Tag: Congress

NRA found to have acted as ‘foreign asset’ for Russia

By: TDF Staff

Maria Butina

The National Rifle Association was a “foreign asset” for Russia during the 2016 election, an 18-month investigation by Senate Finance Committee Democrats finds. The NRA sought, with much enthusiasm, to help Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin insinuate themselves into right-wing circles on behalf of Russia, and NRA officials knew that Butina and Torshin were linked to the Russian government. Butina emailed NRA officials that the 2015 Moscow visit by some NRA leaders was important because “many powerful figures in the Kremlin are counting on Torshin to prove his American connections.”

The report finds that when Butina asked about which U.S. politicians she would be able to meet at NRA events, NRA staff provided her with a list, and “NRA resources appear to have been used to pay for membership and registration fees to third party events for [Torshin and Butina] as well as to arrange for transit to and lodging for many of those events throughout 2015 and 2016.”

Trump cares more about spending money on his handicap than on infrastructure

By: TDF Staff

Yesterday, Donald Trump railed in the Rose Garden against “wasting time” and declared that he was going to do just “one track” at a time, but Trump can’t be bothered with the effort it takes to forward some documents to the Congress. But he can fly across the world for golf.

Trump’s spending on golf travel is many times higher than that of Barack Obama, who not only spent less than half as much time playing, but did it at a much lower cost. Obama seemed to be cognizant of the fact that he was spending other people’s money.

At this point, digging up Trump’s statements claiming that were he to occupy the White House, he wouldn’t have time for golf seems redundant, as if it’s something that’s been done 177 times. Trump is also not being frugal when it comes to his golf game. According to Huffpost, the bill to taxpayers for Trump’s time on the links has now passed $100 million dollars. 

  • For those keeping track, that’s three times the cost of the Mueller investigation, even if you don’t discount the money that Mueller recovered through fines. 
  • It’s four times the money set aside for replacing out of date government systems and improving technology—including technology that protects election systems from hacking.
  • It’s equal to the entire budget for the Office for Civil Rights. 

Merrick Garland’s court to handle the appeal of the release of Trump’s financial records

By: TDF Staff

Monday afternoon, a federal judge ruled that the House has the legal rights within its constitutional powers to review 10 years of Donald Trump’s financial records. In addition, U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta declined to stay that decision pending Trump’s appeal because he doesn’t think they have a case that could prevail if appealed.

As of this morning, Trump’s lawyers have formally submitted their appeal of Judge Amit Mehta’s ruling that requires his accounting firm turn over his personal financial records to the House. The best part about the appeal is that the chief judge of that court is none other than Merrick Garland. Yes, THAT Merrick Garland.

It is worth noting that the three judges to hear the appeal will be randomly assigned, so Garland might not hear the appeal. If the decision of the judges ends up being reviewed by the full court then Garland will definitely have a hand in the process. Regardless, having witnessed one of their own fall victim to the hyper-partisan destruction of norms and traditions that pretty much brought Trump to the White House, the judges that are assigned will most likely have some thoughts about the situation.

Marco Rubio defending himself again against claims he used to have principles

By: TDF Staff

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, like so many other Republicans with high ambitions, spends the majority of his days blurting our to any microphone in range of his lofty principles and ideals. Never does it ever amount to much of anything. What he says typically is contradictory to his own prior legislative votes and activities. He always ends up solidifying the view that he is a shell of the person he tried to make himself look like during that train-wreck of a presidential campaign he had a few years back.

Senator Rubio is now at it again in the wake of the push to hold William Barr in contempt for lying during his appearance last week in front of Congress. Back when the president was Barack Obama and the scandal du jour was something called Fast and Furious, Rubio seemed principled.

“I think it is outrageous that any attorney general, Republican or Democrat, refused to comply with Congress’ constitutional right to hold them accountable and the Justice Department accountable. I would say that if this was a Republican.”

JUST KIDDING!! He would not say that if this was a Republican. 

When the drums stated pounding last week and Dems started calling to hold Barr in contempt for his lies, Rubio responded on Twitter by making it clear that, when he was faking principles in 2012, he was only talking about a certain kind of contempt of Congress, and a certain version of Congress’s constitutional right, and a certain subset of “accountable.”

“If like Eric Holder William Barr ever authorizes a program like #FastandFurious that gives drug dealers guns subsequently used to kill a U.S. agent,lies about it & then refuses to provide Congress information, he should resign.”

Ah, ok. It was a non-transferable deal. Only valid while Barack Obama was President. Ok, Marco. Now, please stop talking in public for a while. Be spineless in the privacy of your own home.

Seriously, Florida. Stop voting for this guy.

Trump vetoed bill ending US military assistance to war in Yemen

By: TDF Editorial Team

President Trump this evening vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end the US military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Congress had voted for the first time earlier in April to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try and halt the US involvement in this foreign conflict. This veto, the second one in Trump’s time as President, was not unexpected. Congress doesn’t have the votes to override the veto.

Congress has shown to be uncomfortable with the close relationship Trump has forged with Saudi Arabia as he tries to keep the isolation of Iran one of his top priorities. The US provides billions of dollars of weaponry to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against rebels backed by Iran in Yemen. Members of Congress are concerned about the thousands of civilian casualties since the conflict began back in 2014, many due to coalition airstrikes. Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, is on the brink of famine due to the medical care shortages due to the fighting.

Trump issued his first veto last month on immigration related legislation. He had declared a national emergency so he could use more money earmarked for other things to construct a border wall. Congress voted to block the emergency declaration and Trump proceeded to veto that measure.