Wednesday marks 1 year since 9/9/19, when the Intelligence Community's Inspector General notified Congress he'd received an "urgent concern" from a whistleblower & deemed it credible.

That set in motion Trump's impeachment.

Would it today? /1…
The Intelligence Community's Inspector General who took seriously the whistleblower's complaint, persevered when Trump's White House & Justice Department tried to bury it, & ensured Congress learned of it has been forced out by Trump. /2…
The Acting Director of National Intelligence who initially blocked his Inspector General from sharing with Congress the whistleblower complaint but then allowed it to be shared also has been forced out by Trump--replaced by a Trump loyalist. /3…
Meanwhile, the Trump officials who tried to bury the whistleblower complaint--at the White House & at the Justice Department--remain. In particular, their resistance to scrutiny over the executive branch & information-sharing with Congress are stronger. /4…
Key officials who got the whistleblower complaint to Congress are now gone; key officials who tried to block it remain.

Today, would Congress even receive the letter that, 1 year ago, set in motion impeachment?

Maybe not.

So: what's Trump doing now we don't even know about? /5
This is what @rgoodlaw & I warned of on @just_security: "Purges of US officials are a direct extension of Trump’s 3-year project of politicization of the executive, an early move taken by autocrats who seek to exploit election by consolidating power" /END…

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More from @jgeltzer

28 Aug

There are steps that state & local officials can take, right now, relying on laws already on the books, to protect Americans from the threat posed by unlawful private militias.

Here's a quick guide based on work led by Mary McCord & our @GeorgetownICAP colleagues. /1
1st, there's litigation: faced with unlawful private militia activity, officials can file civil suits seeking court orders preventing such activity from reoccurring.

That's what @GeorgetownICAP did in Charlottesville alongside @MikeSigner & more. /2…
Litigation is also the approach @GeorgetownICAP is using now alongside @BerncoDa to address the threat posed by the New Mexico Civil Guard.

Here's recent coverage by @joshscampbell: /3…
Read 6 tweets
16 Aug

Why is Trump talking about pardoning Snowden?

It’s important to understand what Trump’s up to if we’re going to react responsibly.

So here goes. /1
First, Trump simply wants to distract by changing the subject, as he so often does.

COVID deaths, voter suppression—there’s so much bad for Trump that he wants a topic change to Snowden.

We shouldn’t let him. But we should understand that his motivation goes deeper. /2
Second, Snowden’s narrative is Trump’s in a sense: it’s all about distrusting US intelligence & law enforcement & portraying them as the enemy.

This is Trump’s whole obsession with 2016 counterintelligence work, Flynn, etc.

Snowden’s story thus aligns with Trump’s. /3
Read 6 tweets
25 Jul

Keep a close eye on Capitol Hill this week.

Congress will be focused on America's civil rights legacy, AG Barr's politicization of the Justice Department, Trump's distortion of the census, & DHS actions in Portland.

Here's a preview: /1
On Monday, the body of civil rights icon John Lewis will lie in state at the US Capitol.

The arrival ceremony will be private, but then there will be a public viewing.

For background, a great @EJDionne tribute: /2…
On Tuesday at 10 am, the House Judiciary Committee will--finally--question Attorney General Barr.

So much to cover: Flynn, Stone, Berman & more.

For background, here are questions for Barr from @rgoodlaw @AshaRangappa_ & me via @just_security: /3…
Read 7 tweets
12 Jun
The argument being made by Flynn's lawyer to the DC Circuit boils down to this:

- Don't let the facts come out about why DOJ flipped.

- Don't let the trial judge ask questions.

- Don't even let him think about it.

- Just--quickly, quietly--make this all go away. NOW.
DOJ says the Flynn case threatens to harm "the integrity of" not just law enforcement but also the judiciary.

But it's not the unprecedented dropping of criminal charges, after 2 guilty pleas, for a crony of the President's.

It's...the district court's appointment of an amicus!
DOJ says it didn't even have to explain itself to the trial court--it could've simply told the court, after DOJ charged & obtained 2 guilty pleas, it now wanted the case to disappear, & the court would've HAD to obey.

Core DOJ argument: we don't even have to explain ourselves.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jun

On Friday at 9:30 am, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral argument in the Michael Flynn case.

I'll be tuning in to hear argument plus commentary from the dynamic duo & legal odd couple @neal_katyal & @gtconway3d.

Join us!

To prepare, here's essential reading. /1
In @nytopinion, @neal_katyal & I explain why the Barr Justice Department's abrupt move to drop Flynn's prosecution "embeds into official US policy an extremist view of law enforcement as the enemy of the American people." /2…
In @washingtonpost, @hsu_spencer & @amarimow discuss the legal debate the Flynn case has sparked, including the brief filed in the district court by legal scholars including @tribelaw @gtconway3d @RWPUSA @thetrevorpotter @oonahathaway me & many more. /3…
Read 6 tweets
11 Jun

Here 👇 we have Trump again doing what @Dahlialithwick & I warned about yesterday: denying reality, & conjuring his own unreality.

It's an escalation in the nature & danger of Trump's lies.

Some key points below from our @Slate piece. /1
"Almost every Trumpian fictionalized tour de force starts with a false claim—also known as a lie—that is readily disproven or even obviously wrong to the naked eye, & then subverts it." /2…
"Casual lies alone are for amateurs; the real authoritarian move is to construct an entire false reality—an unreality—around those lies. That’s what we’re now seeing from Trump & his loyalists." /3…
Read 6 tweets

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