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

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, had an ominous warning for Democrats on Thursday.

“Nancy Pelosi is marching members of her caucus off the plank and into the abyss,” he said in a tweet. “Impeachment is killing her freshman members and polling proves it.”

He added: “Say goodbye to your majority, Nancy!”

But even with a cursory inspection, observers quickly pointed out that his scary poll numbers were nothing of the sort for Democrats.

The data, shared on Twitter, should be treated with caution, as any campaign’s numbers demand. But according to the Trump team’s polling, Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma’s Fifth District faces headwinds in her re-election. The poll said 49 percent of 300 likely voters polled in her district wanted to elect a Republican. Only 42 percent want a Democrat. Even worse seeming for Horn, only 37 percent said she deserved re-election, while 49 percent said they wanted “someone else.”

Again, these poll numbers should be treated skeptically, given the source. But considering the source, the following numbers don’t look good for Trump and the GOP at all. In this GOP-leaning district, 45 percent of people favored impeaching Trump, while 52 percent of voters oppose it. And only 36 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for Horn’s re-election if she were to vote for Trump’s impeachment. Another 28 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for her. It’s hard to say what these numbers really mean, because many of the people who say they would be less likely to vote for her if she votes for impeachment may have never intended to vote for her anyway, and vice versa.

But note that it actually seems, according to this poll, that impeachment itself is more popular than the candidate herself. That seems to suggest there’s little downside for her to support it, if she thinks it’s otherwise warranted.

“All caveats about this polling aside, it shows impeachment running eight points ahead of the incumbent congresswoman. 45 percent support in a heavily pro-Trump district,” noted Politico reporter Kyle Cheney of the numbers.

Vox’s Aaron Rupar similarly added: “OK-5 had been a Republican seat for 45 consecutive years before last year’s election, so the fact it’s even in play in 2020 is actually a sign of Trump’s weakness, not his strength.”

And Mike DeBonis, who covers Congress for the Washington Post, tweeted: “If you are telling Dem strategists that OK-05 (Trump+14, Romney+19) is 45 percent pro-impeach, I’m guessing they are going to feel pretty darn good about holding the majority.”

Cody Fenwick is a senior editor at AlterNet. He writes about politics, media and science. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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  • 1.Why did Trump choose to hide certain specific files and not others at Mar-a-Lago? What were the criteria that Trump used to keep some files concealed and not others? Who selected those files? Did Trump consult or direct anyone in his selection of secret files? Trump was notorious for being too impatient to read his briefing papers, even after they had been drastically shortened and simplified. Is there the slightest evidence that he spirited these papers away so that he could consult or study them? Who besides Trump knew of the presence of the files he had concealed at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 2. Mar-a-Lago has an infamous reputation for being open to penetration even by foreign spies. In 2019, the FBI arrested a Chinese woman who had entered the property with electronic devices. She was convicted of trespassing, lying to the Secret Service, and sentenced and served eight-months in a federal prison, before being deported to China. Have other individuals with possible links to foreign intelligence operations been present at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 3. Did members of Trump's Secret Service detail have knowledge of his secret storage of the files at Mar-a-Lago? What was the relationship of the Secret Service detail to the FBI? Did the Secret Service, or any agent, disclose information about the files to the FBI?
  • 4. Trump's designated representatives to the National Archives are Kash Patel and John Solomon, co-conspirators in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, the Ukraine missiles-for-political dirt scandal that led to the first impeachment in 2019, and the coup of 2020. Neither has any professional background in handling archival materials. Patel, a die-hard Trump loyalist whose last job in the administration was as chief of staff to the Acting Secretary of Defense, was supposedly involved in Trump’s “declassification” of some files. Patel has stated, “Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves."
  • The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified.” If Pat Cipollone, the White House legal counsel, did not “generate the paperwork,” was he or anyone on his staff aware at all of the declassifications? The White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons resigned his post in December 2020. Did his successor, who held the position for a month, while Trump was consumed with plotting his coup, ever review the material found in Trump’s concealed files for declassification? Or did Patel review the material? Can Patel name any individual who properly reviewed the supposed declassification?
  • 5. Why did Trump keep his pardon of Roger Stone among his secret files? Was it somehow to maintain leverage over Stone? What would that leverage be? Would it involve Stone's role as a conduit with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during the coup? Or is there another pardon in Trump’s files for Stone, a secret pardon for his activities in the January 6th insurrection? Because of the sweeping nature of the pardon clause, pardons can remain undisclosed (until needed). Pardons are self-executing, require no justification and are not subject to court review beyond the fact of their timely execution. In other words, a court may verify the pardon was valid in time but has no power to review appropriateness. A pardon could even be oral but would need to be verifiable by a witness. Do the files contain secret pardons for Trump himself, members of his family, members of the Congress, and other co-conspirators?
  • 6.Was the FBI warrant obtained to block the imminent circulation or sale of information in the files to foreign powers? Does the affidavit of the informant at Mar-a-Lago, which has not been released, provide information about Trump’s monetization that required urgency in executing the warrant? Did Trump monetize information in any of the files? How? With whom? Any foreign power or entity? Was the Saudi payment from its sovereign wealth fund for the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club for a service that Trump rendered, an exchange of anything of value or information that was in the files? If it involved information in the files was it about nuclear programs? Was it about the nuclear program of Israel? How much exactly was the Saudi payment for the golf tournament? The Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave Jared Kushner and former Trump Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin $2 billion for their startup hedge fund, Affinity Partners. Do the Saudis regard that investment as partial payment for Trump’s transfer of nuclear information? Were Kushner or Mnuchin aware of the secret files at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 7.Did Trump destroy any of the files? If so, when? Did those files contain incriminating information? Did he destroy any files after he received the June subpoena?
  • 8.Were any of the secrets of our allies compromised? Has the U.S. government provided an inventory of breaches or potential breaches to our allies?
  • 9.Does the resort maintain a copying machine near the classified documents that Trump hid? Were any of the documents copied or scanned? Are Trump’s documents at Mar-a-Lago originals or copies? Were any copies shown or given to anyone?
  • 10.Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb has revealed that a video surveillance system covers the places where Trump hid the files at Mar-a-Lago, and that the system is connected to a system at his other residences at the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York City. According to Bobb, Trump and members of his family observed the FBI search and seizure of his files at Mar-a-Lago, “actually able to see the whole thing” through their surveillance system. Who has that surveillance system recorded entering the rooms where the files were kept?

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