Checks and Balances: Checking out Guy’s lies

By December 20, 2019 No Comments

By David DeAngelo

Pittsburgh Current Contributing writer

I’ve focused a few columns on Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Writing in one column that he lied to the public about the Mueller report when he said it exonerated Trump (the report expressly says it does not) and in another that he applauded Trump’s despicable war crime pardons.

It’s nothing personal. He’s just the most prominent franchisee of the “Ye Olde Trump Crazie Shoppe” and therefore a necessary local target for some much needed fact-checking.
In response to a snippet of a recent late-night TV interview, for example, in which Rep Adam Schiff (CA-28) said:

“For some of our members who are defending the Constitution, it is their finest hour. But for others who are willfully blinding  themselves to this president’s misconduct, it is their most shameful hour “

And then the willfully blind Reschenthaler said, in part:

“You know who should be ashamed? Adam Schiff. We gotta remember that Adam Schiff is the one who abused his power. He’s the one who subpoenaed phone records of other members of this body. He’s the one who exposed Devin Nunes’ number and call logs.”

Except that Schiff did not subpoena the phone records of any members of Congress. Saying otherwise is a lie.

And how do we know this? Rep. Nunes said so himself. In an interview with Tucker Carlson, Nunes said that the committee had subpoenaed AT&T for the phone records. Additionally, AT&T has already confirmed that it was “required by law” to furnish those phone records to the Intelligence Committee.

Indeed, The endnote 49 of the committee’s recently released “Report to Accompany House Resolution 755” reads:

”The Committee did not subpoena the call detail records of any member of Congress or staff, including Ranking Member Devin Nunes, nor of any journalist, including John Solomon. To the extent that congressional members or staff, or journalists, appear in the report, call records indicate that they were in contact with individuals of interest to the investigation.”

Patrick Boland, spokesman for the Democrats on the Intelligence Committee said this to the Daily Beast:

”Any questions about the fact that Members, congressional staff, or journalists appear in call records released by the Committee should be directed at those individuals, who were in contact with individuals of investigative interest to the impeachment inquiry.”

To simplify, if Nunes’ name is found in those sections of the report, it is because “individuals of interest to the investigation” called him, or he called them. The committee found his name because he was in contact with a person of interest in the investigation – not because Schiff subpoenaed his phone records. What Reschenthaler said was a lie. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler lied on national television.

And now from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Later in the same interview, Reschenthaler said of the Democrats:

“They’re talking about such crazy ideas as banning airplanes.”

This is another lie from the GOP and our Guy in The House. No one is talking about banning airplanes.

Here’s the genesis of that lie. It’s grounded, like a lot of disinformation from the right, in a smear of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-15) – specifically, H.Res.109, her “Green New Deal” legislation of last February.

It is in a set of “Green New Deal” goals (to be enacted over 10 year span) where one can find the text that so infuriates the GOP. The goal is:
“[O]verhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible including through investment in – (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transit; and (iii) high-speed rail.”

No mention of airplanes. No mention of a ban. And I guess Guy missed the “as much as is technologically feasible” part. By the way, there’s a companion resolution in the Senate (S.Res.59) that was introduced by Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts.

Politifact in it’s fact check of this lie points out that:

Broadly, these resolutions address ways to curb climate change and protect the environment. Even if it were to pass both chambers, the resolution would be nonbinding.”

So it’s a nonbinding resolution that seeks to remove greenhouse gasses “as much as is technologically feasible” and yet it is from those words Rep. Guy Reschenthaler wants us to believe that democrats are looking to ban airplanes.

Elsewhere in the interview Reschenthaler complains that:

”House Democrats have even gone so far as to block my motion to subpoena the whistleblower.”

The only problem with this Guy’s complaint is that what happened to his motion is in accordance with House Rules. Here’s the story. During the Judiciary Committee’s hearing on December 4, Reschenthaler was recognized for a motion. He said to the Chair, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10):

“Mr. Chairman I have a motion pursuant to Rule XI, specifically (2)(k)(6). I move to subpoena the individual commonly referred to as “the whistleblower”…“

So what is this Rule XI (2)(k)(6)? Here it is:

”(6) Except as provided in subparagraph (5), the chair shall receive and the committee shall dispose of requests to subpoena additional witnesses.”

Subparagraph (5) deals with possible testimony that might defame, degrade or intimidate anyone and how that testimony should be heard in executive session.

So what happened to Reschenthaler’s motion to subpoena the whistleblower?

There was a counter motion to table Reschenthaler’s motion, which passed by a voice vote AND a roll call vote. All in accordance with House Rules.

So what was Reschenthaler’s complaint? That the committee was abiding by the rules and he lost?

Did he think no one was going to check his homework?

I did. And when he’s not lying, he’s misleading. Owning the local franchise to “Ye Olde Trump Crazie Shoppe” is not doing Rep. Guy Reschenthaler any favors.

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