From last night’s email thingie from the Pod Save Whatevs guys gives us a concise run-down of where we are and why (bullets and emboldening—the Axios disease is spreading!—are theirs):
President Trump’s efforts to use the federal government to advance his personal financial or political interests have accelerated on so many different fronts last week, it can be hard to keep track of them all.
Here’s the latest:
- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials for issuing correct hurricane forecasts, instead of backing Trump’s false claim that Hurricane Dorian posed a threat to Alabama. His threat prompted NOAA to issue an unsigned Friday statement disavowing its own scientists.
- The Department of Defense has spent millions of dollars to refuel military aircraft at a struggling commercial airport near Trump’s golf resort in Turnberry, Scotland, and military air crew members have in at least one instance spent the night at the resort. (Last week, we learned Vice President Mike Pence and his entourage stayed at Trump’s resort in Doonbeg, Ireland, 180 miles from his official meetings in Dublin, at Trump’s suggestion.)
- Trump reportedly denied Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, a White House reception and froze $250 million in military aid to Ukraine “to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.” The State Department has also facilitated Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to coerce the Ukrainian government into launching the baseless investigation.
- The antitrust division of the Justice Department has launched an investigation of four car companies that agreed to meet California’s emission standards, seemingly because the agreement infuriated Trump, who has set about to weaken Obama-era federal emissions standards.
How has the system responded? It’s a bit of a mixed bag. The scientific leaders of NOAA and the National Weather Service have stood up for their agencies and seem intent on pushing back. Good! The House Oversight and Reform Committee has reportedly been investigating military spending at Trump properties for months. Also good! The House Foreign Affairs and intel committees have launched an investigation of Trump’s efforts to enlist Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election. Good times three! And on Monday, the House Judiciary Committee intends to formalize rules for its ongoing and growing impeachment inquiry this week. All positive developments.
But some House Democratic leaders—yep, you guessed it!—remain opposed to the impeachment process, and have reportedly suggested they might allow the Judiciary Committee to complete its inquiry, then decline to let the whole House vote on articles of impeachment. That would send a strong signal that the party just doesn’t care much about all of this terrible corruption. It’s up to us to let Democrats know that outcome would be unacceptable.
We’ve noted it before, but if Nancy Pelosi has one superpower it is that she knows how to count votes, and the only votes that count are in her caucus. If you have not yet called your Democratic Representative, make a point of doing it today, make sure that they know you are there for them if they join the angels and vote to impeach the bastard. If they are already on record as being in favor, be sure to thank them.