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11:35 AM ET, December 12, 2019

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Eric Holder / Washington Post:
William Barr is unfit to be attorney general  —  Eric H. Holder Jr., a Democrat, was U.S. attorney general from 2009 to 2015.  —  As a former U.S. attorney general, I am reluctant to publicly criticize my successors.  I respect the office and understand just how tough the job can be.
RELATED:
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Of course the FBI spied on the Trump campaign  —  The great debate about whether the FBI spied on the Trump campaign continues.  The question is why there is still any argument.  The newly-released report from Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz shows that by any definition the FBI did indeed spy.
CNN:   FBI agents warn of ‘chilling effect’ from Trump and Barr attacks
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Report: Trump's Ukraine Extortion Scheme Was Financed by Russia  —  President Trump is facing impeachment primarily for abusing his power for political gain, extorting a foreign country to discredit his political rivals.  The secondary aspect of the plot is that the target of his extortion is hardly random.
RELATED:
Christian Berthelsen / Bloomberg:
Giuliani Ally Parnas Got $1 Million From Russia, U.S. Says  — Prosecutors ask judge to revoke Parnas' bail, send him to jail  — Russia payment raises questions about nature of Parnas' work  —  Rudy Giuliani's associate Lev Parnas got $1 million from an account in Russia in September …
Wall Street Journal:
Giuliani's Partnership With Fraud Guarantee Revealed in Letter  —  A 2018 investor letter offers new clues about the work Rudy Giuliani was hired to do for Fraud Guarantee, a company founded by his now-indicted associates Lev Parnas and David Correia.  The letter has been handed over to the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.
CNN:
2 GOP senators say McConnell will move to acquit Trump, not merely dismiss charges  —  (CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to hold a final vote to acquit President Donald Trump should he be impeached, when a majority of senators believe his trial has run its course instead …
RELATED:
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Nothing could be more conclusive proof of Trump's guilt
Discussion: Bloomberg
Burgess Everett / Politico:   Trump tightens grips on judges as McConnell wins 50th Circuit pick
ABC News:
President Trump considering adding controversial lawyer Alan Dershowitz to impeachment legal team: Sources  —  Donald Trump is gearing up for his impeachment defense in the Senate.  —  Gearing up for an impeachment trial in the Senate, President Donald Trump and his top advisers …
RELATED:
USA Today:
USA TODAY's Editorial Board: Impeach President Trump  —  The president's Ukraine shakedown and stonewalling are too serious for the House to ignore: Our view  —  “Put your own narrow interests ahead of the nation's, flout the law, violate the trust given to you by the American people …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Orlando Sentinel:
The House should vote to impeach Trump, and the Senate should remove him from office
Discussion: The Bulwark, New York Times and DNyuz
Melanie Zanona / Politico:
Republican lawmaker asks Lindsey Graham to ‘rethink’ Senate's impeachment strategy  —  “It is urgent we fight fire with fire,” said Rep. Jim Banks.  —  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham.  J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo  —  Rep. Jim Banks is calling on fellow Republican …
Discussion: Instapundit
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Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Pence rejects calls to declassify new impeachment testimony
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and NBC News
Kyle Cheney / Politico:   GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert publicly identifies person purported to be whistleblower
Heather Caygle / Politico:
Democrats jostle for prized impeachment manager gig
Discussion: Breitbart
NBC News:
GOP Rep. Gohmert publicly names person some Republicans say is whistleblower
Discussion: courthousenews.com
Courier-Journal:
Bevin pardons include convicted killer whose brother hosted campaign fundraiser for him  —  The family of a man pardoned by Gov. Matt Bevin for a homicide and other crimes in a fatal 2014 Knox County home invasion raised $21,500 at a political fundraiser last year to retire debt from Bevin's 2015 gubernatorial campaign.
Washington Post:
House Democrats brace for some defections among moderates on impeachment of Trump  —  House Democratic leaders are bracing for some defections among a group of moderate Democrats in swing districts who are concerned a vote to impeach President Trump could cost them their seats in November.
RELATED:
New York Times:   An Inside Look at the Impeachment Case's Most Intriguing Moments
Los Angeles Times:   Russia is nowhere and everywhere in the impeachment saga
Washington Post:
Senate Republicans look to hold short impeachment trial despite Trump's desire for an aggressive defense
Rebecca Traister / The Cut:
Can You Spot the Fake?  Hint: Look at the pundits.  —  The week before the last Democratic primary debate of 2019, a panel of pundits on MSNBC's Morning Joe gathered to make an explicit critique of one of the candidates.  Citing a “whiff of fraudulence,” political writer John Heilemann talked …
Discussion: Washington Post and WFTV
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Tim Miller / The Bulwark:
If Trump Is a Unique Danger Why Aren't Democrats Acting Like It?
Discussion: Raw Story
Allan Smith / NBC News:
Trump mocks Greta Thunberg after she wins Time Person of the Year  —  “So ridiculous,” Trump tweeted.  “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend!  Chill Greta, Chill!”  —  Trump mocks Time's Person of the Year on Twitter
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John Wagner / Washington Post:
Trump mocks 16-year-old Greta Thunberg a day after she is named Time's Person of the Year
NBC News:
Pentagon watchdog plans to review award of $400M border wall contract to firm touted by Trump  —  Fisher Sand & Gravel has been publicly and privately endorsed to build the wall by members of the Trump administration, including the president himself.  —  WASHINGTON — The Defense Department's …
Discussion: ABC News
RELATED:
Elizabeth Findell / Wall Street Journal:   Construction of Texas Border Wall Stalls Over Fights With Landowners
David Smith / The Guardian:
Fox host lambasts Trump over ‘most sustained assault on press freedom in US history’  —  Chris Wallace, admired for breaking ranks with some in the conservative network, drew applause with most stinging critique yet  —  A leading host on Fox News, a conservative network notorious for its loyalty …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
RELATED:
Aidan McLaughlin / Mediaite:   Fox's Chris Wallace: Trump is ‘Engaged in the Most Direct, Sustained Assault on Freedom of the Press in Our History’
Alexander Mallin / ABC News:
DOJ charges 10 former NFL players in alleged health care fraud scheme  —  The scheme involved over $3.9 million in false health care claims.  —  The Department of Justice announced charges Thursday against 10 former NFL players over an alleged scheme to defraud millions of dollars from the league's health care benefits program.
Michael Wines / New York Times:
In a Turnabout, Kentucky to Give Voting Rights to 100,000 Former Felons  —  The state's new Democratic governor has said he will restore rights to many former felons, easing one of the nation's strictest policies.  Iowa would be alone in barring voting by all felons.
John F. Harris / Politico:
What if Trump Weren't Nuts?  —  A moment when the president of the United States is on the verge of being impeached and also enacting a major bipartisan trade agreement is a good time to ponder the question: What if Donald Trump were not, um, you know ... what is the phrase we are groping for?
Katherine Clarke / Wall Street Journal:
Lachlan Murdoch Sets L.A. Record by Paying $150 Million for a Château-Style Mansion  —  Once listed for $350 million, the Bel-Air estate of late media tycoon A. Jerrold Perenchio is the second priciest home ever to have traded in the U.S.  —  Lachlan Murdoch, media executive and son …
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight and Mediaite
Ben Farmer / Telegraph:
Three die as marauding Pakistan lawyers rampage through cardiac hospital  —  Three heart patients died after a mob of lawyers rampaged through a Lahore hospital in a dispute with doctors.  —  Up to 200 lawyers wearing traditional black suits stormed the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) …
NBC News:
Online posts tied to suspected New Jersey deli shooter pushed anti-Semitic conspiracies  —  Multiple years of social media posts connected to one of the suspects indicated that he also advocated for violence against police officers.  —  One of the two suspects in Tuesday's shooting …
Anne Applebaum / The Atlantic:
The False Romance of Russia  —  Sherwood Eddy was a prominent American missionary as well as that now rare thing, a Christian socialist.  In the 1920s and '30s, he made more than a dozen trips to the Soviet Union.  He was not blind to the problems of the U.S.S.R., but he also found much to like.
Discussion: Raw Story
Nikki Haley / Washington Post:
Today's climate wouldn't allow us to remove the Confederate flag in South Carolina  —  Nikki Haley, a Republican, was governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017 and served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2017 through 2018.  —  Four years ago, the removal of the Confederate battle flag …
RFA:
Randall Schriver, Pentagon's Top Asia Official, Resigns Post  —  Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall Schriver, the top Asia hand at the Pentagon who has criticized China's Uyghur internment camps in Xinjiang, has resigned and will leave his post at the end of the month, RFA has learned.
Discussion: Foreign Policy
Jason Lyall / Washington Post:
If you're surprised by what's in the Afghanistan Papers, you haven't been paying attention  —  In these five key areas, scholarly research could have helped policymakers and strategists make better decisions  —  On Monday, The Washington Post published the Afghanistan Papers …
Jennifer Bendery / HuffPost:
Republicans Confirm Judge Rated ‘Not Qualified’ For Being ‘Lazy,’ ‘Arrogant’  —  Lawrence VanDyke's own colleagues describe him as an ideologue who may not be fair to LGBTQ litigants.  The GOP confirmed him anyway.  —  WASHINGTON ― Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to make Lawrence VanDyke …
 
 
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Immense amounts of methane are escaping from oil and gas sites nationwide, worsening global warming …
Lawrence Hurley / Reuters:
Trump poised for Supreme Court battle over financial records
Alex Leary / Wall Street Journal:
Tariff Threat Dims Holiday Cheer for Christmas Tree Company
Discussion: Raw Story, Daily Breeze and CNBC
Jake Sherman / Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: Do Democrats have a Plan B?
Ed Kilgore / New York Magazine:
Is Pelosi Falling Between Two Stools in Her Impeachment Strategy?
Discussion: CNN, The Hill and New York Times
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Hunter Biden Is the New Hillary Clinton Email Server
Bloomberg:
In a High-Stakes Labor Showdown, McDonald's Has Allies in the White House
The Daily Beast:
Trump Blasts Trudeau and ‘Pain in the Ass’ Macron Behind Closed Doors Following Viral Video
Discussion: New York Post and Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
Feds Collect Record Taxes Through November; But Still Run $343.3 Billion Deficit With Second …
Liel Leibovitz / Tablet Magazine:
The Real Dangers to Jews
Discussion: CNN, The Atlantic, Deseret News and HotAir
Lesley Goldberg / Hollywood Reporter:
‘Succession’ Star to Play Adam Neumann in WeWork TV Series (Exclusive)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Impeach President Donald Trump | Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board
Discussion: The Hill and HotAir
Betsy Swan / The Daily Beast:
Ukrainians: Trump Just Sent Us ‘a Terrible Signal’
Discussion: Raw Story and National Review