Weird in Kentucky Prime Badge
on January 11, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Yes. This. 100 Percent. Prime Badge
More of the Melodrama Prime Badge
NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2018 -- A voter walks to the booth to fill in her ballot at a polling station in Staten Island of New York Nov. 6, 2018. The U.S. Republican Party on Tuesday managed to maintain a Senate majority in the midterm elections, while the Democrats wrestled the House majority from the Republicans, according to projections of multiple news outlets. (Xinhua/Han Fang)
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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, arriving to his arraignment in New York County Criminal Court, plead not guilty to state mortgage fraud charges on June 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
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