What’s Your Defense and Who’s Your Lawyer? Please Respond Promptly. Signed: Love and Kisses, Jerry Nadler

Yesterday, Rep. Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote to Orange Man:

Earlier this week, Chairman Schiff announced that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) is “preparing a report summarizing the evidence we have found this far, which will be transmitted to the Judiciary Committee soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess.” That report will describe, among other things, “a months-long effort in which President Trump again sought foreign interference in our elections for his personal and political benefit at the expense of our national interest” and “an unprecedented campaign of obstruction in an effort to prevent the Committees from obtaining documentary evidence and testimony.” As you are also aware, the Judiciary Committee has been engaged in an investigation concerning allegations that you may have engaged in acts of obstruction of justice, as detailed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. For detailed discussion of the scope of the impeachment inquiry, I refer you to the report accompanying House Resolution 660.

In anticipation of our consideration of these matters, I am writing to determine if your counsel will seek to exercise the specific privileges set forth in the Judiciary Committee’s Impeachment Procedures adopted pursuant to H. Res. 660 and participate in the upcoming impeachment proceedings. In particular, please provide the Committee with notice of whether your counsel intends to participate, specifying which of the privileges your counsel seeks to exercise, no later than 5:00 pm on December 6, 2019.

I look forward to your prompt response.

The Party at the End of the World

Slate informs us that

CBS reported Monday that Caliburn International, a for-profit company that holds federal contracts to operate detention facilities for undocumented children, had booked a holiday party at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia. The company’s board of directors includes former Homeland Security secretary and White House chief of staff John Kelly, who helped implement the administration’s family-separation policy. Caliburn made plans to hold the party at a different venue after CBS’s report was published.

Calling Paris
Come in London
Come in New York
Hello Rio
The bad news is the world is ending
The good news is there’s a party
But you better get here quick

When you feel like a written off actor on Deadwood
About to get fed to the pigs
When that preacher’s bus from hell
Blastin’ just cowbell
Parks itself in front of your digs

There’s a place you can go called Tierra Del Feugo
Down in the Southern Hemisphere
It’s kinda Troy without Helen
Past the Straits of Magellan
Things are always looking up down here
 

It seems like I’ve run out of reasons to be here
So I’m just gonna steal from myself
If your attitude’s appalling
There’s a latitude that’s calling
Get yourself past that continental shelf

Now the band that we hired
Is playing quite inspired
Singing Eskimos and eunuchs from Bangkok
And this location’s so nice
We’ll never run out of ice
‘Cause Antarctica’s just around the block

And there’s a party at the end of the world (end of the world)
Where the locals do the tango twirl (tango twirl)
Now don’t make that big mistaica
And wind up with Miss Jamaica
At the party at the end of world

Flying machines, yellow submarines
French girls in cowboy decor- “D’accord”
RSVP isn’t needed you see
And they all just be screaming for more-AMOUR

Now in case you hadn’t heard
Things are getting quite absurd
No one really shocks us that’s for sure
Roadside bombers and tsunamis
 

But I’ve spoken to the yogis
And had meetings with my roadies
Who tell me that arrangements are complete
Just below the “Roaring forties”
I am going to fly some sorties
So you best reserve that cherished window seat

To the party at the end of the world (end of the world)
Where the locals do that tango twirl (tango twirl)
I don’t care about “the Rapture”
When there’s native girls to capture
There’s a party at the end of the world

Who cares if there’s no playa
We’ll be rocking in Ushuaia
At the party at the end
You surely must attend
The party at the end of the world

Ma! Ma! Where’s My Pa? Gone to Downing Street, Haw, Haw, Haw!

Washington Post, How many children does Boris Johnson have? The British prime minister won’t say

But just how many children does the prime minister have? Johnson doesn’t want to say.

Appearing on British radio station LBC on Friday, Johnson was confronted by an angry listener who had called the show to reference his 1995 article for the Spectator. The caller, identified as “Ruth,” told the prime minister: “I don’t appreciate what you’ve said about single mothers,” before adding: “Why are you happy to criticize people like me when you refuse to discuss your family?”

Johnson, who has been married twice, has four children — two daughters and two sons — with his most recent ex-wife, Marina Wheeler, who he separated from in 2018. Rumors have long swirled in Britain that Johnson has a fifth child, a daughter, from an affair. Johnson’s personal life has often hit the headlines in Britain, with the 55-year-old frequently being accused of adultery during his 25-year marriage. “Boris Johnson booted out by wife Marina after she accused him of cheating AGAIN,” wrote the Sun in September 2018.

“Please Bear with Us as We Move Through this Moment in Time”: A Message from the Man Who Used to be Secretary of the Navy

Richard Spencer writes  in the Washington Post,

The case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was charged with multiple war crimes before being convicted of a single lesser charge earlier this year, was troubling enough before things became even more troubling over the past few weeks. The trail of events that led to me being fired as secretary of the Navy is marked with lessons for me and for the nation.

It is highly irregular for a secretary to become deeply involved in most personnel matters. Normally, military justice works best when senior leadership stays far away. A system that prevents command influence is what separates our armed forces from others. Our system of military justice has helped build the world’s most powerful navy; good leaders get promoted, bad ones get moved out, and criminals are punished.

In combat zones, the stakes are even higher. We train our forces to be both disciplined and lethal. We strive to use proportional force, protect civilians and treat detainees fairly. Ethical conduct is what sets our military apart. I have believed that every day since joining the Marine Corps in 1976.

We are effective overseas not because we have the best equipment but because we are professionals. Our troops are held to the highest standards. We expect those who lead our forces to exercise excellent judgment. The soldiers and sailors they lead must be able to count on that.

Earlier this year, Gallagher was formally charged with more than a dozen criminal acts, including premeditated murder, which occurred during his eighth deployment overseas. He was tried in a military court in San Diego and acquitted in July of all charges, except one count of wrongfully posing for photographs with the body of a dead Islamic State fighter. The jury sentenced him to four months, the maximum possible; because he had served that amount of time waiting for trial, he was released.

President Trump involved himself in the case almost from the start. Before the trial began, in March, I received two calls from the president asking me to lift Gallagher’s confinement in a Navy brig; I pushed back twice, because the presiding judge, acting on information about the accused’s conduct, had decided that confinement was important. Eventually, the president ordered me to have him transferred to the equivalent of an enlisted barracks. I came to believe that Trump’s interest in the casestemmed partly from the way the defendant’s lawyers and others had worked to keep it front and center in the media.

After the verdict was delivered, the Navy’s normal process wasn’t finished. Gallagher had voluntarily submitted his request to retire. In his case, there were three questions: Would he be permitted to retire at the rank of chief, which is also known as an E-7? (The jury had said he should be busted to an E-6, a demotion.) The second was: Should he be allowed to leave the service with an “honorable” or “general under honorable” discharge? And a third: Should he be able to keep his Trident pin, the medal all SEALs wear and treasure as members of an elite force?

On Nov. 14, partly because the president had already contacted me twice, I sent him a note asking him not to get involved in these questions. The next day, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone called me and said the president would remain involved. Shortly thereafter, I received a second call from Cipollone, who said the president would order me to restore Gallagher to the rank of chief.

This was a shocking and unprecedented intervention in a low-level review. It was also a reminder that the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.

Given my desire to resolve a festering issue, I tried to find a way that would prevent the president from further involvement while trying all avenues to get Gallagher’s file in front of a peer-review board. Why? The Naval Special Warfare community owns the Trident pin, not the secretary of the Navy, not the defense secretary, not even the president. If the review board concluded that Gallagher deserved to keep it, so be it.

I also began to work without personally consulting Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on every step. That was, I see in retrospect, a mistake for which I am solely responsible.

On Nov. 19, I briefed Esper’s chief of staff concerning my plan. I briefed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney that evening.

The next day, the Navy established a review board to decide the status of Gallagher’s Trident pin. According to long-standing procedure, a group of four senior enlisted SEALs would rule on the question. This was critical: It would be Gallagher’s peers managing their own community. The senior enlisted ranks in our services are the foundation of good order and discipline.

But the question was quickly made moot: On Nov. 21, the president tweeted that Gallagher would be allowed to keep his pin — Trump’s third intervention in the case. I recognized that the tweet revealed the president’s intent. But I did not believe it to be an official order, chiefly because every action taken by the president in the case so far had either been a verbal or written command.

The rest is history. We must now move on and learn from what has transpired. The public should know that we have extensive screening procedures in place to assess the health and well-being of our forces. But we must keep fine-tuning those procedures to prevent a case such as this one from happening again.

More importantly, Americans need to know that 99.9 percent of our uniformed members always have, always are and always will make the right decision. Our allies need to know that we remain a force for good, and to please bear with us as we move through this moment in time.