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Trump’s attempts at stonewalling congressional oversight have not stopped the House Judiciary Committee.

The committee on Tuesday subpoenaed both former White House communications director Hope Hicks and former White House deputy counsel Annie Donaldson, ordering both to hand over documents and appear before the Judiciary Committee to testify about instances in which they witnessed Trump obstructing justice.

The two women both play a significant role in the obstruction section of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Hicks testified in the report about her role in the response to the now infamous Trump Tower meeting — in which Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former campaign chairman turned convicted felon Paul Manafort all met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

Hicks told Mueller’s team that she was “shocked” by the emails Trump Jr. had exchanged with an intermediary for the Kremlin-connected lawyer, saying the emails “looked really bad” and urging Trump and Trump Jr. to release the emails to the public to “get in front of the story.”

Trump, however, thwarted that plan.

“Hicks warned the President that the emails were ‘really bad’ and the story would be ‘massive’ when it broke, but the President was insistent that he did not want to talk about it and they should not go to the press,” Mueller wrote in his report.

Donaldson — who served as former White House counsel Don McGahn’s chief of staff — also appears in the obstruction of justice chapter of Mueller’s report. She took notes about Trump’s comments when former FBI Director James Comey was fired and when Mueller was appointed to be special counsel.

On May 9, 2017, the day Trump fired Comey, Donaldson wrote in a note, “is this the beginning of the end?” — which Mueller wrote in a footnote of the report meant that she “was worried that the decision to terminate Comey and the manner in which it was carried out would be the end of the presidency.”

The subpoenas come the same day that McGahn, Donaldson’s former boss, refused to comply with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena to testify about the obstructive acts McGahn witnessed Trump committing. McGahn ignored the subpoena on the orders of Trump, who concocted a faulty legal rationale to claim executive privilege and squash McGahn’s public testimony.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said that he won’t let Trump’s attempts to dodge oversight stop his committee’s work.

“As I said earlier today, the Judiciary Committee’s investigation into obstruction of justice, public corruption, and abuse of power by President Trump and his Administration will continue,” Nadler said in a statement. “I have issued these subpoenas today to two critical witnesses who have worked closely with the President. We are seeking the information in order to conduct proper oversight, consider potential legislation and perform our constitutional duties.”

Judging by Trump’s past behavior, he is likely to try to suppress the testimony of both Hicks and Donaldson.

And doing so is only going to make calls for impeachment proceedings to grow.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)


Twitter has restricted access to a tweet posted Monday by Rep. Matt Gaetz, in which the Florida Republican called for what commenters described as extrajudicial killings of protesters.

"Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?" Gaetz tweeted, joining Donald Trump and other Republicans in blaming anti-fascists for the violence across the country at protests over the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for eight minutes, even as Floyd said he could not breathe. Autopsies have found that Floyd died of asphyxia.While Gaetz's tweet is still up, users have to click on it to see its contents. It's covered by a box that reads, "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."

Democratic lawmakers called out Gaetz in response to the tweet and urged Twitter to remove it from the social media platform.

"Take the Gaetz tweet down right now @twitter. RIGHT NOW," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted Monday night. "The survivors of mass shootings are lighting up my phone. They are scared to death this will inspire someone to start shooting into a crowd tonight. They are right."

After Twitter took action against his tweet, Gaetz said, "Their warning is my badge of honor."

"Antifa is a terrorist organization, encouraging riots that hurt Americans. Our government should hunt them down. Twitter should stop enabling them. I'll keep saying it," Gaetz said in a tweet that he pinned to the top of his profile page.

Donald Trump has demanded that the antifa movement be labeled a domestic terrorist organization.

However, as factcheck.org noted, "There is no such official federal designation for domestic terrorism organizations." Even if such a designation existed, the site said, it would be "difficult or questionable" to categorize antifa in that manner because it is not an organized group with a hierarchy and leadership.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.