Good news break: NBC releases sexual abuse survivors from NDAs, federal judge obliterates Trump's impeachment stonewall

Good news break: NBC releases sexual abuse survivors from NDAs, federal judge obliterates Trump's impeachment stonewall

Okay, that’s it. No one is ever allowed to take a Friday night off. Ever. Again. There was a mountain of news that broke last night, and all of it very good for backers of human dignity, democratic values, and the rule of law.

In today’s issue:

  • NBC frees former employees to speak openly about sexual harassment and assault

  • Rudy Giuliani, the butt-dial of jokes

  • Federal court ruling invalidates Trump claim on impeachment

NBC News has released former employees who signed a confidentiality agreement to stay silent about sexual abuse at the organization from those obligations. Appearing on an interview with Rachel Maddow, Pulitzer Prizer winner Ronan Farrow - who left NBC News after his reporting and investigation into Harvey Weinstein were interfered with, and who said he has spoken with multiple women at NBC who have spoken to him about these agreements - praised the move as a model for other companies. Here is Rachel’s reporting:

You can see the Ronan Farrow interview here.

Rudy Giuliani is the butt-dial of all jokes.

The personal lawyer of the very stable genius butt-dialed an NBC reporter while he was on a call talking about “forcing” Ukraine to do Trump’s bidding and manufacture dirt on Joe Biden. Also, how he needs “a few hundred thousand” dollars from the middle eastern Kingdom of Bahrain. About three minutes of the conversation - mostly Rudy’s end - was recorded in the voicemail of Rich Schapiro, the aforementioned reporter.

Honestly, I thought of headlining the news break with this story, for its sheer comic value.

Federal court doubly screws Trump: Barr can’t hide Mueller grand jury material, and impeachment is legit.

A federal judge in Washington has ruled that the Justice Department could not keep Mueller grand jury material from Congress, because, Judge Beryl A. Howell said, Congress was engaged in a judicial procedure that exempted it from normal restrictions on access to grand jury material.

The court’s ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler in July. In other words, long before Speaker Pelosi formally announced the impeachment inquiry looking into the Ukraine scandal. Nadler, however, said in his filing that the Judiciary Committee needed access to the grand jury material to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment. This was the time when liberal activists were hammering Democrats to open a formal impeachment inquiry based on the Mueller report, and Chairman Nadler responded that the Judiciary Committee, in effect, already had.

The court concurred.

Ordering the Justice Department to turn over the material to the House Judiciary Committee, Judge Howell also reject a GOP argument that a formal House vote is required to open an impeachment investigation. That argument, if you recall, also formed the basis of the White House letter that vowed to refuse cooperation with the impeachment inquiry focused on the Ukraine quid pro quo. Not that the letter has done much good for the administration as officials continue to answer Congressional subpoenas and testifying, but now a court has effectively officially declared the letter null and void.


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