Short thread on impeachment witnesses:

First, let’s remember that this case had unusual and powerful evidence in the public record. If you are prosecuting a bank robbery and you have the surveillance camera footage, you don’t need witnesses to tell you what happened.

Second, the only areas where witnesses could help was confirming what the circumstantial evidence already showed about Trump’s knowledge and intent, both before and after the riot. Mgrs did great job of using his own tweets to show his knowledge but witnesses could confirm.

The case was really strong as is but new witness testimony would very likely become the sole focus of the media and the public. For that reason, it is especially important to avoid taking risks with witnesses a) who are adverse to you and b) whose testimony is unknown.

Since the only witnesses that would be helpful are ones close to Trump, executive privilege would invariably be an issue. If a witness is not cooperative, s/he would likely fall back on EP to avoid testifying. Hashing that out would take months.

The reality is that Trump has created a dynamic through the Ukraine whistleblower and Ukraine witnesses where his domestic terrorist supporters threaten violence against witnesses against him. This fear is real and it is a huge problem. This should be everyone’s focus.

Managers tried to find witnesses who a) could provide direct evidence about Trump’s state of mind, b) who were willing to testify and were cooperative so no surprises and no litigation, and c) who would do no harm to the already strong case.

Beutler’s public statement was very helpful because it confirmed Trump’s sociopathic disregard for the line of succession in the Capitol. That was very helpful. Beutler endured open witness intimidation from colleagues and probably others — that should be the story.

Finally, @RepRaskin is right that if their powerful case did not convince 67 to convict, nothing would. Why dilute their case, delay the trial, potentially put people in harm’s way or endure lengthy litigation, only to get marginally more info about facts that everyone knows?

Trump’s requests to call Pelosi or 100 witnesses were empty threats — they didn’t have a single witness who could have helped them. That should not have been a factor. But if they were smart, they could have made the witnesses look lopsided and unfair if they didn’t get any.

It was the right call to proceed as they did. They got important evidence at no cost that bolstered an already strong case. Witnesses were not necessary to the case and witnesses purely for witnesses sake is bad strategy. The outrage should be at the witness intimidation.


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More from @danielsgoldman

2 Dec 20
My quick take on the bribery-for-pardon judicial order:

1) There was a separate ongoing investigation that involved (likely multiple) search warrants that yielded 50 electronic devices seized. That’s a lot of devices, so I’m guessing it was an office that was searched.

2) upon reviewing these devices, agents identified separate crimes from those under investigation, incl a bribery-for-pardon scheme. They sought permission from the judge to search the devices for further evidence of that scheme. (SW’s are limited to specific offenses.)

3) that scheme involved a lawyer who, the judge concluded, did not have an attorney-client relationship with the person seeking the pardon. It appears that that lawyer served as an intermediary with the WH, but did not represent the briber, who is currently in jail.

Read 4 tweets
21 Oct 20
Thread on “Russian disinformation.”

Recently @DNI_Ratcliffe asserted that Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of a Russian disinformation campaign. But Radcliffe misses the point. It is part of Russia’s efforts to interfere in the election.

Let me explain.

This is what we know as fact:

1) Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump.

2) Russia never stopped trying to undermine our democracy and to support Trump.

3) Russia is trying to interfere in the 2020 election to support Trump. Radcliffe’s own agency said so.

4) Russia, at war with Ukraine, has been promoting a disinformation campaign to smear Joe and Hunter Biden with bogus allegations related to Ukraine.

5) Giuliani and Trump latched onto this sham allegation and tried to extort Ukraine to announce an investig into the Bidens.

Read 7 tweets
8 Aug 20
Short thread:

Latest ODNI election interference provides some more important detail about election interference but seems to (intentionally) conflate public statements from foreign countries (China/Iran) with covert malign influence efforts (Russia). They are not the same. 1/
After sucking up to Xi earlier this year, Trump has seemingly decided that making China the bad guy will give him an opening to blame China for his election loss. So he has taken actions to upset China (blame them for virus, close Houston consulate, Tiktok/WeChat, etc). 2/
So it is no surprise that China is unhappy with that recent 180 from Trump to confrontation rather than appeasement. But China’s preference for Trump’s opponent in light of Trump’s antagonism is NOT the equivalent of Russia using proxies to spread disinformation in U.S. 3/
Read 6 tweets
28 Jul 20
@RepSwalwell with excellent job questioning Barr, who would lead us to believe he doesn’t read Trump tweets. Great follow up to suggest he should do so to gather evidence before declining to investigate.
Barr: leaders of both parties should condemn mob violence

Follow-up: should leaders of both parties condemn foreign interference in elections?
Read 4 tweets
28 Jul 20
Barr: nothing was ever elevated to me during Bush years.

Follow-up: why was the case of Roger Stone, one of thousands in DOJ, elevated to you?

True answer: because he had incriminating information on @realDonaldTrump
What evidence does Barr have that voter fraud is a risk of widespread mail-in voting?

How many voter fraud cases had DOJ brought in last 10 years?
Barr is apparently okay discussing ongoing investigations into unmasking, so he should be perfectly okay discussing ongoing investigations in the SDNY that may have led to Berman’s firing.
Read 4 tweets
22 Jun 20
Let’s unpack this.

1) why should we believe Barr (or his lackeys) when we know that Barr lied to the public that Berman “stepped down”?

2) Berman was Trump’s pick for the job. Yet Berman has not been compliant with the Trump/Barr political playbook.
3) US Attorneys chosen by the President are NEVER fired 5 months before a presidential election. It’s laughable to assert that it was simply to make room for someone who was never a prosecutor or even a litigator.

4) Since impeachment, Trump has been on a disloyalty purge.
5) Trump/Barr originally wanted to place an interim US Attorney from outside SDNY, which also never happens when US Attorneys do step down. That indicates they did not want someone within the SDNY to be leading the office — who would likely continue the ongoing investigations.
Read 5 tweets

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