Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined at left by, Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Rep. Bradley Schneider, D-Ill., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., prepare to walk out of the hearing room briefly after waiting Republican members of the committee to arrive more than an hour after the scheduled start time for a markup session, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. The panel was meeting on their months-long standoff with the Justice Department on the request by the Republican-controlled committee for documents related to the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation and the handling of its probe into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails. Democrats charge the subpoena undermines special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties and whether there was obstruction of justice. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Overheard telephone conversations on the DC-to-New York Acela train have provided interesting moments in the past. A former NSA chief was heard giving an off-the-record interview, and staff at a major law firm learned that they were losing the jobs by their boss talking on the train, so the conversation overheard by The Federalist’s Mollie Hemmingway was juicy but not rare.
On Wednesday, Fat Jerry Nadler, the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee was riding Amtrak’s New York-to-DC Acela and was making and taking calls and outlining his plans for the actions he’d take as committee chair. What he didn’t know was that nearby was The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway. These are some highlights.
The two discussed two routes for investigating new Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. The first is to go after the FBI for how they handled the investigation into unsubstantiated claims he sexually assaulted women. “They didn’t even do a half-ass job,” he said. “They didn’t interview 30 witnesses who said ‘Interview me! I’ve got a lot to say!’” he said, while mimicking people waving their hands to be called on.
His other plan is to go after Kavanaugh because “there’s a real indication that Kavanaugh committed perjury.” He claimed that The Atlantic published an article about the allegations of a third woman. Then he claimed that when Kavanaugh was “asked at a committee hearing under oath when he first heard of the subject, he said, ‘When I’d heard of the Atlantic article.’ But there is an email chain apparently dating from well before that from him about ‘How can we deal with this?’” Nadler told the caller.
The caller then suggested that impeachment might still be worthwhile because the president elected in 2020 could nominate someone else. Nadler said the problem was that any investigation wouldn’t take long enough to last until the presidential election. “There are a finite amount of witnesses. I don’t see why it should take long at all,” he said. “We’re not talking about a 30-year scheme of getting money from Russians via hidden sources — that takes time.”
That was an apparent reference to Democrat beliefs in a dramatic and unsubstantiated theory that Trump conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election. He promised it would also be an avenue that Democrats would pursue vigorously at the launch of the new Congress.
Joe Biden is a Joke in 2020
“The only relevance of Clarence Thomas hearings is it will come back to hit Joe Biden over head if he runs for president,” Nadler said. Uproarious laughter from the caller could be heard on the other end of the phone. Other candidates were dismissed for being “too conservative” or “too conservative on economic issues for the party” or “not charismatic.”
2018 Election Results
In another call, Nadler said Republicans did better than expected on election night because of the booming economy. He suggested messaging that the economy is only helping wealthy people and not other classes and worried that changes to the economic boom would be blamed on Democrats. He also complained that the new voters being recruited to join Democrats were “Rockefeller Republicans” who are liberal on social issues and that the new group makes Democrats more vulnerable to the charge they are no longer the party of the working person.
It is kind of disappointing that Nadler would go after Kavanaugh, especially after Grassley’s report. But these people are what they are and no conduct, whether using the Judiciary Committee for character assassination or slapping a White House intern’s arm, should be unexpected. For me, the big takeaway is the realization by Democrat leaders that the Democrat party has become a party that caters to the sensibilities of the elites and that is not a good look as populism takes hold. The second part is the fear that if they screw with the Administration too much and the business cycle cools off, they will be blamed.
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