To be fair, Rudy's already in a ridiculous amount of legal peril
In a letter, Giuliani’s attorney—who was dropped by his client shortly after said letter went out—said the subpoena was “overbroad, unduly burdensome, and seeks documents beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry.”
In addition to Giuliani, the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget faced a Tuesday deadline to produce documents that were requested in Democrats’ subpoenas. OMB said it would not be complying, but Pentagon chief Mark Esper has said he would turn over at least some documents that would help lawmakers better understand the role that the hold-up in security security aid played in Trumpworld’s campaign to pressure the Ukranians. “We will do everything we can to comply,” Esper told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday.
Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, faced a Tuesday request—not a subpoena—for documents illuminating his role in the Ukraine saga. But his office announced on Tuesday that it would not comply with any of the Democrats’ requests, casting their impeachment inquiry as illegitimate.
The moves echo past attempts from Trumpworld to stiff-arm subpoenas during the Mueller investigation, which prompted intense hand-wringing among House Democrats over how to respond. Ultimately, they did vote in June to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for ignoring subpoenas. These were largely symbolic votes, however, and their ramifications were murky at best, leaving Democrats struggling to explain their import to the public.
That frustration is clearly animating some lawmakers’ desire to reconsider ways to assert their punitive authority—including the avenue of inherent contempt, which empowers the legislative branch to take would-be witnesses into custody until they comply with duly issued congressional orders.
“This is another example of why the House needs to revisit inherent contempt,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) of Giuliani. “We need to enforce our own subpoenas. We can and we should.”
But others on Capitol Hill look back on those struggles and see a reason to simply move past it to focus on what they believe really matters. “If the administration, and the president’s private sector accomplices, are going to follow through on their promise not to comply with the investigation, including ignoring lawful subpoenas, and if the only recourse (court action) allows them to run out the clock on an active criminal scheme involving U.S. national security and elections, then the House has no choice but impeachment,” said a House Democratic aide.
Another House Democratic aide put it more bluntly: “They already have the Watergate tapes,” the aide said of the impeachment investigators, underscoring why the party was unlikely to pursue a punishment outside the normal legal system for those defying subpoenas.
For months, investigators looking into Rudy Giuliani's business dealings in Ukraine have dug into everything from possible financial entanglements with alleged corrupt Ukrainian figures to counterintelligence concerns raised by some of those business ties, according to people briefed on the matter.
The counterintelligence part of the investigation indicates that FBI and criminal prosecutors in Manhattan are looking at a broader set of issues related to Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, than has been previously reported.
Kenneth McCallion, a New York attorney, says that investigators first approached him earlier this year to ask about Giuliani's ties to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Giuliani associates indicted last week on campaign-finance related charges.
McCallion says FBI counterintelligence agents in February or March asked questions about some of Giuliani's Ukrainian business dealings.
The counterintelligence probe hinges in part on whether a foreign influence operation was trying to take advantage of Giuliani's business ties in Ukraine and with wealthy foreigners to make inroads with the White House, according to one person briefed on the matter.
"I was just asked whether I or any of my clients knew of any dealings that these two guys had with Giuliani," McCallion said. "They were on the radar with regard to possible counterintelligence issues."
The theory of "We have enough to impeach Trump" is nice, but it depends on Democrats actually drawing up articles and putting them to a vote. Doing that will almost certainly trigger a House GOP counterattack.
Meanwhile, an official impeachment inquiry vote would open the door to House Republicans to start issuing subpoenas
and that would mean weeks, if not months
of endless hearings on Hunter Biden, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Linda Page, James Comey, Jim Clapper, maybe even Robert Mueller.
Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is signaling that political reality means he'll actually have a Senate trial after all
. A very short one, anyway.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Senate Republicans on Wednesday that he expects Speaker Nancy Pelosi to approve articles of impeachment as early as Thanksgiving, according to five people familiar with Wednesday’s party lunch. McConnell then surmised that the Senate could deal with the trial by Christmas, concluding the impeachment proceedings before the Democratic presidential primaries begin.
While they said there’s no deal between Pelosi and McConnell, Republican senators believe it’s in both parties’ interest to move quickly.
“He thinks Democrats are of the same mind: let’s not drag this out for five weeks,” said one attendee of the lunch.
McConnell’s comments and PowerPoint presentation on Wednesday were in part an acknowledgment that impeachment is exceedingly likely to come to the Senate, and much of the discussion centered on the ins and outs of Senate procedure.
McConnell told senators they would be unable to speak during the trial and that only the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the president’s defenders and the House managers could talk, said one person familiar with the meeting.
A spokesman for McConnell did not respond to an immediate request for comment.
That McConnell clearly doesn't share the White House opinion that the impeachment proceedings are "illegitimate" is a major tell, but I still expect a 100% party line vote on each article and Trump's eventual acquittal, followed by eleven months of THEY TRIED TO IMPEACH YOU
But then again...