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Pelosi seizes on anti-corruption message against GOP
The Hill ^ | 08/14/18 | Melanie Zanona

Posted on 08/14/2018 3:56:35 AM PDT by yesthatjallen

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) is moving full steam ahead on a Democratic strategy to paint the GOP as corrupt ahead of the midterm elections, a case that got new legs after the arrest of Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) on insider trading charges last week.

Pelosi has decided to make ethics a core pillar of House Democrats’ push for the majority this fall, seizing on Collins’s arrest in a way she hasn’t done with past GOP scandals involving Trump administration officials.

But with Collins, a sitting member of Congress and Trump's earliest congressional backer, Pelosi believes that Democrats have a ripe opportunity to draw a connection between the president and House Republicans who are on the ballot this November.

While it’s unclear whether the message will resonate with voters amid a seemingly never-ending stream of Trump controversies, Pelosi, who deployed a similar strategy in the 2006 midterms, which first handed her the Speakership, is going all-in on the idea ahead of November.

“The Collins case is another brick in the wall. It makes the linkage between Trump’s broken promise to drain the swamp and House Republicans,” said Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist. “It shows voters that instead of cleaning up the swamp, that the swamp has just become more poisonous. It’s a very useful strategy to go after Collins and make the connection to Trump.”

Pelosi, who has called on Collins to resign, sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter last week urging Democrats to make the case during the August recess that they need to be put back in charge so they can clean up the GOP’s “brazen corruption, cronyism and incompetence.”

Pelosi then went on MSNBC over the weekend to argue that Republicans are putting special interests above the American people.

“There's a real clarity now in the obstacle that their culture of corruption is doing to impede better policy,” Pelosi said Sunday on “AM Joy.” “Members of Congress should not be sitting on boards of companies, especially those whose are impacted by policies – policy decisions and the government – so this is appalling, but it shows the brazenness of it all.”

Prosecutors allege that while serving on the board of pharmaceutical company Innate Immunotherapeutics, Collins gave nonpublic information about drug trial results to his family in order to make advantageous trades and to help avoid losing hundreds of thousands in investments.

Collins, who calls the charges against him “meritless,” has decided to suspend his reelection bid.

The FBI alleges that Collins tipped off his son while standing on the White House lawn during the annual congressional picnic — a metaphor too tempting for Democrats to resist.

“There’s something poetic about the fact that he was making these insider trading calls from the White House picnic,” said Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who has been spearheading Democrats’ anti-corruption efforts with Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.). “In a sense, he sort of wandered into an ethics-free zone, and he couldn’t help himself. That’s the way this White House has operated.”

Almost immediately after Trump’s inauguration, Sarbanes approached Pelosi with a PowerPoint presentation suggesting that Democrats should start pushing the narrative that the Trump administration is unethical and self-serving.

While Pelosi cautioned it was too early to start selling that argument to voters, she put Sarbanes in charge of a task force where he could start building a case and conducting rigorous oversight of the administration.

"If you tell people right after they voted that this is going to be the most ethically challenged president and administration in modern history, they won't believe you,” said one Democratic aide. “You've got to let the narrative play itself out."

As chairman of the Democracy Reform Task Force, Sarbanes has kept tabs on the Trump administration’s potential ethics violations, highlighted how special interests are influencing politics in Washington and developed Democratic proposals for reform.

Now, after fine-tuning the message for over a year, it’s ready to be deployed on the campaign trail.

“The Democrats, through the Democracy Reform Task Force, have really positioned our caucus well, and our candidates in the field well, to push the anti-corruption framework to say we stand against a rigged system,” Sarbanes said. “We wanted to assemble a robust effort on that front.”

“I think we are well equipped now to make that case to the electorate,” he added.

There has been plenty of fodder for Sarbanes’s efforts, from former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who resigned after reports of his lavish, taxpayer-funded travel, to Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who is currently on trial for bank and tax fraud charges.

But with so many controversies coming out of the White House, Democrats, including Pelosi, have sometimes had to choose their battles.

For months, Democrats were pounding the tables over former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who was embroiled in a string of ethics scandals, but they eventually had to move on after it appeared Trump was not going to fire him. Pruitt did end up resigning in July.

"We have to be judicious about which battles we take on given the magnitude of scandal,” said the Democratic aide. “We have a president who can't be shamed into doing the right thing by the American people. That’s been the challenge."

The message, however, appears to be gaining steam in the wake of Collins’s arrest, which comes less than 90 days before the midterm elections.

"This corruption message has been gelling for months. The Chris Collins arrest brings it front-and-center in the battle for the House,” said Doug Thornell, former press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The problem for Republicans is that we are not dealing with an isolated incident. Almost every day there is a new scandal around Administration officials using their power to enrich themselves or abusing their power.”

And it's not just Trump administration officials in the hot seat. In addition to Collins, Democrats have also drawn attention to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who is under investigation for allegations that he misused campaign money.

Pelosi had success using a similar strategy when Democrats won back the House in 2006.

After the lobbying scandal involving Jack Abramoff and the congressional page scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), it was Pelosi who was urging voters to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

But it’s unclear whether positioning Democrats as the anti-corruption party will work this time around, especially when the public is so polarized and when Trump’s popularity with his base seems to be immune to most controversies.

The strategy could also backfire, as Democrats haven’t been completely without controversy: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has faced a corruption trial of his own.

“Would advise some caution to Democrats, each time they say Collins, Republicans are going to yell Menendez,” said Dan Ronayne, who was press secretary of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2006.

Still, some Democratic strategists predict that the slew of ethics scandals could turn off independents and depress voter turnout among suburban and college-educated Republicans. Those are key voting blocs in the path to the majority, which could be fueling Pelosi’s eagerness to dive head first into the anti-corruption messaging strategy.

“Many Republicans in the upper, middle-class suburbs are sick to death of all the stuff that’s going on in Washington,” Bannon said. “There has to be a fall guy. And if it’s not gonna be Trump, it’s gonna be House Republicans.”

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: midterms; pelosi
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1 posted on 08/14/2018 3:56:35 AM PDT by yesthatjallen
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To: yesthatjallen

...House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) is moving full steam ahead on a Democratic strategy to paint the GOP as corrupt ahead of the midterm elections...


Former Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders was convicted in January, 2018 of conspiracy and using campaign funds for personal expenses was the Jackson County prosecutor and head of the Missouri Democratic Party.

Former Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown reported to federal prison in January, 2018 to start her five year sentence for multiple crimes, including tax fraud and corruption.

A Texas judge and Democrat was arrested and charged with taking bribes in exchange for giving favorable rulings in his courtroom for more than a decade.
On 02/06/18, 93rd State District Judge Rodolfo Delgado posted bond on charges asserting he abused his power and office to personally enrich himself with bribes dating back as far as 2008

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry resigned after pleading guilty on 03/06/2018 to felony theft of city property with three years probation during an affair with her policeman bodyguard, including a city paid trip for two to Greece. Both were married.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski was found guilty on 47 of 54 charges he faced, including conspiracy, bribery, fraud, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each count. 04/03/18

The Democrat ex-speaker of the New York state Assembly Sheldon Silver was found guilty on Friday 05/12/18 of selling his office for $4 million in kickbacks —

Rachel Dolezal, who legally changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, was charged this week with theft by welfare fraud, perjury and false verification for public assistance...
She illegally received $8,747 in food assistance and $100 in child care assistance from August 2015 through November 2017, court documents said

0n 05/32018 in federal court in Central Islip, Gerard Terry, former Chairman of the Democratic Party in North Hempstead and head of the Nassau County Board of Elections, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years’ supervised release, $992,057 in restitution and $31,000 in forfeiture, following his guilty plea on October 12, 2017 to tax evasion.

Pennsylvania’s former attorney general, Democrat Kathleen Kane, has been sentenced to 10 to 23 months in jail after she was embroiled in a scandal that shook the state’s political establishment.

Kane, who was once viewed as a rising star within the Democratic Party, was “convicted on all nine counts – including perjury, obstruction and official oppression – in connection with a complicated case in which she leaked grand jury information about an investigation in retaliation against a political rival and then lied about it under oath in October, 2016.

A Democrat deputy attorney general was arrested in June, 2018 at his Coronado, CA home and charged with possessing child pornography in San Diego federal court.

According to the LA Times, Raymond Joseph Liddy, 53, was arrested last Tuesday and pleaded not guilty. He was released on $100,000 bond and placed on house arrest with a GPS monitor, court documents show.

On 07/28/18 Sheldon Silver, a former New York DemocratvAssembly speaker who brokered legislative deals for two decades before criminal charges abruptly ended his career, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a judge who said political corruption in the state must end.

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem, Democrat Dwaine Caraway, pled guilty in August, 2018 to federal corruption charges. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the IRS, Caraway accepted $450,000 in bribes and kickbacks related to a scheme that could have contributed to the demise of Dallas County Schools.

2 posted on 08/14/2018 4:02:28 AM PDT by Sasparilla ( I'm Not Tired of Winning)
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To: yesthatjallen

....drawing straws...

3 posted on 08/14/2018 4:04:20 AM PDT by Doogle (( USAF.68-....8th TFW Ubon Thailand....never store a threat you should have eliminated)))
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To: yesthatjallen

How many millions did she and her husband make off the government teat? Insider trading was LEGAL a few years ago, I’m surprised they changed that law.

4 posted on 08/14/2018 4:07:24 AM PDT by New Jersey Realist ( (Be Nice To Your Kids. They Will Pick Out Your Nursing Home))
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To: Sasparilla
Great points.

What fancy Nancy isn't understanding is that President Trump has the bigger megaphone, despite the media bias against him. Every single day he can tweet about something that will have the media contorting itself like the proverbial pretzel. This isn't going anywhere and she better come up with something else much more inspiring, and it better be soon!

5 posted on 08/14/2018 4:07:29 AM PDT by Enterprise
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To: Sasparilla

Nice post. Plenty of corruption on both sides. That’s why it is important to drain the swamp. He tactics will hurt her more than help.

6 posted on 08/14/2018 4:09:21 AM PDT by New Jersey Realist ( (Be Nice To Your Kids. They Will Pick Out Your Nursing Home))
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To: yesthatjallen

Mark Foley Part Deux

It how Nan got the big gavel in ‘06

Won’t work this time

7 posted on 08/14/2018 4:12:34 AM PDT by digger48
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To: yesthatjallen

She could start by explaining how she and hubby have gotten filthy rich. She the insider on a govt. salary and he the developer with favors to pass out....

8 posted on 08/14/2018 4:19:10 AM PDT by sappy (criminaldems)
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To: yesthatjallen

Confession: At first I read the headline as “Pelosi Seizures ...”

9 posted on 08/14/2018 4:22:39 AM PDT by cdcdawg
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To: All
Nanzi conveniently forgot the Hillary Clinton investigation is about to be reopened-- and all the interesting criminal places it will lead:
-- Uranium One -- Clinton Foundation-- Benghazi-- Haiti-- North African Government Extortion-- Fusion GPS-- Seth Rich-- etc. etc.
10 posted on 08/14/2018 4:22:43 AM PDT by Liz ( Our side has 8 trillion bullets; the other side doesn't know which bathroom to use.)
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To: yesthatjallen
Pelosi has decided to make ethics a core pillar of House Democrats' push for the majority this fall ...

LOL. What could possibly go wrong? I predict this trial balloon will soon be deflated, and replaced with another.

11 posted on 08/14/2018 4:24:05 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: All

How Hillary Clinton’s email scandal took root
May 27, 2016
Melina Mara / The Washington Post
Robert O’Harrow Jr. / The Washington Post
Alice Crites contributed to this report.

From her earliest days as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton’s aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary’s desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show.

Hillary Clinton’s email problems began in her first days as secretary of state. She insisted on using her personal BlackBerry for all her email communications, but she wasn’t allowed to take the device into her seventh-floor suite of offices, a secure space known as Mahogany Row.

For Clinton, this was frustrating. As a political heavyweight and chief of the nation’s diplomatic corps, she needed to manage a torrent of email to stay connected to colleagues, friends and supporters. She hated having to put her BlackBerry into a lockbox before going into her own office.

Her aides and senior officials pushed to find a way to enable her to use the device in the secure area. But their efforts unsettled the diplomatic security bureau, which was worried that foreign intelligence services could hack her BlackBerry and transform it into a listening device. On Feb. 17, 2009, less than a month into Clinton’s tenure, the issue came to a head. Department security, intelligence and technology specialists, along with five officials from the National Security Agency, gathered in a Mahogany Row conference room. They explained the risks to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, while also seeking “mitigation options” that would accommodate Clinton’s wishes.

“The issue here is one of personal comfort,” one of the participants in that meeting, Donald Reid, the department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, wrote afterward in an email that described Clinton’s inner circle of advisers as “dedicated [BlackBerry] addicts.” Clinton used her BlackBerry as the group continued looking for a solution.

But unknown to diplomatic security and technology officials at the department, there was another looming communications vulnerability: Clinton’s BlackBerry was digitally tethered to a private email server in the basement of her family home, some 260 miles to the north in Chappaqua, N.Y., documents and interviews show. Those officials took no steps to protect the server against intruders and spies, because they apparently were not told about it.

The vulnerability of Clinton’s basement server is one of the key unanswered questions at the heart of a scandal that has dogged her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Since Clinton’s private email account was brought to light a year ago in a New York Times report - followed by an Associated Press report revealing the existence of the server - the matter has been a source of nonstop national news. Private groups have filed lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act. Investigations were begun by congressional committees and inspector general’s offices in the State Department and the U.S. Intelligence Community, which referred the case to the FBI in July for “counterintelligence purposes” after determining that the server carried classified material.

The FBI is now trying to determine whether a crime was committed in the handling of that classified material. They are also examining whether the server was hacked. One hundred forty-seven FBI agents have been deployed to run down leads, according to a lawmaker briefed by FBI Director James Comey. The FBI has accelerated the investigation because officials want to avoid the possibility of announcing any action too close to the election.

The Washington Post reviewed hundreds of documents and interviewed more than a dozen knowledgeable government officials to understand the decisions and the implications of Clinton’s actions. The resulting scandal revolves around questions about classified information, the preservation of government records and the security of her email communication.

From the earliest days, Clinton aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary’s desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show. Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records, interviews and documents show. They also neglected repeated warnings about the security of the BlackBerry while Clinton and her closest aides took obvious security risks in using the basement server.

Senior officials who helped Clinton with her BlackBerry claim they did not know details of the basement server, the State Department said, even though they received emails from her private account. One email written by a senior official mentioned the server.

The scandal has pitted those who say Clinton was innocently trying to find the easiest way to communicate against those who say she placed herself above the law in a quest for control of her records. She and her campaign have been accused of confusing matters with contradictory and evolving statements that minimized the consequences of her actions.

Clinton, 68, declined to be interviewed. She has said repeatedly that her use of the private server was benign and that there is no evidence of any intrusion. In a news conference last March, she said: “I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.” During a Democratic debate on March 9, she acknowledged using poor judgment but maintained she was permitted to use her own server: “It wasn’t the best choice. I made a mistake. It was not prohibited. It was not in any way disallowed.”

The unfolding story of Clinton’s basement server has outraged advocates of government transparency and mystified political supporters and adversaries alike. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., who is presiding over one of the FOIA lawsuits, has expressed puzzlement over the affair. He noted that Clinton put the State Department in the position of having to ask her to return thousands of government records - her work email. “Am I missing something?” Sullivan asked during a Feb. 23 hearing. “How in the world could this happen?”

An aide selects a reporter to ask Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, left, a question during a news conference at the United Nations in March. Clinton defended the legality of her use of a private email account and server while she served as secretary of state, saying that she had done so out of a desire for convenience but should have used a government account for work purposes.

Hillary Clinton began preparing to use the private basement server after President Obama picked her to be his secretary of state in November 2008. The system was already in place. It had been set up for former president Bill Clinton, who used it for personal and Clinton Foundation business. On Jan. 13, 2009, a longtime aide to Bill Clinton registered a private email domain for Hillary Clinton,, that would allow her to send and receive email through the server.

Eight days later, she was sworn in as secretary of state. Among the multitude of challenges she faced was how to integrate email into her State Department routines. Because Clinton did not use desktop computers, she relied on her personal BlackBerry, which she had started using three years earlier.

For years, employees across the government had used official and private email accounts. The new president was making broad promises about government transparency that had a bearing on Clinton’s communication choices. In memos to his agency chiefs, Obama said his administration would promote accountability through the disclosure of a wide array of information, one part of a “profound national commitment to ensuring an open government.” That included work emails.

One year earlier, during her own presidential campaign, Clinton had said that if elected, “we will adopt a presumption of openness and Freedom of Information Act requests and urge agencies to release information quickly.” But in those first few days, Clinton’s senior advisers were already taking steps that would help her circumvent those high-flown words, according to a chain of internal State Department emails released to Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit organization suing the government over Clinton’s emails.

Leading that effort was Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff. She was joined by Clinton adviser Huma Abedin, Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy and Lewis Lukens, a senior career official who served as Clinton’s logistics chief. Their focus was on accommodating Clinton. Mills wondered whether the department could get her an encrypted device like the one from the NSA that Obama used. “If so, how can we get her one?” Mills wrote the group on Saturday evening, Jan. 24. Lukens responded that same evening, saying he could help set up “a stand alone PC in the Secretary’s office, connected to the internet (but not through our system) to enable her to check her emails from her desk.” Kennedy wrote that a “stand-alone separate network PC” was a “great idea.” Abedin and Mills declined to comment for this article, according to Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. Lukens also declined to comment, according to the State Department.

—SNIP— long read-—rest at Source


12 posted on 08/14/2018 4:32:03 AM PDT by Liz ( Our side has 8 trillion bullets; the other side doesn't know which bathroom to use.)
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To: Sasparilla


13 posted on 08/14/2018 4:39:50 AM PDT by Cobra64 (Common sense isn’t common anymore.)
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To: yesthatjallen

Nasty Nancy better worry about her own scandals, like Keith Ellison MN demonrat Rep, and DNC chairman, and his charges as a wife beater.

Has anyone seen the “Me Too” movement? Cnn, PMSNBC, are you out there? Hello?

14 posted on 08/14/2018 4:41:21 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Liberals can kiss my bitter clingers!)
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To: Enterprise; All

Yup. The RNC could exhibit the bullet points for both parties and illuminate the corruption imbalance in favor of the dems. Never mind, this would never occur to The Stupid Party.

15 posted on 08/14/2018 4:43:17 AM PDT by Cobra64 (Common sense isn’t common anymore.)
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To: yesthatjallen

She may want to be a little cautious in latching onto the corruption theme as the highlight. A little risky! Especially in light of certain tidbits that may come to light about congressional involvement in this FISA scandal...

16 posted on 08/14/2018 4:51:29 AM PDT by Old_Grouch (71 and AARP-free. Monthly FR contributor.)
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To: yesthatjallen

17 posted on 08/14/2018 4:55:54 AM PDT by seawolf101 (Member LES DEPLORABLES)
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To: Sasparilla
If the mainstream media doesn't report these facts in the minds of the voters they didn't happen.

Unfortunately Chris Collins gave the Democrats and the Democratic Media Complex fresh talking points and an opening they can exploit.

18 posted on 08/14/2018 5:12:39 AM PDT by yesthatjallen
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To: yesthatjallen

LOL I thought this was satire. She is a nut.

19 posted on 08/14/2018 5:17:15 AM PDT by madison10 (Pray for President Trump, his family and Devin Nunes)
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To: yesthatjallen

same message as 2006 “a culture of corruption that rises to the top ranks of the party”. just waiting for them to out two closeted homosexuals to depress the vote of the “evangelicals”.

meanwhile stealing the 2016 primary, selling national security secrets, uranium deals with russia, billions to iran, benghazigate, muslim brotherhood...

20 posted on 08/14/2018 5:22:20 AM PDT by a fool in paradise
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