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SS White House: How many torpedoes can hit this sinking ship in a single day?

[Barr and Murdoch]

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

Just yesterday:

— Giuliani’s cronies Parnas and Fruman arrested, entangled every which way in impeachment issue and Trump

— Pete Sessions [ex Texas Rep.] is discovered to have taken Parnas and Fruman money and delivered, helping oust the US Ambassador to Ukraine for not playing

— Kevin McCarthy [House Minority Leader] announces he’s re-donating the donations received from Parnas and Fruman


— Ron DeSantis [FL Gov] announces he’s returning Parnas and Fruman money

— Rudy Giuliani suddenly not returning phone calls

— Michael McKinley [Senior aide to Mike Pompeo] resigns

— Bill Barr meets with Rupert Murdoch [because clearly the problem is messaging, and clearly this is the right and proper role of the US Attorney General]

Not sure how many more torpedoes this administration can take, but the ship was already sinking the day before and everything got much worse yesterday.

The most remarkable thing is that after a year plus of Mueller investigating Russian election interference in 2016 (which unquestionably occurred, and which investigation Trump clearly obstructed but nevertheless got a pass after Bill Barr stepped in), Trump — as president, no longer as merely a candidate — facilitated yet more Russian election interference.

Shocking in its way but also wholly predictable.

The House has a line of witnesses set to testify over the coming days, including Gordon Sondland, whose testimony the State Department had attempted to block. Sondland has since lawyered up and he’s testifying against the State Department’s directive next Thursday.

Marie Yovanovitch (the career US ambassador Rudy, Parnas and Fruman helped oust because she wouldn’t fabricate a Biden investigation) is set to testify today behind closed doors. I would expect her to discuss being pressured to gin up an investigation on the Bidens and the reasons she refused which led to her ousting.

In Giuliani news, there are big questions about his relationship to Parnas and Fruman and their company “Fraud Guarantee” (yeah, amazing). Giuliani would probably be wise to remain silent and lawyer up but Rudy’s gonna Rudy, so he told the New York Times that he was paid by Parnas and Fruman to dispense “business and legal” advice.

Giuliani’s full disastrous quote: “All I can tell you is that most of the Fraud Guarantee work, in fact the Fraud Guarantee work, which… or I should say… I can’t acknowledge it’s Fraud Guarantee, I don’t think.”

But somehow Parnas and Fruman were also working for Giuliani in connection with Biden-related investigation activities. In any case, the House had already issued subpoenas to Giuliani, Parnas, and Fruman prior to Parnas and Fruman’s attempt to flee the country and subsequent arrest, so there’s mystery what happens next there. Ken Vogel’s New York Times piece has the deepest dive on the two-way relationship shared by Parnas, Fruman, and Giuliani.

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