Do what?

So I’m just casually reading Washington Post tonight and start reading Dana Milbank‘s latest column. You know I’m a lawyer right? So anyway I’m reading Dana’s column and come across this interesting paragraph:

Charles Kupperman, Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, blatantly defied a congressional subpoena Monday, standing up lawmakers who had come to hear his deposition. Instead, he filed a lawsuit saying Trump’s “assertion of immunity against congressional process may override the House subpoena.” Kupperman, the lawsuit said, “is aware of no controlling judicial authority definitively establishing which branch’s command should prevail.”

Did I mention I’m a lawyer? Thought so. Well, as a lawyer, I read that and really thought “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Clearly not the work of a Lawrence Tribe.

So what am I missing here?


30 thoughts on “Do what?”

  1. pogo estimado abogado, I heard the reason for the lawsuit was to clear the way for Bolton whom Kupp’s lawyer  also represents. helps to give the ‘stash some cover with the conservatives that otherwise would consider john a ratfink.  purely speculative tho’

  2. pogo,  being an old ‘bama boy yourself, ya think jeff will make a comeback?


    Former attorney general Jeff Sessions of Alabama is weighing a bid for his old U.S. Senate seat, meeting with consultants, retired senators and allies in recent weeks to plot out a potential 2020 campaign, three people familiar with the meetings said.
    Sessions, whose turbulent two-year stint in the administration ended when he was forced out by President Trump last November, would enter with strong name recognition and deep institutional ties in the state and elsewhere. He held the seat for decades before he became Trump’s first attorney general.
    But it would likely infuriate Trump, who attacked Sessions dozens of times for recusing himself from the Russia probe led by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and occasionally still complains about the former attorney general.


  3. via msn:

    (Bloomberg) — A former reality-TV star who claims Donald Trump forcibly kissed and groped her before he was president reached an agreement with the Trump Organization to unseal nine more pages of documents that she says corroborate her story.
    Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump’s “Apprentice,” last week asked a New York judge to nullify the president’s assertion of confidentiality over the papers. But on Monday, the parties agreed that Trump will now do so voluntarily.
    The president’s lawyers had attempted to keep the pages secret because the documents reveal in “striking detail” the strength of her story, Zervos claimed, including emails in which a meeting between Trump and Zervos was arranged.
    Zervos, who met with Trump in hopes of securing a job after her TV appearance in 2005, is one of more than a dozen women who’ve come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct. Trump has denied the claims.
    The Trump Organization had argued the pages shouldn’t be made public because they include Trump’s old cell-phone number. Mariann Wang, Zervos’s lawyer, had called that argument “absurd” because Trump no longer uses the number.
    Zervos has previously signaled she wants to depose Trump under oath. In her lawsuit, she claims that Trump defamed her in 2016 when he said she lied about their alleged encounters in Trump Tower in New York and a bungalow in Beverly Hills.
    A New York appellate court in March ruled Zervos’s case can proceed, rejecting Trump’s argument that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution bars lawsuits against him while he’s president.
    The case is Zervos v. Trump, 150522/2017, New York Supreme Court, New York County.

  4. NYTimes:

    WASHINGTON — A White House national security official who is a decorated Iraq war veteran plans to tell House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he heard President Trump appeal to Ukraine’s president to investigate one of his leading political rivals, a request the aide considered so damaging to American interests that he reported it to a superior.
    Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman of the Army, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, twice registered internal objections about how Mr. Trump and his inner circle were treating Ukraine, out of what he called a “sense of duty,” he plans to tell the inquiry, according to a draft of his opening statement obtained by The New York Times.
    He will be the first White House official to testify who listened in on the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the center of the impeachment inquiry, in which Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
    “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine, Colonel Vindman said in his statement. “I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.
    Burisma Holdings is an energy company on whose board Mr. Biden’s son served while his father was vice president.
    “This would all undermine U.S. national security,” Colonel Vindman added, referring to Mr. Trump’s comments in the call.
    The colonel, a Ukrainian-American immigrant who received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq by a roadside bomb and whose statement is full of references to duty and patriotism, could be a more difficult witness to dismiss than his civilian counterparts.
    “I am a patriot,” Colonel Vindman plans to tell the investigators, “and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend our country irrespective of party or politics.”
    He was to be interviewed privately on Tuesday by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees, in defiance of a White House edict not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.
    The colonel, who is represented by Michael Volkov, a former federal prosecutor, declined to comment for this article.
    In his testimony, Colonel Vindman plans to say that he is not the whistle-blower who initially reported Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. But he will provide an account that corroborates and fleshes out crucial elements in that complaint, which prompted Democrats to open their impeachment investigation.
    “I did convey certain concerns internally to national security officials in accordance with my decades of experience and training, sense of duty, and obligation to operate within the chain of command,” he plans to say.


  5. Pogo….  since I don’t know legalese from legalese…  I can’t answer your question.
    I just want to say how amused I am about Pelosi finally going after a House vote for impeachment on Thursday.  So some unnamed Republican Senator likens the impeachment inquiries to a “nightmare”.  I can see Pelosi saying….  “you want a nightmare…  I’ll give you a nightmare…  I’ll call your bluff and set the House impeachment vote to be done on Halloween.”
    Touche Ms Pelosi!

  6. Well, three equal branches of govt seems to be the argument.    Our govt wouldn’t be able to do anything based on that argument.     There are processes and precedents have been set.   The not-so-great pumpkin is throwing everything he’s got at his problem.   He’s scared.   Happy Halloween 

  7. seems to me the likely court response is he must show up but free to assert executive privilege for individual questions, which Congress can then challenge in court

  8. Holding silent & silencing others makes one look guilty.   What, no Repugz saying that everything needs to be out in the open?

  9. Poobah, of course you are right.   I was bemused by the filing of a lawsuit asking a court to determine whether immunity against congressional process (1) exists and (2) would preclude testimony of a subpoenaed executive branch employee (past or present) – a court cannot answer whether questions asked and the assertion of executive privilege would apply to them until the questions are asked.  I liken the impeachment investigation to grand jury proceedings – where witnesses are subpoenaed and must show up, go in, be questioned and if there is any privilege to be asserted (usually the 5th) they can consult with their attorney – who must remain outside the grand jury room – then come back in and assert the privilege. The lawsuit should be interesting – right up until it is dismissed.

  10. Seems to me that since SFB is protecting himself from a punitive action by precluding his subordinates from bearing witness against him, that executive privilege is not an operative barrier to their incrimination. They, in fact, should state that they are exercising Mr Trump’s 5th Amendment rights, in absentia, against his self-incrimination. Their failure to exercise that relief for his benefit would otherwise place them at risk to contempt or even perjury charges by the congressional committee.

  11. I agree with Mr Pogo, a person should show up to plead immunity. A mere executive branch policy, such as executive immunity, ‘though courteously honored through the years by the legislative branch, is no challenge to the Constitutional clause on impeachment. Constitutionally the only persons granted even limited immunity are senators on their way to cast a vote in the Senate. 
    The Constitution in Article I empowers the House of Representatives to impeach, and to order the rules of the impeachment process when and as it deems necessary.
    Impeachment is analogous to a grand jury inquiry under the court rules (Article III). Can you imagine mobster frank costello sending his Fifth Amendment pleading to Congress by mail ? Just so, Kuppermann must show up to plead his executive immunity, unless the Congress courteously lets the matter pass.

  12. I believe that Mr Nadler and Ms Pelosi should have sent the Sgt at Arms to apprehend the first scofflaw who refused to honor the House subpoena. That would have focused the attention of subsequent ‘privileged executives’.

  13. I hope when it comes time for the Hse judi comm hearings under the coming impeach procedures both sides will have their best prosecutor type staff person do all the questioning instead of the usual chaotic circus of members showboating and very strict time limits set if they do let members speak prior to voting for articles. 

    best this be run like a well-oiled machine rather than like an old Rube Goldberg contraption

  14. recent tweets by george

    last night:

    Help!  An incompetent narcissistic psychopathic president is holding us hostage!  What are we going to do!  Sad! 

    Charlie Sykes



    ‘It feels like a horror movie’: Republicans feel anxious and adrift defending Trump 


    George Conway @gtconway3d

    Hint to GOP senators:  Article I, section 3, clause 6 of the Constitution gives you the keys to your own prison. USE THEM.


    this morning:

    To the members of Congress, public officials, and talking heads still defending @realDonaldTrump: Just stop. Especially the lying.  He has no defense. Don’t go down with him in history in disgrace. The sooner we get this over with and he’s gone, the better off everyone will be.

  15. Jim Jordan should be removed from office based on his hair and a lot of other terrible things as well but he has the weirdest comb-over ever — it’s more of a comb around

  16. resolution just introduced in House on procedures:

  17. ”Jim Jordan.. has the weirdest comb-over ever — it’s more of a comb around“ -KGC
    It’s an old hair-plug job.  
    Fire update from your next of the woods, if they still exist?

  18. We had hoped to go home today but there is supposed to be some big wind event tonight so we are still in SF and having a great time.  Hopefully if they can keep it from crossing 101 we can go home tomorrow

  19. Okay, let’s keep hoping that the wind decides to burn itself out on the correct side of 101.

  20. Glad to see you’re chillin’, KGC.
    I’m staunchly anti-wildfire: a lot of my favorite places of the west are getting razed by them.

  21. XR, your 121 & 126 posts are Right on. Of course you were agreeing with me in the 121, so I would think that wouldn’t I?  Regardless, I still think your take on executive privilege is exactly correct.

  22. The Supporters of the Turkish Genocide of Armenians (please note the vote of greg pence)

    AZ 4th R  Gosar, Paul

    AZ 5th R  Biggs, Andy

    CA 1st R  LaMalfa, Doug

    GA 3rd R  Ferguson, Drew

    GA 11th R  Loudermilk, Barry

    GA 12th R Allen, Rick

    IN 4th R Baird, James

    IN 6th R Pence, Greg

    KY 4th R Massie, Thomas

    LA 5th R  Abraham, Ralph

    MN 5th D  Omar, Ilhan

    MS 1st R  Kelly, Trent

    MS 3rd R  Guest, Michael

    OK 4th R  Cole, Tom

    SC 3rd R Duncan, Jeff

    SC 5th R  Norman, Ralph

    ilhan omar must be the face of the new ripuplikkkan party

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