These are a couple of stories that I came across and marked for a possible post….they never made it that far…..events moved quickly and made them a moot point…..
First thought is the ever popular NRA…popular with the GOP who gets a regular paycheck from the lobbying group……
It appears as if the NRA knew they were being played by the Russian agent…..
Top officials at the National Rifle Association knew Russians were using their ties to the gun rights group to try to bolster their status with lawmakers or the winner of the 2016 presidential election, a new report from Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee shows.In 2015, Russian national Maria Butina, who last year pleaded guilty to conspiracy as an unregistered foreign agent, tapped her political operative boyfriend Paul Erickson to help her convince a top NRA official to come to Moscow, according to the committee report made public Friday.“Russia believes that high level contacts with the NRA might be the BEST means of neutral introduction to either the next American President OR to a meaningful re-set in relations with the Congress under a (God forbid) President Clinton,” Erickson, a GOP political operative wrote to Peter Brownell, the chief executive of a firearm accessories company and, at the time, the incoming president of the NRA. “This simple good will trip would have enormous diplomatic consequences for a future U.S. / Russia bilateral relationship to the world.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was one of the people listening in on President Trump’s call to Ukraine’s president in July—the call that prompted the House to begin an impeachment inquiry. A senior State Department official confirmed Pompeo’s involvement on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reports. Pompeo had said that he opposed releasing the transcript of Trump’s conversation with President Volodymy Zelensky. He has since said the decision is up to the White House.Pompeo had said he hadn’t read the whistleblower complaint in full about the phone call, and not answered specific questions about the conversation. As far as he knew, Pompeo said, per CNN, State Department officials had acted properly. Three House committees have issued subpoenas to Pompeo for documents related to the inquiry. He faces a deadline of Friday to turn them over
the House panels conducting the impeachment inquiry requested that five current and former State Department officials appear this week and next for depositions. On Tuesday, Mike Pompeo made clear that won’t happen, the Washington Post reports. The secretary of state sent a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (Pompeo posted the letter in full on Twitter) outlining a number of “serious substantive and procedural deficiencies” in the request, which he called nothing more than “an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly, the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.” He faulted the committee for not providing the five enough time to prepare and said the panels are trying to block State Department counsel from coming with them.He also noted the five weren’t issued subpoenas, and “we are not aware of any other authority by which the committee could compel appearance at a depositions”; therefore, the scheduled depositions “could only be read as a request for a voluntary appearance.” The officials requested have all somehow been involved in US-Ukraine relations: Marie Yovanovitch, former ambassador to Ukraine; Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine; Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent; US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland; and State Department Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl. Later Tuesday, CNN reports, the chairmen of the three committees requesting the depositions issued a statement warning Pompeo that “any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress … is illegal.” The AP reports that Volker, who resigned last week, has agreed to talk to the committees behind closed doors this week and Yovanovitch will appear Oct. 11
A little more than a week after saying he had just been handed “a report about a IC whistle-blower complaint, none of which I’ve seen,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Wednesday that he was on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that prompted the complaint and is now the subject of an impeachment inquiry. “I was on the call,” Pompeo said from Rome, adding the US policy had been about helping rid Ukraine of corruption, per the New York Times. “We will continue to try to drive those set of outcomes,” he said when asked if he had any concerns about the call, per CNN.Pompeo then elaborated on a Tuesday letter in which he accused Democrats of attempting to intimidate officials asked to appear for depositions. “They contacted State Department employees directly, told them not to contact legal counsel at the State Department,” he said, claiming the demands “deeply violate fundamental principles of separation of powers.” Late Tuesday, however, the chairmen of three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry said Pompeo “appears to have an obvious conflict of interest” and “should immediately cease intimidating Department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president,” per Bloomberg and the Hill.
Not for the first time, President Trump is falsely claiming a coup against him. “As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP,” the president tweeted late Tuesday. Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro had suggested the same hours earlier, telling Fox Business that the impeachment inquiry was “nothing less than an attempted coup d’état,” reports the Hill.Trump also claimed a failed coup in April, reports USA Today. “They tried for a coup, it didn’t work out so well,” he said of the Mueller report at the NRA’s annual meeting. Trump is likely to expand on his defense at a Wednesday press conference. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff will jointly hold one of their own, per NBC News, while the State Department’s inspector general will brief congressional committees on documents related to the Ukraine scandal.