The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

On ABC’s This Week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff confirmed a grim report that surface last week: The nation’s top intelligence officials are pushing Congress to cancel their usual annual testimony to Congress on the nation’s top national security threats because they don’t want to publicly contradict Donald Trump’s false intelligence claims.

“Unfortunately, I think those reports are all too accurate. The intelligence community is reluctant to have an open hearing, something that we had done every year prior to the Trump administration, because they’re worried about angering the president,” Schiff responded.

It isn’t an idle concern, from intelligence officials. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was forced out of his position shortly after confirming to Congress that despite Trump’s claims to the contrary, the U.S. had no evidence Iran had an active nuclear weapons program. Trump had a public meltdown, which is a now-daily occurrence, and Coats was given the boot; in the latest degradation of this nation into a kleptocratic and autocratic state, government officials are now reluctant to testify in public about the true dangers facing the nation because if their pronouncements do not match Dear Leader’s political claims, Dear Leader will mark them as personal enemies.

Schiff’s follow-up, if possible, sounded worse: He also asserted that this nation’s intelligence agencies are now also withholding documents pertaining to the impeachment charges now filed against Trump.

“And I’ll say something even more concerning to me, and that is the intelligence community is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine. The NSA, in particular, is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight responsibilities on Ukraine, but also withholding documents potentially relevant that the senators might want to see during the trial. There are signs that the CIA may be on the same tragic course.”

While Rep. Schiff was intentionally opaque on what Ukraine-related documents were being withheld from lawmakers, there does seem to be a new effort to withhold documents that the agencies had originally been expected to produce. Politico reports an unnamed Intelligence Committee “official” as saying: “Both the NSA and CIA initially pledged cooperation, and it appears now that the White House has interceded before production of documents could begin.”

We have long been told that Congress had, in cases of impeachment, necessarily sweeping oversight powers. Again we are learning that these powers can simply be taken away, so long as sufficient numbers in the president’s own party are willing to sign their own names to that act.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

President Joe Biden

A deadly plague continues to rage across America, and neither vaccines nor face masks nor herd immunity can stop it. The epidemic of drug overdose deaths has taken more lives than COVID-19 and is more intractable. But the Biden administration is showing a welcome openness to a new strategy.

That approach is known broadly as "harm reduction." The idea is that drug abuse should be regarded as a public health problem, not a crime or a sin. Prohibiting and punishing drug use doesn't work. A better option is helping illicit users modify their behavior to reduce their risks.

Keep reading... Show less

Newt Gingrich

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet. This article was first published on The Hartmann Report.

Trump just unleashed an unhinged, barely coherent rant about the possibility President Biden might reveal what was going on in the White House on January 6, the day Trump tried to finally end, once and for all, any possibility of governmental oversight of his ongoing criminal career. He believed he could follow in the footsteps of grifters before him who've taken control of and then drained dry countries from Hungary to Russia, Brazil to Turkey and The Philippines.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}