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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, August 27, 2018

House Republicans Expect a Big Loss, and Lots of D Investigations


Jonathan Swan at Axios:
Axios has obtained a spreadsheet that's circulated through Republican circles on and off Capitol Hill — including at least one leadership office — that meticulously previews the investigations Democrats will likely launch if they flip the House.
Why this matters: Publicly, House Republicans are putting on a brave face about the midterms. But privately, they are scrambling to prepare for the worst. This document, which catalogs requests Democrats have already made, is part of that effort.
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The spreadsheet — which I'm told originated in a senior House Republican office — catalogs more than 100 formal requests from House Democrats this Congress, spanning nearly every committee.
The spreadsheet includes requests for administration officials to be grilled by committee staff, requests for hearings to obtain sworn testimony, efforts to seize communications about controversial policies and personnel decisions, and subpoena threats.
These demands would turn the Trump White House into a 24/7 legal defense operation.
The bottom line: Thanks to their control of Congress, Republicans have blocked most of the Democrats’ investigative requests. But if the House flips, the GOP loses its power to stymie. Lawyers close to the White House tell me the Trump administration is nowhere near prepared for the investigatory onslaught that awaits them, and they consider it among the greatest threats to his presidency.
Paul Blumenthal at The Huffington Post:
 Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in November, they will gain the most important tool available to investigate the Trump administration: subpoena power. And Democrats on the House oversight committee, that chamber’s main investigative panel, are prepared to use it.
Democratic members on the committee have asked the Republican majority to issue subpoenas related to the administration’s conduct 52 times during the first 20 months of Donald Trump’s presidency. Republicans turned down each of those 52 requests. If Democrats held the committee gavel, the subpoenas would be approved.
The 52 subpoena requests fell into three categories. First, Trump administration and Trump Organization corruption, conflicts of interest and violations of norms of good governance. Second, the committee’s core oversight functions, including agency reorganizations, the issuance of security clearances and the 2020 census. And third, overall issues of waste, fraud and abuse.