Year 3, Week 35 (September 15-21)

Okay folks, I suggest that you brace yourself now — this week’s Constitutional Crisis Corner is on a whole new level, and I don’t mean that in the “oh hey I progressed in Donkey Kong Country” way. (Although Trump’s Kremlin(g) impression keeps getting more transparent. Watch out for those barrels of dynamite! I’ll be under the bed.)

Standard standing reminders apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise — I’m a lawyer, not a tax return! — but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. And, of course, for the things that are within my lane, I’m offering context that shouldn’t be considered legal advice. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!


Constitutional Crisis Corners:

The Constitutional Crisis Corner now has a brand new subsection, and I suggest we all grow to love it because it’s going to be here a while. So let me be the first to welcome you to Whistleblowing Ukraine Biden Bingo, the game we all hate and will likely be stuck playing for the next month or more:


Despite all of the above, we do still have some Russia Investigation news, though it sort of pales in comparison. Here’s what I have right now:


Just like every week, there was also a fair amount of Disregard of Governing Norms outside of the whole whistleblowing parade. Here’s what I have for you:

  • Elaine Chao Investigation. Transportation secretary Elaine Chao is being investigated for alleged ethics violations — and for those of you playing the home game, yes, you are correctly remembering that this is Mitch McConnell’s wife. She’s supposed to turn over internal documents by September 30, so we should know more one way or the other by the time we reach that deadline.

Your “Normal” Weird:

  • New National Security Adviser? Against the backdrop of everything else, it’s pretty easy to forget that John Bolton just got resign-fired, but we now have a named candidate to replace him — hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien. Apparently O’Brien has some bipartisan support, with a former Obama staffer describing him as “a good person [who] will certainly be [in] a challenging role.” The weird thing here is that Trump wants someone with bipartisan support in the first place, but hopefully O’Brien will be a tempering influence.

The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, but there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this lil big cat playing with autumn leaves and an eventual better government. I’ll be back next week with more (and hopefully better) news, and I hope you will be back as well — but in the meantime, feel free to ping the National News Roundup ask box, which is there for your constructive comments. Send me questions! Send me feedback! Send me more ice cream, cause we still need it!

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