ON THE HILL WITH DOUG CHRISTIAN
CAPITOL HILL – Approaching the 35th day of the government shutdown, Republican and Democratic Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer negotiated into the night to end the impasse. A Democratic Senator, speaking to this reporter on the condition of anonymity, said that Democrats demand that Republicans feel pain for this shutdown so they never think this tactic is a good approach in funding negotiations again. He said Democrats are not in a mood to compromise on this and estimated that the probability of a near-term resolution to the shutdown is only 30 percent.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) left his Capitol Hill office at 7 PM without comment to the scrum of reporters waiting for him after Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly delivered any rejection of a face-saving measure for Republicans that included President Donald Trump’s ‘pro-rated’ wall funding pitch.
Despite the drama and pain of the shutdown, Capitol Hill is wrapped up in the buzz of the early-morning arrest of former Trump Campaign Advisor, Roger Stone, for lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III. Stone had seemingly taunted lawmakers, showing up at a House hearing of the CEO of Google, Sundar Picha, to promote various conspiracy theories with Alex Jones.
In a fact-meets-fiction moment, the indictment against Stone pulls from a reference to the Godfather movies in his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI):
On multiple occasions, including on or about December 1, 2017, STONE told Person 2 [an intermediary to Stone] that Person 2 should do a “Frank Pentangeli” before HPSCI in order to avoid contradicting STONE’s testimony. Frank Pentangeli is a character in the film The Godfather: Part II, which both STONE and Person 2 had discussed, who testifies before a congressional committee and in that testimony claims not to know critical information that he does in fact know.
Doug Christian, Capitol Hill