Tuesday, August 31, 2021

MAJOR UPDATE: Is This Pelosi's Master Plan For Election 2022?

If so, my bet is that it's headed for a fail. Perhaps even a backfire.

Law prof Jonathan Turley has the story at The Hill:

Democrats' Jan. 6 subpoena-palooza sets dangerous precedent

For "Dems" I think it's entirely fair to read: Pelosi. As Turley details, the Dems are going full witch hunt on the GOP side in the House, issuing an tidal wave of subpoenas for their phone records. Given that the FBI has announced that, woops! there really wasn't any "insurrection", one assumes that the idea behind this tactic is to find in the phone records contacts that might prove embarrassing for GOP members and useful in the campaigns of endangered Dems.

My view is that Americans, for all their foibles and gullibility, have a constitutional aversion to witch hunts. This will NOT distract them from the many manifest failures of the Zhou regime. It just may anger many Americans, who all polling shows have moved past January 6.

Anyway, Turley has some points to make, and they're worthwhile.  This tactic may never get the chance to backfire--it could get quashed in court:

“We have quite an exhaustive list of people. I won't tell you who they are.” With those words, House Select Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) confirmed that a subpoena storm was about to be unleashed in the investigation of the Jan. 6 riot in Congress. The targets would include Republican members, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who have already been told to preserve their phone records to be surrendered to the committee. The Democrats are reportedly trying to prove their prior claims that Republicans conspired or assisted “insurrectionists,” even though the FBI reportedly found no evidence of a planned insurrection.

The Democrats' move to investigate members of the opposing party is a dangerous precedent in an institution that has always protected the privacy and confidentiality of phone and office records.


The storm of secret subpoenas also seems to run against the thrust of recent Supreme Court decision, Trump v. Mazars, which addressed congressional subpoenas seeking personal information of the president. In sending the case back for further consideration, the court recognized the broad authority of Congress to issue subpoenas; however, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that congressional subpoenas must address a “valid legislative purpose” and be “related to, and in furtherance of, a legitimate task of the Congress.”

The “task” at hand in this subpoena storm is highly questionable. The announcement follows an extensive investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department which reportedly did not find any planned insurrection on Jan. 6.


... Congress is by definition politicized, which is why such fishing expeditions targeting the opposing party are so dangerous. It is using subpoenas to try to embarrass or label members of the minority.

The use of subpoenas for political purposes is nothing new, particularly to paint others as “un-American.” In 1957, the Supreme Court reviewed the contempt conviction of a union official, John Thomas Watkins, who refused to name communist union members to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The Supreme Court overturned the conviction 6-1, and Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote that “there is no congressional power to expose for the sake of exposure.” Citing the statements of House members, the Court found that “the predominant result can only be the invasion of the private rights of individuals.”

As in the Watkins case, it would seem the point here is to establish that key figures of the opposing party are un-American or “insurrectionists.” Indeed, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) even sought to censure members who refused to call the riot an “insurrection.”

Branding anyone who disagrees with you as "un-American" is a tactic that hearkens back to Obama's well worn "not who we are as Americans" dodge. I'm pretty confident that Americans remain fair minded enough to see through this and concentrate on the Zhou regime's failure.

UPDATE: The Hill has a very thorough article on this story, including the fact that the House GOP is pushing back. It's pretty self explanatory, so I'm mostly providing significant excerpts. On item of interest is that McCarthy says GOP 'will not forget' if firms hand records to Jan. 6 panel:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that Republicans “will not forget” if telecommunications companies turn phone and email records over to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.


The letters [from the Dem House] do not reveal whose information is being sought but specifically ask for the records of those involved in rallies to protest the certification of election results — a group that includes lawmakers. 

“If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States,” McCarthy wrote. 


“If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law,” he said. 

In this part that follows there's some confusion. Perhaps the House letter does "ask the companies to maintain the confidentiality of those whose information is being requested", but the next paragraph--which in context seems to be linked to the preceding one--is saying something very different: Please let us know if your rules require you to reveal to account holders that their records are being turned over. In other words--the House Dems want GOP members to be in the dark about where the information that will be leaked is coming from.


Monday’s letters are not formal subpoenas, but they do ask the companies to maintain the confidentiality of those whose information is being requested. 

”If you are not able or willing to respond to this request without alerting the subscribers or the accounts, please contact the Select Committee prior to proceeding,” the committee wrote in several of the letters.

The committee sent the letters to a wide variety of companies, including communications giants such as Google and Microsoft and all major cellphone carriers. They also include requests to encrypted messaging app Signal, right-leaning social media networks such as Parler, and more fringe websites such as 4chan and Gab. 

Communications companies often seek to alert those whose records are being sought, a practice companies such as Google recently fought for as the Department of Justice under former President Trump initiated seizures of communications records from journalists. 

While another request sent to many of the same companies last week asked for troves of data about disinformation surrounding the election as well as their internal reviews of different extremist groups, Monday’s letters asked the companies to retain records related more specifically to the unnamed individuals.

The letter to Google asks for all email messages, Google Drive files, and location history and deletion records. The request to Facebook and Twitter likewise asks for all communications. The phone companies included in the request have been asked to retain all text messages, cell site location data and call data, which would show who called whom and detail how long they spoke. Letters to the other websites ask more broadly for user data.

In other words, the Dem House is launching what to all appearances is a criminal investigation, which is not within the authority of the Legislative Branch. Obviously this is playing for keeps. Did the anti-Trump GOPers consider this possibility when they betrayed Trump in 2020? Probably not. My personal view--strictly FWIW--is that this isn't going to work. Nevertheless ...


  1. That is just part of her plan, the other part is to cheat like hell like the Democrats did last election.

  2. It is precisely this kind of stuff which leads to incidents like the Sumner-Brooks Congressional beat-down of 1856.

    This is nothing short of rank criminalization of a dissenting point of view. Oh how times have changed; remember that well-circulated recording of HRC back during Shrub II’s re-election campaign? She was practically screaming “…those saying we do have a right to disagree but we have the right to disagree with this or any administration!”

    Can’t remember it verbatim but I’m sure you all heard it. Hannity played it ad nauseum on both his radio & tv shows.

    Of course if it were for double standards they’d have none @ all.


  3. Sorry for the typos: should be “some say we don’t have the right to disagree with this administration” & “if it weren’t for double standards”

    Spell Ck is a total pain!


  4. The GOP is "pushing back?"

    Cowards, one and all. Not only should they have never reflexively accepted the absurd media narrative of an "insurrection" - they ought to be proud of the dissent, bringing hordes of voters as guests every day to the steps, and promising far more.

    I am tired of pretending like we are supposed to be ashamed of 1/6.


  5. The Hill also says "McCarthy did not cite which law prohibits telecommunications companies from complying with the committee’s request."
    One would hope, that such firms would have always been obligated to withhold all such data, barring a formal subpoena.

    If "Monday’s letters are not formal subpoenas", then McCarthy etc. should have no trouble getting an injunction, stopping tech firms from spilling all such beans.

    1. It's constitutional rather than statutory. It's an area of continued controversy. In essence, McC is demanding that the companies challenge the subpoenas in court or face retribution from a GOP majority in the fairly near future. A court challenge is the only real possibility for these companies, and would undoubtedly go all the way to the SCOTUS, which doesn't like to rule on political cases. The other possibility--and that's the one I raised--is that the companies alert their account holders. That would allow the account holders to challenge the subpoenas in court. Those challenges too would go to the SCOTUS. The Dem House is trying to prevent that by telling the companies to notify the Dem House before letting the account holders know.

      Everything I just wrote presupposes an actual subpoena, whereas what we have so far is a request letter--if I understand this correctly. I'm not knowledgeable about this area--few are--but it seems to me that the companies would be within their rights to demand an actual subpoena and to refuse to comply with a request letter. That would set all I wrote in action.

    2. Further reflection: RFPA may be involved.

  6. Kevin McCarth - Frank Luntz’s roommate?

    Another useless squish.


  7. I think if you go by prior history on this phone record subject, by letter alone (no subpoena required) the data holders will hand them over in droves.

    The subject is irrelevant, big data and big government are hand in hand going to support each other for the most part in every venture.

    1. They may rethink that, given current politics. However, I believe the incident you refer to may have involved requests for records of Rudy Giuliani and other private citizens in context of impeachment. I don't know the details--was Giuliani informed? Did he challenge?

    2. Even if the companies would be within their rights to refuse to comply with a request letter, what about current politics would get them to do that?
      Can it really be, that the RFPA etc. don't give the GOP recourse in court, to block such requests, if only for all financial-type interactions?

    3. I'm writing about this currently. The clue to the illegitimacy of these requests is the demand for secrecy. The purpose of that is precisely to prevent the GOP from learning who the targets are, and thus from mounting a challenge--only the targets would have standing to challenge. The point is for the Dems to try to leak the gathered information or use it for oppo research--not really to hold hearings.

    4. Dems are way beyond rule of law. No court is going to stop them. Is the Biden administration abiding by Trump's 'Remain in Mexico,' policy, as ordered a week ago by the SC? I don't think so.

    5. According to the NY Post (8/25), "The Biden administration will move to reinstate the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum-seekers while it appeals a federal court order that the program be restored." All future tense. Roll Call (8/25) says DHS has started "diplomatic discussions" with Mexico over how to "restart" the program. After 8/25, a cone of silence descended on the story. It's been blanked out.

      In truth, I have found no evidence specifically that the Biden administration is ignoring the ruling. OTOH, there is no confirmation anywhere that Biden & his DHS stooges have gone back to the Trump policy.