Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trump's Congressional Warriors-- Untouchable?


Trump has the worst and most incompetent cabinet of any American president. And the most corrupt. By far. The fish rots from the head, right? And his supporters in Congress! What a bunch! We've talked a lot about Devin Nunes here... but there are others just as bad. Kyle Cheney did a little round up for Politico readers Monday. Short version: Matt Gaetz (FL), Ron DeSantis (FL), Jim Jordan (OH) and Mark Meadows (NC). DeSantis is running for governor of Florida in November-- more on that below-- and the 3 others don't have serious challenges for re-election. Here's are 4 with the PVIs of their districts and the percentage of votes Hillary got in each:
Gaetz (FL-01) R+22 (28.2%)
DeSantis (FL-06) R+7 (39.9%)
Jordan (OH-04) R+14 (30.7%)
Meadows (NC-11) R+14 (34.0%)
Trump calls them his "warriors": a band of four House Republicans defending Trump with a relentless counterattack against the Justice Department’s Russia investigation that thrills the president even as it unsettles some House GOP colleagues who think they’re going too far.

This crew of hard-charging conservatives, whom Trump singled out by name in late April, have emerged as some of Washington’s most prominent Republicans, enjoying direct lines to the Trump White House and flights on Air Force One.

"Look, we have some absolute warriors," Trump told Fox News on April 26 when asked about his relationship with Congress, name-checking "Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz and [Ron] DeSantis.”

Their emergence underscores a reality of the Trump era: power and prominence on Capitol Hill these days often flow not to the most senior lawmakers but to Republicans who display allegiance to a president who prizes loyalty. None of the four holds a powerful committee chairmanship, but they have something just as important: regular airtime on Fox News. And their pressure campaign against the Justice Department and FBI has put Mueller’s boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on the defensive.

The scorched-earth approach by the relatively junior members-- only Jordan has served more than three terms-- is in some ways reminiscent of the way a young GOP congressman named Newt Gingrich, joined by a group of back bench House colleagues, shocked Washington in the mid-1980s with their theatrical attacks on Democratic leaders.

It has similarly enraged liberals today, who say that Trump’s “warriors” care only about protecting the president-- and may even be conspiring with him to create a pretext for firing Rosenstein.

On Thursday, the left-leaning public watchdog group Democracy21 accused Meadows and Jordan of “colluding to obstruct and potentially give Trump control over” Mueller’s probe. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, says they are “trying to sabotage” Mueller, and “want to force a confrontation with the Deputy Attorney General.”

It all helps explain why Gaetz, a 35-year-old freshman from Florida, routinely gets calls from the president, including critiques of his Fox News appearances, and has flown at least twice on Air Force One. In a November House floor speech, Gaetz called on Mueller to resign, warning of the “risk of a coup d'état in this country if we allow an unaccountable person with no oversight to undermine the duly-elected president of the United States.”

The 39-year-old DeSantis, who last week called for criminal investigations of former FBI director James Comey and his former deputy Andrew McCabe, won Trump’s early endorsement in Florida’s contested GOP primary for governor. He has also proposed cutting off funding for Mueller’s investigation.

Meadows, 58, a North Carolinian who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus, speaks with Trump on a regular basis and has been floated as a potential successor for the beleaguered White House chief of staff, John Kelly.

He and Jordan, who is vice chairman of the Freedom Caucus, have led the charge against Rod Rosenstein, against whom they have drafted articles of impeachment in response to what they call Rosenstein’s unacceptable delays in turning over documents related both to Mueller’s investigation-- as well as the 2016 FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, which they suspect should have resulted in criminal action against Clinton. The two men even visited the Justice Department last month for a tense face-to-face meeting in which they demanded a faster response to their document requests.

...Jordan, a 54-year-old fifth-term congressman from Ohio who has been particularly loyal to Trump-- he drew national attention last month for telling CNN he has never heard the president lie-- said he believes the Justice Department is biased against the president and has lost sight of the principle of “equal treatment under the law."... The four House Republicans have taken the lead on Russia in the weeks since the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by the Trump-friendly Rep. Devin Nunes, wrapped up its probe into Russian election interference, which featured aggressive GOP questioning of the Justice Department.

Jordan, Gaetz and DeSantis sit on the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Justice Department. Meadows, Jordan and DeSantis are also on the House Oversight Committee, which has broad authority to question the executive branch and has probed the FBI's handling of the 2016 Clinton investigation and other decision-making by the bureau as the Trump-Russia probe was launched.

...Gaetz and his allies said they are stepping up the pressure now, for fear that Justice Department officials like Rosenstein are playing a long game, hoping that-- with midterm elections coming and Republicans lagging in the polls-- time is on their side.

"I worry that there may be some people at the Department of Justice and the FBI who think they can wait us out, who think that Democrats will retake the majority and that oversight will fizzle to a burnt ember," he said. "We’ve got to keep the fire going now.”
Gaetz has raised $597,891 and his Democratic opponent, Phil Ehr has raised $127,253. Jordan has raised $327,443 and his Democratic opponent, Janet Garrett has raised $57,510. And Meadows has raised $519,911 and his likeliest Democratic opponent, Scott Donaldson, has raised $47,853.

Goal ThermometerThe most likely of the quarter to suffer at the hands of voters for his extremism is DeSantis, the far right candidate for Florida governor. It's an open seat and DeSantis has to first face a crowded primary including establishment Republican Adam Putnam. Most polls show Putnam beating DeSantis, even though Trump has endorsed DeSantis, as have Sheldon Adelson the Mercers and neo-fascists Sean Hannity, David Bossie, Foster Friess and Mark Levin. Every poll shows evert Democrat beating DeSantis. Blue America has endorsed Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, easily the best of the Democratic field, and you can contribute to his very grassroots campaign at the ActBlue gubernatorial thermometer on the right.

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At 5:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This crew of hard-charging conservatives..."

They're Nazis. get it correct. They're vying for the same positions that Himmler and goering held.


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