There are three key congressional events likely in the first quarter of 2019. The sequencing of those events will be key to the “Resistance” political year.
The baseline is that Democrat leadership are cunning political strategists; and have likely already drawn out the big picture road-map with details to be filled in as they proceed.
- The first event is the congressional use of Michael Cohen for a series of public committee hearings. [Oversight (Elijah Cummings) and possibly -though less likely- Judiciary (Nadler) and HPSCI (Schiff)] This likely has to happen before March 6th, 2019, when Cohen is scheduled to enter federal prison. It’s almost certain Cohen’s incarceration deferment contains the unwritten agreement to appear. [Democrat leadership almost certainly coordinated this plan with team Mueller and the SDNY some time ago.]
- The second event is the release of the Team Mueller political report which, despite its inability to find criminal wrongdoing, will most certainly be written with highly charged innuendo as damaging to President Trump as possible. The release of this report will absolutely fuel several public committee hearings [Oversight/Reform (Cummings), HPSCI (Schiff) and Judiciary (Nadler)] without any doubt.
- The third event is the release of the OIG Horowitz report on possible FISA abuse. Due to the nature of Mueller’s proprietary investigative blackout (Horowitz not allowed to see investigative material or witnesses with Mueller probe ongoing), the Horowitz report will likely come out *after* Mueller.
That’s the three key events the Democrats and media will be most likely to exploit for maximum political benefit in the first quarter of 2019. The sequence between Mueller and Horowitz might reverse (though unlikely and I’ll explain later). Other investigative resistance paths will spur from these three primary Q1 events.
Again, there is very little doubt the approach has already been mapped out in post-election meetings between: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, the Democrat committee heads, allies in the lawfare community, political allies inside the executive branch (IC, DOJ, FBI etc.), along with feedback from political networks, DNC (Perez) and major resistance donors.
The real trick to discovering the plan (as early as possible) will be to spot the signals that will tell us where they are going before they shift in their planned direction. Example: We already know Michael Cohen is a key starting point (aforementioned reasons).
To better understand the Resistance landscape, next let’s look at: (1) the most reasonable predictions for committee structure; (2) the new Gang of Eight line-up; and (3) the broad political alliances that are also predictable.
♦Key Committee Structure – The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) will likely be Chairman Adam Schiff and ranking member Devin Nunes. The House Judiciary Committee will be Chaired by Jerry Nadler and ranking member Doug Collins. The House Oversight and Reform Committee will be Chairman Elijah Cummings and ranking member Jim Jordan.
♦Gang of Eight (IC Oversight) – The Go8 line-up will be radically different in 2019 and far more adversarial to the executive branch. Ranked by influence over IC:
- Nancy Pelosi (D) – Speaker of House.
- Adam Schiff (D) – Chair, HPSCI
- Senator Mitch McConnell (R) – Senate Majority Leader
- Senator Richard Burr (R) – Chair, SSCI
- Kevin McCarthy (R) – Minority Leader House.
- Senator Chuck Schumer (D) – Senate Minority Leader
- Devin Nunes (R) – Ranking Member HPSCI
- Senator Mark Warner (D) – Vice Chair, SSCI
♦The Broad Political Alliances – Overlaying the DC political alliances within the intelligence community Gang of Eight you see a resistance ratio of 7:1 against the executive branch.
Pelosi, Schiff, McConnell, Burr, McCarthy, Schumer and Warner all allied with the overall UniParty resistance objective; and only Devin Nunes as an ally to the White House. That’s a ration of 7:1 in favor of “The DC Resistance” against the Executive Branch.
That’s the landscape.
So if we take the first quarter resistance events/narratives (¹Cohen appearance, ²Mueller Report and ³Horowitz report); and we overlay what has already surfaced; we can then begin to get a picture of how things will reasonably be expected to play out.
SC Robert Mueller (the team, not the person) and DAG Rod Rosenstein have already explained to POTUS Trump that if he attempts any declassification of documents currently part of Mueller’s investigative purview (that’s literally everything and or anything they lay claim to), the Special Counsel investigative unit will consider that interference with their investigation of him (President Trump). That threat, and the advice of White House lawyers (prior counsel no longer present), led to Trump backing down in September:
[Obviously “speed” is a relative term, it’s soon to be 4 months]
So it stands to reason if they (Rosenstein, Mueller, etc.) are telling the president he can’t take any action,…. common sense says the same general ‘hands-off‘ principle would apply to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz; who is ultimately under much more of the institutional DOJ control system than President Trump.
See the issue? As time progresses, and with hindsight as a corruption guide, it becomes more clear how Robert Mueller has been playing his cards. Horowitz is frozen in place by an inability to see evidence until Mueller says he’s finished with his investigation.
[While it is absolutely blood-boiling to witness, that professional DOJ hoodwinking -the inherent ‘catch 22‘- is the administrative state doing some of its finest work. See the scale of it? There’s no-one to technically hold accountable, it’s the system self-actuated. This is an example of why you can never be cynical enough when it comes to DC.]
The Democrats take control on January 3rd, 2019, (next Thursday) – they will likely utilize the first two weeks of compliant media coverage to spike the football and position maximum demoralization toward their new minority party republican colleagues.
The Democrats will have to balance the level of smug condescension (which the media and their base are looking forward to) with their visible faux-apoplexy toward the current appropriations battle and government shut down. They will pat the republicans on the head and position themselves as the professionals in charge now.
If we extend the sequencing with all the above in mind it looks like the House Oversight Committee (Cummings) and House Judiciary Committee (Nadler) will likely kick the resistance operation into action (after Superbowl) with Michael Cohen’s scheduled appearances broadcast on television for the better part of two weeks use.
That first phase event will likely be followed by a late Feb/early March dropping of the Mueller report. There will be a grand lead-in, roll-out and press spectacle designed for maximum exposure. The tail end of that phase will lead to more hearings throughout March perhaps into early April with subpoenas based on the report framework.
Again, remember these are Democrats. This stuff is already planned out in the broad strokes. The upcoming congressional calendar has all of these events considered. Pelosi and Schumer have told their key underlings of preliminary vacation blackout dates etc. Nothing professional democrats do is without specific intent, purposeful design and well communicated organization. This is what they do. This is all they do.
While these events are happening the HPSCI will be demanding discovery from the White House and intelligence apparatus that will be spurred by Cohen and Mueller. The DOJ and FBI will find a new interest in congressional compliance especially given the House General Counsel, Douglas Letter, is one of their allied Resistance members.
On the positive side for Team Trump, once Mueller actually presents a report – his operational leverage over the White House will be effectively over.
Mueller (the team, not the individual) will be handing the Resistance baton to their allies in congress; and the team will then set off for a well indulged, stunningly compensated, media tour which will likely include numerous advanced offers from Hollywood types for movie rights. Most of them will enjoy job offers from major networks and political allies.