The Roundup: May 30 – June 5
Yesterday, former Trump aide Hope Hicks failed to fully comply with a subpoena issued by Congress to provide documents and testimony about the work she did for the Trump administration.
She received direct instructions from the White House to defy the request.
Trump is determined to keep Hicks from cooperating with Congress because she’s the fourth most mentioned person in the Mueller report, and a central figure in the evidence that Trump obstructed the special counsel’s investigation. It’s testimony from actors like Hicks and former White House legal counsel Don McGahn that will illuminate the results of Mueller’s investigation and force a national conversation around Trump’s criminal activity.
But lawmakers are sending a strong signal they’ve had enough of Trump’s stonewalling.
This month, the number of lawmakers in favor of opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump, which would broaden Congress’s ability to request information from Hicks and others, skyrocketed. In April, fewer than 25 members of Congress supported impeachment hearings. That number has jumped to nearly 60.
And this week we’ve seen key Democratic leaders who were previously on the fence about impeachment proceedings — such as Harry Reid — come out in support of them.
Last week, Robert Mueller said publicly that it’s up to Congress to hold Trump accountable for the crimes outlined in the report. This week, many lawmakers demonstrated they intend to heed Mueller’s call to action, and we can expect to see more jump on board soon.
Read the top stories from this past week about the ongoing fight for the truth:
The Washington Post: White House instructs Hope Hicks, former McGahn aide not to comply with congressional subpoenas
The House Judiciary Committee issued summonses last month to Hicks, one of Trump’s closest aides, and to Donald McGahn’s staffer, Annie Donaldson, as part of its expansive probe into potential abuse of power, public corruption and obstruction. Both faced a Tuesday deadline to turn over documents, and have been subpoenaed to appear to testify later in June.
CNN: Why Hope Hicks and Don McGahn testimony is key
Standing alone, hearings will be insufficient if Congress’ goal is to ensure accountability from Trump and the White House. The most meaningful testimony would come not from outside experts but rather from McGahn, Hicks and others who witnessed Trump’s potentially obstructive acts firsthand.
The New York Times: House Democrats, Aiming to Reinvigorate Inquiries, Set Hearings and Contempt Votes
House Democrats said they would vote next week to hold Attorney General William P. Barr and the former White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II in contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas related to Mueller’s report. The twin announcements were the party’s latest attempts to kick-start stalled investigations into accusations of malfeasance by Trump and his administration and to try to force key witnesses resisting their oversight demands into compliance.
The New York Times: Full List—Who Supports an Impeachment Inquiry Against Trump?
Nearly 60 House Democrats now support an impeachment inquiry against Trump, according to a New York Times survey.
USA Today: Harry Reid changes opinion, says Pelosi-led House should open Trump impeachment inquiry
Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who as recently as last month cautioned Democrats about the perils of pursuing Trump’s impeachment, now says “It’s not the right thing to do nothing.”
Business Insider: Congress is using the Watergate playbook to take on Trump and drum up support for his impeachment
When Trump fired FBI director James Comey two years ago, lawmakers and historians said the move echoed the beginnings of the Watergate scandal. Now, Congress is taking a page out of the Watergate playbook too. They’ve planned a series of televised hearings to educate viewers on Mueller’s findings and drum up support for Trump’s impeachment.
The Washington Post: Will support grow for impeaching Trump? Data on Nixon offers a clue.
In early 1973, Gallup polling showed that only 19%of Americans supported removing Nixon. By the summer of 1974, when Nixon resigned, support had climbed to the high 50s — which illustrates that on impeachment, public opinion can be moved in a big way.
Vox: The full House vote on contempt of Congress and what it means for William Barr, explained
House Democrats are upping the ante in their attempt to get special counsel Robert Mueller’s full, unredacted report by threatening to hold at least two Trump administration officials in contempt of Congress. The full House will hold a vote next Tuesday on whether to hold both Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress.
Vanity Fair: Trump’s Attorney General is Gaslighting Robert Mueller
In his first public remarks since taking the helm of the Russia investigation, Mueller said in no uncertain terms that the reason his team didn’t charge Trump with a crime is because they didn’t view it as a legal option. And yet, William Barr is continuing to twist Mueller’s words. In an interview Friday morning with CBS News, Barr suggested that, due to a lack of evidence, Mueller simply couldn’t make up his mind about charges.
AP News: Sources: Manafort nearing transfer to NYC to face state case
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, who is already behind bars in Pennsylvania on a federal conviction, is close to being transferred into custody in New York City. According to sources, Manafort could be arraigned on the state charges and then begin a stay at the city’s notorious jail complex on Rikers Island until the case is resolved.
Axios: Kushner unsure whether he’d alert FBI if Russians request another meeting
On “Axios on HBO,” Jared Kushner said he doesn’t know whether he’d call the FBI if he were to receive an email today like the one before the campaign’s Trump Tower meeting, which had the subject line: “Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.”
Mother Jones: Trump Admits Russia Helped Him “Get Elected”
In a tweet, Trump publicly acknowledged for the first time that Russia helped him “get elected” in the 2016 presidential election, a stunning admission that came while he continued to insist special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was a “Witch Hunt Hoax.”