Tuesday Open Thread | Capitol Hill is reeling after Mueller indictments

(CNN) Monday marked a major turning point in Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation with both former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign associate Rick Gates surrendering to authorities Monday and facing a 12-count indictment.

But on Capitol Hill, the fallout was just beginning to be felt with Republican and Democratic members grappling to understand what impact the recent news would have on their own congressional investigations and the week ahead as the Republicans seek to unveil their tax plan this week.

“The special counsel has found a reason on criminal violations to indict two individuals and I will leave that up to the special counsel to make that determination,” said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, who is leading his own Senate investigation into any connections Russia may have had to the Trump campaign. “It doesn’t change anything with our investigation. Two individuals that we’ve gotten documents from. We have, we had interest in them, but clearly the criminal charges put them in the Special Counsel’s purview.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said he would be briefed on the charges Monday afternoon and that when it came to Mueller’s job, he thought President Donald Trump should let the investigation unfold.
“The President should let the special counsel do his job,” Grassley said.

Members were also reacting to news Monday that George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, had pleaded guilty for giving false information to the FBI about his connections to foreign officials with ties to the Russian government.

When asked what his reaction was to the guilty plea, Grassley said “It’s news. So I guess there is not much to say.”

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee told CNN that “Papadopoulos is direct evidence that someone with the campaign was being contacted by Russians with information they had lots of, so-called “dirt,” emails on Hillary Clinton.”

Asked if it fed the collusion narrative, Warner said there were still “more questions to be answered.”

“We continue to see evidence that Russians were reaching out to Trump officials in a variety of ways, offering discrediting information on Hillary Clinton that included their emails,” Warner said.

Meanwhile, Democrats applauded Mueller’s investigation, arguing that the indictments Monday showed that Congress needed to continue its own investigations.

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96 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | Capitol Hill is reeling after Mueller indictments

  1. Ametia says:
  2. Ametia says:

    What is the media focused on today? What Kelly said.


    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      My heart is breaking for them. So frightening and horrible.

    • Ametia says:

      1. NYC-Trump territory
      2. Timing- Bobby III Sticks indictments
      3. Hollering possible terrorist attack- when Stephen P. blew away 60 people and injured 500- refused to call it a DOMESTIC TERRORIST ATTACK
      4. Media on to this, and off the MUELLER RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION & #45 & HIS RUSSIAN CABAL.


  3. rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    Another reason why we shouldn’t give two shyts about his voters.

    Poll: Vast majority of Trump voters say he should stay in office even if Russia collusion is proven

    Nearly 80 percent of Trump voters said they think the president should stay in office even if collusion is proven between his campaign and Russia, according to a survey released Tuesday, even while support among all voters for his impeachment hits a new high.

    According to a new poll from the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling, 79 percent of people who voted for President Trump say he should remain even if collusion is proven, and 75 percent said the entire Russia story is “fake news.”

    However, the poll found that 49 percent of all Americans support impeaching Trump, a record high result for the firm.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Prince Harry is at the Obama Foundation event.

    Prince Harry will speak at 6:15 pm CT tonight. Stream in! pic.twitter.com/eoAf1gep1K

    — PatriciaWickham (@MizWickham) October 31, 2017

  5. rikyrah says:

    Why the Mueller Indictments Should Terrify Trump
    Nabbing Paul Manafort and Rick Gates for far-off financial felonies shows that if anyone in Trump’s orbit committed a crime… well, watch out.
    10.30.17 10:30 PM ET
    When the first indictments against President Donald Trump’s aides were made public on Monday, the White House and its allies crowed. No biggie, they argued: the charges aimed at former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his erstwhile business partner Rick Gates don’t involve anything that happened during the 2016 campaign. They didn’t even tie together Team Trump and the Kremlin, at least not directly.

    Instead, Mueller’s investigators dug into the not-too-distant past, dredging up allegations of tax evasion, money laundering, and lobbying done in secret.

    “NO COLLUSION!” the president tweeted.

    But seasoned observers quickly saw that the charges were more ominous for the White House than they at first appeared. The Manafort and Gates indictments made clear that Mueller is perfectly comfortable bringing charges related to activity that happened years before Trump took his historic escalator ride.

    For special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of seasoned federal prosecutors, not much is off limits. And that could spell all kinds of trouble for a president who has sought to keep his finances private, surrounded by top aides who have all kinds of interesting financial entanglements of their own.

  6. rikyrah says:

    FACEBOOK timeline:
    – didn’t happen
    – happened, but was small
    – ok, semi-big
    – ok, it reached 126 million, but no evidence it influenced them https://t.co/U84JdHjvF5

    — Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) October 30, 2017

  7. rikyrah says:

    Am I to understand that POTUS thinks the part of the Mueller investigation impacting Dems is valid, but hitting GOPers is a witch hunt? https://t.co/xQRzC1XqhW

    — Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 31, 2017

  8. rikyrah says:

    Bernie Sanders Warns Democrats Not to Hang Their Hopes on Robert Mueller
    Sanders said ‘ordinary Americans’ are ‘not staying up every day worrying about Russia’s interference in our election.’
    10.31.17 2:06 AM ET


    • Liza says:

      I was curious about this. Here’s more context from the article:

      “”Meyers asked Sanders if he worries at all that stories like the Mueller indictments “can to the left provide an excitement of, ‘Oh, this is almost over,’ when in fact it will probably go on forever and they need to focus on the ballot box as opposed to Mueller.”

      “Yes. I mean, I think we’ve got to work in two ways,” Sanders answered. “No. 1, we have got to take on Trump’s attacks against the environment, against women, against Latinos and blacks and people in the gay community, we’ve got to fight back every day on those issues. But equally important, or more important: We have got to focus on bread-and-butter issues that mean so much to ordinary Americans.”

      Sanders said those “ordinary Americans” are “not staying up every day worrying about Russia’s interference in our election.” Instead, he said, “They’re wondering how they’re going to send their kids to college” or “how they’re going to be able to pay the rent” or “whether they can afford health care.””

    • Ametia says:

      Really? And who pray tell are these “ordinary Americans,” Bernie?

  9. John Kelly calling treason honorable. He traded his hood for suit & tie. He’s revealing himself & don’t give a damn.


    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Why is he bowing down to Robert E. Lee instead of just pledging allegiance to the UNITED States of America that is “INDIVISIBLE with liberty and justice for ALL”??

  10. rikyrah says:

    Republicans lose interest in bills to protect Mueller from Trump
    10/31/17 10:17 AM
    By Steve Benen

    As recently as August, a bipartisan group of senators were working on legislation intended to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller in case Donald Trump tried to fire him. Now that members of Trump’s political operation have been charged by Mueller and his team, perhaps it’s time to take those measures more seriously?

    Apparently not. GOP senators, including some who’ve been publicly critical of Trump, argued yesterday that it’s simply unfathomable that the president would try to oust the special counsel before the completion of the investigation. Even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was prepared to co-sponsor one of the bills to protect Mueller a few months ago, suggested yesterday his own bill isn’t needed.

    The bipartisan cosponsors of two bills to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from meddling by President Trump told reporters Monday night that they have received zero indication that the Senate’s GOP leaders will allow a vote on the legislation. And most rank-and-file Republicans, including one cosponsor of the legislation, said they saw no need to pass it.

    “I don’t feel an urgent need to pass that law until you show me that Mr. Mueller is in jeopardy,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a cosponsor of the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act. “Anybody in his right mind at the White House wouldn’t think about replacing him.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Twitter: Did we say 201 Russian accounts? We meant 36,000. (For now) https://t.co/SlmHbCiEgm

    — Eric Garland (@ericgarland) October 31, 2017

  12. rikyrah says:

    Ok…Remember, when this Facebook/Russian ad stuff began..

    ” We don’t think there was any Russian ads on Facebook”


    ” It was too few to notice..”


    ” It was a few thousand dollars.”


    ” It was maybe a few hundred thousand dollars..”


    ” Maybe, it was a few million that it reached.”

    Now yesterday, from NBC

    An estimated 126 million Americans, roughly one-third of the nation’s population, received Russian-backed content on Facebook during the 2016 campaign, according to prepared testimony the company submitted Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by NBC News.

    Underscoring how widely content on the social media platform can spread, Facebook says in the testimony that while some 29 million Americans directly received material from 80,000 posts by 120 fake Russian-backed pages in their own news feeds, those posts were “shared, liked and followed by people on Facebook, and, as a result, three times more people may have been exposed to a story that originated from the Russian operation.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Comment from BJ:

    Sanjeevs says:
    October 31, 2017 at 6:42 am

    I think Mueller completely blindsided Team Trump with the Papadopoulos reveal yesterday.
    All last week they and their media friends had been gearing up to trash the dossier. But then Mueller lays out a damning case which has nothing to do with the dossier. Papadopoulos isn’t mentioned and was never speculated to be one of the unnamed protagonists.

    Papadopoulos has already admitted the charges and they haven’t even had the chance to smear him.

    Mueller runs a hell of a tight ship.

  14. rikyrah says:

    John Kelly: Robert E. Lee was “an honorable man” https://t.co/MuIJKnzHEf pic.twitter.com/XOUFIkqLar

    — The Hill (@thehill) October 31, 2017

    It’s irresponsible & dangerous, especially when white supremacists feel emboldened, to make fighting to maintain slavery sound courageous. https://t.co/qb2X7QhG7M

    — Be A King (@BerniceKing) October 31, 2017

    • Liza says:

      John Kelly worries me. It started when he defended Trump’s behavior toward Rep Wilson and the Johnson family. I can’t help but think that was about power, raw power. What else is in it for Kelly? Why else would he have done that?

      • Ametia says:

        IT’S ALL A DISTRACTION, LOOK over THERE.Stirring up RACIAL ANIMUS, It’s what the GOP have been doing for DECADES.

        Kelly’s comment came just in time for folks to shift their attention, even for a minute off #45 & his RUSSIAN CABAL.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The front page of tomorrow’s Washington Post pic.twitter.com/vhKRy8cGqy

    — Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 31, 2017

  16. rikyrah says:

    GOP Senators refuse to protect Mueller because—wait for it—Trump would never act in a reckless or unprecedented way. https://t.co/98vwbzrOav

    — Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) October 31, 2017

  17. rikyrah says:

    The Trump campaign is out with a new ad attacking the “radical left,” includes images of Rep. Frederica Wilson. pic.twitter.com/7HJqvDtMBR

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 31, 2017

  18. rikyrah says:

    Emails show that senior campaign people encouraged Papadopoulos to set up a private back-channel communication with Putin’s office while Russia was attacking the US election. That is collusion. Trump is conning his base. Sad! https://t.co/186WQUmwhD

    — David Corn (@DavidCornDC) October 31, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s ouster of U.S. Attorney Dana Boente matters
    10/30/17 04:04 PM
    By Steve Benen

    In March, Donald Trump summarily fired 46 U.S. Attorneys, without warning or explanation. Of particular interest was Preet Bharara, who had jurisdiction over Trump Tower, and who’d been specifically told he could stay on at his post.

    Then, for reasons the White House hasn’t shared, the president and his team changed their minds, and showed Bharara and dozens of his fellow federal prosecutors the door, without having any of their successors lined up.

    Trump did not, however, replace literally all of the Obama-era U.S. Attorneys: Dana Boente was allowed to stay on. Late last week, as NBC News reported, that changed, too.

    Dana Boente, one of the nation’s most high-profile federal prosecutors, has submitted his resignation after he was asked to step down to make way for a successor to be named by President Donald Trump. […]

    Boente, who has served in the Justice Department for three decades, became the U.S. attorney in 2015 during the Obama administration. A well-regarded veteran prosecutor, he became acting attorney general in January after Trump fired Sally Yates, who refused to enforce the first executive order restricting travel.


    But there’s more to this one: Boente, like Bharara, was in a position to investigate the president when Trump decided unexpectedly to fire him.

    Rachel noted on Friday’s show, for example, that Boente was the person former FBI Director James Comey reported to when, according to Comey, Trump was trying to pressure him as part of the investigation into the Russia scandal. It’s led to some speculation that Boente could even be a potential witness in the matter.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Papadopoulos may have worn wire as part of Mueller deal
    Paul Fishman, former U.S. attorney, talks with Rachel Maddow about what it means that Donald Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was a proactive cooperator and how special counsel Robert Mueller might have used his help in investigating Trump.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Mueller follows the money to charge Trump campaign staffers
    Greg Farrell, investigative reporter for Bloomberg News, talks with Rachel Maddow about the thoroughness and detail of special counsel Robert Mueller’s charges against Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and adviser Rick Gates.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Mueller flipped Trump camp adviser who relayed offers from Russia
    Rachel Maddow reports on what has been learned from the unsealing of indictments against Donald Trump campaign staffers Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos, the latter having agreed to cut a deal to work with special counsel Mueller.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Where are Trump’s allies? @DavidFrum, speaking on MSNBC, says “it’s striking to me that there are no Republican lawmakers on TV” tonight…

    — Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 31, 2017

  24. rikyrah says:

    Is Trump smart enough to know what Mueller pulled off today or is he just taking Fox’s nothingburger word for it?

    — Schooley (@Rschooley) October 31, 2017

  25. rikyrah says:

    How Big Medicine Can Ruin Medicare for All
    A single-payer system will degenerate into corporate welfare unless we take on health care monopolies.

    by Phillip Longman

    Many of us still remember the moment during the debate over the Affordable Care Act when a powerful Democratic senator not only blocked supporters of single-payer health care from testifying before his committee, but even had some arrested. Well, reports are that Max Baucus has been born again. “My personal view is we’ve got to start looking at single-payer,” the now-retired senator recently told a political gathering in his hometown of Bozeman, Montana. “We’re getting there. It’s going to happen.”

    Not long ago, politicians advocating for single-payer health care were taken to be on the lefty fringe. But now Democrats of every stripe, including some with plausible presidential aspirations, are using the term to describe what they think America needs now. In 2013, Bernie Sanders couldn’t find a single cosponsor for his single-payer plan, which would replace private insurance with Medicare-like coverage for all Americans regardless of age or income. Today the roll call of supporters for his latest version includes Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren. Others embrace what they describe as alternative single-payer plans, like Senator Chris Murphy’s legislation that would allow any American to buy into Medicare instead of getting their insurance through their employers or the individual market. It’s enough to make an exasperated Dana Milbank publish a column in the Washington Post under the headline “The Democrats Have Become Socialists.”

    But have they? Actually, no. Real socialized medicine, as we’ll see, might work brilliantly, as it has in some other countries. But what these folks are talking about, often without seeming to realize it, is something altogether different. And it could lead to disastrous outcomes unless we get smart about what’s really going on.

  26. rikyrah says:

    What’s Hard For Republicans When it Comes to Tax Cuts
    by Nancy LeTourneau October 31, 2017

    Recently Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said this in an attempt to explain why the Republican tax cut plan favors the wealthy:

    …when you’re cutting taxes across the board, it’s very hard not to give tax cuts to the wealthy with tax cuts to the middle class. The math, given how much you are collecting, is just hard to do.

    Bless his heart. He’s really trying to not cut taxes for the wealthy, but it’s just so hard.

    Here is a clue Sec. Mnuchin: Just do it!

    If you are too mathematically challenged to be able to figure out how to design a progressive tax code, we can make it even easier for you: Don’t repeal the estate tax. Currently people can inherit up to $5.45 million tax free ($10.9 million for a married couple). If you simply left the estate tax alone, it wouldn’t be so hard to avoid giving the wealthy an even bigger tax break.

    What I’ve been noticing lately is that, when it comes to trying to figure out how to pay for all these tax cuts, it hasn’t been hard for Republicans to come up with ideas that mostly affect people in the middle class. Here are the ones we’ve heard about:

    eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes
    eliminate the mortgage interest deduction
    tax income contributed to a 401(k) retirement account

  27. rikyrah says:

    George Papadopoulos Can Unlock Part of the Puzzle
    by Martin Longman October 30, 2017

    Probably the most stunned people in the world in March 2016 were the members of the Washington Post editorial board after they got done interviewing Donald Trump. Of course, if you read the transcript of their interview at the time, you were probably left almost insensate from your close contact with 151 proof Stupid. Things didn’t start out in an obviously ridiculous manner, however, or at least it wasn’t immediately obvious how insane things were from the moment Trump opened his mouth.


    The folks at the Post’s editorial board are fairly connected people, but they didn’t know who the hell Carter Page and George Papadopoulos were. I kind of doubt that Donald Trump knew who they were, either. Apparently, he just pulled a card of his suit coat and started reading names. With the breaking news that Papadopoulos has been a cooperating witness for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and who has possibly been wearing a wire, we may be getting closer to finding out who was responsible for putting his name on that card.

    It’s been known for a couple of months that “between March and September [2016], the self-described energy consultant [Papadopoulos] sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials,” including Vladimir Putin. For the most part, though, much more attention has been paid to how Carter Page got on Trump’s list. Was Page introduced to Sam Clovis by Corey Lewandowski, as the Daily Caller reported in April? Was the Washington Post right when they reported that Page volunteered his services and Clovis did no more vetting than a Google search before welcoming on board? We know that Lewandowski and Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, were also in attendance at the meeting with the editorial board. We know that Clovis had a role. But we also know that it was ultimately Sen. Jeff Sessions and some of his top aides who were responsible for putting together a foreign policy team for the candidate.

    Why were two minor, unknown people with major Kremlin ties on that list?

  28. rikyrah says:

    I told you – they’d sell their mothers to Lucifer for those tax cuts.

    Congressional Republicans shrug following Trump World indictments
    10/31/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 10/31/17 08:10 AM
    By Steve Benen


    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Monday said charges brought against members of President Donald Trump’s campaign are not going to have any effect on Congress.

    “I really don’t have anything to add, other than: Nothing is going to derail what we’re doing in Congress,” Ryan said on conservative Wisconsin talk radio station WTAQ.

    What they’re “doing in Congress,” of course, is pursuing massive tax cuts – which for Ryan and his allies, have to remain the party’s principal focus.

    If that means averting their gaze, pretending not to notice the crisis overwhelming their own party’s president, so be it.

    This often goes overlooked, but in all likelihood, congressional Republicans have no idea what it is Trump World may have done, and by all appearances, they don’t much care. As Vox’s Matt Yglesias noted last night, the “crazy thing about this situation” is that GOP leaders “have no idea what it is they’re really covering up.”

    Alas, this isn’t new. Over the summer, when we learned that top Trump campaign officials hosted a private meeting in the hopes of obtaining anti-Clinton dirt from Russia, congressional Republicans shrugged then, too.

    As we discussed at the time, many observers keep waiting for the moment at which the bow breaks. There’s an apparent expectation that there’s a cumulative effect to Trump’s troubles, and at a certain, undetermined point, congressional Republicans will feel compelled to pull their support and put his presidency in peril.

    But this point almost certainly doesn’t exist. Most GOP lawmakers are comfortable with the idea of Trump and his team facing consequences for their actions, so long as Congress has nothing to do with the process.

    I’m reminded of something the New York Times’ David Leonhardt wrote in February.

    This combination – an anti-democratic president and a quiescent Congress – is very dangerous. Even though many members of Congress think [Trump’s] approach is wrong, they have refused to confront him because he is a member of their party. He has the power to sign bills that Republican legislators have long favored, and their political fortunes are tied to his popularity.

    So they look the other way. They duck questions about him, or they offer excuses. They enable him.

    Are tax cuts really worth it? For GOP officials, the answer still appears be yes.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Information found out on Maddow’s last night.

    Trump campaign knew about hacked emails two months BEFORE the first story about them in the Post.

  30. Liza says:

    That Huckabee-Sanders heifer makes my skin crawl. She’ll end up on Fox News after the swamp is drained.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄👻👺💀🎃

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