Patterico's Pontifications

6/18/2017

President Trump’s Attorney: “Let Me Be Clear, The President Is Not Under Investigation”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:19 am

[guest post by Dana]

And yet, President Trump just tweeted this on Friday:

Untitled

This morning, President Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow made a stop on the Sunday talk shows. On each show he contradicted President Trump’s claim of being under investigation. According to Sekulow, the President’s tweet was a response to an anonymously sourced report in the Washington Post, which claimed that the President is under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. But if this report is what what Trump was responding to, then why wouldn’t he deny that he was under investigation, rather than confirm the claim? Why would he validate the “lying media” and an anonymously sourced report? After all, President Trump told us that by using social media, he can go around the fake media. And yet, here he is confirming an anonymously sourced report in the “fake media”.

Here is his exchange with Jake Tapper:

“So the president said ‘I am under investigation’ even though he isn’t under investigation?” Tapper asked.

“That response on social media was in response to the Washington Post piece,” Sekulow responded. “It’s that simple. The president is not under investigation.”

“Well, I wish it were that simple but with all due respect, the president said ‘I am being investigated’ in a tweet, and people take his word on that,” Tapper pushed back.

After Sekulow insisted that the tweet was really an attempt to call out the Post for putting out a “fake report, the CNN host shot back that it didn’t appear to do that at all, and in fact, made it appear that Trump was confirming the story.

“But it is confusing because the president said ‘I am being investigated’ and you’re saying that the Washington Post report is wrong, but no one did more to confirm the Washington Post report than the president,” Tapper noted. “I mean, CNN had not confirmed the Washington Post report but then President Trump came out and said, ‘I am being investigated.’”

Trump’s attorney replied by pointing out how big Trump’s social media reach is and that the “simple explanation” is that the president was responding to a story based on anonymous sourcing.

Here is Chuck Todd’s interview with Sekulow on Meet the Press:

Here is John Dickerson’s interview with Sekulow on Face the Nation:

(Question: In this interview, when Sekulow claims that the President is not under investigation, host John Dickerson follows up by asking Sekulow how he knows that. Sekulow responds: “There have been no notifications from the special counsel’s office that the President is under investigation. In fact, to the contrary.” Is there a legal obligation for the President to be officially notified if he were under investigation?)

But Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday may have had the most head-scratching interaction of all:

All of this is a bit confusing – which may actually be the intent. But at the very, very least, it is yet another indicator that Trump needs to stop tweeting if he does not want to continue to undermine his own presidency. He is by far his own worst enemy. And he just keeps on proving it.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

402 Responses to “President Trump’s Attorney: “Let Me Be Clear, The President Is Not Under Investigation””

  1. It seemingly never ends. Like it or not, we are all being pulled into this swirling vortex of confusion, subterfuge, and mental exhaustion. I guess the question is, who is doing the pulling.

    Dana (023079)

  2. We had eight years of Obama saying “I didn’t know until I read it in the newspaper”

    And now we have Trump saying the same thing (and not for the first time…).

    You know how families sometimes stage “interventions” when a family member is addicted? Perhaps Ivanka, Reince, and the rest need to stage an intervention with Trump.

    “Dad, we need to have a talk about this Twitter thing”

    kishnevi (d764f4)

  3. Noticed Mitch Mcconnell today… on a 2% milk carton.

    mg (31009b)

  4. Kishnevi,

    Perhaps if the family praised Trump more??

    President Donald Trump’s former campaign staffers claim they cracked the code for tamping down his most inflammatory tweets, and they say the current West Wing staff would do well to take note.

    The key to keeping Trump’s Twitter habit under control, according to six former campaign officials, is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise. And when no such praise was to be found, staff would turn to friendly outlets to drum some up — and make sure it made its way to Trump’s desk.

    Dana (023079)

  5. I agree that Trump should stop tweeting or at least run his tweets past his lawyers. But I think in this case he meant to say: “The media say that I am being investigated for firing the FBI director …”

    The first three words are (probably) implied, but he should have made them explicit.

    Sauropod (271cbd)

  6. So Sekulow’s story is that Trump’s tweet was like the boy accused of robbery and murder in My Cousin Vinnie? “I shot the clerk.” “Yes. When did you shoot him?” “I shot the clerk.” It’s a New York thing, you wouldn’t understand.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. I’m still catching up on my Sunday morning DVR’d talking heads, but thank you for this post, Dana.

    So far I’ve only seen the Fox News appearance, about which I commented on another thread (but reprint here because I have an inflated sense of self-importance, but yeah, also for thread continuity):

    I complimented Jay Sekulow here the other day, and I do in general have a good opinion of him. But his appearance as a Trump surrogate on Fox News Sunday this morning was a disaster for him and his client. Of course Chris Wallace asked him some tough questions, including some with bad premises that required correction. But Sekulow came across like a guy who’s so tightly wound right now that he might go postal at any moment, and the interview deteriorated into a very ugly back-and-forth that Wallace got the better of. A lawyer has to project confident, easy grace even when — indeed, especially when — under stress, and Sekulow did the opposite of that today in this interview.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  8. I should add that professionally, I’m entirely sympathetic to Sekulow, because I think he may well have the single most challenging representation yet of any lawyer in the 21st Century. He has grounds to be tightly wound. But stepping back and looking at it with such professional dispassion as I can muster, this performance was a D- at best — as he’ll likely conclude by early evening, if he hasn’t been fired (or, I guess, even if he has been).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  9. I was particularly disappointed when Sekulow was caught so flat-footed in trying to explain how he’s entitled to simultaneously be both Trump’s advocate, a role in which he can and should and must speak in public about Trump’s positions, and Trump’s private counselor, a role in which he can’t and shouldn’t and mustn’t speak in public about what Trump has told him privately or that he has told Trump.

    This is sometimes a tricky concept for non-lawyers, including and especially clients, to grasp. I routinely point this out to my clients when they first hire me and continually thereafter, and I have a whole page on this exact thing on my professional website, in fact.

    The conversation usually goes something like, “I have two different jobs I must do for every client. Right now I’m wearing my counselor hat,” I will tell them, “and I’m about to tell you in utter secrecy and candor about all the unfortunate and ugly things you need to hear and understand in order to make good decisions.

    “But when I’ve done that as your counselor here in private, under cloak of attorney-client privilege, then I’m going to take off my counselor hat and put on my advocate hat, and then I’m your gladiator marching to your instructions. So when you hear me tell you in private a whole bunch of ugly or unflattering things that I will not ever be saying about you in public, don’t fret. Don’t worry that I don’t believe in you or your case. Take a deep breath and calm yourself, and remember that I’m experienced in wearing both hats, but never at the same time.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  10. He was trying to draw that distinction, I think, when he tried to contrast what he was doing with what Comey had done. But that’s too big a leap to take in one jump, and it just seemed incomprehensible. To use that comparison effectively would have taken a good 90 seconds to lay out, and he didn’t have that, and it wasn’t a big enough point to justify that much emphasis.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  11. Watched a little of the the Wallace interaction. Wallace was being an asshole. Sekulow gave him an opening, though, by speaking “My Cousin Vinnie” and not adding a few more words to his sarcastic hypothetical to make it crystal clear that it was a hypothetical. Wallace saw the low road and took it. Very bad. Terrible. Dishonest.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. It would seem nearly Impossible to represent someone like Trump, who is erratic, unpredictable, self-indulgent, dishonest and quite willing to throw anyone under the bus – including his lawyers. A continual moving target, so to speak. How on earth does a lawyer handle that?

    Dana (023079)

  13. @ Dana: I’ve had this conversation more than a few times. It goes:

    “What you’re doing makes it impossible for me to continue representing you. Unless this changes in the following ways” — and then, I have to be very specific, e.g.: “You authorize us to drop our settlement demand from the $1M you think I should win for you and the $10k that I believe would be a reasonable settlement demand in your circumstances — “then I will reluctantly have to resign as your lawyer. You deserve a lawyer whose advice you will at least consider following, and I’m no longer that guy, so I’d be hurting you to continue, and I won’t.”

    And then yeah, sometimes you have to withdraw. That’s a hard decision to come to — especially if you’re still getting paid, the failure of which is the far more common reason for a lawyer to resign a representation and withdraw — but you are at huge and increasing risk if you postpone it unreasonably, and you really are disserving your client.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  14. I believe Mr Sekulow is a Messianic Jew so I’m sure he’s used to bucking conventional wisdom.

    Pinandpuller (51f366)

  15. TAPPER: Is this not frustrating for you to have a client who is sharing information with the world that’s not accurate?

    What an obviously chickensh*t question! How pathetic and obvious! Tapper has now been thoroughly assimilated into the CNN culture, which is too bad. I used to respect him a little, sometimes.

    Sekulow missed an opportunity, though. He ought have stood up straight and said, “Oh, Jake, you know that’s a premise I don’t agree with, but to answer your question, I’m more proud to have this client than any client I’ve ever represented or could represent!” And then you pivot to your talking point.

    Never let ’em see you sweating.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  16. as he’ll likely conclude by early evening, if he hasn’t been fired (or, I guess, even if he has been).

    Maybe he’s trying to be fired.
    But why is he Trump’s lawyer in the first place? From what I remember about him, he’s mostly focused on freedom of religion/speech/other BOR cases.

    kishnevi (d764f4)

  17. Apropos of a news spot I just heard:

    Old US Navy: Berthing Spaces

    New US Navy: Birthing Spaces

    Pinandpuller (51f366)

  18. “if he hasn’t been fired”

    Sekulow’s reaction to being fired might well be FREE AT LAST. It’s not as if he’s going to get a medal for throwing himself on every grenade Trump casually tosses.

    Rick Ballard (5397ef)

  19. There’s some version of that, by the way, that the lawyer can say of every client. Timothy McVeigh’s lawyer could and did say things to the effect of, “My client has a constitutional presumption of innocence and the government has not yet proven anything in court, as it has the burden of doing. I believe that everyone is entitled to competent representation, especially when they’re in the worst jeopardy, so I look forward to representing my client zealously within the bounds of the law so that justice may be done in court, regardless of what’s happening here in the media.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  20. If Trump does sour on anyone on his legal team, it would be a mistake to fire him or let him resign. You just decrease his public role immediately, and in a few days you reassign him to continuing duty in the basement of, say, the Department of Agriculture.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  21. There is nothing of substance to the investigation, Chris, name the law he was supposed to have broken, by contrast you need a whole new volume of Blackstone to list all of red Queens violations.

    narciso (715336)

  22. Mcveigh had clearly blown up a federal building entailing a whole slew of statutes and violations. By contrast comey and brennanbwete likely guilty of a host of fraud including mail in theirfisa presentation

    narciso (715336)

  23. This is were people like Beldar lose me ….. only thing 99% of America heard is Trump is not under investigation.

    All the other stuff is nearly irrelevant outside a Court of Law.

    Most of us are past the point we take every transaction and micro dissect it to ascertain some grand point.

    Bottom line, what I heard today from multiple news reports is, right now we nothing from Mueller to indicate he is being investigated for anything.

    Tomorrow is tomorrow and lord knows Mueller will investigate Trump’s bowel movement for signs of an unpaid tax lien to prosecute for.

    Blah (44eaa0)

  24. I’m so sick of this passing as “journalism”:

    1. Host makes a short speech, factually spun and crafted to match talking points of the Democrats.

    2. Host doesn’t permit a response to his speech from the interviewee.

    3. Host instead immediately pivots to a question on some different topic.

    4. [Optional: If interviewee objects and tries to respond to Host’s speech, Host pretends he’s been personally challenged and counterattacks ad hominem.]

    This is now standard operating procedure for all the networks, alas.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  25. I think Trump was assuming, at least for the purposes of the tweet, that he was under investigation, and he had reasonable grounds for assuming that, because Dan Coats and some others and not associated with the campaign but only associated with the White house had beev conacted by the special counsel’s office. It is even likely that his lawyers had concluded that, and even guessed that it concerned in particular the firing the FBI Director as an overt act, and possibly the only one.

    Jay Sekulow thought it was his job to defend the tweet, but also not to concede that there was actually any investigation. Now he could have drawn that distinction very clearly but he didnb’t.

    I assume he must be inexperienced in something like this – otherwise just say that while he doesn’t know for a fact that the president is under investigation, he is per the Washington Post, story and the president was operating under that assumption, and complaining how unfair that was.

    Now Sekulow is saying that’s a legal issue – but Trump wasn’t making any legal complaint. I guess Selulow felt it had to be of a legal nature oor otherwise that tweet itself would be obstruction of justice. But how?

    Sammy Finkelman (8cff4d)

  26. @ Blah (#23): I agree that there is some percentage of Americans who heard what you say they did, and who would believe that regardless of anything they heard, and that you are among that percentage. I am equally sure that group isn’t 99% of Americans. This is what I meant the other day, re “broad brushes.” I could extend the metaphor to also include earmuffs and blinders like those the horses wear in Manhattan, but I want to husband my metaphor-mixing capital for better occasions. Happy Father’s Day to the fathers in your life, and to you if you are one, Blah.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  27. Now Trump was making a complaint about there being a contradiction here. One objection to that tweet could be that it wasn’t exactly Rosenstein who was investigating him, although he may have started it. Now here Trump may assume that appointing a special counsel means starting an investigation of him, and its timing and other things means it’s an investigating whether firing Comey was an obstruction of justice.

    All very simple.

    Donald Trump was just saying Rosenstein had wanted Comey fired and now his following his advice was probably the key element of rhe invesigation and how can that be?

    Of course the distinction is that Trump didn’t really follow Rosenstein’s advice, but rather, knowing what Rosenstein thought (having been told that by the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, he arranged a meeting, heard it verbally himself from Rosenstein and then Rosenstein write it up, and then used it as his justifcation, and explained it to members of Congress that way too.

    Rosenstein was used here.

    This all probably happened because Trump was anxious to fire Comey, probably because of something in his May 3 testimony (not apparently his almost completely wrong testimony about emails being on Anthony Wweiner;’s computer because Huma Abedin had forwarded them to Anthony Weiner’s computer fr the purpose of printing them. In reality they were either an intentional or accidental backup. Intentional would be to retain them in a place that would not be subpoenaed.)

    What might have disturbed Trump was Comey seeming to be more sorry that he might have afffected the election by his Oct 27 statement than that he might have affected it by clearing Hillary in July. seeming to agree or tell members of Congress that it was a bad thing Trump was elected.

    Anyway, I think maybe some people wanted to stop Trump from mentioning Russia when firing Comey and they cooked up this (not invalid) other reason. Have Rosenstein write out his thoughts and use that. Sessions and Rosenstein had discussed this before either one of them had been confirmed. It is not clear who knew this.

    This was such a sudden twist that Trump couldn’t leave out of his farewell letter to Comey that he appreciated being told by him three times that he was not under investigation but (nevertheless he wanted to fire him.)

    This later led Senator Marco Rubio and others to conclude that Trump’s motive was that Comey would not repeat in public that Trump was not under investigation in the Russia matter, although he had told that to him and to key members of Congress. Nobody knows in fact what trigerred it.

    Trump is assuming that now the possibility that he fired him Comey to obstruct justice is what is under investigation.

    Sekulow’s defense of the tweet was there was a conflict of interest between having recommended the firing of the FBI Director and then the same Department of Justice investigating whether following that advice was a crime. I’m not sure how well it follows actually or waht you do about it.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cff4d)

  28. @ sauropod,

    I agree that Trump should stop tweeting or at least run his tweets past his lawyers. But I think in this case he meant to say: “The media say that I am being investigated for firing the FBI director …”

    The first three words are (probably) implied, but he should have made them explicit.

    But that’s the point: no one should have guess what he meant. No one should have to play “Guess what he really meant,” which really means make his words support one’s personal preferences and beliefs. If he is not doeciplined enough to keep his damn mouth shut, or in this case, keep his hands off his phone because it is in everyone’s best interest,, then he sure as hell is unlikely to have the necessary discipline to effectively govern and lead. This just doesn’t seem hard.

    Dana (023079)

  29. Say what you want about Trump, but that is a pretty interesting observation if he is – in fact- being investigated for Obstruction.

    Clearly his prior statements were not enough, even Comey has stated as much…in sworn testimony if I remember correctly.

    Even without Comey’s statement(s), it’d be more than a little absurd to claim that the single person in the known universe with the unreviewable, irrevocable, irreversible power to pardon any person who may-have or did commit a Federal crime at any time before, during, or after an investigation, prosecution, or sentence is somehow guilty of “obstruction” merely by uttering the words “I hope…”

    MJN1957 (6f981a)

  30. The irony is that Sekulow wouldn’t have had to be trotting around the shows trying to defend Trump if Trump had just been disciplined enough to remain silent. He is his own undoing.

    Dana (023079)

  31. I would ordinarily ignore any snomymously sources story, but Mueller certainly isnt because he had colluded with comey in the past on at least one occasion

    narciso (48ecae)

  32. We concern ourselves with fact, well the predicate for this investigation is utter fraud and Christopher Steele and crowdstrike should be indicted for all that entails

    narciso (48ecae)

  33. @ Dana, re this question in your post: “Is there a legal obligation for the President to be officially notified if he were under investigation?”

    I’m hoping nk or swc or Patterico or someone else with more criminal law experience than I have will enlighten us on this. In particular, I know there are rules that law enforcement officials, including prosecutors, have to follow in their communications with someone who’s a “subject” or “target,” but I don’t know those rules and don’t want to guess. The rules are basically designed to prevent investigative/prosecutorial abuse from soft-selling someone’s jeopardy or misleading them to believe they’ve been assured that they’re home free and can talk without fear of it being used in court. Miranda fits in there somewhere, too, but many others can explain this better than I.

    I think there’s a unique constitutional question, though, regarding whether a POTUS in particular is entitled to ask, and get an immediate and truthful answer, to the question of whether he’s the subject or target of any on-going investigation. If for no other reason, a POTUS needs to know that to decide whether he may need to take steps to set up Chinese walls, to ensure that he isn’t accidentally involved in it (assuming, of course, he doesn’t step in and terminate it). At some point, in theory, a POTUS could and should conclude that despite his belief in his own innocence, the pendency of the charges against him is making it impossible for him to fulfill his duty to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution as the head of the Executive Branch, at which juncture he ought to resign.

    Is there an independent obligation, therefore, of the POTUS’ subordinates in the DoJ, through the AG, to apprise the POTUS the moment he becomes the subject or target of an investigation? I don’t know of any law or even informal precedent on that, nor that it’s addressed in the DoJ’s formal rules or manuals or procedures. I can think of excellent policy reasons for making such a rule, though, and that actually would be a good thing to debate and clarify. I don’t know if it could be done by executive order or if it would need a formal DoJ rulemaking under the Administrative Procedures Act, with notice & opportunity to comment, etc.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  34. Lois Lerner should be in the docket as should holder for their offenses but oddly they arent.

    narciso (07df6b)

  35. But let’s pretend the Looney mensch is right because that never leans anywhere but alexandria.

    narciso (07df6b)

  36. 23. Blah (44eaa0) — 6/18/2017 @ 11:21 am

    only thing 99% of America heard is Trump is not under investigation.

    The only thing a previously uninformed person would take away from this is that Trump probably committed illegal acts because he’s got a lawyer who can’t answer a simple straight question, like whether or not the president is under investigation. He both says no and yes.

    What people don’t realize is that an innocent person, or more precisely maybe a person innocent of what he is being accused of, and not expecting anything, is more likely to have a bad lawyer hthan a guilty one, who’s prepared.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cff4d)

  37. I think sekulow was way to civil to this travismockam, this is why scalia reacted they way he did to Alexis mortisons brief.

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. Re the “What you’re doing makes it impossible for me to continue representing you”-speech (#13), I should add that I’ve had to give this speech more times than I can count on all my fingers and toes and several small multiples thereof. The number of times I’ve had to resign because the client persisted on the particular issue, I can count on one hand and have fingers to spare. You have to mean it when you say you will quit, and the client needs to believe you mean it. But that’s usually the proverbial “Come to Jesus” moment for most clients. (Excuse again the sacri- or irreligious phrasing, which is metaphoric and applies equally to atheists as to priests.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  39. Sekulow kept on repeating, on Fox News Sunday, that Comey had violated attorney client privilege (and that he wouldn’t)

    The FBI Director doesn’t have attorney client privilege with the president. How ignorant, or out of his field, is this lawyer?

    There might be executive privilege, but that belongs to the president, and he can, under that doctrine, prevent anyone else from being compelled by subpoena to reveal what he said to the preisdent or the president said to him – but the person is free to talk on his own initiative (barring such complications as non-disclosure agreements, privacy rules, classification etc.)

    Anything can be said by a member of Congress on the floor or in committee, or in a written official document, and how Congress might discipline its members depends on the political atmosphere maybe.

    In politically controversial situations, executive privilege is often waived, and it doesn’t rest on solid constitutional ground.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cff4d)

  40. Or Ronnie earl or John chisholm or Brenda Murray all were prosecutors nit prosecutors

    narciso (d1f714)

  41. And cirbyn voted down the installation of sprinklers in council flats

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Alexicon83/status/875966005918539776/photo/1

    narciso (d1f714)

  42. Trump’s bark is worse than his bite. Sekulow was probably the wrong choice to send into battle with the Sunday gotcha gang who have spent the week being fed by chatty anonymous officials said to be “close to the investigation.” His aggressive defense of Trump’s innocence will likely save him even if he disappears for awhile. The Clinton gang had a better sense of when to send Carville, Begala or Lanny Davis out to which interview but then they are the home team.

    While he’d benefit from barking less on twitter even if he does he’s unlikely to stay quiet for long. As long as Trump the person stays under attack Trump the president should be doing what only a president can do. Clinton proved the wisdom of “doing the work the people sent me here to do.” Trump should get to work making the government great again by putting the cabinet on the spot for their out of control employees and alumni.

    Michael Goodwin makes an interesting point today that regaining control of DOJ that was lost with Sessions recusal and Rosenstein’s delegation to Mueller and possible recusal is a bigger problem than whatever Mueller’s doing. Replacing them would be more effective than firing or battling Mueller. Fight the right fight.

    crazy (d3b449)

  43. Trump’s Tweets ‘Official Statements,’ Spicer Says
    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-s-tweets-official-statements-spicer-says-n768931

    Accordingly, per an official Donald John Trump Presidential tweet: I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director! Witch Hunt!”

    Yet his lawyer says he’s not.

    So ‘witch’ is it, fellas?

    “Never mind what I told you! I’m telling you!!” – Captain Morton [James Cagney] ‘Mister Roberts’ 1955
    _____

    Today’s Beldar The Bitter “Watergate, Watergate, Watergate” Words Of Wonder:

    “Nixon bleeds people. He draws every drop of blood then drops them from a cliff. He’ll blame any person he can put his foot on.” – Martha Mitchell

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. 41. So if we end up with a chunk of North Korea, if our experience avenging the Maine is to be repeated, nk suggests we treat them even worse than Gangnam Style guy.

    urbanleftbehind (6a358f)

  45. Smile. It’s Father’s Day. ‘Tie’ one on:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NePo9ooA6WM

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  46. I am unable to find whether an official notification to the president of an investigation is required. Does anyone know??

    Dana (023079)

  47. For the benefit of Mr Don

    We do Shakespeare on the lawn, 23 stab wounds!

    The Partisans will all be there

    Lately overheard in Times Square, “It’s a scream!”

    Undertaxed men and nags, poofs and partners

    Bigly sore losers, pants on fire

    In this way Mr T emboldens the art world

    The denigrated Mr T

    Composes his tweets Saturday at Mar a Lago

    The Partisans will wail and gnash

    As Mr T flies through their balderdash, I don’t relate

    Messrs. T and P, assure the patrons

    Were not harmed in the production

    And our friend DCSCA is there

    To render the schmaltz

    The end begins at

    Half past a senator’s a$$

    When Mr T hides his face

    Without a laurel

    And Mr T will take his place

    Six liters light before Pompey

    2,000 years in reflection

    Sic Semper Donaldus for some

    And tonight Mr T is top of the bill

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  48. @48. A means to an end, P&P! And in the end, they’ll all kowtow.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Zzl_HH4XQ

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  49. @39

    The FBI Director doesn’t have attorney client privilege with the president. How ignorant, or out of his field, is this lawyer?

    There might be executive privilege, but that belongs to the president, and he can, under that doctrine, prevent anyone else from being compelled by subpoena to reveal what he said to the preisdent or the president said to him – but the person is free to talk on his own initiative (barring such complications as non-disclosure agreements, privacy rules, classification etc.)

    IANAL, but isn’t it a sort of general principle in similar situations like admissibility of certain subjects in court, or refusing to testify due to self-incrimination, or non-disclosure agreements, that if the “privileged” party “opens the door” by discussing the matter, the privilege is lost?

    Trump very publicly revealed details of his allegedly privileged conversations with Comey in the firing letter (“While I greatly appreciate you[sic] informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation…”).

    How can it be reasonable that Trump is allowed to cherry-pick elements of their private discussions that make him look good and Comey look bad, and broadcast them publicly, but Comey is not allowed to refer to those same unclassified conversations to refute and provide important context for Trump’s attacks?

    Again we have a case where Trump might been on solid ground, if he hadn’t insisted on shooting his mouth off (it was reported at the time that his advisors told him not to include that non-sequitur in the letter, but he did it anyway, because he was so obsessed).

    Dave (711345)

  50. Is there a legal obligation for the President to be officially notified if he were under investigation?

    I think the answer to that is “It depends.”

    First we have to look at the 28 USC 600 — the law that created and governs special counsels (prior law called them special prosecutors. Section 600.8 concerns Notification and reports by the Special Counsel:

    (b) Notification of significant events. The Special Counsel shall notify the Attorney General of events in the course of his or her investigation in conformity with the Departmental guidelines with respect to Urgent Reports.

    So the next place we need to look is the “Departmental Guidelines.” I assume that is for the Department of Justice. 28 USC 600.7. A Google searcg returns several documents that might be relevant, including Principles of Federal Prosecution, new guidelines from Attorney General Sessions regarding Charging and Sentencing Guidelines to Federal Prosecutors, and the US Attorneys’ Manual.

    In 2002, the Congressional Research Service noted the Special Counsel law differed from its predecessor in several ways, including:

    (5) the Attorney General must be notified concerning significant 
    actions that the Special Counsel is to take, and may countermand any proposed action 
    by the Special Counsel; 
    ***
    [Under the prior law, the] Special Prosecutors expressly, and the Independent Counsels as explained in the legislative history of the law, also controlled whether and to what extent they would inform,22 report to or consult with the Attorney General. Under the new regulations, however, as expressly explained in the background information promulgated by the Department of Justice, — the Attorney General, rather than the Special Counsel, will have the “ultimate responsibility” for any matter referred to the Special Counsel: 

    The Special Counsel would be free to structure the investigation as he or she wishes and to exercise independent prosecutorial discretion to decide whether charges should be brought, within the context of the established procedures of the Department. Nevertheless, it is intended that ultimate responsibility for the matter and how it is handled will continue to rest with the Attorney General (or 
    Acting Attorney General if the Attorney General is personally recused in the matter); thus, the regulations explicitly acknowledge the possibility of review of23 specific decisions reached by the Special Counsel. 

    Comparing the new regulations to both the former independent counsel statute and to the regulations which were issued for the Watergate Special Prosecutor, it is apparent that there is a major shift of discretion and ultimate authority back to the Attorney General, even in investigations and prosecutions which could be directed at the President, Vice President, or high-ranking colleagues of the Attorney General in the President’s Administration.

    Thus the “trade-off” in providing greater “accountability” of a Special Counsel to the regular appointed federal officials in the Justice Department, and particularly to the Attorney General, may arguably be that the underlying problems, conflicts of interest and loyalty issues would not necessarily be resolved in the situations which gave rise to the Independent Counsel law in the first place, that is, where there are inherent issues of fairness and appearances of even-handed application of the federal law when the Attorney General, a Presidential appointee, confidant, and a member of the President’s cabinet, is making the ultimate decisions concerning law enforcement activities and investigations directed at the President and members of his Administration.24 

    As argued by some commentators in the debate concerning whether to re-authorize the independent counsel law, giving the “Attorney General more discretion seems only to enhance the potential for conflict of interest,”25 and might arguably exacerbate the type of situation which engendered some severe criticism from several Members of Congress and the media of the Attorney General for her failure to ask for the appointment of a court-appointed independent counsel in the allegations of campaign finance irregularities of the Democratic party, and the fund-raising activities of the President and Vice President during the 1996 election.

    This is long so I will continue in another comment.

    DRJ (15874d)

  51. In my view, this comes down to whether investigating a President is a signigicant event that would require an Urgent Report under the DOJ guidelines. It might (from the CRS link in my last comment):

    Accountability – Review and Approval by Justice Department or Attorney General of Proposed Actions. 

    Under the regulations issued by the Department of Justice there are four types of what could be generally considered “oversight” or supervision of the Special Counsel by either officials in the Department of Justice, or by the Attorney General personally. While it is not anticipated under the regulations that there will be “day-to-day supervision of the Attorney General or any other Departmental official,” the regulations provide: 

    (1) that the Special Counsel is subject to the Department of Justice’s “review and approval” procedure prior to taking certain investigatory or prosecutorial steps, which may require consultation and approval from either Department officials, or in extraordinary circumstances, the Special Counsel may bypass Department officials and go directly to the Attorney General for consultation (28 C.F.R. 600.7(a)); 

    (2) that the Attorney General may review any investigatory or prosecutory decisions of the Special Counsel and may countermand such decisions that are so inappropriate or unwarranted under Departmental guidelines (28 C.F.R. § 600.7(b)); 

    (3) that the Special Counsel is required to notify the Attorney General of significant events in the course of his or her investigation in conformance with the guidelines concerning “Urgent Reports” (28 C.F.R. § 600.8(b)); and 

    (4) that the Special Counsel must submit to the Attorney General for approval a budget within 60 days of taking office, and then annually must submit a “status” report and a new request for a budget, at which time the “Attorney General shall determine whether the investigation should continue ….” (28 C.F.R. § 600.8(a)). 

    Review and Approval. The regulations provide expressly that the Special Counsel must “comply with the rules, regulations, procedures, practices and policies of the Department of Justice.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.7(a). (Emphasis added). Failure to follow Department of Justice policy is a specific ground for removal of the Special Counsel by the Attorney General. 28 C.F.R. § 600.7(d).

    The most significant impact of the departmental procedures, practices and policies upon the “independence” of a Special Counsel might arguably be the procedure, practice or policy of what the Justice Department has called “review and approval procedures.” These would require the Special Counsel to seek a “variety of levels of review” concerning “sensitive legal and policy issues” arising in the Counsel’s investigations and prosecutions. 

    The wide range of matters that are subject to “review and approval” procedures are set out in a “Prior Approvals Chart”36 in the United States Attorneys’ Manual [USAM], at Section 9-2.400. Many of the subjects of required prior approval would most likely be of little relevance to the type of investigations that a Special Counsel would undertake. However, there are other subjects and actions concerning investigations and prosecutions which have more possible or potential relevance (in addition to appeals), and which would require prior approval, such as dismissal of a case based on agency refusal to produce documents (USAM, 9-2.159), applications to a court for interceptions of oral, wire or electronic communications (9-7.110, 9-7.111), one-party consent to interception of non-telephonic verbal communication when it relates to a Member of Congress or high level Executive Branch official (USAM, 9-7.302), whether to subpoena a target to the grand jury (USAM, 9-11.150), whether to subpoena, interrogate, arrest or indict members of the news media (USAM, 9-13.400), plea agreements with defendants who are candidates for or Members of Congress (USAM, 9-16.110), search warrant applications for materials in the hands of third parties, such as physicians, attorneys and clergymen (USAM, 9-19.220), before requesting immunity (USAM 9-23.130), whether to enter into a nonprosecution agreement in exchange for cooperation when the person is a high level federal official (USAM, 9-27.640), and investigations or prosecutions of perjury before Congress and contempt of Congress (USAM, 9-69.200). Prior consultation, but not necessarily approval is required in “all criminal matters that focus on violations of federal … campaign finance laws, federal patronage crimes, and corruption of the electoral process,” including the Federal Election Campaign Act. (USAM, 9-85.210) 

    In addition, the AG or Acting AG may request an update at any time (I wonder if we stopped hearing from Rosenstein because he asked for an update? I doubt it since I don’t think he could allow Sekulow to contradict that, but who knows?):

    Although granting “day-to-day” autonomy from supervision, the regulations expressly provide that the Attorney General may at any time request that the Special Counsel provide an explanation for “any investigative or prosecutorial step,” apparently without regard to whether such step is sensitive, controversial or significant, and may find that such action is “so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.7(b).

    The views of the Special Counsel in such matter should be given “substantial deference,” but the ultimate decision is with the Attorney General. If the Attorney General prevents an action by the Special Counsel, the Attorney General is to notify the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and to provide an explanation for such37 
    countermand, upon “the conclusion of the Special Counsel’s investigation.” 

    There’s more at the link and I haven’t looked at the DOJ Manual, which is why it’s smart of Beldar to suggest people like swc weigh in. Thsee comments are just scratching the surface of an answer to Dana’s question, but it’s a start.

    DRJ (15874d)

  52. Een if the Special Counsel notifies the Acting AG, that doesn’t necessarily mean the AG would notify the President. However, I would assume he would and I think the CRS analysis implicitly contemplates it would happen.

    DRJ (15874d)

  53. I am unable to find whether an official notification to the president of an investigation is required. Does anyone know??

    The Special Counsel statute (28 CFR 600.6, Powers and Authority) says

    Subject to the limitations in the following paragraphs, the Special Counsel shall exercise, within the scope of his or her jurisdiction, the full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States Attorney.

    There is no mention of explicit duty to inform the targets of investigations in that statute. The only reporting and notification mentioned explicitly in the statute is to the AG.

    But it sounds like whatever rules and procedures govern US Attorneys also apply to the Special Counsel, apart from this:

    Except as provided in this part, the Special Counsel shall determine whether and to what extent to inform or consult with the Attorney General or others within the Department about the conduct of his or her duties and responsibilities.

    Dave (711345)

  54. Sarnathed by DRJ!

    Dave (711345)

  55. @48.- ‘It was 45 years ago today;
    Gordon Liddy taught the band to play…’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  56. @51- I think the answer to that is “It depends.”

    Which make for quite a load in an adult diaper.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  57. 58, DC Comics, don’t you know that adult diapers are actually being promoted as fashionable ladies undergarments to late boomers and early gen x-ers.

    urbanleftbehind (6a358f)

  58. The matters that are subject to “review and approval” procedures are set out in a Prior Approvals Chart of the US Attorneys’ Manual.

    DRJ (15874d)

  59. My last link is not an exclusive list. However, I think viewing this as a question of when a prosecutor needs to tell a target about an investigation isn’t very relevant as long as the Special Counsel provision requires notice and oversight by the Attorney General. Notice to the AG is likely going to happen much earlier than any notice to a potential target.

    DRJ (15874d)

  60. Ithen is the AG obligated to inform a president that he is being investigated?

    Dana (023079)

  61. I have no idea and, unfortunately, I don’t have the time to look into it now.

    Dana, most legal questions in cases called “of first impression” are not easy to answer. What makes the law predictable is years of legal cases where different courts rule in similar ways in cases with similar facts. Anything having to do with Special Counsel cases is essentially a case of first impression because there have been few/no cases under this relatively new law. So anything anyone says will be an opinion. I don’t think anyone can answer these questions for sure.

    DRJ (15874d)

  62. Trump’s Tweets ‘Official Statements,’ Spicer Says

    Yes. he started calling it that, now. That’s probably what it is. (It also means they, in their position, can’t chalenge them, but that could get ridiculous)

    Sammy Finkelman (8cff4d)

  63. @48. Picture yourself in a bed and on Twitter;
    With two scoops of ice cream and chocolate cream pies;
    Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly;
    A girl with Slovenian eyes…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  64. Thanks, DRJ, that makes sense.

    Dana (023079)

  65. Ordinarily, law enforcement does not notify spontaneously a suspect that he is being investigated. To the contrary, they operate in secret with sealed warrants for wiretaps and snitches masquerading as accomplices. I don’t know whether there is a special rule for special counsel, or for the President, and therefore how much Mr. Sekulow’s repeated assertion that the President has received no such notification is worth.

    I know that a person who suspects that he is a suspect, when overtly or covertly approached by law enforcement, has a right to demand to know whether he is being investigated for a crime and even enforce his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights preemptively in court. Sam Giancana got an FBI agent held in contempt in a rule to show cause for violating an injunction limiting the FBI’s surveillance on him.

    nk (dbc370)

  66. Great research and analysis DRJ. It would seem the decision belongs to the acting AG who as Andy McCarthy has been pointing out the deficiencies in Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller:

    failed to follow regulations that permit a special counsel only for criminal investigations — Rosenstein instead put Mueller in charge of the Russia probe described in Comey’s March 20 testimony. Again, that probe is a counterintelligence investigation.

    As I have contended, aside from being a deviation from the regulations, making a counterintelligence probe the linchpin of a special-counsel investigation sets no practical limitations on the special counsel’s jurisdiction. Counterintelligence is an information-gathering exercise; it does not have the definitive parameters of a criminal investigation, which focuses on concrete factual scenarios in which indictable crimes have been committed.

    Therefore, Rosenstein’s flouting of the regulations means Mueller’s investigation is a fishing expedition.

    Meanwhile Pierre Thomas of ABC begins to walk back reports of investigation of Trump.

    crazy (d3b449)

  67. Breaking: CNN reports London Metropolitan Police report vehicle collides w/pedestrians in London; several casualties.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  68. Chris Wallace today resembled Kamala Harris in his interview of Sokulow interrupting and not letting him answer.

    I skipped most of the NeverTrump comments.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  69. I skipped most of the NeverTrump comments.

    Good thing you did. I called Mike Wallace an asshole in my first one. Reading it might have upset you.

    nk (dbc370)

  70. Trump needs to stop tweeting if he does not want to continue to undermine his own presidency. He is by far his own worst enemy. And he just keeps on proving it.

    I have to disagree, Dana. Oh, not with the fact Trump is his own worst enemy. He certainly is. It’s the “by far” part of the statement. I’d have to say that the Congressional Republicans, Democrats, the LHMFM (but I repeat myself), and the bureaucratic state are all close second place runners-up.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  71. Well, ok, it was my second one.

    nk (dbc370)

  72. I know some people here see me as a Trump apologist, but add me to the group that was surprised when the media started to say Trump was verifying that he was under investigation.
    Trump almost always tweets about news reports and I took his tweet as a poke at the Post.
    First the Post and Media are all Russia all the time, then that gets blown up, so they immediately pivot to another fake news story about “obstruction” with fabricated, anonymous or dicey sources.

    CNN’s Acosta showed how media does this embellishment… this was over the “Did Trump really visit Scalise” file.
    Acosta took a WH Pool report of dubious lineage and renamed it “White House Sources” to give it gravitas.
    The Post cited 5 “sources” and lets be clear, Trump has only verbal communication from the FBI that he is not the subject of an investigation. The FBI is like all cops… they lie whenever it suits them

    Trump responds to the media so often that my default position is that first I think he is batting back at the media… wayyyy second is that he is actually referring to an active investigation.

    In this particular instance I saw Trump’s tweet as a swat at the Post, not as affirmation of an investigation.

    After this is busted they’ll pivot to the emoluments clause

    steveg (e8c34d)

  73. not with the fact Trump is his own worst enemy.

    I am kind of pro-Trump but understand that he is unlike any American politician in a long, long time.

    Maybe Huey Long might be a comparison.

    Anybody who is willing to take on the Deep State, and do most of it with his own fortune, is going to be a little bit crazy.

    I hope he wins and if he loses, we are all f**ked. I am older than almost all of you so I can say this with considerable equanimity as I will not have to live with the consequences if he fails and is overthrown.

    Just be careful what you wish for…

    Mike K (f469ea)

  74. Have I changed your mind about something, Mike K?

    DRJ 5/20/2017, in a discussion with Mike K where he told me he wanted to hear “from people who know these people and don’t just rely on angry biased media for impressions”:

    No, Mike K. I do not know Trump personally [***]. Personal acquaintance is helpful. I think what makes it helpful is that we can observe their behavior and that lets us make judgments about their values, goals, abilities, etc.

    We can observe Trump’s behavior, too, because his actions have been widely reported for decades.

    The same day, Mike K responded:

    I didn’t really think you knew him but I am annoyed by people who use media as a source and then talk as if they knew all about someone.

    Was this you today at another website, Mike K?

    Michael K said…

    Every thing you point out is doubly true of Trump.

    Nonsense and that is why you people get no traction. The lies are too obvious these days.

    Everybody knows everything about Trump. He has been a media figure for decades.

    6/18/17, 8:26 AM

    DRJ (15874d)

  75. The 14th brumaire seems to control, clearlynthere is no there, but that didn’t matte with delay, or walker or the huntress, same for quattrone and stephen hatfill

    narciso (d1f714)

  76. I think the Sunday hosts exposed themselves today.

    There is NO support for their position that Trump was confirming the fact of an investigation — other than their interpretation that Trump was confirming the fact of an investigation.

    So when Trump’s spokesman comes out and says “He was responding to a news report saying he’s under active investigation according to anonymous sources”, and the best the news media can say is “We view his statement as indicating otherwise” — well, you know what they want the story to be, and what they would be disappointed in if the story turned out to be something else.

    The words belong to Trump. Trump gets to provide meaning and context to his own words — the media doesn’t get to provide meaning and context to the words of others when what they provide has no factual support from another source.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  77. Yes shipwrecked was pointing to the absurdity of the whole thing, but we are supposed to act like ministry of silly walks is a real thing

    narciso (d1f714)

  78. @ Mike K,

    I hope he wins and if he loses, we are all f**ked. I am older than almost all of you so I can say this with considerable equanimity as I will not have to live with the consequences if he fails and is overthrown.

    Just be careful what you wish for…

    I don’t understand this. You seem to assume that some of us wish that he fails at the presidency. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, at least for me. I want Trump, as with any president, to succeed at leading our country into a more prosperous and peaceful period by working with Congress and enacting sound policies that represent Conservative ideals. I want to see Trump follow through on his campaign promises in order to have that success. Unfortunately, Trump keeps getting in the way of Trump and meeting those goals. That assessment is based on what we have seen so far. It is making an informed observation, not just hoping he fails and making an empty claim.

    Dana (023079)

  79. So srkuloe may not have used the right verbiage but one might as well be talking to cigar store indians

    narciso (d1f714)

  80. This is one of predicates for this investigation:
    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/22109

    The dosssier was another, and grassley is zeroing in onthe source for that.

    narciso (d1f714)

  81. I want Trump, as with any president, to succeed at leading our country into a more prosperous and peaceful period by working with Congress and enacting sound policies that represent Conservative ideals. I want to see Trump follow through on his campaign promises in order to have that success.

    Dana doesn’t it concern you at all that if Trump is perceived as being successful, we will have more like him (i.e. corrupt, aggressively ignorant compulsive liars, who mock the handicapped, insult POWs and Gold Star families, inflame prejudice against religious and ethnic minorities, brag about brutalizing women, incite his supporters to commit political violence, etc).

    Except the next Trump may not be a bumbling, incompetent Commandant Klink like the present one, but an efficient butcher and usurper of institutions like Trump’s idol and benefactor, Vladimir Putin.

    To the extent he has any consistent philosophy, Trump is a nationalist/tribalist and would be unable to articulate even a single core principle of conservatism. But even if the man agreed with me right down the line on every last detail of policy, I would still oppose him to my last breath, because he is evil and unfit to lead a great and good nation like the United States of America. And he is destroying and discrediting the only philosophy and political party that can oppose the dangerous and destructive schemes of the left in the long term.

    In my view, it’s like we are trapped in a car driven by a rather dim-witted seven year-old with ADHD, who is absolutely convinced (from playing video games) that he is the best driver in the world. I’m not inclined to praise him when he briefly drives on the right side of the street, or narrowly manages to avoid hitting things and running people over (he won’t listen to advice anyway, and criticism just makes him press the gas pedal harder). And despite your “make the best of it” attitude, it doesn’t seem to me like a good opportunity to run some needed errands, either. Rather, I want to get that kid out of the driver’s seat NOW, before he does irreparable damage.

    Dave (711345)

  82. @56 DCSCA

    Gordon Lightfoot maybe.

    The legend lives on

    From the Chippewa on down

    About the big guy they call

    “Sock It To Me”.

    Pinandpuller (51f366)

  83. So if the dossier and the crowdstrike report. Was fraudulent then its fruit of the poison tree?

    narciso (d1f714)

  84. i love how i can click and hear real live propaganda sluts like cnn fake news jake tapper

    but it makes me feel a little dirty

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  85. “In my view, it’s like we are trapped in a car driven by a rather dim-witted seven year-old”
    Why are you bringing Obama into the conversation? Those 8 years are history
    Lets stick to Trump

    steveg (e8c34d)

  86. To paraphrase Edwin Starr, what is the GOP house and senate good for.

    narciso (d1f714)

  87. Why are you bringing Obama into the conversation? Those 8 years are history

    You’re the one who brought Obama into the conversation.

    Dave (711345)

  88. why don’t the sleazy cnn jake tapper fake news propaganda sluts just ask corrupt fbi p.o.s. robert mueller what the eff he’s sucking up all these tax dollars investigating

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  89. Inartfully put pikachu but essentially correct.

    narciso (d1f714)

  90. why don’t the sleazy cnn jake tapper fake news propaganda sluts just ask corrupt fbi p.o.s. robert mueller what the eff he’s sucking up all these tax dollars investigating

    Probably because any moderately intelligent and even slightly well-informed person knows the answer.

    Do you think Mueller appointed himself?

    Dave (711345)

  91. Dave,

    Trump being perceived as being successful is not the same as actually having been successful, of course. And that is a problem because there are far too many willing to tout that which isn’t really a success as one, because they need to believe, need to have their vote validated, are delusional about the president, or maybe they are just that tribal. And these days it seems that given 8 years of Obama ruling by fiat, endless EO’s are considered successes.

    Dana (023079)

  92. Repeat “I fired Comey because he would not tell the truth about the President of the United States. Truth was no investigation.”

    That is all Trump needs to repeat from today till whenever.

    It is true, it is also legal.

    Blah (44eaa0)

  93. We could discuss why the GOP. Ant be. Bothered with a wall, caner get its act together re tax reform. Or confirm the nominees he has proposed in a timely manner

    narciso (d1f714)

  94. “I fired Comey because he would not tell the truth about the President of the United States. Truth was no investigation.”

    The premise (that Comey wouldn’t tell the truth) is false. The decision was not his to make.

    Immediately after the president made his request, Comey passed it to the Acting Deputy Attorney General. He received no response. When Trump inquired again, Comey encouraged him to have the White House Counsel contact the Acting Deputy Attorney General directly, “which was the traditional channel”.

    It is abundantly clear from Comey’s earlier testimony to congress (before he was fired) that statements about who is or is not under investigation must be cleared by the Department of Justice. The FBI director doesn’t get to decide.

    Dave (711345)

  95. Comey has been using the power of his office to destroy lives for 15 years now,

    narciso (d1f714)

  96. “but the person is free to talk on his own initiative” ….

    Nope. Completely absolutely 100% wrong. Everyone who is in a conversation which qualifies for executive privilege is a fiduciary of the POTUS, owing duties of confidentiality much like those owed by a lawyer. But it can extend to non-lawyers. Just as I could be stopped by a civil injunction from carrying out announced plans to disclose one of my client’s confidences, a non-lawyer who is in the executive privilege group could be enjoined, and published by fines and jail for contempt of court.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  97. The privilege belongs to the POTUS. Only he can make valid decision whether to assert it or waive it. This is true for attorney-client privilege and executive privilege both.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  98. And yes, executive privilege does indeed rest on solid constitutional ground.

    Sheesh.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  99. Comey has been using the power of his office to destroy lives for 15 years now,

    Including the eight years (2005-2013) that he didn’t hold any office? Wow.

    Or confirm the nominees he has proposed in a timely manner

    The confirmation time for Trump’s appointees is running a bit longer than Obama’s but the real problem is that he has nominated less than 1/5 of the positions that need to be filled.

    Out of 558 key positions requiring Senate confirmation, Trump has formally nominated only 94, with another 7 “waiting nomination” (which means the name has been announced but the paperwork hasn’t been filed so they can be officially considered).

    And remember, he’s the greatest manager in the history of the universe…

    “Nobody knows the system better than me. Which is why I alone can fix it.” – Donald Trump, Republican National Convention speech

    When he said “I alone can fix it” he apparently meant that literally (i.e. he wasn’t going to bother appointing 80+% of the government’s political appointees).

    Dave (711345)

  100. Everyone who is in a conversation which qualifies for executive privilege is a fiduciary of the POTUS, owing duties of confidentiality much like those owed by a lawyer.

    Where is that written down?

    Dave (711345)

  101. @ crazy, re #67: I don’t disagree with Mr. McCarthy, but there’s something important I think he didn’t discuss in the piece you linked.

    The actual order appointing Comey is similar to, but slightly different from, that which appointed Patrick Fitzgerald, even though both were appointed in part under the special counsel regulation, 28 CFR part 600, drafted by the Janet Reno DoJ in 1999 in the weeks after Bubba’s acquittal in the Senate. Comey was brought in for Plamegate not from outside the DoJ, which is what 28 CFR part 600 actually contemplates, but from a remote U.S. Attorney’s office, that of the Northern District of Illinois (which includes Chicago), where he’d just finished the high-profile prosecution of Tony Rezko. They still had some funding that had been appropriated under the old independent counsel statute that expired in 1999, so as a bit of budgeting ledgerdomain, they paid Fitzgerald and his staff’s salaries and expenses out of that, at least in part. But they clearly didn’t either try to, or succeed in, making all the terms of Fitzgerald’s appointment fit 28 CFR part 600. Instead, the decision to pick a sitting U.S. Attorney, and to pay him out of the independent counsel funds, was treated as an administrative decision of the Attorney General made ad hoc and outside the normal federal regulations. So Fitzgerald’s original appointment, and then a supplemental one (made when they figured out the budgeting trick) restating his appointment, also cited, in addition to 28 CFR part 600, the more general statutes that set up the DoJ and make the AG its department head. A couple of years down the road, some internal auditor within DoJ had to re-examine this and bless the funding, and the resulting opinion confirmed: “Nope, this didn’t fully comply with 28 CFR section 600, but to the extent it didn’t, the variation was within the AG’s power and discretion, because he (and his principal, the POTUS) have discretion to grant variances from the normal rules that normally bind this executive department.

    I think Mr. McCarthy would agree with me that there’s no doubt about whether the Mueller special counsel appointment is within Rosenstein’s (as Acting AG’s) statutory authority in assigning a foreign intelligence investigation to Mueller. He’s clearly correct that it’s not directly authorized by the special counsel reg, which by its terms only refers to “criminal investigations.” But Rosenstein was free to vary from it and appoint Mueller to do this even without a reg that specifically authorizes it, because that’s within the broader statutory authority that’s held by the AG and that pre-existed (and made possible) the rulemaking procedure that ultimately produced the special counsel regulation. And that’s what Mr. McCarthy left out of his piece that I thought an important omission.

    The Mueller appointment likewise contains the same references to the enabling statutes that were used to support paying Fitzgerald even though he wasn’t from outside the DoJ and out of a fund originally intended to be used under a since-expired statute. And my hunch is that Rosenstein quite deliberately and knowingly chose to write the appointment, and in particular its specification of the matters being committed to Mueller’s jurisdiction, expressly and deliberately in terms of the pending foreign intelligence investigation. By that time, Rosenstein also knew that the foreign intelligence investigation had already spun off one or more (Flynn, Manafort, maybe others) criminal investigations, so the reg could directly justify at least that portion of what he was appointing Mueller to take over. But referring just to the foreign intelligence investigation — without mentioning Flynn or Manafort or anyone else — let Rosenstein remain as opaque as possible, giving the fewest possible hints to the extent of any ongoing criminal investigation(s).

    Mr. McCarthy is right, of course, that this kind of specification of the special counsel’s appointment makes it much easier for a special counsel to go on “fishing expeditions,” or more specifically, to wander around looking for, or maybe looking to create, some process crimes (false statement, perjury, obstruction).

    But I suspect that Rosenstein thought about this, concluded as I have (and as I think McCarthy would if asked directly) that Rosenstein had statutory authority to do it the way he did it, and that he’s legally correct even though it has the (intended) effect of saying less than would otherwise be said. Normally, as Mr. McCarthy points out, the appointment would need to specify the particulars of a criminal investigation, which would then rein in the prosecutor’s discretion, as well as giving the public and the target of the investigation formal public notice (via the appointment, which is a public document transmitted by the AG to the chair and ranking member of the House & Senate judiciary committees) of its scope.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  102. Errata (#102): That ought to have read: “The actual order appointing Mueller is similar to, but slightly different from, that which appointed Patrick Fitzgerald ….”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  103. And errata (#102): The next sentence ought have read: “Fitzgerald was brought in for Plamegate not from outside the DoJ …”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  104. Another point that seems to me overlooked in the executive privilege question is that Trump’s pressure on Comey was not an exercise of Trump’s presidential duties.

    One school of apologism claims that saying “I hope…” was merely an idle expression carrying no official weight, which Comey was under no obligation to heed, and which therefore could not have been obstruction of justice. If so, then how is it a privileged presidential communication? According to this line of thought, Trump might as well have been talking about the weather.

    Further, the president allegedly offered no justification for his request, apart from “Flynn’s a good guy”. The president has no power to secretly suspend faithful execution of the laws for “good guys” and the decision to pursue or abandon a particular investigation or prosecution is (based on everything I’ve read) the decision of the DoJ (with the FBI’s advice), not the FBI itself. So even if Trump’s request *did* carry official, presidential authority (as the apologists would prefer to deny), he had no power as president to make this particular request to the FBI director and the fact of it being made could not be privileged.

    And to reiterate, before Comey divulged anything, Trump himself publicly revealed details of the conversations in question that were cherry-picked to make him look good and Comey look bad. It seems to me that if someone publicly discloses the content of a private conversation to discredit you, you are released from any obligation you may have had to preserve the confidentiality yourself.

    Dave (711345)

  105. Executive privilege doesn’t just extend to the executive discussions that you think are cool, Dave.

    It extends to all confidential communications between the POTUS and his top advisers that is part of the POTUS’ seeking information and expressing reactions thereto, including but by no means limited to direct marching orders. They weren’t talking about baseball scores. Aspirational and well-intentioned or wicked and obstructive of justice, this conversation was part of both men’s jobs. That’s the end of the inquiry in terms of establishing the entitlement to claim privilege.

    There’s a further, separate inquiry into whether this privilege, which is conditional, can be overridden, and in that context one does again have to consider not just whether it was a job-related communication but one so important to the functioning of the Executive that it can be kept privileged despite a compelling and urgent national interest in the communication being revealed — the Nixon tapes case being the SCOTUS touchstone on this.

    Trump did not reveal in detail the substance of the communications, no quotes, no close paraphrases. I absolutely disagree with your waiver argument, but here’s something I’m 100% sure of: It wasn’t Jim Comey’s call, no more than it’s yours or mine, to take upon ourselves the role of the judge who someday might actually have to rule on that waiver question. Comey has no more right to conclude that his principal has already waived a privilege than he does to waive it on his own to begin with.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  106. Are you a lawyer, Dave?

    God help your clients if so.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  107. Dave I am baffled at why you think the POTUS is subordinate to or limited by regs which commit certain judgements to DOJ. He is not. He can disregard all of them if he wishes. Trump is not bound by anything created by Eric Holder or Janet Reno under prior administrations.

    Shipwreckedcrew (f292fa)

  108. “(A)t the very, very least, it is yet another indicator that Trump needs to stop tweeting if he does not want to continue to undermine his own presidency. He is by far his own worst enemy. And he just keeps on proving it.”

    – Dana

    I understand why you say this and, until quite recently, I completely agreed. I not sure I do any more. My feeling is that Trump being Trump is exactly what the nation needs at this point. I think he should fire Mueller too. Trump is at his best when he is on offense. He should keep it up. Moreover, Clinton’s Lewinsky strategy is the example of how to weather a gathering storm. When Bill Clinton’s exploitation of Lewinsky became public knowledge, he appealed to his base and his base roared back in support. I think Trump will win if he does because his base, too, will roar in support and his opponents in the Republican party will, ultimately, cower. What Republican House or Senate member would be re-elected if they betray Trump. Not one. It would be political suicide.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  109. ThOR, it frightens me that there are almost certainly people who have Trump’s ear who are telling him what you just wrote (#109). It frightens me because if Trump were to fire Mueller tomorrow, he’d be impeached and convicted before Halloween.

    You talk about his win in November, which was critical. Recall that it took him longer to secure the GOP nomination than any candidate since 1976, and that he continued losing important late states in the primary, like Wisconsin and Ohio, that he ended up carrying in the general. You are vastly overestimating the depth of his support even in the Republican Party, I believe. Regardless, you are definitely overestimating the depth of his support on the Hill. On the Hill, from the standpoint of individual GOP senators and members of Congress, they’re looking at 2018 and their own states and districts. In a red state that Trump lost in the primaries, there is no price for them to pay, and they’re not worried about being primaried from the right by some Trump revanchism wave. If he gets impeached and convicted, Trumpism shatters into a million pieces.

    I had to remind myself recently when I was looking at these special counsel regs that Clinton’s senate acquittal was early in 1999, when he still had the better part of two years left on his last term. Now your best-case and desired scenario is to emulate Clinton’s last two years of relative impotency? Even Al Gore didn’t want Bubba to campaign with him.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  110. Are you a lawyer, Dave?

    God help your clients if so.

    Nope. Physics professor.

    Before that, you managed to go one whole post without any gratuitous personal insults, though, so you’re making real progress.

    You said:

    Everyone who is in a conversation which qualifies for executive privilege is a fiduciary of the POTUS, owing duties of confidentiality much like those owed by a lawyer.

    That is quite a strong assertion. I asked where that was written down and you didn’t deign to respond (it certainly isn’t in the constitution, and it almost certainly isn’t in any statute, so if you aren’t just making it up, it must be in one or more court decisions).

    I skimmed both US vs. Nixon and Nixon vs. Sirica, and didn’t see anything resembling the obligations you describe for former government employees. Both those decisions (as I, an unworthy non-lawyer, understand them!) concern the president’s obligation (or lack thereof) to comply with subpoenas. I saw nothing concerning former federal employees being stripped of their First Amendment rights in unclassified matters, though.

    I am truly interested to understand what authority you think places this obligation on Comey, that Trump can reveal cherry-picked information from their private conversations but Comey can’t refer to those same conversations to provide important context for the public attack on his integrity and competence.

    Trump did not reveal in detail the substance of the communications, no quotes, no close paraphrases.

    Trump disclosed what he considered the single most important detail of those communications. In fact he characterized Comey’s exact words. I don’t see how you can say “not under investigation” isn’t a quote or close paraphrase, if that is in fact what Comey told him.

    @108, SWC

    Dave I am baffled at why you think the POTUS is subordinate to or limited by regs which commit certain judgements to DOJ. He is not. He can disregard all of them if he wishes. Trump is not bound by anything created by Eric Holder or Janet Reno under prior administrations.

    I think you are surely right that the president can in principle change any rule created by previous administrations, but in a nation of laws, not men, there is a process for doing that, is there not? And it involves more than just an off-hand, undocumented remark in the middle of a 1-on-1 private meeting. The rules are written down so everybody knows what they are, and when you change the rules, you have to promulgate the new rule. Obviously that wasn’t done, so the existing rule would remain in effect.

    Your suggestion seems to be that the president can arbitrarily and secretly change the procedures for administration of justice on a day to day basis, without leaving any paper trail. I can’t imagine you really believe that.

    But do you then agree that Trump’s instruction to “let this go” was intended as an official instruction to a subordinate, and not simply a throw-away remark with no legal or administrative import? Otherwise how are any “regs” involving DOJ even relevant?

    Dave (711345)

  111. Please take a moment to read this fabulous interview with the retiring Chairman Chaffetz. It’s from the Full Measure show, which is always worth your attention (Sunday mornings in syndication).

    Chaffetz speaks directly as to the treachery and mendacity of the GOP leadership stalling reforms. DJT is up against a Marianas trench Deep State.

    http://fullmeasure.news/news/cover-story/the-oversight-man-06-18-2017

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  112. @112

    Jason Chaffetz: Now look, you have more than 50 Republicans pleading with President Trump to release [IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen], um, to let him go, fire him. Uh, or at least encourage him to retire. No, he’s still there. No changes. Nobody was fired. Nobody was prosecuted. Nobody was held accountable. We tried to issue subpoenas, we tried to hold people in contempt and the Obama Administration said, no, and the Trump Administration came in and did zero. Nothing. Nothing changed.

    Yeah, that’s quite an indictment of … the Trump Administration.

    Dave (711345)

  113. Lawyers are lower than whale crap and D.C. proves it every gosh darn day.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/06/muellers_real_mandate.html

    mg (31009b)

  114. @111. I skimmed both US vs. Nixon and Nixon vs. Sirica, and didn’t see anything resembling the obligations you describe for former government employees.

    Sirica? Nixon? Watergate? Whoa, Dave, we know how they like that referenced these days. Remember who and what you’re dealing with: frustrated ideologues who let their party get hijacked by someone who once openly characterized them as ‘the dumbest group of voters in the country.’ And proved himself right.

    “I will appoint an attorney general who will reform the Department of Justice like it was necessary after Watergate. My attorney general will restore the integrity of the Department of Justice, which has been severely questioned.” – Donald Trump, October, 2016

    https://trumppromised.us/promise/reform-the-department-of-justice

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  115. “I hope…” was merely an idle expression carrying no official weight…

    Meh. Not in the Big Apple. The Junior Don blew that out of the water w/a tweet or two and an interview on Fox. When the Papa Don says ‘I hope’ something– there’s no ambiguity- he means get it done— and usually in a New York minute. Remember, they ‘had that thing’… gave him two weeks, no action so Comey’s was a canned fish.

    Given the gilded, brassy lifestyle of the Trump family, you’d think they’d grasp why ‘silence is golden.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  116. Yes holder turned main justice into a band of firemen like in sanford and ferguson and brigands extorting banks but not convicting any guilty meanwhile he labored to give the 9/11 hijackers more privileges than their victims

    narciso (9b6052)

  117. Too funny not to share:

    “You were recommended to us by Dr. Albierti.” Heloise dabbed at the corners of her wide unpainted mouth with a brown paper napkin. “He’s a professor emeritus with thirty years in Romance Languages. You freed his daughter from a cult.”

    “She joined the Young Republicans,” I said. “I found her living in Saline with a professional lobbyist. I told her to call home; that was the job. Did she?”

    “Yes. He sent her money. She’s married to a yoga instructor here in town. So we know you get results. Missing persons, that’s your specialty, right?”

    Estleman, Loren D.. The Sundown Speech: An Amos Walker Novel (Amos Walker Novels) (p. 14). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

    nk (dbc370)

  118. Dave,

    Executive Privilege has two sources in the law: It is a doctrine that protects Presidential confidentiality as a matter of public policy, and it is a principle implied in the constitutionally mandated separation of powers. It has been generally recognized as a principle since George Washington, although Eisenhower coined the term Executive Privilege.

    Not all scholars agree it exists but I think US vs Nixon resolved that it does. That case held that Presidential Executive Privilege exists but it is not an absolute right that may be outweighed by the “legitimate needs of the judicial process.” Specifically, the Court held that a court’s need for evidence in a criminal case might, in some cases, outweigh the President’s interest in asserting privilege:

    In support of his claim of absolute privilege, the President’s counsel urges two grounds, one of which is common to all governments and one of which is peculiar to our system of separation of powers. The first ground is the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties; the importance of this confidentiality is too plain to require further discussion. Human experience teaches that those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their own interests to the detriment of the decisionmaking process. 15 Whatever the nature of the privilege of confidentiality of Presidential communications in the exercise of Art. II powers, the privilege can be said to derive from the supremacy of each branch within its own assigned area of constitutional duties. Certain powers and privileges flow from the nature of enumerated powers; 16 the protection of the confidentiality of [418 U.S. 683, 706]   Presidential communications has similar constitutional underpinnings.

    The second ground asserted by the President’s counsel in support of the claim of absolute privilege rests on the doctrine of separation of powers. Here it is argued that the independence of the Executive Branch within its own sphere, Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, 295 U.S. 602, 629 -630 (1935); Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168, 190 -191 (1881), insulates a President from a judicial subpoena in an ongoing criminal prosecution, and thereby protects confidential Presidential communications.

    However, neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. The President’s need for complete candor and objectivity from advisers calls for great deference from the courts. However, when the privilege depends solely on the broad, undifferentiated claim of public interest in the confidentiality of such conversations, a confrontation with other values arises. Absent a claim of need to protect military, diplomatic, or sensitive national security secrets, we find it difficult to accept the argument that even the very important interest in confidentiality of Presidential communications is significantly diminished by production of such material for in camera inspection with all the protection that a district court will be obliged to provide. [418 U.S. 683, 707]  

    The impediment that an absolute, unqualified privilege would place in the way of the primary constitutional duty of the Judicial Branch to do justice in criminal prosecutions would plainly conflict with the function of the courts under Art. III. In designing the structure of our Government and dividing and allocating the sovereign power among three co-equal branches, the Framers of the Constitution sought to provide a comprehensive system, but the separate powers were not intended to operate with absolute independence.

    “While the Constitution diffuses power the better to secure liberty, it also contemplates that practice will integrate the dispersed powers into a workable government. It enjoins upon its branches separateness but interdependence, autonomy but reciprocity.” Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S., at 635 (Jackson, J., concurring).

    To read the Art. II powers of the President as providing an absolute privilege as against a subpoena essential to enforcement of criminal statutes on no more than a generalized claim of the public interest in confidentiality of nonmilitary and nondiplomatic discussions would upset the constitutional balance of “a workable government” and gravely impair the role of the courts under Art. III.

    DRJ (15874d)

  119. In short, US vs Nixon established that Executive Privilege exists and is due great deference by tge courtd, but it is not an absolute right. There may be limits or exceptions. In that case, the needs of a court in a criminal law case outweighed the President’s Constitutional and public policy interests in asserting Executive Privilege.

    DRJ (15874d)

  120. As a footnote, my reading of US vs Nixon is that Executive Privilege exists as a matter of public policy (protecting confidentiality of executive discussions) and under the Constitution (protecting the President’s enumerated powers in national security, military, etc., which are owed special deference under the separation of powers doctrine).

    US vs Nixon involved a criminal law case, not a national security or military matter, so it can be argued that the court held only the public policy doctrine of confidentiality applied — and it could be limited if there is a legitimate need by another branch of government for confidential Presidential communications. If so, then a President could still argue that the constitutionally-based Executive Privilege is an absolute right when it involves Executive Privilege asserted in connection with national security, military, etc., Presidential actions.

    But I’m not a Constitutional scholar so take this opinion with a grain of salt.

    DRJ (15874d)

  121. Well, US v. Nixon was the executive privilege in the context of a criminal prosecution, after indictment, in a federal court. So, at the very least, the qualifier that the Court created is not yet ripe. We are still at the “trolling for whatever bites” stages of fishing expeditions by Congress and the special counsel. Far, far away from an indictment. I would say that US v. Nixon is distinguishable, at best helpful but not dispositive.

    nk (dbc370)

  122. That’s hilarious, nk. I read some more of it online. The clients wanted a PI to promise not to carry a gun because they support gun control! I need to get that book. How did you find it?

    DRJ (15874d)

  123. Chicago Public Library, DRJ. I’m a long time fan of Loren D. Estleman, more than 20 years, but until three days ago I only bought his westerns. The West attracts me a lot more than Detroit where his Amos Walker detective stories take place. I thought I’d give one from the library, The Lioness Is The Hunter, and I liked it, so I checked out this one too.

    nk (dbc370)

  124. Dave (711345) — 6/19/2017 @ 12:33 am

    But do you then agree that Trump’s instruction to “let this go” was intended as an official instruction to a subordinate, and not simply a throw-away remark with no legal or administrative import? Otherwise how are any “regs” involving DOJ even relevant?

    It really was a throwaway remark, with the subtext at most being that if Comey didn’t, he might pardon Mike Flynn, but Comey repeatedly claimed in his testimony to several Senators that he considered it a direction, which he claimed in his prepared statement that he decided not to abide [by] except that, according to leaks by “law enforcement officials” to CNN on Feb 15, he did!

    You could look it up:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/jimsciutto/status/832013379124486148?p=v

    Jim Sciutto
    @jimsciutto

    Breaking: FBI NOT expected to pursue charges against #MichaelFlynn regarding phone calls w/Russian Ambassador, reports @evanperez

    3:45 PM – 15 Feb 2017

    ———–

    Jim Sciutto
    @jimsciutto

    Replying to @jimsciutto

    More: FBI says Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers

    3:47 PM – 15 Feb 2017

    In his prepared statement Comey wrote that he assumed that was all that the Michael Flynn request applied to:

    I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December

    This was reiterated the next day:

    ttp://ktla.com/2017/02/16/fbi-not-expected-to-pursue-charges-against-michael-flynn-law-enforcement-officials/

    FBI Not Expected to Pursue Charges Against Michael Flynn: Law Enforcement Officials

    Posted 3:01 PM, February 16, 2017, by CNN Wire

    The FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn regarding a phone call with Russia’s ambassador, barring new information that
    changes what they know, law enforcement officials told CNN Thursday..

    Sammy Finkelman (8cff4d)

  125. DCSCA (797bc0) — 6/19/2017 @ 3:30 am

    The Junior Don blew that out of the water w/a tweet or two and an interview on Fox. When the Papa Don says ‘I hope’ something– there’s no ambiguity- he means get it done— and usually in a New York minute. I think what Donald Trump Jr. said was the opposite: That his father didn’t use circumlocutions like “I hope” when he wanted something done.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cff4d)

  126. Another tag not closed, or closed improperly, which equals nothing (this time blockquote)

    That should have been:

    The Junior Don blew that out of the water w/a tweet or two and an interview on Fox. When the Papa Don says ‘I hope’ something– there’s no ambiguity- he means get it done— and usually in a New York minute.

    I think what Donald Trump Jr. said was the opposite: That his father didn’t use circumlocutions like “I hope” when he wanted something done.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-jr-tweets-president-stays-silent-comey-testimony-article-1.3231338

    He called his father’s actions “very far from any kind of coercion or influence and certainly not obstruction!” and trolled Comey for suggesting that the President had ordered him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

    “Knowing my father for 39 years when he ‘orders or tells’ you to do something there is no ambiguity, you will know exactly what he means,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote.

    Comey said he interpreted Trump’s statement that he “hoped” the FBI would drop its probe as a command.

    Hoping and telling are two very different things, you would think that a guy like Comey would know that. #givemeabreak,” Donald Trump Jr. continued.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cff4d)

  127. Trump isn’t careful or accurate in his speech. Instead, he seems to say what he feels. His tweets may be more of the same. If so, they give us insight into how he feels at a given moment, but not something anyone can rely on. Unfortunately, since he’s the President, everything he says has meaning — even if it is unreliable or wrong.

    DRJ (d35869)

  128. Comey tried to make it out that the reason that Trump wanted to speak to him privately was about the possible manufactured case against Mike Flynn (manufactured because they asked him questions when they already knew the answers) but the reason could have been because he wqanted to speak to him in secret about that day’s New York Times story and preventing leaks.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/russia-intelligence-communications-trump.html

    Comey did not write about this in his notes (he said he wanted to keep his notes unclassified) but he did go around and tell members of Congress that the story was almost entirely wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (b78e49)

  129. there are no memos, just whatever comey goldman richnan or wittes at the time.

    narciso (9b6052)

  130. Beldar @102.Thank you for taking a deeper dive into some of the many questions around the special counsel. I learn a lot and hope others do as well.

    You’re probably right that the discussion is more about what “should” be done as opposed to what “can” be done lawfully. I’m sure I missed the finer legal points while trying to figure out whether this whole kerfuffle had a manufactured or legitimate basis and how any POTUS or DOJ should handle it regardless of political persuasion. McCarthy’s suggestion to tighten up the special counsel’s delegation makes a lot of sense and would clear up most of the fog surrounding this. His latest that impeachment is the proper method of presidential accountability and that Trump’s legal team is wrong to avoid discussing it also seems wise.

    There has been too much lawfare and criminalization of politics for too long. Open-ended secret investigations and whispered accusations promoted and vouched for by anonymous officials and concerned politicians is doing more damage to our system of self-government than any amount of unwelcome foreign press reports promoted by bots and enthusiastic partisans. I’d like to see us get back to the rule of law and not the rule of innuendo.

    crazy (d3b449)

  131. I don’t think it’s accurate to say it’s manufactured if investigators asked Flynn questions to which they already knew the answers. That’s a good practice in an investigation because it lets the investigators test the credibility and truthfulness of the person bring questioned.

    Perhaps you are confusing “manufactured” with entrapment, but that’s very different.

    DRJ (15874d)

  132. After delay Perry and Paxton you should know the noted if not the program.

    narciso (9b6052)

  133. Whenever Trump is attacked by anti-Trump Democrats and Republicans, he himself will be held responsible for the attacks, “his own worst enemy.” Whenever a blow is delivered to his presidency – and through his presidency to the American people – “he brought it on himself.”

    yes yes we see this sort of goebbelsian sophistry all the time here

    me i abjure it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  134. Was this you today at another website, Mike K?
    Michael K said…
    “Every thing you point out is doubly true of Trump.”

    Nonsense and that is why you people get no traction. The lies are too obvious these days.

    Everybody knows everything about Trump. He has been a media figure for decades.

    6/18/17, 8:26 AM

    DRJ (15874d) — 6/18/2017 @ 6:16 pm

    Of course it was me and you know that. Is this supposed to be some big insight ? Maybe you would prefer that I had qualified by adding, “But no one can read his mind. ”

    What I meant and is still true, is that he has no secrets like Obama.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  135. You are vastly overestimating the depth of his support even in the Republican Party, I believe. Regardless, you are definitely overestimating the depth of his support on the Hill. On the Hill, from the standpoint of individual GOP senators and members of Congress, they’re looking at 2018 and their own states and districts. In a red state that Trump lost in the primaries, there is no price for them to pay, and they’re not worried about being primaried from the right by some Trump revanchism wave. If he gets impeached and convicted, Trumpism shatters into a million pieces.

    No, the country gets shattered into a million pieces.

    Since I was here, anyway. I agree with you about the Republican Party, especially those full fledged members of the “Ruling Class” or would be members.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  136. Except his taxes.
    And the details of his loans through Deutsche Bank. Which seems to be the only lender who will do business with him, and recently pleaded to guilty to money laundering.
    And all the things subject to numerous confidentiality agreements.

    That there’s a lot of publicity about him is not that the same as he has no secrets.

    nk (dbc370)

  137. “There is NO support for their position that Trump was confirming the fact of an investigation — other than their interpretation that Trump was confirming the fact of an investigation.”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    I would be interested to see that statement mapped over to the textualism/intentionalism debates. How would a reasonable person interpret the actual words of Trump’s text?

    Do you consider yourself a textualist, SWC?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  138. LOL at Mike K trying to have his cake and eat it too.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  139. LOL at Mike K trying to have his cake and eat it too.

    Leviticus (efada1)

    I’m sure you mean something, even if only to yourself.

    Trump is under attack by everyone outside his administration and by quite a few inside that he should have gotten rid of on day one.

    Is that what you meant ?

    Mike K (f469ea)

  140. I would interpret his words not just by 140 characters in a tweet, but also by the context in which they were sent.

    Was there an article in the WaPo the very morning of the tweet saying that anonymous sources have confirmed that Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice?? Well, in fact, there was.

    So, when Trump’s spokesman says “He wasn’t confirming anything, he was reacting to the news report that he was under investigation”, that’s the context that I put the comment in.

    Had there not been such an article, then the comment would be open to continued debate.

    But there was an article, so all the media has now is his comment in a vacuum, divorced from the actual context in which it was sent.

    How’s this for textualism — “I did not stop beating my wife last night.”

    Have I confirmed that I’m a wife beater?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  141. we all know disgraced FBI mafioso Robert Mueller’s gonna do everything he can to fabricate a case against the president and anyone else he conceivably can

    calling it an “investigation” or “inverstigating” does indeed put rather too fine a point on it

    lying fbi trash gonna lie

    this is how corrupt fbi bimbos like Mueller and Comey roll is all

    do we really have to incessantly poodle-toot all the semantics

    no we don’t

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  142. DACA is being altered (bounties?)?

    http://www.yahoo.com/news/muslim-teen-killed-leaving-virginia-054812128.html

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  143. “Text”, within the meaning of textualism, is not the same as an internet text, I don’t think.

    nk (dbc370)

  144. should have added this one as well to post 148 above:

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/18/us/maryland-double-homicide-suspects-arrested/index.html

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  145. “text” refers to sleazy fbi interview memos written by random corrupt fbi bimbos that may or may not have any resemblance to what was said in the interview, which is never recorded

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  146. “Is that what you meant ?”

    – Mike K

    No, what I meant was that you tried to simultaneously claim that media is and is not a means to knowing someone, and DRJ called you out on it, and I think that’s funny.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  147. 136. DRJ (15874d) — 6/19/2017 @ 9:06 am

    I don’t think it’s accurate to say it’s manufactured if investigators asked Flynn questions to which they already knew the answers. That’s a good practice in an investigation because it lets the investigators test the credibility and truthfulness of the person bring questioned.

    Yes, but they didn’t have any other questions at the time for Flynn besides the ones they knew the answers to. Well, Come to think of it, there were some secondary questions about how the call was set up. They had (it’s been leaked but not officially confirmed) the complete transcript of the ccnversation that Flynn had with Kislyak which is most of what they asked him about, or ts where you had the possible crime.

    Assessing Flynn’s credibility and truthfulness was important – though not for possible indictment, but for whether or not he should have that job as National Security Adviser (which wasn’t, strictly speaking, the FBI’s area of responsibility, but this is pretty important.)

    But to make a criminal case out of that, when there was no underlying related crime? There were possible crimes, and big ones maybe, but not related to these conversations.

    I think it hapepned more or less like this:

    The whole thing started when President Obama imposed extra sanctions on Russia for their attempted interference in the election, including efforts, that got under way too late to have an effect, to interfere with the actual voting. (Hacking any votes themselves would be almost impossible to do, especially undetected. Nothing’s connected to the internet – you’d have to get to the voting material while they were in warehouses and then have it not detected by routine testing. They were quite a few steps away from anything like that. But closer was wrecking or confusing some of the voting by altering voter registration databases, or hacking the first reporting of the votes to make it look a little like it had been stolen,, or to help recounts get started. They were never able to get to first base with any of that. They started much too late.)

    Part of the new sanctions was expelling some Russian “diplomats.” Obama and his entire team expected there to be retaliatory expulsions of Americans from Russia.

    Then, Putin announces he’s not doing it and Trump tweets that was very smart of him.

    So they asked for reports of conversation between important Russians and Americans. And were told he Kislyak had talked with someone. Or maybe that routinely reported. So anyway they asked who did Kislyak talk to? And Flynn’s name was unmasked. And then they asked what did they say. And they got a report and maybe atranscript of the conversation.

    Now, anytime anyone looked at it they had to conclude the Logan Act (not negotiating with a foreign voter on behalf of the U.S. government when not in power) was not violated. Because Flynn had not made any promises – most likely because he was speaking on his own. He might have wanted to commit Trump to something but he hadn’t discussed it with Trump. So all he said was that if sanctions were imposed, it would be more difficult for Turmp to lift them. Some people might say he handled it superbly and prevented the retaliation in exchange for nothing.

    Flynn did get fired after the second leak to the Washington Post – about the details of his conversation with Kislyak.

    The first leak on Jan 12, was merely that a conversation had taken place. It was maybe speculated that it could have bene about sanctions but not specifically leaked that it was. Flynn got asked questions and denied that the subject of sanctions ever came up. Mike Pence was going to go on a Sunday morning talk show or two on Jan 15 and he was going to defend Mike Flynn, but because he already didn’t trust Mike Flynn (because Flynn had told him, or his people, that his son, Mike Flynn Jr. did not have a security cearance, when in fact he did) took the trouble to ask Mike Flynn personally and point blank if they had spoken about sanctions. And Flynn said no.

    So Mike Pence went on TV and said the;d personally confirmed that with Mike Flynn.

    So now the Obama holdovers and permanent people who know that it is a lie try to get Mike Flynn fired. And so they cooked up a criminal referral. The FBI goes into his office in the White House on January 24 and asks him about the conversation with Kislyak. Flynn denied talking about sanctions – mentions other subjects. Then they tell him: You know, we have a tape, or something close to that. Are you sure you want to stick with that – is that your final answer? And then Flynn says his memory isn’t all that good.

    Two days later, a criminal referral is sent and forwarded by Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, with the claim that this is bad because the Russians could blackmail him. It’s more likely, of course, people in the U.S. intelligence community could blackmail him. Anyway, it goes to the White House counsel’s office.

    …which looks at the transcript and concludes there is no violation of the Logan Act. And Donald Trump concludes that what Flynn did was all right, maybe even excellent. He ratifies what Flynn did on his own initiative. We’re only talking about this conversation, or series of conversations, of course.

    And the Obama holdovers and people outside look, and they see that Flynn is not getting fired.

    So there is a second leak to the Washington Post, much more clearly a felony, that says that in that conversation with Kislyak, Flynn talked about sanctions. Flynn gets asked about it. He can’t deny it like he did before, because he knows the FBI has a tape. So he engages in a lot of double talk and spin, with Spicer and Priebus and others, and within a few days he’s gone.

    Perhaps you are confusing “manufactured” with entrapment, but that’s very different.

    It’s not strictly entrapment, because nobody encouraged Flynn to lie. You might call it a sting operation – and a sting operation is a manufactured case. That’s what the FBI does with Islamic extremists whom they don’t have enough evidence to arrest.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  148. “How’s this for textualism — “I did not stop beating my wife last night.”

    Have I confirmed that I’m a wife beater?”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    I don’t know – do you consider yourself a textualist?

    Either way, why not just state “I have never touched my wife in violent way, ever”? Seems like that would be a far less stupid thing to say.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  149. Does “context” extend to the assumption that Trump – the President of the United States, lest we forget it (and we would be forgiven for doing so) – might know better than the Washington Post whether he is or is not under investigation for obstruction of justice?

    Lord knows he’s not shy about asking the DOJ about it, after all.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  150. is there anyone in the sleazy DoJ or at the corrupt FBI what has the credibility to make a believable statement about who or what is being investigated?

    NO

    they’re all poopy clowns

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  151. “since he’s the President, everything he says has meaning”

    DRJ,

    There isn’t much evidence supporting a contention Trump’s utterances have meaning wrt logic or rational thought. Intent is better measured by observing the degree of conditioned response among his supporters and opposition than attempting to discern anything regarding meaning in his communications. IMO – he’s doing a pretty good job in hammering home the wedge Obama selected to split the Democrat Party. The revolting prole segment isn’t particularly reliable over time but the Democrats have absolutely nothing on offer to incline their return.

    IOW – he’s not trying to communicate anything to you or to me at all.

    Rick Ballard (5397ef)

  152. Rick — I don’t think he’s trying to communicate anything to anyone with a lot of his texts. Its mostly just his commentary on events as they take place around him.

    Having a comment represent a POV, and having a comment communicate factual information, are two different things.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  153. I think Trump’s tweet is more honestly viewed as an expression of exasperation and frustration, not a confirmation of any particular fact.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  154. 134. narciso (9b6052) — 6/19/2017 @ 8:53 am

    there are no memos, just whatever comey goldman richnan or wittes at the time

    I think they are even supposed to be typewritten!

    No, that was Mueller, in 2005:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/james-comey-memos-fbi-culture.html

    In 2007, the typewritten notes of Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director at that time, helped resolve a dispute over the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program.

    Mueller backed up Comey against Alberto Gonzales.

    Mr. Comey, who had opposed the surveillance program, had different recollections than senior White House officials, and Mr. Mueller’s notes provided key corroboration of Mr. Comey’s version of events.

    Mueller actually only backed him up – actually I’m not sure what he backed him up about. Maybe Ashcroft’s condition or that Comey had told him the same story he later told the House Judiciary Committee

    See http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/17/washington/17inquire.html

    They were typewritten in shorthand, (on a stenotype machine?) undated, and very heavily redacted.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  155. I would agree regarding the emotional venting aspect. Anyone who has ever seen a toddler banging a sippee cup on a high chair recognizes that aspect. I maintain, to the extent beyond the emotional venting, the intent is to stimulate and elicit conditioned response, particularly among the revolting proles. I don’t fault the intent, he knows his marks and there are plenty of them who have habitually voted Democrat.

    Rick Ballard (5397ef)

  156. @ shipwreckedcrew,

    How’s this for textualism — “I did not stop beating my wife last night.”

    Have I confirmed that I’m a wife beater?

    Piggybacking on Leviticus’s “far less stupid” point, why not instead be explicitly clear so that the risk of being misunderstood is minimized as much as possible?

    Dana (023079)

  157. perhaps this wife person is her own worst enemy

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  158. there are no memos, just whatever comey goldman richnan or wittes at the time

    The first one was written on a secure laptop Jan 6.

    Yes, we don’t know when they were actually written. And very few people have seen them, and Comey seemed to want to be keeping them from the comittee.

    I suppose Comey has some idea of how to prove it. They did exist by the middle of May. He also says he showed them to other people. And there might be copies in FBI files.

    By the way, I suspect that in the May 11 leak, details from the Jan 6 meeting were put into the Jan 27 meeting. (I think his written testimony is more trthful than the leak, and things just make better sense that way)

    Comey says he never did this with President Bush. Except that one was mentioned in a book. So he says that was actually a quick email. Two pages long??

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/proof-that-james-comey-misled-the-senate-intelligence-committee.php

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  159. No, what I meant was that you tried to simultaneously claim that media is and is not a means to knowing someone, and DRJ called you out on it, and I think that’s funny.

    Leviticus

    One last time. Trump has no hidden history like Obama had, and still does for that matter.

    On the other hand, nobody I know can read Trump’s mind.

    You may think it cute to see a controversy where there isn’t one. I have never considered you a serious person so it doesn’t really matter.

    I had considerable respect for DRJ until she seems to have gotten caught up in the NeverTrump hysteria.

    Victor Davis Hanson seems to see it more my way.

    if Republicans cannot act when they control both the Congress and the White House, then what good are they anyway as a party? And who, then, will shape the future trajectory of the country—a minority Democratic party, street theater, the likes of Maxine Waters and Stephen Colbert, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, campus bullies, the media, the universities, or Hollywood’s popular culture?

    Mike K (f469ea)

  160. 162 — well in the case of Trump, he’s got a smartphone in his hand, a thought in his head, and 140 characters to work with. So he types it out and hits send.

    And you want to parse the language. Talk about dancing angels and a pin.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  161. He’s the President of the United States of America. Of course we want to “parse the language.” How low have our standards become, that incompetence becomes an excuse rather than a disqualification?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  162. I love the term “Fredocons.”
    Now, pulling off the soft coup is going to be harder than they think. The establishment has not thought this out. They sort of assume that if they squelch Trump then everything somehow just goes back to them being in unchallenged control. Wrong.

    Mueller can’t indict Trump – that stupid Constitution, always getting in the way! No, the goal is for Mueller and his crack team of committed liberal activist lawyers to generate some head-shaking, tsk-tsk, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger, report claiming Trump “obstructed” the probe into Hillary’s Trump/Russia collusion lie that even the liberals reluctantly acknowledge never happened.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  163. DRJ @ 136 I see your point. I was thinking about the chicken and egg question of where the whole Russia question started rather than simply the obstruction of Flynn when I wrote that and whether this all grew from legitimate questions arising from normal foreign and domestic collection or excessive curiosity from the last administration about the political opposition contacts and communications.

    As far as the Flynn question is concerned, McCarthy’s point that “law-enforcement is not supposed to subject a person to the processes of a criminal investigation absent a good faith belief that a crime may have occurred. It is abusive to interrogate people, not to uncover a reasonably suspected crime, but to create a new crime” seems persuasive.

    We all want to know what happened and punish any guilty parties as soon as we find out what actual crimes, if any, were committed. Combining the counter-intel probe and the prosecution of unknown crimes under an unaccountable outside party seems like the problem not the solution.

    crazy (d3b449)

  164. @132. Trump isn’t careful or accurate in his speech. Instead, he seems to say what he feels

    And that speaks to a core element of competence and the responsibilities which come with the job.

    Neither was Nixon when the doors were closed, his hair down and de-Brylcreemed— and the tapes were recording. Even Halderman- who was one of the few aware of the taping system- had to verbally nudge Nixon occasionally with ‘careful’ to mind what he was saying to others unaware they were being taped. But when communicating to the country in a public forum he at least made an effort to sound coherent and not like a bowl of Campbell’s alphabet soup spilled out on the table.

    @159. I think Trump’s tweet is more honestly viewed as an expression of exasperation and frustration, not a confirmation of any particular fact.

    Except they’re designated ‘official statements,‘ per his press secretary, from the President. Trump tweets to connect with what he believes to be his base; his followers– those who know what ‘covfefe’ means. It’s become a fool’s errand.
    ___________

    Today’s Beldar The Bitter ‘Watergate, Watergate, Watergate’ Words Of Wonder:

    “I had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in; I neither took part in nor knew about any of the subsequent coverup activities; I neither authorized nor encouraged subordinates to engage in illegal or improper campaign tactics.” – Richard Nixon, televised Presidential Address, August 15, 1973

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  165. There isn’t any obstruction because there is no underlying criminal act, fonfvme a statute he was said to have biloated.

    narciso (9b6052)

  166. There isn’t any obstruction because there is no underlying criminal act, fonfvme a statute he was said to have violated.

    narciso (9b6052)

  167. It seems like there doesn’t need to be a statute that was said to be violated. Maybe that’s a bad law. It is only necessary to obstruct an investigation.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  168. “I had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in; I neither took part in nor knew about any of the subsequent coverup activities; I neither authorized nor encouraged subordinates to engage in illegal or improper campaign tactics.” – Richard Nixon, televised Presidential Address, August 15, 1973

    That was true.

    Although one day, June 23, 1972, he did endorse a cover-up proposal, that never was carried out. That was to cover up infromation that was already known – the connection of the burglars to the Committee to re-Elect the President by getting the CIA to tell the FBI that something involving them might be revealed if they pursued some lead about money. The CIA declined to do so.

    Nixon also, in March 1973, endorsed paying hush money to E Howard Hunt, but that was to cover up the break-in into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office, which Nixon thought was a national security matter and not illegal, but politically controversial. John Dean asked Nixon to approve it after he had already turned over the money! He didn’t say Hunt should be paid to cover up what he knew about Watergate because Dean knew Nixon wasn’t interested in covering up anything about the Watergate break-in.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  169. @174. Except it’s not. But you go on believing it is, Sammy.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  170. And while he didn’t give prior approval to illegal or improper campaign tactics, what was the point of appointing Donald Segretti to do “dirty tricks?”

    And G. Gordon Liddy was put in charge of “intelligence.”

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  171. DCSCA (797bc0) — 6/19/2017 @ 1:13 pm

    Except it’s not. But you go on believing it is, Sammy.

    No, actually every word of that is true, except maybe for encouraging subordinates to engage in improper campaign tactics (which did not include the Watergate break-in) and mayeb didn’t include anything specific, but the Canuck letter was not sent without some kind of encouragement.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  172. Leviticus (efada1) — 6/19/2017 @ 10:30 am

    the assumption that Trump – the President of the United States, lest we forget it (and we would be forgiven for doing so) – might know better than the Washington Post whether he is or is not under investigation for obstruction of justice?

    Lord knows he’s not shy about asking the DOJ about it, after all

    tehy woudn’t tell him and he kows not to ask except through his counsel.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  173. Sammy:

    “I neither took part in nor knew about any of the subsequent cover-up activities” – that’s a lie- as the tapes proved.

    “I neither authorized nor encouraged subordinates to engage in illegal or improper campaign tactics.” – that’s a lie- as the tapes proved.

    “I had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in” – that remains uncertain, but the climate he created, the resources and assets made available for it to occur remain a certainty.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  174. Leviticus – sure, you can. But then you look like an idiot when he tells you what he meant, and you’ve got nothing to support your claim for an alternative interpretation.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  175. “Sure I can” what? I’m reviewing the questions I’ve asked, and none of them has anything to do with “can” or “can’t.”

    Setting that aside, are you telling me that I should take Donald Trump’s subsequent statements about his meaning at face value, without regard to the words he actually uses? Like Humpty-Dumpty – “when I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less”?

    The “alternative interpretation,” for a textualist, would be the actual words he used.

    This is why I’m asking about textualism, and whether you consider yourself a textualist.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  176. 162 — well in the case of Trump, he’s got a smartphone in his hand, a thought in his head, and 140 characters to work with. So he types it out and hits send.

    And you want to parse the language. Talk about dancing angels and a pin.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 6/19/2017 @ 11:23 am

    So, what’s not clear to me, SWC, is if the White House Press Sectary, upon being asked about Trump’s tweets, says, “The president is president of the United States,” Spicer said, “so they are considered official statements by the president of the United States,” then wouldn’t it stand to reason that the president typing out 140 characters is in essence, making an official statemen?

    Spicer obviously contradicts the WH company line in this, but that just speaks to the problem of having a president prolifically tweet without a serious filter of discernment or discretion in place. And it will inevitably lead to confusion, as in the focus of this post. The WH and especially the president should expect this.

    Dana (023079)

  177. Nixon also, in March 1973, endorsed paying hush money to E Howard Hunt, but that was to cover up the break-in into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office

    One of Nixon’s worst weaknesses was saying things that he thought better of later, I’m reading Buchanan’s book about him. A great quote about Watergate was “Some sonoafabitch heard him say something walking out of the Oval Office and went and did it.”

    Nixon also worried about his staffers’ families, something that Clinton or Obama would never do. Some of the money he gave them was to support the families when the salaries ended.

    On Inauguration Day, Nancy Reagan called her Secret Service guy by his name. Roslyn Carter said to her, “You know their names ?” Nixon was a brooder and that was what got him.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  178. In response to your 167 about wanting to parse the language — all 140 characters of it.

    I’m not a “textualist” when there’s a minimal amount of text to work with, and I know there is a ton of related info that gives context to the comment.

    Others just want to ignore the context and derive meaning from 140 characters. I don’t find that to be of much use.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  179. My anonymous sources tell me Bob Mueller isn’t investigating Obama (yet)

    Neo (d1c681)

  180. “I’m not a “textualist” when there’s a minimal amount of text to work with, and I know there is a ton of related info that gives context to the comment.”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    Fair enough. I appreciate the answer.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  181. Dave, you may be — probably are! — a terrific physics prof.

    But more than half of what you think you know, or at least what you write here, about the law is pathetically wrong. DRJ has undertaken to point out just a few of the things you’ve gotten absolutely wrong. I feel no further such obligation.

    Likewise, if you wish to continue to induce laughter from the lawyers, or better educated laymen, when you give us your … unique legal perspectives, I feel no further obligation to warn you of the likely consequences (which I concede are trivial, having only to do with your reputation or lack thereof as an anonymous commenter on this blog).

    But when you affirmatively misstate the law, I’ll probably at least sometimes continue to point that out, and not in terms that you find flattering. Govern yourself accordingly, if you so care to, or not.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  182. I’ll retract the hyperbole in #187. I haven’t counted or weighed your posts, and won’t attempt to verify the “half” estimation. Let’s just say “often” and leave it at that. Cheers.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  183. Dave, I’ll make one more try. I’m utterly unwilling to try to reeducate you about the law of principal-agent, the laws of fiduciary duty, the laws of privilege generally, or the laws of Executive Privilege specifically.

    But I’ll take a moment to home in on one of your presumptions that makes your arguments ridiculous, if you’ll answer one preliminary question:

    (a) Could the State of Texas strip me of my law license if I deliberately revealed the substance of a privileged communication? Assume I was acting on my own and without consent or knowledge of my client, and under no compulsion from a judge who’s heard and resolved my client’s potential privilege objections first.

    Or:

    (b) Do you believe instead that I’d have a First Amendment defense that would save me from losing my license?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  184. Mike K,

    I respect your medical ability and experience, and always will. But it pains me when you claim I am insulted simply because you disagree with me. I don’t have a problem with disagreement. I have a problem with you linking Kurt Schlichter and calling people like me a Fredocon simply because we disagree with you about Donald Trump.

    I realize Trump has made it popular to call people who disagree with him by insulting names, but that is not disagreement. It is rude and disrespectful, and the perfect way to make people who might agree with you stop listening.

    DRJ (15874d)

  185. Dave: the laws of physics rule supreme over the polarons and quarks spun from unstable ideologues; in our universe, 1+1=2, not 11.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  186. crazy,

    My comment about the use of the word “manufactured” was for Sammy, but I appreciate your ideas and am glad you want to discuss this.

    DRJ (15874d)

  187. DCSCA,

    So Twitter is Trump’s preferred venue to vent?

    How sad that we elected someone who has to vent in public, sometimes every day, to maintain his sanity and/or his connection with his base. What you have described is no different than a teenager and his gang of followers — who have been around for decades. Only the medium has changed.

    DRJ (15874d)

  188. OMG. Jared Speaks!!!

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/jared-kushner-speaks-washington-takes-notice-48142301

    And now, with cape and cowl back from the cleaners, he’s flying off to the Middle East to make peace.

    ‘Here I come to save the day! That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!’ – ‘Mighty Mouse’ Terrytoons, 1942

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  189. @193- Seems so, DRJ– and unfortunately they’re ‘official statements’. At least Truman vented by cussing and wrote poison pen letters- -then stuck them in a drawer. Can’t picture Jefferson using Twitter given the economy of words; Franklin might have taken to it better for ‘stitch in time’ rhymes.

    ‘A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.’ – Benj. Franklin

    _____________

    Breaking- NBC News reports Spicer May Move Out Of W.H. Spokesperson Role

    “Mamma-Mia, that-za-Spicey meat-ta-ball.’ – Alka Seltzer TV commercial, 1976

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  190. swc:

    Rick — I don’t think he’s trying to communicate anything to anyone with a lot of his texts. Its mostly just his commentary on events as they take place around him.

    Having a comment represent a POV, and having a comment communicate factual information, are two different things.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 6/19/2017 @ 10:42 am

    I think Trump’s tweet is more honestly viewed as an expression of exasperation and frustration, not a confirmation of any particular fact.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 6/19/2017 @ 10:43 am

    Trump is the President. You can’t act like his tweets are things he says in the bathroom when he’s mad at the world. But even if we have a special Trump Tweet Rule, he’s said the same free-wheeling things in his campaign and now in the White House.

    At what point do we get to say to Donald Trump, “Your words matter”?

    DRJ (15874d)

  191. You certainly know how to bring back TV and advertising memories, DCSCA.

    DRJ (15874d)

  192. crazy,

    You were right, it was your comment I was responding to. Sorry for the confusion and thanks for the reply!

    DRJ (15874d)

  193. No worries DRJ. I don’t know how you keep track of all the different comment threads as well as you do. I appreciate your efforts to keep me from embarrassing myself too much!

    crazy (d3b449)

  194. Trump says thins that he doesn’t really think are true in his tweets. You can tell.

    So of course he didn’t know for a fact that he’s being investigated and the question is ridiculous. It also seems like he’d like to maintain, for most purposes, that he’s not under investigation.

    But more to the point, the argument was faulty. And not just because it is not actually Rosenstein who is, or would be, investigating him.

    It’s because Rosenstein didn’t really tell him to fire Comey – Trump wanted to do this, and, having found out what Rosenstein thought, arranged for his advice to be written up.

    Of course, it’s also true that that firing didn’t and couldn’t stop any fair investigation – Trump may have worried about an unfair one – unless he named a new FBI Director who would stop a good investigation, and Trump doesn’t know anybody who would do that for him.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  195. Another article about the Comey “I-only-wrote-memos-about-Trump” lie:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/attorney-james-comey-may-have-misled-senate-committee/article/2625634#!

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  196. 196 –DRJ:

    Trump is the same guy now that he was on Nov. 7 — the day before he was elected.

    There’s nothing magically transformative about winning an election — even an election for POTUS.

    I believe that history will reflect that Trump will have transformed the Office of POTUS more than the Office of POTUS has transformed Trump.

    Whether that’s good or bad awaits the happening of events not yet known.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  197. calling people like me a Fredocon simply because we disagree with you about Donald Trump.

    I didn’t mean you and I ‘m sorry you took it that way. I use that term for GOP Congressmen who think they can play to the left and survive 2018.

    I do think that quite a few of you here, especially Patrick, have gone off the rails about Trump.

    I think he is crude and a little bit crazy to think he can take on the Deep State, which I am certain exists. I am a fan of Angelo Codevillo and have met him and read his books. I had friends who were orthopedic surgeons in DC for many years and I know all those people go to the same cocktail parties and the same clubs.

    That is an inbred society and only a rather crazy, and rich, and fearless character like Trump would dare take them on.

    I wish him well and doubt the Administrative State will be able to destroy him but I know they will very very hard and I don’t think very many of them care about what happens to the country while they try to do it.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  198. I do think that quite a few of you here, especially Patrick, have gone off the rails about Trump.

    Yeah, that could be because you’re making shit up about what I think, Mike K.

    Like this comment of yours:

    So, you are for unlimited Muslim immigration.

    Got it.

    I asked you if you were talking about me, but you never responded. But I think it’s pretty clear that 1) you were talking about me (I saw nobody else you could logically have been addressing) and that 2) you were totally 100% misrepresenting my views. So, having offered you the chance to say you were not talking to me, which you declined, I am now going to let you have it.

    The post you were responding to said, in plain English: “Frankly, it’s a policy result I don’t like.” The policy result I was saying I didn’t like was the striking down of Donald Trump’s executive order.

    So, you either lied about what I was saying in the post, or — far more likely — you read the post with the lazy eye of a Trumper, who eschews truth, detail, and facts, and goes straight for the ignorant, ill-informed insult . . . your approach of choice for the last several months.

    You owe me an apology. Being a Trumper, you won’t give me one.

    But it doesn’t change the fact that you owe me one. And that you ought to — OUGHT to, I say — be embarrassed.

    Patterico (c60007)

  199. There’s no style of comment I love more than the “”So [insert made-up shit here]. Got it” style of comment.

    “So, Mike K, you believe Trump should be given the powers of a dictator. Got it.”

    “So, Mike K, Donald Trump can literally do no wrong in your eyes. Got it.”

    “So, Mike K, all leftists should be summarily shot, is your opinion. Got it.”

    Yay this is fun

    Patterico (c60007)

  200. @202- Trump is the same guy now that he was on Nov. 7- the day before he was elected.

    Except now he’s under investigation.

    Or is he?

    Depends on when you read’em: ‘Tweet’-le-dee or ‘Tweet’-le-dumb.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  201. @17 Apropos of a news spot I just heard:
    Old US Navy: Berthing Spaces
    New US Navy: Birthing Spaces

    Either way, sounds like ‘bunk.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  202. the lazy eye of a Trumper, who eschews truth, detail, and facts, and goes straight for the ignorant, ill-informed insult . . . your approach of choice for the last several months.

    Lovely. The calm reasonable Patrick.

    Got it.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  203. I’m going to ask again because I would sincerely like to know:

    162 — well in the case of Trump, he’s got a smartphone in his hand, a thought in his head, and 140 characters to work with. So he types it out and hits send.

    And you want to parse the language. Talk about dancing angels and a pin.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 6/19/2017 @ 11:23 am

    What’s not clear to me, SWC, is if the White House Press Sectary, upon being asked about Trump’s tweets, says, “The president is president of the United States,” Spicer said, “so they are considered official statements by the president of the United States,” then wouldn’t it stand to reason that the president typing out 140 characters is in essence, making an official statement?

    Spicer obviously contradicts the WH company line in this, but that just speaks to the problem of having a president prolifically tweet without a serious filter of discernment or discretion in place. And it will inevitably lead to confusion, as in the focus of this post. The WH and especially the president should expect this.

    The reason I’m asking again is, if the Press Secretary is claiming that these are official statements, and Trump himself has said that tweeting is a way for him to avoid the fake media (who presumably lie about that he says/means/did/does, thus he would tweet what he means/what happened/tell the truth???), then shouldn’t we ascribe to his tweets the value that he and his press secty do?

    The point being, this becomes a scrambled mess because in one situation we are supposed to take one tweet as an official statement, but quite possibly, when it gets him trouble or there is an unintended consequences, another subsequent tweet is not an official statement and we are to take it as such. How are we to know the difference in tweets?? Or do we wait for it to be something that someone blows up over, and then wait and see if there is denial??

    It seems to be me that the seriousness and weight of what the POTUS says should be of importance, and not be written off when convenient. And it further seems to me that a sitting president would not want to play games of confusion with voters when there is so very, very much at stake.

    Dana (023079)

  204. I swing by occasionally to see if the neverTrump temperature has declined.

    I don’t read all the comments unless something catches my eye.

    So, you were opposed to the court striking down his EO ? If so, I misunderstood and apologize.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  205. you think mueller the corrupt poopy fbi clown is actually a better choice to do fake investigation all up in it than the average corrupt poopy fbi clown cause he went to princeton with brooke shields got it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  206. Trump is the same guy now that he was on Nov. 7 — the day before he was elected.

    There’s nothing magically transformative about winning an election — even an election for POTUS.

    Wise words … but we can hope that stepping into an office like President and seeing/dealing with what Presidents have to do will cause Trump to become more humble, more serious about informing himself, and more willing to listen to other opinions. It hasn’t happened yet but it could. It’s a job that will bring out the worst or the best in people.

    DRJ (15874d)

  207. corrupt poopy fbi clown MUELLER: My love there’s only you in my life

    corrupt poopy fbi clown COMEY: The only thing that’s right robert!

    corrupt poopy fbi clown MUELLER: My first love you’re every breath that I take

    corrupt poopy fbi clown COMEY: You every step I make robert!

    corrupt poopy fbi clown MUELLER: And I IIIII – I want to share all my love with you

    corrupt poopy fbi clown COMEY: No one else will do robert!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  208. Dave, I’ll make one more try. I’m utterly unwilling to try to reeducate you about the law of principal-agent, the laws of fiduciary duty, the laws of privilege generally, or the laws of Executive Privilege specifically.[…]

    Attorney/Client privilege is not Executive Privilege. They may have superficial similarities, but barring some authority that equates the two (which you have effectively claimed, but never cited), I don’t see how your statements about the particulars of Attorney/Client privilege are material to Executive Privilege. Rather, they are question-begging.

    You said

    Everyone who is in a conversation which qualifies for executive privilege is a fiduciary of the POTUS, owing duties of confidentiality much like those owed by a lawyer.

    I asked you to cite the authority that imposes this burden on Comey, as a private citizen no longer employed by the government, who has never been in an attorney/client relationship with Trump, and you responded by reciting irrelevancies about your law license.

    Had Comey, as FBI director, been subpoenaed to testify about their private conversations, I understand clearly that the president could have asserted executive privilege and attempted to prevent *compulsion* of Comey’s testimony about a private conversation by another branch of government. As DRJ kindly explained, and as I gathered myself from reading US vs. Nixon and Nixon vs. Sirica, (very broadly) the president can prevent compulsion of testimony about privileged discussions when there is not some other compelling interest to require it.

    But that is not the relevant scenario here. Congress, or the Courts, compelling an executive branch officer to reveal private conversations with the president raises obvious separation of powers issues, but how does a private citizen voluntarily exercising their First Amendment rights raise any separation of powers issue? It doesn’t, because it can’t.

    So I’ll ask one more time:

    Where is it written down that Trump can decide what unclassified conversations Comey, as a private citizen, is and is not allowed to talk about of his own volition?

    Your evasiveness on this simple question leads me to wonder if you are simply citing your own opinion as if it were settled law.

    Dave (711345)

  209. Where is it written down that Trump can decide what unclassified conversations Comey, as a private citizen, is and is not allowed to talk about of his own volition?

    lol

    womanish and corrupt fbi p.o.s. james comey has a boatload of experience deciding which illegally-obtained conversations of American citizens deemed political enemies by obama can be widely discussed

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  210. I swing by occasionally to see if the neverTrump temperature has declined.

    I don’t read all the comments unless something catches my eye.

    So, you were opposed to the court striking down his EO ? If so, I misunderstood and apologize.

    Do you read the POSTS that you choose to react to in a snide manner?

    I said I disagreed with the policy decision IN THE POST.

    Also, no, I was not opposed to the Court striking down the EO because I believed it was required to as a matter of law.

    These are not difficult distinctions — if you’re actually trying to understand someone’s point of view, that is. Which, you are clearly not.

    Patterico (c60007)

  211. I swing by occasionally to see if the neverTrump temperature has declined.

    I swing by your comments occasionally to see if your insults, unfailing devotion to Donald Trump regardless of the merits, and persistent mischaracterizations of other people’s positions have abated.

    No improvement yet…

    Patterico (c60007)

  212. One can disagree with a court’s policy decision and yet agree that the court got the law right.

    Now go back and re-read my comments with that short civics lesson in mind, and try again.

    I mean, I appreciate the apology and all, but since it was for the wrong thing, I can’t accept it. As nice a gesture as it may have been…

    Patterico (c60007)

  213. Where is it written down that Trump can decide what unclassified conversations Comey, as a private citizen, is and is not allowed to talk about of his own volition?

    The same place that says CIA agents can’t write their memoirs until forty years after they die? There are statutes, regulations, court decisions, and employment agreements, that govern the conduct of people in government jobs even after they leave those jobs.

    As for executive privilege, DRJ did give us that education Beldar is referring to, with relevant excerpts from US v. Nixon. Testimonial privilege is pretty much the same, whether it’s attorney-client, priest-penitent, husband-wife, or executive. The difference that makes a difference is what government interest overcomes it, and the parts of US v. Nixon that DRJ posted tell us that about executive privilege.

    nk (dbc370)

  214. Beldar@187

    But more than half of what you think you know, or at least what you write here, about the law is pathetically wrong. DRJ has undertaken to point out just a few of the things you’ve gotten absolutely wrong.

    DRJ pointed out nothing that I’d “gotten absolutely wrong”.

    DRJ@124

    In short, US vs Nixon established that Executive Privilege exists and is due great deference by the court, but it is not an absolute right. There may be limits or exceptions. In that case, the needs of a court in a criminal law case outweighed the President’s Constitutional and public policy interests in asserting Executive Privilege.

    That nice summary agrees exactly with what I took away from reading US vs. Nixon and Nixon vs. Sirica. I have never denied, even for a moment, that executive privilege is a thing. The two Watergate cases dealt with the question before the courts at the time: was Nixon obligated to comply with the subpoena of his tapes?

    They don’t say anything even remotely resembling this, though:

    Everyone who is in a conversation which qualifies for executive privilege is a fiduciary of the POTUS, owing duties of confidentiality much like those owed by a lawyer.

    Dave (711345)

  215. So, you are for unlimited Muslim immigration.

    That is a comment on my policy view, not on my view of the law.

    And I very, very, very plainly said I disagreed with the policy resulting from the court’s decision.

    And I said so in a POST (not a comment) that YOU were reacting to (snidely).

    My view is that someone making a snide comment about a post has a moral obligation to read the post. And if the post actually said the complete opposite of what the snide commenter claims it said, the snide commenter owes the blogger an apology.

    It doesn’t mean the blogger will get one. But he is owed one.

    Patterico (c60007)

  216. The problem with this whole edifice is that its made of sand and just as permanent, the way I see it cimey us guilty of proferring false evidence like with the dossier and the crowdstrike report in order to secure a visa warrant on trumps campaign abc tradition staff.

    narciso (d1f714)

  217. Dana: So Spicer says something in response to a question, and Trump is bound by that? Spicer says they are “official statements”, and forever after Trump’s tweets are etched in stone as policy or admissions? Why?

    Tweeting without discernment or discretion is a problem.

    That doesn’t mean his tweet about being “under investigation” was meant BY HIM as a confirmation of a fact, rather than a statement of exasperation — HIS EXASPERATION — which in context it most clearly was.

    The parlor game being played here is the journos saying “He confirmed he’s under investigation”. His response to their parlor game was, “You assumed that’s what I meant.”

    He then provided a meaning that had context — the context of a newspaper article that same day CLAIMING he was under investigation based on anonymous sourcing.

    In context, Trump’s explanation makes more sense to me that the pundit’s assumption.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  218. Lovely. The calm reasonable Patrick.

    Got it.

    I become not-calm when someone misrepresents my views in a snide manner. I never claimed I don’t.

    But I was initially calm and reasonable. I asked, in the other post: “were you talking to me? Surely not!”

    You did not respond. I thought, having made a snotty attack on me, you’d stick around to defend your position if I responded. But you didn’t.

    Then, in this thread, you repeated a snide charge which in my view incorporated your misrepresentation of my post. So I let you have it, and I never promised to be calm under these circumstances.

    You are arguing in the manner of a leftist troll here, Mike K, serially misunderstanding/misrepresenting your opponent’s position in a snide tone. You’re getting precisely the respect you’ve earned given your behavior.

    I wouldn’t respond like this in response to a single snot-nosed remark, of course. This has been building up for a while and you know it. And you are responsible for it.

    Patterico (c60007)

  219. DRJ — I think it has registered already. He’s already made the comment that its a lot tougher than he thought it was going to be.

    Look at how 8 years of the Presidency aged the last 3 occupants. Clinton, Bush, and Obama were all relatively young men when first elected. And they aged far more than 8 years during their term in office.

    I think Trump today is much more chastened and aware of the opposition than he was when he entered office. I think he understands much better that POTUS is not an emperor. “The Art of the Deal” isn’t enough to succeed.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  220. The problem is, what is workable screening regimen that could get past the 9th or 4th circus, none I can see because they don’t follow the law,, there was one judge in the third who did nit have any problem with this very narrow pause, but he is ignored because it does no good tip consider the law when it diesnt serve purpose. This is what Obama lectured at the university of Chicago.

    narciso (d1f714)

  221. I think Trump today is much more chastened

    Ya do?

    What’s your evidence for that, exactly?

    I assert that Trump is not chastened at all but is instead the same ignorant unchastened blowhard he has been his whole life.

    I think there’s a lot more evidence for my position than yours, quite frankly. To the point where reading your quoted language made me laugh, out loud and mordantly.

    Patterico (c60007)

  222. The problem with this whole edifice is that it’s made of sand and just as permanent. The way I see it comey’s guilty of proffering false evidence – like with the dossier and the crowdstrike report – in order to secure a fisa warrant on trump’s campaign staff.

    and sleazy corrupt Mueller’s number one job is to cover that up

    that’s why they needed a sleazy corrupt ex-FBI p.o.s. to take the special prosecutor job

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  223. 228 — Well there’s a honest and thoughtful response.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  224. I remember what they put Ken Starr through. The mildest was showing him as Elmer Fudd going after the wascawy wabbit. Now it’s Mueller’s turn from people with different political viewpoints but the same level of decency.

    Dave might appreciate this: There is no such thing as gravity. All masses suck.

    nk (dbc370)

  225. There are statutes, regulations, court decisions, and employment agreements, that govern the conduct of people in government jobs even after they leave those jobs.

    If Comey signed the FBI employment agreement, then he may have violated it.

    (If he was really clever/sneaky, as director he presumably could have authorized disclosure of his memos to the cut-out before being fired though…)

    Dave (711345)

  226. “a sitting president would not want to play games of confusion with voters when there is so very, very much at stake.”

    Dana,

    What does his gibberish put at stake? April Glaspie’s befuddlement of Saddam Hussein into believing he had the OK to invade Kuwait through the ambiguous usage of “no position” is an example of the type of serious error caused by lack of clarity but I seriously doubt whether Trump’s paroxysms of gibberish stimulate much more than derision.

    Why should any reader put more thought into someone’s writing than the monkey who typed it?

    Rick Ballard (5397ef)

  227. Dana: So Spicer says something in response to a question, and Trump is bound by that? Spicer says they are “official statements”, and forever after Trump’s tweets are etched in stone as policy or admissions? Why?

    Then Trump needs to say that Spicer got it wrong. Or at least admit most tweets are spontaneous combustions, and not thought out policy unless labelled as official statements.

    kishnevi (4a421b)

  228. 228 — Well there’s a honest and thoughtful response.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Could you amass the body of evidence demonstrating that Trump is chastened?

    As evidence for my position I present: Trump’s Twitter account.

    What do you have in response?

    Patterico (c60007)

  229. And there might be a provision in that agreement, or in a regulation or statute, or in an administrative court or other court opinion, that says that he is bound by such other rules as are found in employee manuals, handbooks, and guidelines. I am not an expert on government employment law, so I can’t tell you for sure.

    nk (dbc370)

  230. OT
    I assume at least some of the people here are among the 198 million

    http://gizmodo.com/gop-data-firm-accidentally-leaks-personal-details-of-ne-1796211612/amp

    kishnevi (4a421b)

  231. Comey doesn’t care about due process, this uS proven time and again, process crimes can be spring on a,target like Stewart or quattrine he brought the totches,to the whose,us. Atty kerfluffle in the end what came of it. His behavior on March 10, 2004 is another matter. As was that of his accomplice Jack goldsmith, who runs the lawfare site. That permitted Ben wittes subterfuge.

    narciso (d1f714)

  232. I imagine everyone who is registered to vote, kishnevi.

    You know what my complaint today, is? The internet with all that personal information about everyone, in secured and unsecured databases, has ruined the private detective business. The only thing that’s left for a gumshoe to do is go around with a camera to catch a guy dancing the lambada in a whiplash case.

    nk (dbc370)

  233. I assert that Trump is not chastened at all but is instead the same ignorant unchastened blowhard he has been his whole life.

    There is some truth in both SWC’s and Patrick’s positions.

    Trump, being utterly ignorant, obviously *was* under the illusion that being President and wishing his rainbows-and-unicorns agenda into place would be effortless. In this one, singular, instance Trump even admitted that he was mistaken about that.

    But he is incapable of seeing himself as a contributing factor to any problem. Everything is everybody else’s fault, and he is a perpetual victim. His attitude seems to be that if something requires actual effort on his part, then to hell with it. He’ll happily keep signing executive orders, as long as they don’t get in the way of his tee time, but that’s about it.

    Dave (711345)

  234. there’s far more evidence that corrupt womanish Comey obstructed justice in the hillary “matter” than there is of Mr. Trump even getting in the ballpark

    i know it

    you know it

    and believe you me sleazy fbi mafioso Robert Mueller knows it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  235. I was not opposed to the Court striking down the EO because I believed it was required to as a matter of law.

    These are not difficult distinctions — if you’re actually trying to understand someone’s point of view, that is. Which, you are clearly not.

    OK. So I was right. Nice of you to acknowledge.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  236. How about you respond to the remaining blindspot in your analysis endorsing the 9th Circuit’s decision on the EO.

    As I have posted here several times — with not a single responsive legal analysis having been made by you despite several invitations to do so — the “sequencing” argument upon which you have based your view doesn’t take into account the later amendment of 1152 which added the language now found in 1152(a)(1)(B), which provides that the “non-discrimination” language in 1152(a)(1)(A) shall not be construed to limit the discretion of the Sec. of State to determine the procedures for processing immigrant visas.

    The factual background is that the new language passed by Congress was in response to the D.C. Circuit’s decision in a case (name escapes me right now) where Vietnamese nationals were not allowed to submit visa applications through the US Embassey in Hong Kong, even though other nationalities living in Hong Kong were allowed to do so. The DC Cir. found that the rule requiring Vietnamese nationals to return to Vietnam and submit their applications through the US consulate there discriminated against them based on nationality, in violation of 1152(a)(1).

    In response, Congress amended 1152(a)(1), placing the non-discrimination language in (a)(1)(A), and inserting new language in (a)(1)(B), stating that the non-discrimination language — including national origin discrimination — did not apply to the Sec. of State’s discretion in determining procedures. In other words, the Sec. of State COULD DISCRIMINATE BASED ON NATIONAL ORIGIN in determining procedures for the processing of applications. The result of the statutory revision was that Vietnamese nationals were forced to return to Vietnam to apply for a US Visa, while nationals of other countries living in Hong Kong could apply for a US Visa in Hong Kong.

    So, how did the Ninth Circuit deal with this argument — pretty much the same way you and the “immigration scholar” you relied on previously dealt with it — they danced away in a little pirouette in order to sidestep it and never deal with its actual implications on the legality of the EO.

    Here’s what that brilliant piece of legal analysis by the 9th Circuit said:

    The Government also argues that the President may
    engage in discrimination on the basis of nationality because
    of the exception provided in § 1152(a)(1)(B). Section
    1152(a)(1)(B) provides, “[n]othing in [§ 1152(a)(1)(A)]
    shall be construed to limit the authority of the Secretary of
    State to determine the procedures for the processing of
    immigrant visa applications or the locations where such
    applications will be processed.” However, this provision
    governs the Secretary of State’s manner and place for
    processing applications, not the President’s asserted ability
    to deny immigrant visas on the basis of nationality.

    “This provision governs the Secretary of State’s manner and place for processing applications.” FALSE.

    It doesn’t “govern” anything. It says the previous section does not apply to the Secretary of State’s AUTHORITY in determining PROCEDURES.

    That “authority” derives from the President. The “procedures” settled upon are not subject to the “anti-discrimination” provision of the previous section, i.e., they can discriminate based on national origin.

    So, please tell me you have something more than the 3 9th Circuit judges you have fallen in behind.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  237. 235 — I’m not here to “amass bodies of evidence” to shake you from your well-considered and unshakable beliefs. I would be wasting my time.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  238. Dave,

    There are several relationships that the law recognizes as deserving of special protections — privileges — when it comes to evidence/courts. Examples are the attorney-client privilege, doctor-patient privilege, spousal privilege, priest-penitent privilege, executive privilege, and in some states a reporter-source privilege.

    The law generally treats privileges similarly and often uses the attorney-client privilege as an analogy:

    The president and high ranking officials enjoy privileged communications where such communication is not subject to being required to be produced in a court of law if the revelation of the communications would be of a nature which would significant affect the president’s or the officials’ ability to do their jobs property and with effectiveness. While the privilege is broad (and similar in nature to other privileges like the attorney-client privilege), it is not absolute and is not in effect if the communications complained of are criminal in nature.

    The attorney-client relationship is a principal-agent relationship where the client is the principal and the attorney is the agent. (In addition to the attorney-client privilege, there is a separate duty of confidentiality.) Legally, the attorney-client relationship is considered a fiduciary relationship.

    DRJ (15874d)

  239. 245 — DRJ has this pretty much exactly correct. Most privileges are established in common law, and few are actually reduced to statutes anywhere.

    In some instances the privilege rests with only one party to the relationship, and in some the privilege is mutual.

    Its important to understand where it rests with only one party, because the other party subject to the privilege doesn’t have the ability to disclose information. Its not just that they can’t be compelled to produce information subject to the privilege, they can’t give up that information even if they wanted to.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  240. Dave might appreciate this: There is no such thing as gravity. All masses suck.

    One hydrogen atom says to another, “Oh my god, I’ve lost my electron!”

    “Are you sure?”

    “I’m positive!

    Meh.

    A dairy farm was looking for ways to increase their profits, so they hired a psychologist, an engineer and a physicist as consultants. After completing their initial studies, they all presented their reports.

    The psychologist explained that cows associate the color green with the satisfaction of eating grass. Since happier cows would produce more milk, she recommended painting the walls of the facility green.

    The engineer then laid out a set of blueprints and explained that by moving the walls of the milking stalls 4.2 cm closer together, they would be able to add an extra stall and increase productivity by 2%.

    Finally, it was the physicist’s turn. He walked up to the blackboard, drew a giant circle, and began “Assume the cow is a sphere…”

    (I tried hard to think of a way to replace the psychologist or engineer with an attorney, but drew a blank…the best I could come up with was that they hired a lawyer as the *fourth* consultant and that he recommended suing the psychologist and physicist for malpractice).

    Dave (711345)

  241. Where is it written down that Trump can decide what unclassified conversations Comey, as a private citizen, is and is not allowed to talk about of his own volition?

    That’s a question so absurd I wonder whether you are being serious or disingenuous.

    The privilege of a communication extends beyond the job tenure. Essentially, what you are asserting is that since Comey no longer has the job, he’s no longer required to respect Executive Privilege. By analogy, a lawyer who retires and becomes a private citizen is still not allowed to blab his clients’ privileged communications.

    Chuck Bartowski (211c17)

  242. So it is striking how evidence of this random unmasking has been obscure by the grishenko play.

    narciso (d1f714)

  243. Dave, you yourself guessed — correctly (#111) — that “if [I wasn’t] just making it up, it must be in one or more court decisions.” Then you went and read, apparently, two cases, from which you’ve decided that you know the extent to which privileges in general share some aspects and the extent to which they differ.

    You’re wrong about that as I would be if I decided I could look up some aspect of your engineering profession — maybe via Wikipedia or “Engineering for Dummies,” but maybe from consulting some engineering text or treatise from which I could understand one or two pages after serious investment of time — and decided to do with it whatever type of engineering you do. I wouldn’t know what I don’t know, and that, my friend, describes you and the law perfectly.

    If you start opining about engineering matters here, I won’t presume that you are making them up when you decline to take my hand and teach me to be a junior engineer. Deal?

    In every single comment I have left here, I’ve quite carefully tried to specify whether I was talking about executive, attorney-client, work product, investigative, or other privileges (priest-penitent, husband-wife, doctor-patient, reporter shield laws, or whatever, including some of those that aren’t actually privileges but function like them in some respects). I’ve read cases about all those and more. I deal with privilege quite literally daily — all sorts of privileges. As I’ve written here before — perhaps you skipped or missed it — there are broad similarities in the ways that one can assert and waive privileges, even though whether they apply in the first place depends on the context and the specific privilege being asserted. You could indeed find many, many court opinions where the judges have reasoned by analogy in a deliberate attempt to harmonize, as much as practicable, the way privileges are handled. But I agree that to do that effectively, you’d actually need to devote more than a half hour or a half day or a half month to that study.

    So I ask you on this, if you don’t want me to simply ignore you, as I obviously ought to do, to stop insisting that I educate you. DRJ gave you a more than adequate answer, with which I fully concur. Even the language she quoted here answers your question:

    The first ground is the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties; the importance of this confidentiality is too plain to require further discussion.

    Well, you’re the guy who’s insisting on further discussion anyway, aren’t you? Subscribe to Westlaw, you can run some key number searches on executive privilege cases, and likewise on other privileges which are often discussed in the same breath, and I encourage you to read to your heart’s content to see all of those which discuss the circumstances under which executive privilege can be claimed. My paraphrase is exactly accurate, but (in conformity with other cases) it’s a little bit more precise. Is the communication private, something the POTUS has kept confidential? Is it between and among high Government officials and those who advise and assist them? Is it a communication made in the performance of their manifold duties? Well there you have it, Dave — written down quite helpfully for you by both the SCOTUS and DRJ and now by me.

    But I do want an answer to my question, which is personal and specific to you. I repeat:

    (a) Could the State of Texas strip me of my law license if I deliberately revealed the substance of a privileged communication? Assume I was acting on my own and without consent or knowledge of my client, and under no compulsion from a judge who’s heard and resolved my client’s potential privilege objections first.

    Or:

    (b) Do you believe instead that I’d have a First Amendment defense that would save me from losing my license?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  244. Dave is as passive aggressive as lovey perhaps not as lovey i think that his/her mame probably thought the practice was really relating the law.

    narciso (d1f714)

  245. Dave at 247. Legal fictions. Do you know that you own your home from the center of the Earth to the end of the Universe? There’s a poem about it, “Legal Fiction” by William Empson, but darn if I can find it on the internet. Did you know that XX can be male and XY female and you’ll be in trouble if you say otherwise? Yep, lawyers are probably the most guilty of committing alternate reality.

    nk (dbc370)

  246. Dave, even if I’m disbarred I will still owe a fiduciary duty to every client I’ve ever represented, forever, as long as I breathe.

    Hope you never need a lawyer, but for pete’s sake, don’t react to him if you do like you’ve continuously bickered with and insulted the lawyers here who’re genuinely trying to inform you.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  247. And yes, that’s written down. It was written down in the canons of ethics centuries ago. It is maintained today in, for example, the Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct that I practice under every day as a member of the Texas Bar, and on which I’ve lectured to other professionals. The agent-principal relationship between the POTUS and members of the Executive Branch stems from Article II and the Appointments Clause. I assure you that everything I’ve said is something that has indeed been written down somewhere and that I didn’t just make up. I get angrier at you with every insinuation you make, sir.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  248. If you want, Dave, for purposes of my hypothetical you can assume I’ve been hired by Trump as an Assistant White House Counsel, and the privilege at issue is indeed executive privilege, rather than attorney-client. Or not. It won’t matter for purposes of his thought experiment, which is (you might guess — see it coming? need more foreshadowing) about your spectacularly naive and flawed understanding of the First Amendment.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  249. What Mueller hires reveal:team members are specialists in money laundering, financial fraud &Russian organised crime

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/15/robert-mueller-trump-russia-investigation-team-members?CMP=share_btn_tw

    Is Flynn cooperating? It would be irresponsible not to speculate

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  250. Here’s the equivalent of some legal Cliff Notes on the fiduciary duties owed by government officials, Dave. This used to be taught in high school civics, but depending on when you went to high school, you might have an excuse.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  251. Sparty, one of the partners Mueller brought with him, Andrew Weissmann, prosecuted Arthur Andersen, destroying that major accounting firm. The conviction was thrown out by a unanimous SCOTUS. I don’t judge his whole career by that, nor conclude that he’s unfit for the role Mueller has put him in, which is probably limited to “greybeard consultations” over lunch. But the prosecution, which was once among the most prominent in the nation, is no longer a feather in Weissmann’s cap, and he had to sand down the notch on his six-shooter’s grip.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  252. DRJ and SWC, thanks for your civil and helpful explanations.

    But I note, even in the passage cited by DRJ (emphasis added):

    The president and high ranking officials enjoy privileged communications where such communication is not subject to being required to be produced in a court of law if the revelation of the communications would be of a nature which would significant affect the president’s or the officials’ ability to do their jobs property and with effectiveness.

    That is the distinction that I have been trying to draw. I understand that certain communications are privileged in a court of law (or in other instances where people can be compelled to testify, like being subpoenaed by congress). But Comey wasn’t in court or subject to any subpoena when he added to the information Trump had already made public about their conversations.

    If SWC’s elaboration on non-/mutuality is applicable in this instance, it removes that conceptual stumbling-block:

    Its important to understand where it rests with only one party, because the other party subject to the privilege doesn’t have the ability to disclose information. Its not just that they can’t be compelled to produce information subject to the privilege, they can’t give up that information even if they wanted to.

    Is it obvious that privilege rested with Trump alone? In a conversation involving several officials, is only the most senior privileged? What about a conversation among co-equals (say, several cabinet members, with the president not present)?

    Regardless, it seems to me there are still at least a couple “outs” for Comey:

    1) Trump had already divulged details of the conversations, including the equivalent of “Comey told me …”

    2) If Trump’s statements were attempts to obstruct justice, they would not be privileged.

    Dave (711345)

  253. I give up. You are hopeless.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  254. Beldar — the Enron prosecution ended up being quite a black eye for prosecutorial abuses after all the convictions were played out through appeal.

    And some of the arguments advanced by Weissman, especially his pressing of a very aggressive interpretation of “corruptly” with regard to the destruction of documents, looking particularly troubling in retrospect. The conviction of Arthur Anderson as a corporation on that count destroyed the firm, and took 28,000 jobs with it. Weissman’s argument, which the judge accepted, divorced the issue of “criminality” from the act of document destruction under a long standing document retention policy followed by AA.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  255. 107.Are you a lawyer, Dave?
    God help your clients if so.

    Are you, Beldar? God help your clients if so and the briefs you prepare for them given the voluminous number of corrections to your own comments you have to post on these threads. Try ‘proofreading’ – “This used to be taught in high school… but depending on when you went to high school, you might have an excuse.”

    Dave: consider contacting JPL; they might want to probe Beldar. Haven’t observed this much outgassing since Voyager swept past Io. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  256. @258 Sounds like the ideal person to put the screws to Flynn.

    I also hear Mueller is bringing on a specialist in flipping, and we’re not talking real estate.

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  257. Yes it looks like the equivalent of waterboarding for jay walking extreme overkill, enron has a poor business model,

    narciso (d1f714)

  258. There is no such thing as a “specialist” in flipping.

    You’re just talking out of your ass.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  259. Well everything they learned from law and order, which makes game of thrones take in body count

    narciso (d1f714)

  260. [1] Is it obvious that privilege rested with Trump alone? [2] In a conversation involving several officials, is only the most senior privileged? [3] What about a conversation among co-equals (say, several cabinet members, with the president not present)?

    Answers:

    [1] Yes, and I’m tempted here to quote Andy Dufresne, speaking to Warden Norton, but that would be rude. Read Article II for a start, then google “unitary executive.”

    [2] People aren’t privileged. Communications can be privileged, depending. Every time I speak a word of confidential legal advice to my client, for instance, I’m creating a privileged communication. If I have two associates and they’re talking to each other, so they can talk to me, so I can talk to the client, that’s also covered by attorney-client privilege, plus an additional privilege called “work product.”

    [3] The POTUS not be personally present; if the confidential communication is among his Executive Branch high officials per their delegated authority from him, in the performance of their duties, he owns the privilege and only he can decide whether to claim or waive it. There is zero doubt that “high officials” includes, at a bare and inarguable minimum, the POTUS’ cabinet appointees, the Directors of the CIA & FBI, and other such Article II agencies.

    Ditto.

    Ditto.

    Comey is not a judge. He doesn’t get to rule on privilege claims, nor decide that his client’s privilege claim is waived. If a privilege, including executive privilege, is challenged on grounds that it is being asserted on a communication that was part of the commission of a crime, then that decision must be reserved for the judge who eventually rules on that challenge. Comey, under executive privilege, may no more usurp his principal’s decision to blab the details of their February 14 meeting than I would be free to go to the newspapers if my client who’s a capital murder case privately admitted to me that he was guilty. As they disbarred me, they would all laugh when I said, “But it’s okay — he’s guilty!

    Further explanation, including case citations and a formal memorandum adequate for submission in court, available upon request and engagement at my standard hourly rates. No more troll-feeding for free from me.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  261. Errata (#267): Sorry, those “Dittos” I meant to delete. Ignore them.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  262. *capital murder defendant

    Beldar (fa637a)

  263. @265

    Mueller team lawyer brings witness-flipping expertise to Trump probes

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN19A1CM

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  264. Dave,

    I think you may be conflating the duty of confidentiality, which I think is a public policy issue, and the concept of privileges. Privileges are evidentiary issues that occur in court cases. Confidentiality applies whether or not there is a court case. It arises because of the special/fiduciary relationships discussed above. Further, with current and former government employees, non-disclosure agreements may also apply. Comey doesn’t have to be in court or under subpoena to have a duty of confidentiality or if he signed a NDA.

    As for the “outs” you raise, they both involve reasons to waive executive privilege in court. That doesn’t erase the duty of confidentiality.

    DRJ (15874d)

  265. Dave, you have it backwards. In a court of law, it’s government versus government and it’s a matter of who has the stronger governmental interest in the particular instance — the judicial branch or the executive branch. When no other governmental interest is involved, the executive wins by a shutout.

    And it’s the same with all fiduciary relationships — principal’s interest versus some governmental interest. Yes, absolutely, the privilege is all the principal’s, subject to governmental interest, and the agent has absolutely no rights regarding it except to keep his mouth shut unless his principal or the government tell him otherwise.

    nk (dbc370)

  266. I give up. You are hopeless.

    You posted your five replies while I was drafting my response to SWC and DRJ (in which I conceded the substance of what you have been insisting, by the way).

    I do appreciate your attempts at discussion, even laced with gratuitous venom as they are.

    I don’t mean this as an insult, but I learned a lot more from the relatively brief (and civil) #245 and #246 than from your much longer and more emotional replies. I point this out only because if you are interested in communicating more information in fewer (and less fraught) words, you could learn from those examples.

    Dave (711345)

  267. … nor does it extinguish the responsibility to abide by the terms of a non-disclosure agreement.

    That’s why Comey’s actions, both with Hillary and Trump, have struck me as an attempt to be a quasi-whistle-blower. He wants the benefit of releasing information the way a whistle-blower would without exposing himself to any of the penalties.

    DRJ (15874d)

  268. I think the converse he let one go, as he has in the mark rich and Berger investigation and he brings,down the hammer on the other, but it’s rare for his victims like quattrine and hatfill to speak; they’ve lost too much, consider the Raymond Donovan query.

    narciso (d1f714)

  269. Give courtesy to get it, Dave. Quit implying that I’m making things up when I post about the law. You want less snark, use less snark.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  270. I’ve never claimed concision as a virtue, although I admire it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  271. People still figuring out the corruption is the FBI and DOJ.

    Blah (44eaa0)

  272. Sparty, show me a reasonably seasoned prosecutor who doesn’t think he or she is an expert in witness flipping and I’ll show you some unicorns.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  273. (I do that in civil practice. It’s really common.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  274. Beldar and swc could address this better than I, but I think we sometimes use the term Executive Privilege or Attorney-Client Privilege as a catch-all for the privilege and for the duty of confidentiality owed to a President or client. However, they are separate concepts. The Supreme Court in US vs Nixon mentioned both but limited its analysis to the privilege since it involved a subpoena in a court case.

    As for mutuality of privileges, most privileges involve a principal and an agent. In those cases, the agent owes the duty of confidentiality to the principal, and only the principal can waive it. Examples are attorney-client, doctor-patient, priest-penitent, reporter-source (if the jurisdiction recognizes it), and the executive privilege. The only mutual privilege I’m aware of it the spousal privilege, where both spouses can assert it. But swc and Beldar do this for a living so they would be better at answering your questions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  275. Meanwhile back at the ranch:
    http://www.babalublog.com/

    narciso (d1f714)

  276. The volume of sheer nonsense and wishful thinking on the parts of Trump’s enemies makes one volcano or two of smoke.

    Crazy.

    When we look back 20 years at how we lost control of this nation no doubt the Left will play lead actor in the drama but let me tell you the NeverTrumpers will be front and center in the second act of this drama. Man they so want to believe every idiotic comment that one wonders for their mental health.

    Blah (44eaa0)

  277. 270 — I don’t care what some idiot reporter writes. I “convinced” several dozen people to testify against “friends”, co-workers, etc., in my career. But I always had a personal line that I didn’t cross — I never made testimony against a family member a condition of cooperation. Some prosecutors do.

    Weismann is nothing out of the ordinary in this regard. Its pretty easy to “flip” someone when you explain to them that they are going to jail, and its simply a matter of for how long. Cooperate = less time. Don’t cooperate = more time. They figure it out pretty easily.

    This is a reporter working too hard to find a story angle where one doesn’t actually exist in real life.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  278. Beldar & shipwreckedcrew

    So neither of you want to comment on the suggestion that Flynn may be a cooperating witness?

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  279. Yes Brenda Murray used William Allen who was not a fellow of confidence to take down a passel of Alaskan state legislators and yes steven, quic custodie custodies if my Latin is right.

    narciso (d1f714)

  280. @ swc (#284): That reminds me, thinking of it from the side of your opponents in your multi-defendant cases where someone pleaded and then testified:

    There’s also sometimes a “common interest” or “pooled information” privilege among some litigants, on top of the others previously mentioned!

    When I was in BigLaw, it was quite common in big, multi-party cases for the various defendants, through their respective law firms, to negotiate, draft, and then if necessary enforce the provisions of a formal joint defense agreement. Typically, such agreements expressly require every signee to commit that before volunteering to waive privilege on anything shared among defendants, the signee will first give the other signees due notice and opportunity to step in and object, and to get a ruling on that objection. Some have big liquidated damage penalties, but they’re all explicitly enforceable by injunction.

    Nowadays, if I’m working with someone I trust, I usually reduce all that to about two sentences and commemorate it only through an exchange of emails. But documenting the agreement somehow, in advance, is essential if you intend to be able to rely upon it, as against your former co-litigant sharing common interests with you (needn’t be identical ones), when he flips.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  281. OK. So I was right. Nice of you to acknowledge.

    Nope. You were wrong. And you’re being either thick, or a jerk.

    I don’t want to have this fight with you. I choose to remember the Mike K I met in person who seemed like a good guy. I choose to ignore whatever this is that you have turned into.

    Patterico (c60007)

  282. As I have posted here several times — with not a single responsive legal analysis having been made by you despite several invitations to do so

    I was in a [edited to delete expletive] six-week trial.

    Patterico (c60007)

  283. Which you knew.

    And I am now on vacation with virtually no time for “responsive legal analysis.”

    Patterico (c60007)

  284. My comment, Sparty, is that I would be speculating, as are you and the source you cited. On this occasion I’m disinclined to speculate, even when labeling it as such. I don’t know what went on between them. I make no assumptions when it comes to Trump and his penchant for folly. Heisenberg’s cat is probably either already dead or still alive, but I don’t know which, and the box hasn’t yet been opened.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  285. Happy belated Father’s Day, Patterico. Enjoy your vacation!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  286. Did the trial turn out the way you expected.

    Yes we’ve seen John Sirica got results Renata adler was one of the few who noted and that was 20 years later, Iran contra has it’s own abuses of power and then there was judge Walton of the Plame, the last was ostensibly about a real event but the motive was different

    narciso (d1f714)

  287. @ DRJ, re #281: That’s all spot on, and the “common interest” privilege is another example of a shared privilege with multiple principals able to assert rights thereunder.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  288. It says the previous section does not apply to the Secretary of State’s AUTHORITY in determining PROCEDURES.

    Correct. The analysis is that this does not appear to be a provision that is reasonably read as undoing the previous law.

    I addressed this in comments back in January. You may not have liked my answer. But to pretend I never gave one, because I did not repeat it here while in the middle of a trial or on vacation, would be a bit disingenuous. I’ll assume instead that you forgot my responses from January, so I’ll repeat them:

    Here:

    I don’t think “you can determine the procedures” is meant to swallow subdivision (a) whole, i.e. “and part of your ‘procedure’ can be to say that everything we just said about nondiscrimination is out the window.”

    And here:

    Except that one interprets a statute in such a way that no provision is assumed to be surplusage.

    If the interpretation allows B to swallow A, the interpretation might be flawed.

    A contrary interpretation, that interprets procedures as procedures rather than blanket authority to write A out of the law, makes more sense to me.

    Anyway. I think we have milked this lawyer stuff for all it’s worth. It’s up to the courts now.

    I don’t plan to re-argue this here in detail at this particular time, but I guess I can’t prevent you from raging that I ignored you when you knew for a fact that I had a lengthy trial going on until very very recently.

    Patterico (c60007)

  289. Did the trial turn out the way you expected.

    Let’s say it turned out as I hoped. “Expected” would be a bit much.

    Patterico (c60007)

  290. Give courtesy to get it, Dave. Quit implying that I’m making things up when I post about the law. You want less snark, use less snark.

    Just as a reminder, this exchange began with you (falsely) calling me an outright liar, and lecturing me about making stuff up, when I said (accurately) that Comey testified under oath that he had never leaked while FBI Director.

    I proceeded to politely (“You are incorrect”) quote you chapter and verse, but never received an apology.

    I also politely asked you to adopt a more civil tone, and the response (after I had just conclusively refuted your false charge of lying) was to accuse me of dishonesty again and vow to continue to argue in bad faith as long as it amused you.

    But yeah, sure.

    Dave (711345)

  291. If people could stop jumping down my throat that would be cool. I’m not really in the mood.

    Patterico (c60007)

  292. swc, my former firm, Weil Gotshal, represented Enron in its bankruptcy, but that was years after I’d left. I worked with Arthur Andersen extensively during the Greyhound bankruptcy back earlier in the 1990s, and I certainly developed a high respect for the firm’s capabilities and for the partner who was my damages expert in that case. Your comments about Weissmann’s role are absolutely consistent with everything I’ve heard when those cases were current, high-profile matters here in Houston, but I never was more than a remote spectator in any of those.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  293. Dave, I’ll look at those links if you fix them.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  294. (The individual comment permalinks are the date & time tag highlighted at the bottom of each.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  295. @ Patterico,

    Let’s say it turned out as I hoped. “Expected” would be a bit much.

    Very good news indeed. And it’s great to have you back. It’s unfortunate that you had to come back to the rudeness. As such, maybe back burner all of this while you take a breather and enjoy some well deserved R&R with the family. It’s seems like a wonderful option.

    Dana (023079)

  296. Very good news indeed. And it’s great to have you back. It’s unfortunate that you had to come back to the rudeness. As such, maybe back burner all of this while you take a breather and enjoy some well deserved R&R with the family. It’s seems like a wonderful option.

    Thanks. Not a bad idea.

    Patterico (c60007)

  297. The links worked for me in the editor, and they work for me now as posted.

    I copied them from the date/time tag, just as you describe.

    The site does not seem to put the comments at a predictable position in the browser window when you follow their links, though, at least in Chrome.

    Dave (711345)

  298. I blame Trump for Patrick’s long and unwelcome hiatuses.

    He promised to end crime and violence, which would give Patrick plenty of time to post, but like so many other Trump promises…

    Dave (711345)

  299. Okay, Dave. I’m also not interested in becoming your HTML tutor, but I appreciate your effort and accept that you made them. I’ll try to respond.

    Skimming, I see where I referred to you as intellectually dishonest on the post you linked, and I called your assertion that Flynn is a spy as being disingenuous, and I called some of your assertions fantasies. I stand on all that and make no apologies for it at all.

    I do not see, and don’t recall using, the word “liar” or the phrase “outright liar,” and neither can I find that word or phrase in a text search of that post. So you’re putting words in my mouth. I try to be very careful about brandishing the liar finger, because making distinctions between things that are merely wrong and things that are the product of a deliberate intention to mislead is something I do in my day job daily — like you distinguish carefully between pounds and kilograms in your profession, I’m guessing (since I don’t know what kind of engineering you teach) — and if I get confused, the consequences for my clients might be as bad as your students’ clients if they mix up pounds and kilograms someday. When I brandish the liar finger at you, I assure you that neither you nor anyone will have to wonder. When I accuse you of it as a persistent character attribute, rather than a one-off, you’ll know that too.

    Re your assertion that “According to sworn testimony, Comey leaked nothing while FBI director”: I had assumed, because you gave no dates or particulars, that you were referring to Comey’s Senate testimony on June 7, since you & I were writing here on June 14. I then saw, and didn’t dispute, your clarification that you were referring to his testimony instead on May 3, shortly before he was fired. Obviously, his testimony on May 3 could not cover his entire tenure as FBI Director. So if you want me to acknowledge that I didn’t catch that you were quoting from something other than the most recent hearing, I duly so acknowledge. I added that Comey’s preparation to become a leaker obviously preceded his departure from the FBI, when he took into his personal possession the copy of his Feb 14 memo that he then let his buddy read selected parts from to the press. If and to the extent you were arguing that the overall body of testimony shows that Comey is no leaker, or that you’re continuing to argue that, I continue to say: That’s inaccurate and disingenuous.

    I have no idea which comment you think was my “vow to continue arguing in bad faith.” But see, that’s exactly the kind of putting words in my mouth that is an instant indicator to me, the proverbial red flag, of a troll. And you’re still spewing them.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  300. If you want to direct me to any other specific comments, Dave, you can use the comment numbers if you want, in lieu of trying to write a link that merely goes to the right page (but not a specific comment).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  301. Enjoy your vacation — we can spar later.

    I’m heading out on vacation tomorrow with 4 kids as well. Unfortunately, I’ve got to haul along a bunch of work or I don’t get paid.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  302. Hey, Dave, is comment #350 on the June 14th post the one that you just characterized (#297 in this thread) as my “vow to continue to argue in bad faith as long as it amused [me]”? I wrote:

    I’ll drop the patronizing tone the day you engage in intellectual honesty. Until then, yes, I will mock you, until I get bored.

    That’s still true, but it’s hardly an admission that I’d been arguing in bad faith. In court, I’d say: “Objection to form, the premise is argumentative, move to strike,” to which the judge would reply: “Sustained and granted. The jury will disregard the reference to arguing in bad faith, and the witness need not answer. Next question.”

    However, thank you for getting around, eventually, to your concession in #273 here. That was intellectually honest, if slow and grudging. Better late than never.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  303. Safe travels, swc.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  304. Still guessing, but I see that in #311 on the June 14 post, I said:

    To be clear, what he’s admitted to leaking was indeed a leak he finished after he was fired. It was obviously planned in advance beforehand, while he was still Director of the FBI. The intellectual dishonesty of which I’m accusing Davis is lying by quarter-truths.

    That’s a pretty precise statement, a deliberate modification on my part from the usual formulation about lying through half-truths. I see no reason to qualify or retract that now, either, but again — it’s not what you say I said. I did give you credit for quarter-truths, after all.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  305. (And I meant to write “of which I’m accusing Dave is,” but I assume you weren’t misled by my typo.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  306. The links in my post above, in order, are to comments 309 (by you, emphasis added):

    Here’s another disingenuous nugget: “According to sworn testimony, Comey leaked nothing while FBI director.” Actually no one has yet asked Comey that question under oath. Assumes facts contrary to the current evidence. It’s a pity no one asked, but he has indeed thoroughly admitted to unauthorized leaking, which is in violation of a whole ton of duties he owed but knowingly violated.

    You’re probably smart enough to carry on a lively argument without being dishonest, Dave. Give it a try, if you can separate your fantasies from the facts.

    Quoting 263 by me.

    I defended my claim about Comey’s testimony and asked for civility in 330.

    GRASSLEY: Director Comey, have you ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?

    COMEY: Never.

    GRASSLEY: Question two, relatively related, have you ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?

    COMEY: No.
    […]
    Can we drop the patronizing tone now?

    And you referred directly to my request (and dismissed it) in 350.

    Dave (711345)

  307. Your quotes in #313 are accurate, Dave. Just not responsive.

    May we assume from what’s not in #313 that you no longer accuse me of calling you an “outright liar”?

    May we assume that you now concede that Comey is indeed a leaker, and begin that process while still FBI Director?

    May we assume that you no longer accuse Flynn of being a “spy”?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  308. Is this the day, in other words, that you can manage some sustained intellectual honesty, Dave? If so, I’ll happily keep my promise to stop mocking you.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  309. May we assume from what’s not in #313 that you no longer accuse me of calling you an “outright liar”?

    May we assume that you now concede that Comey is indeed a leaker, and begin that process while still FBI Director?

    May we assume that you no longer accuse Flynn of being a “spy”?

    No, no and no.

    Dave (711345)

  310. Then that day may come, Dave, but it’s not this day.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  311. I do give you high marks for responsiveness and concision in #316. But yeah, still off the chart in intellectual dishonesty for a man of your evident intelligence.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  312. Oh, one more bit in your favor: I think you’re right, and that there’s something now amiss in Patterico’s webpage templates, because a while ago when I tried to create a link that ought to have resulted in a Chrome browser going to a particular comment, it did indeed take me to the right page but not to the right position to read that comment. I withdraw my comment about being your HTML tutor.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  313. And if you’re going to have your web monkeys look at that, Patterico, I re-urge my respectful suggestion made years ago in your re-design that you put the commenter’s name and the date on the first line. I hate having to scroll down through a long comment before seeing who wrote it and deciding whether it’s worth reading. Of course, keep the alternating shading and your special yellow shading, which help a great deal too.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  314. (I haven’t forgotten that someone — felipe? — wrote some kind of javascript or something that would automatically block comments from designated commenters, but sometimes, if in no hurry, I do at least skim comments written by one of the people I normally consider a waste of time to read, based on long and repeated experience. You’re not in that category yet, Dave, I’m not remotely bored with you.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  315. Well hmm, upon further review I note that Patterico’s own links to previous comments in #295 above do work properly when I click them, taking me to the intended January 29 post and the specific comments he was quoting. But my attempt to create a link here to comments on the June 14th post still won’t work. Perhaps it’s something to do with the comment moderation routines? I don’t know.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  316. We sympathize across the pond

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/the-tory-party-is-more-useless-than-nasty

    Recall the scrum against leadson for pointing out she has a stake in the future on the way may did not.

    In the worst than feckless, that little burg in south Florida Sweetwater has been discovered to have been doing waterboarding along with the king John customary apptopriatin

    narciso (d26172)

  317. Remember they were the ones who poached Conrad black’s empire, and Jeb was adirector
    For a time:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-20/barclays-former-ceo-criminally-charged-over-qatar-fundraising

    narciso (d26172)

  318. Congratulations on your trial result, Patterico. Everyone is fortunate to have you on the job, especially Californians.

    DRJ (15874d)

  319. Is it possible that doctors just can’t contemplate the possibility that a court decision is right on the law but wrong on policy? That would explain Mike K’s remarkable obtuseness here.

    Patterico (c60007)

  320. Thank you, DRJ. It was an interesting case.

    Patterico (c60007)

  321. I don’t know if it’s about understanding or lack of understanding, although legal issues (like medical issues) can be hard to understand and often require a lot of reading, re-reading and thought. But my feeling is he is concerned about what he sees, maybe even fearful, and that makes it hard to be dispassionate.

    Doctors are trained to be clinical in life-and-death medical situations, especially when the patient and family are anxious and emotional, because they need to remain calm to make good decisions. Similarly, lawyers control their emotions when dealing with legal issues. It’s easier for doctors and lawyers to be dispassionate about issues they deal with every day, but that doesn’t necessarily transfer to every area of their lives.

    It’s especially hard for all of us to do this with politics because we have no control over it, and it has become such an important part of our lives.

    DRJ (15874d)

  322. Someday you should write a book, Patterico. I hesitate to ask you to share the details about what you do but I would love to hear more about it. I know you have some fascinating (to me) legal and human interest stories. Unfortunately, I’m sure your legal work also involves human tragedy but that is important to know about, too.

    DRJ (15874d)

  323. The wife half of the San Bernandino shooters came in on a family unity immigrant visa (fiancee or spouse). Stupid, stupid, stupid when a court interprets the policy provision of granting visas without regard to nationality or religion to mean that the President has to allow them in from nations which are little more than terrorist training camps, notwithstanding an express provision that he can exclude certain classes of people he deems dangerous to the United States.

    nk (dbc370)

  324. In for a penny, in for a pound. The Court did not interpret the law, it made policy. A policy that is is preferrable for a terrorist to come to the United States, than it is for a Hawaiian to be deprived of having his mother-in-law come live with him.

    nk (dbc370)

  325. *preferable*

    nk (dbc370)

  326. In for a penny, in for a pound. The Court did not interpret the law, it made policy. A policy that is is preferrable for a terrorist to come to the United States, than it is for a Hawaiian to be deprived of having his mother-in-law come live with him.

    The law is stupid. If more public yakkers were to accurately diagnose the problem — that Congress passed a dumb law — then the cure would be obvious: pass a new law.

    But without a proper diagnosis, a cure is hard to administer.

    (Trying to speak in language Dr. K can follow here, since the whole “policy vs. law” distinction goes whizzing over his head every time.)

    Patterico (c60007)

  327. Private-practice civil lawyers like me generally love to have doctor clients. Usually they can afford us. Usually they can follow what we tell them and participate actively in all phases of their representation. And because they generally are way brighter than average, and they know it, they (like many lawyers too, I hasten to add!) assume that their intelligence and professional judgment translate directly into things like long-term commercial leases, real estate investments, non-competition agreements, and all sorts of other commercial enterprises that, in turn, spin off legal work — either in setting them up or, as I more often do, attending to the consequences when they collapse. A friend of mine specializes in representing doctors in what he describes jokingly — including to them! he’s a ballsy guy! — as “DDDs,” meaning “dumb doctor deals.” And doctors also often seem to me to be inclined to hold grudges, or to defend principle, either of which translates into more paid work for me that a more short-term economically-focused client might order up. In short, doctors tend to be high-maintenance clients, but they compensate for that in profitability, measured both in terms of dollars and cents and in terms of the lawyer’s job satisfaction.

    My experience in arguing politics with doctors, though, inclines me to the belief that they are more inclined than the average John Q. Citizen to go off on hobby-horse tangents and crank theories. (Totally true of lawyers, too, and perhaps more true of them than of doctors!) Again, though, there are compensations: They usually are articulate and well-educated, and they usually have some internal compass. I try to avoid arguing politics with someone who can’t ever be shamed, the truly shameless, because the argument will always end with them throwing their own feces at you; not many docs have done that, in my experience.

    My ex is a physician, and we were together throughout her medical school and post-grad training, several years in which she was a medical educator, and then several years during which she was in practice. So I used to spend an inordinate amount of time among docs, and I generally enjoyed their company.

    All of this is gross stereotyping on my part, and I’m genuinely not directing any of these remarks at Mike K or anyone else, but rather, musing in response to DRJ’s comments in #328.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  328. Now, you want high-maintenance clients? Try representing other lawyers!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  329. Beldar,

    A family member who is also a lawyer has represented many local physicians. I think he would agree that DDDs (fantastic term!) are lucrative and provide recurring business. Some doctors seem to think that doing well in med school and their practices makes them skilled businessmen/women. Of course, as you suggest, plenty of lawyers think this, too.

    My impression is that Mike K is not one of those doctors. I think he is very concerned about our country. I wish he could understand that most of us here are, too, but we don’t think Trump has the ability, intellect, or conservative principles to make a difference. Having more support is not going to fix Trump’s mistakes and deficits.

    But I will join Mike K in hoping that Trump, as President, will be as successful and as conservative as he was when he campaigned.

    DRJ (15874d)

  330. A lawyer for a client? No way!

    DRJ (15874d)

  331. DRJ, I’m actually trying to expand the part of my practice in which I represent lawyers, especially on ethics issues. I’ve had a few engagements as “special ethics counsel” to respond to motions to disqualify, for instance, and I get a huge kick out of those. A few other cases defending lawyers accused of malpractice or other conduct — increasingly, those cases are moving from traditional negligence-based analyses to a fraud/undisclosed conflicts claims, which gets the plaintiff around the burden of proving a breach of the “reasonable professional” standard of care. But yeah, lawyers make very demanding clients. High maintenance, and they read their bills closely! I suppose I have a masochistic streak.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  332. As clients, lawyers also can be the most appreciative, on a well-informed basis, of the difference between adequate work and superb work — a double-edged sword, of course, but I respond well to carrots when they’re extra-juicy.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  333. I can see that. I think it would be satisfying to help other lawyers when they get caught up with regulatory and administrative problems. I wouldn’t enjoy representing someone whosent actions clearly defrauded or hurt a client but denied it. Lawyers are supposed to represent the downtrodden and unpopular and I believe in that, but I guess this is my red line.

    One more thought about doctors. I’ve mentioned before that members of my family have a rare disease, so we’ve seen many doctors over the years. As is common with rare diseases, the doctors’ suggested treatments and medications varied significantly. Some doctors adamamtly suggested treatments and medicstions that past experience said wouldn’t work. Now and then, I feel like that with Mike K. We both feel like we are right and we both think it’s important.

    DRJ (15874d)

  334. Strangely, I don’t feel that way about other clients. They can be wrong and I would represent them. My prejudice is reserved for lawyers.

    DRJ (15874d)

  335. We belong to a very strange club.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  336. 313. Dave (711345) — 6/19/2017 @ 10:57 pm

    I defended my claim about Comey’s testimony and asked for civility in 330.
    GRASSLEY: Director Comey, have you ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?

    COMEY: Never.

    GRASSLEY: Question two, relatively related, have you ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?

    COMEY: No.

    It depends on the meaning of the word “authorize” as Beldar pointed out in 309 over there.

    You can’t “authorize” a leak that is against the rules, or even illegal.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  337. We did have this leak:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/us/politics/james-comey-election.html

    “Should you consider what you’re about to do may help elect Donald Trump president?” an adviser asked him, Mr. Comey recalled recently at a closed meeting with F.B.I. agents….

    ….An examination by The New York Times, based on interviews with more than 30 current and former law enforcement, congressional and other government officials, found that while partisanship was not a factor in Mr. Comey’s approach to the two investigations, he handled them in starkly different ways. In the case of Mrs. Clinton, he rewrote the script, partly based on the F.B.I.’s expectation that she would win and fearing the bureau would be accused of helping her. In the case of Mr. Trump, he conducted the investigation by the book, with the F.B.I.’s traditional secrecy. Many of the officials discussed the investigations on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  338. It also depends on the meaning of the phrases “Trump investigation” and “Clinton investigation.”

    There haven’t been any leaks about the Trump investigation, since according to Comey there was no investigation of Trump from at least Janaury 6 2017 through his firing, and if there was one before, there was no leak about it. So he obviously was not responsible for any leaks about it, even a leak that there wasn’t one. There was a leak that Comey wanted DOJ to say something.

    There were some leaks about the Clinton investigation, but probably not with Comey’s approval, at least while it was going on.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  339. Look at this:

    The Times found that this go-it-alone strategy was shaped by his distrust of senior officials at the Justice Department, who he and other F.B.I. officials felt had provided Mrs. Clinton with political cover. The distrust extended to his boss, Loretta E. Lynch, the attorney general, who Mr. Comey believed had subtly helped play down the Clinton investigation.

    His misgivings were only fueled by the discovery last year of a document written by a Democratic operative that seemed — at least in the eyes of Mr. Comey and his aides — to raise questions about her independence. In a bizarre example of how tangled the F.B.I. investigations had become, the document had been stolen by Russian hackers.

    Except that Comey said he had testified about it in closed session and that was nonsense. It came in the form of a russian intelligence analysis that claimed taht person A wrote to person B that person C (Debbie Wasserman Shultz) had emailed person D (at a Soros group) that Loretta lyunch would not let the e-mail investigation go too far.

    Now we have leaks about that.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/26/politics/james-comey-fbi-investigation-fake-russian-intelligence

    Then-FBI Director James Comey knew that a critical piece of information relating to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email was fake — created by Russian intelligence — but he feared that if it became public it would undermine the probe and the Justice Department itself, according to multiple officials with knowledge of the process.

    As a result, Comey acted unilaterally last summer to publicly declare the investigation over — without consulting then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch — while at the same time stating that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information.

    I think this is atotal lie. that’s not teh reason he did that.

    More:

    The Washington Post reported Wednesday that this Russian intelligence was unreliable. US officials now tell CNN that Comey and FBI officials actually knew early on that this intelligence was indeed false.

    In fact, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe went to Capitol Hill Thursday to push back on the notion that the FBI was duped, according to a source familiar with a meeting McCabe had with members of the Senate intelligence committee.

    The Russian intelligence at issue purported to show that then-Attorney General Lynch had been compromised in the Clinton investigation. The intelligence described emails between then-Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and a political operative suggesting that Lynch would make the FBI investigation of Clinton go away.

    In classified sessions with members of Congress several months ago, Comey described those emails in the Russian claim and expressed his concern that this Russian information could “drop” and that would undermine the Clinton investigation and the Justice Department in general, according to one government official.

    Still, Comey did not let on to lawmakers that there were doubts about the veracity of the intelligence, according to sources familiar with the briefings. It is unclear why Comey was not more forthcoming in a classified setting.

    Sources close to Comey tell CNN he felt that it didn’t matter if the information was accurate, because his big fear was that if the Russians released the information publicly, there would be no way for law enforcement and intelligence officials to discredit it without burning intelligence sources and methods. There were other factors behind Comey’s decision, sources say.

    In at least one classified session, Comey cited that intelligence as the primary reason he took the unusual step of publicly announcing the end of the Clinton email probe.

    In that briefing, Comey did not even mention the other reason he gave in public testimony for acting independently of the Justice Department — that Lynch was compromised because Bill Clinton boarded her plane and spoke to her during the investigation, these sources told CNN.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  340. Sean Spicer today, unable to say whether POTUS believes the Russians interfered with the presidential election of 2016.

    Wow, I mean just WOW!

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  341. Now and then, I feel like that with Mike K. We both feel like we are right and we both think it’s important.

    I know no one here is interested in my opinion.

    Is anyone interested in Victor Davis Hanson’s opinion ?

    Did anyone notice GA-06 today ?

    I go on to other blogs but come by once in a while to see if the frenzy has cooled off.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  342. Cidevilla who was in naval Intel and with Langley in the hottest day of the cold war,

    https://amgreatness.com/2017/06/20/robert-mueller-needs-answer-crucial-questions-republicans-ask/

    narciso (d1f714)

  343. Mike K,

    This is V D Hanson’s summary from the article you linked:

    For now, the Democrats and the progressive movement cannot find ways to oppose Donald Trump through traditional political means either in the Congress or through the ballot box. They have resorted to an any-means-necessary effort to dehumanize Trump and politically emasculate him before the 2020 election.

    I agree with that. Most people here (except some of the progressives who comment) agree, too. In addition, I didn’t see anything in the article blaming conservatives, NeverTrump, or Republicans. Unless I missed something, it was about Democrats, progressives and the media.

    I’m not trying to put words in your mouth but perhaps where you and I differ is that you (or if not you, then some Trump supporters) think I have a duty to support whatever Trump does because (1) he’s better than Hillary and (2) refusing to support Trump effectively makes me a Democrat/progressive. I disagree. Hillary lost and she doesn’t matter anymore. What Trump does matters because he is President, and I will support him when I agree with him and I won’t support him when I disagree with him. That doesn’t make me a Democrat or a progressive. (FWIW I think Handel’s win tonight and the high turnout in that race is partly due to Trump, and I’m glad she won. Good for them both.)

    You quoted me in your last comment. Do you agree or disagree with what I said?

    DRJ (15874d)

  344. Therevis nithu g to this investigation, so-called, ketvitvpersists like the trial of Joseph k, why do we bother with humoring esta Gaza bebrujas, yes one has to say it Spanish to make the point clearer, we know Richard Burr’s angle, we know mavericks,

    narciso (d1f714)

  345. They have resorted to an any-means-necessary effort to dehumanize Trump and politically emasculate him before the 2020 election.

    This is hyperbole, isn’t it? The traditional way to oppose a president when you don’t have the legislative numbers is to attack his credibility and competence. That was done to Reagan, GHWB, Clinton, GWB and Obama. It is politics as usual.

    The only difference is that in this case, due to inexperience, ignorance and immaturity, the president has decided to compete with his opponents to see who can damage his credibility and competence the most. And the president is winning that competition.

    Is Hanson suggesting that Trump’s opponents should take pity on him because he’s so obviously out of his depth?

    Dave (711345)

  346. think I have a duty to support whatever Trump does

    No, my only objection is to your, and Patrick’s language about him since he is the elected president. I could quote you an example from the other day when all this began but I am not that excited to go find it.

    I was not originally a Trump supporter but became one as it appeared he was probably the only on who could defeat Hillary and even then I was surprised he actually did it.

    I have a number of posts at Chicago boyz, where I mostly blog now, how I got to support him.

    I don’t think Cruz, Patrick’s candidate, could have defeated her.

    All I object to is the venomous tone of the anti-Trump rhetoric of you and some others here. For example,
    the president has decided to compete with his opponents to see who can damage his credibility and competence the most. And the president is winning that competition.

    Is he “winning that competition?”

    I don’t think so. The anti-Trump Republicans seem to me to be made up of DC “lifers” who are happy as genteel losers in politics as long as their jobs are secure, and those who I find hard to understand who seem more dog in the manger types.

    Anyway, I just hope the GOP Congress can finally take advantage of the GOP president and pass some legislation they’ve been promising for years.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  347. Mike K,

    I think you objected — you said I confirmed your impression — when I said Trump was “too small a man to feel anything but pity.” He is small in character and I do feel sorry for him.

    DRJ (15874d)

  348. That is not a venomous tone. It’s an opinion and, at most, a disagreement.

    DRJ (15874d)

  349. By the way, I’ve been criticizing the GOP establishment for years. I liked Cruz because he used to stand up to them, and I think he would have done it far more as President than Trump has. Your willingness to lump people like me into the same pot as DC Beltway insiders is questionable. In fact, not only do they support Trump, he listens to them.

    DRJ (15874d)

  350. “too small a man to feel anything but pity.”

    That, when referring to the President of the United States, is a bit beyond an “opinion.”

    You certainly have the right to your opinion but it is more than that and I think you know it.

    That is why I said I think you and Patrick have gone off the rails in this.

    There are lots of demeaning comments about Trump here which I think inappropriate but you all seem to enjoy and encourage them.

    That is why I rarely comment here anymore and wonder if you will ever accept that what he is doing is something we needed.

    Did you read that linked post above ? That was from December 2015. I doubt you will but I put up the link for anyone who wonders how one might become a supporter of Trump, given the alternatives.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  351. I try to read your posts at Chicago Boyz once or twice a month, so I had aleady read your link. I think you introduced me to Angelo Codevilla.

    DRJ (15874d)

  352. I don’t wonder how someone could be a Trump supporter. There are many valid reasons, and people I respect voted for him.

    Can you understand why a conservative might not support Trump when he supports policies that aren’t conservative, or when he does things that demonstrate poor character?

    DRJ (15874d)

  353. There are lots of demeaning comments about Trump here which I think inappropriate but you all seem to enjoy and encourage them.

    I’m at a loss to understand why you think pointing out the fact that there is plenty of evidence to question the credibility and competence of Donald J. Trump is a demeaning comment. Or that saying that Trump is in his own worst enemy is venomous instead of being a mildly exaggerated description of the real state of affairs.

    kishnevi (bb03e6)

  354. What is my comment if it isn’t an opinion? It’s obviously not a threat so you must think it’s an insult.

    Trump has poor character, and he has revealed this time and time again. That is not an insult, it’s a fact.

    DRJ (15874d)

  355. I make any number of demeaning comments about the Trump. I also called Obama a Stuttering Cluster*** Of A Miserable Failure (SCOAMF) among other things, and Bush 43 was more often that not The Shrub to me. I don’t consider that I’m committing blasphemy. They’re not deities. When Trump rises to the dignity of his Office, I’ll refer to him with the dignity the Office deserves.

    nk (dbc370)

  356. I think certain folks have falled into the trap of thinking that if one is not for Trump one is against him.

    I adhere to the view that for the ultimate health of this country, both the Left and Trumpism must be defeated, because Trumpism is ultimately simply another form of Leftism gussied up in nationalist guise.

    kishnevi (bb03e6)

  357. And my view if there is nothing of substance, let’s not bother (Yes the mix is ironic)

    Boris grishenko (b50707)

  358. [Obama] cannot be parodied. Every attempt meets an example of his incredible self absorption.
    Mike K (2cf494) — 4/15/2010 @ 8:41 am

    A lot of Obama’s personal approval is residual from the electing of a black president. His failure will not be a good example and so the exposure of it will be fought bitterly.

    Mike K (2cf494) — 3/1/2009 @ 10:53 am

    Obama has only arrogance.
    Mike K (dc6ffe) — 5/16/2013 @ 8:46 pm

    If they pass such bill and send it to Obama, he will look like the liar he is if he doesn’t sign it.

    Mike K (90dfdc) — 11/23/2014 @ 8:37 am

    Obama is the old Chicago machine with a cute costume.
    Mike K (2cf494) — 9/19/2008 @ 9:21 am

    [The Obama’s] are grifters who pulled off one of the great scams in American history.
    Mike K (b5c01a) — 7/27/2014 @ 10:57 am

    Leviticus (efada1)

  359. Is any of that, when referring to the President of the United States, a bit beyond “an opinion”?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  360. Leave Donald Trump Alone!!!1!!11!

    Leviticus (efada1)

  361. 331. nk (dbc370) — 6/20/2017 @ 7:03 am

    In for a penny, in for a pound. The Court did not interpret the law, it made policy.

    Didn’t the court say that it was preident who made policy in excess of the discretion given to him by law – that immigration policy doesn’t just belong to the president; and that if a president had the authority to deny admission to a class of aliens whose admission would be detrimental to the United States – well there had to be a rational basis for believing that to be true; and that it was subject to judicial review, and that it doesn’t look like the president would be able to meet that test.

    Sammy Finkelman (2b1acb)

  362. Leviticus, I can see how your feelings are hurt by those observations about Obama.

    I don’t have your energy (I work) so I will just have to link to where I found out about Obama’s background.
    It was February 2008.

    Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city’s most popular black call-in radio ­program.

    I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

    “He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.’”

    “Oh, you are? Who might that be?”

    “Barack Obama.”

    Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

    “I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen,” State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. “Barack didn’t have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

    See how that goes ?

    Trump is often crude and uncouth but most of the attacks on him are dishonest, like the Russian nonsense.

    Don’t you think if Democrats had real scandals involving Trump we would have heard them by now ?

    Mike K (f469ea)

  363. I adhere to the view that for the ultimate health of this country, both the Left and Trumpism must be defeated, because Trumpism is ultimately simply another form of Leftism gussied up in nationalist guise.

    You certainly have every right to your opinion although I think this is self defeating nonsense but go ahead.

    As I have said, I generally go elsewhere for discussion these days.

    There is so much pathology in California, for example, which used to be Patrick’s focus.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  364. Nice pivot, Mike. Next time you get a coffee break or whatever, maybe you can tell us whether it’s okay or not okay for us to call the President of the United states a liar and question his character. Some of us are confused by your apparent double-standard, in this regard.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  365. Mike K,

    Don’t you think if Democrats had real scandals involving Trump we would have heard them by now ?

    Mike K

    He could shoot a man in the street and some would insist it wasn’t a ‘real scandal’. Trump’s die hards, the ones saying it’s inappropriate to laugh at Trump, are not credible on whether the scandals are real or not.

    Leviticus’s point wasn’t that he was upset that you wounded poor Obama. You’re being hypocritical.

    You complain that it’s not appropriate to enjoy/tolerate criticism of the Dear Leader when it’s someone you like, but you rolled around in tons of criticism of the last president when it wasn’t someone you like.

    That your reaction is to start talking about Leviticus’s career is unfortunately typical of partisans these days. There’s no need to get personal. You’re the one complaining about free speech, not him.

    Just look at the things you criticized Obama for: machine politics, arrogance, flip flops on promises. Do you really think those are real issues, or do you only think they were real if Obama exhibits them?

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  366. When we look back 20 years at how we lost control of this nation no doubt the Left will play lead actor in the drama but let me tell you the NeverTrumpers will be front and center in the second act of this drama. Man they so want to believe every idiotic comment that one wonders for their mental health.

    Blah

    Listen to yourself. You’ve built up conservatives in your mind as this ultimate evil, blamable for everything.

    All to avoid the truth: the guy who won the election is accountable for the mess he’s created. The people who warned you he was going to be this bad are not at fault when he really is this bad. Listen next time. This nation had a great opportunity last year, and instead went with a celebrity blowhard crook.

    No kidding the guy who compares his political opponents to child molesters, bashes their wives as ugly, blames them for murdering JFK, creeps into locker rooms, gropes women, and abhors free speech will have a very difficult time getting anything done in our system of government. This is his fault.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  367. Here is a guy who has every right to criticize Trump.
    See what he says.

    Trump’s die hards, the ones saying it’s inappropriate to laugh at Trump, are not credible on whether the scandals are real or not.

    First, I’m not a Trump “die hard.” He was elected. Remember that ?

    What I see here is a lot of excessive rhetoric that doesn’t correspond to reality. Trump is not ““too small a man to feel anything but pity.”

    You meant that as an expression of contempt, if not hate.

    I don’t care if you laugh at him but that is not what you are doing.

    Is Hanson suggesting that Trump’s opponents should take pity on him because he’s so obviously out of his depth?

    Of course not and you know better.

    It’s OK. You guys have your own little echo chamber and I will leave you to it.

    Meanwhile, Trump and the rest of is are trying to enact a Republican agenda.

    You remind me a little of the Colonel McCormick isolationists in 1941.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  368. Wow, that was a pretty quick coffee break for a workin’ man. Do you get em every half hour, or are you still on your lunch break?

    Leviticus (8c06a6)

  369. Anyway, any update as to whether it’s okay or not okay for us to call the President of the United states a liar and question his character?

    Leviticus (8c06a6)

  370. Mike K:

    What I see here is a lot of excessive rhetoric that doesn’t correspond to reality. Trump is not ““too small a man to feel anything but pity.”

    You meant that as an expression of contempt, if not hate.

    I meant what I explained to you, repeatedly, that I don’t hate Trump. I pity him because he has a poor character: He bullies people to get what he wants, he enjoys making fun of others, he calls people liars but gets offended and attacks when he is called out for lies, and he has said his goals are to get even.

    Trump is President and I want him to succeed when he acts like a competent, committed conservative (unlike you, who wants him to enact a Republican agenda). That’s certainly an understandable goal but it’s not my goal. I don’t like Trump or trust him, but I still complimented him when he nominated Gorsuch and recently when he terminated DAPA. I gave him credit weeks ago for trying to change the Middle Eastern alliances, especially in Saudi Arabia, and yesterday for helping keep the Georgia Congressional seat.

    At this point, it seems you refuse to believe anyone who disagrees with you about Trump, and that you specifically won’t believe I have principles and sincere concerns that motivate me. That is sad. I am a conservative who believes in the Constitution and trying to keep campaign promises. I’m not a fan of someone who promotes the art of the deal instead of principles. I’m not going to say Trump is great when he ignores or backtracks on his campaign promises — to stop funding PP, repeal ObamaCare, end DACA, build a Wall, stay out of Syria — and acts like the law and the Constitution are inconveniences. I will hold Trump accountable the way I would any President.

    DRJ (15874d)

  371. @ DRJ (#352), who wrote in part:

    Hillary lost and she doesn’t matter anymore. What Trump does matters because he is President, and I will support him when I agree with him and I won’t support him when I disagree with him. That doesn’t make me a Democrat or a progressive. (FWIW I think Handel’s win tonight and the high turnout in that race is partly due to Trump, and I’m glad she won. Good for them both.)

    It won’t surprise you that I agree with this, but I point it out as an example of the concision with which you put things. Spot on.

    @ Dave, who wrote (#354):

    Is Hanson suggesting that Trump’s opponents should take pity on him because he’s so obviously out of his depth?

    You almost always overplay your hand, sir. So often, as with the comment at #354, I’ll read something you’ve written and think, “Well, that’s interesting but here’s my substantive response that I’d offer in a good-faith conversation.”

    For instance, I think I agree with you in large part that there’s not (yet) a difference in kind between the scorn and delegitimization efforts being directed at Trump now by Dems, as compared to that directed at Obama by Republicans or at Dubya by Dems or at Clinton by Republicans before that. I see it as a spectrum, with 10 being the literal re-enactment of Julius Caesar and literal blood flowing down Pennsylvania Avenue. At the other extreme would be the coronation of a POTUS as the new President for Life and the formal subordination of the other two branches of government to his despotic rule. Fortunately for the country, we’ve never yet hit a 10 or a zero, and the needle hasn’t pegged either stop at either extreme: George Washington walked away after two terms, and Nixon resigned.

    Under this sort of analysis, I’d argue that the Dems have now swung the needle farther toward the number 10 than it ever got during Dubya’s two terms, even though the Dems swung the needle farther for Dubya than they had for Bush-41, whom only the moon-battiest ever suggested be impeached.

    And then I come upon a piece of disingenuous nonsense like your question whether Hanson’s suggesting that Dems take pity on Trump, or your insistence that Flynn is a spy, or your insistence that Comey isn’t a leaker — preposterous stuff, but you seem very stubbornly stuck on it once you’ve said it — that spoils my mood toward civil engagement with you like the proverbial turd in the punchbowl.

    Maybe you just intend these as rhetorical sallies, as “positions one might argue” that you don’t expect us to take you as seriously arguing. That’s an okay rhetorical device, if you so flag it.

    Eddie Haskell wasn’t a stupid guy, but he never had any clue of when he crossed the line from smarmy to insufferable. Did you watch that show as a kid, Dave? Don’t be Eddie Haskell. To the extent you can avoid it, you might earn some respect and have some decent interchanges here. Most of the solid regulars here haven’t given up on you and started just ignoring you yet, and I’d genuinely enjoy having more commenters here who can hold up their side (without being Eddie Haskell). I intend this in a constructive spirit, sir, but I do acknowledge that you’re nevertheless likely to take offense, because no one enjoys even constructively intended criticism.

    I’m anything but shameless myself (although I’m pretty well defended against attempts). If I thought you were shameless, I’d not bother with further communication. And I’m not impliedly demanding any concession or agreement from you about any of this; I’m well content if you merely read it and try to consider it with an open mind, even if you reject my words.

    @ nk (#364): I don’t recall you, me, DRJ, Patterico, or anyone else ever accusing Trump of stuttering. In all the gush of word salad he spews, there’s very rarely a stutter, which is actually quite remarkable if you think about it. And re the SCOAMF acronym, I never heard anyone defend Obama on the first letter. “I-I-I-I — let me be clear about this! I-I-I-I ….” He was smooth enough with the teleprompter, but why he ever got a reputation for being a gifted orator, I never understood.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  372. But you have single-handedly brought me back to the main website to comment about Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  373. (And no, I’m not insensitive to people who have no control over their speech patterns and stutter as the result of a medical or neurological or even psychological cause. Obama isn’t a true stutterer; if he were I’d not mock him for it. I mock him instead because he could, if he used an orator’s self-discipline, have been smooth as he was when he read from the teleprompter. He was a lazy public speaker because he could depend on his base to treat everything from his lips as nectar and mana.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  374. @ Mike K: Don’t shortchange the implied compliment in #381!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  375. Mike K,

    Leviticus, I can see how your feelings are hurt by those observations about Obama.

    I think you missed his point, perhaps deliberately because it was effective.

    DRJ (15874d)

  376. No, my only objection is to your, and Patrick’s language about him since he is the elected president.

    Q. What do you call human garbage that has been elected President of the United States?

    A1. Mr. President.

    A2. Human garbage.

    I think Mike K would choose Answer 1. (Unless we are are taking about Obama.)

    Me, I go with Answer 2. But then, I have never been the sort to be impressed by titles.

    I consider my answer to be more typically American. But I could be wrong about that. Any way you slice it, it’s still my answer.

    Patterico (3f8f5f)

  377. Mr. Trump is not human garbage

    you are incorrect cause that’s not even true

    He’s a good man, and much better than obama, who was a poopy and turdy jew-hating soros toady.

    like me on facebook

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  378. It’s OK. You guys have your own little echo chamber and I will leave you to it.

    It’s not an echo chamber, and I doubt you’ll leave us to it.

    You’ll keep coming, failing to deliver the apology you so patently owe me, and clucking your tongue at the terrible disrespect I show to the venerable and so honorable Donald J. Trump.

    You can’t stay away — any more than you can acknowledge that you were wrong and apologize for misstating my position. It’s who you are now. And that’s a shame.

    Patterico (3f8f5f)

  379. Anyway, any update as to whether it’s okay or not okay for us to call the President of the United states a liar and question his character?

    Since he is in fact a liar of immoral character, it’s cool with me. You might make snowflakes like Mike K upset though. He demands a certain respect for people elected President. Who are Republicans.

    Patterico (3f8f5f)

  380. Or claim to be. Claiming to be is good enough.

    Patterico (3f8f5f)

  381. I suspect Mike K wants to be banned so he can run around the Internet complaining that he got banned here. It’s not going to happen, Mike K. You and your (currently dishonest and nasty, I hate to say) commentary will always be welcome here. If being banned is your sole goal in hanging around insulting me and lying about what I say, that goal will not be achieved.

    It’s sad to see what’s happened to you, though. You were once a gentleman and honest. Now you lie about me. It’s a stark and very disappointing change.

    Patterico (3f8f5f)

  382. Patrick, thank you far an example of how NeverTrumpers cannot see that you and we have won.

    It is just amazing that you resemble Colonel McCormick in 1941. You would betray the secret that won the battle of Midway to punish Trump.

    It’s an interesting example of psychology.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  383. DRJ, do you still deny this is hate ?

    Mike K (f469ea)

  384. That didn’t take long.

    Patterico (3f8f5f)

  385. I think you missed his point, perhaps deliberately because it was effective

    I too think it was deliberate. There is a pattern developing. It is consistent.

    Patterico (3f8f5f)

  386. DRJ, do you still deny this is hate ?

    Take that short statement as an example. It is clasic trolling. DRJ has denied hating Trump. I have admitted it while acknowledging I am not proud of hating anyone. Absolutely nothing has changed, and absolutely nothing has been said to undermine our positions. But with these few words, an increasingly trollish and unpleasant person can pee on the blog and force people to either expend a bunch of words pointing out why this is nonsense, or let a false implication stand.

    The tactics of a leftist. I guess Trumpers are serious about adopting the underhanded tactics of the left and this is one example. Happyfeet’s simplistic repetitive cultish ramblings are another form of leftist tactic.

    Patterico (3f8f5f)

  387. 380. Beldar (fa637a) — 6/21/2017 @ 12:59 pm

    He was smooth enough with the teleprompter, but why he ever got a reputation for being a gifted orator, I never understood.</blockquote? cadences in one or maybe two or three prepared speeches.

    Most politicians can't, or don't, do these semi-musical cadences.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2pZSvq9bto

    But I don't really think he had a reputation as an orator. Maybe he had a reputation as having a reputation.

    Sammy Finkelman (2b1acb)

  388. But with these few words, an increasingly trollish and unpleasant person can pee on the blog and force people to either expend a bunch of words pointing out why this is nonsense, or let a false implication stand.

    Patrick, I have stayed away during the worst of your Trump hysteria.

    It’s OK. I don’t have to be here.

    I just think it is interesting to see the psychology illustrated here by you, mostly. I asked DRJ if she still denied that there was Trump hatred as an obvious phenomenon here. She can say she doesn’t hate him. She just uses expressions that strongly suggest it but I will accept her denial.

    I think you folks are an interesting example of something that is mostly limited to Democrats.

    It has led a few of their supporters to shoot at Republican Congressmen in hopes of overturning the majority.

    The Democrats frantically tried to defeat a fairly weak candidate in GA 06 to punish Trump.

    I just wonder what you would do.

    If you don’t ban me from looking, I will come by without commenting. I certainly would not want to be responsible for any heart attacks or other conseqeunces of unrequited rage.

    I have always been a bit interested in pathology, even psychological versions.

    I wish you well.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  389. You folks would rather have Hillary as president and anti-Gorsuch on Supreme Court. Why?

    brylun (60e4f2)

  390. President Trump is ruining the democrat party. Cheers.

    mg (31009b)

  391. whoever this “patterico” commentor is, he or she appears to be having somr sort of mental breakdown. sad..

    Joe Maga (1b57be)

  392. — What does it mean to be a Trumpkin?
    — A person so deeply in love with Trump that he thinks that anybody else whose heart (and other parts of his anatomy) do not burn fiercely with the same love is crazy.

    nk (dbc370)

  393. If you don’t ban me from looking, I will come by without commenting.

    There is no such thing as banning someone from looking. And trolls like you don’t stop commenting. That’s what makes you a troll. (Well, that, and deliberately misstating my position, and refusing to apologize even when it’s been carefully explained to you.)

    You are a troll now. That’s what you do. It is in your nature. You will not stop. You’ll continue to push away those you were close to, and tell yourself it’s everyone else’s fault but your own. What you won’t do, for sure, is stop commenting.

    Patterico (3f8f5f)

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.9658 secs.