What Happened?

What day is it? How did I get into bed? What are all those empty Tequila bottles?

Actually it wasn’t like that at all. I had family obligations that took most of the day and it’s only going to get more like that as we move deeper into Spring/Summer/Fall travel season. I try to be dutiful for my readers and most times you wouldn’t know anything happened at all because unless it’s funny or newsworthy it’s not relevant to the topics we try and feature here.

On the other hand Internet service can be spotty and sometimes there are simply not enough hours or energy in the day and, well, priorities. If you think I’m going to miss out on Whitewater Rafting in Nova Scotia so I can work on my Prison Pallor and Carpal Tunnel you are mistaken.

My point is that when I lose touch with the flow it’s usually because I’ve been road bound or in social positions where checking your Cell constantly is not possible (it’s never polite, I excuse myself to compose).

And yesterday was one of those days.

As nearly as I reconstruct it, Speaker Nancy Pelosi went into an early morning meeting with her Caucus where sentiment is continuing to build for Impeachment, or at least Impeachment Hearings. She lost Steny Hoyer on the subject Tuesday and if you don’t think that’s a Bombshell you have not been paying close enough attention to Democratic House politics. Steny is Nancy’s Consigliere and this is a serious crack in the family.

Nancy was still making meally mouthed noises after that meeting on the way to another one with her, Schumer, and Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio, supposedly about an Infrastructure Plan.

The Unidicted Co-conspirator, Bottomless Pinocchio, ran one from his failed Government Shut Down playbook. He walked in, had a meltdown about how unfair it is that he’s being caught for all his crimes, and that it’s simply not possible to do any Government business.

Then after holding his breath and stomping his feet, he continued to scream at Chuck and Nancy as he left, slamming the door very, very hard so you could tell he was really pissed off this time.

At least it was brief, 3 minutes or less, the rest of us I’m told by reliable sources were subjected to a drooling, cherry faced, spittle inflected (the right word here, though inflicted would do), Rant in the Rose Garden that lasted about 27 days. Heck, it could still be going on.

It was, as Schumer and Hoyer noted, totally scripted in a WWE Improv kind of way and probably intended to mostly cover for the fact that while the Democrats have a Plan (several), Republicans have no Plan any more than they do for Heath Insurance Reform or anything else except their usual- Cut Services, Cut Taxes.

I’m not sure it’s having the effect Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless intended. By late afternoon Pelosi was pointedly not taking Impeachment off the table.

That proceeds apace.

Trump’s Financial Secrets Move Closer to Disclosure
By Emily Flitter, Jesse McKinley, David Enrich and Nicholas Fandos, The New York Times
May 22, 2019

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled against a request from President Trump to block his longtime lender, Deutsche Bank, from complying with congressional subpoenas seeking his detailed financial records. In Albany, New York lawmakers approved a bill that would allow Congress to obtain Mr. Trump’s state tax returns.

Those actions came two days after a federal judge in Washington ruled against Mr. Trump’s bid to quash another congressional subpoena to get his accounting firm to hand over his tax returns and other financial documents.

The court rulings and the New York legislation represent the most serious attempts to pierce the veil that surrounds Mr. Trump’s finances. They increase the odds that congressional Democrats, who have become more vocal in their calls to undertake impeachment proceedings against the president, could enter such a fray with ample ammunition about Mr. Trump’s business dealings.

Mr. Trump has already appealed the ruling over the subpoena to his accounting firm, Mazars USA, and will almost certainly appeal the ruling handed down on Wednesday. The committees have already agreed to give any appeals a chance to play out before enforcing the subpoenas, but House Democrats are now closer than ever to securing a vast cache of long-sought documents.

Mr. Trump’s finances have been largely a mystery from the moment he declared his candidacy for president. He broke with decades of precedent by refusing to release his federal tax returns. His company, the Trump Organization, is private, and he has disclosed minimal information about how the company makes money and the sources of that income.

The New York legislation, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat and regular critic of Mr. Trump’s policies and behavior, would authorize state tax officials to release the president’s state returns to any one of three congressional committees.

The returns — filed in New York, the president’s home state and site of his Trump Tower headquarters in Manhattan — are likely to contain much of the same information as his federal tax returns, which the Trump administration has refused to hand over to Congress.

In Washington, two congressional committees issued subpoenas last month to Deutsche Bank, the president’s primary lender over the last two decades, and Capital One, where Mr. Trump keeps some of his money. The subpoenas sought decades of personal and corporate financial records, including any documents related to possible suspicious activities detected in Mr. Trump’s personal and business accounts.

Since 1998, the bank has lent him a total of more than $2 billion, and Mr. Trump owed Deutsche Bank more than $300 million at the time he was sworn in as president. The bank is by far his largest creditor, and it possesses a trove of financial records — including portions of his federal tax returns — that it is prepared to provide to congressional investigators.

The president has multiple accounts with Capital One. His relationship with the bank came under scrutiny earlier this year when his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, presented Congress with two checks he had received from Mr. Trump’s Capital One accounts. Mr. Cohen said Mr. Trump wrote him the checks, for $35,000 each, to reimburse him for making a hush-money payment to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.

Lawyers for the Trumps argued that the congressional subpoenas were politically motivated and had no legitimate legislative purpose.

Patrick Strawbridge, the lawyer for the Trump family, argued Wednesday that the subpoenas raised “serious questions about the outer reach of power of the Congress,” putting members of the legislative branch in the position of law enforcement officials.

“Congress cannot assume the role of the executive branch,” he said. He also lamented the subpoenas’ reach, noting that they sought records relating to transactions by Mr. Trump’s in-laws and grandchildren.

Douglas Letter, the lawyer for congressional Democrats, said the subpoenas were intended to elicit information on potential money laundering and financial fraud and that they were not overly expansive.

Judge Edgardo Ramos of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York appeared to agree. “Lots of people do things, they hide assets, they create dummy corporations, they put their relatives in charge,” the judge said in court before he issued his ruling.

Judge Ramos said he agreed with Mr. Trump’s claim that turning over financial records to Congress could cause him and his family irreparable harm. But, he said, the merits of the congressional committees’ goals outweighed that harm.

After issuing his ruling, Judge Ramos said he thought it was unlikely that Mr. Trump and his family would win in a trial.

Under an agreement reached before the hearing on Wednesday, the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees had agreed to hold off on enforcing the subpoenas until seven days after the judge’s ruling, giving Mr. Trump’s lawyers time to appeal the ruling.

“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations,” said Kerrie McHugh, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman.

Capital One representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

The legal setbacks for the president and his family came days after The New York Times reported that Deutsche Bank anti-money-laundering specialists had flagged potentially suspicious transactions involving legal entities controlled by Mr. Trump and his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner. Bank managers overruled those employees and chose not to report the transactions to a federal agency that polices financial crimes.

A little New York centric but as good as any I suppose. What they leave out is that it was a summary judgement. Final oral arguments in the morning, Decision in the afternoon. Decision scathing- case has no legal basis, Congress has an explicit right to investigate. Cites and refers to Mehta. Slam dunk, could hardly ask for better. Downside the 7 day appeal window but it’s pretty much the minimum customary.

Detailed in the piece should you click through is some rumination about the possible flaws in the New York State Law. I suppose your optimism should be based on your faith in Albany to craft a Constitutional law.

My personal expectations are not high but I’m willing to be proven wrong.