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Poll Finds Majority Oppose Impeachment Inquiry as House GOP Kicks Off Hearings Two Days Before Likely Shutdown

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A just-released NBC News poll finds a solid majority of registered voters are opposed to House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, which kicks off Thursday morning, just two days before House Republicans are likely to shut down the federal government.

“56% of registered voters say Congress should not hold hearings to start the process of removing Biden from office, while 39% say it should,” NBC News reports. “The House Oversight Committee is gathering for its first hearing in the inquiry, which Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced two weeks ago to investigate Biden’s ties to his son Hunter’s business dealings, probing what McCarthy described as ‘allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption.'”

Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s “own conference was divided over the impeachment inquiry, and so are voters — who are also, unsurprisingly, divided along party lines when it comes to proceedings aimed at removing Biden from office,” NBC News adds. “An overwhelming majority of Democrats (88%) oppose the hearings, while 73% of Republicans support them. Six in 10 independents oppose the hearings, and 29% say Congress should move forward with them.”

READ MORE: House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs

The Congressional Integrity Project, a group of Democratic strategists, have published what it calls a “regularly updated rundown of Republican commentators, Members of Congress, and media personalities” who have indicated there is not sufficient evidence to initiate an impeachment inquiry against President Biden. It includes recent statements from Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Rep. French Hill (R-AR), Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), and Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY).

At midnight on Saturday the federal government will shut down, unless the House passes legislation to fund the government, the Senate passes the House’s legislation, and President Joe Biden signed it into law.

READ MORE: ‘I Feel a Little Bit Dumber for What You Say’: The Nine Worst Moments of the GOP Presidential Debate

The shutdown, which has yet to begin, may already have cost the American taxpayers possibly a billion dollars, well-known economist Justin Wolfers casually suggested:

“This week you and I are paying over a million federal employees over a billion dollars to put aside their regular work to plan for a pointless shutdown, and that shutdown will grind the government to a halt which will also cause untold disruption through the private sector.”

Earlier this week, House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi said, “A MAGA shutdown drains billions of dollars from our economy. It says to our men and women in uniform — you’re not getting paid. To women and children depending on food assistance — you’re not eating. All 3 recent shutdowns were under REPUBLICAN House Speakers. Irresponsible.”

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George Santos Trying to Get Plea Deal: Report

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Less than two weeks after Republicans and Democrats joined together to expel George Santos, the now-former GOP U.S. congressman is trying to arrange a plea deal to keep him out of prison.

“Santos is talking to federal prosecutors on Long Island about a plea deal, according to a newly filed court document,” ABC News reports, citing a court filing that reads: “The parties are presently engaged in plea negotiations with the goal of resolving this matter without the need for a trial.”

The former New York Republican freshman lawmaker is facing 23 charges ranging from money laundering to identity theft to theft of public funds, and lying to Congress, not to mention a damning Ethics Committee report.

READ MORE: Republicans Are Secretly Meeting With Allies of ‘Putin’s Buddy’ Orbán to End Ukraine Aid: Report

Santos has a September 2024 trial date set but federal prosecutors are trying to move that to May, according to the court filing.

On Sunday Santos hinted at a plea deal.

“Look, in the essence of everything going on, a plea is not off the table, obviously, at this point,” Santos told CBS New York’s Marcia Kramer in an interview.

Asked if he is afraid of going to jail Santos said, “I think everyone should be afraid of going to jail.”

Watch the interview below or at this link.

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Republicans Are Secretly Meeting With Allies of ‘Putin’s Buddy’ Orbán to End Ukraine Aid: Report

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Congressional Republicans are meeting in secret this week behind closed doors with allies of the far-right Christian nationalist authoritarian Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán. Those allies, including from a Hungarian government agency that reportedly organized a far-right U.S. group’s conference in Budapest, are working to support Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal war against Ukraine. GOP lawmakers, especially in the House but increasingly in the Senate, have been voicing strong opposition to the U.S. sending any additional funding to Ukraine.

“Members of the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs and staff from the Hungarian embassy in Washington will on Monday begin a two-day event hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation thinktank,” The Guardian reports. The Heritage Foundation, once considered the premier conservative think tank, by 2016 was a pro-Trump group. Now, Heritage is behind the massive Project 2025, which aims to install tens of thousands of pro-Trump loyalists into the federal government if the ex-president re-takes the White House.

“The first day,” The Guardian explains, “includes panel speeches about the Ukraine war as well as topics such as Transatlantic Culture Wars. It is expected to feature guests including Magor Ernyei, the international director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights, the institute that organized CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) Hungary.”

Orbán, called “Putin’s Buddy” just last week by Politico, is “a strongman who cultivates close ties with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and who is widely seen as having undermined democracy and rule of law at home.”

READ MORE: ‘Ballsy Move’: Experts Praise Special Counsel for Not Playing Trump’s ‘Stupid Reindeer Games’

In other words,” wrote U.S. Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL), “Far-right Republicans are conspiring with Hungary’s extremist Russian-sympathic PM Viktor Orbán to help former KGB dictator Putin defeat democratic Ukraine. Ronald Reagan and John McCain must be looking on in utter disbelief.”

Many are outraged that Republicans will be meeting with Orbán’s allies in D.C. while refusing to publicly acknowledge their attendance at the anti-Ukraine events. To date the guest list has not been published.

National security expert, former U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), blasted the GOP’s secrecy: “A list of every representative in that meeting with Orban should be made available to the press. Public servants shouldn’t hide in the shadows— especially when discussing decisions with foreign leaders that could benefit Vladimir Putin.”

READ MORE: ‘They’re Coming After Our Children’: Watch Casey DeSantis’ Dystopian Fear-Mongering Ad

Conservative commentator Bill Kristol explained, “Heritage Foundation and Viktor Orbán are not simply against aid for Ukraine. They are against Ukraine. They hate Ukraine, because a) they’re pro-Putin, and b) they hate liberal democracy, especially one fighting to defend itself against a brutal dictator.”

National security and international law expert Eugene Vindman, a retired U.S. Army colonel whose twin brother made national headlines when he blew the whistle on Donald Trump and was mercilessly targeted for his actions, blasted both the Hungarian prime minister and the GOP: “Viktor Orbán is actively interfering in domestic politics and colluding with extremist republicans to help Vladimir Putin. This is dangerous. Republicans must stop putting Putin ahead of U.S. national security interests.”

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‘Ballsy Move’: Experts Praise Special Counsel for Not Playing Trump’s ‘Stupid Reindeer Games’

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Legal experts are applauding Special Counsel Jack Smith’s move to “leapfrog” a Trump effort to delay his D.C. case by claiming he has immunity from prosecution and appealing the decisions by asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on that major question.

Trump is claiming he cannot be prosecuted for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election because he was president at the time, and is also claiming he cannot be prosecuted because he was impeached nay the House but not convicted by the Senate.

Legal experts and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan have declared Trump is not immune from prosecution for criminal acts, with Judge Chutkan writing: “Defendant’s four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens.”

READ MORE: Clarence Thomas Vehemently Objects to LGBTQ Conversion Therapy Case Denial by SCOTUS

On Monday the Special Counsel appeared to have short-ciircuited Trump’s delay tactic by asking the Supreme Court to rule on this question: “Whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin.”

“It is hard for Trump to logically object to Smith’s request today for expedited Supreme Ct review since it is Trump who is claiming he [should] not be subject to the indictment at all,” writes former FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann, a popular MSNBC legal analyst. “Expedited review only helps alleviate that harm, if he is correct (which he is not).”

Weissmann adds, “Note newest Smith team member: the storied appellate lawyer Michael Dreeben. Argued over 100 cases in Supreme Court, and was head appellate lawyer on SC Mueller team.”

“This is a really ballsy move,” declared former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Asst. Attorney General Harry Litman. “And who is Michael Dreeben? He plays a similar role in Mueller investigation but he was a very long time Deputy Solicitor General and probably the most respected Supreme Court advocate on criminal issues in the Dept.”

READ MORE: ‘They’re Coming After Our Children’: Watch Casey DeSantis’ Dystopian Fear-Mongering Ad

Steve Vladeck, the national security attorney and professor of law, adds, “if I were taking a criminal procedure issue to the Court, there’s no one I’d want as my special counsel *more* than Michael Dreeben.”

He also explains, “The bottom line of Jack Smith’s #SCOTUS filing is that he wants to ensure, one way or the other, that the issue of Trump’s constitutional immunity from the January 6-related prosecution is conclusively resolved by the end of the Supreme Court’s *current* term (i.e., June 2024).”

This is exactly the right move,” announced noted constitutional law scholar and Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe.  “And SCOTUS should agree to leapfrog the DC Circuit, just as it did in the Nixon tapes case. The issue is purely legal and delay hurts the country.”

Former 30-year federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, now an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst sums up the Special Counsel’s move: “Unwilling to play Trump’s stupid reindeer games, Jack Smith takes the reins and seeks an expedited answer from the Supreme Court on Trump’s baseless claim that he is above the law and can’t be prosecuted for his crimes.”

Watch Weissmann’s explanation of Smith’s move below or at this link.

READ MORE: Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’

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