Robert Maguire Profile picture
Research Director @CREWcrew | Former Dark Money sleuth @OpenSecretsDC | As seen on/in/at CNN, NPR, WaPo, NYT, Harvard | Self-hating 😼person who loves your 🐶​
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9 Feb
"A 'high crime' is a felony, and a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor. The words haven't changed that much." - Bruce Castor, presenting an incorrect interpretation of the requirements for impeachment.

(SPOILER: An impeachable offense does not have to be a crime at all)
One of Andrew Johnson's articles of impeachment mentioned that he "made and delivered with a loud voice certain intemperate, inflammatory and scandalous harangues, and did therein utter loud threats and bitter menaces"
And one of Richard Nixon's approved articles of impeachment involved "making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States."

Lying to the public and the press is not a crime.
Read 6 tweets
1 Feb
It's good that so many companies halted contributions after the Capitol attack, but the fact that they had to do so at all is a reminder of how broken our campaign finance system is.

We shouldn't have to rely on corporations to hold the line for the good of the Republic.
Corporations don't give political donations for love of country. They give because Congress makes decisions that impact their bottom line, and they want a seat at the table.

They want to influence the process, regardless of the toxic politicians they bolster in so doing.
As the barricades and DC come down, and some form of normalcy returns to Washington, these companies are going to face extreme pressure to start giving again.

But we're going to be watching them and calling them out when they do.
Read 5 tweets
31 Jan
One of my favorite new TV/podcast genres is "insane shit that happened in the 90s." I was a kid when all the stuff with OJ, the Unabomber, Lorena Bobbit, Monica Lewinsky, and the DC sniper happened.

I remember all this stuff going down, but, man, all my memories are wrong.
We're watching the Manhunt series about the Olympic bombing, and I don't think I ever realized just how screwed Richard Jewell got.

This is a theme in these shows. Bobbit and Lewinsky also come out as much more sympathetic characters than I gave them credit for as a kid.
Also, growing up in Charleston, I remember when Eric Rudolph's brother cut his hand off to...protest the FBI and the media?

He had it reattached at the hospital my dad worked at.
Read 5 tweets
30 Jan
Hahaha you know what makes this NRA video really hilarious?

Having a gun in the house drastically increases the chances that a spouse or child will be killed in an act of domestic violence or that a family member will use the firearm to commit suicide.

Good one NRA! 🤣
"Over half of all intimate partner homicides are committed with guns. Indeed, a woman is five times more likely to be murdered when her abuser has access to a gun." efsgv.org/learn/type-of-…
80 percent of child victims of mass shootings died in incidents connected to domestic or family violence. everytownresearch.org/report/guns-an…
Read 5 tweets
28 Jan
To channel @eisingerj: You can't have a functioning democracy without a functioning tax collection system that people generally see as fair and equitable.

What we have, though, is a broken system that punishes the poor, while letting the ultra-wealthy run roughshod over it.
Who’s more likely to be audited: A person making $20,000 — or $400,000?
propublica.org/article/earned…
Gutting the IRS has also helped fuel the rise of massive dark money groups. As the agency's budget was whittled away, it diverted more and more funds away from nonprofit oversight -- because it's a revenue collection agency, and those groups are tax exempt.
Read 4 tweets
16 Jan
TFW you're walking down Connecticut Ave with an apple pie on a nice afternoon, and you notice the bus stops are all showing images of violent insurrectionists that the FBI is trying to hunt down
There's a term in climate change lexicon "blissonance" that describes the mix of joy and terror you get on a warm winter day, knowing it shouldn't be that warm.

I'd say it also applies to walking down the street with pie, and then being subtly reminded the city is in danger.
Did not anticipate all the interest in the pie...
Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
Per pool, President Trump just spent a portion of his final Friday as president meeting with...the My Pillow guy in the Oval Office.
The pool report suggest Trump hadn't even been in the Oval prior to Lindell's visit at 3pm. Presumably only came down to meet with him. Image
WaPo photographer got a close-up of the My Pillow guy's notes.

Hard to read. Seems to push for using "martial law if necessary."

References Sidney Powell and, I think, an attorney at the NSA ("Fort Mead" sic). Advocates for Trump to "move Kash Patel to acting CIA" Image
Read 6 tweets
3 Jan
‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’ - Trump, in an hour-long call, pressuring Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor washingtonpost.com/politics/trump…
Oh Lordy, there are tapes
Bet y'all didn't expect Trump to prove election fraud exists by possibly committing election fraud
Read 4 tweets
26 Dec 20
He sold himself as the greatest negotiator and dealmaker in history, but now he can't even get his own party to support something that his opponents already want.
He spent weeks obsessing over election fraud conspiracy theories while a bill was negotiated and passed by Congress, then he demanded something his own allies don't even want.

Now millions face the loss of unemployment benefits, eviction, and a possible government shutdown.
Read 4 tweets
8 Dec 20
As election officials and their families get death threats and armed militias show up on their lawn to try to intimidate them into overturning the election, I'm reminded of the impassioned calls for "civility" we heard this summer and how conspicuously silent they are right now.
I may have missed it, but have Republican members of Congress spoken out forcefully about this?
Have I missed the powerful, unified message from Republican leadership calling for this kind of thing to stop?
Read 4 tweets
4 Dec 20
"I have one company and my name is on it," Parscale says, apparently forgetting that he was already caught setting up a different shell corporation that was paid millions by pro-Trump outside groups and remains in good standing with the state of Delaware.
"I own the company solely," Parscale said of Red State Data and Digital, which notably does not have his name on it citizensforethics.org/reports-invest…
Also, what is it with the RNC and mysterious shell companies? propublica.org/article/the-rn…
Read 4 tweets
1 Dec 20
1/ I have a gnawing fear that after Trump leaves office, a lot of people will tune out, feeling like the end of a presidency defined by corruption solves the corruption problem itself.

That would be a mistake. Trump is a symptom of problems that will continue after he leaves.
2/ Don't get me wrong. Trump is certainly a uniquely corrupt politician, but he was enabled by a system that was already broken.

Just as with Watergate, the work of installing guardrails and creating a less corrupt, more equitable system will go on for years after he is gone.
3/ Trump didn't break the system. The system was broken when he came in.

His recent formation of a leadership PAC is a perfect example of that. Leadership PACs have been around for decades and, long ago, devolved into slush funds for politicians washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/…
Read 14 tweets
18 Nov 20
It wasn't until recently when I was listening to this that it struck me how many covers they played during this show. Nearly half the songs are covers, and three are Meat Puppets songs, which they brought the guys out to play with them.

For some reason, that makes me feel good.
I've said this before, but this is how I came to love Dave Grohl, even though I'm not a big Foo Fighters fan. He was doing one of those live radio shows one day, and he kept talking about bands he loved, and then being like "Oh can I play one of their songs!"
He was supposed to be promoting Foo Fighters, but you could tell he just loved music and didn't give a shit if he was promoting himself or someone else.
Read 4 tweets
16 Nov 20
If you're in DC, you've probably heard of Sakina. It's a delicious Pakistani restaurant that also feeds the poor and homeless for free.

Now, they need our help. They're underwater during the crisis. Please consider giving if you can: gofundme.com/f/sakina-halal…
From last night to today, their total raised went up $40k, and now they're only $40k away from their $250k goal. If you can, please help them get there today!
Read 5 tweets
30 Oct 20
Since taking office, President Trump's businesses have likely taken in more than $13 million from special interest groups representing private prisons, payday lenders, and many other industries seeking to curry favor with his administration. citizensforethics.org/reports-invest…
2/ While it’s long been routine for wealthy interests seeking to buy access and influence over a president to do so by making large political contributions to his campaign and allied groups, it’s unique to President Trump that these groups personally enrich him in the process.
3/ We've tracked 137 of these events since the day Trump took office. citizensforethics.org/trump-conflict…
Read 15 tweets
23 Oct 20
NEW: A dark money group with no website, no employees and no apparent offices brought in $80 million in its first year of operation.

The group's sole trustee is Leonard Leo, the Trump judicial advisor who's tied to millions spent on judicial nominations citizensforethics.org/reports-invest…
The filing vastly expands the amount of money known to be flowing into the growing constellation of dark money groups tied to Leo and provides new details about his role in a secretive firm that was responsible for a $1 million donation to Trump’s inaugural committee.
The only other people linked to the group, based on the sparse filing, are either longtime Federalist Society officials-turned-consultants like Leo, or operatives with a long history working behind the scenes on dark money groups tied to Leo.
Read 6 tweets
21 Oct 20
They announced a new Scottish golf course *literally four days ago*
Does Eric think Scottland is....in America? scotsman.com/news/politics/…
Or did Don Jr. not tell Eric about his trip to Indonesia? citizensforethics.org/reports-invest…
Read 7 tweets
16 Oct 20
Just so everyone's clear. This isn't rainwater. Charleston hasn't had any significant precipitation for days.

Look at those blue skies. The city now routinely floods on sunny days.
According to NWS data, Charleston has had 1,067 "flood events" since 1953.

The last *five years* have seen 275 floods. In other words, 1-in-4 of all the floods in the last 67 years have been since Jan 2016, and it includes 2020 which isn't even done yet. weather.gov/chs/coastalflo…
All but two of Charleston's top 10 flood years are within the past decade.
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct 20
The Trump campaign wants us to believe that Biden is a senile old man, but also that just a few years ago, he managed to co-opt the entire US foreign policy apparatus, the E.U., and the IMF in a secret ploy to protect his son without anyone knowing.
This is the weird thing about all Trump World conspiracies: For the theories to be feasible, the person at the center of them would have to be a genius, with unparalleled powers of manipulation and cunning
For example, with Uranium One, Hillary Clinton supposedly secured a unanimous vote from nine U.S. government agencies—without leaving any evidence of her involvement—for a deal that would benefit a Clinton Foundation donor who had sold his shares in the company 3 years earlier
Read 5 tweets
10 Oct 20
The Drain the Swamp president is anything but... nyti.ms/3nC8P3e
This single paragraph -- showing the president selling access and influence to wealthy donors who are also personally enriching him -- would be the defining scandal of any other presidential administration
Then: "Elliot Broidy, a California businessman with a checkered past who had raised millions for the Trump campaign, joined Mar-a-Lago after the election. He told an associate that he viewed it as a way to increase access to the president."

This week: washingtonpost.com/national-secur…
Read 6 tweets
7 Oct 20
Trump has tweeted three dozen times in the last two and a half hours -- dishing deep state conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation, mocking a Joe Biden ad about the death of his wife and children, and saying the FDA's intentionally slowing down the COVID vaccine
He's tweeted four more times since I wrote this tweet
Just a normal day in America, where the president of the United States is demanding that his attorney general arrest his political enemies
Read 4 tweets