A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
Something is shifting. More and more Democratic politicians are coming out in favor of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. And all eyes are on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The subject was in the A-block of the NBC, ABC and CBS nightly newscasts on Tuesday. And it was prominent all across news homepages. At a CNN town hall event, Beto O’Rourke said for the first time that “we should begin impeachment proceedings.”
On Tuesday’s “AC360,” Anderson Cooper called it the impeachment inquiry inquiry: “We are now one House subpoena defied and two more issued since last time we met.” And with that, he asked “a single question” that has many legal, political and psychological dimensions to it: “How fast and how far will Democrats push the impeachment process?”
“You get nothing”
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, channeling Willy Wonka’s famous “YOU GET NOTHING” line, opened his Tuesday night show this way: “The White House’s position towards Congress is clear — you get nothing. The question is, will Congress take it or not? It looks like they are NOT going to take it.”
CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju’s reality check: “The cold reality for impeachment backers is that until Pelosi moves, the caucus won’t move on impeachment even if pressure builds,” he tweeted.
>> Raju to House Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings: “Are you there yet?”“I’m getting there.”
>> House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Steve Cohen told MSNBC’s Ari Melber: “The Judiciary Committee, as a whole, is for at least an inquiry of impeachment. It’s been discussed by several members… There might have been two members who are particularly close to Speaker Pelosi that kinda were not on-board, but most, I’d say 80-90% of the committee is on-board to go forward.”
>> NYT’s Page One recap: “Though outspoken and growing in numbers, supporters of an impeachment inquiry remain a relatively small minority of House Democrats…”
FOR THE RECORD, PART ONE
– Hope Hicks has been subpoenaed. What will she do now? (CNN)
– Philip Rucker on MSNBC: “The big get, the star witness, for the Democrats would be Hope Hicks. She’s somebody who can go beyond establishing a fact pattern…” (Twitter)
– The Post’s most-read story on Tuesday evening: “Confidential draft IRS memo says tax returns must be given to Congress unless president invokes executive privilege…” (WaPo)
“You’ve got to look at the political reality,” Chris Cuomo said Tuesday night as he weighed the plusses and minuses of impeachment for the Democratic party. “It’s an unknown, alright,” he said. “And there is a real risk of making the bully in this so far – this president – look like a victim if you overreach in the name of oversight, like he keeps saying.”
Cuomo concluded by commenting, “I suggest this: If you get Mr. Mueller on the stand and he says what he found, how he found it, and why he explained it the way he did, the path forward from there will be clear.”
It has now been 60 days since Robert Mueller handed in his report. He still hasn’t spoken on camera. He still hasn’t committed to testifying publicly. CNN’s team reported on the negotiations on Tuesday. Here’s the headline from Chris Cillizza’s The Point newsletter: “What’s Robert Mueller afraid of?”
– Trump is scheduled to meet with Congressional Democrats at 11 a.m. ET…
– NBC says Lester Holt has “an exclusive interview with the CEO of American Airlines, who’s speaking out for the first time since the 737 MAX planes were grounded…” It will air on “Nightly…”
“The View” makes the cover of NYT Mag
Amanda FitzSimons, in her first piece for The New York Times Magazine, explores how ABC’s “The View” became DC’s most important TV destination.
The story will be online at 5 a.m. Wednesday via this link. “That even Republicans subject themselves to the panelists’ questioning suggests how central ‘The View’ has become to the national political conversation,” FitzSimons writes. She quotes Joy Behar: “They thought we were a bunch of ladies who lunch. Now they come on because we’re influential.”
FOR THE RECORD, PART TWO
– I love it when Comcast-owned CNBC breaks news about Comcast! Christina Farr reports: “Comcast is working on an in-home device to monitor people’s health, and aims to begin pilot-testing it later this year…” (CNBC)
– How many paying subscribers does Medium have? A source tells Alex Heath that “the number is between 200,000 and 400,000.” In an interview, Ev Williams told Heath that Medium “may consider” buying other media companies… (Cheddar)
– “YouTube is changing how subscriber counts are displayed, possibly shifting its culture,” Julia Alexander reports… (The Verge)
– “CBS is expected to continue talks in the coming weeks with Lions Gate about buying Starz,” Alex Sherman reports. “No banks have been hired yet, as talks are still early and a deal is far from assured.” Lots of context here… (CNBC)
SF police say they are investigating freelancer for criminal conspiracy
Oliver Darcy emails: San Francisco police said at a press conference on Tuesday that authorities are investigating freelance journalist Bryan Carmodyfor taking part in a possible criminal conspiracy to steal the police report he obtained. “We believe the line was crossed,” said SF police chief Bill Scott. “We believe he took part in this act.” I reached out to Carmody’s lawyer via text Tuesday evening to see if he had any comment on the latest developments, but he declined. An Phung has our full CNN story here… And the SF Chronicle has additional info…
What happened in court earlier in the day
More from Darcy: There was some good news, however, for Carmody on Tuesday. An attorney for the city said during a court hearing that Carmody would soon get back the electronics police confiscated during the widely condemned police raid. The judge did not rule on anything significant though… He declared that all oppositions should be filed before May 31, and said a hearing would be set on June 10 at 9 a.m. In a statement, Carmody said he was “pleased” that he would be getting his belongings back. Carmody noted, however, that his team’s “main goal” continues to be “prevailing on our motion to quash” the search warrants “so that nothing seized” can be “used against” him or his sources. Stay tuned…
Scahill: Prosecutions of whistleblowers hurt all of us
When Daniel Hale was arrested earlier this month and accused of leaking classified info to a reporter, the recipient was not identified by name. But the court docs clearly pointed to Jeremy Scahill, a co-founder of The Intercept. The website is obviously not commenting on sourcing questions, but Scahill came out with a passionate video essay about the broader subject on Tuesday. Watch it via Twitter.
Scahill says the Trump admin “is waging a war on journalistic sources and using the Espionage Act like a chainsaw.” His message: “It doesn’t matter what you think of any of these individual whistleblowers. It doesn’t matter what you think of The Intercept. But it does matter that we all recognize that this is an attack on our basic rights to information about what the U.S. government does in our names and with our tax dollars. It matters that people who blow the whistle on crimes and war crimes be defended and not abandoned or portrayed as violent criminals or traitors. All of us must ask ourselves where we stand. History will remember our answers.”