On Monday, the general counsel for the House of Representatives made a shocking statement about the president of the United States that stunned even those who’ve become unimaginably hardened and cynical from the events of the last 34 months In requesting that Congress receive access to secret grand jury evidence from Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, for the purposes of the House’s impeachment inquiry, Douglas Letter told a federal appeals court, “There is evidence, very sadly, that the president might have provided untruthful answers…Did the president lie? Was the president not truthful in his responses to the Mueller investigation? The House is trying to determine whether the current president should remain in office This is unbelievably serious and it’s happening right now, very fast.” Donald Trump, a liar? Our Donald Trump, people no doubt asked themselves, mouths agape But how could that be? Sure, he told 13,435 “falsehoods” between January 20, 2017, and October 9, 2019 Yes, entire fact-checking industries have been built around his penchant for basically never telling the truth But lie to Bob Mueller in order to save his own ass? The Trump we know? Donald J Trump? The same one born in Queens and currently living in the White House? Look, we accept that he basically can’t go a day without telling a lie, such that doctors believe doing so is an essential part of his biological functioning, similar to how other humans must move air in and out of their lungs And, yes, he lies about things he said in rooms full of people with cameras running, and redraws maps and hopes no one notices, and claims migrant caravans traveling from South America contain Middle Eastern terrorists, and proclaims that his daughter, Ivanka Trump, created 14 million jobs And…alright, sure, when the facts are laid out that way, yes, it seems…entirely probable and 150% in character that Trump lied to Mueller  Letter’s request came days after the president’s longtime associate Roger Stone was convicted of lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 election, and subsequently attempting to cover it up by concealing evidence from investigators and engaging in witness tampering, which the general counsel cited in his argument He also included the guilty plea of Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who admitted to lying to Congress “We have at least two people who have already been convicted of lying to Congress,” he said “And what are they lying about? They’re lying about things that go directly to the Mueller report,” Letter said, describing the matter as being of “immense” importance and “a key part of the impeachment inquiry ” While it’s not clear if articles of impeachment will include obstruction of justice claims laid out in Mueller’s report, or solely focus on Ukraine, some members, according to the Washington Post, want to include charges connected to the special counsel’s inquiry The grand jury information being sought is part of an attempt to build a case that the president did, indeed, obstruct justice, which Mueller indicated during a press conference he might have Last month, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell for the District of Columbia ruled that the House could receive the grand jury evidence, saying that it is engaged in a legal judicial process that exempts it from grand jury secrecy rules, and on Monday, a three-member panel appeared to be leaning in the same direction Advertisement Trump’s Justice Department has insisted that there should be no exception to grand jury secrecy rules, and that a Watergate-era ruling that said otherwise was “wrongly decided ” It also suggested that the House could use other means to obtain the information, such as subpoenas, which Howell was having none of, given the administration‘s habit of ignoring subpoenas “These arguments smack of farce,” Howell wrote, referencing a letter from White House counsel Pat Cipollone to House leaders informing them that the administration would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry  “The reality,” Howell wrote, “is that DOJ and the White House have been openly stonewalling the House’s efforts to get information by subpoena and by agreement, and the White House has flatly stated that the Administration will not cooperate with congressional requests for information ” In related news, also on Monday Trump tweeted that he was “strongly” considering testifying in the impeachment inquiry, which at best would be another opportunity for him to refer to his “perfect” phone call another 97 times, and at worst—for him—another chance to potentially perjure himself  If you would like to receive the Levin Report in your inbox daily, click here to subscribe  Trump had a unique interaction with the chairman of the Federal Reserve Unique in that he apparently did not call Jerome Powell a “bonehead,” “clueless,” or “enemy” of America, unless he did and those quotes just haven’t emerged yet: https://twitter com/realDonaldTrump/status/1196458467982270464 According to the Fed, the meeting was at the White House’s request, and Powell’s comments “were consistent with his remarks at his congressional hearings last week ” The central bank did not add if the president spent the first 20 minutes explaining to Powell why filing for bankruptcy six times is a sign of intelligence, though there’s a nonzero chance he did just that  Area man may soon have another whistle-blower to slander via tweet Where will he find the time? Hopefully aides will cancel some national security briefings to free up his schedule: Two senators are looking into a whistle-blower’s allegations that at least one political appointee at the Treasury Department may have tried to interfere with an audit of President Trump or Vice President Pence, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, a sign that lawmakers are moving to investigate the complaint lodged by a senior staffer at the Internal Revenue Service Staff members for Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), the chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, met with the IRS whistle-blower earlier this month, those people said Follow-up interviews are expected to further explore the whistle-blower’s allegations Advertisement The whistle-blower, a career IRS official, initially filed a complaint in July, reporting that he was told that at least one Treasury political appointee attempted to improperly interfere with the annual audit of the president’s or vice president’s tax returns In recent weeks, the whistle-blower filed additional documentation related to the original complaint, which was given to congressional officials in July, the two people said  The Trump campaign goes for broke: mortifying ass-kissing edition https://twitter com/TeamTrump/status/1196510999337218049 Elsewhere! FedEx blasts New York Times tax cut article, challenges publisher to debate (CNBC) Possible pay-to-play scheme for ambassador role in Trump administration uncovered (CBS News) Joe Biden says he won’t legalize marijuana because it may be a “gateway drug” (The Hill) Warren Calls Out Blackstone for “Shameless” Profits From Housing (Bloomberg) “Baby Shark” Smells Money Onstage (NYT) Silencing the Nun: SEC Aims to Curb Small Investors’ Activism (Bloomberg) T-Mobile’s Longtime CEO, John Legere, to Step Down (NYT) 175 don T-Rex costumes for annual Virginia run (UPI) Pet shop owner says suspects threw guinea pig at him (AP)More Great Stories From Vanity Fair — The strangely familiar nightmare of impeaching Trump— Clues to the identity of Anonymous, who wrote the explosive White House op-ed— Former Fox News staffers demand to be released from their NDAs— Why crypto-crooks have their sights set on Iceland— A sustained booing reveals Trump’s true face— From the archive: A portrait of Kim Jong Un, part man, part myth Looking for more? 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